20. Odysseus waved his hand in front of Asteer who suddenly found himself screaming out, ‘RELEASE ME RIGHT NOW.’ Odysseus paid him no heed and unsheathed a knife from his belt which began to glow a bright red. ‘You are in no position to demand anything. When you have served your purpose you will meet the same fate as all those spectres you’ve terminated.’
19. Applonia was now standing right in front of him. Even though he had monitored her his entire life, this was the closest he’d ever been to her…even though this wasn’t real, right? ‘A magician with a single trick. You would expect the audience to see right through you. Then again Helen is a much better looking package than that wooden horse.’
18. Helen of Troy had a daughter with Isaac Newton. They named her Applonia. She was the first child born in the Mark. The event warranted her own dedicated minder, Asteer . When her surveillance signal had stopped, he had been given simple instructions, ‘Find her. Bring her back. Don’t come back until you’ve done both.’
And like that I’m 14 years old again, video game console logos. I’ve always been a Sega man. The Mega Drive and Dreamcast logos especially put a massive smile on my face.
This article, The Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter, by Jason Kottke couldn’t come at a better time for me. In our new reality the sun sets at 4pm and will continue to drop till the winter solstice (22nd of December). We need recalibrate our mindset to the norms of this place.
17. He tried to move but his feet didn’t respond. He tried to communicate with his gathen but it also was silent. All around him was nothingness. Bright. The silhouettes became clearer. A man and a child…a girl. The man walked straight up to Asteer and whispered, ‘Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.’
Apart from the great artwork, the latest episode of The Erasable Podcast has a great conversation regarding NaNoWriMo. Hearing the guys express the same issues you may be experiencing with your own novel somehow makes everything easier.
No idea what this anime face is for on a train ticket but I love it.
So today I finally moved all my site analytics to Plausible. Another small step to supporting the one man bands on the internet that make things for us (individuals), not them (companies).
16. Entering the mind of a spectre was a particularly disconcerting experience. You were subjected to a cacophony of whispers of every tone and intensity. Something was definitely not right. Asteer stood still. It was completely silent. He could no longer feel his gathen. In the distance he could make out silhouettes approaching him.
This November, as part of the Micro.blog community, a series of prompts were published every day by Jean. My idea was to use some of these prompts and write a novella. The constraint was to remain with roughly 50 words per day. I have allowed myself the opportunity to go back and edit previous instalments as the story develops.
I will hopefully collate them all with a few sketches. Today is the halfway point of the story, so if you want to catch up, head over to the dedicated category page
15. The Mark was created to be where ideas were farmed from the greatest minds that ever existed. Rules were created to ensure that none of the spectres had any illusions that they were in control. As expected, some couldn’t accept that. This had lead to organised culls being used as an example to deter others.
14. ‘Do what you must,’ submitted Helen. He touched her shoulder. Time stopped. All of reality collapsed into this moment. It felt like every nerve in his body had been set alight. He had no reference any more. The journey could have taken seconds or all of eternity. He was now inside her mind.
I’ve been slowly working through all the various architectural houses that exist in Denmark (and there are many). One project that has really stood out from all that I have seen, is something called ‘The Whale’. Absolutely stunning.
Definitely feel like my mental health is better when I get to sit down and write for an hour or so every morning. I fell out of the habit recently on account of everything that’s been happening in our life but happily this muscle is starting to be flexed again.
13. Everyone has one life to live. Except spectres. They have been afforded a second. Helen had effectively forfeited hers to enable her daughter’s escape from the Mark. Asteer had lied. It wasn’t just the where he was interested in. He was also curious about the why.
12. The Mark existed as a haven for the very best, and absolute worst, that humanity had ever produced. They were given a second chance to produce more works or repent for what they had done. If you were of the Mark you could never leave this place. This cardinal rule was enforced with draconian effect.
Basecamp Personal launched. I used the old personal version 8 years ago. Really excited about this again.
Actually finding it hard to wake up at my usual time early in the morning - probably because it’s soo flipping cold. It’s had a knock on effect on my writing which is typically done before the family is awake.
See I would actually trade my beloved K380 for this one. You had me at backlit keys…
11. ‘That’s good. I’m not interested in the how. I’m interested in the where,’ responded Asteer. The Mark had rules. If they were not followed, untold chaos would be unleashed. He was now looking forward, careful not to make any eye contact. ‘Where is your daughter, Helen?’
Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration is now at the top of my reading list - via Recomendo
10. She sat next to him on the bench and gave a hesitant smile. ‘Not sure how much assistance I can be,’ she said. ‘I have no idea how she managed to leave the Mark,’ she continued without prompting. Asteer knew not to believe her, theatre was just part of the process in this division.
👶🏼 Ah yes. I remember this period in a young child’s life. Beware parents the terrible twos…they are truly awful. Good thing kids a cute.
9. This place had gotten its name after those who had left their mark on the world. How that was decided was not clear nor particularly important. One look at her was enough for Asteer to understand why she was here. Helen of Sparta. ‘Yes. Breathtaking,’ he managed.
8. Asteer understood why he was anxious. Only a fool ignores his gathen. He finally made his way to the agora, sat on an empty bench and looked up into the night. The sky was peppered with stars. Time rotated. Eras merged. ‘Breathtaking isn’t it?’ He looked across and knew straight away that it was the key.
For years I’ve always felt that my stories should be developed into comics. I had never even considered writing them into short novels, written in 50 word chunks. The exercise this week has really opened my eyes to another fun way of telling a story. Even trying to include a word prompt has offered an interesting challenge. Will definitely be expanding on this for new stories that had been shelved.
As detailed in soo many places, constraints truly are a remarkable way of feeding creativity.
7. Without a gathen no visit to a division was even possible. It’s what grounds you and acts as both a guide and interpreter. It attaches onto your ear and then continues to grow inside your head. Once a gathen latched, it becomes a permanent part of you. You felt what it felt. Asteer’s gathen was frightened.
6. It was hard to tell how long it would take to reach the Hellenistic division. Exits didn’t always stick. Time was not absolute. Rather it meandered. Overlapped. Flexed. Like a Möbius strip. It was hard to tell how long it would take to reach the Hellenistic division…
Late Nite Harp is a magical podcast from fellow Micro.blogger, Holly.
5. It didn’t matter how many times he walked between divisions. The experience always left him in awe. There were extraordinary meetings on every street. There was Salvador Dalí playing chess against Boudicca. Beyond them, on a bench was Che Guevara sharing a pipe with Antonio Vivaldi.
🛴 Took a scooter home today, nearly ate the pavement during a detour due to some roadworks. Hairy moment I wasn’t expecting.
4. Entry wasn’t guaranteed as there was always the possibility that your mind might break. Across the Grand Arrivals Hall was evidence of those who hadn’t made it. Asteer opened his chamber, strode out confidently and headed straight for the Hellenistic division to meet the key.
3. Asteer stepped across the threshold. Whenever you entered the Mark your perceptions are under assault. Your entire life got played out infinitely; cycling through how it all could have gone differently. He didn’t fancy this part. It was however a small price for the privalege to congregate with humans across time and space.
Charging an EV for the first time.
2. Something was still bothering him. The gathen in his left ear started to burn. His body tensed, his awareness amplified. He centered his thoughts and approached the counter purposefully. The official looked up, smiled wryly and said, ‘Welcome back to the Mark, Mr.Asteer.’
1. The flight felt long. Likely because he was feeling anxious. The weather was fair. This gave him a glimpse of the island from the tiny glider window. The view lasted seconds but gave a perspective Vii maps failed to convey. Hopefully the key was waiting for him on the other side.
Got stopped on the way home by two guys who turn out they were from a local church. By the end of our conversation I was selling them on Stoic philosophy suggesting they read some Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus.
I’ve been spending my walking time listening to Pimsleur Danish. It’s taken a real hit on my podcast listening which has all but stopped. Alas you can’t consume everything all the time.
📚 Just finished reading Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. Glad I made it all the way to the end but it was tough reading. Not because it was badly written but because much of the subject matter was hitting a raw nerve. Need something a little lighter for my next read.
This really hit home for me.
I’d completely forgotten about this graphic representation of my RSS feed on Feedbin. It’s the kind of stat I wish was part of Micro.blog, along with how many consecutive posts i’ve strung together, how many photos i’ve posted, how many articles I’ve written, what was the longest article I’ve written. Fun stats that only I would even mildly care about.
Add Citationsy as another one of those micro-businesses that deserve some attention. Definitely looking to try and support this as I work on my articles.
3°C. That is what Siri told me after I asked what the weather was like. As a tourist that just put a smile on my face. I’ve not felt that in a really long time.
Got duped into cycling for 12km (there and back). Going there I definitely felt this was a bad idea before a meeting. I’ve cycled more in the last three weeks than I’ve cycled in the last 20 years. Definitely makes for a more active lifestyle.