Poetry: Shadow Of My Shadow (My Monster).

Shadow Of My Shadow

I forget they are there,

until I fall on my face,

the weight of my monster,

clawing at my grace.

Susceptible in mind,

broken wings in descent,

tendrils of hatred,

fuelling my relent.  

#poetry #poet #darkness #mentalhealth

Book Review: Minecraft- The Island by Max Brooks.

Survival. Zombies. Action. This book has all the usual elements of a Max Brooks bestseller… except this one has blocks… lots of blocks. If you’re aware of the world of Minecraft, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, where have you been?

I was surprised at first when I saw Max Brooks’ name on the cover of this book, but as I delved in, I could see that it suited his style of writing well. The Island is a highly creative piece of writing, with Brooks turning the mechanics of the game into fiction, in a way that can only be admired. It’s paced perfectly, with the classic survival trope of being marooned on an island used as the book’s main plot. This, of course, just works for a book based on the game.

Minecraft: The Island is written in a perspective that reads as a personal account from a journal. The protagonist, the author of the journal, tells of his adventure from the moment he wakes up on the island. With no memories of his life before, he must learn the rules of the mysterious world he finds himself in.

What surprised me most was the amount of philosophy and the number life lessons that Max Brooks has managed to weave into this tale. Clearly aimed at a wide audience, I think this was a great choice, and clearly shows the skill of Brooks as a writer. It may not be the most technically written book out there, but it’s made to be read by the many fans of the franchise. There’s something in here for everyone.    

I never thought that I’d be sharing philosophy from a work of fiction based on Minecraft, but my favourite life lessons that this book teaches:

  • Be grateful for what you have.
  • Take life in steps.
  • Courage is a full-time job.
  • It’s not failure that matters, it’s how you recover.
  • Keep going, never give up.   

Final thoughts: I loved this book. I can’t give it the same score as some of the other books I’ve rated on here, so for that reason, it gets 4/5. It’s fun. It’s well written. It’s highly creative. It’s an easy read for when you need to unwind. I would recommend Minecraft: The Island to any fan of the franchise, no matter the age. Read it if you’re a Minecraft pro or novice, it might inspire your next creation. Read it to your kids, they may pick up some valuable lessons for the future. Read it when you just need an escape, from a world not made of blocks.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Poetry: Recovery of Existence.

I want to shatter into a thousand shards,

just so I can see it all.

I want my roots to bury themselves,

deep,

into the mud,

just so I can feel everything… or something.

I want for escape,

to breathe the clean and cold air.

I want for absence,

solitude,

without care.  

Something is calling,

but I am yet to discover,

the reason why

this soul will not recover.

#Poetry #Existence #Soul #Me

5 Things that You May Not Know About Me.

I’ve been here for a while now. There’s a fair few of you following my ramblings, so for that, I want to say a big thank you. When I began my journey here, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but then I guess I didn’t have much confidence in my ability. You have all given me the confidence I need to write and ramble here.

That brings me to the point of today’s post. I like to be open here, and for you all to know who I am. I like to think that perhaps you’ll find something useful, or something to gain inspiration or motivation from. So, here are 5 things that you may not know about me:

  • Probably one of the main reasons that I started this blog was for a distraction. I used to struggle with my mind to a point of being unable to cope. This was mostly due to ten years of PTSD. I blogged my recovery progress, although compared to my writing ability today, it’s not very well written. This became a place for me to vent and grow comfortable with sharing my struggles. I have to say, it absolutely worked. I am free of all those things that stopped me from being me.
  • Adding to my struggles with mental health, I have OCD. It’s easy to manage these days, but one thing you may have noticed in my fiction is a theme of “four”. Four is the number of times that I compulsively check something. Locking doors and checking doorhandles is the worst. My mind doesn’t seem to believe something is done, until it’s checked four times. This can obviously make writing a long process… and somehow, those spelling mistakes still creep through.
  • I’m vegan. This is a fairly new journey for me, but I thought I’d add it here, for people that purely follow my blog. I became vegan around six months ago, mainly because of personal beliefs, but am also amazed at how different I am feeling physically and mentally. I also love cooking, so that added challenge of making my favourite meals vegan has been an enjoyable process. I’ve also developed a better eating routine and a meal plan that free’s up a load of my time. It’s really been a huge and positive change for me. My weight stays optimal. I have loads of energy. I can think clearly. I’m calmer, and as a result, I can handle anxiety more easily. Good nutrition is a powerful thing.  
  • Whilst growing up, I had always wanted to be a guitarist in a band (I had long black hair and everything). I got my first guitar when I was sixteen, and have played on and off ever since. I can play to a decent level. My idol was Matt Heafy from Trivium, and the first song I learned to play was Like Light to the Flies. I also wrote songs and lyrics. This is probably where my creativity started, and it was another distraction for my mental health issues. Playing guitar, especially an electric, is a great release for anger and frustration, and teaches focus. I even got a letter published in Total Guitar magazine, during my teens. That was certainly a highlight of my angsty youth.
  •  I had learning difficulties when I was young. I was very slow to read and developed my writing ability later in life than most. I had never been diagnosed with dyslexia, but I needed a lot of extra help. Even at thirteen, I was yet to read a book. I remember it being frustrating times, and of course, I was singled out because of it. Believe it or not, but breaking out of the struggle all came down to teaching myself. The first book I read was Troy by Adele Geras, then I went on to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R Tolkein. I skipped school to read these, and went to the library instead… I was also quite a rebellious and stubborn teen, but it worked out for me… and trust me, I haven’t changed much.

Hope you found this post somewhat interesting. It’s still crazy to me that people follow my work and read my craziness. I love and appreciate you all.

(Also, if you haven’t had a look at my other project site yet, it’s right here: http://www.redefined-media.com.)

The Power in Being Single.

This is a very different type of post from me, I know, but one that I feel is important for me to write. This is my first Valentines day being single in a very long time. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, even though I haven’t been in a steady relationship for a while now.

In a word, I’m happy. I have been happy for a while now. There are benefits to a single life that I hadn’t foreseen. I feel that I have more freedom. I can do things in own time. I don’t have to worry or put certain pressures on myself. I can enjoy being alone without feeling guilty. I can enjoy long walks without worrying about limitations or write for hours without interruptions. There’s a lot of power in being alone, and learning to be happy with being alone. There’s a strength in not needing anyone around you.   

I’ve always felt trapped. I guess it can be argued that it was the relationships I was in, perhaps? Was it the result of becoming stagnant or complacent? I easily get restless. I’m agitated when I get too close. I’m prone to self-sabotage, especially when something feels too good to be real. I guess it can be said that I haven’t found the right one, but then what does that mean? What would the significance be when I am already happy with what I have?  

I was afraid of being alone at first, and I think it is that same fear that keeps so many people bound in toxic relationships. That’s probably why I’m writing this, just in case anyone needs to hear it. There’s a happy ending here. There’s no shame in that fear, we’re social creatures after all. We need people and contact and love, but trust me when I say that sometimes, from some of the people in our lives, it’s not worth it. Some people hold you back. Some people can put you down, without you realising. Some people aren’t worth your time or energy or love.

My most prominent realisation from being single; there are now fewer people in my life that I need to concern myself with. The result is having more energy and love for my passions. I have more energy and love for those people around me, my family and friends, and I can put my all into my goals. And I don’t have to worry if the other person in my life doesn’t agree with something that I want to do, or dislikes the people that I want to spend time with. It’s not that I have ever felt controlled – I haven’t. I have just forgone that extra cognition of “is this okay?”.

And now, with this new strength, I am content with whatever the future will bring. I am not afraid of being alone, so I will not seek for that one person. I already have that one love in my life, and that person is me. If someone would one day stumble upon me, then I will take my time to know their soul… because that is all that truly matters. I know my soul now, and it craves for nothing other than happiness. I have learned that I can be content in my existence and I can be happy in being perfectly imperfect. I have learned the power in being single.