What She Almost Told Me

My writing process (and what happened because of it):

  1. Look at the keyboard in front of me.
  2. Check what thoughts are in my mind.
  3. Try to clear my head and get ready.
  4. Ignore the hollow feeling in my chest.
  5. Ignore the scornful twist of my lips.
  6. Feel an empty space open in my mind.
  7. Watch to see what’s happening inside.
  8. See the absence of me and get worried.
  9. Decide that some idea is going to come.
  10. Watch for the new idea’s birth pangs.
  11. Push aside the image of Bond (Brosnan).
  12. Wonder why I’m remembering a dream.
  13. Decide that this must be important, so …
  14. Notice that the last point was thirteen.
  15. Decide it’s unlucky to start from thirteen.
  16. Get so bored with writing about my mind.
  17. Decide to write a story so that I can escape … me.

The bullet enters my rib cage just to the left of my heart. I guess it missed killing me outright by an inch. As my lung begin to fill with blood I think of the ants outside my kitchen door. They had been tunnelling into the foundations of the house, removing sand and grit piece by piece. I had been outraged by this invasion of ‘my territory’ and had responded by filling their hole with poison powder. But that wouldn’t hold them.

In my bag is a newly bought tube of Liquid Ant Killer that says, in tiny letters, that ants will feed on it and pass it on to the entire colony. As my breathing becomes harder to do, I start to worry that it’ll never get used. Not by me anyhow. Waste of money. I wonder if I should give to someone in the crowd gathering around me. I wonder if …

I wonder if I’m insane to spend what could be my last minutes thinking about ants.

The urge to cough grabs at my throat. I try to hold it back. I’ve seen people coughing in movies after bullets hit them and I know that it always leads to blood pouring out of mouths and trickling down chins. I’d just put on a new shirt this morning – clean and crisp – straight from the packet. It’d be a shame to get blood on it. Then I laugh. There’s a tiny hole in the front of the shirt. A bullet-hole. A bloody bullet-hole!

I recklessly let the laugh turn to a cough. What the hell – in for a penny.

There’s a little girl standing in front of me when I stop. She can’t be more than five, or maybe six. She has such a tender expression on her face. Sweet and kind of serious. As she looks down at me I feel a lifting sensation – as if a fast moving elevator is starting upwards. I want, so strongly, to carry on going up. I feel as light as the hair snaking around this girl’s face. Strange – why is she glowing?

Her mouth opens and I know she’s going to tell me the most profound truth. I know it will answer every question. Simple, yet …

I feel the most incredible pain slam into my chest. I open eyes that I hadn’t known were closed to see two men crouching beside me. One of them has ripped my new shirt. I’m outraged. I feel something smooth against my chest. Two things. Paddles, a voice whispers inside my mind. Then male voice calls out – calm, serious – we have him.

I look around for the girl, but she’s not there. I  scan the anxious faces watching me. Just a bunch of concerned citizens.

I want to tell them not to worry. I want to explain that it’s going to be okay – whatever happens.

But part of me knows that they’re not really bothered. Most of them will be itching to get home. Aching to tell someone what happened today. One even stops filming me to make a call. Yeah, hi – this guy just got shot!!

A quick pain in my chest and when I look down I see blood flowing through a tube into a bag. Not the best way to make donation. A sharper stab in my arm and I feel myself begin to float. Hopefully, I look again for the girl then realise my mistake. Probably morphine.

Sliding into a soft place in my mind. Couch potato. Quiet calm. Cotton-wool. Safe and …

Cascata La Froda

This is what I did at Cascata La Froda, Str. de Redórta 36-106, 6637 Sonogno, Switzerland:

Cascata La Froda 07Cascata La Froda 06Cascata La Froda 05Cascata La Froda 04Cascata La Froda 03Cascata La Froda 02Cascata La Froda 01

This is the Froda Waterfall just upstream from where I performed my desecration of the pristine Swiss landscape with two English pennies and a few stones from the path:

Cascata La Froda 08

A Harmony of Sighs (#01?)

A Harmony of Sighs

Once, when the world was young and the skies not so bright, I fell asleep and dreamt. And in that dream I was a man. And in that man were many thoughts. And those thoughts did come to be a world for the duration of that sleep.

And now, when I am older than I was, I have the desire to awaken from my dream.

I send out search parties into the real world and they come back to tell me that I am alone. They say that if I were to awaken, the best the world could offer me would be a kind of lucid wakefulness.

This news confuses me.

They tell me that the dream I am in is only a small part of what is and that I am a big part of that, but that this is better than being a small part of the larger whole that is reality. They say that I should stay asleep because although it is small, it is almost safe.

I feign anger when I hear this and I send the search parties back into the real – this time with a specific ask. I want to make sure that there is internet access outside of this place.

They come back to tell me that there is.

Well then, that’s okay, I think.

Wake me up, I tell the big honcho, whose name is Gemigal. And he does.

What happens next is rather poignant and not a little scary.

I’ll tell you about it if you’re curious.

Awake Whilst Asleep

I surprises me to find that I’m just as messed up now as I was when I was a teenager. But it also pleases me to find that I have much the same spirit of adventure and creativity I had when I was a teen.

I don’t think that I’ll ever figure out what life is really about. There are just too many aspects for me to compute them all at once. Maybe I’ll work it out as I suck in my last breath – or maybe a moment (or so) after that air leaves my body – never to return.

I’m quite looking forward to dying – not that I want it to happen any time soon! It seems to me that it’ll be that last great adventure – the chance to know what no-one has been able to come back and tell us. I want to be awake and aware as I pass away. I want to train my mind to be able to process this information as it happens. I want to be capable of surviving it.

Strikes me that I’m not making much progress in this. I mean – I can’t even seem to persuade my conscious awareness to survive falling asleep, much less falling into the Big Sleep. I need to do more work. I need to be more aware of my depths. I need to be stronger.

I need to stop typing this now so that I can practice falling asleep whilst remaining aware of what’s around me.

Just another day at the office – right?

Waiting For Life To Happen

I think I get the sense (and it’s a character flaw I know) that I’m waiting for life to happen to me.

I’m also waiting for the editing of my novels to happen to me, the putting together of my Writing Tips book to happen to me and for everything important, generally, to happen to me.

Boy do I need a kick up the pants to happen to me!

The Secret Life of Pants

Secret Life of PantsExploring the world of underpants and their relation to mankind as revealed by the latest discoveries of scientists, The Secret Life of Pants includes remarkable information about pants as lie detectors and pants as ecological sentinels; it describes their ability to adapt to human wishes, their response to music, their curative powers, and their ability to communicate with man. Authors Peter Trumpkins and Christopher Cock suggest that the most far-reaching revolution of the 20th-century – one that could save or destroy the planet – may come from the garden of your bottom.


“Almost incredible … bristles with plenty of hard facts and astounding scientific and practical lore.”
 – S. K. Oberbuck, Nude-peek


“This fascinating book roams … over that marvellous no man’s land of mystical glimmerings into the nature of science and life itself.”
 – Henry C. Itch, Washington Post Boob World


“If I can’t ‘get inside her pants’ or ‘feel emanations’ from her pants and don’t know anyone else who can, that doesn’t detract one whit from the possibility that some people can and do. . . .
According to The Secret Life of Pants, pants and men do inter-relate, with pants exhibiting empathetic and spiritual relationships and showing reactions interpreted as demonstrating physical-force connections with men. As my students say, ‘hey, wow!’”
 – Calvin M. Klein, Professor of Bottoms, the University of Vermont (in Smithsonian)