Farewell to the Inkwell

Written by Ashcloud


Adieu mon ami,
For now it must be
The end, our farewell, our adieu.

Adieu mon ami,
Forever we will be,
A team beyond any description.

Adieu mon ami,
Full of fond memories,
Of our friendship and time spent together.

Adieu mon ami,
In our hearts you shall see,
The impression you left through your wisdom.

Farewell to the Inkwell,
You shall be missed dear,
Though your legacy shall continue,
Through the ones you held near.


Our last published post of 2015, and one that marks it beautifully. Ashcloud’s tribute poem, “Farewell to the Inkwell” is a goodbye to our wonderful little community on the Inkwell Forum. It’s served us well – six years in fact – and I’m glad that Ashcloud amongst many of our other members could be a part of it. If you wish to view her other published work on Inkblots, make sure to read her poems “Waterworks” and “Is it Wrong?”. You can also view her new blog, here.

Thanks go out to all our lovely members. Some will still continue to publish their work via Inkblots, while others have moved on. Either way, I wish everyone the best. And thanks to a wonderful 2015 for Inkblots to all our followers, readers and contributors. You are all superb people.

Featured Image CC // Jonathan Blocker

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Procrastination

Written by Lost in a Dream


Tired of walking and eager to escape the stagnant heat of the late afternoon sun, Rose entered the cool interior of the café on the corner. The name was written in twisted gold metal above the large window and was rendered illegible by the vines which snaked around the loops of the text. She tucked herself away on a table in the corner, next to the window.

A waiter in a black shirt, with sleeves rolled up to his elbows, placed a large opened menu on the table. She gazed over the menu for a few minutes. Salads, pittas, seafood and other Greek dishes. Angry with herself, she closed the menu. She already knew what she wanted: coffee, a distraction-free afternoon and perhaps an ashtray. Once again she was procrastinating, like she had been this morning, like she had been all week.

The waiter returned, and Rose gave her order. She placed her heavy black bag on the table and rummaged inside until she felt the familiar touch of a notebook and a scrappy wad of paper. She laid the items out on the table as neatly as she could and salvaged a couple of pens from the abyss that was her bag.

It was a new notebook. Turquoise with an elasticated band in a matching shade, holding the pages shut. There was always something ceremonial about opening a new notebook accompanied by an unrealistic desire to avoid defiling the pages with her scruffy handwriting. Rose wrote the date as best she could. Again, procrastinating. She would never be able to maintain this neat writing for the rest of the notebook and why was she writing the date? What kind of title is that?
A different waiter placed a tray on the table with a black coffee and a carafe of water.

“Do you need anything else?” he asked.

Rose shook her head. She poured a glass of water and stirred a single sugar into her coffee. No, nothing else. No more excuses, no more procrastination. It was time she wrote down what happened. As long as it was in her head, it did not exist. Writing it down would make it real. True, she had a handful of documents and photographs. But they meant nothing without the connections in her head. She promised herself she wouldn’t care for grammar or style for now, she could fine tune it all later. What she needed now was to make a start.

She picked up her pen again, crossed out the neatly written date and wrote a new title in her signature scrawl.


Procrastination was written on behalf of January’s half hour challenge, Beginnings. Lost in a Dream’s short piece perfectly suited March’s Reflection theme, and it’s something we can certainly all relate to when it comes to writing. Too many times have I sat down to write a journal entry, particularly after a difficult day, and not known where to start. Sometimes all we can do is write, and hope for the best. If you enjoyed Lost in a Dream’s work, you can view more of her superb writing with, ‘Star Talk ii’ and ‘Closure’

Featured Image CC // Loren Javier

 

January Editorial – The Year Ahead and Welcome to 2015!

Hey Inkblotters,

Welcome to 2015 and a very happy new year to all our readers, writers and followers. By now, you’ll have likely noticed a couple of changes to our site. First of all, we’ve got a new (but not so new) domain name – now you can find us without the wordpress.com on the end!

We’ve also changed our main theme and layout to reflect the magazine’s content and overall feel. On the left side bar you’ll find all our pages, including the Submissions page which is much easier to access now. Plus, there’s also a small pin, clicking on this will take you to our featured content – these are the best posts from our authors around the world, so we take care in picking them out. And on the final tab is a folder, that’s where you’ll find our social output and where you can subscribe to us. Hopefully you’ll love the new theme just as much as I do!

With a new year brings lots of new content, but this time we’re on the hunt for a few more regular or guest contributors. Usually, we select content based on a pool that we receive in every month to a particular month. While the themes are sticking, we’re changing how we select content. So if you’d like your writing to be featured or published on Inkblots, please take a look at January to May’s themes below, which have been pre-selected.

  • January – Beginnings
  • February – Of Love and Other Drugs
  • March – Reflection
  • April – The Sweetest Thing
  • May – Strength

And don’t worry if you forget the themes above, as you’ll find them over at the submissions page throughout the year. Submissions for January’s theme is open until the 10th, but for all other months the closing date will be the last day of the previous month. So that means if you would like to submit content for March’s theme “Reflection”, you’ll need to send it us by February 28th to be considered for publication. You can send us submissions at theinkwellwriting@gmail.com.

While we have a few new works lined up for January’s content (you won’t be disappointed) with poetry and fiction, the Half Hour Challenge theme for January is Of Prologues and Other Such Beginnings. 

I hope you’ve had a great start to the year and I look forward to the year ahead! 🙂

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image // Kalyan Chakravarthy

Monthly Editorial: Focusing On Dedication In July’s Content

tennis_racket_wimbledon

Fancy a bit of a warm up? Image // BBC

Hey Inkblotters!

As June’s content and theme passes, July’s is now upon us and we’ve got a new theme to boot. Since the sporting season is here – what with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Wimbledon’s annual two-week stint on the BBC – our theme this month reflects the commitment sportsmen and sportswomen must have in order to succeed and achieve splendid results in their chosen careers. Putting matters of money and sponsorship deals aside, athletes work hard to be the very best they can – 5am wake-up calls, swim sessions, and gritting their teeth through bad weather to head out for a morning run. But it’s not just athletes who dedicate themselves to sport, what about the regular individuals who just do it for fun? So this month we’re tackling the theme of “dedication” through sport, an homage full of admiration, or with dedication to an event in history – we’re going to cover the theme from all angles.

First up we’ve got a wonderful HHC entry by Dice in his Alexander episodic shorts on the 5th. Written in relation to the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Dice’s Summer 1943 is definitely not one to miss. On the 8th, poetry whizz Ashcloud takes us on a journey with a knight as an homage to her closest friend; consider us fans already. Then a little further into the month on the 20th, new contributor but forum veteran Fuzzyears takes snippets from song lyrics and recreates her own for us. But you know the drill by now, keep checking back to see much more Inkblots content throughout July.

For those who follow our Twitter, you may have seen a small tease that the Fiction Frenzy will be returning – well, it has and it’s returned for TWO entire months this time. Throughout July until August 31, the FF will be open to everyone. You can check out the rules on our Inkwell forum, here, for more info. Also, seen as the competition will be running for two months, I couldn’t help but give our members two themes to go with it. So get writing some awesome entries for Virtual Reality and Carnage. If you’re looking to send us your entry, just check out the submissions page for rules and guidelines and, more importantly, our email!

Finally, seen as you’re probably getting sick of me babble on, our new Half Hour Challenge theme is Chase. Since I’ve been re-watching One Tree Hill episodes, I can only think of the character named Chase who wants to be a pilot. But hey, I’m sure you (our lovely readers and contributors) will think of much better HHC entries than the above.

Until next time!

– Silver,  Inkblots Editor 

Teddy’s Tale

Written by Sparky

ted_film

We imagine this is exactly what Ted would do. Do not push that button, Ted. Image // Universal Pictures

I remember how it all ended. The story is almost legendary amongst what remains of my people. The noise, the smoke, the endless crush. But it all came later; this is how it begins.

In the centre of our planet was a machine and it ran the day-to-day business of the whole planet, ensuring the globe kept spinning, the sea had its tides and the volcanoes acted as they should. The machine even regulated night and day for those deep in the heart of the planet. Those at the heart of the machine acted as gods, controlling the fate of all who lived on the surface world. One youth of this tribe of stewards was responsible for our fall, unintentionally of course. His name is inscribed into our minds yet never spoken, lest we bring his fate on us once more.

He had a small teddy bear, handed down from father to son over generations. The ticking that emanated from its heart was a reminder of how even simple things could be enriched with technology. This bear had kept the boy company over the years when his father had to watch over the machine, in order to ensure its constant upkeep. They shared conversations of the past, of the hopes and dreams the two shared. But the bear longed to return to the surface world he originated from, before the time of control.

They went everywhere together, the boy and his bear, walking alongside the other. Their footsteps silent, the clockwork inside the bear’s chest the only sign of actual life between them. They had explored the machine’s various rooms and corridors over the lonely years; they knew every inch of their home. As a new day broke inside the machine, the bear seemed sadder than usual; he looked out on the complex with his dull, vacant stare. Between him and the boy there was an unspoken bond, they could almost read the other’s thoughts. That particular morning, the boy knew the bear wanted to explore again, to get closer to the machine than they ever been allowed before.

They got to the door outside the heart of the machine. The door that would allow those who entered the power to control an entire planet. The bear looked at it with a sigh as the control was set above the reach of either him or the boy.

The boy waved the bear toward him – he didn’t want to be caught here, he wasn’t allowed. The bear plodded along after him, silently calculating the best way to get into that room. He would get that opportunity sooner than he realised. The door slid open on its brass hinges to the slightest hiss of steam, and the bear hesitated then turned. It was open, the steward’s shadow retreating down the hallway. So the furry dog-eared bear hurried.

He only just made it inside, his little legs barely making it over the threshold before the door shut behind him. He walked to the large brass console in front of him and scrambled up between the chair and the panels. Looking out over the endless buttons and levers, his eyes fell on the wall of screens fizzing to life in front of him. And, in that moment, he remembered what it was like to breathe pure air, feel the warmth on his wool as the sunlight bathed him in its glow. If he could cry, a tear would have formed in the corner of his eye. He took a few small steps and reached down to flip open the protective cover on the centre button. The big red button. The big red button that read “Do Not Press”. The bear raised one paw and gathered as much force as he could and brought it to bear on that button. Alarms rang out across the complex and scenes of destruction began to fill every screen in front of him. The end had come, all because of a bear’s resentment at losing the freedom he once enjoyed.

The machine exploded in a giant fireball, consuming the bear within its inescapable heat, yet before it did, he smiled and whispered one last word.

“Oops.”

Sparky’s short fiction was inspired by an earlier Half Hour Challenge and written for our Inkwell forum. It’s an interesting piece that covers the idea of freedom and how one small change can become a catalyst for much bigger consequences. Sure it’s cliché and it screams to the “Lost” TV series fans, but buttons do come with consequences, they are just smaller in reality. If you enjoyed Sparky’s piece, make sure you check out his beautiful poem, “I Wish“. 

Calling Fiction Writers and Poets: The Bill Overton Memorial Fund

loughborough_university_signAs our readers know, Inkblots is dedicated to finding new talent, often searching through pools of content in order to pick out the best, but tonight’s post isn’t about our content, it’s about something a little more special.

In September 2012, I was hit by not one but two deaths that affected me in different ways. One was a family death, of which I loved him dearly – a great Uncle masquerading as my Grandad in many ways – and the other was a former lecturer at Loughborough University who both taught and guided me in the form of poetry and Shakespeare. Bill Overton was a large part of the English Department at the university and gave us a real kick up the bums if we were not reaching our full potential! Sadly, he passed away after suffering from a period of illness. Hearing this news from my former students, lecturers and friends was a real shock. It was something that none of us could even process, so I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for his family and friends.

But since Bill loved both teaching and reading Poetry, Loughborough University has set up a memorial fund, which will support an annual poetry prize, giving the opportunity for new talent to pave their career in writing. It’s a fantastic opportunity for emerging poets but the university, in combination with the Loughborough University Charity Trust, needs your help. They are looking to raise £6,000 for the prize and are already on their way to achieving that goal. Currently, they’ve raised £480 and, though that may seem small at present, every little bit helps. You may not have known Bill Overton personally, you may even be on the other side of the world, but even if you can’t donate we’d love for you to help spread the word. So if you can take two minutes to either reblog this post, tweet about it, or even share it on Facebook, it would be a wonderful gesture.

To donate to the Bill Overton Memorial Fund, you can visit the page at: http://www.justgiving.com/BillOverton

To all those in advance, thank-you.

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

It Is Hard To Tell

Written by Rivers of Tarmac

A shooting star of simply space hardware? A wish is a wish all the same. Image Courtesy of whitewolfpack.com

A shooting star or simply space hardware? A wish is a wish all the same.
Image Courtesy of whitewolfpack.com

I saw two shooting stars last night. I wished on them, but they were only satellites. Is it wrong to wish on space hardware? I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care.
– Billy Bragg, A New England.

A face peers out through the cracked and grimy window. The skin might be pale and sallow, then again, it might not. The face is thick with dirt, and it is hard to tell. The eyes might be blue, or brown, or green. They are sunken and shadowed, and it is hard to tell. The face opens its mouth, and a voice heavy with despair slinks from it.
“Please, god, let me find the money by tomorrow.” The eyes latch on to a light moving slowly across the sky. A shooting star? It is hard to tell. “I wish I would find the money to pay him by tomorrow.” The voice pleads with the light in the sky. If the light has noticed, it gives no sign. It marches on.

*

The room is lit with harsh white lights. Machines beep and whir. The woman on the bed could be asleep. Then again, she could be dying. It is hard to tell. By her side, a small child sits in a chair. He trembles. He cries, silently. He stands up and crosses the room to the window, pressing both his hands against it, leaning his forehead on the cool glass. He could be seeking relief from the hot white glare of the room behind him. He could be hiding his tears from a mother who can’t see them anyway. It is hard to tell. His eyes latch on to a light moving slowly across the sky. A shooting star? It is hard to tell.
“I wish mummy would wake up real soon,” he chokes out. “Please?”
Behind him, the room falls silent.

*

A hand reaches out, gently stroking through the thick black fur. The hand is shaking. This could be a sign of age – then again, it could be due to the tremors of the cat. It is hard to tell. The owner of the hand sits on his porch and gazes up at the sky. Drops of liquid splash onto the ground behind him. It could be tears, or it could be rain. It is hard to tell. There’s not a cloud in the sky, though. A pair of eyes latch on to a light moving slowly across the sky. A shooting star? It is hard to tell. A mouth opens, desperation springs from it.
“Please. Please don’t leave me all alone not now. I wish she could stay. Don’t-” The voice chokes to a halt. The cat gives a tremor, and is still. Continue reading →