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With Special Guest Star…

Strictly speaking this is celebrity cameo #2…


Belated further adventures!

Recognise the truck yet…?

The Perils Continued!

O Noes! Is Martyn DOOMED? Who is the MYSTERIOUS STRANGER? Tune in TOMORROW to learn MORE…

He is *eeeviiiiiil*...

Well, damn.

Well, how exciting! Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!

An experiment.

because being bit blog
clothes could don’t girls
good her i’d know
like little look lot
maybe me more my
not now only people
see she she’s should
that’s they’re thin think
though very want wear


Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts. My upcoming wedding has eaten my brain, leaving nothing but an all-consuming need to buy a cheap veil off Ebay.

Enough of my brain has been spared from consumption, however, to be piqued by a recent discussion I took part in on my work’s social forum.

“Out of the geek closet!” was the title, or near as dammit.

The original poster went on to list those of his activities and interests he publicly enjoyed. These included writing poetry, playing in a reasonably successful band, being heavily tattooed, and having deep intellectual conversations in dimly-lit pubs.

Many people he engages in these activities with, however, would apparantly be surprised to learn that in private, he also indulges in what he described as “geeky” hobbies, including a secret fondness for a certain popular fantasy trilogy. He then invited idle readers to join him in coming “out of the geek closet”, and owning up to our hidden geeky passions.

There were several responses, mostly along the lines of “Me too!” I also concurred, but added that I wasn’t coming out of any closet, since I didn’t feel the need to hide any of my pastimes, geeky or otherwise.

This seems like a good opportunity, on the off-chance anybody is reading this who doesn’t already know me, to describe a few of the things I like to do, with varying success and regularity.

I write, poetry and pieces like this. I read essentially anything I can find with writing on it (but mostly books, and, latterly, the Internet). I buy clothes in charity shops. Sometimes I customise them, or make my own clothes. I dress in the fabulous outfits so created and go dancing. I have a pet cat, and a pet snake. I make jewellery. I watch films and TV, including a healthy selection of SF and fantasy. I bellydance. I roleplay in two separate weekly games. I go for long walks. I pose in the mirror with a katana and pretend I’m in Kill Bill. I used to play the violin, but it sounded worse than a cat in a topical joke, so I’ve put that on hold until I live in a detached house again.

I do other things too, but I can’t think of them right now, probably because my brain has shrivelled to the size of a sugared almond. It’s a pretty eclectic selection of activities, some of which could be considered geeky. Should I be hiding these?

Well, geeky or not, I’m as proud of my fifth-level cleric as I am of any poem on this blog. Prouder, actually, because some of my poems are a steaming pile of word-poo, and Cornelia the cleric kicks ass (Morrow rocks!).

I don’t do any of these things to impress people, or to make myself look cool, I do them because I enjoy doing them. I don’t like things because they’re cool. Things are cool because I like them. People may not agree, which is fair enough. The world would be a terribly dull place if we all liked the same things.

But anybody who thinks less of me because of the things I like is not worth my time or friendship.

The originator of the discussion added a definition of the phrase “closet geek” culled from Urban Dictionary. I reproduce it here, for your edification.

“A person who is truly a geek at home and maybe to some geeky friends, but mantains a public persona that is not geeky.
Example usage: I pretend to hate video games in public, but then spend 20 hours a week playing FPSs online, I’m such a closet geek.”

I replied with the observation that the term was redundant. There’s already a word for this phenomenon. It’s “hypocrite”.

I will have more to say on this subject, believe you me. I’m particularly intrigued by the varying definitions of the term “geek”, and “cool”, for that matter. But right now there’s an auction ending in five minutes that needs my urgent attention…


Bored, meandering through the time-sump that is Facebook, I find myself briefly diverted by one of those random little apps. This one, rather than promising revelations about my likely lifespan, an estimate of my ability to solve logic puzzles or a pinpoint precise placement on the sliding scale between Emo and Goth, purported to analyse a sample of my writing and, by comparing it with the presumed plethora of samples within its database, tell me which writer I most resemble.

I bit. I clicked. I fed it “Found Objects”.

“I write like… Margaret Mitchell!” it declaimed.

Gosh. Do I? I must confess, I was secretly hoping for Dorothy Parker.

It couldn’t consume a more recent piece of writing, because there haven’t been any for over a month. And yes, I’ve been feeling guilty about it, in the spare room I keep at the back of my mind with the sign on the door that says “Procrastination”.

I don’t want this to be something I “ought” to do. I don’t want this to become a duty. That’s why I haven’t been pushing myself too hard. Part of the problem is that I’ve been reading poetry more than I used to, and while I do enjoy that, it doesn’t do much for my confidence. I mean, yes, I’m coming along, I’m getting the hang of metre and the point of enjambments and I’ve some grasp of the effect of a well-placed cesura, but compared with some of the writers I’ve discovered, my poems are stick figures next to Picasso.

Or rather, a technically accurate portrait, next to a stick figure by Picasso.

I still try to do too much, because I don’t know enough not to. I put too many bloody words in. Damn it, I like words. I’m getting better at self-editing. The more I do it, the better I’ll get at it. I know this. I know I have to do it, practice it, to improve, to even have a hope of getting anywhere near the level of sophistication and skill I’ve seen elsewhere. I could do it. I could. And there’s the problem, because now it’s something I ought to be doing, and it starts looking suspiciously like… hard work.

Mind you, I quite enjoyed writing this, so maybe there’s hope for me yet. The spark’s still there.

And, after all, tomorrow is another day.

To myself, aged 13

They’ll tell you to diet
be quiet
not loud
or they’ll tell you to riot
that you should be proud
and that you should be confident,
strong little girl
or that you should be still
though inside is awhirl
with your will
and what everyone
tells you to be.
Don’t you listen to them, my pet,
listen to me.
But ignore them, ignore them
ignore me as well,
for you know what you are
and I don’t have to tell
you to chose your own way,
just be you, Jezebel.
See: two mirrors, a brace,
one before, one behind
one is showing your face
and the other, your mind,
with a million reflections,
collections of you,
and each one is an option
of what you could do.
There are some that are naughty
not sporty, but fat,
some are clever,
how stressful is that?
One is pretty,
just pretty,
perhaps that’s enough;
but another is witty,
rude, gritty,
and tough.
So they’ll say you must choose
which to lose, which to keep,
and you weep as you reap
what you think you have sown,
they will tell you you did it
all on your own.

The Duchess responds

(to Robert Browning)

My mother said to me: “Now mind,

You must be generous and kind

To lords and servants, great and small;

You are a duchess, after all.”

This seemed like good advice; I took it

Much to heart.  A friendly look, it

drew from me a blush, or smile,

and everybody loved me, while

I lived. They even loved my lord

the duke, for my sake, and ignored

the steady rising of the taxes.

Pity he relied on axes

for unpleasant work.  They would

an accident have understood;

a temporary leave of senses.

Cruelty, though, has consequences.

Now his name (nine-hundred years

of history) and all his fears

have fallen with him.  From the wall

my painted smile observed it all.

Musings at midnight

…because there’s no point me trying to do this thing if I don’t bang something on there every so often.  Even if it’s a pile of unreadable poo.  Which this will be, so free to stop reading and read some of the poems in my archives, they’re far more interesting.

I don’t understand.  I went through about a month of writing poetry – of really bloody loving it, couldn’t get enough.

And then it stopped.

A couple of reasonably-creative sputterings, and it just… burnt out.  Fizzled.

Maybe when I went to Whitby, my muse liked it so much, she decided to hang around for a bit.  I got to be her for a whole weekend, and it was wonderful.

I will write some more about it, I promise.  I have pictures, and everything.

But the poetry.  The passion I had for it.  It’s still there – somewhere – it just isn’t… turning into anything.  Nothing I wouldn’t be ashamed to share with the world, anyway.

Or perhaps this is how it works for me.  This is what happens with other things, after all.  I pick things up, I drop them, I pick them up again.  Sewing, drawing, crafting, even my day job sometimes.  All things I can do perfectly… adequately, when I put the effort in.  Jack of all trades.  Master of none.

Except writing.

I so hoped that it wouldn’t be that way with writing.  Picking it up, getting bored of it.  It’s what I want to do.  It’s what I’m good at.  If I can be forgiven some unrestrained egotism for a moment, I really think I can do this.  Just not… right now.

So I’ll just write this maundering nonsense instead.  It’ll keep me going until that little madam gets back from her jollies.