Blithering

The other day, (which can mean anytime in the last ten years when it comes out of my gob) I saw a couple of lines written about love on the Internet.

They said that a girl’s head goes down, underneath the boy’s chin, because the boy is her whole world and she gets lost in it. The boy’s head, apparently, remains up so he can check no one else is looking at his girlfriend.

I do not believe this. On one hand, it is a lovely (if rather sexist) sentiment. However, isn’t it merely a matter of height? The same thing would not happen if the girl was taller than the boy. Not without a great deal of contortionism, which might result in whiplash or some other neck problem.

Then again, I haven’t got a romantic bone in my body, except for my funnybone.

They say — whoever they are, I’ve forgotten — that love is what writers and artists are concerned the most with expressing or explaining because it is difficult to understand. It is not difficult, it’s more that there’s so much to understand about it all at once and not a lot of people have the time to think about it in its entirety, (because they’re too busy being all fluffy and lovey-dovey, maybe). It brings with it all these extreme emotions so it is like unpacking a suitcase.

But you’ll be fine, so long as one of you remembers to buy a stepladder.

On a completely irrelevant note, my story “Safe” came out in Strange Fictions SF & F magazine, which started back in March, I think. Linky:

http://strangefictionszine.com/safe/

 

Lowry

lowry

So, it’s been a while again. I’m at a point in my life where not much of note happens, usually (unless you want a comprehensive list of everything I eat and all the exercises I have to do.) Above is a copy of a Lowry painting I did, for my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. They got it framed.

What else has been going on? I’ve been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos type 3, and now Fibromyalgia. There have been a lot of trips backwards and forwards to hospital, and to a physiotherapist, but I’ve been discharged now. Some people really suffer with these chronic pain conditions but I am refusing painkillers (I know, I’m a loon) because though I have bad days I prefer to be sore than feel sick and not know where I am or what in high hell I think I’m doing.

Some publications I don’t know whether anybody missed:

 

https://simplebooklet.com/snowqueen

My story “Winter Queen, Summer Woman” appeared in Timeless Tales back in January.

 

http://mironline.org/tower-of-words-han-adcock/

and “Tower of Words” appeared in MIROnline in July 2016.

 

http://poeticdiversity.org/main/prose.php?recordID=2203&date=2016-04-01

And “Sentience” appeared in Poetic Diversity in April last year.

 

These days I prefer to go by the name of Han instead of Hannah. This is because, being unhappy with living in a female body, and after a lot of thought, I have decided to transition into a man. This is only a social thing at the moment, the gender clinic I’m waiting to get into has a LONG queue (minimum waiting time is 18 months, it’s depressing) so I am unable to transition biologically, much as I need to. That, combined with having two incurable conditions…well, my head isn’t exactly full of sunshine at the moment. Hence the long silences, and I apologise for leaving you all hanging.

 

Back again

Edge reading poetry and orrery 002

As you can see, my desk space is now taken up by a giant orrery, which I have been piecing together on the less uncomfortable days. U2 poster in the background. (These are two of my interests: U2 and space, or in general terms music and How Stuff Works.)

So I’ve been on hiatus for the last few months, still writing obviously (see story published in MIROnline in July: http://mironline.org/tower-of-words-han-adcock/ ) and I have been doing an awful lot of reading, mostly in a horizontal position.

It turns out that I may have a form of arthritis (what, ALREADY?) However, I cannot get in to see the rheumatologist until September-ish, so finding out which sort (if any — hoping this is just a false alarm. But then if it is, where is all the growing gnawing pain coming from, and why does my spine burn when I stay upright for more than twenty minutes, etc yadda yadda whines on playing her violin) will take a little bit of time.

Still, I have now worked out how to email my writing from my iPad. (God, I sound like a 60-year-old). So I can now write lying down. Service is resumed.

Encouraging words

Quotes

Read a few of these if you ever have doubts, not just about writing, but about ANYTHING you are doing which can, or has to, be judged using someone’s personal opinion. Here are some of my favourites:

“This is not a book that should be tossed lightly aside. It should be hurled with great force.” Dorothy Parker

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” Kurt Vonnegut

I’ve been reading reviews of my stories for twenty-five years, and can’t remember a single useful point in any of them, or the slightest good advice. The only reviewer who ever made an impression on me was Skabichevsky, who prophesied that I would die drunk in the bottom of a ditch.” Anton Chekhov

I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” James Lee Burke

 

And I probably should say “Sentience” (by me) has appeared in Poetic Diversity:

http://www.poeticdiversity.org/main/prose.php?recordID=2203&date=2016-04-01

Enjoy.

 

A story takes flight

Quite often, (especially when all the envelopes and stamps have been mysteriously eaten) a writer’s stories may end up hibernating in a special bottom drawer somewhere. (In her or his own house, obviously). This is essential to their well-being. Otherwise, loose stories will fly up and head south for the winter, or follow the writer from home to work to stationary shop, attacking their creator’s head in droves.

Unable to take the padlock off my drawer due to fear of impending attacks, I composed a little something that takes the Mickey, in a fond way, of Tolkien’s bad guy in a science-fictional way.

Was it going to attack me? No way, not this time. This time its doom was sealed, not mine. Sealed in a big envelope marked Doom.

Joking aside, here is the story.

“The Day That Went Hobnaciously,” by Hannah Adcock

Enjoy!

Only Time

What is time?

What’s it meant to be for, exactly?

I mean, you can do an awful lot of stuff with it – spend it, save it, kill it, keep it, waste it, half it (well, at least in sports) and you can even make it. But you can’t actually see it. It has no physical appearance whatsoever. It hasn’t got a sound (or has it? What if we could hear time?) and those of you who presume it ticks, you’re stereotyping. You can’t smell it, or hold it or do anything to prove its there, except maybe stuff with light. People try to measure it with clocks and watches and calendars, but these are all man-made objects, so is the notion of time just a man-made abstract idea for something else? We try to describe it with words – today, tomorrow, last year – but that puts limits on it that don’t really exist. Because whatever time is, or isn’t, it is endless. It’s been with us since the beginning of time and I dare say it will keep going until…until what?

What then?

Inevitably we’d call it something mundane like the Day After Time or something that just mitosisizes it.

I would sit here some more and cogitate about this, but I don’t know whether I have the time.

Book-finding Frustration

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence–and it is mainly down to frustration. I have a long list of poetry excerpts by people such as T.S. Eliot, Walter de la Mare, Christina Rossetti, W.H. Auden, etc, and they were excerpts I copied down from an old library book, aged twelve or so. I neglected to note down the title, the author, or anything else specific about this novel. Thus, when I went to find the book in the library and it was no longer there, I realised I couldn’t remember the title/author for the life of me.

Which brings me to this blog post. Perhaps if I can describe what I can remember, one of you crazy clever folks out there might know the thing I’m on about.

It was a children’s/young adult fantasy fiction. The cover may have been green and silver. Poetry was quoted before the start of each chapter, e.g.:

“I could come here and concrete the dark” – Anon.

“‘Oh where are you going?’ said reader to rider,

‘That valley is fatal where furnaces burn,

Yonder’s the midden whose odours will madden,

That gap is the grave where the tall return.'”

The story borrowed from Greek mythology, I think, in the sense that somewhere inside its pages it claimed that sleep was the brother of death. There were three brothers in the story who were banished from another world – not because they were evil, but because one of them fell in love with a human woman and had a daughter. The brothers might have been lords of sleep, death and dream, but my memory is nebulous. It is told in the third person, mostly from the girl’s point of view, about how she lives with her father (no mother?) and they meet up with her two uncles at a funeral for somebody in a big house in the countryside. She meets her cousin, a boy, for the first time. She is shy, and has a kind of crush on him (ergh) and won’t talk much, hiding behind her long hair. I remember her thinking she could watch him through her hair without him seeing her or something.

They find out their uncles/fathers were the three lords of this other world we go to when we die/dream, and that the two of them are their successors and should be able to visit that world to see their grandmother. Anyway, a doorway opens up to the other world at a certain time, and the other world is constantly changing depending on every random thought you have in your mind, which is why it is dangerous. Their grandmother rules it and she’s like a witch. She was the one who banished the three brothers. The boy and the girl have the idea that the three brothers would like to return, if only they could find it (they couldn’t any more, as they were kicked out). So, one night the two kids find the portal and go through, not fully aware of the danger. I don’t exactly recall why they went through – curiosity? Wanting to see Grandma? To steal a magic sword? Anyway, the three brothers find out when it’s too late, and can’t go after them. I’m not sure, but I think the kids went to the otherworld in their sleep, and the three brothers have to guard their sleeping bodies and hope they will wake up. They must hope their kids get out in time, because after a length of time they will be trapped in the otherworld. I’ve a feeling the childless brother deliberately arranged it so the kids would overhear them talking about the other world and go in, in case it would make the witch let them back in again.)

The rest is even more vague. The kids go through a sort of maze, then a desert, and all kinds of other things, losing track of time and trying to discipline their thoughts so nothing frightening appears. Finally they get into their grandma’s castle or whatever and it’s all topsy-turvy and sinister. Their grandma isn’t so nice. They nearly get hurt or trapped or something, but manage to make it back and “wake up”.

At the end there is a section where the two kids are outdoors, the girl is hiding behind her hair again and the boy tucks it behind her ear and holds her hand. (They don’t snog. That would be a bit yuck, in a children’s book.)

So there we go. Any title/author suggestions in the comments would be very welcome.