consciousness

Another end of year lookback

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We’re almost at the end of 2015 and I know I’m not the only to notice that it seemed to go by quickly. Almost everyone I speak to says, “where did it go?” I used to think it was only older people who felt time going quickly, but now I’m noticing it happening. Wait, maybe I’m old now?

I’m not complaining though. 2015 has been a horrible year, for a lot of people besides myself. Not only have we had terrorism all over the world but many people I know have experienced personal anguish of many kinds during this year. I’m no exception to this unfortunately. I’ve had, and am still having, problems with the benefit system here in the UK. I still don’t know if I’m going to be receiving any of the benefit I’m due. I seem to be coming up against one total fuck up after another and I don’t see why I should have to fight just to get what I’m entitled to. I’ve been living on nothing since 20th October and if it weren’t for the generosity of some of my wonderful facebook friends, the cats and I would have starved by now.

The byword for this past year is Loser. It is during this past twelve months that I have been forced to face up to the fact that I am a total loser in every respect. Looking back over my life, I have failed to succeed in every single thing I’ve tried. It is not due to lack of trying either, an accusation my mother laid at my door just the other day. I have given time and effort, and often money, into many different hobbies, crafts, and entrepreneurial pursuits, and have failed in them all.

Since June 2011, I have been writing novels and short stories and now have a backlist of twelve books, with another finished to first draft and yet another half written. All have failed to sell and still nobody is interested in my work. I have tried doing free giveaways, one facebook release event I arranged garnered the impressive attendance of just 2. I am now experiencing the painful trauma of realising that I am wasting my time publishing and probably should not bother doing so again. When I say painful, I mean it. Failing at this is the most painful thing of my entire life so far. I cannot adequately explain how much I want to be a successful novelist, and to fail so spectacularly is a burden that is too much to bear.

It is very strange to go through one’s daily existence devoid of emotional connection to one’s conscious being. To be unable to ‘feel’ anything makes the process of daily existence much like a hamster running on a wheel. One runs but never gets anywhere. It is not simply the joy that has gone, but the meaning itself, the point, the raison d’etre.

I am just one of scores who feel this way at the end of 2015 and many pseudo spiritual hanky wafters would say there’s some kind of great shift in consciousness going on, no doubt engineered by the great ones over at the Pleiades or other such spiritual masters. Poppycock. We’re sick of life the way it is, end of story.

I go into 2016 with no hope for good fortune or other rosy pink fluffy wonderfulness. As with all the others who feel as I do, I’m just glad another year is over and sure that the next one will be as dire as the last. I can’t wait for the asteroid.

Good riddance 2015.

 

Open Letter to Male Actor

Dear Male Actor (insert name of choice here)

I have been inspired to write this letter by my experiences of being your fan and I think it’s way beyond time that someone pointed a few things out to you.  You can of course, ignore the following (and you probably will even if you do find yourself here and reading) but that fact doesn’t negate the pertinence of what follows.

As with most of your female fans, I first noticed you because of your looks and my first thought was “phwoar” or something along those lines.  Shallow of me I know but then again, you trade on your looks for the most part and your acting is of secondary importance so you cannot justifiably mark me down for it.

Due to the elevated position you hold, you wield a lot of power but you often misuse this power, either due to ignorance or evil intent.  Your fans often look to you as a role model and they will take your example when acting and interacting with others in their own lives.  Many fans will choose to ‘adopt’ similar views and opinions as you, as a way of trying to be like you in the vain hope that their life will take a similar path as yours.  If the influence you have is a positive one, then they will hopefully grow in a positive way but if your influence is negative (which it often is unfortunately) then you are helping to create a new generation of maladjusted miscreants without a single compassionate bone in their bodies.

The monotonous regularity with which you hop from one casual affair to the next, the very public sexual liaisons you fail to control, the public infidelity, the self degrading alcohol/drug addictions you indulge in, the violence you publicly display towards those you are supposed to love and/or those who never deserve it and the complete ignorance of the fact that your fans finance your privileged lifestyle make you a very bad influence on today’s younger generation.

In any other profession, any employee who behaved in ways similar to those displayed by you would be summarily dismissed but again, because of your unique position, you get away with it because you can.  Just because you can, doesn’t make it right that you should.

In an ideal world, you would be constantly aware of your power to influence the very maleable minds of your fans and you would wield that power with humility and compassion.  In an ideal world you would always remember how much you owe us who have made you rich and adored by millions and you would take more time to interact with us because you’d know you owe us at least a moment of your time.  We know there aren’t enough hours in the day to spend time with each one of us but you could make a little more time to allow us to ‘reach’ you somehow.  In today’s technological world it is easy for us to reach you, if you make it possible.  In an ideal world you would realise that what the world needs now is positive role models so that our younger generation can grow up to be dependable, compassionate family men who don’t cheat on their women with every available attention seeking whore who manages to crash the Hollywood parties you cannot live without attending.  In an ideal world you would encourage those who listen to you, to honour their bodies with healthy nutrition and sensible exercise without life threatening addictions so that they can live long and healthy lives.  In an ideal world you would treasure all your fans, even those who aren’t 20 years old, skinny and blonde and surgically enhanced.

But we don’t live in an ideal world and you will continue to abuse your position.  I will still say “phwoar” whenever I see you but I will know that whilst beautiful on the outside, you’re not beautiful at all on the inside.

Seeds of Inspiration

A friend on facebook asked me not long ago, “where do you get all your ideas from?”  A simple question indeed but one that is almost impossible to answer in a way people who aren’t ‘like me’ will understand.

By ‘like me’ I mean, well like me.  Let me try to explain.  I’m autistic, which means I don’t do the social thing at all well.  I don’t mix with folks effectively and I tend to quickly piss people off and if I do make a friend, I tend to lose it pretty quickly.  This means I’m alone for most of the time, both physically and inside my head.  You know when you have friends but they’re not actually ‘here’ at this moment but you know inside your head that they exist and they’re your friends?  You have an innate knowledge that you’re not emotionally alone don’t you?  Well I don’t have that.  I’m physically alone and alone inside my head too.  Now that’s freaking alone man..!

I also have major emotional baggage left over from an abusive childhood which means I have a trust issue.  Not something you want when you’re trying to make friends.  This also tends to add to my isolation.  I’m also physically unattractive so even if men did happen to overlook my other failings, the sight of me puts them off anway.  This also means I’m destined to remain just as alone as I am now.

All of this isolation takes its toll and not all of the effects are negative, for me as a writer anyhow.  I’ve developed an immense imagination.  Every moment I’m alone I’m living one of my internal fantasies.  People who see me may think I’m just shopping or taking out the trash but really I’m exploring the outer regions of some far flung planet, searching for the ancient truth stone that will save the people and show me my one true love who just happens to be mixed race, hugely muscular, clean shaven and hung like a horse.  I may appear to be driving to the store, or to my day job but really I’m on my way from my Los Angeles mansion to meet with my agent to discuss my latest appearance on the Ellen show and whether we could fit in a spot on Jimmy Kimmel the same day or whether we need to put that one back a week.  I may appear to be doing housework but really I’m searching the cargo bay of the intergalactic freight liner for clues as to the whereabouts of the hand written  notes that would prove that hugely muscular, mixed race, well hung hunk of a prisoner is completely innocent of those murders on Taxos 4.

You see what I’m driving at?  This is me every minute of every day and several hours into each night too as I toss and turn and struggle to switch it all off so I can sleep.  The moment I wake it all starts again.  This is the stuff that fills my mind 24/7 and all of the locations, the conversations and the people are as real to me as anyone I may physically meet.  Being completely alone both physically and emotionally too, allows me to indulge in this fantasy reality to a high degree and I’ve been doing it for so long that I doubt I could stop for long and I couldn’t imagine being able to survive without it.

It’s the easiest thing in the world for me to just write this stuff down.  I’m so tapped in to my creative flow that I can just sit down and switch it on and let the words come tumbling out.  I see it all happening as I write it.  I actually live it as I write it and I feel all of the emotions each time I re read it.  All I have to do is sit down, switch on and step out of the way.  My higher self does the rest, my creativity, my muse, call it what you want.  I always say that I don’t actually write my books; my characters write them and I just take dictation.

Last night I was bored so I sat down and opened a blank word document and then opened my mind.  An hour later I had a full plot synopsis for brand new epic space adventure novel.  No pain, no tears, no agonies of writers block (what the fuck is that anyway?) and no prob laymo.

So in answer to my friend who wanted to know where I get my ideas from.  The answer is, from me.

Schlock Webzine

I’m honoured and delighted to have one of my short stories in the latest edition of Schlock Webzine, Vol 3 Iss 15

My story, The Last Man can be found here

Furyan Aria – the truth behind the shining eyes of Richard B Riddick

FURYAN ARIA – the truth behind the shining eyes of Richard B Riddick

by Merita King

copyright Merita King September 2012

All rights reserved.

Alone I stand here surrounded by fear and hate.
Hunted across worlds by those seeking their pound of flesh
for what it will bring them in the market place.
There is no peace, no sanctuary to be found.
Left to die, a baby’s cry unheeded by the strong
as they fill trashcan after trashcan.
Monsters hold no fear for him, Claws, teeth, animal instincts, hunt or be hunted,
these he understands.
The last of his kind, the omega of a nation.
Climbed from the trashcan, unwound the cord.
Relentless retreat, running, always running
but that trashcan is always there.
Climb out of the trashcan and still believe.

Don’t get too close, you don’t know me, can never know me.
Always behind a wall, peeping out.
Kill, walk away and save yourself, no one will blame you.
But they blame you anyway and hunt, always hunt.
So run, run and hide behind that wall of stoicism
for they’ll never understand you anyway.
Gonna miss the party, c’mon.
But don’t you cry for me, not for me.
They killed everything he knew,everyone he pretended not to love.
Down in the dark, he sees clearly what must be done.
Take a life? Sure. Take that life? No.
Run, hunt or be hunted, always on the move.
A killer? A convict? A saviour?
Always the chase, the thrill of the chase across worlds.
Your brain shuts down in cryo sleep
But he’s still awake, awake in the trashcan.
Does he still believe?
Started out with a cord around his neck and still believes.
Fought for his life in the dark, but always saw it clear
when others were blind and stumbling.
Still believes.
They killed everything he knew, and he still believes.
You keep what you kill.
But you can’t kill the trashcan.

Brand new short story

Just letting you all know that I’ve added a brand new short story here for you all to enjoy.

It’s in the flash fiction tab in the menu above, or click here.

Hope you enjoy it.

After the hiatus, getting back into the groove

I haven’t been able to write for the past 3 weeks.  This wasn’t because of writers block.  It wasn’t because my imaginative flow decided to flow away.  It wasn’t even because my characters went on holiday without me.  The reason is Mother.  My mother visited me for 3 weeks and that means that all writing stops while she is ensconced within my living room.  Oh she likes books and is proud as punch that I’m writing them, it’s not that.  I read her the draft of my upcoming fourth novel, Changing Faces and she loved it.  I read her the 5 chapters of my fifth novel and she loved them too.  I even read her my two flash fiction stories and she positively gushed.

I just feel self conscious when she’s around and I don’t seem to be able to sink myself low enough into the creative flow when I know she’s lurking 5 feet away doing her cross stitch or soduko.  She also has the annoying habit of peering over my shoulder at the computer when she shuffles past on her way to the kitchen to make a cuppa.  That annoys me and makes me self conscious about what I’m writing and gives me a childish urge to wrap my arms around the pc monitor like a kid in school trying to stop the big ginger kid at the next desk from copying my answers on the math test.

I’m one of those writers who needs silence.  I can’t write to music.  I have tried but I find myself concentrating on the music instead of writing.  My mother is great and she would happily sit and do her cross stitch or puzzles for hours (she does anyway) while I write but she can’t stop nattering.  She can’t seem to go for more than a couple of minutes without making some sort of comment or conversation, about anything at all and the interruptions really take me off my stroke.  From the regular “oh there’s another emergency vehicle siren, you get a lot of them here don’t you?” to the occasional “must pop to the loo, my pills are working,” and everything conceivable in between.  Then there’s the coughing, sneezing and farting..!

No, I need silence to write.  I need to be able to focus my entire mind on maintaining that intuitive link with my characters so that I can hear their voices and take dictation from them accurately (yes that’s right, I don’t write my stories, I just take dictation from my characters.  I’m one of ‘those’ writers). Once I get going, hours can go by without me noticing and I ‘awake’ to find myself sitting in complete darkness at 2am, desperate for a pee and horrified that I have to be up at 6am to go to work.  I sometimes think that the ease with which I switch into my alternative fantasy-reality is what enables me to focus so entirely when I’m writing.  I don’t just invent the people, their lives and the situations, I actually know them and experience them with them.  It’s a total and real connection and if time and my bladder allowed, I’d write for days on end without stopping.

So now mother has gone home and I can get back to it.  Book 4 needs another proof read/edit and book 5 needs more chapters.  My characters have had a well deserved holiday; I just hope they’re back and ready to work..!

Is Blood Thicker than Water?

It’s one of the most familiar sayings ever, blood is thicker than water, but what does it mean and is it really true? Well we all know what it means, don’t we? It means that whatever our views and opinions, morals or standards, where family is concerned normal rules may not apply. It means that we are prepared to put aside the normal moral standards we live by when interacting with others and the world in general if a family member is concerned. Adherance to this belief can, if taken to extreme, mean that murderers are shielded by their family members who would never dream of turning them in because ‘blood is thicker than water’ and you don’t dob on family!

Why is that we are expected to put our normal rules aside just because a family member has done something wrong or stupid or illegal? Why should we be expected to pretend we don’t know anything when there is a parent mourning the loss of a loved one somewhere out there? Why is it okay for someone to behave badly and get away with it just because they’re genetically related? It’s happened in my own family a few times during my lifetime and it always irritates me to see someone getting away with bad behaviour because the other family members don’t want to cause a stir. My grandmother was a horrible person, the whole family thought so and times without number she said or did things that really upset whoever was her current target (often it was me) but never once did I see any other family member say anything to her about her behaviour or bringing her to task over something she’d said.

I remember once many years ago during a family get together my nephew trod muddy footprints all over the hostess’s pale carpet. I lightly chastised him (verbally) about it and my grandmother immediately started shouting at me to shut up and be quiet. The whole table went silent, everyone was too embarrassed even to breathe. After a minute or two conversation gradually resumed as if nothing had happened but not one of the relatives came to my defence either in public or private. This episode was a turning point for me and since that day so long ago, I’ve made the conscious choice never to have any contact with any family member other than my mother. I’ve never regretted the decision and I’m sure they haven’t either and I’m still curious as to why many more people aren’t doing as I did.

Recently we have seen one or two examples of people turning in their criminal family members and this has delighted me no end. Since the recent riot troubles there have been a number of parents turning in their children after discovering them having been a part of the looting and rioting. I’m so pleased to see this happening because it means that at least a few kids will grow up with the knowledge that you can’t do wrong and get away with it and that there is no one who will put up with such behaviour, not even family.

My own mother is one of those who believes that one doesn’t ‘wash one’s dirty linen in public’, which I take to mean she doesn’t want the embarrassment of other people knowing that there’s a criminal or nutjob in the family gene pool. My response to that is simple; if more people showed that they’re not prepared to put up with such behaviours, less people would do it and society would clean up a bit. Maybe I’m seeing it all too simply. Maybe it’s a far more complicated issue than I’m able to understand but then I do tend to live in something of a black and white world. My thinking is that if I can exist happily enough in a black and white world, then you should be able too as well.

As humans we are pack animals and our family is our pack. In order to grow and develop well we need a strong and supportive family unit around us. Each person within that unit would ideally have their own unique experiences and their own take on life which they would pass on to the growing child to help them form a well rounded view of life in general so that each new experience adds to their growth in a positive way. As we’re all too well aware though, this doesn’t often happen nowadays and most families are fractured in some way or another and many young people are largely left to bring themselves up with only their peers or movie stars to look to for guidance or as role models. Most of their peers will be doing exactly the same and it becomes a classic case of the blind leading the blind and we all know where that ends up.

So what is the cause of all this moral breakdown and is there really more of a moral breakdown now or has it just been more widely reported lately? I often hear older folks saying “when I was young this never happened” and words to that effect and I’m inclined to believe them. When my mother was a girl there was a war on and those left at home had to keep things going as best as they could so folks tended to work together more. Families were much more disciplined in those days and there wasn’t the political correctness then that there is now. The fashion nowadays is not to discipline your children at all and they even have the right to prosecute parents now for trying to bring a bit of discipline to their kids. When I was young my father used to dish out the punishment when I was naughty and he had a very effective way of doing it. He would stand sideways in the doorway and call me inside and as I went through the door he would slap me hard on the backs of my thighs, and god did it hurt! No matter how I ducked, twisted or tried to rush through quickly, he always caught me square on the back of the thighs and it was enough to act as a deterrent to me.

Another thing we’re seeing nowadays is a much higher birth rate and much younger people having children. Nowadays, kids are having kids before they’ve finished their own growing up and without the right kind of family influences around them, they’re bound to get it all wrong. Kids nowadays are not much younger than their own parents and often they act more like friends to their kids than parents. It’s like a sort of gang culture where everyone is genetically related. Similar rules apply in these families as apply in gangs and with the employment situation being what it is at the moment, many of these families have two or three generations who have never worked or known a work ethic. Large numbers of them live in sub standard housing in areas that are fast becoming no go areas for anyone who values their life and so crime becomes a normal and accepted part of their lives.

So what can we do to change things? The first thing is to stop breeding like flies and let the population decrease to a more sustainable and healthy level. There are just far too many people, full stop. Better education, more employment even if it means pseudo employment to qualify for state benefits and an end to the politically correct human rights compensation culture we’re living in now. Punishment needs to fit the crime and families need to start realising that blood may indeed be thicker than water, but a crime is a crime and whoever you are, you’ll be turned in for it.

I know I make it all sound so simple but it is really that simple. It really is just a case of being brave enough to make the changes, strong enough to see them through despite the protests of thousands of armchair bound single parents. Of course such measures won’t be popular and nor will the brave politicians who bring them in, but they will sort out our society before we anihilate ourselves. Or maybe we should just let society commit suicide and then just start all over again? Maybe that’s the answer to it all. It would certainly be the easiest way for the politicians.

I often think to myself how lovely it would be to find myself washed up on some uninhabited desert island out in the middle of nowhere like a modern day Robinson Crusoe. I could at last find some semblence of total peace from this terrifying world where I cannot go out after dark for fear of being mugged, raped or murdered, where I cannot go out to a bar for fear of date rape drugs or kidnap and torture and where it is even unsafe to remain inside my own home with the rise in burglary, breaking and entering and murder. At least on my peaceful paradise I could walk around in the dead of night without fear of being accosted by a criminal in nappies who can’t be punished due to his/her age.

Blood is thicker than water? Not in my house it ain’t!

The Power of Positive Thinking

There is a trendy new buzzword flying around the internet. One that claims to change your life for the better and help you to realise all your wildest fantasises while not having to actually work to bring them into being. There have been many books published on this subject, websites galore and even a dvd telling you how to do it. All you have to do is think differently, then sit back and wait for the money to come rolling in. What this new treasure? Positive thinking.

It goes by many names, The Secret and Cosmic Ordering being two of the latest but at the bottom line it’s just positive thinking dressed up in the latest fashionable garb. Like an ageing actress past her prime trying to cover her wrinkles with the latest new face cream, positive thinking has been given a makeover to bring it into the 21st century and make it desirable for today’s troubled young and trendy.

When I was a girl our grannies used to tell us to keep smiling and to remember that every cloud has a silver lining and to believe that everything will be all right in the end. That sort of home grown wisdom just doesn’t cut it in today’s hi tech, fast paced, action packed, new age world though. In order for a new idea to take a hold today, it needs to be offered in a glossy, full colour package with fancy typeface, icons and plenty of airy fairy language. Even better if it comes with additional extras like double disc dvd sets, cd’s, flashcards, workshops in swanky Covent Garden shops, mousemats, baseball hats and mugs. All at additional cost of course!

The basic priniciple of this new modern version of positive thinking is that in order for it to work, you must totally believe it. Any shred of doubt and those dollars won’t come rolling in, that Ferrari will stay in the showroom and that hot guy won’t be calling you up. And that’s the rub; the most basic rule for the whole thing to work, is the most difficult to achieve. Of course there’s always the additional workshops you can attend to help you get the hang of it – at additional cost of course. You could also buy several more books to help you understand where you went wrong.

Why is it no longer okay to believe that what happens in your life is what is supposed to happen? Why is it no longer okay to struggle a little for an achievement? Why are we all expected to be filthy rich and drive sports cars in order to be seen as successful and why does it take money and ‘stuff’ to make us happy? Why do we turn to these new age ideas like positive thinking with the sole purpose of getting rich and famous anyway? So many of the rich and famous end up ruining their lives that I wonder if the pursuit of fame and riches isn’t more like a negative thing than a positive. I can name so many household names – actors, singers etc who have problems of various kinds all due to those very things we admire most in them – their fame and wealth. Some are luckier than others and get through their lives with just a few anxiety issues, panic attacks and zero self esteem. Others aren’t so lucky.

Take the actor who doesn’t become a genuine household name until his mid forties for instance. Up until he becomes really famous, he is driven and hard working although broke. He has his goal and he works tirelessly to achieve it and his best works are those he created during those early years of striving. Then he suddenly becomes world famous and gets rich and then his problems start. He has no experience of coping with fame or large quantities of money and because he’s been broke most of his life, he goes a little wild. Women fall at his feet and he sees no reason to say no or be discerning and he ends up with several kids by different women, none of whom he is a proper father to. Facing middle age and the ever present tide of younger, firmer, tight assed guys coming up bhind him, he starts to worry. He doesn’t know how much longer he can be the main attraction. He’s never seen the need to settle down and get married, there’s been too much fun to be had to shackle himself to one woman and now the only women that want his company are brainless teenagers who think that bedding an actor will help their careers. He trawls the seedier nightclubs of eastern Europe with his ever present entourage of enabling hangers-on who all help him ruin his life because he pays them well, and picks up teenage art sudents who then sell their stories to the papers and upload videos of their interviews to youtube. Their budding careers get a temporary but welcome boost and they get their fifteen minutes of fame for having met ‘so and so’. This actor really exists by the way and he is lonely and suffers anxiety attacks. He’s middle aged but still tries to act like a seventeen year old. He was so much happier before he got famous, when he was struggling to be noticed. Once he found fame, he couldn’t handle it.

Others find fame and money ruin them in different ways. Some are ruined by drugs, alcohol, gambling or even crime. There are also a few who find the sudden abundance of money and fame enables them to live out their innermost desires and bring the stranger of their perversions into a living reality. Again the entourage of hangers-on all eager to help their master or mistress to achieve whatever they want, so long as they continue to pay well, ensure that they never have to listen to reason. It’s a downward spiral that ends either in their suicide, early death from alcohol or drugs or they end up broke and lonely and still refusing to realise that they’re not still the hottest, latest thing. Unfortunately stories like these are ten a penny today and the actor/entertainer who uses his money wisely and still works hard and creates a genuinely good product and adapts his work as he ages and matures, is in the minority. The famous person who doesn’t find themselves the subject of shameful tabloid stories of drug taking or seedy sexual endeavours is becoming harder and harder to find.

Why does no one use the power of positive thinking to bring themselves better powers of discernment, more patience and understanding of others, better decision making or more insight into people and their needs? All of these things are useful tools in the drive to succeed and can help ensure that when we do achieve our goals, we have learned the necessary skills to help us handle the results properly when we do achieve them. We are such a money driven society now that anyone who doesn’t have it is a nobody, a loser. You can be the nicest guy on the block, the one whom everyone loves the most because of your kindness and generosity but if you’re broke and not famous, you’re essentially a loser. Those whom you’ve helped to achieve their own goals with your wisdom and inight will turn their backs on you without a thought, for the chance to spend the night with an ageing actor with a good body and get a video of themselves telling all the sordid details on youtube.

The power of positive thinking is just that, a power and one that should be used wisely and with insight into what the ramifications of getting what you want might be. If people put as much effort into believing that their life is worthy even if they’re broke, as they do in spending time and money on shiny dvd’s that promise them wealth and fancy cars, then the world would be a happier place for everyone. Positive thinking requires that you have an insight into what is missing from your life and focus on this rather than on what you already have in abundance. The people that make these programmes and write these books know that everyone wants to be rich and many want to be famous and so they focus their ‘package’ on these materialistic pursuits. By spending so much time focussing on what is missing, you’re actually being negative rather than positive.

Wouldn’t it be more positive to spend some energy and time focussing on the abundance of experience you have that can be used to help others in similar situations? Wouldn’t it be more positive to use these self development programmes to ask for more opportunities to grow in self awareness? At the end of the day, the only ones getting rich by using these so call development programmes are the ones selling them to you! I would love to have more money and I know that a lot of good could be done for many people if I had it but I’ve had many years of experience being broke and having nothing. I’m old enough and wise enough to know that sex, drugs and rock-n-roll wouldn’t enhance my life one little bit and that if I came into a lot of money, I have the self awareness to use it wisely for my own good and that of many others.

All that, and I haven’t spent any money on positive thinking books or dvd’s!

Bespoke blog post

As a writer, I feel it’s very important to strive to better my writing and I’m always trying to figure out ways to do that.  I hit on the brilliant idea of asking someone else to give me a subject to blog about and this is what I was given.

“Your opinions on your life where you life; the physical conditions and how you feel about them.  How do they affect you?”

Okay, let me illustrate the environment in which I live.  I live on the outskirts of a large town, which itself is a suburb of a huge city on the south coast of England.  My home is a rented two bedroomed flat on the first floor in a small cul-de-sac.  My front windows look out across a wide green verge with trees, to a busy main road.  A housing estate is situated on the other side of this road, with a forest beyond.  Although I live on the first floor, the first floor is the top floor, so I have just one downstairs neighbour and one at the side; my flat is on the end of the block so no neighbour one side.

My flat is actually not bad as far as rented accommodation goes; I’ve lived in far worse places.  I rent from the local housing association and although the rent is high, I get housing benefit which pays it all.  I have my own little patch of garden at the front to keep as I please, whereas the rear is all communal grass and washing lines.  Being on the top floor means I get the loft space, which is useful for storing some of my lesser needed crap that I can’t yet bear to part with, but as I’m the opposite of a hoarder, I doubt it will ever get filled.  My front door is painted black and I have a gooseberry bush growing in the garden which gave me its first ever crop this summer.  I enjoyed gooseberry crumble a few weeks ago and can’t wait for next summer to have it again.

It’s all very nice here.  It’s relatively crime free apart from occasional smashed wing mirrors and sometimes the wheelie bins take a stroll down the road overnight.  It could be so much worse and I count my blessings every day.  The trouble is it’s boring and bland and oh so middle class.  The same elderly ladies walk the same little dogs along the path every day and the same health conscious joggers jog along the main road.  The ice cream van turns up at six thirty every summer evening and the bins are emptied every Monday.  Life in surburia is boring and although it’s safe here, I do find myself wondering about maybe getting an exchange and moving somewhere else.

The people here are friendly, kind of.  Not the always in your place for coffee type of friendly but the smile and hello when you pass in the street kind.  I’m glad about this actually; I hate it when neighbours spend more time around your home than at their own so that you can never get anything done and they always want to know your business.  I like a little detachment from neighbours but not to the point of being anti social or unfriendly.  I do find myself wondering about them though; what they do in the privacy of their own homes and what their secrets might be.  I guess everyone does this but being a writer and therefore creatively developed, my imaginings can be quite complex, serious, funny and strange.

Within two miles we have a good shopping centre, a railway station, a bus station and an airport, which means from here you can get to anywhere in the world.  It’s a useful place to live despite its blandness.  There’s even countryside within a few miles if you want to escape any time.  Despite all of the benefits of living here, it’s not the first place I’d choose if I could.  I have all sorts of daydreams about where and how I’d like to live if I won the lottery and they range from deep in the countryside with no neighbours for five miles in every direction, to a one thousand year old haunted manor house, to a swanky pad on the outskirts of Los Angeles or an upmarket area of Florida, depending on my mood.

I’m one of those people who forms an emotional attachment to the building in which I live.  It’s a part of me, an expression of me and a representation of what I’m all about.  I’m autistic and a bit agoraphobic and I live alone so I spend all my time that I’m not at work, here at home alone so it’s important to me that I feel safe and relaxed here.  It’s my safe place, my panic room and my rubber cell all rolled into one and as I change, it changes.  I can’t change it as much or as often as I’d like; I’m destitute (hey I’m a writer) so I can’t bring all my imaginings into being, but I do okay.  If all else fails, I move the furniture around to make the place feel different.

My home has become a sort of living being.  It has my energy within its walls.  It’s experienced my joys and despairs alongside me and when I’m away from it, I look forward to returning to it.  At the same time though, it’s lonely here and I’m very aware of how alone I am and I often imagine how it would feel to have a ‘significant other’ around the place.  These four walls have been with me through some of the toughest times of my life.  I’ve had many christmases and birthdays here alone with my walls; they know me better than anyone else and if walls could talk, I’d be worried.

Perhaps I’m setting the seeds for my own future haunting of the place by putting so much of myself emotionally and mentally into this flat.  Perhaps this connection will bring me back for hundreds of years on the anniversary of my death, to walk the hallway in the dead of night and maybe, in a hundred years from now, the resident will often hear the faint tap, tap, tap as if some invisible writer were sat at a keyboard..!

Having said all that though, if I won the lottery I’d move without hesitation.