Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Returning in Circles

February 11, 2012

To tell the truth, sheepish hesitation slunk through my finger in the second before I clicked into the ‘New Post’ box. I’ve returned here so many times from so many departures that I might as well be going in circles. I’d like to think, however, that they may be increasingly tighter, more practiced loops – like an eight year-old getting better at using a spirograph – and while I’m not sure that’s much to shout about, I should just embrace the wayward path of my blogging orbit and stop making excuses for myself.

So; hello again, most fine of readers. First up, I should mention that writing about videogame stories came to a halt when I actually found gainful employment working in the IT department at Aviva, something which has turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than I would ever have imagined, with the added bonus of paying somewhat better and more reliably than writing articles for small gaming sites. I have a suspicion some might also refer to this as ‘growing up and acting sensibly’.

As a result, writing has once again been elbowed out of its cosy corner in my life and I find myself, in quiet moments, faced with mental images of wide, doleful eyes asking ‘What are you going to do with me?

When pondering this question, I come to the same conclusion that, over a few years of writing things largely for my own amusement, I’ve never really done much at all with the fictional side of my writing.

There are two exceptions to this:

The first is a poem about the 2004 Tsunami, which can be found HERE. It was one of the first poems I ever wrote, at a time when I was thinking a lot about the power and nature of the waves, and received the honour of having it included in a group of poems and stories written by and for people who had been involved with the tragedy. I was in France when the gathering it was part of took place, but the poem was read aloud there by my girlfriend of the time – who I cannot imagine doing anything other than knock it out of the park – and I have always felt a real sense of resonance in remembering that my writing was out there amongst people, intertwined with their experiences and feelings. It feels like the words mattered.

The second exception, when compared to the first, is… Well; go past the end of the scale and continue on to other side of the observable universe. It’s somewhere around there. ‘There’s Plenty of Room in my Heart’ is the grisly, comedic, zombie-horror romance poem that I wrote for Rigor Amortis. When I finished writing it, I had the sensation that for the first time I had ‘hit something special’; that the abilities I had been honing for years had actually come together and formed the sum of their parts. It got published, I made a mighty $8, and received the following review from Barnes & Noble:

‘One of the most memorable selections in Rigor Amortis is unarguably Alex Masterson’s poem “There’s Plenty of Room in My Heart.” It’s simultaneously gruesome, playful and romantic – and just a brilliant piece… Masterson’s poem by itself is worth the price of this anthology alone.’

Where to go from here? In fitting with the cyclical theme of this post, I intend on returning back to almost two years in the past – the period in my life where my fiction writing was at its most prominent (read: when I was an unemployed bum) – to pick up the fragments of everything I started, and actually get them finished. The fact that this era can be found a mere one page back on this blog speaks volumes, and I won’t make any promises on the regularity of updates here, but rest assured – I’m back in business, and this time things are getting published.


Blog Meets Blog

June 25, 2011


I think’s it’s fair to say that my scribblings here over the last year have been haphazard at best. To be honest, I’ve recently found myself wanting to try something with a bit more focus. So to that (not particularly lofty, I’ll admit) end, I’m starting a new blog..




However! That’s not to say this corner of the Writing Kingdom will be completely abandoned – DM will continue to be the mind-mirror of my life, writing, dreams and delusions, however sporadic those reflections might come. Also, I’ve by no means given up on writing ridiculous stories. The new blog simply has a slightly different, more focussed direction.

As for what that direction is, if you were to consult your blogging compass and give it a spin, you’d find the needle pointing towards storytelling and narrative in videogames. I think that’s somewhere inbetween North-North-East and Behind You.

After brainstorming title ideas for at least ten minutes, I’ve decided to call it




which is almost as satisfyingly vague and pretentious a title as ‘Digital Metaphor’, so I think it’ll serve nicely 😉

There’s also an only-a-little-bit-nefarious secondary goal for this upstart of a blog, which is that I’m throwing all my efforts into becoming a videogames journalist. Once again, I have something tangible to work towards, and as such, Persuasion Check will also provide a good way to start flinging my writing around the internet in a games-related capacity, and act as good writing practice in the process.

I’ll be opening up the lightning conductors and cranking the switch on Monday, so if you fancy taking a trip over and letting me know what you think, it would be appreciated!

The url is

Well, I think all that’s left for me to do is wish you safe travels across the Great Hyperlink Ocean, and see you on the untouched shores of a new blogging land!

Blogging on the Razor’s Edge

June 23, 2010

Internetless (adjective; describing a lack of access to internet) ~ A state of being which first manifested in the late 20th Century, regular web users suffering from this condition may experience restlessness, erratic twitching of the index finger, fresh air, human contact, and other similarly confusing and unfamiliar symptoms .

I am, for the next couple of weeks, a victim of this unspeakable curse. The last entry was posted with two security guards looming over me, because I was stealing internet from the University library after it had closed. My life gets more extreme with each passing day, truly.

Now, with it being the end of the academic year, I have to hand my university card back in which means no library access at all (excuse me while I fetch a damp towel) so… for the next few days, I hope to get my internet fix by masquerading as a Modern Foreign Languages student, sneaking into my old Uni department building, and hoping that locks haven’t been put on the computer room doors during the last two years. These are dark times indeed 😉

Something to think on while I go about tracking down a reliable internet source – do geese see god?

Signing off,

Your friendly neighbourhood internet thief

The Fall of Mr. M

June 11, 2010

This artist’s impression of the former French teacher known as ‘Mr. M’ was drawn at the peak of his career by some of his year 9 students. (Bless ’em)

The PGCE teacher training course I was on… Didn’t Work Out™ .

And so here I am: a half-digested excretion of the further education system, with time on my hands. I’ve tried washing the stuff off but  it seems to be sticking, so this is a good opportunity to bust out the old writin’ fingers once again; fragile, atrophied twiglets that they are after half a year of no use… Not to worry though – plenty of opportunity to practice, and this blog is getting back up and running!

If I had knocked out an entry over the past six months it would have been eye-strainingly awful. The PGCE course is a ravenous beast and time is its very favourite chow, as a result any entry would have been dull, rushed and full of me bitching about not getting any sleep.  However, I wouldn’t want you to think you’ve missed out on anything, so here’s a quick summary of my life since December:

December – Avatar rocks me ’till I’m blue in the face, then I go on my own journey to exotic climes: Thailand. I wage war upon the native curry and beer populations, prevent my cousin from stealing Thai babies as part of her nefarious scheme to gain citizenship, and, less entertainingly, witness a murder at a beach rave.

January – At university, learning new and exciting teaching super powers.

February – Teaching in a new school. Powers begin to wane. Kryptonite clearly present in the canteen meals.

March/April/May – Realise problem might not be Kryptonite. Failing to eat; to sleep; the course.

June – End of the line. Punctuate, and press life’s Enter key. Start new paragraph.

Total number of creative writing ideas : 0

Students who have learned French: 110


The last little thing I can be proud of, at least. And now we’re up to date. To expand just a little, I was struggling to keep up with paperwork, and students weren’t getting enough learning out of the material I was presenting. Hard as I might try, I couldn’t seem to rectify these issues satisfactorily enough for the course supervisors, and with this being a 66% timetable, it was decided that with only 3 weeks to go of the course, a) I would not be able to make the necassary progress and b) even if I scraped through, it wouldn’t be beneficial for my health in the long run, and I’d probably not pass the NQT year anyway.  Joyous, right? If I can’t be a good teacher, then I don’t think I should be a teacher at all, so for better or worse, Mr. M the French Teacher is no more. Rising from the ashes… who knows?

Let’s find out, shall we?  😉

Writing Wrongs

June 9, 2010

What do you do?!

a) Panicked and confused, dive headlong into the nearby virtual undergrowth and wait for the nasty thing to go away…

b) Thinking resourcefully, remember about the Wild Blog Lure (you know, that one) that you were gifted by the Tribe of the Five Winds for fending off the wild Snargle beast of Fuzzwogga, and use it as a distraction.

c) Approach and take a closer look. You suppose there’s no harm in scoping it out, although you’ve had quite a nice day up to this point, and if something unpleasant were to happen now it would put a bit of a dampener on things.

d) You see this as a challenge. And luckily, you’re always well prepared. You rummage around in your backpack until…  aha, there it is! Time to settle this in the way writers have battled each other for centuries. You pull out your own Blog Entry! It’s ON!


a) You bury yourself deep amongst the familiar comfort of Facebook ferns, Hotmail hedges, and Google grasses, and the blog entry shuffles closer. As it approaches, you catch its scent; it is the smell of something musty and untended; a paperback novel abandoned on a park bench; a half-empty bottle of wine on the living room table, surrounded by two sets of discarded clothing…

Unaware of your presence, the blog entry makes its way past your hiding place and disappears into the jungle to continue its directionless wandering. It will eventually get caught in a territorial scuffle between an idea for a comedy script and a short story about Dream Viruses. Unfamiliar with the primal laws of the jungle, the blog entry will be no match for these two older, wilier creatures. Its words will be scattered unceremoniously, filling the jungle – only for the briefest of moments – with the bitter pang of lost potential.

b) The Wild Blog Lure works every bit as effectively as Ol’ Mama Goodie (Oh, the times you two had!) had assured you it would, from atop her crooked throne of debts and dreams. Upon glimpsing the package – which is crammed to bursting with comments, page views, and Exhibitionist Garbage Online massage kits – the blog entry gives a delighted snort and buries its head amongst the contents. You watch as it rolls around on the ground, chortling happily to itself, and feel slightly awkward.

c) Your curiosity is rewarded. As you approach, nothing unpleasant happens. Nor even anything slightly uncomfortable, like, say, getting your foot stuck between some paragraphs, or stumbling over a comma. It’s almost disappointing.

You do notice, however, that the blog entry itself has something written on it. Trying to pull your mind away from the brain-melting task of figuring out exactly how that metaparadoxical mess could even exist, you decide it’s really not worth the bother, and get on with reading. The text is as follows:

“Blimey, is that the time?”

d) You know that climactic scene in Heat where Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro finally throw down? The battle that follows is the textual equivalent of that. Or how about Arnie versus the Predator? You’re starting getting the picture. Remember the final battle between Anakin and Obi Wan Kenobi at the end of the last Star Wars film? …  Yeah, me neither, don’t worry about that one.

So get ready! Electric adjectives and propane-fuelled prose will arc through the paragraphs into your very soul! Turn to page 125 for the written battle of the decade!

Hatstanding Work…

November 16, 2009

Further to my ‘The Hidden’ entry last week (as there’s reality in there between the gung-ho dramaticisms 😉 ), I’m making this place a tad less… personally identifiable and purging away the pictures of myself. So they don’t know I’m here…

Heh, sounds like the beginning of a contemporary Lovecraft story, but to-


Gah!! Admirable enthusiasm, Mr. Cthulhu, but it’s still not your time. The stars are all unaligned and messy and the end of days is a long way off, so back to bed with you. Go on, off you go…

As I’ve said before, they’re like over-zealous puppies, those Great Old Ones. Anyway, I do actually have a semi-finished modern-day Lovecraft-style story hanging about somewhere. However, as you’ll have noticed from my not crowing from the rooftops and dancing merrily in text form, every single one of my writing deadlines has slunk ashamedly past me and are now long gone; on their way, I hope, to fresher pastures than these. The state of my WIPs is pitifully mirrored by the state of our house’s single plant, which is now nothing but three dried claws sticking out of a pot.

‘This is a hardy plant’, the description sticker boldly claimed…

I am now using it as a hat stand.

For Want of a Word…

July 10, 2009

…or two, Stone~Amber from the Fifthwind has started a writing blog! Someone roped her into it. The cad.

(Yeah Amber, title was so good I had to steal it too – you can have it back now 😛 )

As has the PRIZE WINNING Kuro:

Although be wary, for hers is sucrose-fuelled. We all know about the dangers of excess sugar, yes we do.


And the Chocalypse Creeps Closer…