Category Archives: Writing

A Poem– Carnivorous Lily

Carnivorous Lilyby A.E. Wallace

Not sure how we came to the notion,
taking that potion at the end of the day—which lead to the smoking—
Seer’s Sage;
This is where it all went a different way.

Leaving my watcher,
I went for a wander
down a meandering path.
Pulled down dark chasm—floating, falling, flying —
Into a message
that shot through the dark—
from a distance—
in some uncertain tongue:

All that is, isn’t.

Chaos conversion—Tranquility.
One-time daydream demanding development–
Eaten alive in some floral reality,
the need for my Freedom became the key–
The inviolability of my heart had been much abused.
No longer loved—but bound by a vow–
The elegant simplicity;

He is not the one.
lily

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# 1 Stephen Kings Top 20 Rules for Writers– First Write For Yourself, And then Worry About The Audience

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Balance Point

“I struggle to remember what it was like being that big bad Buddha—before the hair went. Before the divorce and the kids and that job and the woman…”

“In that order?”

“No, hell no—I can’t even think of the order anymore. But, God-damn those days were something—I remember driving without seatbelts—rolling down that road—scenery just passing by—shoom, shoom, shoom like one of those old movies. The old movies had some kind of movie projector thing behind the actors. This was before green screen and Star Wars and all the new CGI stuff where the superheroes are actually believable. Have you seen that new Superman? If I saw that movie when I was 15—I’ll tell you what, I would have believed that was the real deal, you know?—The real deal.”

“Yeah, I saw that movie. It was good…”

“Yes. It was. But the best thing is, something new will come out that will topple that one—Godzilla. Did you see that one?—Well same shit. I remember when it was some little puppet, clay, stop-animation thing. Whatever it was, it was not CGI. But where was I?—”

“Big bad Buddha.”

“Damned straight. But with a full head of hair—going down to Newquay— surfing, drinking, meeting girls—it was great.”

The Care Worker struggled to follow the conversation so decided just to be carried by it that afternoon. The Service User sat and cheerfully ate the breakfast and went on to talk about how he had it all, lost it all, got something different and then walked away from that. Today the Service User was in a good place and the Care Worker just wanted to enjoy it. There were days when it did not feel like work. Today was that kind of a day—to people getting to know each other and enjoying a day out.

But it had not always been this way. The Service User almost got arrested at the weekend after he tried to kill The Care Worker. It was down to a mixture of prescription pills and ADHD pills that belonged to a Guest of his. The Service User tried to understand what had happened that night but The Care Worker and The Guest were not talking—at least they did not say anything that remotely crystallised what happened that night.

It was a cool morning. The sky was bright but grey clouds seemed to rim the horizon like sheep dogs worrying sheep.

“You think those clothes will be ok on the line today?”

“I hope so. It looks a bit grey over bill’s mother’s but the BBC didn’t give out any rain.”

The Service User looked outside at the cars and people passing by. His eyes began to well up with tears.

“I say! You think I should have had one of those big breakfasts? It looks really good. I can’t believe I didn’t order one when you did!”

The Care Worker had seen this before with his Service User. It did not always go in a negative direction. Sometimes the change was subtle and sensory things often brought him back to a cheerful disposition. Tentatively, the Care Worker started to evaluate the café making note of what he would have to do if it all went terribly wrong.

“Maybe we should go back. Maybe we should bring them back in.”

“If you like—we can go—sure why not? We can have a cup of tea at yours, eh? I can nip down later to that bakers and get us a nice Viennese Whirl—or a vanilla slice. What do you think?”

Together they moved—the steps were familiar. The Service User followed a silent command as The Care Worker fluidly moved to the changing situation. Without touching The Service User, he moved smoothly, crouching—finding the balance point—strong-eyed– directing The Service User to the exit.

Once outside, The Service User smiled. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes.

“I think you are right. It will be ok.”

“Yes. Where do you want to go now?”

And they headed off down to the post office to buy some envelopes.


Of Level 20 Dragons and Goats- (excerpt)

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The room was filled with a coterie of game aficionados. They all had the same look about them—arrogant and unconcerned about mainstream subjects of fancy. Their blithe demeanour seemingly imbued the air with an ever-so-slightly-unwashed pong. Within the sea of black t-shirts, backpacks and beards, there were a few females attached here and there to some of the men who came out to the opening of the new shop called Games Afoot. Somewhere I could hear the spumescent sounds of a cappuccino maker. I made my way through the crowd to get a cup of coffee and to find Doug.

Doug had sent me a text earlier in the day that simply read: It’s the store opening tonight. She won’t be there. She’s gone. Please come. We had been friends for over twenty years so I cancelled my squash game, dug out my d20 t-shirt and headed out into town without question. It had been ages since I saw him.

I met Doug one summer in 1990 when a friend of a friend invited me to play D&D. Doug was someone’s cousin and was not originally invited to play but there had been a drop out and he was keen to learn something new having just moved to town. Within five minutes of rolling out our characters, I knew this guy would one day be best-man at my wedding—or at least talking about it. Over the years we would have a share of dips and peaks. Failures and successes in our everyday lives would never hold as much weight as to in-game minutes that siphoned off our realities. Everything we ever did revolved around table top games, dice, miniatures and complicated systems until the day we were forced to find ways to fund our paper and plastic addiction. We needed jobs. Doug got one in a pub and I decided to go to the University of Edinburgh.

Doug killed off my 10th level paladin in the summer of ’96 ceremoniously when my character, Khodin, fell to a level 20 dragon the night before I left for Uni. That dragon came up widdershins on our party and smoked me like a kipper. I remember being so angry with him that night. I had plans of going out on an epic storyline that would take me through my days at Edinburgh University. Instead, I sat there eating pizza and drinking ale as I watched as the other PCs rolled and devised and played through one of the best campaigns ever run.

Doug met Linda when I was at Uni. He would send me emails waxing lyrical about how she was the one and how he could not wait until I met her. I remember thinking she looked like some kind of a grimalkin curled up in his arms in the pictures he would email. I thought she was beautiful and cursed his luck. Over the months and years, he looked more and more like she did. He began wearing his hair like some kind of boy-band escapee and he looked more and more serious in his photographs. When I came home and finally met her, she surveyed me and it was obvious that I was not what she expected. I opened up my first ever conversation to her with memoirs of happy goats I encountered on my gap year in China. Her eyes scintillated with each new random topic I brought up and I thought things went well. But I never did get an invitation back to their place again. I would see Doug when she allowed it. I also inherited a lot of his old games and miniatures when they moved into their new place.

My friendship with Doug became more of an online, social network and Xbox one. He had become a businessman. He was even into politics. He had been in the local paper more than once and always with her by his side. As an academic, I could only read about him since I was not the kind that would travel in his circle. The greatest news he ever sent me was his announcement that he was opening a games store. He asked if I would be at the grand opening and I had given him my congratulations and regrets. I said that I had prior commitments but that I would send him a bottle of champagne and a box of ale. When I got his text message, I was all at once nonplussed and elated.

I walked up to him and he beamed at me.

“Mate!” he shouted.

“Hey! Are you ok?”

“I am now, matey,” he said. “Look at all this! This is great!”

“Ah, yes. I meant about Linda. When did she leave? I mean, when I got your message—well, I thought you were upset but you seem ok.”

“Linda. Yes. I’m afraid my relationship reached that level of effloresce that we all hoped would never come. But what did I expect, really. She was not into all this. I am surprised that she stayed with me as long as she did,” he said and raised his cappuccino in the air. “This was her idea. She wanted a barista. I wanted a games parlour. She wanted a business. I wanted a community.”

“She did not like this, I take it?”

“Meeting her was simply an obliquity. I think she was that level 20 dragon I sent to kill you off because I was so upset that you were going away,” said Doug.

“You asshole. Still have not forgiven you for that.”

“I know. But I could not forgive her for not liking your goats,” said Doug. He took out his phone showed me his wallpaper. He had taken my photo and put text on it that read THE BRO GOAT. I shook my head.

“I’m sorry, man,” said Doug. “I should have stood my ground. I knew you before I met her. I have no idea what I was thinking. I’m really sorry.”

“No need.”

“We got a Magic tourney going on later. Shall we play?”

“I brought a deck.”


The Yummy Mummy Brigade– Just Musing

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Soft jumpers over denim mini skirt over leggings–bare feet in Kelso clogs–the women of the Yummy Mummy Brigade file into the coffee shop. I just beat the traffic of the school-run-odyssey to boot up my laptop and prepare for a meeting at the engineering firm down the street.

But I got lost in the debate over letting baby use a pacifier or his thumb and the best way to puree homemade food for him. All of a sudden, my pencil skirt felt very scratchy and my high heels pinched. My skinny latte did not look as nice as the cream-topped hot chocolate.

Then I think of him and what could have been.

Pen a “five-minute-prompt”. Ok. Here it is. Is it curing my writers block? Maybe on it’s way.


Suddenly, Someone Brings Up Hemingway #1

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Use short sentences

She poured the scotch. The clock read half past 10. She sighed. “Saturday night is alright for writing.”


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #20

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Believe in the holy contour of life

For Sarah Lee

Tristful and grey, the day languidly comes into focus. The howling of the wind and the slap of rain against my bedroom window last night gave way to a coma-like slumber. Waking from it proves problematic. I cannot shake it off. I sit on the edge of my bed. I fight the compulsion to ring in sick–or to just not show up and insist it was an emergency annual leave day—I can lie. I can lie. I sit on the edge– resist falling back into rumpled duvet womb.

Time elapse—I stand in the warm glow of halogen lamps—clean, pressed, blurry eyed—and the kettle goes on. The kettle goes on. The kettle—it whirls and gurgles like a hash pipe of old—seducing me to promises of all things copasetic—it will be fine, fine, fine.

Sacramental cup on counter, blessed Assam seeping, swirling–fragrance across my consciousness finding its way into my depth and working magic from within—bringing the full light of colour to my frame of reference.

The sunrise of a desert sky blooms before me. This sunrise from my childhood spreads through time and space to reach me in England—here and now.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #19

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19. Accept loss forever

Keys. Goddamned lost my keys. Everything in those keys. Stability, freedom, tranquillity, worldly wealth, the words on my papers that tell me who I am–what I am–who I will be at some point if I live that long—or who will get what if I do not. I reach in to my childhood for St. Anthony to come and search for those keys—to let me in the house—to help me let the dogs out—to let me use the bathroom—to sleep.

Keys are beautiful—dangled, distracting my crying baby boy–Tinkling in summer wind through art room window at college—keys dangling from the wood beam, holding within them locked away memories in long ago houses from some time that was but will never be again. Forgotten rooms, elapsed moments, long ago lust, hidden away Spector in stasis–precious things– keys all rusting away in some man’s utility drawer; expendable like so many disremembered names of those that faded away when pain expired.

I stand accused of not being bothered because I cannot access my mail– those All important missives laden with requirements that sit just within the locked door. I lost my keys.

The locksmith will come anyway.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #18

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Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

Corporate strategies and quintessential knowledge aside, how good does it feel to take over a meeting with a flash of eye– sleight of hand—getting that mojo in the pow-bang-whaz of power point porn! You can stake hold this, baby! I’ve got the deliverable goods to make sure this party is going forward, moving forward, breaking through the clutter and pushing the envelope. Full thrust, yo, we’re doing the needful. Globalize the lot. We’ve brought a clear goal to the table and we are getting ready to chow down!

Let’s calibrate expectations and open this kimono, baby. We got an exit strategy on the runway. The high order thinking on soul engagement is the paradigm shift that will bring on that robust sea change that will allow us to run like a business…

Or we can just sit back with a cup of tea and a comic and groove on the colours.


Kerouac Rules for spontaneous Prose #16

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The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye

Last night, I wore a mask. I was the Great Gatsby. The Great Pretender. The Life and Soul of bullshit. This morning, I am all but broken and a little bit lost. But then, this all makes for good material if nothing else… This is from where my strength comes.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #14

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Like Proust be an old teahead of time

There had been a general feeling of dreaming in those days. When I think back on those egregiously rambling roads against a deliriously bright backdrop of sand and sky, I cannot bear to think on how bleak I felt then compared to now. To be drenched in the naked flame of a desert sun should have been the evidence to a robust life. The thermals that manifested in the deceptive distance made the climate controlled environment of the Mercedes Benz surreal and inappropriate. The idea that any time spent outside the automobile in the desperate heat would release me to burst into a phoenix was something that seemed enchanted as I reclined against the cool leather interior, doe-eyed and uninterested.

As you drove, determined and resolute to make time, I pondered how aware you were of my reveries for our future. Your mind was always blank when I asked you what you were thinking. I fancied that the only sound you ever heard was the sound of the wheels on your car. I had looked forward to a life of travel and discovery. I saw many lives experienced as a couple with many stories to realise. Life and love would be a succession of road-side attractions and exotic vistas. But your thoughts were more solemn. Your ambitions did not comply with the winding paths and fay-like whims in my head. In the end, you were much engaged elsewhere and I was happy being so very distracted with whatever current endeavours I put my hand to.

Love turned to lovers—lovers turned to memories—time after time and adventure into misadventure—life leads us where it may.
How would I have known that I would have traded it all in for the damp winding roads that penetrate austere forests and bleak glens only to look back winsomely, as if in some kind of nostalgic time-lock? I cannot blame the idiocies of youth for the mindless move, either. Nor can I blame being blind to love’s promise. It was a case of wanderlust, pure and simple. It was the need to be somewhere else that was not known–To find colour after the lack of it–To find darkness after the blinding light then back again. It was the need to cross oceans and traverse the centuries to find adventure and mirth. I learned that the song never really changed; it simply went into key change.

My romance would always be fickle. Your career would always be diabolical. I would always be a chess piece. You would always be as elusive as the thermals on that highway all those years ago. And we would always remain apart.