Tuesday, 22 December 2009

9 days

My, how time flies. 33% of my break is already a part of the past. Oh well; I think that my mind is in enough turmoil at this moment that it could sprout a fine post.

So, a couple things that three months in Edinburgh changed, off the top of my head.
--The coffee isn't as good as I remembered it and hungered for, during the cold days up in scotland. It's more like "Frappe? It's ok I guess but I do miss the mocha from Beanscene to be perfectly frank." Now, that's blasphemy. And I should know, if frappe was a religion I'd be its Pontifex Maximus.
--For a moment I thought I was getting shortsighted. Then I figured I was descending into a paranormal scenario where everybody's face was getting blurry. And then it struck me. The law against smoking in Greek cafes was lifted. Needless to say, you need headlights to move around in crowded cafes. A foghorn would also come in handy.
--After familiarizing with a country where cars drive differently, I'm now in the state where all cars go in the wrong direction. Whenever I have to cross a road like the proverbial chicken, my mind goes into reboot. Do they come from right to left? Left to right? Left to left? (is that even possible?) I constantly have to be with someone so they can kick me in the head (it functions as a ctrl-alt-del).
--Everybody's jealous of my Edinburgh hoodie. And by everybody I mean you, Kalpaki :-p
--I'd forgotten how disgustingly degradingly decadently comfortable my bedroom's armchair is. Drop a marblestone over that baby and let me Rest In Peace on it when I croak it.
-I find myself hating my motorcycle, loathing my helmet and detesting the fact that I can't walk wherever I want, in contrast with the city centre in Edina.
--Healthy Advice got even better while I was missing. Go over there and eat a sandwich, in the centre of Thessaloniki. I said it before and I'll say it again: If there was a country called Sandwichland, their cheesebread would be on the one-dollar bill.
--They say "Change is inevitable". Clearly they never heard of the ticket dispensers in the city buses. As you can guess, the first 0.30 ticket I bought costed me 1 euro.
--I fell in love with Scotland. It had me at "Welcome to Edinburgh". But Greece is something else. It's home. It's people shouting and cars honking and beautiful eyes that say "I'm happy you are here".

That's it for now. A recap when I get back.

Consta... "Computo ergo sum" ...ntine

Sunday, 6 December 2009

You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss...

I got in my romantic mood tonight, after watching Casablanca. So I wrote a little flash fiction, barely 500 words long. Just a little riff. And it has nothing to do with Bogart or Bergman, I just really love that movie. If you haven't seen it, believe me when I say that you must.


“We’ll always have Paris”, a dead man once said and became immortal. Sitting on that cold bus stop, the meaning of the words grabs you by the throat.

The buses come and go, come and go. You don’t care now. The one she was on, is far gone. Now you just look at them come and go, come and go.

“We’ll always have Paris,” you mutter as you’re sitting there, for the third time ever. Third time’s the charm, they say. Not this time.

Brush off the rest of the people. You two were alone, both times. Brush off the sun too. It was late.
Last passenger of the fleeing night.

She’s not there now obviously; now she’s too far away and beyond reach. Perhaps that was the magic. But then again, her ghost is right by your side, the memory of her aroma, more vivid than anything else around.

You two, sitting on the cold bench in the dark, while the city reveled in the distance.

So, what do you see?

Her face, of course. Who could forget beauty when it stared at them in the face? Her eyes, half-hidden behind strands of amber. Do you remember what you said?

“In your eyes I see the icy sea.”

She smiled. What did she say?

“Do they look so cold to you, then?”

Yes. She only had to look at you once; you took a plunge and were lost in the frost.

They also looked cold the second time. Her tears were snowflakes.

A bus is coming. Will she leave? Not yet.

While you are still sitting there, looking at her ghost – your ghosts – buses come and go in an endless loop. One of them took her away, twice.

The first time, she went straight to the back and waved through the window. Her hand was freezing but her smile said she didn’t care.

That smile was saying “I’ll see you soon.”

The second time, she rushed to the back once more. She waved; this time her fingers were tucked in her new gloves. She smiled.

That smile was saying “I’ll see you again.”

What was it that you told her, when the day eventually turned into night? When that stranger with the saddest eyes you ever beheld–and that was enough– became Her, what did you say, when her bus was almost in front of you?

“I’ll kiss you now, and you decide if I’m going to miss or not.

She didn’t answer. Not with words.

And after that longest and shortest week of your lives finally came at an end in the headlights of a bus, you said the same, trying to remain jovial like a cursed jester.

“I’ll kiss you now, and you decide if I’m going to miss or not.

Did she answer this time? She did.

She said, Please, don’t miss.

Consta... " I'll be home in a week ^^ " ...ntine

Friday, 27 November 2009

A Social Experiment

A 2-weeks old flash story for you all. Any negative critique will be discarded with a laugh, any praise will be printed and placed on my wall of triumphs. (Just kidding, it's a wall of fame)

Consta... "wait for it..." ...ntine

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

Remember three weeks ago, in my last post, when I said "I'm starting a new book tomorrow?" No? Well just go take a look, it's right there... Anyway, I finished that book three hours ago. It's there now, complete, whole, ready. A newborn novel, my baby :-)
Well, not ready-ready, I mean, it is the first draft and will need a good edit, but it's been written.
"Write with your heart, edit with your head." they say.
I usually write with word processors but I'm willing to follow that this time.
I'm sure that you will get some laughs out of this book. It's fantasy...vaguely... but mostly it's a postmodernist, metafictional satire... Yeah. I know how pompous that sounds. Let's just say a comic fantasy with a serious twist in narration.
It's called OMNISCIENT - The Tales of Bob. It is in English, my very first novel in the English language.
What a November... I'm so tired right now...

Consta... "saw the end at the light of the tunnel and it wasn't an oncoming train" ... ntine

Friday, 30 October 2009

For Shame!

Now, I know that I've been MIA for a couple weeks but there are so many things going on that logging them too would kill off what little free time I've got. I'm starting a new book tomorrow (yes, AGAIN, bite me) and I'm trying to focus my energy there. I'll just feel solace in the fact that none cares that this blog gets updated less often than the Farmer's Almanac.

Yesterday, I felt like I was 13 again. No, I'm not talking about pimples or hair in weird places, I'm talking about the infinite shame that one feels when asked something from his tutor and catches himself not paying attention.
I mean, when I was a teacher last year, I kept catching wee ones not paying attention then went on to ask them WHY weren't they paying attention.

Mental note to self. DON'T DO IT.
Or at least do it and be as cool as Kevin was yesterday about it.

So, we are writing an excercise, a short story centered on dialogue. We've got 45 minutes to write it.
Long story short, the tutor says "aight, pencils down please" and summarily asks one of the postgrads to read her own. I must admit, I was half paying attention to her words, half-looking at the end of my story which needed just two more lines that i HAD to write before they were flushed down the void of "Shit-I-forgot-it-land".
I wrote the two lines then went back to listening to Kirsty. Obviously I had no idea what she was talking about, apart from her eloquent and composed writing.
So, then, she stops and the tutor summarily aims the proverbial gun at me.
"Dinos what did you think of Kirstie's story?"
This must have been the longest silence in the history of my years since junior high school.

Maybe 8 seconds of vocal Erevos.

2 choices. Talk bullshit about how the subtext is percolating in the female character's voice and the conflict between the two characters is perceived throughout by the subtle hints of their interaction.
I mean that was the point of the exercise and I am positive that Kirstie did a good job as she always does.
(Damn, I should have said something like that in retrospect.)

I was honest though, so I bit the bullet.

I went on to say "I'm so sorry but I've only heard the 2nd part because I just wanted to finish my piece before I lost it. I'm so sorry." (I think I said I'm so sorry about 6 times, and also thought about it a few hundreds more.)
At least, the tutor and the others laughed about it and gave me some credit for being honest (to be frank, I wasn't the only one trying to finish my piece at the time) but I felt so bad for my colleague. It wasn't deliberate.
Damn, this post looks like a livejournal entry. I should end it with a joke. Meh, maybe next time.

Consta... "phasing in and out of the timespace continuum" ...ntine

Friday, 9 October 2009

The internet works again! (plus a flashfic for you peeps)

It's been a while, I know... Life happened and also at some point, the blog, like an unforgiving mistress, stopped uploading. Oh well.
Been in Edinburgh for a month now and I'm totally in love with it...
As usual, when you have dozens of things to say, you can't choose from where to start... I'll just give you a little flash fiction I scribbled down during class yesterday and typed an hour ago. Hope ye like.



I have been following this particular gentleman for quite some time now.

It may seem out of place to you, as to why I should be on this fellow’s trail all this time, what with me being so busy after all, so I must explain.

He, just like me, is a hunter and a collector of valuables. I always had a fascination of the “chase”, that passion to grasp that which is considered one-of-a-kind or priceless. Over the years I have become exceptionally good at this sort of sport, and so did this man in front of me.

He hasn’t seen me yet.

His usually composed demeanor is gone at the moment as he is walking briskly down the road. The briefcase he holds in his sweaty palm is banging loudly on his expensive suit. That constant thud sounds like a scream to his ears; it’s saying: “I – have – an – awful – lot – of – money – inside – me!”

His eyes dart around. A street full of people, all of them out to get him.

But I walk among them and he hasn’t seen me yet.

I see now that I am not alone on his trail. Others – far less competent than yours truly in the stalking business – are following him.
Some are themselves collectors, some are paid by such.
Some are standing on the right side of the law, some on the wrong.

This comes as no surprise to me. All these years of meticulous work towards the pursuit of his passion have collected him lots of enemies, if you forgive my wordplay.

It doesn’t really matter. It’s all part of the game. And this particular player has finally grown impatient. He has now blown his cover, forsaken the network of contacts at his disposal and now runs towards the precious find. I would like to know what Van Gogh would say if he knew that one of his lost paintings would be the prize of this “race”. Well, thought lost for ages to be precise, and the people who now hold it would like it to remain that way.

Does he truly care about the painting itself? I think not. To him, priceless and worthless are the same but he would probably run behind an ox cart if he felt others would consider it worthy. It is the pursuit which is important to him. I must respect him for that, even if I can see the feebleness of his present actions and this is why I wouldn’t miss this occasion.

He still is cunning though. Just a few well-timed turns in the streets and the others have completely lost his trail.

Pity for the man that the knives don’t aim for his back but for his heart.

We have now reached the rendezvous point. An empty parking lot. How original. It used to be inns and basements once. Cloaks and daggers were replaced by suits and silenced guns.

Oh well, one must go with the times.

He hasn’t seen me yet, but more importantly he hasn’t seen the handgun in the pocket of the smiling woman in front of him. She holds the painting in her other hand. Or more precisely, an empty cylinder that supposedly holds the artifact within.

Not long now. I have to prepare my scythe. Rather obsolete as I understand, but then again it has always served its purpose. Diligence is the mark of a good collector, be it a collection of paintings, souls or even stamps. A collector must never be careless and even though this gentleman was, I won’t be.

Ah, now he sees me.


Consta... "still hasn't seen a ghost" ...ntine

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Doc's in town

Yesterday, Edinburgh's total level of awesomeness went slightly upwards.
Yep, my big brother is here. He is such a force of nature that the day before he arrived, the wildlife of the place ran away.
Was it a coincidence that yesterday was the sunniest day since I arrived? Of course not.

So, we walked, nay, strutted around the Royal Mile where he summarily did the following:

He desecrated a few landmarks (he threw his chewing gum in the Headwell, one of the tourist attractions because it "kinda looked like a cistern"), took a walk inside one of the nicest graveyards of the city (named after a dog, isn't that cute?) checked out women (although to be fair to the pretty lasses of Edina, he just arrived from Sweden, I mean look at this) yelled bloody murder at Spanish tourists (Navarro, Gasol, Garbachosa and others took an earful), screamed "TERRORIST" two or three times in the middle of the street, tried to sneak inside a private speech at the National Library and also insisted that people here drive wrong (so, of course, he almost got run over by cars, taxis, double-deckers etc.)

And that was just the first two hours. He'll be here for a week.

I won't go on, but have to note that at dinner, he paid for my chicken and Journey's* burger.
And he ate a full T-bone steak by himself.

Go ahead. Google "T-Bone Steak". I dare you.

Consta... "proud little brutha" ...ntine

*[my cool american flatmate, you can joke about the name in the comments section, he won't mind.]