Scratches Like a Nail

A scratch is nothing, it’s light and weak,

So why does a single day leave you feeling so bleak?

Think for a second if you’re really in pain,

Or do you just miss the feel of love’s gain?

The sky is blue, bright and clear,

Take a deep breath, don’t choke on your fear.

You know what it takes to take a step on,

Take the step now, don’t stop until it’s done!

Heed these words, and you shan’t fail,

To avoid love’s pain when it scratches like a nail.

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Glass Houses

This short story was written for Wicked Young Writer Awards 2016, was I was placed in the top 20 of the country.

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“This one is Hillary. She lives on her own, but she doesn’t mind because she loves dancing in the snow.” Jordan explained to his mother for the fourth time this week. He tugged and tugged at her hand attentively to make sure she was paying attention.

“She’s an ice skater, mammy, did you know? Look at her skates!” He pointed out the sharp-looking blade at either end of the tall, silver woman’s feet. Her face was even less than a blank expression, but she was happy in her Glass House. She told Jordan she was!

“Oh, really?” His mother ruffled his short golden hair, smiling at him as she pretended she hadn’t been told this several times before.

“And this one is Adam and Chelsea. They’re best friends, but not boyfriend and girlfriend.” Jordan had to cover his mouth to hide his giggling. Adam and Chelsea were dressed in the same colour clothing: they both wore a thick red coat with black buttons running down the middle, black trousers and light brown boots with black laces. The only difference was that Adam’s hair was short, and Chelsea’s was long and tied up. Adam wore a blue striped woolly hat, while Chelsea wore a pink striped woolly hat, both had a fluffy ball attached to the top.

Jordan leant in to take a closer look at them, letting go of his mother’s hand so he could gaze into the dome. He didn’t like to shake the Snow Globes for fear of scaring the people who lived inside. He may have been only six, but he had a large heart. He loved to collect Snow Globes and share his own home with the residents he called “small people”. As his mother brought a new one home for him, he would carefully place it next to the latest Globe, and instinctively know both their name and story.

The latest addition to the family was Marvin and his Border Collie dog, Gavin. They sat together on a park bench and smiled as they watched snow drifted by freely.

“You guys must be cold!” He said to the pair.

But of all the Glass Houses that Jordan had, one of them was his favourite, and he moved on to inspect it closely, this time without dragging his mother over to visit; this globe had a shiny glass dome and a light blue base decorated in tiny specks of glitter of various colours, and in the centre, through the thick of the white, was a boy who stood alone with his hands deep in his pockets, his head down and hood up. His navy blue coat was exactly like the one Jordan wore almost every day, and he was around the same age. Jordan knew he was, because he just knew.

Jordan’s mother often found her son talking to the boy that Jordan didn’t name. He would often talk about his day at school, what was making him happy, what was making him sad, and most upsetting to his caring mother: how he wished he had friends – and he did this almost every night. However that night was different; she found Jordan kneeling on the carpet in the living room in his red pyjamas, sobbing his eyes out whilst hugging his favourite Snow Globe.

“What’s wrong, Jordan?!” His mother instinctively ran over and clutched Jordan close to her, wanting nothing more than to make it all better. But she couldn’t this time.

“I just wish they would wave back at me.” He wept as he slowly waved his tiny hand at the small boy inside of the glass house, who kept his hands in his pockets. Jordan thought the boy’s hands were even deeper in his pockets than before.

“Come on,” His mother began, wiping the tears away from Jordan’s soft cheeks. “Let’s go to bed. You can stay in my room.” She smiled down at him, and he smiled back. And for a moment, he felt better.

Jordan then carefully placed the small boy back in his place amongst the others, and left the room hand in hand with his mother, closing the door behind them to head off to sleep.

But just as Jordan had turned his back on the Snow Globes, the small boy lifted his head, took his right hand out of his pocket, and waved goodnight to Jordan just before the door clicked closed, just like all the residents of the Glass Houses had done every night since the first day they were brought home.

 

Where To Go From Here?

You might be sitting at your computer, or sat hunched over your phone, thinking a multiple number of things. Is one of those thoughts about you growing up? Finding a partner, starting a family, having a successful career?

No? Well read on anyway… please? I’ll pay you in cuddled.

I remember sitting at the desk one day, writing away at a novel that I had invested at least three years of my life in, comparing my life to those of my characters. One in-particular stood out – it wasn’t a happy story line, but it was a typical one. The typical, man and woman marry, have two children kind of story. You get what I mean?

I remember sitting there, twirling a pen between my fingers mindlessly, thinking about how my life would turn out like that. I wasn’t “dreaming”, I was simply pondering the thought. And something popped in my mind – do we dream about what we are expected to do? Think about it carefully. Perhaps I’m mad, in which case, please tell me because I’ve been wondering that for years – I mean, I don’t trust people who put the milk in tea first. But just, think, just for a moment.

Your parents were likely married, or maybe not, but either way, they were likely a man and a woman who decided to have a child. You. You grow up a little, go to school and learn about the Nuclear Family, about how you’re expected to contribute to society by slaving away from a fraction of wage that your superior gains. Is it really the right thing to do? Or are we just encouraged to let go of our dreams?

Now, I’m not saying that everyone you encounter will be trying to whip you into a good adult, but why doesn’t the education system help you discover something other than the academic curriculum already set in place? Maybe your teachers pushed you down the road of your talents, but I certainly know mine didn’t.

I’m babbling on here, but there is a point to it all, just bare with me… ok? You’re still there, right?

The point of this is all is to try and encourage you not to be a sheep. You don’t follow shepherds, you find your own farm! They say “The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want”, but that should not be applied to everything. Do what you love, even if you’re told not to. I was told that I’d never become an author, yet here I am, writing a novel. Why? Because I don’t let tradition define me.

Once a month, ask yourself, “Where do I want to go from here?”. It’s risky to play by the book. You’re encourage to read the text carefully, to take care of the book so that your children may follow. No, you shouldn’t do it by the book, you should rip out the bloody pages and find the book that you want!

Perhaps this post makes no sense, which I doubt it does, but you never know unless you try – and that’s my point. Try stepping outside the box and draw your own path. It’s your life, your rules, you’re not playing anyone’s game.

 

Take care everyone! 🙂

A Jobseeker Journey

Well this went t*ts-up quickly, didn’t it?

After a failed year at sixth-form, I ventured down the path of apprenticeships – a great way into a career for both, but a nightmare for me. What a surprise!

I won’t go too in-depth with the boring details of a career path that was worse that putting the milk in first for a cup of tea (seriously, I don’t trust anyone who puts the milk in first, like, who even are you?), so I’ll skip straight to the first time was on job seekers – yeah, the FIRST time, the second time is worse, and still on going… anyone who wants to pray for Liam?

At first, the fact i was unemployed didn’t phase me too much. For the first week, I spent every second of my time writing up a new best selling novel… don’t laugh, ok? I was four years ago, I was young! It was at this point where I suddenly felt free; I had just got rid of a dead-end relationship, and now, I was free of a horrific job that made me go deaf in both eyes and blind in both ears.

But soon the writing came to a halt, and the realisation that money is even more important than food hit me faster than my money hit the counter at Waterstones. So, I began the dreaded job search.

I got a job within a month – and may I add, it was an incredibly long month. But, a job is a job! Anything that pays the bills and keeps Death behind a door is a positive thing.

Now, I went from one job directly into the next within a year. I was finally happy in the role that I had found, as I was finally allowed to tell people off without getting a court order for assault… to clarify, I’m a good boy…

But, that role fell through, as thus JSA welcomes me back like a puppy, just not as cute or as wanted. This time around, it’s hard. By God it’s bloody hard. Within the space of a month, I had lost the best relationship I’ve ever had, and another job. Nothing more could have gone wrong, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’re familiar with money, and how it allows you to buy and keep things?

I own a pretty cheap but nifty car that I relied on for commuting to and from work, but now that I was unemployed, I couldn’t afford the petrol nor the insurance. The worst part of this was the fact that being without a vehicle makes is 1000% more difficult to find a job.

There’s only so much you can take. When you’re sitting on a job search website, throwing your CV out to anyone with a pair of eyes, you feel less of a person, having to reply on had working people’s money in order for you to literally survive. (To all of you readers who are tax payers, I thank you on behalf of everyone going through my issue for allowing us to have another chance. We’d literally be underground if not for you).

As the months strolled by, it became clear to me that this was not going to be as easy as the last time. The mind can only stretch so far before is break, and believe me, mine is near its maximum pull.

Yet, there is a tiny, very hard to see silver lining. In the darkness, there is hope, just like how in the light, there is fear. The time taken for me to find a job has given me a further, more complete understanding of how the world works, how sometimes the innocent is punished, and the grotesque rewarded. Yet support is there for both, whenever needed. It’s a bitter sweet thing to realise, but I hope that for those of you who are going through the same struggle as I am, can find and share a likeliness between you and I, and know that there is help when it’s needed, no matter how dyer the situation seems.

For anyone who feels like they have no one to turn to, or no voice to speak up, I encourage you to contact myself at: liamalexlaing3@hotmail.co.uk  and put the subject “Notebook – WordPress”

 

My Education

Like the majority of the population, after finishing secondary education, I proceeded on to Sixth Form to Study four A-Levels: Geography, I.T, Classic Studies, and Sport and P.E (I was forced to choose Sport and P.E… they may as well have held a knife to my throat).

From day one, it was great! I was finally going to study the subjects I wanted, step closer to the career I dreamed for, finally learn about… about what? Learn about how I would be stuck in work until I was 70? Contributing to a government that near forces you to work the second you can speak, up until a point where you can do barely anything at all?

No, that wasn’t me. I wasn’t suggesting that I didn’t want to contribute to society, quite to contrary, my grandmother raised me so well, and sadly she required care from a government funded care-home, so I felt it my duty to put back in what I reaped. but I didn’t want to contribute in a way that degraded the human life.

Now, any job is good, no matter how degrading. Don’t let those “above” you say otherwise. If you’re getting up day after day, working hard so that you may live, then that’s something to be proud of.

I’m forever getting on a tangent – my bad! So, I started sixth-form, a met some new people, and at the same time, made the most embarrassing mistake of my life so far (this I will never disclose, as I don’t want you to die from laughter). The lessons began, and it was great, especially Geography. There was no more R.S or learning about a city I’ve lived in for 21 years in History, no, it was just the topics I wanted to study – well, all but one.

But just as all was going well, something happened. I wrote a story. Just a story, you say? Yes, a simple, 750 word story. Not much, is it? Well, picture this; a young man of 16 writes a short story and believes it to be rubbish. Of course it is! Who on Earth would disagree?! Well, it turned out that a lot of people did – they loved it! They believed I had a talent for writing. My hopes were inflated like a bubblegum balloon. I immediately began writing more; a new idea! A bigger, better one! Longer… much, much longer… a novel!

Alas, it went to my head. I wrote day after day, well over 2,000 words per day, dreaming about reaching the end, holding up my novel in the air like a cliche Tennis Player at Wimbledon. I’d never been so happy… until I got called out of my Classics class one afternoon. I’d fallen behind… really, and I mean really f*cking far behind. Without knowing, I’d skipped the months needed for revision for exams, which were next week.

Struck with panic, I did all I could: stayed behind until 5pm, pulled all nighters, begged for help from friends, and even contemplated deleting my entire writing document out of sheer rage.

Alas, it wasn’t enough.

I failed absolutely every exams that was stuck in front of me. U, U, U and U. I can’t describe how low I felt at that point. It was like I’d just found out I was just a figment of someone’s imagination – but far more fabulous.

It’s hard to say exactly where I went wrong. I was a smart young man, but I believe I was just too tempted. I refused to accept the idea that I needed a backup plan, an education to support my writing. Now, I have next to no education, and have little motivation to write for fear of making the same mistake again.

I’d like you take something from this overly long blog. Just one thing: to think; you’ll be faced with God knows how many choices where one option is better than you other, but just take a moment and think. Is it the best choice? Are you going to be safe should all fall through? If it does, and you’re not prepared, believe me, it will ruin you/

Why I’m Doing This

So, here it is, a fresh attempt at a blog.

For those of you who are unaware, I’m an aspiring author and a pathetic poet (yet I do it anyway). This blog had been dormant for some time, I’d lost purpose for it, but, someone reminded that there are people out there who are always worse of that I am, good people who deserve the best. So, I’m going to do my best to help!

These posts will be about my life experiences; some happy, some sad, but all resourceful. I hope that in sharing this, you may feel a little better, or even if you laugh your head off at me,it’s still a good thing!

Let’s do this!

A New Day

Your days may be dark and lack any hope,

You may crave that someone to help you cope.

Take my word, your hurt will fade,

It may take time, but you will be remade.

You’re may be like a mirror, broken and scattered,

You may feel this once you’ve lost the one that mattered.

But heed my words when I say,

That you’ll be smiling again on a new day.