The Uncle I Never Met



My grandmother had two sets of twins. The first were identical sisters; my aunts. Then my father was born. The second pair were fraternal twins; my aunt and my uncle. My uncle didn’t survive the birth as his umbilical cord got knotted around his neck and he died from what is now known as perinatal asphyxia. My grandmother never got to see him. Some time later she gave him the name Paul, and it was as if there was always an absence in our lives.

Years after it happened my grandmother finally asked my father what did they do with his body? My father told her at that time babies who didn’t survive their births were disposed of by the hospital (I think they were probably cremated). She never knew, and she had never been told, and for all those years she had wondered.

For some reason I woke up with this incident in my head. I’m not sure why I dreamed about this part of my family history, but the fact that my grandmother was never told, and she wondered for years what they had done with him still bothers me.



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©2019 Joanne Fisher






Thought Disorder

Last year I fell in love with someone I shouldn’t have. She already had a partner and early on she just saw me as a friend, until it all got weird. It created all sorts of issues. But I can’t choose who I have feelings for. My problem is when I fall for someone my feelings go very deep and are hard to get rid of. The only thing that works is time and letting the feelings die but that can take a long while, even years. And though there are some days I’m fine, there are also many days where she is on my mind and on these days I have to hold tight and weather the storm. The best thing I can do is keep myself occupied and in fact this whole blog is just one really big attempt to stop me thinking about her, or at least help me get over the bad days when I’m feeling a lot of emotional pain, as I am today. But at least I’ve been constructive with my time.

When I look back at the last year I’m really proud of the stuff I’ve written and the projects I’ve started and finished. A year ago I didn’t think I would be putting up my own fiction on this blog as I’m doing now. It really just started as articles of things that interested me and my poetry. I think it’s proof that some good can be created out of a bad experience or situation. If I wasn’t able to write or express myself I would have finished myself off a long time ago I suspect, as I almost did last year. If I hadn’t survived I would never have completed my sequences The Return or Volcano City, and what is rapidly becoming my first ever completed novel, The Sky-Pirates of Durn, would never have come to be written. Sometimes you never realise the value of holding on.

I do often wonder how she is doing. I have no idea if she is reading my posts or ignoring them, but I imagine it’s probably the latter, even though if it wasn’t for her they may have never been written. A lot of great work was probably also created by similar circumstances. I think there are many artists and writers that were left behind or unwanted and this helped fuel their creativity.

The title of this post comes from the song Thought Disorder by the New Zealand group Tall Dwarfs. Listen to it here.

Has unrequited or lost love caused you to create work you are now proud of?

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Post #101 – A Look Back

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Now that I have done 100 posts on WordPress since I started my blog, I thought I would do a look back and highlight some of my posts.

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has followed me, and all those who have liked, commented, shared, or even just viewed my posts. Thank you all for your support. I really appreciate it.

When I first began this blog my plan was to write articles about my interests and so I began with an article on a computer game I loved and then did several posts on aspects of Middle-earth and Star Wars respectively (both passions of mine). At some point when I didn’t feel like writing anything I put one of my poems up and found there was an audience here for poetry, which at the time I hadn’t considered. If you look at the blog now it is very different. I still put poetry up, in fact my blog has been instrumental in helping me complete two of my longer sequences which I had been trying to finish for sometime, but I also post a lot of my fiction these days. And that’s something I would never thought I would be doing when I first began.

My first post was in November 2017. At that point I had been going through the worst year of my life and I felt very isolated. I felt I needed to connect with people in some form. Beginning to write and publish articles here gave me a great distraction from everything I was going through at the time. Having this blog has done a great deal to build up my self-esteem, which was at an all time low a year ago. And now here I am writing and publishing a serialised story, as well as other stories. It’s amazing what the difference of a year makes.

My main “problem” for this blog is that I keep coming up with new ideas for articles to write. In fact I have an entire page or more of ideas of things I can write about, and I truly hope I can eventually get round to writing the bulk of them.

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I thought I would mention a few of my posts:

Most Viewed: Dragons of Middle-earth

Most Liked: Buying Sheets With My Girlfriend

Most Comments: The Night I Wanted To Die

Honourable mentions:

Life Is Strange, Or How The Rest of Humanity Should Never Trust Me. This was my first post and as I linked it to all the Life Is Strange groups on Facebook it was always my most viewed one as well, until a couple of weeks ago.

Athena Watches. This was the first poem I had written in a couple of years, and I was pleased it got a good reaction and was for a long time my most liked post.

The Return (full sequence). It’s hard to convey how pleased I was to finally finish this. It had been hanging over my head for ten years, and WordPress gave me a reason to finally work on it again and complete it. Yay!

Drought Rhythms. Probably my most favourite poem that I’ve written. It’s a poem set long after an apocalypse, and a group of humans (possibly the only ones left) that try to survive in an isolated valley somewhere. Any type of religious belief has long since given way to a shamanistic worship of the land.

My Thoughts On The Last Jedi. I think my longest article at 3800 words. I abandoned an even longer one I was writing on the Prequels. It was looking like it was going to be over 10,000 words, and who the hell was going to read that?

Who Were The Istari? My Middle-earth articles are written as essays, and I would do a lot of research for them. I thought this was the best written one of them all, and it was the last one I wrote. I was writing one on the Palantiri later on, but I abandoned it as I lost enthusiasm for it. I am thinking about writing another one on Ungoliant however, someday…

Falling In Love. My most gooey romantic poem.

Dishonourable Mentions:

Proxima Calling. My least viewed post with a whole two people bothering to read it. It’s a shame really. It’s probably not the most accessible poem that I’ve written but I have always felt it should have done better.  I don’t like explaining my poetry that much. I prefer to leave it to the reader to work out what it means to them, but that said… It’s about the search for extraterrestrial life, and I wonder what we are looking for. Are looking for another version of ourselves out there? I think any intelligent life we find out there may be vastly different from our understanding. If we were contacted by another galactic civilisation and we sent them back a message, due to the distances involved, it is likely that civilisation will no longer exist by the time they get our message (or maybe even by the time we get their message). That said, I’m supportive of things like SETI, but I do wonder if contact with an extraterrestrial civilisation is possible.

Rey and The Force Awakens. An article that got zero likes and spectacularly failed to predict what happened in The Last Jedi regarding Rey’s parentage, which I thought I had convincingly worked out…

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Lastly there are some people I would like to thank who have given some extra support to this blog:

A.P. Christopher, constant VARIABLE. I’m not the greatest fan of rhyming poetry, but I do like it when it’s done cleverly which is something he does very well. His stories are worth reading as well, such as 100 Words which is in 11 parts. He also collaborates with other bloggers with writing stories. It was one of these collaborations, a fantasy one I believe, which gave me the idea of starting my own serialised story. So if it hadn’t been for him, The Sky-Pirates of Durn may never have happened, and I am so very grateful for this.

H.R.R. Gorman. Writes quite clever and interesting stories and also has written some poetry. Is not afraid to write about some challenging subjects either. Has been very supportive with lots of positive comments and also plugged my Sky-Pirates of Durn story in a post.

Fractured Faith Blog. Blogs on a variety of interesting topics and I have ended up commenting on his posts more often than I would expect. At the moment he is working on a book. He also sets interesting fiction challenges and both The Banishing and The Mirror were written because of these.

StCyril. Gives out very good advice for writers on his blog. He has also plugged The Sky-Pirates of Durn in one of his posts, and I am grateful for that.


Apologies to anyone else I should have mentioned here. 🙂

Please feel free to mention your blog in the comments section and what it’s about.

Do you think your own blog has changed from what it began as?


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Remembering the February 22nd 2011 Earthquake.


Seven years ago at 12:51 pm I was getting ready to go out for lunch. A friend was picking me up at 1pm. He had suggested arriving at 12:30, but I was feeling a bit lazy so I suggested 1pm instead as it would give me another half an hour to get ready. I think feeling a bit lazy that day might have saved my life. If he had picked me up at 12:30 we would have been in the middle of the CBD at 12:51. Instead I was relatively safer at home at that time when the earthquake struck.

At 12:51 suddenly everything began to shake violently I ran to my bedroom to see all my bookshelves simultaneously fall over. The shelf in the hallway had also fallen over blocking the way to the front door and rather than hiding under a table (as I should have done) I was in full panic mode and managed to get the back door open (the door frame had buckled but I didn’t realise) and ran out into the back garden. Luckily the chimney had been removed after the first quake in September, so there were no bricks to land on me. The shaking subsided and in that brief moment my entire city was forever changed.


The earthquake on February 22 at 12:51 pm was a 6.3 but very shallow quake. It was an aftershock of the 7.1 quake we had in September the previous year, which had done far less damage as it was further away and slightly deeper. I didn’t dare go back into the house for a while. If I attempted to, there was another violent aftershock so I stuck to staying outside for the first few hours. I wandered out of the property and looked down the road. I could see dust in the air where the CBD was and I knew there would have been fatalities this time. I wondered what had happened to my friend who had been driving to pick me up at the time and I wondered how my flatmate was as he would have been in the CBD when it hit. I think I stood there for a while. One of my neighbours came up to me and asked if I was ok and I think I spoke gibberish to him, but after looking at me in a concerned way he guessed I was alright though I was obviously in shock. Liquid had also begun to spurt out of the ground from various openings and I stared at it uncomprehendingly as I didn’t know anything about liquefaction then. It all seemed very surreal.

There were several more violent shakes. It felt was as though the ground was made of jelly. Every time we had a shake there was this weird swaying after it as though the earth was trying find it’s place again. I managed to get inside the house and move the bookcase in front of the door and find the phone which I put on an extension cord and put on the porch. I was surprised to find the phone was still working. There was no power and no water. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror. I was very pale and covered in dust. I didn’t have a radio so I had no idea how bad it was out there. Eventually my flatmate returned home and I was overjoyed to find he was ok. I heard that several buildings had collapsed and possibly the Cathedral as well. My flatmate found a battery radio and slowly the news of what had happened filtered in. Later on I heard from my friend. He hadn’t yet got to the central city when the earthquake struck and had turned around and headed for home.So it was good to hear he was ok too. Power got restored around midnight where we were, so I heated up some soup which was the first food I had all day. We both slept in the lounge that night and would do so for the next few nights. My flatmate didn’t want to sleep upstairs and I didn’t want to be alone.

It still counts as the worst day of my life so far. 185 people were killed and the city was forever changed, To this day the CBD has huge spaces where buildings used to be and there are still barriers up to some of the buildings that survived. I think everyone here who got through that day still has an element of PTSD. Every time there is a noticeable aftershock it brings back memories and sensations of that time. I hope I don’t have to face another day like that.