The Mountain Ritual

I have not been writing anything new. I have not allowed myself the silence. I am afraid of my own mind and cannot tell you why, so I have filled my waking hours with podcasts, music and video games that I am no longer even really that interested in. A strange feeling but nothing unusual. I occasionally cycle through, usually to books or tv, but  mostly have no interest in these other forms of media either. I want to be clear that I am not unhappy. We have moved, my best friend in this whole world, Allison, and I to a place we chose, we were allowed to choose and it is a gift to be here. It is a community that is beautiful and alive, filled with art, culture, accepting people and so, so much tea. We live within walking distance to dozens of diverse restaurants, and today we went to our first local farmers’ market where we bought the most beautiful fresh scallions I have ever seen. Did I mention we live about two blocks from a freakin’ comic book shop? Prime real estate, I am tellin’ yah.  

Yet, I do not allow myself the silence. Until this moment, while I ignore my phone, my podcasts, Facebook and tell you why I fear stopping the noise. In the quiet there my voice…so much of my voice. My voice that is mine but does not belong to me, telling me many many things, but mostly, and on loop “You are not good enough, in so many ways, you will never be good enough. You are doomed.” I understand enough to know that we all have this voice, it ebbs and flows, and that it is time to confront it again. It is time to pony up and write. I want to write things that matter, and make people think and feel, even if it is just one person because maybe then they can change the world.

I am concerned about the future of this world. Here is the beginning of what I am hoping becomes a short story called “The Mountain Ritual.”

“Pops used to tell us stories about when the air was clean. He told us that there was a time you could go outside and the air around you wouldn’t make your eyes itch and burn. It wouldn’t creep into your nostrils, your lungs, and leave you feeling like a human oil slick.  We either didn’t believe him, or couldn’t fathom it, I can’t remember which. Why should we have? It was the only air we had known, and while it admittedly was getting worse, even in our own short years we could see that, we had never known a breath of fresh air. You go outside, you wear your respirator. That was just life.  So we older kids took what Pops had to say with a grain of salt, but my little brother Peter, he would get so excited by the stories he would begin to wheeze, his smell chest heaving and Pops would have to stop until Peter calmed down enough to go on.

It was from these stories that I assumed the dreams had come. The first one was the best and I remember it the clearest…I think that is why I ended up here….”

 

-Alex
Also, as a side note we have started another blog for more day to day activities. We will probably cross post pretty often.

And check out the Flickr Alex finally got around to getting together.

 

 

Back To It

About a year after our last update seems like a reasonable time for the next one. In all seriousness though, the last year has been tumultuous for both of us. We have just about come out the other side though and although I have not made the updates here, Allison has been especially productive.

My writing has been a bit more on the back-burner than I would have preferred but my training to be a lich is just about done, and that means refocusing back on art. I have been taking photos however, and have even managed to document some of our artistic endeavors over the past year.

We decorated for a wedding. 


And photographed another.

I took an interest in photographing mushrooms. I find they are good subjects, low to the ground, immobile, and interestingly textured. A macro lens is hopefully on the horizon.

 

I wrote a children’s story which Allison is illustrating. The working title is “Wyrm Sitting” and I am very excited to show this one off.  

img_20160112_135622_488

Above Illustration by Allison Kittredge. See more here.

What else let’s see…

Ah, right, I discovered spooky noodles…scary spaghetti, I mean creepy pasta, a form of short horror fiction posted and shared via the internet. My main and favorite source for this has been The No Sleep Podcast, which has of yet brought me many hours of an entertainment I didn’t know I wanted. I definitely recommend it. My favorite episode is “The Whistlers” written by Amity Argot and narrated by the very talented  Jessica McEvoy, David Cummings,  Jesse Cornett and Mike DelGaudio.

The No Sleep Podcast has inspired me to try my own hand at short horror and I am working on two pieces, “The Burning Girls” and “Triangle House.”

My goal is to update more frequently now that i am done with school. I will post some fiction once I get it all cleaned up and presentable.

Best,

Alex

 

The Sinister Times

Readable excerpts from never before seen newspaper found in gutter.

The Sinister Times

A Newspaper for villains, crooks and not-very-good-guys.

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The Bwahahant-ads

– Experienced super villain seeks competent underlings. Excellent benefits, NO life insurance.

– Seeking home for loveable multi-headed dog.  Like feeding and walking one dog but joy of owning three. No cats. Loves kids and subway tunnels.

– Announcing estate sale. Main items include lasers, high-grade plutonium and pool of genetically engineered piranha. Everything must go.

_______________________________________________________

Grand re-opening of Sweeney’s Barber and Spa.  Specializes in curly moustaches and excellent eye brows. Send your enemies! Have them ask for our ‘Special Cut.’

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       Ask Shredder

Dear Shredder,

I know it is our life’s work to be super villains etcetc,  but isn’t okay if sometimes we take a vacation or say, for example, don’t start up that brand new killer robot?                – A.C.

Dearest Captain Awesome.

We know it is you writing these letters. Signing your initials backwards fools no one.  We would ask you to stop but we frankly find them too damn amusing. Our new killbot just got in and we look forward to testing it out.

-Shredder

Dear Shredder,

I really like this guy I have been seeing but it is like we are just not on the same wavelength.  All I want is a little attention, like a nice night out, dinner, maybe a nice romantic fire, doesn’t have to be big, just some small orphanage or something, But all he wants to do is stay home and polish his ‘death ray.’ What do I do?

– Lonely in Luisenville

Dear Lonely in Luisenville,

Communication is vital in any relationship, have you tried telling him you feel the spark has gone out of your romance?  If that doesn’t work I highly recommend abrasive acids, or bees.

-Shredder

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Introducing the all new GoodGuys Bee Gone!

A spring loaded trap that is guaranteed to sting the opposition. It will bee the solution to all your secret lair defense problems.

Saber-Tooth Tonic, by Prometheus Inc.

Introducing our brand new Saber-Tooth Tonic– lovingly brewed and distilled by Prometheus Inc. for our favorite customers, that means you! If you have an ailment, we can fix it. How did we stumble upon such a remarkable panacea? Let us tell you, it was no small feat! Our very own gentleman benefactor, Sir Reginald A. Reginald, was for two years, in search of a cure for the mysterious ailment that had suddenly and tragically overcome his lovely wife. All of the physicians claimed there was no cure, and that Mrs. Reginald would surely waste away and die. Determined to find a remedy, our brave Sir Reginald set out on an expedition into the Great East Sea and discovered there a small and miraculous island inhabited by all manners of species of flora and fauna previously thought to be extinct, most notably the great Saber-toothed cat. Sir Reginald brought back numerous samples, all of which we tested tirelessly for curative properties. To our great delight and surprise it was the fangs of the great and noble saber-toothed cats that held the antidote Mrs. Reginald so desperately needed, and just in time too! Now we here at Prometheus Inc. work hard to bring this miraculous tonic to you. Handcrafted from the fangs of the Saber-toothed cats, no other substitute will do! It tastes great, you will feel great! What is there to lose?

Saber-Tooth Tonic

Take a bite out of what ails you!

Sir Terry Pratchett, Thank You.

Sir Terry Pratchett has left us. I wish that I had been able to meet him because no one else on this planet has unwittingly given me so many gifts. He inspired me to not only try to be a better writer, but a better human. His characters are more human and solid than any others I have ever known, and I feel like even though Terry Pratchett is gone, his characters and his world, are still going strong. They will not bend their backs. The turtle still moves.

I would say that, the world is a darker place now without this man, but he left us so much light through his words that we could not possibly come away with less for having had him. Yet, I and all the thousands who forged a reader/writer bond with him, (those of you have it know what I mean) will not be able to help but feel a hole somewhere in the fabric of our reality where he should be. I think the best we can hope to do to honor his memory is to take his advice.

“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – Terry Pratchett (from The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents)

Terry, thank you for everything.  I hope the sandwiches are magnificent.

All of our love,

~Alex

Camera, Brewer’s, WItches

I am quite excited, I just got a beautiful refurbished Nikon d3300. It is shiny and sleek and black, like the ninja of cameras. I picked it out specifically so I can try my hand at astrophotography. I missed taking photographs and have an affinity for the night sky, aversion to bright lights and inability to figure out what colors are happening in my eye sockets, so astrophotography seemed ideal.

I also purchased my first Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. It is legendary, it is magical, it has a forward written by Sir Terry Pratchett, and is big enough to potentially bludgeon my nemeses with its pages of arcane knowledge. (Although, I admit  it might be more fruitful to sit them down with it instead). I intend to begin a writing “exercise” using one Brewer’s word or phrase a week to trigger an exercise, probably alphabetically.

Allison is nearly done with her first drawing for the blog, I am ecstatic because it is quite beautiful.

In the meantime I will leave you with this.

Witch

I am the witch that lives in the woods
whose flesh is your parchment when I die
gnarled fingers clutching dirt
learning your soles
I can tell you where you’ve been
and if you lay your palm
against my skin
tell you who you’ve loved.

-ADL