What Pegman Saw in Galway

What Pegman Saw in Galway: As Pegman strode through the forest near Galway, he chanced on an archetypal scene. An old woman sat spinning near a cottage over...

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What Pegman Saw in Galway

Yadira spins her magic
Free use image from Pixabay

As Pegman strode through the forest near Galway, he chanced on an archetypal scene. An old woman sat spinning near a cottage overgrown with vines.

“Pegman, do not tell me that you were planning on walking by without saying hello,” the wizened crone admonished.

“Perish the thought, Yadira,” Pegman replied. “Shall we have tea?”

Pegman and Yadira sat outside the cottage in two old chairs, sipping their tea.

“Yadira, I must ask,” Pegman said. “Why can’t you content yourself to complete your quest in peace? Why are you terrorizing Gerry Clifford? What happened that day in the hills near Bar-Wul-Yann was certainly not in any way his fault.”

“I am merely a catalyst, Pegman,” Yadira retorted. “I am a witch. Witches grant wishes.”

“You are doing more than granting wishes. You are interfering.”

“You are one to talk, Impartial Observer who does not content himself with observing impartially,” Yadira retorted.

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~



And now...The Notes!


Bar-Wul-Yann is a location in the 1910 story, Idle Days on the Yann, by Lord Dunsany. Dunsany was a major influence on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

Yadira Root is the namesake of the Yadira Chronicles. As Nyarlathotep's daughter, she is a force to be reckoned with. 

I have published the first chapter of Yadira's story free on LBRY. The entire story is available for 15 LBC. An LBC is a form of cryptocurrency. As of this writing, its value was a little over $0.04.

If you don't already have a LBRY account, get one here. LBRY is an open-source digital marketplace.

https://lbry.tv/$/invite/@naughtynetherworldpress:d

Find out how to get more Pegman and other Naughty Netherworld Press goodness here.

http://www.naughtynetherworldpress.com/p/places-to-support-naughty-netherworld.html

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)


Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. LBRY’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on LBRY. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.


Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

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https://pegmaninthenetherworld.blogspot.com/

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https://bitpatron.co/orneryowl.id.blockstack

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http://patreon.com/naughtynetherworldpress


Free First Chapter Friday: Carnal Invasion Book I: Coming to Earth: Hard Landing

Free Use Image from Pixabay Copyright Gerhard Janson

When the Earth invasion fleet from Gamma Iridon was wiped out by irradiated space junk, there were only two survivors. 110X1 was the spawn of the vice-admiral and 1X0X1 was the spawn of the lead wing commander. The pair were notorious for being exceptionally lazy; when space junk devastated the fleet, they were napping in an escape pod, which detached from the doomed flagship and fell to Earth, landing in a sand trap at Big Putt Golf Haven at the stroke of midnight.

The pod dematerialized ninety seconds after the surprised occupants evacuated. No‐one witnessed the event except for countless mosquitoes, several hundred fireflies, approximately 108 mice, one screech owl, and a young groundskeeper named Gandolph Stafford, known to his gaming friends as Gandy.

“Holy chimera crap!” Gandy gasped.

The evacuees of the pod initially appeared to be amorphous, transparent blobs. Gandy attempted to stay hidden from them. He was just twenty‐five years old, and he had every intention of celebrating his twenty‐sixth birthday in 172 days. The invaders, however, had far more advanced senses than humans.

Gandy watched as sparks blipped in the forms of the two jelly‐like aliens. He realized they must be communicating with each other. Suddenly, the pair extended pseudopods from their gelatinous forms and reached into the brush, dragging the terrified groundskeeper to them.

“No, please, please, don’t eat me!” Gandy begged. “I won’t tell anyone what I saw, I swear!”

The aliens pressed their pseudopods to Gandy’s temples. He could suddenly understand their thoughts.

“Fear not, Terran. We have no intention of consuming you.”

“Oh, good!” Gandy replied. “I...I probably wouldn’t taste that good anyway. My diet isn’t exactly stellar. I’m a bit of a junk food junkie. I could get you something to eat, though. Would you like some ice cream? Oh. You probably don’t even know what ice cream is, do you?”

“We wish to learn of your planet. Teach us what you know.”

“Well, um, yeah, okay, sure. I just need to finish putting everything away. Is that okay?”

“Companion, I believe the Terran would feel more comfortable if we were to assume the appearance of one of his kind,” one of the aliens suggested. 

“Yes, I believe you are correct, Companion. One moment, Terran. We are retrieving data from your mind to create a form that you will find pleasing.”

~Cie from Naughty Netherworld Press~

Want more of this short, sweet, and spicy story?

Here's where you can get yours!

Buy it on Amazon for 99 cents.


This story is for mature audiences only.

New chapters are published weekly on LBRY for 1 LBRY token per chapter. LBRY is a form of cryptocurrency. At the time this post was written, it was worth just shy of $0.04. Follow @naughtynetherworldpress on LBRY to get the good stuff cheap every week! Plus get a killer deal on complete books. I plan to sell this one for 15 LBRY tokens. 


New chapters come out weekly on these paid subscription platforms:




Get all the details about each platform on this page.


The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)



Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Sell your digital content on Lbry

Sell your digital content on Lbry: For me Hive is the most promising blockchain project out there but I would rank Lbry second. What is Lbry I've been on Lbry for a couple of weeks. Lbry is a blockchain based video platform where you can also host audio files, images, vectors, texts o...

This was a very informative post. I have LBRY, but I thought it was pretty much just a decentralized YouTube. I'm a writer (obviously, I guess) and the sort of person who has a very good face for radio. I have no interest in making videos. However, after reading your post, I've seen that LBRY could be useful for me too. 

If you appreciate the information provided in this post, please consider signing up for a free Publish0x account and giving the author a tip in cryptocurrency at no cost to yourself. You can get crypto for your posts too!

https://www.publish0x.com?a=9wdL33wbjP

New Feature: Thirsty Thursday


Free use image copyright Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

Howdy solks, I mean folks! I had one of those brainstorm lightning strikes and came up with what could be a cool new idea. I'm calling it Thirsty Thursday. 

Thirsty Thursday will convene on a somewhat regularly irregular schedule at the official Naughty Netherworld Press blog. 


Sorry, but Thirsty Thursday isn't about drinking. Here's how it works. Every Thursday, give or take, I will shamelessly self-promote some of my work, and I invite you to do the same, providing a link and a brief description in the comments. The following week, I will share any previously shared links in the main post.

Let's spread independent art and writing far and wide! Erotica and NSFW art is welcome, but please indicate that the work is NSFW so that people who would prefer to avoid such can do so. Both fiction and nonfiction links are welcome. Fanart and fan fiction are welcome as well.

Full disclosure, this idea is not uniquely mine. The AO3 Comment of the Day Tumblr  (https://ao3commentoftheday.tumblr.com/) used to have a similar feature for sharing links to fan fiction works. Their ask box is currently closed and their feature was specific to fan fiction. I wanted to give mine a broader scope. I also miss the old Moonshine Grid at http://yeahwrite.me and thought that it would be good to have something like that where people could share their current work, published or not, without strict criteria. 

I am also stealing a page from the WEP folks (http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com) to hopefully forestall potential problems with overly zealous critics. Please indicate next to your link whether you would like a full critique of your work (FCA), minor points (i.e. typos) only (MPA), or no critique, comments only (NCCO). 

Again, for the overly zealous critics, please keep your critiques CONSTRUCTIVE. The folks at WEP have a great page about writing a helpful critique as opposed to tearing a work down. Artists and authors tend to be a sensitive lot, and many of us use our creations in order to deal with past trauma or current stressors. Be kind.

As a wise soul named Kalpana once said to me, "comments and critique can be upsetting sometimes especially if they don't always come from the most balanced perspective and are carelessly worded." Sometimes people aren't in a good place to deal with other people's imbalanced perspectives and careless wording. Having a go at someone for not being in a good place to process criticism, whether constructive or otherwise, is unacceptable.

Here is the WEP critique page for your consideration.


That being said, I'd like for Thirsty Thursday to be more of a laid-back creative speakeasy than a critique circle. Come on and show us what you've got! You show us yours, and we'll show you ours! Cheers!

Here is my first share. If you like ornery poetry and hate pandemics and the spray-tanned parasite, hurry up and grab yourself a copy of Poetic Pandemic! It's free until May 24, 2020.


Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press

Note: I stole the line "howdy solks, I mean folks" from the late, great Shorty Medlocke (20 July 1912 – 6 August 1982).

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)


Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

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http://publish0x.com/naughty-netherworld-press

https://bitpatron.co/orneryowl.id.blockstack

http://ko-fi.com/naughtynetherworldpress

http://patreon.com/naughtynetherworldpress

Don't Wait, Resonate! (Free for Five Days)

Buy it Here:

If you're sick to death of this damn pandemic...

If you're pissed as hell at the bullshit storm unleashed on a daily basis by Cheeto Twitler, the Megalomaniac Moron in Chief...

Why wait? Grab a copy of this pissed-off poetry volume and commiserate!

Best of all, it's yours for the amazing price of free from May 20 through May 24, 2020.

Some like it snarky, especially when it comes to politics and particularly when it comes to the spray-tanned parasite occupying the White House.

But for some, snarky doesn't go far enough. 

This book takes it all the way to scathing. 

If that's the way you like your tea, get it FREE from May 20th to May 24th.

Support independent snark today. Granted, it's no stimulus check, but it's a book with a bite to inspire you to keep up the fight. Get yours!


Ornery Poetry Story Time: Lotus Laments

Image copyright Carlo Paulasso

Always believing him out of her reach
There was a subtle trembling in her speech
Whenever she had something to report
As she daydreamed of being his consort

But dreams become nightmares for foolish girls
He stole a treasure more precious than pearls
Never could she believe he was that man
A cur in an alley grabs what he can

She believed him to be a righteous gent
Quickly from her heart was that belief rent
He was a doctor, she minded his kids
She is left with the guilt from what he did

Her innocence died upon that cold night
There is nothing on Earth can make it right

Lotus Lakshmi Martha Clifford
13 March 1963

Sharing with these sites:

http://thesundaymuse.blogspot.com

https://poetsandstorytellersunited.blogspot.com/

http://godoggocafe.com (for Promote Yourself Monday)

Notes
If all you wanna see is the poetry, this is is your stop. If you wanna take note of the notes, stick around!

I am very grateful to the folks at the Sunday Muse blog for providing this photo. It turned out to be the push I needed to get out of my stuck place with my WIP, The Ballad of Gerry Clifford.

Lotus is the older sister of the titular character. She was adopted into the large, loving Clifford family when she was six years old. She wrote this sonnet after being molested at twelve years old by the doctor whose children she babysat for.

If you would like to see more snippets from this and other stories as they develop, please click the following link to check out your options.


The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)


Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Rainbow Snippets: From Behind: A Rough Landing

Image copyright Alexander Andropov

After a dozen stomach-churning spirals, the plasma jets stabilized the craft, which landed at the base of a wind-blasted mountain range covered in dunes of red sand. The passenger looked curiously at her companions.

“Why has your form not shifted?” she inquired. “Surely a human could not survive in this place.”

“We are not human,” the officer appearing to be a petite Asian woman of around forty years of age replied. “We only take on the appearance of humans.”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Follow the link to see last week's snippet.


Notes:
This snippet is an excerpt from a WIP short story that was recently published at  blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts. You can read the entire submission here. 

If you enjoy the story, please consider signing up for a free Reedsy account and giving it a thumbs up. Reedsy features a new story contest every week, plus editing and publishing services.


This story will eventually become part of a novelette which is part of a collection of stories ranging from slightly spicy to Habanero. The tentative title for the collection is A Fine Mess in Space and Time.

Gamma Iridians are a shape-shifting species from the planet Gamma Iridion. Mistress Kali and Mistress Nyx are Gamma Iridians. The unhappy passenger is Paraji, a Rakshesha (female Rakshasa). Paraji is Mistress Kali's past lover, and Mistress Nyx is Mistress Kali's current paramour. 

Paraji's desire for revenge on Mistress Kali for spurning her led to the mess that the trio is currently in. Check out Paraji's Prisoners for the sizzling back-story. This book is for mature audiences only. 


The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)



Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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What Pegman Saw + WeWriWa: An Afternoon in Providence

Magicpiano / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Pegman strode into Providence on the 130th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s birth, carrying a picnic basket. He strolled around the grounds of Butler Hospital at 345 Blackstone Boulevard. Pegman knew that this was the place where Winfield Scott Lovecraft, the father of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the progenitor of the Cthulhu Mythos, lived out the final five years of his life.

By Will Hart from Fullerton, U.S.A. - flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1 - cthulhuwho1.com - youtube.com/user/CthulhuWho1 - A_22 College Hill - H. P. Lovecraft's Final Home - The Samuel B. Mumford House (1825) - 65 Prospect Street (at Meeting Street) - Looking East-South-East, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17954645

Pegman walked on, lingering for a moment at 22 Prospect Street, the house where HPL lived out the final four years of his life before succumbing to cancer. 

Will Hart from Fullerton, U.S.A. - flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1 - cthulhuwho1.com - youtube.com/user/CthulhuWho1 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

He admired the plaque commemorating the author, the value of whose work was primarily recognized posthumously.

Kenneth C. Zirkel / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Pegman continued to Swan Point Cemetery.

Image Source

When Pegman reached Lovecraft’s grave, he sat down and procured a bottle of wine and two glasses from his picnic basket. He was shortly joined by a spirit.

“Ah, Pegman!” Lovecraft greeted. “Could you perchance spare a spot of wine?”

~Aunt Cie, the Ornery Old Lovecraft Devotee~



Notes
For the moment, I am going to continue combining my Weekend Writing Warriors posts and Pegman adventures. I am planning to eventually publish a compilation of Pegman tales. The work that my son and I are doing on the crummy old mobile home to put it on the market takes up a lot of my time. We live approximately 125 miles away from the mobile home's location and try to go there three days a week, so the drive is a job in itself and my health isn't wonderful.

I feel like the Pegman stories introduce readers to my writing style. If you like the way I work it (no diggity) and want to bag it up, follow this link for ways to support me and bag up some more good stuff to read.


Cancel culture being what it is, I know that if I were to not assert my rejection of Lovecraft's xenophobic beliefs, I would be accused of harboring the same. Lovecraft was the product of a very strange upbringing in a racist and xenophobic era. My further thoughts on this can be found at the following link, along with my poem, Mr. Lovecraft's Zoo.


And now, before we get into the icky, sticky, nit-picky legalese, here is a song to enjoy while reading the post.




The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)



Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

Please do not repost

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Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Tackle It Tuesday: Tackling the Truth Part 1: I Suck At Blogging

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I am a walking contradiction. It isn't that I set out to deceive anyone, but I'm not always forthcoming. This may be part and parcel of the fun shenanigans played by a brain with bipolar disorder. (Type 2)

When I am hypomanic, I tend to be very forthcoming.

When I am depressed, I withdraw because I don't figure that anyone wants to hear anything that I have to say.

When I'm euthymic, it's somewhere in between, only without the self-loathing. On one hand, I don't feel like I have anything to hide. On the other hand, I figure nobody needs to know anything that I don't feel like revealing.

I have a high degree of social anxiety. Sometimes the hypomanic component overrides this, but it always comes back. This is why I may have a day where I'm waltzing around promoting my faboo posts on blog hops, and the next day I am overwhelmed and may not be able to reply to comments for a long time.

People tend to feel that someone who doesn't reply to comments right away is simply a rude a-hole. Most of the time, I find that people are overwhelmed by trying to do too many things, for instance, they may have a job and a family and are also trying to create and promote. Also, many people have anxiety and other psychological issues and these can sideline them. I tend to assume in most cases that the person who didn't reply isn't rude, they're simply overwhelmed.

There are two things that I suck at. Sheesh, I wish it was only two. Truth be told, I suck at everything, but these are the two things that pertain to this discussion.

I suck at blogging. Seriously, I am not a good blogger. Someone once said that being a blogger and being a writer are not the same thing, and boy howdy is that ever true. 

I suck at promotion and networking and all that kind of happy crappy. I seriously wish I had the money to hire someone to do it for me because I make such a mess of it. This ties into the whole sucking at blogging thing.

Here's how I messed things up this time.

On Sunday, I thought: "Say, let's do some blog hops with my Sunday Dinner post!"

On Monday, I thought: "Well, let's continue with that..."

On Tuesday, I was still trying to get to all the blog hops that I thought it would be a good idea to share that post with.

There are some of y'all out there who participate in a metric butt-ton of blog hops every week and I have to admit that I HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU DO IT! That right there is a full-time job. Maybe (probably) I'm just stupid. But my hat would be off to you if I wore a hat. I could take off my pants, socks, or shirt, but ain't nobody wants to see that.

I have a group of goals (more like a cluster f**k of goals) that I'm trying to make happen. Some of them I've been trying to make happen for years. Admissibly, it's harder for me because I'm not a social butterfly. I'm more of a social hermit crab. My attitude tends to take one of two forms.

1) I scuttle up, present my work, and say "here ya go, love it or leave it." Then I scuttle off to make something else.

2) I scuttle up, present my work, and whimper "please don't be mean to me!" Then I scuttle off and withdraw into my shell for a week or so.

Now, let's talk about me for a minute.

I've been belittled on many occasions for not honing in on JUST ONE BIG THING WITH LASER FOCUS!!!111!! I've also been belittled for having shaky self-esteem. I always beat myself up for both of these "shortcomings." 

Why would I put "shortcomings" in quotation marks?

Because I don't think these things are shortcomings. It sucks to have poor self-esteem, but how the actual hell do people think it helps someone overcome their low self-esteem when you're berating them for having low self-esteem? Improving one's self-esteem isn't the kind of thing that happens overnight.

People with low self-esteem have one thing in common. We have all been abused. Whether this abuse comes from family, schoolmates, or society at large, we've been abused. Abuse gets internalized, and it can take a long time to reverse that process. Often, it is never fully reversed.

The self-esteem issue is a post in itself, so I'm going to table that for now.

As to being unable to hone in on one target with laser focus and pigeonhole myself into a niche, I've tried that. Again and again and again. I have failed at it every time. 

It took me 54 years to learn some important things about me. First, I have ADD. This has an effect on the way I interact with the world and what it throws at me. Combine ADD with bipolar disorder and you're pretty well guaranteed to have a person who will not do well trying to have LASER FOCUS!

ADD affects the way I write. I'm a prolific writer, but I go off on sidetracks. I learned that instead of trying to write focused novels, I need to write collections of novelettes that have a central theme and that can work together or be read as separate short stories. 

My thought process works a lot like the way time works according to Dr. Who.


What I'm getting around to is this:

My writing comes first. I get very upset when I don't do it. I hate the fact that I have to promote it. It makes me very anxious. I know that I'm an acquired taste that most people don't tend to acquire. So is my writing. I doubt that I'll ever make a lot of money off my writing. But I can't hold a normal job, so I'm trying to find alternative ways to make money.

I need to promote the alternative means, just like I need to promote the writing.

But then people get angry with me for promoting...well, anything, really.

Anyway...

Here is what I'm getting around to.

I didn't mean to make anyone angry at me. I'm sorry if I didn't reply to your comment yet. You may think I'm a jerk, but I didn't mean to be. I'm still trying to refine my process, and I may never be any good at any of this. 

Thanks for reading. I'm going to go make some soda bread now.

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~


Rainbow Snippets: A Wild Ride


A spacecraft resembling a high-tech acorn wobbled drunkenly into the Martian atmosphere. Inside the ship, two Gamma Iridian officers in the guise of human females frantically worked the controls to keep the craft upright. A third woman sat strapped into a passenger seat, her onyx eyes wide with terror in her perfect porcelain face. She ran her fingers into the mane of a grand griffin, who sat contentedly chewing on what appeared to be a roast. The unhappy passenger made a face.

“I guarantee, Griffy, you would be extremely unhappy if you knew that hunk of meat was actually a lump of synthesized space algae,” the woman sighed.

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~


Notes
This snippet is an excerpt from a WIP short story currently in the works for the https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/fantasy/write-about-an-animal-species-that-doesn-t-exist-i/ prompt. The short story will be incorporated into a Carnal Invasion novelette tentatively titled "From Behind." 

Gamma Iridians are a shape-shifting species from the planet Gamma Iridion. The two Gamma Iridians attempting to pilot the craft are Mistress Kali and Mistress Nyx. The unhappy passenger is Paraji, an ancient vampire sorceress, originally from India. Paraji is Mistress Kali's past lover, and Mistress Nyx is Mistress Kali's current paramour. 

Paraji's desire for revenge on Mistress Kali for spurning her led to the trouble that the trio is currently in. Check out Paraji's Prisoners for the sizzling back-story. This book is for mature audiences only. 



The Inevitable Legalese and Other Blah-Blah

Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Support the Naughtiness!

What Pegman Saw in Quinghain, Haibei



On an alternate version of Earth, Pegman watched as four figures, two men and two women, fell through a wormhole in front of a lonely temple in the deserted city of Quinghain, Haibei. The young Chinese woman gasped in horror as she glanced about the eerily silent scene. None of the quartet spoke aloud, but they could hear one another’s thoughts.

“We have come to the Far East,” a tall, Middle Eastern man in cleric’s robes mused.

“What year is this?” wondered a fair-complexioned Caucasian man, also clad in cleric’s garb.

“It’s like this place is a reflection of the world,” the Japanese-Caucasian woman with piercing blue eyes noted. “The color seems to have been washed out of everything.”

“Where has everyone gone?” the Chinese woman demanded. “I must know what happened to the people!”

Before the others could stop her, the panicked woman hurried away into the abandoned city.

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~




Notes
It has been an age since I did a Weekend Writing Warriors or Sunday Snippet. I want to get back in the swing of things. I am working on multiple projects including a collection of Pegman flashes, so I thought this flash would be a good place to get back in the game 

The characters in this Pegman flash are part of the Carnal Invasion series. I am currently working on a new Carnal Invasion epic called "A Fine Mess in Space and Time." I am projecting that it will take about five years to complete this project.

The characters featured in this flash are a group of vampire-werewolf hybrids who are having a bit of bad luck with wormholes.

I created the Weekend Writing Warriors and What Pegman Saw banners using stock images on Pixlr. Please feel free to use them if you'd like. No credit is necessary.

The Inevitable Legalese and Other Blah-Blah

Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

Please do not repost

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Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

This post is published on the following sites:







Support the Naughtiness!

Insecure Writers' Support Group 6 May 2020


Parental Advisory for the entire post.

I tend to liberally sprinkle my writing with salty language. If your parents don't want you reading the colorful words, then hit the back button on your browser.

The question is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the Zone?

The short answer is "no."

But that would be a pretty crap post, so we'll go on.

A long time ago, I used to do mystical rituals every night. I know this question isn't referring to mystical rituals, but hold on, it ties in.

A long time ago, I used to do mystical rituals every night, but my focus wasn't right most of the time. I was a very unhappy person who had a lot of trauma from my past that I was blocking out, and I had an improperly diagnosed major mental illness.

Now, there are a lot of old school uncool (as opposed to old school cool) practitioners of the craft who say that individuals living with mental illness should never do magic. I say, fuck a whole lot of that noise. Getting in tune with the elemental forces and with the planetary and universal energies can be calming, grounding, and healing. The trouble is, that wasn't what I was doing and I didn't have much (as in, I didn't have jack shit) in the way of Earthly guidance.

I was in a lot of pain and I felt a lot of unloved. I was trying to find someone to love me. I wanted friends who wouldn't leave me, and I wanted a fairytale Happily Ever After. I was married, and he was a decent guy who today I consider a very important part of my forever family, but we have been divorced since 1994, and it was for the best. We were drawn to each other because both of us came from dysfunctional families. We were both badly damaged. We tried to save each other, but as time went on, things became more and more toxic.

Anyway, no, I don't have any rituals for getting into the zone. But I would like to start doing the other kind of rituals again, this time with a different focus. I'm thinking that maybe I could combine the two things. When I am having trouble writing, perhaps spray a little essential oil and try to meditate on getting myself back in tune with the energies of the planet.

There is disruption in my life at this time, and I've been depression sleeping. For those who don't know, I have rapid-cycling type 2 bipolar disorder. I went from hypomania, where I was feeling like I'm on track and it's only a matter of time until people discover that weird fiction is cool and they'll be clamoring for mine to feeling like nobody will ever want to read my work and I'll die destitute like my literary heroes, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. 

I'll never again buy into the belief that I'm a bad writer. I'm not. I'm a weird writer, and that isn't everyone's thing, nor is it a thing that tends to lend itself to becoming popular. But it's my thing, and I love it, and I wouldn't trade it to write a Twilight or a Fifty Shades of Gray. (Yuck to both of those.) 

What I am bad at is promoting myself. I'm very shy, and trying to sell myself goes against my nature. I wish the writing could speak for me, but it doesn't entirely, and I'm reclusive and kind of prickly. When it comes to promotion, I often feel as if I'm pretending to be something I'm not. 

This is one of the reasons that I tend to be unflinchingly honest about myself, even though I know it tends to make people uncomfortable. People only want the Happy Crappy, the Feel-Good Story, the Happy Ever After. I can't give that. I live in the middle of a vicious cycle, and I always will. Medications are not "one size fits all," and they make me manic and psychotic anyway. I don't like being either of those things. 

I also don't think it's right that people like me are pushed into poverty and then told that we deserve to be poor because it's impossible for us to work "normal" jobs. If there's anything this damn pandemic has taught us, it should be that the "normal," nine-to-five, five days a week system is broken. There are a lot of jobs that can and should be done remotely. It would be better for the planet and better for us as a collective. It would also allow a fair number of disabled people to work where they currently cannot. There's a lot that needs fixing, and it's high time that it was addressed.

So, let me thank you for coming to my TED rant. If you have a ritual that works to get you into the Zone, good on ya. Maybe someday I will too.

~Your ornery old Aunt Cie~



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