All 48 entries tagged Writings

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June 06, 2006

This one's for my Mum

A Woman's "If"

If you can keep your head when all the family
Are loosing theirs and blaming it on you,
Because the Christmas turkey’s burned to cinders
And all the vegetables are mushy too;
If you can work from nine to five, and then some,
If you can get the dinner cooked by six,
If you can read the kids a book at bedtime,
Then softly tidy up the lego bricks:

If you can do the school run in the mornings,
With two bored kids behind you yelling “Mum!”
Resist the urge to knock their heads together,
And try and make the journey something fun;
If you can cope with paint stains on your clothing,
The midnight feeding and the constant stress,
If you can say to her with self–assurance
“I won’t let you go out wearing that dress!”

If you can cope with no appreciation
For all the little things you say and do,
Share all your time between your work and family,
Forget there’s not much time left just for you;
If you can earn the funds for all the school fees
If you can run a business like a pro,
If you can keep your cool at parents meetings,
And through it all, act like you’re in the know:

If you can keep the house and garden spotless,
And throw a dinner party, just for fun,
Find out the cat has eaten all the trifle,
So in ten minutes make another one;
If you can keep the peace between the factions
Of small child one and small child two at tea,
If you can do all this, and keep your temper,
Then Kipling, you’re a better lass than me!

April 22, 2006


And I felt for a moment that I’d lost it
That the wine in the glass had sucked it all out
Till I poured it back in, glad it hadn’t evaporated.
I paused in a moment
Felt loose–leaf and listless
Blow me away, baby, blow me away now.
The cat sleeps as always, and I talk some nonsense
And I miss you in this empty space.

And the fire is on, but I’m too scared of burning,
Of sitting too close and cooking the flesh on my bones
My chicken legs, dumplings, crisscrossed with fishnets
But under the skin, darling, under the skin.

Blow me away, dear, suck me right to you
Hold me so close that we cannot get out
Fill this space, darling, my obsession, my day–dream
I long for you here as the wine hits my face
Not drowning, but dreaming.

Just before morning as the last star is sinking
I will wake in the twilight and think of your eyes
And the lonely red wineglass will sit on my table
Testament to my nights of waiting
For that fiery moment when you pull me to you and the world stops
And the pretty words stop
And truth begins.

March 30, 2006

Satellite 15!!!

As promised, today sees the official launch of the Satellite 15 project onto the Blog system. Some of you might already know what this is, but for newcomers, here is a brief introduction.

What I’m trying to do is to gather together a set of short stories by different authors all set in the same place – Satellite 15 – I’m hoping that all you creatively minded people will contribute a story or two. To this end I have also posted up here a bit of information about the world of S15, and a few guidelines for the stories.

If you look in the sidebar to the left, you should see the tag “S15” and if you click on that you can see all the information on my blog related to the project. The idea is that if you decide to write a story, you also tag it “S15” so people can access all the S15 stories if they find one that they like and want to read more.

All I ask is that you let me know if you do decide to contribute, so I can check that there aren’t any clashes and contradictions between stories.

What are you waiting for? Get writing!

(but read the spec first…)

Satellite 15 Spec


Satellite 15 is a moon orbiting the third planet of the system orbiting the star Alpha Centauri; the first star system to be colonised by settlers from Earth when their population growth became too large for the planet to support. The orbit of S15 is peculiar in that the same side of the sphere is constantly pointed at the sun, so one side is constantly shrouded in darkness, and the other receives all the light from the sun. the dark side of the planet is virtually lawless, and in between the two are the Shadowlands, a place of perpetual twilight and uncertain legality.

The Name

Satellite 15 is so called because it was the 15th planet to be colonised by humans. “Planet” in this case referring to any lump of rock in the galaxy capable of supporting life, be it planet or satellite.

The Rest of the System

There are seven planets in the Centauri system, and all but the two closest to the sun are inhabited. S15 orbits the planet third closest to the sun – Belaria, from which it imports the majority of its food. They also share a government and legal system. The two have always operated as a unit, though the rest of the planets of the system are self governed, and their moons operate independently of their planets. A long war has just finished between the sixth planet and one of its four moons, S18. Peace negotiations are in progress but the situation is still volatile; comparable to the Irish troubles.

The Dark and Light Sides – a Brief History of S15

The dark side of the satellite, it was realised early on, was useless for any kind of farming, even under artificial lights. However, the discovery of large iron deposits meant that a thriving mining and steel industry sprung up. The Light side of the moon became used as a residential area for miners and their families, however when the dark side steel started drawing in the money, the light side went upmarket. A new institute of technology opened, and the light side soon became a very fashionable district, and the haunt of the rich and famous. Relations between S15 and Belaria were good; the satellite, incapable of growing enough food to support the population traded steel for food. Many of the Belarian dignitaries lived on S15, and the Belarian embassy was located there. The Girl Who Looked Up is set at one of the embassy balls at this time.

However, gradually the iron deposits that brought so much prosperity were extinguished and the fortunes of the satellite took a turn for the worse. The dark side of the satellite fell into a decline as the old mines and factories began to close. It soon became a haven for the less reputable elements of society. Criminals flocked to the satellite as once the rich and famous did. Eventually, as the underworld grew, the dark side of the moon became almost impossible to police, giving rise to the popular expression “The law only reaches as far as the light.” The story Trick and Tyler is about two police officers who decide to enforce their own brand of justice, tracking a killer to the dark side of the moon.
Relations with Belaria started to become strained at this time. S15, despite a reduced population, still did not have the agricultural capabilities to produce enough food to support itself, and continued to import from Belaria. As the Belarian government was still based on S15 the prices were kept as low as they ever had been, however, the corresponding trade in steel that once flowed the other way and balanced out the Belarian economic losses in the agricultural sector had ceased. S15 was now considered by the majority of Belarians to be an unprofitable drain on the planet’s resources, and political upheaval of some kind, possibly resulting in a breach between the planet and its satellite, is brewing. A revolution perhaps is on the cards.

The Stories

Must be based on Satellite 15 or Belaria, but can be at any point in their history (or indeed future).
Should not include alien life.
Should be from a genre other than sci-fi eg, Trick and Tyler is a film noir, The Girl Who Looked Up is a love story. If you have seen the TV series Firefly, that manages to be science fiction, but in the style of a western. Something like that.
Should be compatible with the other S15 stories.
You can borrow characters from other authors for cameos in your own story – in fact that would be cool to have some cross over, but please consult the original author first.
Tag all stories “S15” in your blog and please send me a copy.

Note on Technology

Different periods in S15’s history will have had different levels of technology. The earliest times, those when settlers were first colonising the planet had technology similar, only slightly more advanced, to our own. In later times more will be invented, but try and keep inventions plausible.

March 28, 2006

Coming Soon!!

The Satelite 15 project!

**Watch this Space...

March 23, 2006

The Operation

Writing about web page /thomashutchinson/entry/we_do_not/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

It is ready.
Steri–strips, scalpel
Antiseptic wipe
Clean white paper
And gauze.
No anaesthetic.
It taints the colour,
Purity; no chemicals.

Where this time?
Wrist? Arms? Jugular?
Pulmonary artery
Straight from the heart?
Wrist will do this time,
Save the really gut–wrenching
For later.

A quick incision
Only hurts for a moment,
And three clear drops

Done, the alcohol stings,
A slight shudder.
The steri–strips now:
Press the thin tissue edges together
Align not to scar.
Then, and only then,
A glance at the page,
The work.

Not right.
Crumple the sheet, and throw
In the vague direction of the bin.

For Thom Hutchinson

Haiku to Booze

End of day sun, and
Liquid rubies in a glass
Bathe your lips: breathe out.


February 20, 2006


Wine that tasted of first freedom
From silver that we kept, and
Now I keep silver in.
The heady scent of violets, shops
Tongue tied nerve bubbles,
New and dangerous responsibility
Nöa Perfume.
Perfect blue sky that scorched
The photographs of the steep hill
With its murky glass coke bottle café, church
And the crypt where I wouldn’t kiss you.

Place du Canard
(Burnt Umber; duck à l’orange)
Too rich chocolate crepes
White orange blossom
First kiss.

A displacement of everything.
Grape presses and purple-footed tormentors.
Bubble-gum pop, my first asparagus.
Glass cases over dusty flowers
Worn left or right to denote belonging.
Photographs of ducks and the boy in the park
And in my mind, the boy in the road.
Ancient audio described straw and twigs
Unheeded in the mud and linked hands.
Motorway service stations, busses
And heads and chests.

January 26, 2006


Lean on my legs.
Sit on my feet and lean back against my legs.
If your own give out
From standing too long
Use mine.
Keep my feet on the ground
Else I might fly with the buzz
You give me
When your feet give out
And you lean on my legs.

January 07, 2006

God's Computer
















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