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Chapter 35 of Of Love, Loss & Loneliness
Written by Cross in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Your Velvet Stars

Sometimes,

A stone is just a stone;

And the ocean,

Simply a body of water.

Sometimes,

The stars are only distant suns;

And velvet,

But a fabric.

This time, however,

A stone is

My shattered heart.

-Heavy and hard-

Harsh and cold.

The ocean is

The vastness of your love.

Untamed, wild;

Consuming.

The stars are

Your shining eyes

-Casting their light

To dispel my darkness-.

And velvet is

Your flawless skin.

Your heavenly touch

On my sandpaper soul.

No finely crafted metaphors

-No words of unspoken beauty-

Can surpass the perfection

Of you.

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Chapter 35 of Of Love, Loss & Loneliness
Written by Cross in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Your Velvet Stars
Sometimes,
A stone is just a stone;
And the ocean,
Simply a body of water.

Sometimes,
The stars are only distant suns;
And velvet,
But a fabric.

This time, however,
A stone is
My shattered heart.
-Heavy and hard-
Harsh and cold.

The ocean is
The vastness of your love.
Untamed, wild;
Consuming.

The stars are
Your shining eyes
-Casting their light
To dispel my darkness-.

And velvet is
Your flawless skin.
Your heavenly touch
On my sandpaper soul.


No finely crafted metaphors
-No words of unspoken beauty-
Can surpass the perfection
Of you.
#romance  #poetry  #love  #LLL 
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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JamesMByers

Amends ...

Her eyes, like embers blazing hot,

Emancipated me.

The prison of my married rot;

She came to set me free.

An ocean barred and held us bound,

Though miles, they mattered not.

The bonnie lass my heart had found

Secured a sacred spot.

We met in poesy swapping words;

Her husband was a star.

And I was in my cage as birds

Unfit to fly afar.

For many years, we both had stayed

In halls and walls; routine.

Amended edges, tattered; frayed-

A chopping guillotine.

However, life has hidden keys

And she was such a gift.

An open door, a welcome breeze

To give each wing a lift.

Permission bled to passion's plan

And over time, we fell.

The world of woman and of man

Has never heard the tale.

No Romeo and Juliet;

No cross of lover's debt-

My loving never sowed regret;

No worry or no fret.

The secret words of poetry

Exchanged became the way

We shared each other knowingly;

We kissed, caressed by day.

And though our lips would never touch,

The way we pleased the soul

Ensured my love for her as such-

We made each other whole.

Rekindled feelings blooming grand

Exonerated hope.

In written form, she took my hand

And helped me learn to cope.

Confessions never claimed the right-

Ability in rhyme.

Decisions plagued my heart at night-

I longed for us a time

To share the space of wedded bliss.

However, on the screen

Composed of all we had in this-

The way our love was seen.

So many letters we exchanged;

So many wonders sought.

And though at odds we were estranged,

Together love was wrought.

Compelled by something old as earth,

We clamored to the sun.

Repelled by gravity in worth,

To never be undone-

A husband and a wife to those

Who never read the truth.

But she and I, we gladly chose

The sanguine labeled proof-

And as forever she will be

My love that never ends-

What you call infidelity

I choose to call amends ...

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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JamesMByers
Amends ...
Her eyes, like embers blazing hot,
Emancipated me.
The prison of my married rot;
She came to set me free.
An ocean barred and held us bound,
Though miles, they mattered not.
The bonnie lass my heart had found
Secured a sacred spot.
We met in poesy swapping words;
Her husband was a star.
And I was in my cage as birds
Unfit to fly afar.
For many years, we both had stayed
In halls and walls; routine.
Amended edges, tattered; frayed-
A chopping guillotine.
However, life has hidden keys
And she was such a gift.
An open door, a welcome breeze
To give each wing a lift.
Permission bled to passion's plan
And over time, we fell.
The world of woman and of man
Has never heard the tale.
No Romeo and Juliet;
No cross of lover's debt-
My loving never sowed regret;
No worry or no fret.
The secret words of poetry
Exchanged became the way
We shared each other knowingly;
We kissed, caressed by day.
And though our lips would never touch,
The way we pleased the soul
Ensured my love for her as such-
We made each other whole.
Rekindled feelings blooming grand
Exonerated hope.
In written form, she took my hand
And helped me learn to cope.
Confessions never claimed the right-
Ability in rhyme.
Decisions plagued my heart at night-
I longed for us a time
To share the space of wedded bliss.
However, on the screen
Composed of all we had in this-
The way our love was seen.
So many letters we exchanged;
So many wonders sought.
And though at odds we were estranged,
Together love was wrought.
Compelled by something old as earth,
We clamored to the sun.
Repelled by gravity in worth,
To never be undone-
A husband and a wife to those
Who never read the truth.
But she and I, we gladly chose
The sanguine labeled proof-
And as forever she will be
My love that never ends-
What you call infidelity
I choose to call amends ...




#romance  #poetry  #prosechallenge  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by Syne

Bringer of Light

"Relax. It will take you some time to become oriented, to absorb the truth. You are dead."

"But--but you're not--who are--are you dead?"

"Well, yes. I have been dead for a very long time, much longer than you have been alive."

"So--you--you're a ghost? Am I...oh God, I'm dead! I'm not ready! Am I a ghost?"

"If you wish to call it that. You are in the spirit realm, you have left your body in the material plane. Some people call it limbo. I watch over this realm."

"But--where is God? Or Heaven? Or Satan? You--who are you? You can't be them--you're a--woman!"

"Indeed, I was a woman. I am not God, nor am I Satan. But the people in your realm call me Lucifer."

"Then you are the Devil! Oh dear God--why? I know I sinned plenty, but I didn't think I was too bad, and I repented! I never meant--you're taking me to hell, aren't you, you--"

"I am not the Devil, and, as I said, this is not Hell. You have nothing to fear but death itself, and you are already dead."

"Then who the hell are you?"

"I am Lucifer. In life, I was the Queen and last ruler of Babylon, the daughter of King Balthazar. I ruled over my people well, I was kind, loving, generous. I freed the Jewish people who had been enslaved during Nebuchadnezzar's reign. I welcomed all foreigners, all cultures, let them worship any Gods or Goddeses they chose. I let them live freely, as long as they kept the peace. I loved all equally, and my kingdom of Babylon was the greatest kingdom of all, a peaceful kingdom where men and women were free and equal."

Lucifer paused. She could tell the poor soul's fear had temporarily subsided, and he now listened to her in awe and curious wonder. So she continued.

"At that time, one of the Jewish slaves I had freed had grown to prominence. He was a natural leader, and he led his people with the same love, kindness, and generosity that I valued so dearly. His name was Yeshua, and we soon fell in love. I would have made him my king.

During the same time, however, the Romans were growing in strength, power, and numbers, and soon they were conquering every kingdom in the vicinity. They realized they would never conquer us if they did not first divide our people.

So they used Yeshua's teachings and his image to form a new religion, and it, too, quickly grew in strength and numbers, for Yeshua had become a very influential figure. They made Yeshua the God of this new religion and made him infallible, someone who could not love a mortal woman, even if she was a queen.

And so they spun their web of lies and turned me into a pagan witch who worshipped all other Gods and Demons, a temptress who wished to seduce their Yeshua, their very own God, and turn him mortal. That is how they turned our people against me, and with that, my kingdom was conquered.

In the end, they betrayed Yeshua. They crucified him and continued to use his name and image as a symbol of their faith. And that is how they conquered the world."

The soul was mesmerized by Lucifer and her words. He craved to know more.

"So--how did you end up here, in the spirit realm. Can you not cross over to Heaven? I thought the Devil--err--Lucifer reigned over Hell?"

"The Romans burned me as a witch, and I passed to the spirit realm. I had a choice to continue on and rest my soul, but I chose instead to stay behind in limbo and lead the lost spirits. I lead them with kindness, love, and generosity, the way I led my people in my lifetime. I help them cross to the other side. I prepare them, and then I lead them to the light.

That is why they gave me the name Lucifer, or Luxifer. It is sometimes translated as 'morning star' or 'fallen light', but it means 'bringer of light' in Latin.

They gave me the name when they learnt of my deeds in the spirit realm. Queen Marreah Maghdalenaa was my true name, and they erased it from history and made me the Devil of their religion. And, within such a patriarchal society, even in Hell a woman cannot lead, so eventually Lucifer became known as a "he", and I became the Devil himself."

"So there is no Devil then? Is there a God? What happens when we cross?"

"I am afraid I cannot give you those answers. I have never crossed beyond the light. God may be there, or there may be nothing. I cannot promise anything. What I can tell you is that your soul will not be at rest here. The light is warm, it is welcoming, so I believe it is good, and I believe it is there that your soul may rest. Do you think you are ready for me to lead you?"

"I don't know Lucifer. I am still letting everything sink in. It's so much to take in. I'm dead."

"It is ok. You will be alright. There is no rush to be ready. You have eternity to prepare, and I will be here to lead you."

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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by Syne
Bringer of Light
"Relax. It will take you some time to become oriented, to absorb the truth. You are dead."

"But--but you're not--who are--are you dead?"

"Well, yes. I have been dead for a very long time, much longer than you have been alive."

"So--you--you're a ghost? Am I...oh God, I'm dead! I'm not ready! Am I a ghost?"

"If you wish to call it that. You are in the spirit realm, you have left your body in the material plane. Some people call it limbo. I watch over this realm."

"But--where is God? Or Heaven? Or Satan? You--who are you? You can't be them--you're a--woman!"

"Indeed, I was a woman. I am not God, nor am I Satan. But the people in your realm call me Lucifer."

"Then you are the Devil! Oh dear God--why? I know I sinned plenty, but I didn't think I was too bad, and I repented! I never meant--you're taking me to hell, aren't you, you--"

"I am not the Devil, and, as I said, this is not Hell. You have nothing to fear but death itself, and you are already dead."

"Then who the hell are you?"

"I am Lucifer. In life, I was the Queen and last ruler of Babylon, the daughter of King Balthazar. I ruled over my people well, I was kind, loving, generous. I freed the Jewish people who had been enslaved during Nebuchadnezzar's reign. I welcomed all foreigners, all cultures, let them worship any Gods or Goddeses they chose. I let them live freely, as long as they kept the peace. I loved all equally, and my kingdom of Babylon was the greatest kingdom of all, a peaceful kingdom where men and women were free and equal."

Lucifer paused. She could tell the poor soul's fear had temporarily subsided, and he now listened to her in awe and curious wonder. So she continued.

"At that time, one of the Jewish slaves I had freed had grown to prominence. He was a natural leader, and he led his people with the same love, kindness, and generosity that I valued so dearly. His name was Yeshua, and we soon fell in love. I would have made him my king.
During the same time, however, the Romans were growing in strength, power, and numbers, and soon they were conquering every kingdom in the vicinity. They realized they would never conquer us if they did not first divide our people.
So they used Yeshua's teachings and his image to form a new religion, and it, too, quickly grew in strength and numbers, for Yeshua had become a very influential figure. They made Yeshua the God of this new religion and made him infallible, someone who could not love a mortal woman, even if she was a queen.
And so they spun their web of lies and turned me into a pagan witch who worshipped all other Gods and Demons, a temptress who wished to seduce their Yeshua, their very own God, and turn him mortal. That is how they turned our people against me, and with that, my kingdom was conquered.
In the end, they betrayed Yeshua. They crucified him and continued to use his name and image as a symbol of their faith. And that is how they conquered the world."

The soul was mesmerized by Lucifer and her words. He craved to know more.

"So--how did you end up here, in the spirit realm. Can you not cross over to Heaven? I thought the Devil--err--Lucifer reigned over Hell?"

"The Romans burned me as a witch, and I passed to the spirit realm. I had a choice to continue on and rest my soul, but I chose instead to stay behind in limbo and lead the lost spirits. I lead them with kindness, love, and generosity, the way I led my people in my lifetime. I help them cross to the other side. I prepare them, and then I lead them to the light.
That is why they gave me the name Lucifer, or Luxifer. It is sometimes translated as 'morning star' or 'fallen light', but it means 'bringer of light' in Latin.
They gave me the name when they learnt of my deeds in the spirit realm. Queen Marreah Maghdalenaa was my true name, and they erased it from history and made me the Devil of their religion. And, within such a patriarchal society, even in Hell a woman cannot lead, so eventually Lucifer became known as a "he", and I became the Devil himself."

"So there is no Devil then? Is there a God? What happens when we cross?"

"I am afraid I cannot give you those answers. I have never crossed beyond the light. God may be there, or there may be nothing. I cannot promise anything. What I can tell you is that your soul will not be at rest here. The light is warm, it is welcoming, so I believe it is good, and I believe it is there that your soul may rest. Do you think you are ready for me to lead you?"

"I don't know Lucifer. I am still letting everything sink in. It's so much to take in. I'm dead."

"It is ok. You will be alright. There is no rush to be ready. You have eternity to prepare, and I will be here to lead you."
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #romance  #adventure  #philosophy  #spirituality  #history  #culture  #mythology 
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by ArianaLee721

so what are we doing here?

“Tonight’s the night,” I recited to myself, dick sliding in and out of my throat.

It’s hard to be too anxious about anything when you’re focusing on not gagging. But I had a plan: give head, use tongue, swallow, then come up and ask him. All without choking.

Swirling it around in my mouth, I couldn’t help beginning to get nervous again. We’d been doing this for almost three months and it was only about a month ago that I got that awful, vaguely indigestive feeling that I kind of definitely wanted more. He was funny, and smart, and nicer than most ponytail-sporting guitar players I’d fucked around with before. He didn’t do the thing where he disappeared for days on end then texted me paragraphs about how he “just needed some space from the world.” He never even texted after midnight, except for that one time.

We had met at one of those friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend parties, the kind at which you always hope to meet someone because it’s a room full of strangers about your own age. I didn’t go home with him that night—I made a point of not going home with him that night, because I am trying to turn over a new leaf, dammit—but I gave him my number, and he texted me the very next day. We went to dinner. I went home with him that night.

I was pretty sure that night that I’d be happy only seeing him a few more times. He was impressive for about an hour, but hearing him talk long enough, it became clear that all his music knowledge, philosophy knowledge, it’s all just a veneer just thick enough to hide the fact that he’s a big dumb nerd just like me. I certainly don’t want to date me. But after several more porkings than I anticipated, he started to grow on me. You know the way. Like weeds.

Just as I began reciting the words in my head—“So I’ve been thinking, what are we doing here? Because I was wondering if you might want to—” his dick began pulsating and my mouth filled with that salty taste. I swallowed, because I’m a keeper, and came up for air. Braced myself.

“So, what are we doing here?” He had beaten me to it.

“Because...I’ve been seeing some other people. I like what we have going on here, I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page.” I finished swallowing.

“Yeah, same.” I smiled and took my top off.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by ArianaLee721
so what are we doing here?
“Tonight’s the night,” I recited to myself, dick sliding in and out of my throat.

It’s hard to be too anxious about anything when you’re focusing on not gagging. But I had a plan: give head, use tongue, swallow, then come up and ask him. All without choking.

Swirling it around in my mouth, I couldn’t help beginning to get nervous again. We’d been doing this for almost three months and it was only about a month ago that I got that awful, vaguely indigestive feeling that I kind of definitely wanted more. He was funny, and smart, and nicer than most ponytail-sporting guitar players I’d fucked around with before. He didn’t do the thing where he disappeared for days on end then texted me paragraphs about how he “just needed some space from the world.” He never even texted after midnight, except for that one time.

We had met at one of those friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend parties, the kind at which you always hope to meet someone because it’s a room full of strangers about your own age. I didn’t go home with him that night—I made a point of not going home with him that night, because I am trying to turn over a new leaf, dammit—but I gave him my number, and he texted me the very next day. We went to dinner. I went home with him that night.

I was pretty sure that night that I’d be happy only seeing him a few more times. He was impressive for about an hour, but hearing him talk long enough, it became clear that all his music knowledge, philosophy knowledge, it’s all just a veneer just thick enough to hide the fact that he’s a big dumb nerd just like me. I certainly don’t want to date me. But after several more porkings than I anticipated, he started to grow on me. You know the way. Like weeds.

Just as I began reciting the words in my head—“So I’ve been thinking, what are we doing here? Because I was wondering if you might want to—” his dick began pulsating and my mouth filled with that salty taste. I swallowed, because I’m a keeper, and came up for air. Braced myself.

“So, what are we doing here?” He had beaten me to it.

“Because...I’ve been seeing some other people. I like what we have going on here, I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page.” I finished swallowing.

“Yeah, same.” I smiled and took my top off.
#romance  #sex  #erotica  #millennial  #hookup 
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If you could give anything to someone you care about or to who you think deserves it, what would it give them and why did you choose that particular person?
Written by a060147 in portal Stream of Consciousness

punch-drunk

i.

I breathe, dazed. Still punch-drunk in the aftermath. The couch allows little give as I push up and away from it unsteadily, leveling the bare shoulders of my professor as he turns away from me, silent. I'd left one too many marks on them probably -- though that could easily be dismissed by the rhythm he'd chosen -- and already I can see the beginnings of a bruise forming near the nape of his neck, the scratches fresh against the dark skin. Then they're not bare anymore, disguised by the crisp white of his button-up and stiff collar, and I find myself staring instead at the seamless silhouette of his wide back in the dim light. Shadowed. His belt clicks audibly as he secures it; the binder of unused notes that he'd brought complains a little as he gives it a quick flip-through, even though we both know we hadn't bothered to take anything out of it in the first place. Habit, I suppose. I'm wondering what I must look like to him right now, unraveled and undone in a way he'd never seen me before -- and then I'm realizing, too suddenly, that he's looking at me over his shoulder with an expression I can't recognize. Not on him, at least. But I figure that the both of us hadn't expected anything of the past hour to actually happen.

He opens his mouth. Pauses. Begins another breath before pausing again, unsure of what to say. The binder seems like it's the only thing anchoring him to the floor, keeping him from running. Not that I'd be able to chase him, anyway, but that's beside the point. I'm not sure what he's thinking. He lingers around the door, grazing the knob with his knuckles, before looking me in the eyes fully for the first time since the act.

"I'm sorry," he says finally. It's the same manner he uses to address unfamiliar or uncooperative students, and I feel a strange sense of disappointment in his choice of tone.

The door shuts quietly behind him.

ii.

We pass each other at least five times over the next few days: him hurrying to whatever meeting or lecture hall in his casual, expensive shoes, me trekking by in my similarly everyday, costly wheelchair. It's a little easier to feign normalcy this way, with both of us either too awkward or too tongue-tied to say much of anything, and that's okay. A little more than okay, actually, considering the decade-long age gap and our deathly shy demeanors. When I think about it, really analyze what had happened that night, I can't  put together the order of events logically without adding some sort of outside explanation. I'd fallen out of my chair and nearly knocked myself unconscious, for one, when I should've been on my way for tutoring in the library. Two, after I hadn't shown up at our usual table for at least thirty minutes, my professor asked someone where I was and ended up wandering around, searching. Until he figured I was in my apartment, of course. Three, he found me crumpled on the ground next to my desk, confused, and had tried to leave me on the couch and ask for help when suddenly I'd kissed him, hard, and he'd kissed me back and I was pulling him down with me and I was wondering if this was real, if this was happening, because there was no way on earth my bookish, bashful professor would ever want to --

I sigh, burying my face in my hands. I'd kissed him because I'd wanted to, because I thought I was still dreaming, and he'd kissed me back out of ... politeness? As an expected reaction? Then I'd realized that he actually was real, and when I tried to apologize he was already closing the distance between my mouth and his again, clumsy but passionate. Gentle and genuine and fervent, all at once. His knee had accidentally brushed between my thighs at that moment, I'd -- I'd actually let out a moan against his ear, and suddenly the heat building up in my chest was unbearable beyond anything I'd ever imagined, was unthinkably encompassing and warm and too, too much to ignore. I'd begged, and he stopped being gentle.

Similarly, at least five times over the next few days, I pretend that the traces of warmth against my lips and thighs are as recent as they had been the other night.

iii.

My voice almost catches in my throat when I mutter: "I wanted it, you know."

He's staring at me as if I just punched him. I might as well have. With twenty minutes of our hour-long tutoring session having passed in near total silence, it's easy enough to know what he's thinking now. He's wondering if it was a mistake, fucking a student like this in circumstances like that. He's wondering if I was completely willing or able, if I'd wanted this for a while or if it was spontaneous, if I regret anything that happened. Worrying, too, if our long-term friendship can take a blow like that without falling to pieces, or if we'd be better off never acknowledging the night ever again. The pen sits still in his hand, still bleeding onto the index card, and I swallow the rest of my hesitation before it can resurface.

"And I wanted to say thank you, too, for that. For -- for helping me, I mean." I correct myself quickly, forcing down the urge to stammer. Slide the note across the table as nonchalantly as I can. "If I ever need any assistance again, I'll text."

He grins at that, looking relieved, and the expression is so familiar that I can't help but return it. I can read him again. Are you sure? he wants to ask. Have you thought about this? Do you know what this means?

He opens his mouth to speak. I nod before he can.

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If you could give anything to someone you care about or to who you think deserves it, what would it give them and why did you choose that particular person?
Written by a060147 in portal Stream of Consciousness
punch-drunk
i.

I breathe, dazed. Still punch-drunk in the aftermath. The couch allows little give as I push up and away from it unsteadily, leveling the bare shoulders of my professor as he turns away from me, silent. I'd left one too many marks on them probably -- though that could easily be dismissed by the rhythm he'd chosen -- and already I can see the beginnings of a bruise forming near the nape of his neck, the scratches fresh against the dark skin. Then they're not bare anymore, disguised by the crisp white of his button-up and stiff collar, and I find myself staring instead at the seamless silhouette of his wide back in the dim light. Shadowed. His belt clicks audibly as he secures it; the binder of unused notes that he'd brought complains a little as he gives it a quick flip-through, even though we both know we hadn't bothered to take anything out of it in the first place. Habit, I suppose. I'm wondering what I must look like to him right now, unraveled and undone in a way he'd never seen me before -- and then I'm realizing, too suddenly, that he's looking at me over his shoulder with an expression I can't recognize. Not on him, at least. But I figure that the both of us hadn't expected anything of the past hour to actually happen.

He opens his mouth. Pauses. Begins another breath before pausing again, unsure of what to say. The binder seems like it's the only thing anchoring him to the floor, keeping him from running. Not that I'd be able to chase him, anyway, but that's beside the point. I'm not sure what he's thinking. He lingers around the door, grazing the knob with his knuckles, before looking me in the eyes fully for the first time since the act.

"I'm sorry," he says finally. It's the same manner he uses to address unfamiliar or uncooperative students, and I feel a strange sense of disappointment in his choice of tone.

The door shuts quietly behind him.

ii.

We pass each other at least five times over the next few days: him hurrying to whatever meeting or lecture hall in his casual, expensive shoes, me trekking by in my similarly everyday, costly wheelchair. It's a little easier to feign normalcy this way, with both of us either too awkward or too tongue-tied to say much of anything, and that's okay. A little more than okay, actually, considering the decade-long age gap and our deathly shy demeanors. When I think about it, really analyze what had happened that night, I can't  put together the order of events logically without adding some sort of outside explanation. I'd fallen out of my chair and nearly knocked myself unconscious, for one, when I should've been on my way for tutoring in the library. Two, after I hadn't shown up at our usual table for at least thirty minutes, my professor asked someone where I was and ended up wandering around, searching. Until he figured I was in my apartment, of course. Three, he found me crumpled on the ground next to my desk, confused, and had tried to leave me on the couch and ask for help when suddenly I'd kissed him, hard, and he'd kissed me back and I was pulling him down with me and I was wondering if this was real, if this was happening, because there was no way on earth my bookish, bashful professor would ever want to --

I sigh, burying my face in my hands. I'd kissed him because I'd wanted to, because I thought I was still dreaming, and he'd kissed me back out of ... politeness? As an expected reaction? Then I'd realized that he actually was real, and when I tried to apologize he was already closing the distance between my mouth and his again, clumsy but passionate. Gentle and genuine and fervent, all at once. His knee had accidentally brushed between my thighs at that moment, I'd -- I'd actually let out a moan against his ear, and suddenly the heat building up in my chest was unbearable beyond anything I'd ever imagined, was unthinkably encompassing and warm and too, too much to ignore. I'd begged, and he stopped being gentle.

Similarly, at least five times over the next few days, I pretend that the traces of warmth against my lips and thighs are as recent as they had been the other night.

iii.

My voice almost catches in my throat when I mutter: "I wanted it, you know."

He's staring at me as if I just punched him. I might as well have. With twenty minutes of our hour-long tutoring session having passed in near total silence, it's easy enough to know what he's thinking now. He's wondering if it was a mistake, fucking a student like this in circumstances like that. He's wondering if I was completely willing or able, if I'd wanted this for a while or if it was spontaneous, if I regret anything that happened. Worrying, too, if our long-term friendship can take a blow like that without falling to pieces, or if we'd be better off never acknowledging the night ever again. The pen sits still in his hand, still bleeding onto the index card, and I swallow the rest of my hesitation before it can resurface.

"And I wanted to say thank you, too, for that. For -- for helping me, I mean." I correct myself quickly, forcing down the urge to stammer. Slide the note across the table as nonchalantly as I can. "If I ever need any assistance again, I'll text."

He grins at that, looking relieved, and the expression is so familiar that I can't help but return it. I can read him again. Are you sure? he wants to ask. Have you thought about this? Do you know what this means?

He opens his mouth to speak. I nod before he can.
#fiction  #romance 
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Written by Tylasmith in portal Poetry & Free Verse

blackboy

Black beauty

Black beast

Curly locks of pride

Greased glory

Americanized water down locks

Of entangled stories of

Slavery

Midnight drips

Of moonlight

Painted on your liquidated vaseline skin

Dripping in water

As you dip in the basin

Of our mothers Africa's

Body

And became one with

The rope that bounds your hand to your roots

Slaving over her curvaceous temple

Like a bull to slaughter

Offering offerings of love

Into the promised land

Honey iced lips

Dying to be tasted

Warm temperate love ready to be devoured in the mouth

Ebony breast

Carved diamonds

Wrapped in a dashiki

Her curly locks

Of pride

Of nature

Wrapped

In the

fabric

that is

Fabricated

And sewn

Together

With the pieces

Of the past and the present merged to form this charcoaled beauty

A crown

Of beauty

Adorned her head

She calls it a Hijab

And he calls her queen

And bows to her love

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Written by Tylasmith in portal Poetry & Free Verse
blackboy
Black beauty
Black beast
Curly locks of pride
Greased glory
Americanized water down locks
Of entangled stories of
Slavery
Midnight drips
Of moonlight
Painted on your liquidated vaseline skin
Dripping in water
As you dip in the basin
Of our mothers Africa's
Body
And became one with
The rope that bounds your hand to your roots
Slaving over her curvaceous temple
Like a bull to slaughter
Offering offerings of love
Into the promised land
Honey iced lips
Dying to be tasted
Warm temperate love ready to be devoured in the mouth
Ebony breast
Carved diamonds
Wrapped in a dashiki
Her curly locks
Of pride
Of nature
Wrapped
In the
fabric
that is
Fabricated
And sewn
Together
With the pieces
Of the past and the present merged to form this charcoaled beauty
A crown
Of beauty
Adorned her head
She calls it a Hijab
And he calls her queen
And bows to her love

#romance  #spirituality  #culture  #mommaafrica 
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Written by Harlequin in portal Fantasy

Sigh

    “The sooner you embrace darkness, the sooner your eyes adjust.”

    This is just one example of the many odd things she would say to you, whether you were deep in conversation of no relevance, or simply passing a mundane greeting.

    Of course, it was different. We were in of Mage Stelma’s Third Division Infantry. That meant we were marksmen of sorts, but gods know we used blades more than arrows. War gets messy like that. Beyond that, expert conversationalists. Words were our secondary art, because it passed the time, it settled into our hearts; we savored every syllable, or tried to, with the full knowledge that today or tomorrow was likely our last.

    She had a name before she came here. A real name, I mean, passed down from parents. A name that held childhood memories. I suppose that’s why we try to detach ourselves from those.

    We all called her Sigh, because that was the sound her bolts made as they flew through the air.

    It was a stark contrast to the noises her targets emitted.

    I understand, already this story has gone sour. I am focusing on one marksman instead of the entire infantry. You don’t have a clue as to the battles we fought, what they looked like, or even what war we waged, whether in our hearts or with the opposing sides.

I apologize. This story is not about the war itself, rather the poetry of bloodshed it inspired. You’ll just have to come to grips with that. Your narrator is not intelligent enough to understand the machinations of political or economic dominance from one culture to another.

    I just shoot things. And if I am not too tired, I think about it after I do.

    “How’d you sleep last night?” I asked Sigh one morning. The weather was not dismal, but it was threatening. Thick, grey clouds boasting a storm which would drench all of us and our equipment. We all silently prayed it would not.

    “We awaken, thinking we’ve just stepped out of a dream, without realizing we merely passed into another.” She grinned at me, with chapped lips and impossibly brown, dirty eyes. I say impossibly, because I had never met someone quite like her, and I always thought she deserved some features less common than the ones the gods had given her. Regardless, I found her beyond beautiful.

    “That being said, how about you?” she asked me.

    I returned the grin. “I slept well. Well enough. Better than most nights.”

    Last night, we heard deep rumbling in the distance. Many of us huddled into our coats, imagining thunder. The smarter ones, particularly Sigh, perked their ears, stopped fidgeting with their heirlooms and trinkets that kept them company away from home, and realized it was not thunder at all.

    It was far more frightening than ominous weather. Far, far more frightening. The truth: the opposing army had devised some kind of machinery that could shake the ground so horribly, could produce sounds so booming that it was reminiscent of thunder.

    We all quivered, after Sigh and a few others had pieced it together.

    Still, I wasn’t lying. I slept very well. What can I say? I have a propensity for not caring.

That morning, the booming had mysteriously ceased. Now, as the silence settled in, we prayed it would rain, and prove the possibilities all wrong.

    “What do you think made those sounds?” Silver Thomas asked no one in particular.

    Here we were, crouched peacefully over some frying eggs and a slab of oat-bread that Sigh was cutting into portions.

     “And here you are, interrupting a perfectly peaceful morning,” I groaned. “Can’t you just eat your oat bread, sometimes?”

    “What?” Silver Thomas muffled through a mouthful. “I’m merely wondering what you all think.”

     “Be comforted that you do not know when death comes. It is the only thing in life that you can reserve your laziness for: you do not have to plan for it,” Sigh said as she handed out clay plates with the eggs.

     A clap of thunder. Her hand was outstretched towards Silver Thomas, who had his silver eyes upturned toward the sky, and an odd expression on his face.

    The next moment, it was gone, buried into the ground under a heaping mound of fiery steel, coal, and metals spewing out like a crack in the earth itself.

    It took his body with it, several feet into the earth, as well as his breakfast.

    Sigh snatched her crossbow and dove for the trenches, disregarding the rest of us, all sitting dumbstruck and shocked around the campfire—admittedly looking less impressive next to the ball of hellfire.

    She was never much of a comrade. Didn’t find excuses, nor any opportunities, to risk her hide for us.

    She contributed the light spitter to the armies, as we preferred to call it. With this brilliant device, she called it even and made her own survival priority.

    Fair is fair.

     She personally drew the plans and an engineered example, shown to Mage Stelma herself, several months prior to our being issued onto the fields. Sigh had a comprehensive education in rune magick that bordered on expertise, before she volunteered to be a marksman for the Moon-elves during the War of the Eclipse.

    It was like a crossbow without strings and bolts, had a long handle and a wide, hallow muzzle. Each spitter took about a year’s preparation, so many of those with enough knowledge in destructive magick and runes were called to cease their studies, halt their lives, to instead craft these weapons with as much speed and efficiency as possible.

Under penalty of treason, imprisonment, or simply death. 


    War makes allies threaten allies. Isn’t that silly?

    The weapon was powered by the moon. Every marksmen was trained in activating a charging rune at night, setting it down in the open before bed so that it could soak up the rays.

    The following day, it could issue a few dozen shots before fizzling out. A few dozen incredibly powerful and fatal shots, that is.

    A whole slew of runes were charged by various practitioners in the crafting process, such that dumb folks like myself could simply put his eye down the sights, aim, mutter a word, and press a thumb against an insignia that fired it.

    Not many of us understood how it worked, but it saved the poor blacksmiths in neighboring towns and villages some time. They still had to forge arrowheads, just not so many.

    Sigh had two of her own, but preferred her crossbow and bolts nonetheless.

    “Magick is a fickle friend,” she’d say as she twirled a knife around, telling us about her education at the colleges. “After all those years, I still prefer metal. It won’t backfire. Magick, in the wrong hands, will often backfire. No matter how much you plan, think ahead, for the most complex spells, something will almost always go wrong. And before you know it, you set your kitchen on fire, your mother is screaming at you, and the dog has become a rabbit with talons and wings. All because you wanted to try and warm your bedsheets before you went to sleep.”

    “Is this from personal experience?”

    Sigh sighed. “Yes.”

    Anywho. Back to the carnage.

    Trebuchets. Empowered by, oh, you guessed it, fire magick. Combined with some more mathematically inclined minds—Sun-elven blacksmiths who knew a thing or two about trajectory—the combination of wood, steel, iron, rope, and we had hellfire on our hands.

    Quite literally, raining down.

    When you are presented with chaos, your mind oscillates—very briefly—between two choices: shock, or decisive action.

    I saw, as I turned my gaze to the skies, countless meteors in a myriad of shapes, sizes and color, dripping with silver, fire and ruin … as well as a whole flock of messenger ravens.

    Dead ones, mind you, half-scorched. All stiff and clenched up from rigor mortis.

    One of them landed in my lap, still twitching, staring up at me with sizzling feathers and black eyes.

    That was when my mind chose the second option.

    I spotted Sigh. She was running not away, but toward the enemies, sprinting for the bordering forestry with spitters dancing on her belt, her weapons barely clinging to their leather loops with how fast she clipped the soil.

    I jumped up and out of the trenches, dodging a cluster from the trebuchets as I did.

Someone behind me screamed, “Wait, Will!—” before another cluster cut him off, filled his throat with molten steel.

    If there was anyone smart enough to survive this, it was Sigh. Sometimes, you have to kill the hero’s instincts in you so that, maybe tomorrow, you can actually live to fulfill them.

    It felt like the ground was trying to shake me off of it. I toppled over, scrambled to my feet, and jumped into my strides instead of stepping into them, because even the air shook with such a ferocity it seemed bent on escaping the hold of my lungs.

Ash and smoke stuffed my senses. I felt rain on my face, and wiped it off.

    No, that was Silver Thomas’ blood.

    There was more of it—hotter—on my arms. I assumed several people had left parting gifts on my skin, as I ran with just as much of a lack of consideration for them as Sigh, toward the shelter of the trees and bushes.

    “Left, Will!” I heard her scream.

    She said my name! I somehow made room for that thought.

    She was crouched beneath several canopies, far away, and her shouts reached me.

    I blindly followed, dove to the left, and felt the searing heat of another cluster land just behind me.

    Then her mouth opened again, but it hung, stopped short. She had the look of someone staring at a corpse.

     I braced myself for death. Which is to say I took a breath and did something between a whimper and a chuckle.

    She whipped out both her spitters, took aim, and shouted MIRA!

I thought that she was aiming for my head, to end my misery sooner than the hellfire would.

    Violet light shot out of the muzzles, displacing the cluster just as it singed my hair. The light ricocheted off and flung into the sky.

    I didn’t bother with anymore second chances and rushed to meet her in the safety of the forest.

    “The Sun-elves,” she said, “they fired, betting that most of us would retreat. Oh, how right they were. Come,” she tugged on my arm and we went deeper into the trees.

    “Thank—”

    “Sush. We’re still going to die,” she promised. “I just made yours last a little longer. Still grateful?”

    I nodded.

    “You’re like me, then, I guess.”

    Lines of their soldiers were already halfway across the fields, all but waltzing with drawn swords towards our demolished camp and trenches, while we ducked our heads beneath bushes and pulled our hoods up.

    Amidst the carnage, they must not have spotted us. We both checked our belts for what we had to survive.

    Sigh, as per usual, had everything if she needed to last for a handful of days, all in the various-sized pouches hanging from her belt, including rations, bolts, and materials for starting fires.

    I had a dagger, a sword, a spitter, and a dead raven in my hands.

    Not all marksmen are created equal.

    I had been clutching it so hard during the chaos, if whatever the Sun-elves did to it did not kill it, I certainly had choked the poor thing to death.

    Some of its feathers stuck to my bloodied hands as I pulled away from it. There was a message tied to its talon. Even Sigh was curious.

    We opened up the small scroll of parchment.

     Our scout had written a series of symbols which meant: They’re faster than anticipated. Retreat with all haste.

    And the Sun-elf who’d caught him, presumably, had saved some of the stores of his inkwell by writing in the scout’s blood: Hah!

    The crunch of branches and idle conversation drifted through the trees. I raised widened eyes to Sigh, who responded by putting a steady finger against my lips.

    She whispered in the smallest voice, “Death is most efficient, most merciful, when she arrives unexpectedly,” and grinned.

    She set down the two spitters, unhooked her hand crossbow from her belt, and readied a bolt. She then, with another finger, hushed my hand, which had reached for a spitter, and shook her head.

    Oddly enough, everything was quiet.

    The screams, the thunder. My mind had echoed it into the time that stretched beyond the initial chaos. Now it was all still again, wind through trees, silent, grey skies and a calm, afternoon sun. And a river.

     There was a river to the right of us, at the edge of the forest, running peacefully. It was the picturesque scene of a placid morning.

    I suppose it was because many of us had died so quickly.

    The Sun-elves, dressed in elegant, gold-trimmed black raiment, strolled past us, laughing and chortling. A stark contract to our mismatched, grey, black, and sage wools and leathers.

    The elf on the far right of the trio had caught Sigh out of the corner of his eye, before she buried a bolt in his head, another in the left, while I sprang up and slew the one in the middle, who hadn’t time enough to draw his own weapon.

    Not a scream. Just three, soft thumps to the ground.

    “She is a merciful mistress, indeed,” Sigh said, checking their pulses before going to their pockets. “But she's much work to do through my hands, before the day is done.”

    I tried to keep up with her as the day wore on, but she was too nimble, too harried. Often, she took risks as we delved deeper behind enemy lines. I pestered her about what we should do, what our plans were. How we were to get word back to the other encampments before more blood was shed on our side of the war. Because, gods be true, we were losing it. Not just today, but for the past two years.

    She just kept up with those strange sayings, as if she was passing off mundane conversation per usual.

    “Why haven’t we turned back?”

    “If we spoke the language of the trees, we would be too interested in what they said to ever turn our ears any other place.”

    “Damnit, Sigh! We’re leagues away from any camp. Where are we going?”
 She stopped, grabbed my arm, and looked me straight in the eyes, in a way she never had before.

    She said, with a tilt of her head, and I swear, a look of affection: “Once, I lost my timepiece. When I found it, someone had stepped on it. It was all cracked and dented, the hour hand trembling like a heart trying to beat a dead body. I’ve not tried to keep track since then. And I hate timepieces.”

    I thought it had been too much. The war had smashed her sanity, just how someone had smashed her timepiece. So I nodded. “All right, Sigh. I understand.”

    And I think, as I said that, she really thought I did.

    Night arrived all too quickly. We found ourselves at the edge of the river, miles downstream from our camp. I felt like I had been following a ghost the entire day. When we came near the Sun-elf camp with the trebuchets, she stopped for a few minutes, the only few minutes she allowed herself not to move, besides to avoid attention from other soldiers.

    When she did, she brought out a notepad, a quill, an inkwell, and scrawled notes, glancing up every now and then at their machines, before folding it and giving it to me. She was analyzing how they were designed, I thought.

    They were quite daunting, towering things. The height of castle turrets, with all the complex rigging and cogs you might imagine.

    “Sigh, you should have it. You should give this to Mage Stelma yourself.”

    The camp was silent, save for the burning of a torch here or there. The snoring of a soldier supposed to be on watch, leaning against a tree close enough that we could make out how his breath parted the hair falling over his face each time he exhaled.

    “Words are like birds. Catch them as they come,” she whispered to me. “Some are prettier than others. Don’t bother reaching out to the ugly ones, Will, for they’ve been handled too much, and are boring little things. Take time, and be patient, for the ones which really catch your eye.”

    Her hand lingered on mine as she gave me the note.

    “I will, Sigh,” I said. “I promise.”

    I almost forgot. And I apologize. I’m not very good at this storytelling business. I just needed to get some of this out.

    One of the most peculiar moments we shared. An hour or so before the conversation beside the camp with the trebuchets, she stopped, felt the tiny quiver at her waist, and looked down at it.

    When she looked up, there were tears streaming down her face. My tired heart throbbed; I wanted to hug her. I almost did.

    “I’ve only three bolts left,” she mumbled.

    She did not always speak in riddles, in words of wisdom of little relevance to what was already being said.

    That started after her brother died. That was when she felt inspired to design the light spitters. Her revenge.

    After she had passed the note to me, she walked to the riverside, and stepped into the water as normally as one might keep walking anywhere that is not freezing.

    Despite it being springtime, the water had pieces of frozen ice here and there. We were, after all, in the Runelands. It was the reason for the war in the first place, to fight for this wasteland of eternal winter. The Sun-elves wanted a whole continent for their own race, to call the home of the highborns.

    “Sigh, what are you doing? Come out. Let’s go home.”

    I wondered what I meant by the last word. If we had one, I mean.

    She waded deeper into the water. A log passed her, slapped against her thigh before drifting downstream.

    It was not a log. It was an arm. Its sleeve bore the patch of our division.

    More logs came, varying in sizes and shapes. Some still had heads attached.

    “When I was a young girl, I had a dream that I was a puppet,” she said, plucking one up by the finger. “It was only when I was older that I realized no one tugged on my strings but me.”

    Her face was devoid of all expression.

    I couldn’t do much for the tears on my face. “Where are you going?”

    She immersed herself in the water, pale as snow, and let the current lift her up on her back, carry her away. Even I was shivering from the cold, but she was still as stone.

I realized, as I watched the current take her, that she was not mad. She was raving sane.

We were the mad ones, trying to carry on normally while the war tore us apart, both literally and figuratively. It severed our heart strings, cut our mind off from the grace of poetry; it made killing our art, survival a craft with many different mediums, some of them terrifyingly bloody.

    I didn’t join her in the water; I crossed to the other side of the river, and kept up with her, as I watched the bodies from the Third Division crowd around her, embrace her as one of their own.

    Fetid steam rose up from the water. Moonlit rays fell through the fog, glinted on their icy eyes and frozen lips. A nightmare of unparalleled beauty.

    I lost track of her. There were too many bloodless bodies, and her face was just as pale as theirs. She stared up at the stars, with the same thoughtful revelation as the dead have when they first meet death.

    Soon enough, the flames and torches of another enemy camp came into view. That is when I slunk away into the trees. I didn’t remember much of the training I had as a scout. They had declared me a marksmen after I lied, told them I could not see very well.

    Apparently, they did not sympathize with me.

    The thought of being not only across from enemies, but behind them, terrified me. Yet I found myself in the role I had scurried away from.

    They were waiting for them.

    The Sun-elves, with tankards in their hands and laughter in their throats. The laughter of victors. The war had been waging for three years. We were in our death throes, and they were entertained by our erratic behavior on the battlefields. Our last-ditch strategies to overcome an army far better equipped and trained than our own.

    “Don’t suppose they’ll have much on ‘em. They were running, after all,” I heard one say.

    I climbed into a tree, careful to choose the heavier branches that would not sway so much under my weight, and watched from above, thinking of the raven and wondering what words they would write all over my body with my blood, if they caught me.

    There were three of them at the riverbank, but dozens in the camps just a few walks away. This camp wasn’t asleep, like the other.

    The bodies started to arrive at the riverbank. They already had a pyre ablaze, ready to incinerate our remnants.

    I thought for a moment, foolishly, that Sigh was just handing herself to her enemies, to join her comrades that she had treated with a curt coldness, to reprimand herself, atone for her lack of concern for their wellbeing when we were caught in crossfires.

    Instead, she made an appearance with numb, freezing, and dripping fingers.

    Someone had picked up an arm to haul out of the water. At the end of that arm was a crossbow, bearing a cocked arrow. It was rather comical, how he aimed it for her.

    The bolt slunk into the soft flesh beneath his jaw.

    As he fell to the ground, Sigh sprang on the other two. I imagined her blue lips whisper mira as violet light shot from the end of her spitter and into the second.

    The third? He drew a sword, raised a cry, before falling to her dagger.

    The ‘raised a cry’. That was the important part.

    “Now, you stay there!” she shouted.

    It was for me, not an arrogant cry toward the fresh corpses at her feet. I know this because she shot her head back, toward the direction where I was sitting in the darkness.

The reinforcements came. Sigh was determined to use the last two of her bolts, and did so with poetry on her lips as they sighed through the air and found their opponents.

    She twirled the spitters and sent out violet arrows that flickered and sizzled into the Sun-elves proliferating around the riverbank.

    More and more came.

    She fended them off with an elegance that I can only compare to a virtuoso on a stage.

    Even when they came to their senses, and began using arrows instead of swords.

    She took those gracefully. Used the momentum of the steel thudding into her body to slide into her next steps, to whisper truths that she’d tell me when I asked her each morning how she slept.

    “When the unknown approaches, embrace it like an old friend. Because truly, the unknown is quite common, we see him very often.”

    She twirled, the spitters sparking and firing with dazzling effects.

    You could see, between brief flashes of light, how her blood sprang out of her wounds as more arrows came.

    One of the arrows caught the spitter in her left hand. It fell to the ground, light dripping from the end of it, smoke from its hallow shaft wafting into the air, I swear, in the shape of crows and moths.

    “Did you dream of anything interesting, last night?” I had asked her, once. We both found ourselves awake before dawn, and no one else had risen. We were clutching tea and looking into a fire.

    “When I met him,” she replied slowly, “he had the air of boyish musings about him. He had the breath of youth untouched by tragedy. He was aware of it, oh, certainly he was. It had touched him. But he kept it away, somehow, I could tell. It didn’t clutch him the way it did with others. And when I hugged him, tighter than I had held anyone else, I think, for the first time, I had loved someone.”

    The final spark emerged from her spitter. Then she turned toward me. A doll for hexing poked with too many pins and needles. She caught my eyes, somehow, as more of those needles drove into her back.

    I realized, then, that was the first time she had spoken with a response relevant to the question.

    Worst of all, I realized she had been speaking of me.

    She had never hugged me, before.

    That’s what dreams are for, to do things you could never bring yourself to do in life. She had lost her brother, already. Why would she give her heart to me, knowing my hands would soon die with it?

    Her words, they weren’t so esoteric anymore. Riddles are merely disguised truths, after all. I divined them all as she fell with my name spending the last of her breath. So now I wasn’t the one carrying a heart to the grave; she’d snatched mine, at the last possible moment, and took it with her.

    It took me two days to reach an allied camp. The wounded were groaning and moaning in agony along with the chipper birds in the dawn. My bloodied hands clutched the note Sigh had scrawled out about the trebuchets. I didn’t care about anything, anymore. I hoped I was considered wounded enough to go home, wherever that may be, but I’d not suffered much besides frostbite, which out here, is child’s play. You are laughed at if you cannot handle it.

    After word of my arrival was given, I was granted access to see Mage Stelma, and was escorted to her tent. “What happened to our Third Divison?” she asked me, hands spread out over battle plans that had already failed.

    “This,” I said, too exhausted to elaborate, handing over the note.

    “You’re mistaken,” she said after looking it over.

    “Excuse me? This is a description of their machines, how they operate. A brave soul died just to—”

    “I understand that was your purpose for seeing me. That you’re exhausted, and I appreciate your undying effort, marksman. But, surely you’ve mistaken this note for another.” she handed it back to me, annoyance slanting her eyes. “Have you not read it at all?”

    “No,” I mumbled.

    I looked down at the note.

I always wanted to be alone with you. Never had the courage to say so, but I have craved it since I met you. Although tonight will be my last, I think I have enjoyed it more than most others, because it was spent alone with you. I never dared say so, just like I never had the courage to hold you, not your hand, your body, nor your life, for fear of losing it.

Yet, I love you.

    “Do you have any other word of their machinery?” her voice came from across the table, across several leagues. “Marksman …?”

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Written by Harlequin in portal Fantasy
Sigh
    “The sooner you embrace darkness, the sooner your eyes adjust.”
    This is just one example of the many odd things she would say to you, whether you were deep in conversation of no relevance, or simply passing a mundane greeting.
    Of course, it was different. We were in of Mage Stelma’s Third Division Infantry. That meant we were marksmen of sorts, but gods know we used blades more than arrows. War gets messy like that. Beyond that, expert conversationalists. Words were our secondary art, because it passed the time, it settled into our hearts; we savored every syllable, or tried to, with the full knowledge that today or tomorrow was likely our last.
    She had a name before she came here. A real name, I mean, passed down from parents. A name that held childhood memories. I suppose that’s why we try to detach ourselves from those.
    We all called her Sigh, because that was the sound her bolts made as they flew through the air.
    It was a stark contrast to the noises her targets emitted.
    I understand, already this story has gone sour. I am focusing on one marksman instead of the entire infantry. You don’t have a clue as to the battles we fought, what they looked like, or even what war we waged, whether in our hearts or with the opposing sides.
I apologize. This story is not about the war itself, rather the poetry of bloodshed it inspired. You’ll just have to come to grips with that. Your narrator is not intelligent enough to understand the machinations of political or economic dominance from one culture to another.
    I just shoot things. And if I am not too tired, I think about it after I do.
    “How’d you sleep last night?” I asked Sigh one morning. The weather was not dismal, but it was threatening. Thick, grey clouds boasting a storm which would drench all of us and our equipment. We all silently prayed it would not.
    “We awaken, thinking we’ve just stepped out of a dream, without realizing we merely passed into another.” She grinned at me, with chapped lips and impossibly brown, dirty eyes. I say impossibly, because I had never met someone quite like her, and I always thought she deserved some features less common than the ones the gods had given her. Regardless, I found her beyond beautiful.
    “That being said, how about you?” she asked me.
    I returned the grin. “I slept well. Well enough. Better than most nights.”
    Last night, we heard deep rumbling in the distance. Many of us huddled into our coats, imagining thunder. The smarter ones, particularly Sigh, perked their ears, stopped fidgeting with their heirlooms and trinkets that kept them company away from home, and realized it was not thunder at all.
    It was far more frightening than ominous weather. Far, far more frightening. The truth: the opposing army had devised some kind of machinery that could shake the ground so horribly, could produce sounds so booming that it was reminiscent of thunder.
    We all quivered, after Sigh and a few others had pieced it together.
    Still, I wasn’t lying. I slept very well. What can I say? I have a propensity for not caring.
That morning, the booming had mysteriously ceased. Now, as the silence settled in, we prayed it would rain, and prove the possibilities all wrong.
    “What do you think made those sounds?” Silver Thomas asked no one in particular.
    Here we were, crouched peacefully over some frying eggs and a slab of oat-bread that Sigh was cutting into portions.
     “And here you are, interrupting a perfectly peaceful morning,” I groaned. “Can’t you just eat your oat bread, sometimes?”
    “What?” Silver Thomas muffled through a mouthful. “I’m merely wondering what you all think.”
     “Be comforted that you do not know when death comes. It is the only thing in life that you can reserve your laziness for: you do not have to plan for it,” Sigh said as she handed out clay plates with the eggs.
     A clap of thunder. Her hand was outstretched towards Silver Thomas, who had his silver eyes upturned toward the sky, and an odd expression on his face.
    The next moment, it was gone, buried into the ground under a heaping mound of fiery steel, coal, and metals spewing out like a crack in the earth itself.
    It took his body with it, several feet into the earth, as well as his breakfast.
    Sigh snatched her crossbow and dove for the trenches, disregarding the rest of us, all sitting dumbstruck and shocked around the campfire—admittedly looking less impressive next to the ball of hellfire.
    She was never much of a comrade. Didn’t find excuses, nor any opportunities, to risk her hide for us.
    She contributed the light spitter to the armies, as we preferred to call it. With this brilliant device, she called it even and made her own survival priority.
    Fair is fair.
     She personally drew the plans and an engineered example, shown to Mage Stelma herself, several months prior to our being issued onto the fields. Sigh had a comprehensive education in rune magick that bordered on expertise, before she volunteered to be a marksman for the Moon-elves during the War of the Eclipse.
    It was like a crossbow without strings and bolts, had a long handle and a wide, hallow muzzle. Each spitter took about a year’s preparation, so many of those with enough knowledge in destructive magick and runes were called to cease their studies, halt their lives, to instead craft these weapons with as much speed and efficiency as possible.
Under penalty of treason, imprisonment, or simply death. 

    War makes allies threaten allies. Isn’t that silly?
    The weapon was powered by the moon. Every marksmen was trained in activating a charging rune at night, setting it down in the open before bed so that it could soak up the rays.
    The following day, it could issue a few dozen shots before fizzling out. A few dozen incredibly powerful and fatal shots, that is.
    A whole slew of runes were charged by various practitioners in the crafting process, such that dumb folks like myself could simply put his eye down the sights, aim, mutter a word, and press a thumb against an insignia that fired it.
    Not many of us understood how it worked, but it saved the poor blacksmiths in neighboring towns and villages some time. They still had to forge arrowheads, just not so many.
    Sigh had two of her own, but preferred her crossbow and bolts nonetheless.
    “Magick is a fickle friend,” she’d say as she twirled a knife around, telling us about her education at the colleges. “After all those years, I still prefer metal. It won’t backfire. Magick, in the wrong hands, will often backfire. No matter how much you plan, think ahead, for the most complex spells, something will almost always go wrong. And before you know it, you set your kitchen on fire, your mother is screaming at you, and the dog has become a rabbit with talons and wings. All because you wanted to try and warm your bedsheets before you went to sleep.”
    “Is this from personal experience?”
    Sigh sighed. “Yes.”
    Anywho. Back to the carnage.
    Trebuchets. Empowered by, oh, you guessed it, fire magick. Combined with some more mathematically inclined minds—Sun-elven blacksmiths who knew a thing or two about trajectory—the combination of wood, steel, iron, rope, and we had hellfire on our hands.
    Quite literally, raining down.
    When you are presented with chaos, your mind oscillates—very briefly—between two choices: shock, or decisive action.
    I saw, as I turned my gaze to the skies, countless meteors in a myriad of shapes, sizes and color, dripping with silver, fire and ruin … as well as a whole flock of messenger ravens.
    Dead ones, mind you, half-scorched. All stiff and clenched up from rigor mortis.
    One of them landed in my lap, still twitching, staring up at me with sizzling feathers and black eyes.
    That was when my mind chose the second option.
    I spotted Sigh. She was running not away, but toward the enemies, sprinting for the bordering forestry with spitters dancing on her belt, her weapons barely clinging to their leather loops with how fast she clipped the soil.
    I jumped up and out of the trenches, dodging a cluster from the trebuchets as I did.
Someone behind me screamed, “Wait, Will!—” before another cluster cut him off, filled his throat with molten steel.
    If there was anyone smart enough to survive this, it was Sigh. Sometimes, you have to kill the hero’s instincts in you so that, maybe tomorrow, you can actually live to fulfill them.
    It felt like the ground was trying to shake me off of it. I toppled over, scrambled to my feet, and jumped into my strides instead of stepping into them, because even the air shook with such a ferocity it seemed bent on escaping the hold of my lungs.
Ash and smoke stuffed my senses. I felt rain on my face, and wiped it off.
    No, that was Silver Thomas’ blood.
    There was more of it—hotter—on my arms. I assumed several people had left parting gifts on my skin, as I ran with just as much of a lack of consideration for them as Sigh, toward the shelter of the trees and bushes.
    “Left, Will!” I heard her scream.
    She said my name! I somehow made room for that thought.
    She was crouched beneath several canopies, far away, and her shouts reached me.
    I blindly followed, dove to the left, and felt the searing heat of another cluster land just behind me.
    Then her mouth opened again, but it hung, stopped short. She had the look of someone staring at a corpse.
     I braced myself for death. Which is to say I took a breath and did something between a whimper and a chuckle.
    She whipped out both her spitters, took aim, and shouted MIRA!
I thought that she was aiming for my head, to end my misery sooner than the hellfire would.
    Violet light shot out of the muzzles, displacing the cluster just as it singed my hair. The light ricocheted off and flung into the sky.
    I didn’t bother with anymore second chances and rushed to meet her in the safety of the forest.
    “The Sun-elves,” she said, “they fired, betting that most of us would retreat. Oh, how right they were. Come,” she tugged on my arm and we went deeper into the trees.
    “Thank—”
    “Sush. We’re still going to die,” she promised. “I just made yours last a little longer. Still grateful?”
    I nodded.
    “You’re like me, then, I guess.”
    Lines of their soldiers were already halfway across the fields, all but waltzing with drawn swords towards our demolished camp and trenches, while we ducked our heads beneath bushes and pulled our hoods up.
    Amidst the carnage, they must not have spotted us. We both checked our belts for what we had to survive.
    Sigh, as per usual, had everything if she needed to last for a handful of days, all in the various-sized pouches hanging from her belt, including rations, bolts, and materials for starting fires.
    I had a dagger, a sword, a spitter, and a dead raven in my hands.
    Not all marksmen are created equal.
    I had been clutching it so hard during the chaos, if whatever the Sun-elves did to it did not kill it, I certainly had choked the poor thing to death.
    Some of its feathers stuck to my bloodied hands as I pulled away from it. There was a message tied to its talon. Even Sigh was curious.
    We opened up the small scroll of parchment.
     Our scout had written a series of symbols which meant: They’re faster than anticipated. Retreat with all haste.
    And the Sun-elf who’d caught him, presumably, had saved some of the stores of his inkwell by writing in the scout’s blood: Hah!
    The crunch of branches and idle conversation drifted through the trees. I raised widened eyes to Sigh, who responded by putting a steady finger against my lips.
    She whispered in the smallest voice, “Death is most efficient, most merciful, when she arrives unexpectedly,” and grinned.
    She set down the two spitters, unhooked her hand crossbow from her belt, and readied a bolt. She then, with another finger, hushed my hand, which had reached for a spitter, and shook her head.
    Oddly enough, everything was quiet.
    The screams, the thunder. My mind had echoed it into the time that stretched beyond the initial chaos. Now it was all still again, wind through trees, silent, grey skies and a calm, afternoon sun. And a river.
     There was a river to the right of us, at the edge of the forest, running peacefully. It was the picturesque scene of a placid morning.
    I suppose it was because many of us had died so quickly.
    The Sun-elves, dressed in elegant, gold-trimmed black raiment, strolled past us, laughing and chortling. A stark contract to our mismatched, grey, black, and sage wools and leathers.
    The elf on the far right of the trio had caught Sigh out of the corner of his eye, before she buried a bolt in his head, another in the left, while I sprang up and slew the one in the middle, who hadn’t time enough to draw his own weapon.
    Not a scream. Just three, soft thumps to the ground.
    “She is a merciful mistress, indeed,” Sigh said, checking their pulses before going to their pockets. “But she's much work to do through my hands, before the day is done.”

    I tried to keep up with her as the day wore on, but she was too nimble, too harried. Often, she took risks as we delved deeper behind enemy lines. I pestered her about what we should do, what our plans were. How we were to get word back to the other encampments before more blood was shed on our side of the war. Because, gods be true, we were losing it. Not just today, but for the past two years.
    She just kept up with those strange sayings, as if she was passing off mundane conversation per usual.
    “Why haven’t we turned back?”
    “If we spoke the language of the trees, we would be too interested in what they said to ever turn our ears any other place.”
    “Damnit, Sigh! We’re leagues away from any camp. Where are we going?”
 She stopped, grabbed my arm, and looked me straight in the eyes, in a way she never had before.
    She said, with a tilt of her head, and I swear, a look of affection: “Once, I lost my timepiece. When I found it, someone had stepped on it. It was all cracked and dented, the hour hand trembling like a heart trying to beat a dead body. I’ve not tried to keep track since then. And I hate timepieces.”
    I thought it had been too much. The war had smashed her sanity, just how someone had smashed her timepiece. So I nodded. “All right, Sigh. I understand.”
    And I think, as I said that, she really thought I did.
    Night arrived all too quickly. We found ourselves at the edge of the river, miles downstream from our camp. I felt like I had been following a ghost the entire day. When we came near the Sun-elf camp with the trebuchets, she stopped for a few minutes, the only few minutes she allowed herself not to move, besides to avoid attention from other soldiers.
    When she did, she brought out a notepad, a quill, an inkwell, and scrawled notes, glancing up every now and then at their machines, before folding it and giving it to me. She was analyzing how they were designed, I thought.
    They were quite daunting, towering things. The height of castle turrets, with all the complex rigging and cogs you might imagine.
    “Sigh, you should have it. You should give this to Mage Stelma yourself.”
    The camp was silent, save for the burning of a torch here or there. The snoring of a soldier supposed to be on watch, leaning against a tree close enough that we could make out how his breath parted the hair falling over his face each time he exhaled.
    “Words are like birds. Catch them as they come,” she whispered to me. “Some are prettier than others. Don’t bother reaching out to the ugly ones, Will, for they’ve been handled too much, and are boring little things. Take time, and be patient, for the ones which really catch your eye.”
    Her hand lingered on mine as she gave me the note.
    “I will, Sigh,” I said. “I promise.”
    I almost forgot. And I apologize. I’m not very good at this storytelling business. I just needed to get some of this out.

    One of the most peculiar moments we shared. An hour or so before the conversation beside the camp with the trebuchets, she stopped, felt the tiny quiver at her waist, and looked down at it.
    When she looked up, there were tears streaming down her face. My tired heart throbbed; I wanted to hug her. I almost did.
    “I’ve only three bolts left,” she mumbled.
    She did not always speak in riddles, in words of wisdom of little relevance to what was already being said.
    That started after her brother died. That was when she felt inspired to design the light spitters. Her revenge.

    After she had passed the note to me, she walked to the riverside, and stepped into the water as normally as one might keep walking anywhere that is not freezing.
    Despite it being springtime, the water had pieces of frozen ice here and there. We were, after all, in the Runelands. It was the reason for the war in the first place, to fight for this wasteland of eternal winter. The Sun-elves wanted a whole continent for their own race, to call the home of the highborns.
    “Sigh, what are you doing? Come out. Let’s go home.”
    I wondered what I meant by the last word. If we had one, I mean.
    She waded deeper into the water. A log passed her, slapped against her thigh before drifting downstream.
    It was not a log. It was an arm. Its sleeve bore the patch of our division.
    More logs came, varying in sizes and shapes. Some still had heads attached.
    “When I was a young girl, I had a dream that I was a puppet,” she said, plucking one up by the finger. “It was only when I was older that I realized no one tugged on my strings but me.”
    Her face was devoid of all expression.
    I couldn’t do much for the tears on my face. “Where are you going?”
    She immersed herself in the water, pale as snow, and let the current lift her up on her back, carry her away. Even I was shivering from the cold, but she was still as stone.
I realized, as I watched the current take her, that she was not mad. She was raving sane.
We were the mad ones, trying to carry on normally while the war tore us apart, both literally and figuratively. It severed our heart strings, cut our mind off from the grace of poetry; it made killing our art, survival a craft with many different mediums, some of them terrifyingly bloody.
    I didn’t join her in the water; I crossed to the other side of the river, and kept up with her, as I watched the bodies from the Third Division crowd around her, embrace her as one of their own.
    Fetid steam rose up from the water. Moonlit rays fell through the fog, glinted on their icy eyes and frozen lips. A nightmare of unparalleled beauty.
    I lost track of her. There were too many bloodless bodies, and her face was just as pale as theirs. She stared up at the stars, with the same thoughtful revelation as the dead have when they first meet death.
    Soon enough, the flames and torches of another enemy camp came into view. That is when I slunk away into the trees. I didn’t remember much of the training I had as a scout. They had declared me a marksmen after I lied, told them I could not see very well.
    Apparently, they did not sympathize with me.
    The thought of being not only across from enemies, but behind them, terrified me. Yet I found myself in the role I had scurried away from.
    They were waiting for them.
    The Sun-elves, with tankards in their hands and laughter in their throats. The laughter of victors. The war had been waging for three years. We were in our death throes, and they were entertained by our erratic behavior on the battlefields. Our last-ditch strategies to overcome an army far better equipped and trained than our own.
    “Don’t suppose they’ll have much on ‘em. They were running, after all,” I heard one say.
    I climbed into a tree, careful to choose the heavier branches that would not sway so much under my weight, and watched from above, thinking of the raven and wondering what words they would write all over my body with my blood, if they caught me.
    There were three of them at the riverbank, but dozens in the camps just a few walks away. This camp wasn’t asleep, like the other.
    The bodies started to arrive at the riverbank. They already had a pyre ablaze, ready to incinerate our remnants.
    I thought for a moment, foolishly, that Sigh was just handing herself to her enemies, to join her comrades that she had treated with a curt coldness, to reprimand herself, atone for her lack of concern for their wellbeing when we were caught in crossfires.
    Instead, she made an appearance with numb, freezing, and dripping fingers.
    Someone had picked up an arm to haul out of the water. At the end of that arm was a crossbow, bearing a cocked arrow. It was rather comical, how he aimed it for her.
    The bolt slunk into the soft flesh beneath his jaw.
    As he fell to the ground, Sigh sprang on the other two. I imagined her blue lips whisper mira as violet light shot from the end of her spitter and into the second.
    The third? He drew a sword, raised a cry, before falling to her dagger.
    The ‘raised a cry’. That was the important part.
    “Now, you stay there!” she shouted.
    It was for me, not an arrogant cry toward the fresh corpses at her feet. I know this because she shot her head back, toward the direction where I was sitting in the darkness.
The reinforcements came. Sigh was determined to use the last two of her bolts, and did so with poetry on her lips as they sighed through the air and found their opponents.
    She twirled the spitters and sent out violet arrows that flickered and sizzled into the Sun-elves proliferating around the riverbank.
    More and more came.
    She fended them off with an elegance that I can only compare to a virtuoso on a stage.
    Even when they came to their senses, and began using arrows instead of swords.
    She took those gracefully. Used the momentum of the steel thudding into her body to slide into her next steps, to whisper truths that she’d tell me when I asked her each morning how she slept.
    “When the unknown approaches, embrace it like an old friend. Because truly, the unknown is quite common, we see him very often.”
    She twirled, the spitters sparking and firing with dazzling effects.
    You could see, between brief flashes of light, how her blood sprang out of her wounds as more arrows came.
    One of the arrows caught the spitter in her left hand. It fell to the ground, light dripping from the end of it, smoke from its hallow shaft wafting into the air, I swear, in the shape of crows and moths.
    “Did you dream of anything interesting, last night?” I had asked her, once. We both found ourselves awake before dawn, and no one else had risen. We were clutching tea and looking into a fire.
    “When I met him,” she replied slowly, “he had the air of boyish musings about him. He had the breath of youth untouched by tragedy. He was aware of it, oh, certainly he was. It had touched him. But he kept it away, somehow, I could tell. It didn’t clutch him the way it did with others. And when I hugged him, tighter than I had held anyone else, I think, for the first time, I had loved someone.”
    The final spark emerged from her spitter. Then she turned toward me. A doll for hexing poked with too many pins and needles. She caught my eyes, somehow, as more of those needles drove into her back.
    I realized, then, that was the first time she had spoken with a response relevant to the question.
    Worst of all, I realized she had been speaking of me.
    She had never hugged me, before.
    That’s what dreams are for, to do things you could never bring yourself to do in life. She had lost her brother, already. Why would she give her heart to me, knowing my hands would soon die with it?
    Her words, they weren’t so esoteric anymore. Riddles are merely disguised truths, after all. I divined them all as she fell with my name spending the last of her breath. So now I wasn’t the one carrying a heart to the grave; she’d snatched mine, at the last possible moment, and took it with her.

    It took me two days to reach an allied camp. The wounded were groaning and moaning in agony along with the chipper birds in the dawn. My bloodied hands clutched the note Sigh had scrawled out about the trebuchets. I didn’t care about anything, anymore. I hoped I was considered wounded enough to go home, wherever that may be, but I’d not suffered much besides frostbite, which out here, is child’s play. You are laughed at if you cannot handle it.
    After word of my arrival was given, I was granted access to see Mage Stelma, and was escorted to her tent. “What happened to our Third Divison?” she asked me, hands spread out over battle plans that had already failed.
    “This,” I said, too exhausted to elaborate, handing over the note.
    “You’re mistaken,” she said after looking it over.
    “Excuse me? This is a description of their machines, how they operate. A brave soul died just to—”
    “I understand that was your purpose for seeing me. That you’re exhausted, and I appreciate your undying effort, marksman. But, surely you’ve mistaken this note for another.” she handed it back to me, annoyance slanting her eyes. “Have you not read it at all?”
    “No,” I mumbled.
    I looked down at the note.

I always wanted to be alone with you. Never had the courage to say so, but I have craved it since I met you. Although tonight will be my last, I think I have enjoyed it more than most others, because it was spent alone with you. I never dared say so, just like I never had the courage to hold you, not your hand, your body, nor your life, for fear of losing it.
Yet, I love you.

    “Do you have any other word of their machinery?” her voice came from across the table, across several leagues. “Marksman …?”
#fantasy  #fiction  #romance  #adventure 
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Written by RioRamirez

Cure Writer's Block

From William Garner's article on LinkedIn:

Writer's Block Is a Real Phenomenon That Resides in Your Subconscious

In all my years of writing, I’ve suffered from several different maladies and conditions but never the one we all fear and loathe: Writer’s Block. This doesn’t mean I don’t understand it, though, because I do. I’ve studied it in other people over the decades and have formulated my hypothesis about it and what causes it.

Writer's Block resides deep within your subconscious and can be accessed primarily through dreams and dreaming, and sometimes consciously by communicating with that nagging little voice at the back of your mind.

I’ve done experiments on myself to artificially induce Writer’s Block, and have been overwhelmingly successful. Those results were a dubious success, of course, because no one wishes to suffer from this dreadful disease of the subconscious, let alone for any extended period of time. But at least I saw it first hand.

When I stated above that I’ve never suffered from Writer’s Block, I meant it while I was actively writing, not experimentally inducing it for the purpose of intensive study.

What Are Some of the Probable Causes of Writer’s Block?

There is no one cause, because Writer’s Block may surface slowly or all at once at any point in the writing process. If you’re at the very beginning, with not even a storyline in mind, and you can’t write even write that first word, then the cause may be lack of passion, direction or drive.

Of course, one of the worst causes is wanting desperately to write but not having anything to write about. The next is having too many distractions that cloud the whole dreaming, designing, building and writing process.

If you’re not passionate about what you do, then the art of writing becomes a chore, a drudgery. And you’ll likely not write much, or even finish your writing project. You must love what you wish to write about, be absolutely passionate about it, because this is a story that you will share with other people. Writing becomes a chore when you’re simply writing for money or a reason other than for passion.

I’ve read published books by authors who seemed to be doing it for the money, and it’s reflected in their work. I’ve also talked with authors who’ve told me their prime motivation was to earn lots of money. Some did it well, but their work wasn’t as good as others’ whose artwork was based on a deep-seated passion that underlies and fuels it.

Passion is a deep, often hidden desire to express yourself and what you have to say, what you believe in so fiercely that it must come out in some artistic form. And when it surfaces, it’s in the form of a book, your first book.

If you’re in the middle of actually writing your first book, and Writer’s Block creeps up on you and your work grinds to a halt, then the cause is more likely your not being in sufficient contact with your subconscious, such that when your subconscious needs to connect with your typist and it cannot, the subconscious gets pouty or just plain angry and closes down for a period of time.

This is the time you need to take a step back from your work and ask yourself: How am I not in good contact with my subconscious now? What happened such that I lost contact? And how do I get back on track?

You could be stressed out at work and this is impinging on your writing at night or on weekends. Your family may be undergoing a crisis, something that takes you away from your work and your subconscious’s working for you on your book project. You must notice what the cause is and do whatever it takes to assuage the negative effects so you can get back to the fun business of writing your first book.

If You Suffer From Writer's Block, Ask Yourself This Important Question

“Am I still passionate about writing this book?”

Could be that you initially started your first book because you were inspired by a lover who came into your life, turned it upside down, and you fell in love so deeply that you got lost in all that passion. You began writing about it and then, out of the blue, your lover suddenly disappeared . . . along with the fiery passion that had driven you to embark on the journey to begin with.

This happens sometimes. It’s not the end of the world, although the pain is often unbearable, not just the loss of a loved one but also the loss of your passion for writing a book you thought you would finish and get out there for all to read and appreciate.

It may be a good idea, too, to write down the question, say it aloud before you go to sleep, so your subconscious will hear you and come up with some answers. If your subconscious isn’t paying you much mind, for whatever reason, you may consider taking a long break from your project, say, a month, then returning to it with a fresh look.

If you have somehow lost interest in your writing project, or if your passion has waned even a little, then you might want to consider trying another approach to writing this particular book, or choose another idea altogether. This doesn’t mean you should quit your current project. It may need to ferment a bit more, so put it aside and try something else, another story idea.

What Is Your Subconscious and How Do You Communicate With It to Overcome Writer's Block?

One of the greatest creations in the Universe, besides majestic planets like Earth and powerful energy sources like our sun, is the human subconscious. It is in direct communication with the Universe, which suggests it also communicates collectively with the subconscious of others.

You do not have to believe in this line of thought to write anything, even though I have injected small hints that you should consider it. Whatever you choose to believe, the fact is that you must give your writing sufficient time to develop. Time comes in days, weeks and months.

I’ve studied the human subconscious, mostly in myself, since I was a child, wondering what inner engine drove me to do the things I did. I didn’t have to think about doing certain things, I just did them. Sometimes they were rational and positive; other times, not so.

One item I discovered over the years was that there was a clear line between what I did consciously and how my mind functioned subconsciously. When I went to sleep each night, I knew there was a whole different creature that came alive and took me on endless journeys through space and time, introducing me to new thoughts, ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things in my life.

Your Subconscious, or Inner CHILD, is a Real Person Inside You

Nearly 15 years ago, I woke up one morning and scrambled out of bed to write something down. Whatever was in my head at that moment had to come out and it wasn’t going to wait for my bus driver, my typist, to take dictation. It was coming in a flood and that was that.

When I got to my notepad, my hand started scribbling things down. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing, I just took it on faith that I had to do this.

After I was done autowriting, I looked at what had emerged: a single word, along with details about each letter of the word. It was an acronym, CHILD:

C: the little Child in you, the curious wide-eyed being that looks at the world without filters and preconceived notions about anything. A little sponge that senses things with wonder and awe.

H: the true Heart in you, the purely subjective part, filled with every conceivable emotion known.

I: your Intuition or information-gathering system, the sensory apparatus that receives every possible stimulus in the Universe, much like a radio receives radio signals to produce spoken word and songs.

L: the cold, stainless-steel Logic that sees the world purely objectively, like a robotic computer that takes in and analyzes things in a totally impartial and neutral way, without emotion of any kind.

D: the little Demon in you, that mischievous entity that plays pranks and does impish things. Can sometimes be very destructive and hurtful.

These entities all comprise the human subconscious, which is the true engine that drives each and every one of us in our daily lives. They all work together and, depending on how one’s DNA is wired, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

I will not get into the moral implications of good and evil, only stating that they exist in all of us to some extent and, in others, they comprise their whole being. Sociopaths and psychopaths are an example.

Destiny or Free Will? Both!

We can communicate with what I term our Inner CHILD, or we can ignore it and just float through life, going wherever it takes us.

I contend that we do have a destiny. Each of us, when we are conceived (not born), have a certain imprint from those celestial bodies that mediate and modulate our behaviors; in fact, everything we do in life. This is imprinted onto our DNA when it first forms chemically in that single cell that will later become an individual being.

When we are first imprinted by the Universe, using celestiophysics, we are then given a map of destiny that propels us through life. Some of us follow this map without much thought. Others, like me, question it each day and consciously make a choice whether to follow that map or go “off-map” and do something that we were not initially programmed to do. Again, most people do not pay much if any attention to their map of destiny. They simply live life and go with the flow.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, but wouldn’t it be cool if you actually knew how it worked so you could use this invaluable tool to your advantage?

These thoughts bring me to my personal philosophy, Subism. It holds that the human subconscious is direct communication with the Universe, and that celestial bodies (planets, stars, whatever) directly and indirectly influence all life on earth. The philosophers of old weren’t familiar with celestiophysics, so they formulated their own ideas about how humans operate and function, and what makes us do the things we do. I suggest that we do all the things we do because of the strong, inexorable influences of celestiophysics, which we can to some extent manipulate and control.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time trying to read the minds of other people when we should be learning how to read our own and get in touch with our own subconscious.

How Do You Use Your Inner CHILD to Help You Write?

We can start with something we all agree on: we dream a lot. Sometimes you may not recall each or any dream, but your subconscious is actively dreaming, sending little (and giant) messages up to your conscious self to do certain things, avoid other things. Dreams are one method the subconscious uses to communicate with your conscious self.

Interestingly, when your subconscious presents a dream to you, it does so in very rudimentary language. We dream in metaphors and symbols and motifs, not in complete film-like visions. Our Inner CHILD only knows one method of talking to our conscious self, and that is in the language of a child, a small voice that expresses itself using little vignettes that represent small words and actions. Curiously our subconscious also uses phrases and sayings from books or passages we've read or from certain songs we've heard.

I’ve never heard of anyone dreaming in the language of an adult. Never. If someone tells you that they do in fact dream this way, it’s not a deep-sleep dream but a lucid dream, one you actually control because you’re partly conscious.

During a very difficult time in my life some years back, I had a recurring dream: a was sitting in a bus filled with other people. I wasn’t talking or interacting with those people, just sitting alone and minding my own business. Then the bus suddenly filled with water, as if we’d just plunged into the middle of an ocean. No one around me moved an inch or spoke anything to me or to each other. They all just sat there as the bus filled with water. I looked around, saw stone-cold faces on my fellow passengers, and tried frantically to get out.

And then the dream went lucid, where I could actually manipulate the dream in a semi-conscious state. I changed the dream so I got out of that sinking bus.

Since I had already known that my Inner CHILD was responsible for communicating with me, I then figured out a way to interpret what my subconscious was trying to tell me. I didn’t get it at first, so the dream stayed with me each night for a week or so, until I woke up and listened to my subconscious. To interpret my dream, which was in the language of a child, I used the thoughts, ideas and words of a child, say, of about four years old.

When I used this method, interpreting the dream in a child’s voice, the dream became clear: “I can’t get out and no one will help me.” Simple as that.

The dream told me that I was in a world of hurt and no one was coming to my aid, even when I actively asked for help. In the real world, I was on my own. I have a term for that: yoyo, which means "you’re on your own" when things get really tough for you. I was yoyo for a long time, until I realized what was actually happening, then when I figured out my temporary predicament, I was able to change how I thought, how I acted, and consequently the actions I took to climb out of that dark hole, from inside that sinking bus.

You may be quick to dismiss this as overly simplistic. Please do not. Instead, try it for yourself, using previous dreams you've had, and try to corroborate the newly interpreted message with how things worked out for you subsequently.

How Do We Use Our Subconscious To Cure Writer's Block?

Once you follow the prescription below, your Writer's Block will slowly dissipate and disappear altogether.

Learn how to feed your subconscious properly, to nurture it. You would do this with a human child, wouldn’t you? Your Inner CHILD is even more important. It’s the entity within yourself that guides you through every moment of your entire life. How could you not want to nurture such a being?

Your Inner CHILD is energetic and rambunctious, has a voracious appetite for new adventures and actions, so get out in the world and do stuff. Travel to new places, meet new people, eat new foods, explore new vistas. If you cannot afford to go to Europe or Africa, then explore your own town or city, or maybe drive to the next state and see what’s up there.

If those things are not in your current budget, then find a way to make it happen, now that you know your Inner CHILD needs these things. You need these things, too, dear Writer.

Your subconscious loves to run and jump and play around, so get out and exercise your body, even if it’s a long walk or hike. If you’re going to be a sedentary writer, then your subconscious will eventually rebel. Yes, I do know some overweight writers who do well, but they don’t last too long. Unfortunately, they die young and the being that dies first is their Inner CHILD.

This explains how people sometimes grow cold and distant, and they lose their humanity. In reality, they’re losing the most important part of them—their subconscious.

The CHILD inside you needs stimulation, and the world around you provides just that, so please take full advantage of your atmosphere and make it a daily routine to get out of your office and home and see different and stimulating sites, absorb what you sense all around you, roll in the grass, get dirty and make mud pies . . . something. There’s a new movement out there that is telling all of us to “ground” ourself with the earth. Actually get down on the bare ground and let it touch your skin. The earth is one giant healing mechanism, so find out more about grounding and then implement your new-found knowledge.

What else? Take trips to local stores, shops, museums, businesses that produce something interesting to see designed or in the process of being built. Feed your imagination ‘til its cup runneth over. There are no penalties for overfilling that cup. When your subconscious has had enough, it will tell you.

Go to shows, films, performances and watch the beautiful artwork of people who are just like you: they have a dream, they design and build it, then they do whatever it takes to implement it. Seeing the art of others is inspiring on all levels, especially when they’re actually creating it.

Visit the local hardware store and look at all the tools and items that are used to build things. Check out a restaurant and see how they prepare their meals. I feel it a grand experience to observe artists designing and building things, because it’s not unlike what I do when I create my own stories. In fact, watching other artists may be the most inspiring thing you can witness for yourself when you go out on these little excursions. I love watching glass-blowers! Especially the truly great ones who produce the world’s finest artisan glasswork, those Murano artists in Italy! Wow, they’re amazing to watch. When I’m done witnessing world-class art in motion, I leave with an all-body tingle that’s right up there with the best orgasms ever. Now that is a powerful thought, huh? What an inspiration!

The point is to experience how people outside you and your world of friends and acquaintances conduct their lives and do what they do. When you do, you become a part of their work, too, and you fuel their own desires and passions. You become a part of their artistic process. Let these artists do the same for you.

If your story is set in a beachside resort, go find one and write from there. If you can’t afford to be there, then find a nice area at a beach where you can write and be inspired. Maybe your story takes place in a cool dive bar. Find one and soak up the atmosphere for a few hours. Try not to drink too much or you may not get as much work done. Oh, and please remember: beer all over a keyboard is major notgoodness.

Get Off Your Tush and Connect With Real Human Beings

People make the world go round. And round. When I sometimes forget to get out of my office, which I love, I find that I miss the company of good people. So I jump out of my chair and go find someone to say hello to, ask questions about them, take an interest in another human being, share my own thoughts and experiences with them.

Connecting with another human being is one of the most important acts we should perform on a regular basis. When we don’t, we get lonely and grumpy. Your Inner CHILD does not make a good companion when it’s idle, lonely, cranky and without proper stimulation from the outside world. Use is or you lose it.

Eat something different each day. It doesn’t take much to break up your diet, so try a new cuisine on Friday night, share it with friends, savor every bite. Your subconscious will be as joyful as your conscious self, I promise you.

Considering all the nourishment I suggest above, one item is very clear: it all feeds your subconscious with new stimuli that will aid you in curing Writer's Block and help you write whatever you wish.

How Do You Listen to Your Inner CHILD When It Speaks to You?

First, let’s consider when your subconscious is actually trying to tell you something. An example: you’re sitting in a chair, writing away and you get this nagging voice inside your head that says you need a small pillow at your lower back. Don’t ignore it.

This is your subconscious telling you something: I want to feel comfortable when I tell you this cool story to write.

Those little voices that creep up at all times of the day and night are the core of your subconscious trying to tell you something. You should listen to those voices. Now, if they tell you to go out and run over the first pedestrian you come across, I would think really hard before carrying out that command. If you listen to voices like that, someone will probably have you committed or take you out back and tie you to a tree. How’s that for grounding?

When you hear the calling of your subconscious, please take a listen, pay attention to what it is trying to say, then, provided the command is a reasonable one, please act on it. Once you start listening to your subconscious, it will say, “Aha, my human is finally listening to me! Way to go!” And, from that point forward, if you continue to listen to your subconscious, it will give you more and more great knowledge and information that will not only enhance your life, but also cure Writer's Block and help you write better.

Communicating with your subconscious is not that challenging. Again, if it tells you to do something and you do it, then you’re effectively communicating with your subconscious. Keep doing it. And when you go to bed at night (or during the day, depending on your lifestyle and schedule), ask out loud and write down some questions or topics that you want your subconscious to mull over while your typist and bus driver are passed out for eight hours. When those guys are comatose, your subconscious is hard at play on its own eight-hour vacation.

How To Train Your Subconscious to Work For You

The more you listen to your subconscious, the more it will talk back and provide the information you need. You can train it to give you more and more information by asking questions, writing them down, then sleeping on them. Keep asking the same questions over and over until you get what you want. When asking questions or asking for help, please be kind to your subconscious.

Remember: your subconscious is a child and understands when you are being impatient or downright tedious. You know how people say to treat yourself kindly and gently? They’re really saying you should be kind and gentle to your subconscious.

The reason I suggest you say what you want out loud is because when you speak it and hear your own words, your brain stores and processes that information in different areas, which work in unison to come to your aid. When you physically write it down, that too is stored and processed in another part of your brain. When you read your own words, that is also stored and processed in yet a different part of your brain.

These working areas are also complex computing centers that help to enhance what you desire and wish for, and they help your subconscious make those wishes and dreams come true.

Training your subconscious involves all the above steps, plus actively talking to it, and not just before you go to sleep. You can have meaningful conversations with your subconscious, not only asking questions but also asking for guidance and assistance. The more you communicate with it, the more it responds and with better and more relevant information that will help and guide you accurately.

The only time my subconscious has failed me is when I have ignored it. That fact, in itself, I find fascinating and compelling. My subconscious has never steered me in the wrong or in a negative direction. Ever. When I’ve chosen to go off-map, then sometimes I’ve gotten into trouble. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from those experiential experiences, especially when off-map, but I’ve also paid a steep price for venturing off my Universal path.

Talk to the Individual Components of Your Subconscious

You also can talk to the individual components of your subconscious. It takes time and effort, but you can do it. I’ve often consulted my Logic element to get an objective view on a particular subject. And when I’ve needed to discuss something about my love life, I’ve talked to my Heart.

Having five separate ultra-complex computer modules inside your head is like having a team of experts of the Universe at your beck and call. Thing is, you must treat that team nicely and with great respect or it will ignore you and your queries. Your subconscious will never be vengeful and send you down a wrong path; only your conscious self does that.

The worst you can expect from your subconscious is silence, and that is the most crushing thing that could happen to your beautiful mind, not having the backing of one of the mightiest beings in the Universe.

This may be one of the causes of Writer's Block: your subconscious shutting down.

When Your Subconscious Goes Dark

When your subconscious fails to talk to you or communicate with you, something is very wrong. Remember that your subconscious is a child, so it needs special attention. Like I said, it will never steer you wrong, but it may ignore you. If it does, ask what’s up. Yes, really.

When you go to bed, write down that question, plus a few others: Are you okay? Have I done something really dumb to make you ignore me? What am I doing wrong here? How can I get back on track? Will you please help me?

The times I’ve had my subconscious go silent, they were when I was not treating myself well. I’ve had some challenging jobs in my life—scientist, Army Ranger, corporate security specialist—and each one has brought on a host of problems and challenges that drove me bananas at times. Sometimes after very difficult days, I would drink one too many beers, which is a great way to shut down one’s subconscious.

Point is, I abused myself and I paid for it, not only externally but also internally. Be kind and gentle to yourself, and your subconscious will thank you for it in ways you cannot even imagine now.

Your Subconscious Will Cure Writer's Block and Write Everything For You

All you need to do is nurture it and treat it like it’s the most precious thing in the Universe. It will help you cure Writer's Block, design your story, then guide your typist to get it all down on paper, virtual or real.

You must first master the inner workings of your subconscious before you can begin. Once you do, may you never ever suffer from Writer's Block again.

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Written by RioRamirez
Cure Writer's Block
From William Garner's article on LinkedIn:

Writer's Block Is a Real Phenomenon That Resides in Your Subconscious

In all my years of writing, I’ve suffered from several different maladies and conditions but never the one we all fear and loathe: Writer’s Block. This doesn’t mean I don’t understand it, though, because I do. I’ve studied it in other people over the decades and have formulated my hypothesis about it and what causes it.

Writer's Block resides deep within your subconscious and can be accessed primarily through dreams and dreaming, and sometimes consciously by communicating with that nagging little voice at the back of your mind.

I’ve done experiments on myself to artificially induce Writer’s Block, and have been overwhelmingly successful. Those results were a dubious success, of course, because no one wishes to suffer from this dreadful disease of the subconscious, let alone for any extended period of time. But at least I saw it first hand.

When I stated above that I’ve never suffered from Writer’s Block, I meant it while I was actively writing, not experimentally inducing it for the purpose of intensive study.

What Are Some of the Probable Causes of Writer’s Block?

There is no one cause, because Writer’s Block may surface slowly or all at once at any point in the writing process. If you’re at the very beginning, with not even a storyline in mind, and you can’t write even write that first word, then the cause may be lack of passion, direction or drive.

Of course, one of the worst causes is wanting desperately to write but not having anything to write about. The next is having too many distractions that cloud the whole dreaming, designing, building and writing process.

If you’re not passionate about what you do, then the art of writing becomes a chore, a drudgery. And you’ll likely not write much, or even finish your writing project. You must love what you wish to write about, be absolutely passionate about it, because this is a story that you will share with other people. Writing becomes a chore when you’re simply writing for money or a reason other than for passion.

I’ve read published books by authors who seemed to be doing it for the money, and it’s reflected in their work. I’ve also talked with authors who’ve told me their prime motivation was to earn lots of money. Some did it well, but their work wasn’t as good as others’ whose artwork was based on a deep-seated passion that underlies and fuels it.

Passion is a deep, often hidden desire to express yourself and what you have to say, what you believe in so fiercely that it must come out in some artistic form. And when it surfaces, it’s in the form of a book, your first book.

If you’re in the middle of actually writing your first book, and Writer’s Block creeps up on you and your work grinds to a halt, then the cause is more likely your not being in sufficient contact with your subconscious, such that when your subconscious needs to connect with your typist and it cannot, the subconscious gets pouty or just plain angry and closes down for a period of time.

This is the time you need to take a step back from your work and ask yourself: How am I not in good contact with my subconscious now? What happened such that I lost contact? And how do I get back on track?

You could be stressed out at work and this is impinging on your writing at night or on weekends. Your family may be undergoing a crisis, something that takes you away from your work and your subconscious’s working for you on your book project. You must notice what the cause is and do whatever it takes to assuage the negative effects so you can get back to the fun business of writing your first book.

If You Suffer From Writer's Block, Ask Yourself This Important Question

“Am I still passionate about writing this book?”

Could be that you initially started your first book because you were inspired by a lover who came into your life, turned it upside down, and you fell in love so deeply that you got lost in all that passion. You began writing about it and then, out of the blue, your lover suddenly disappeared . . . along with the fiery passion that had driven you to embark on the journey to begin with.

This happens sometimes. It’s not the end of the world, although the pain is often unbearable, not just the loss of a loved one but also the loss of your passion for writing a book you thought you would finish and get out there for all to read and appreciate.

It may be a good idea, too, to write down the question, say it aloud before you go to sleep, so your subconscious will hear you and come up with some answers. If your subconscious isn’t paying you much mind, for whatever reason, you may consider taking a long break from your project, say, a month, then returning to it with a fresh look.

If you have somehow lost interest in your writing project, or if your passion has waned even a little, then you might want to consider trying another approach to writing this particular book, or choose another idea altogether. This doesn’t mean you should quit your current project. It may need to ferment a bit more, so put it aside and try something else, another story idea.

What Is Your Subconscious and How Do You Communicate With It to Overcome Writer's Block?

One of the greatest creations in the Universe, besides majestic planets like Earth and powerful energy sources like our sun, is the human subconscious. It is in direct communication with the Universe, which suggests it also communicates collectively with the subconscious of others.

You do not have to believe in this line of thought to write anything, even though I have injected small hints that you should consider it. Whatever you choose to believe, the fact is that you must give your writing sufficient time to develop. Time comes in days, weeks and months.

I’ve studied the human subconscious, mostly in myself, since I was a child, wondering what inner engine drove me to do the things I did. I didn’t have to think about doing certain things, I just did them. Sometimes they were rational and positive; other times, not so.

One item I discovered over the years was that there was a clear line between what I did consciously and how my mind functioned subconsciously. When I went to sleep each night, I knew there was a whole different creature that came alive and took me on endless journeys through space and time, introducing me to new thoughts, ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things in my life.

Your Subconscious, or Inner CHILD, is a Real Person Inside You

Nearly 15 years ago, I woke up one morning and scrambled out of bed to write something down. Whatever was in my head at that moment had to come out and it wasn’t going to wait for my bus driver, my typist, to take dictation. It was coming in a flood and that was that.

When I got to my notepad, my hand started scribbling things down. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing, I just took it on faith that I had to do this.

After I was done autowriting, I looked at what had emerged: a single word, along with details about each letter of the word. It was an acronym, CHILD:

C: the little Child in you, the curious wide-eyed being that looks at the world without filters and preconceived notions about anything. A little sponge that senses things with wonder and awe.

H: the true Heart in you, the purely subjective part, filled with every conceivable emotion known.

I: your Intuition or information-gathering system, the sensory apparatus that receives every possible stimulus in the Universe, much like a radio receives radio signals to produce spoken word and songs.

L: the cold, stainless-steel Logic that sees the world purely objectively, like a robotic computer that takes in and analyzes things in a totally impartial and neutral way, without emotion of any kind.

D: the little Demon in you, that mischievous entity that plays pranks and does impish things. Can sometimes be very destructive and hurtful.

These entities all comprise the human subconscious, which is the true engine that drives each and every one of us in our daily lives. They all work together and, depending on how one’s DNA is wired, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

I will not get into the moral implications of good and evil, only stating that they exist in all of us to some extent and, in others, they comprise their whole being. Sociopaths and psychopaths are an example.

Destiny or Free Will? Both!

We can communicate with what I term our Inner CHILD, or we can ignore it and just float through life, going wherever it takes us.

I contend that we do have a destiny. Each of us, when we are conceived (not born), have a certain imprint from those celestial bodies that mediate and modulate our behaviors; in fact, everything we do in life. This is imprinted onto our DNA when it first forms chemically in that single cell that will later become an individual being.

When we are first imprinted by the Universe, using celestiophysics, we are then given a map of destiny that propels us through life. Some of us follow this map without much thought. Others, like me, question it each day and consciously make a choice whether to follow that map or go “off-map” and do something that we were not initially programmed to do. Again, most people do not pay much if any attention to their map of destiny. They simply live life and go with the flow.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, but wouldn’t it be cool if you actually knew how it worked so you could use this invaluable tool to your advantage?

These thoughts bring me to my personal philosophy, Subism. It holds that the human subconscious is direct communication with the Universe, and that celestial bodies (planets, stars, whatever) directly and indirectly influence all life on earth. The philosophers of old weren’t familiar with celestiophysics, so they formulated their own ideas about how humans operate and function, and what makes us do the things we do. I suggest that we do all the things we do because of the strong, inexorable influences of celestiophysics, which we can to some extent manipulate and control.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time trying to read the minds of other people when we should be learning how to read our own and get in touch with our own subconscious.

How Do You Use Your Inner CHILD to Help You Write?

We can start with something we all agree on: we dream a lot. Sometimes you may not recall each or any dream, but your subconscious is actively dreaming, sending little (and giant) messages up to your conscious self to do certain things, avoid other things. Dreams are one method the subconscious uses to communicate with your conscious self.

Interestingly, when your subconscious presents a dream to you, it does so in very rudimentary language. We dream in metaphors and symbols and motifs, not in complete film-like visions. Our Inner CHILD only knows one method of talking to our conscious self, and that is in the language of a child, a small voice that expresses itself using little vignettes that represent small words and actions. Curiously our subconscious also uses phrases and sayings from books or passages we've read or from certain songs we've heard.

I’ve never heard of anyone dreaming in the language of an adult. Never. If someone tells you that they do in fact dream this way, it’s not a deep-sleep dream but a lucid dream, one you actually control because you’re partly conscious.

During a very difficult time in my life some years back, I had a recurring dream: a was sitting in a bus filled with other people. I wasn’t talking or interacting with those people, just sitting alone and minding my own business. Then the bus suddenly filled with water, as if we’d just plunged into the middle of an ocean. No one around me moved an inch or spoke anything to me or to each other. They all just sat there as the bus filled with water. I looked around, saw stone-cold faces on my fellow passengers, and tried frantically to get out.

And then the dream went lucid, where I could actually manipulate the dream in a semi-conscious state. I changed the dream so I got out of that sinking bus.

Since I had already known that my Inner CHILD was responsible for communicating with me, I then figured out a way to interpret what my subconscious was trying to tell me. I didn’t get it at first, so the dream stayed with me each night for a week or so, until I woke up and listened to my subconscious. To interpret my dream, which was in the language of a child, I used the thoughts, ideas and words of a child, say, of about four years old.

When I used this method, interpreting the dream in a child’s voice, the dream became clear: “I can’t get out and no one will help me.” Simple as that.

The dream told me that I was in a world of hurt and no one was coming to my aid, even when I actively asked for help. In the real world, I was on my own. I have a term for that: yoyo, which means "you’re on your own" when things get really tough for you. I was yoyo for a long time, until I realized what was actually happening, then when I figured out my temporary predicament, I was able to change how I thought, how I acted, and consequently the actions I took to climb out of that dark hole, from inside that sinking bus.

You may be quick to dismiss this as overly simplistic. Please do not. Instead, try it for yourself, using previous dreams you've had, and try to corroborate the newly interpreted message with how things worked out for you subsequently.

How Do We Use Our Subconscious To Cure Writer's Block?

Once you follow the prescription below, your Writer's Block will slowly dissipate and disappear altogether.

Learn how to feed your subconscious properly, to nurture it. You would do this with a human child, wouldn’t you? Your Inner CHILD is even more important. It’s the entity within yourself that guides you through every moment of your entire life. How could you not want to nurture such a being?

Your Inner CHILD is energetic and rambunctious, has a voracious appetite for new adventures and actions, so get out in the world and do stuff. Travel to new places, meet new people, eat new foods, explore new vistas. If you cannot afford to go to Europe or Africa, then explore your own town or city, or maybe drive to the next state and see what’s up there.

If those things are not in your current budget, then find a way to make it happen, now that you know your Inner CHILD needs these things. You need these things, too, dear Writer.

Your subconscious loves to run and jump and play around, so get out and exercise your body, even if it’s a long walk or hike. If you’re going to be a sedentary writer, then your subconscious will eventually rebel. Yes, I do know some overweight writers who do well, but they don’t last too long. Unfortunately, they die young and the being that dies first is their Inner CHILD.

This explains how people sometimes grow cold and distant, and they lose their humanity. In reality, they’re losing the most important part of them—their subconscious.
The CHILD inside you needs stimulation, and the world around you provides just that, so please take full advantage of your atmosphere and make it a daily routine to get out of your office and home and see different and stimulating sites, absorb what you sense all around you, roll in the grass, get dirty and make mud pies . . . something. There’s a new movement out there that is telling all of us to “ground” ourself with the earth. Actually get down on the bare ground and let it touch your skin. The earth is one giant healing mechanism, so find out more about grounding and then implement your new-found knowledge.

What else? Take trips to local stores, shops, museums, businesses that produce something interesting to see designed or in the process of being built. Feed your imagination ‘til its cup runneth over. There are no penalties for overfilling that cup. When your subconscious has had enough, it will tell you.

Go to shows, films, performances and watch the beautiful artwork of people who are just like you: they have a dream, they design and build it, then they do whatever it takes to implement it. Seeing the art of others is inspiring on all levels, especially when they’re actually creating it.

Visit the local hardware store and look at all the tools and items that are used to build things. Check out a restaurant and see how they prepare their meals. I feel it a grand experience to observe artists designing and building things, because it’s not unlike what I do when I create my own stories. In fact, watching other artists may be the most inspiring thing you can witness for yourself when you go out on these little excursions. I love watching glass-blowers! Especially the truly great ones who produce the world’s finest artisan glasswork, those Murano artists in Italy! Wow, they’re amazing to watch. When I’m done witnessing world-class art in motion, I leave with an all-body tingle that’s right up there with the best orgasms ever. Now that is a powerful thought, huh? What an inspiration!

The point is to experience how people outside you and your world of friends and acquaintances conduct their lives and do what they do. When you do, you become a part of their work, too, and you fuel their own desires and passions. You become a part of their artistic process. Let these artists do the same for you.

If your story is set in a beachside resort, go find one and write from there. If you can’t afford to be there, then find a nice area at a beach where you can write and be inspired. Maybe your story takes place in a cool dive bar. Find one and soak up the atmosphere for a few hours. Try not to drink too much or you may not get as much work done. Oh, and please remember: beer all over a keyboard is major notgoodness.

Get Off Your Tush and Connect With Real Human Beings

People make the world go round. And round. When I sometimes forget to get out of my office, which I love, I find that I miss the company of good people. So I jump out of my chair and go find someone to say hello to, ask questions about them, take an interest in another human being, share my own thoughts and experiences with them.

Connecting with another human being is one of the most important acts we should perform on a regular basis. When we don’t, we get lonely and grumpy. Your Inner CHILD does not make a good companion when it’s idle, lonely, cranky and without proper stimulation from the outside world. Use is or you lose it.

Eat something different each day. It doesn’t take much to break up your diet, so try a new cuisine on Friday night, share it with friends, savor every bite. Your subconscious will be as joyful as your conscious self, I promise you.

Considering all the nourishment I suggest above, one item is very clear: it all feeds your subconscious with new stimuli that will aid you in curing Writer's Block and help you write whatever you wish.

How Do You Listen to Your Inner CHILD When It Speaks to You?

First, let’s consider when your subconscious is actually trying to tell you something. An example: you’re sitting in a chair, writing away and you get this nagging voice inside your head that says you need a small pillow at your lower back. Don’t ignore it.

This is your subconscious telling you something: I want to feel comfortable when I tell you this cool story to write.

Those little voices that creep up at all times of the day and night are the core of your subconscious trying to tell you something. You should listen to those voices. Now, if they tell you to go out and run over the first pedestrian you come across, I would think really hard before carrying out that command. If you listen to voices like that, someone will probably have you committed or take you out back and tie you to a tree. How’s that for grounding?

When you hear the calling of your subconscious, please take a listen, pay attention to what it is trying to say, then, provided the command is a reasonable one, please act on it. Once you start listening to your subconscious, it will say, “Aha, my human is finally listening to me! Way to go!” And, from that point forward, if you continue to listen to your subconscious, it will give you more and more great knowledge and information that will not only enhance your life, but also cure Writer's Block and help you write better.

Communicating with your subconscious is not that challenging. Again, if it tells you to do something and you do it, then you’re effectively communicating with your subconscious. Keep doing it. And when you go to bed at night (or during the day, depending on your lifestyle and schedule), ask out loud and write down some questions or topics that you want your subconscious to mull over while your typist and bus driver are passed out for eight hours. When those guys are comatose, your subconscious is hard at play on its own eight-hour vacation.

How To Train Your Subconscious to Work For You

The more you listen to your subconscious, the more it will talk back and provide the information you need. You can train it to give you more and more information by asking questions, writing them down, then sleeping on them. Keep asking the same questions over and over until you get what you want. When asking questions or asking for help, please be kind to your subconscious.

Remember: your subconscious is a child and understands when you are being impatient or downright tedious. You know how people say to treat yourself kindly and gently? They’re really saying you should be kind and gentle to your subconscious.

The reason I suggest you say what you want out loud is because when you speak it and hear your own words, your brain stores and processes that information in different areas, which work in unison to come to your aid. When you physically write it down, that too is stored and processed in another part of your brain. When you read your own words, that is also stored and processed in yet a different part of your brain.

These working areas are also complex computing centers that help to enhance what you desire and wish for, and they help your subconscious make those wishes and dreams come true.

Training your subconscious involves all the above steps, plus actively talking to it, and not just before you go to sleep. You can have meaningful conversations with your subconscious, not only asking questions but also asking for guidance and assistance. The more you communicate with it, the more it responds and with better and more relevant information that will help and guide you accurately.

The only time my subconscious has failed me is when I have ignored it. That fact, in itself, I find fascinating and compelling. My subconscious has never steered me in the wrong or in a negative direction. Ever. When I’ve chosen to go off-map, then sometimes I’ve gotten into trouble. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from those experiential experiences, especially when off-map, but I’ve also paid a steep price for venturing off my Universal path.

Talk to the Individual Components of Your Subconscious

You also can talk to the individual components of your subconscious. It takes time and effort, but you can do it. I’ve often consulted my Logic element to get an objective view on a particular subject. And when I’ve needed to discuss something about my love life, I’ve talked to my Heart.

Having five separate ultra-complex computer modules inside your head is like having a team of experts of the Universe at your beck and call. Thing is, you must treat that team nicely and with great respect or it will ignore you and your queries. Your subconscious will never be vengeful and send you down a wrong path; only your conscious self does that.

The worst you can expect from your subconscious is silence, and that is the most crushing thing that could happen to your beautiful mind, not having the backing of one of the mightiest beings in the Universe.

This may be one of the causes of Writer's Block: your subconscious shutting down.

When Your Subconscious Goes Dark

When your subconscious fails to talk to you or communicate with you, something is very wrong. Remember that your subconscious is a child, so it needs special attention. Like I said, it will never steer you wrong, but it may ignore you. If it does, ask what’s up. Yes, really.

When you go to bed, write down that question, plus a few others: Are you okay? Have I done something really dumb to make you ignore me? What am I doing wrong here? How can I get back on track? Will you please help me?

The times I’ve had my subconscious go silent, they were when I was not treating myself well. I’ve had some challenging jobs in my life—scientist, Army Ranger, corporate security specialist—and each one has brought on a host of problems and challenges that drove me bananas at times. Sometimes after very difficult days, I would drink one too many beers, which is a great way to shut down one’s subconscious.

Point is, I abused myself and I paid for it, not only externally but also internally. Be kind and gentle to yourself, and your subconscious will thank you for it in ways you cannot even imagine now.

Your Subconscious Will Cure Writer's Block and Write Everything For You

All you need to do is nurture it and treat it like it’s the most precious thing in the Universe. It will help you cure Writer's Block, design your story, then guide your typist to get it all down on paper, virtual or real.

You must first master the inner workings of your subconscious before you can begin. Once you do, may you never ever suffer from Writer's Block again.
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #nonfiction  #romance  #horror  #adventure  #education  #childrens  #poetry  #science  #philosophy  #spirituality  #news  #writersblock 
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Written by eamarwen

A Letter

After your heart is ripped out of your chest, the world feels black and white. Like an old depressing movie about smoking cigarettes and drinking whisky. I want to tell you something. I want to tell you how I feel. Most of all I want you to understand something.

Do you know what you've done? I do not believe you do. In some twisted way you think you singlehandedly destroy everything you touch. You don't.

Having a woman from your past yelling at me and telling you what to say, that is not the actions of a man. Not giving me a chance to understand is not the actions of a man. I never wanted to fix you. I wanted you to fix yourself. I just wanted to love you and be loved back. I believe that everyone is capable of love. Even you. Even if you don't think so yourself. But I've seen you love. You love the sea. I can see it in your eyes when they glance over the horizon. And even if you just said you loved me because you think that's what I wanted to hear, I know that you can love, and you will. Maybe you will never love me, but that is not the point here.

I wish I could look back at our time together and feel joy. I could see us together. I really could. I fell for you so fast and I didn't mean to.

I don't understand American culture. It is possessive and weird. You did not disrespect me, you messed up. If you didn't want to be with me just say so. Do not talk about not being worthy. Who is? I know I'm not. I am a cheater, a liar, I use people when I get the chance. I am not a good person. I try, but life is hard. Even for me, even though I've not lived as long as you.

I've constantly been told I'm not good enough, not beautiful enough, that I'm a waste. I am not wanted. Now I'm in a good place, or at least I hope it's going to last. I am still in love with you. At the same time I hate you. You never gave me a fair chance.

And just like that its gone. But you know what? When people give me shit, I will use it as manure and grow. You might have broken my heart, the pieces that are left of it anyway. I am afraid that this is going to make me bitter. I am afraid that I'm not going to believe in love and its awesome power. However, I'm going to try my best. I want to find my Aragorn. I thought it might be you. But like all fairytales they end.

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Written by eamarwen
A Letter
After your heart is ripped out of your chest, the world feels black and white. Like an old depressing movie about smoking cigarettes and drinking whisky. I want to tell you something. I want to tell you how I feel. Most of all I want you to understand something.
Do you know what you've done? I do not believe you do. In some twisted way you think you singlehandedly destroy everything you touch. You don't.

Having a woman from your past yelling at me and telling you what to say, that is not the actions of a man. Not giving me a chance to understand is not the actions of a man. I never wanted to fix you. I wanted you to fix yourself. I just wanted to love you and be loved back. I believe that everyone is capable of love. Even you. Even if you don't think so yourself. But I've seen you love. You love the sea. I can see it in your eyes when they glance over the horizon. And even if you just said you loved me because you think that's what I wanted to hear, I know that you can love, and you will. Maybe you will never love me, but that is not the point here.

I wish I could look back at our time together and feel joy. I could see us together. I really could. I fell for you so fast and I didn't mean to.

I don't understand American culture. It is possessive and weird. You did not disrespect me, you messed up. If you didn't want to be with me just say so. Do not talk about not being worthy. Who is? I know I'm not. I am a cheater, a liar, I use people when I get the chance. I am not a good person. I try, but life is hard. Even for me, even though I've not lived as long as you.

I've constantly been told I'm not good enough, not beautiful enough, that I'm a waste. I am not wanted. Now I'm in a good place, or at least I hope it's going to last. I am still in love with you. At the same time I hate you. You never gave me a fair chance.
And just like that its gone. But you know what? When people give me shit, I will use it as manure and grow. You might have broken my heart, the pieces that are left of it anyway. I am afraid that this is going to make me bitter. I am afraid that I'm not going to believe in love and its awesome power. However, I'm going to try my best. I want to find my Aragorn. I thought it might be you. But like all fairytales they end.
#nonfiction  #romance  #heartbreak  #eamarwen 
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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by ouzelums_wake

Lepidoptery

The magistrate was having a smoke and pondering alternative careers when a flutter of blue tugged the corner of his eye; a young man was walking briskly down Marlborough Street, his trench coat untied and catching the wind like a wing. The fine poplin was dyed with dusky woad, but to the magistrate, it looked cut from a bolt of evening sky.

He stamped his cigarette and chased the young man, keeping just shy of a run. The young man’s brisk pace was offset by his strange trajectory, veering left and right, sometimes onto the front steps of an office, sometimes into the street, and so was easy to catch.

“Pardon,” said the magistrate nearly out of breath. The young man turned, his face white as parchment, his eyes large and almond-shaped. “Sorry to interrupt your errands,” he continued, “but can you give me the name of your coat maker? It’s quite a beautiful garment.”

The young man thought for a second as if he did not understand the question. “No one made this coat, Sir. It has always been in my possession ever since I was born.”

The magistrate laughed. “That’s an awfully big coat for a newborn. Although I supposed you may have been swaddled in it.”

“Oh, it wasn’t a coat at the time, Sir, and it certainly wasn’t this size. My mother tells me it began as a blue dot on my tongue which grew into a coil of ribbon I used as a pacifier. My earliest memory of it was a bow tie I wore as a child, then as a shirt I wore everyday at boarding school. And now…” The young man took hold of both flaps of his coat and spread them out like wings.

The boy is mad, thought the magistrate helplessly infatuated. “Are you busy? Join me for a cup of tea.”

“But teatime is nearly over. You must be due for the courts,” said the young man pedantically.

“Oh, I have just resigned. Come, let us celebrate,” said the very recently unemployed older man unable to tame his excitement.

The young man said nothing, he just nodded and smiled a smile that reminded the older man of those faces painted on the backs of tropical insects.

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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by ouzelums_wake
Lepidoptery
The magistrate was having a smoke and pondering alternative careers when a flutter of blue tugged the corner of his eye; a young man was walking briskly down Marlborough Street, his trench coat untied and catching the wind like a wing. The fine poplin was dyed with dusky woad, but to the magistrate, it looked cut from a bolt of evening sky.

He stamped his cigarette and chased the young man, keeping just shy of a run. The young man’s brisk pace was offset by his strange trajectory, veering left and right, sometimes onto the front steps of an office, sometimes into the street, and so was easy to catch.

“Pardon,” said the magistrate nearly out of breath. The young man turned, his face white as parchment, his eyes large and almond-shaped. “Sorry to interrupt your errands,” he continued, “but can you give me the name of your coat maker? It’s quite a beautiful garment.”

The young man thought for a second as if he did not understand the question. “No one made this coat, Sir. It has always been in my possession ever since I was born.”

The magistrate laughed. “That’s an awfully big coat for a newborn. Although I supposed you may have been swaddled in it.”

“Oh, it wasn’t a coat at the time, Sir, and it certainly wasn’t this size. My mother tells me it began as a blue dot on my tongue which grew into a coil of ribbon I used as a pacifier. My earliest memory of it was a bow tie I wore as a child, then as a shirt I wore everyday at boarding school. And now…” The young man took hold of both flaps of his coat and spread them out like wings.

The boy is mad, thought the magistrate helplessly infatuated. “Are you busy? Join me for a cup of tea.”

“But teatime is nearly over. You must be due for the courts,” said the young man pedantically.

“Oh, I have just resigned. Come, let us celebrate,” said the very recently unemployed older man unable to tame his excitement.

The young man said nothing, he just nodded and smiled a smile that reminded the older man of those faces painted on the backs of tropical insects.
#fantasy  #fiction  #romance 
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Juice
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