ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Back with flash fiction as backstory

#May-be-A-B (letter B post) and accepting Sarah C’s writing challenge using her Alphabetical Prompts (letter A prompt).

While caught up in tangling and untangling my story idea for Sarah’s prompts, I decided that both casting characters and creating a fully-developed world is going to take a heck of a long time for a novice fiction writer who barely gets round to writing any fiction hardly ever. That best describes me. So bite-size backstory flash-fiction offerings seem a bright idea to be bringing forth nothing as big as a book, but there are billions of those so why bother writing a book. But maybe I’ll build on this writing in the future, y’never know.

Anyway, back to the letter A and writing to Sarah C’s prompt (no spoiler, wanna know the prompt, gotta go visit, apols, but otherwise revealing it spoils my tale too…)

Part A (untitled)

Arianne had been keeping a dream diary since before she even knew what that meant. Her mother said she was doing it even before she knew how to write English. Every morning the very first thing she did before getting out of bed was to reach for her paper and pen from the bedside table and note down everything she remembered.

“So what’s this then? Shorthand?” Marcus snatched the paper away just as Arianne made a grab for it and his face twisted with confused expressions as he turned the paper every possible way trying to find a means to make sense of the markings.

“Marcus give it back now or you’re never staying over again!”

“Oh I don’t mind not staying over,” Marcus scoffed. “Shag and run’s more fun anyway – and less washing-up and…” He was silenced by a thwack in the face with a pillow. Arianne grabbed the page from his hand and screwed it into a ball.

“So what was it?” Marcus persisted as she walked away from him toward her bathroom cubicle. She threw the paper ball across the room to land in the waste basket in the corner near her desk.

“Litter. See!”

Arianne hoped he’d leave it alone and maybe she could retrieve it later. She’d have to be more careful. She couldn’t possibly tell Marcus about Alradlayik teachings. He’d never believe her, no-one had before. No way she was she going back on meds for the disbelief of others. While she was small Arianne’s talk of the Alradlayiks, even before she knew the word aliens, was humoured as the imaginative play of a child while practising Alradlayik alphabet and drawing pictures from their stories.

At the age of seven everything altered. Her parents sought no help, as although Arianne had some strange ways of saying things and seemed different to other children, she was otherwise healthy and intelligent and not appearing emotionally disturbed but other adults considered her ‘afflicted’. All kinds of awful names were attributed to her condition of being … asleep in her earth-life, while as if awake in another life – only dreaming her parents would say. Doctors disagreed.

Entering the Academy, attending as a boarder at such a young age was not in her best interests at all, but assertions from the authorities that she would be forcibly removed from her parent’s care if they resisted meant she herself agreed, to spare her parents the guilt of allowing such a thing.

All Marcus knew of all this was that she won an early scholarship for high attainment and while it wasn’t exactly true, it wasn’t entirely a lie either. Anyway, as long as she wasn’t leaving her writing where he might see, maybe he’d forget about seeing that letter he’d picked up earlier. She’d attended to her hygiene, donned her uniform and arranged her hair and all within the five minutes allotted time. She took a deep breath and re-entered her room…

[500 words. 2nd draft, original writing, copyright 05/05/2018]

 

 

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“…general jerk-like behavior”

Apparently that phrase above is acceptable promotional language for the meet things running in UK the last year or two(?) dunno how long really, only noticed info recently. Looking at a couple of examples lately and I don’t feel I’m missing anything for none appearing to be held in my home city.

Of course people usually can be expected to behave in public environments but what we call British sense of humour appears potentially not tolerated too!

I don’t want sitting down in a classroom or a lecture hall for a WP meet with some professional twit enough to volunteer to give a presentation style talk as if it’s the Worker’s Education Association but probably isn’t and I just don’t like the look of the little I’ve seen so far without knowing enough to inform my opinion. Why not marquees on city / town squares on busy shopping days and if you’re around you can just drop in to someone’s table / display board like other UK community events work? Or lay on a creche / family friendly afternoon with free cookies and ice-cream with 99 red balloons being not enough or maybe much too many. Free-writing again. Nothing’s working.

Whatever it is – information to impart/promotion/participation expectation – you often have to TAKE it – to where people happen to be. Not expect them to go all out and attend. Sweeping generalisation there i know. And I’m being a jerk writing back to that prompt. Like that nottingham(shire?)council sponsored CUNT stunt displayed HUGE on slab square in the name of art for art’s sake and protest a few years ago. i did screenshot it so could prove it too. (Public CCTV grazing for art reason of reading in newspaper about artists working with data collection – triggered my screenshot stuff). I’ve not published it of course, the council copyright notice made clear. i’d be free to give it away on pieces of paper but it’s hardly worth trying. How impolite to suggest people need telling they gotta behave proper!

There are problems with setting things up to fail all over the shop. Although a pretty good turn out if you can get even 8 to 10 people in the same fixed place at the same fixed time in this country! So they actually looked successful by UK standards and i’m not knocking the volunteer organisers (who often tend to invite and encourage attendees from their own networking circles to help things look more successful than they really are so you never can be sure and it’s another issue that might or might not put me off) but if you can’t see public info enough on how they operate and there’s no public feedback at what went on at these things, why would you take any more out of your time to try contacting someone somewhere to wait to find out about it.

Unknown online organisations running the things? do they get a monopolised patch on a city/town territory? Or small-fry local, government funded, business organisations running the show? And British University support isn’t really a guarantee of anything these days is it. All our industries have been complaining enough for years about uni turn-outs and lack of skills. No wonder. Even standard school text books have too many incomprehensible moments in trying to read Americanised English and Americanised context so that it’s difficult to see what you need to understand from what should be  a quite simple page. i know. Look who’s talking springs to mind. Does this appear or sound like a text book page? This is not what I was trying to make. Should be obvious?

I’d rather any other non-professional blogging person in the world with the gumption to try doing something just got on with publically declaring, hey, we’re doing this and see how it goes – picnic on the beach on whenever the next Sunny Saturday afternoon is. Y’know, while all the yobbish peeps with kids ie. people/families! mostly are in the arcades and on the tatt markets and so on. (Awful thing to say I know!) Of course i’m as far away from the sea as a person can be living in this city, so that wasn’t a serious suggestion. Local rec. maybe?

Surely that quoted phrase ‘general jerk-like behavior’ is an example of the very thing it suggests is unacceptable (at one of those types of meetings)? Is that why it’s there? dark sarcasm. pink floyd fans maybe then.

It’s both potentially offensive to disabled / impaired people who might have tremors and so jerk about their everyday lives -and is also very offensive to our English language to use an American spelling of our behaviour!

Maybe I’m being pedantic. Maybe it’s contagious. There’s swarms of apparently very nice respectable ladies out there being very undignified and obnoxious twattin’ about as all sorts of professionals oppressing the hell out of humanity appearing to seek advantageous control of the freedoms of others by way of cleverly worded interpretations / misinterpretations. Many of it stemming from the US with their very different culture – the absolute cheek of some man you tubing bullshit about how British people identify more with america and australia than europe. Depends how you asked the leading questions chap if you got those results from survey data.

back to the Word. good. The Word is Good. Good God FFS! Does that pukey service gramarly have anything to do with that ‘behavior’ nonsense in that UK promotional blurb. Maybe. Not everyone realises it’s not English! I think when I checked they don’t actually have an English grammar service. only standardised American. Not all Americans use standardised AmEn grammar either. For most UK technology consumers it’s a foreign language service provider ie. for American language use. This standardised rubbish doing the rounds via software that wants you to put ALL your communications through it. And not even trial the service before signing up? There should be a law against it in this country! Appears shoddy business standard. I do wish my internet streams sucked in more European content. But…

I guess the US dominates the internet for being 20 years ahead of population integration to the web and lacking foundational computing knowledge. So less likely to understand the gubbins of software coding. Probably by design. Dominate the professions on our home soil. First they take over and refuse to leave at least one of our air force bases (a long time ago now) and stupid bloomin’ Brit government let them flood in with whatever dodgy money looking like tourists breaking any law they like maybe blowing stuff up and blaming Libyans cos the style changes of news items and details not presenting in usual ways just give it away – Britain under pressure – Buck.Pal. springs to mind… poisoning defectors from elsewhere (as per the BBC in news quote from an American based Russian scientist/defector clearly stating ‘this country’ about the full cycle of the poison use thing and by that meaning America, unless he was visiting Britain and was here saying Britain are responsible. i can’t be doing fact-checking just now. A lot of dodgy stuff going down. and on this post. I’m not apologising on this one.

And here I am potentially allegedly-able anti-Americanising again, conversationally, as is my right – and I might be wrong on a few things in this post but I’m clearly telling you I don’t know for sure do I! .and I am NOT anti-american until they’re rogue flippin’ I.S. /military hoodwinking and shittin’on our doorsteps. Good Morning Britain! Wake up! Some might say ‘you’re being a jerk!’Or we all are. Some might say all sorts. Whatever.

And it’s very intolerant of people who might appear awkward or disruptive but whom experience difficulties with communication, for example, and frustration with intolerant deliverers of however they do things with whatever bad attitudes a lot of so called professional people might have about the low-life turning up to get in on the action and so on. Obviously i know nothing about nothing. The phrase affrays. a simple phrase. (reminds me of my poem here i think!) Please don’t suggest I stick with poetry. Nor tar and pitch!

I’ll try keeping an open mind but not wasting any more than the few minutes I just distracted with. And you’d expect a WP group to not to expect you to join a facebook group as well as the WP group really wouldn’t you? I.e. a members private access area on an organisers blog for ease of access for WP bloggers is surely better for most people unless they use facebook more than being bloggers and just also happen to have a blog.

Surely they need Fb meets not WP meets if they’re about a different platform for their comms? I’m really not meaning to be this awkward battle-axe of a Brit grandma. i just can’t help myself. My generation’s all getting old but we bring our child-i with us as we age don’t we? and if you reach juvenile stage before adulthood you’re fortunate and retain some enough for when you gotta laff or else you’d cry. Some audience might not like it. And see if I care?

I’m waiting for a notification of a local virtual access version of a WordCamp type thing but I guess they only do these real world things regardless of the number of UK bloggers with accessibility issues for getting to real world venues. You can’t please all the people all the time is true. And unlikely I can get anywhere for ages anyway. Sounds stupid doesn’t it while we don’t need jeeps or guzzling monster trucks to drag ourselves hundreds of miles just to get to a diner and store if we’re lucky. y’know. Leaves on track. Bit of snow. Rainy day no out to play.

But a lecture type presentation is going nowhere fast for most Brit bloggers surely? I can understand why we’re unlikely to have anything as wonderful as the US WordCamps here – unless there’s a tent at Glastonbury or something.

But I’m not bothered about not going there either. Everywhere’s too far to walk! I went once. I’ll probably never go again, cos been there, done that, once is enough. Not exactly missing anything other than overpriced everything and the rain and the mudslides etc.

Music is everywhere. It’s horrible being at a festival with so many stages instead of just one main and maybe one or two smaller alternatives. It’s like being stuck in Disneyland Paris for four days unable to go to the Louvre for three of them (and actually had 0days at Louvre that time in Paris!) and then having had two rides one of them almost giving you a heart attack and not being able to enjoy anymore of the funfair while stuck in plastic toy land. But the animation museum was great and so was the sit back and look at starry skies show thing, can’t remember what you call it now. Doh!

This isn’t really a quote post is it! I just wanted to see what one looks like.

Lav. poem starter drafted in just now recital practise:

If you’re an inky-pinky and i’m an inky-punky / when-e’er the twain shall ne’er meet […tbc]

A.R.R. 2018

[writing201 for imperfect posts so adding to editing/extraction task pile – oh please not another stupidly long post… lol]

0642 BST / 0542 UCT/GMT waiting for breakfast to magic itself UP! [1894-1896 words. count. If it was history i wonder what happened?] 1904 getting off. NOW then. [1908 ‘The Other Side’ springs mind wieder. Again. [1915] [wc]

Must stop counting. [1919]


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Monday’s Mundane post (less than 700 words)

I caught sight of a photo post challenge response from Indira’s Blog earlier today and thinking I’d maybe take part, hopped over to check the Mundane Monday Challenge rules. Just my luck that this week has been declared the last week of that challenge, unless volunteer(s) step up to host it. After a whopping 150 weeks hosting the challenge, it is understandable that someone might need to draw a closing line and take some rest from it.

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Will I just spring back with a new post?

Well, I’ve been asked and been begging myself this for quite a while in this long, long while and whilst THIS is not the destination intended of one or another who did so ask, right here, i begin, once more.

And thinking ‘posts’ sifts back to the forefront of my mind the frustrations of needing repairs and replacements to fencing and significant attention to securing my boundaries (here, at home).

Looking back, here and there, i see, oh dear, how i rant and how it might appear and think, ‘oh well’ and if that’s how it was, then why should i care – although polishing is needed for sure (this post, not the fence!) Now is not the time. And if it were … when… “less” said the better.

So, this being not the destination nor the time, still, I find myself here once more. Calmer for the ‘rest’. I do hope. So…

How about an unplanned poem…

 

“Conversant” I’m prompted – so in poetic I

Hope

As conversation’s such a struggle

Too … muddled – tired – not yet

 

Better nor brunched…

Around and about, unforgettable reads, but forget to

Comment (and wow your posts packed a punch and so

Kicking myself) in the cogs and the wheels while minding cluttered clogged mind

 

Simply noting to self:

Oscillate back to

Original post

Notes hidden in pages I’ll return to at some stage and some point…

 

Conversation provoked but exhaustion stalls so stayed

Immersed in handwritten lines and mental notes made

Attempting to re-capture these some

Other time…

 

Fast forward a day,

Or a week, or a year

Replies to remember and bring you good cheers

 

Never saying nothing

Or quick ‘hallo’  like quick ‘bye-bye’

Wishing when I try to speak my words rebound in real good time.

 

© Colette Bates, 23rd February, 2018. All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]

I’m not in a mind for linking up and ‘driving traffic’ from host pages at the moment while I need to rest a bit from reading (and properly taking part drives me to try and read as many as possible of everyone else’s within the day of posting or however long it takes and I really don’t have enough reading energy having read quite a lot of blogs lately – but encountering the issues contained in the poem and so leaving silence to accompany the stat-hit of my visit even when I had plenty to respond to). Also because this is a rough draft, straight off the cuff and I might wish to jazz it up a bit or repost differently, elsewhere. But while I’m rattling on, I’ve been intending taking part in some events and just never getting around to it.  Today’s prompt from the Daily Post, ‘CONVERSANT’, so reminded me of this week’s photo-prompt at Sonya’s event, ‘Three Line Tales’, revealed yesterday. I won’t spoil it for you, if you don’t know how to get there you can easily find it on the Daily Post website’s ‘Events Listings’ page.  A sharp prod to hammer out three lines of dialogue for the Three Line Tales photo-prompt was the first thing the ‘CONVERSANT’ prompt did for me. I might post that here or there later when I’ve let it settle. These days I can’t see for looking in the moments of doing. Besides, the three lines I made are not the response I intended in my first response idea. I have a feeling this post has just taken me far too long and I was s’posed to be treating myself to making a bean or more – I think that means go heat and eat beans or something as it’s getting late in the day and the light’s fading fast… but you didn’t need to know that (note to self!)

 


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Having another go at poetry…

Week 5 ‘Ongoing poetry game’ at #ModPo ~ but not sure i’m unblocked from posting poems there yet – dunno what that’s about, clearly i can’t write a poem to save my life!

constraint: to use the ten prompted key words in this thing called ‘ottiva rima’ – and no i won’t capitalise the term! that’s so unnecessary…

i probably failed for not writing in regular meter (should be spelt metre, but it confuses people with measuring! we don’t learn formal meter in general UK population because language does not work like machine code and we’re meant to develop natural language and our humanity!) So this is my first attempt at the challenge and of this particular form:

[untitled, free verse attempting the ‘ottiva rima’ form]

There’s no time for rhyme in a world gone mad why

reckoning while no king – no patriarchy –

bourgeoisie to decline – resist and deny –

our birds tear at torn skies, creatures all born free

determine red – green – gold-blue star upon nigh

– so – little that’s polite in hierarchy

to remind it’s obscene, when facts show as – farced –

so much that’s not true in the present and past.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]


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Taking IT to the cleaners

On the way to readying winter outerwear, I called in for coffee and elevenses and poetry/art elucidation with a wacky artisty friend.

Had she heard…?

Well. No. No, nor me. So that made me feel better then. A bit less ignorant. Good!

Although there might have been a risk of having forgotten to get out of slippers and looking alike somewhere crossed between Michelin Man and Sulley from Monsters Inc in my onesy over half a dirty dozen of underwear layers hiding middle-age spread and bloomers of all things keeping me nice and warm without even a coat on yet, on my way home with shopping I got some snaps away from the yard for a change.

“Ruth Lechlitner” I’d said. She’d launched into stilts and Glastonbury remembrances and we paid no heed of either’s lack of attention for the other’s aside reflections.

Then something dawned. Noted. And forgotten.

On a scrappy coffee-stained notepad page she’d passed me this to bring home and ‘prove IT’ … she can write a ‘N0 Chance Operation’ poem from thin air too.

“yes, of course I can post it as soon as I’m… well, if I forget while passsing, it’s not that far to a post-box, really, is it!”

Do you know it’s still wherever I left it when i arrived through my door. hopelessly…

… and now two days later and hasn’t time flown as if it were only yesterday and I didn’t even put it on SPD for the pair of them! So here’s a poem from an anonymous no-one of some of ours esteem (posted with permission, guaranteed, special delivery, first class)

Repeat after me to write, leaving the left Sleeve in the uptight no fear don\\ ‘ t fight many small prediction can\\ ‘ t right rear sight site courtesy site mercy no mercy Now

I didn’t see who the translating helper was. A Ukranian virtual assistant in another virtual part of our world I believe. I’ve no idea of the poetic presentation but it’s as agreed a single line and in one breath. There may be countless versions of various poetic essences and deliveries in the making anytime durign the next century or three. We’re all such snails and so unconcerned for any rush “even if the whole world depends on IT…” is apparently our next elevenses workshopping writing prompt to prepare and be ready with.

Now did i drop my dry cleaning receipt on my way home? No idea. did I slip through one of them odd angle portals and I’m sure I was still in Nottingham or did I step out in Portsmouth in error? And without even realising…

here I am forgetting to post one of my several ModPo reflective poems from readings last week around Gertrude Stein, Jon Peale Bishop, and Dada, including the amazing and wonderful Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and her fantastic rebuke “A dozen cocktails – please” (maybe I should’ve capitalised, can’t remember and can’t be bothered to check…

in a hurry then

So far untitled while i’m working on Lechlitner and trying not to be too LOLling around as things to make and do like afternoon tea and fooding for dinner…

a poem (all mine, of course – Modern poetry, aka #ModPo and so:

~~

even Stevens starts again

red w’ther days P’cock tales

back when

~~

w-hoosy-wore the trewzees

Willy win a skirt

wonderful when wars end wi’none of’em gettin’ g’hurt

~~

cure it as y’cuss it

calm it while y’can

can ‘e call a cuppa cold contagion conception

~~

zuccini in a zeppelin?

Zoology in zeal

zany zee-zee-zeeing x-o-phobic de’ts-z’ept’s. Reel.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved

(of course free to share! aren’t we all zillybillyGoatsGruff about IT! doesn’t that usually mean for personal and education use only and Fair Use always being applicable?)

I forgot to post a pic! Random grab from my snaps quick then…

Not so random actually… and although I do love my WordPress-iNG…. well, you can sometimes find me #skywatching elsewhere, like my latest post here: coleebeatsabout.blogspot.co.uk

One day IT will all make better sense… (tbc/ to be contd.)


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Remembrance

I was deeply saddened this morning while trawling my email notifications to arrive at my copy of a June posting allegedly made by the sister of a respected blogging acquaintance/virtual-neighbour, Paul M********, a US citizen believed to be working and living in or around New York.

While attempting to pick up my lingering blogging habit I’d realised I’d not seen anything from Paul’s blog (www.palfitness.wordpress.com) in quite a while. So I’d dredged back through multitudes of links in my email inbox to find a trace.

Paul was a generous creative spirit and as well as posting on fitness he composed poetry and shared lots of interesting reblogs leading readers to other blogs he admired. The notice apparently posted by his sister informed his followers of the very sad news that Paul had died of undetermined circumstances on 29th May 2017. I have to assume that the poster claiming to be his sister was genuine and that the information is authentic. Unfortunately Paul’s blog has been deleted and perhaps that is in keeping with his wishes.

(Personally I feel it’s outrageous that relatives left behind might choose to delete a person’s online presence and remove their traces from the virtual world. I hope no-one is ever legally allowed to do that to my stuff even if it embarrasses the hell out of them! That’s not meant as a jibe to Paul’s family – nor my own – were they even to be reading, which I doubt.)

I deeply regretted not seeing that notification earlier, nor his more recent  blog posts leading up to that date. Paul had been encountering very difficult circumstances securing employment and navigating the pitfalls of temporary accommodation and some of his posts had eluded to himself and his friends/associates being victims of crimes including theft and violence against them. Quite sometime before Paul had spoken out against an incident of online bullying among/affecting specific members of the international online community and hopefully those individuals engaged in trolling etc had no bearing on the difficulties he encountered nor his sad demise nor the circumstances of his death as reported in that post claiming to be from his sister. Maybe we’ll never know the truth and that’s a sad reality for so very many peoples suffering the intolerable blights of a troubled world.

It’s four months to the day that Paul last posted to his personal blog. That feels such a long time to have passed before realising he was gone. His presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by many of those he interacted with online, even though we probably remain ‘strangers’.

How do you remember Paul?

I can’t say I knew Paul closely at all but I’ll remember him for his poetry and his spreading goodwill and positivity and his good sense of humour.

Below is  a screenshot of Paul’s penultimate six-word story found in the backlog of email notifications in my inbox this morning:

Remembrance-PaulMcaleavey-dec29052017~q

 

Yes, he was known to sometimes occasionally have vented emotionally-vexed rants on his personal blog. Many of us using personal blog spaces and/or social media might be likely to write out our rants now and then. We’re all hopefully human, after all. Better out than in, as we might say. Some of Paul’s posts during the last few months had been deeply concerning and it’s awful to not be able to help people when they seem in need. However he always seemed to bounce back and never gave up trying. New York must be an awfully difficult place to sustain everyday living. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose to go there as a tourist given the problems tourism is causing there and elsewhere.

Yes, Paul once quite rightfully called another blogger a ‘bitch!’ as she undoubtedly was. Yes she was getting away with some hideously insulting and outrageous behaviours. Yes he was condemned by some for his ‘outburst’ and refusing to tolerate such social injustices on behalf of another blogger who Paul had chosen to stand up for in their absence and for using such an innocuous regularly used word as ‘bitch’ in response to a deeply insulting remark made against him that was edited before other readers came across the conversation. That bitch hadn’t realised another online reader was present witnessing her attack in the moment of it happening and that it hadn’t been the first occasion but a repeated deviance preying on the vulnerabilities of others. Maybe I shouldn’t dredge it up here. Paul would worry for my own personal safety in alluding to it, given that bitches’ alleged reputation for dangerous trouble-making. She might also happen to be a well-respected and influential member of blogging communities / professional circuits.

And it might all have been hot air blown cold a long time ago. Murky waters under someone else’s shoddy bridge. So it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie then, maybe, cos bitches like that one might never lose a case they can pay through the nose for and can carry on regardless.

Paul, aka Palfitness, apparently gone, but not forgotten. R.I.P. Sincere belated condolences to Paul’s family and friends in light of their sad loss.