Tag Archives: Writing


In a world of familiar faces, all I see are strangers and every time I think I’m safe, I’m surrounded by these dangers.

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My Youth In Years | A preview of my new project

As I’m trying to ‘get back’ into my writing, I thought I would experiment by using autobiographical snippets of my childhood. Format wise, I opted out of the normal chronological order and instead flip backwards, then forwards and so on. Please read the beginning of this project below; I’d appreciate any feedback on style, format, language, flow, content. I’m really open to advice from a fresh perspective. Please feel free to leave comments at the end of this ‘preview’.

Thank You.


Casting my mind back to the long hot summer months of the mid-eighties always fills my heart with warmth and fond memories. Big burning golden afternoons followed by pink sunset skies as the unforgivable heat gave way to a relieving cool breeze which seemed to drape over our bare arms and shoulders. I replay those thoughts in my head and it’s like a viewing of an old VHS tape or Camcorder video, the images are ever so slightly tainted and distorted, but the colours and sounds as vivid as ever. I can still hear the laughter and joyful screams of child’s play, while the smell of the trees we used to climb and the warmth of the grass we used to lay on are as clear as yesterday.


It was the 28th of November and apparently a cold and late winter’s evening. The North of England, a small industrial town set some miles outside of Manchester, was where I was to be born. Amongst the backdrop of run-down cotton mills, factories and the large bleak barren moors, my Mother was preparing to give birth to her second child. A boy. The labour was long and drawn out and not without its complications. So much so, that immediately after my dramatic arrival, my Mother was in a critical condition and there was a very real risk that Death was to all too quickly follow Life. The irony was certainly not lost when I discovered that day was a Wednesday.


During my early to mid teenage years, divorce was somewhat of a rarity amongst those that I knew and associated with. It just seemed to be that all my friends had a Mum and a Dad and they were together and happy. My childish naivety allowed me to continue through my high school years believing that my own parents were immune to this curse. Our family was solid as a rock and although as the months went by and things started to feel a little strained at home, I was at least comforted by the fact that I had my Mum, and I had my Dad, my big Sister was there and we were all together. It was one early morning before school, as I was getting ready that I had noticed while walking past the living-room doorway, an alarm clock set on the floor. With an obvious curiosity and unassuming approach I proceeded to ask my Mum why it was there. In no more than a sentence, I had learnt that my Dad had slept on the settee the previous night. Within a couple of weeks, he had moved out.

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Life Isn’t Fair | A Poem

In a flicker of a moment, all we knew had gone away

The dust left there before us in the harsh cold light of day

No reasoning, nor common sense, no way of understanding why

Accept, we must, which cards are dealt, as the hands of time tick by.

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Heart of the Wishing Well | A Poem

Follow me, I have a secret to tell

It waits in the heart of the wishing well.

This garden hides faeries, but bogeymen too.

So I am going to share this one with you.

Take a look down, lean over some more

Stare into the darkness right down to the floor.

Listen carefully so this won’t be forgotten.

“Tell me what you find, when you fall to the bottom”.



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Quick Update

Just a very quick update before I go to bed! (It’s 00:35am)

More new poetry will be released onto the blog very soon, that’s a promise, and at some point this week I’ll post about the news I have received regarding various pieces I have written that are to be included in Poetry Anthologies in the UK between September and May next year! Exciting stuff! I will list the publications and indicate which pieces correspond in due course.


Well that’s the quick update!


Speak VERY soon.



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Night Owl – A Poem

He sits in the dark

Observing and waiting

Tired yet awake

The futility of fighting sleep

Until he is ready

To submit and surrender

His time is now

With heavy eyes he succumbs

Weary and defeated

The dark surrounds him

The dark consumes him

He becomes the dark.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Using Forms Creatively (Part 2 of 2)

Earlier this week, The Daily Post asked us to utilise the Forms options on our posts as part of the Weekly Writing Challenge. Split into 2 parts I hoped to be able to, firstly gather the required information needed, and then write up the 2nd phase of this challenge. The first part of this exercise can be found HERE, where I asked readers to choose 1 of 3 Genre ‘settings’ for a new ‘interactive’ piece of fiction that I will be writing on the blog.

The 3 options were:

  1. Realistic – (within the realms of possiblity and true to real life situations)
  2. Enhanced Reality – (think ‘True Blood’ for example, realistic setting with fantasy elements)
  3. SciFi/Fantasy – (completely open world with no limit to what is possible)

After selecting just 1 option, the reader was then asked to submit a comment, explaining why they made that choice. Obviously the majority of the responses explained it due to personal preference to what they like to read. Naturally. Although a few people took it from a different perspective and thought about me as the writer and how the decision could affect the way I produce the work.

One reader commented:

Why restrict yourself? SciFi/Fantasy allows you to be as imaginative and creative as you like, no boundaries. Creating a believable world in this genre will challenge you as a writer but the end product will be so much more worth it.

I have to say, I kind of agree with them to some respect. Before I began this task I was contemplating a realistic, true to life piece of fiction, where I could ground my characters within natural environments. I have found through my adult life that the majority of books I have read that drew me in emotionally where those that stayed true to ‘real life’ situations, for example: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I will put my hands up and admit, that’s the only book I have ever read to make me cry. Maybe that’s what I wanted to emulate with my writing. It seemed others agreed with this style too.

Another comment read:

If it is going to be interactive I think realistic will work best. Supernatural and scifi dystopian fiction is so popular at the moment that you may get better input instead of subconscious repeat ideas of things just read or seen. (sic)

It really is interesting to see other readers point of view! We all assume we know what is best, and maybe for the majority of the content within our fiction that is true, but it goes to show that if we become a little bit more open-minded, and willing to listen to what people like or want, then surely this can only help and improve our writing. After all, are we not creating narratives for other people to enjoy as much as for our own pleasure?

This is why I wanted to make my online fiction partly interactive, because I realise that there are lots of ideas out there that I may just never come across without a little bit of help. It’s not cheating to ask for a bit of guidance, or an opinion if you truly believe that it will benefit the writing. I will be using ‘Custom Forms’ more in future to allow my work to evolve and also to get other followers and visitors involved, after all, that’s the essence of blogging isn’t it?

The final decision was undoubtedly down to me, I had to be comfortable with the genre of course, I couldn’t just go with the majority vote as though this was an election. That wasn’t the purpose of the experiment after all. It was to engage and interact, to challenge and question ideas. Although I have decided to choose the overall majority favourite Sci-Fi / Fantasy I have decided that I don’t necessarily have to go overboard with the ideas, and I guess that’s the beauty of it, I can decide how little or how much whilst not restricting or limiting myself.

Creativity is about freedom.

For those interested, I have provided the final tally of submitted ‘votes’ below, and I would  like to thank everyone involved for taking part. This really was a very interesting challenge / experiment!

  1. Realistic  –  4 votes
  2. Enhanced Reality  –  6 votes
  3. Sci-Fi/ Fantasy  – 9 votes

This post is in response to: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/writing-challenge-forms/

and a follow-up to: https://mattsden101.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/weekly-writing-challenge-using-forms-creatively-part-1-of-2/

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Process of Creativity – A Poem

This is the first of 2 new poems I have written this evening where I have experimented a little bit. I decided to leave them ‘raw’ and unedited, both took a couple of minutes to write.

Here is “Process of Creativity”

Breathe it in


Let it flow through your veins

Be Inspired


Ideas come forward and release you.



You have the tools already



Set yourself free.

© Matthew T. Aspden

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Using Forms Creatively (Part 1 of 2)



For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges help you to push your writing boundaries, show off your blogging chops, and, hopefully, spark more post ideas.

This week, The Daily Post is asking us to utilise the Forms options on our posts as part of the Weekly Writing Challenge, split into 2 parts I will hopefully be able to firstly gather the required information needed to then be able to write up the 2nd phase of this challenge. I am really hoping that enough people can contribute to this, so please, don’t be shy and get involved! 🙂

Basically, due to a fantastic response last week for my short fiction Through The Door, I have decided to pursue this further and potentially create an ongoing piece of fiction that I am ‘hoping’ to add an element of interactivity to. Essentially, as the story progresses and the character(s) have been built up, I will continue to use the forms (as seen below) to ask the readers for suggestions as to how the narrative can develop.

Firstly I need to make a decision on the theme. You will see below 3 distinct ‘settings’ for this ‘interactive fiction’, I want you, the reader to tell me which 1 of those you would prefer to read and more importantly tell me why you made that decision, if possible!

Please only select 1 option as I would like to get a clear and true result of what YOU really want to read!

Thank You in advance!


In relation to :- http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/writing-challenge-forms

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New Together – A Poem

Sat here waiting by the phone for you to call

Times like these I feel I don’t know you at all

Will you say yes, or will it be another no

And if that is the case, then it is time for me to go.

Just want to know now, one way or the other,

Am I wasting my time, should I really bother?

Inside I am hoping, that you will prove me wrong.

Just pick up the phone, why is it taking you so long?

I really like you, in fact I think it’s more.

But how can I tell you, when I don’t know the score?

If you just show me that you feel that way too

Then we can begin to do the things that lovers do.

It’s nearly midnight, yet I’m still wondering why,

Whether everything is still ok between you and I.

Smoked all my cigarettes and finished off my drink,

Had too many hours pass where all I do is think.

And then I hear the telephone as it begins to ring.

And deep inside I’m filled with joy as my heart begins to sing.

You say Hello, and say lets meet

I start to float right off my feet.

A second chance you’ve given me.

You won’t regret this, wait and see.

This time tomorrow we will be in each others arms

And time will stop for hours while we trace each others palms.

I’ll look into your eyes and know that you will be the one.

And you’ll look straight back into mine, and know that we’ve begun.


© Matthew T. Aspden

Palm lines


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