Friday, December 16, 2011

Official Ignition Preview

Okay, so this is kind of exciting for me.
I'm officially releasing a sneak peak of my upcoming novel "Ignition".
I wont release any details on this chapter but I hope you enjoy it.
I'm not sure how I'll be releasing "Ignition". I'm hoping that Brighter Books will pick it up, but I also need to make sure it is out in time for Fan Expo. A delicate balancing act to be sure, but hopefully one that pays off.
Here you go: Feel free to leave a comment or whatever... I always appreciate them!

IGNITION - Preview (rough draft) - Matti McLean

There was a loud rattling sound; like the world had exploded beneath his feet. Before he knew what was happening, the blackness that had blanketed him dispersed. He did not know where he was, but he did know that he was not alone.

“Hello?” He called out to the darkness expecting an answer. When no one responded he called again, this time trying to be more forceful.

“I heard you the first time,” the darkness responded. Strange that it sounded distant and bored by Micah’s intrusion into the limbo he now fund himself in. Micah looked around, but could only see grey. He couldn’t feel anything around him; as if he was floating in midair.

“Who said that?”

“I’m a friend... I think.” The voice was so quiet that Micah could hardly hear him. “Are you the one who’s coming to save me?”

“Highly unlikely.” Micah said as he tried to take in his surroundings. “Where am I?”

“I think you’re lost.”

“How observant of you.” Micah said calling out to the massless void. “Where are you?”

“I can show you if you’d like.” The voice said. Suddenly the surroundings began to change. Shapes began to form and shift around and he watched as grass began to appear below his feet. Clouds began to appear as a sky took shape above him. The world around him came into view, and it didn't look friendly. Everything around him looked distorted, as if nature itself had turned malicious. He took a few steps through the grass and found it rough and harsh against his ankles. Before long he found himself on an old dirt path which he followed until it lead to an old, ragged bench. It looked to have been a bright, white bench at some point; but was now tattered with chipped paint and splinters with a single ragged balloon hanging from its planks. The bench overlooked a massive cliff that lead down to a series of dark waves that churned angrily below him.

“No one else has ever been here before.” The voice said calmly, and as Micah looked up he finally realized who he was talking to. There, standing in front of him was a boy who looked to be no older than thirteen. His hair was brown and ragged, and his face had big, brown, sad eyes that looked wise beyond his years. “Makes me wonder how you got here. What do you want?”

“I don't even know where I am.” Micah said.

“So you want to know where you are?”

“Well... yes. To start.” Micah said.

“Alright. But you'll have to ask nicely.” The boy said without a trace of irony in his voice. Micah looked at him with disbelief for a moment before realizing that the boy was actually being serious.

“Where is this place?” Micah asked.

“It’s my world.” The boy said with a mix of pride and dread.

“It wouldn't be my first choice.” Micah said as he brushed his hand against what looked like a painted tree. It's bark was rough and jagged on his skin.

“It's not mine either.” The boy said as scratched at his hand. “It used to be nice.”

“What happened?”

“The world happened and now... I don't really know... I can’t control it anymore... I'm sorry...”

“Why are you apologizing?” Micah asked.

“I can normally control these things.”

“What do you mean?” Micah asked. “Who are you?”

“I’m Jude.” The boy said.

“I'm Micah.”

“I know.”

“And how do you know that?”

“I just do. I know lots of things. I can do things...” the boy stopped himself from saying anymore, but Micah could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to share.

“What kind of things?”

“Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough.” Jude said. “I mean you’re here now... That has to mean something.”

“I’m sorry, I’m really not following any of this.”

“You don’t have to. Not yet anyway. All will be explained soon enough I guess. Or maybe you just figure it out. I don't know...” He looked out across the ocean at something Micah couldn't see and sighed. After a moment he spoke again. “This is my place... It’s where I go to escape.”

“Not very friendly.” Micah said.

“It used to be...” The boy said, and suddenly, for a second Micah saw this world as it used to be. The sky was clear and bright with gentle clouds scattered between the sunlight. The bench was a freshly painted white with two balloons tied to the back. The grass was green and lush and stretched as far as the eye could see behind them, while the cliff in front of them overlooked a crystal clear ocean that was still enough to see to the bottom, even from such a wondrous height. Then, as soon as the vision had appeared, it vanished. The world flipped back and Micah felt a sense of dread like a snake hanging around his shoulders.

“You shouldn’t be here.” Micah said. “We should go somewhere safe.”

“Safe?” The boy laughed. “This is the future. We can't stop it from coming. We can’t avoid it, we should probably just face it head on.” Jude pointed toward the horizon at a series of dark clouds. “A storm is coming.”

“So I'll get an umbrella.” Micah said reaching his hand out to the boy. He wasn't sure where he was going to go, but he knew he had to take Jude away from here.

“We are the umbrella.” Jude said. Just as Micah was about to make contact with him, his hand vanished off of his body leaving just an arm. There was no pain, but he could feel himself slowly being erased from this world. Then Jude began to dematerialize right before his eyes and the two of them watched as the world around them dispersed into nothingness. “If you want to help you'll find us.”

“Us?” Micah asked. “Where do I find you?”

“Just wake up.”


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cd Review : Marit Larsen "Spark"

So I've always wanted to write cd reviews. I find the experience of listening to a cd both enchanting and incredibly rewarding. Being able to connect with the artist in such a delightful and beautiful way is almost always enchanting. Upon discovering Marit Larsen's new cd "Spark", I knew that this was the cd I wanted to start with. I hope you enjoy my first non-fiction piece here!

Marit Larsen's "Spark" - By Matti McLean

There are few artists I hold in such reverence as Marit Larsen. I have been a fan of her unique voice since she was one half of the musical duet M2M with Marion Ravn, but have also had the unique privlage of growing up alongside her music. From her early days as a pop star, to her excellent solo cds (Under the Surface – 2005 and The Chase – 2008 respectfully) I have grown alongside her and her unique portrayals of love, loss and life. All this leads up to her latest, and in my opinion, her finest cd to date, “Spark” which was released this November.

“Spark” is a much different cd than her previous two. Marit Larsen has always been defined in my mind by a subtle, beautiful voice that was as poignant as it was exciting. Her lyrics almost always played in sharp contrast to her light and joyous melodies. In opposition to her bright, playful melodies, she arms her poignant lyrics with a sense of impenetrable optimism that seeps through every fabric of her writing.

In “Spark”, we see a more mature outlook on life. Marit sings of harsher realities, more troublesome problems, and all things considered speaks in a much more mature voice on more mature problems. While issues of love and life have been discussed in her previous albums, in “Spark” they contain a much more potent and bittersweet message. The songs this time are gentler, and have a much harsher, lived in quality to them. For the first time, Marit seems to embrace her pain and the heart aches of growing up. Her songs have a new haunting quality to them that is both shocking and cathartic.

In typical Marit Larsen tradition, upon my first play through of her cd, I was almost disappointed. “Spark” initially lacked the quick and easy catchy tunes of “Under the Surface” and initially I thought it lacked the complexities of “The Chase”, but as time went on and I spent more time with the cd, I realized that “Spark” could be her finest and most complex cd yet. The messages of the cd and the songs run much deeper than I could have initially anticipated and as a result, Marit has crafted her finest cd she has yet created.

Some of her finest songs on the cd deal with issues of past relationships, which is an issue that I feel rings particularly close to my life right now. The songs “I can't love you anymore” and “Last night” could be among “To and end”, “Fuel”, “Walls” and “Solid Ground” as the best songs in her repertoire. Her voice echoes more true when she sings with an air of mellancholia, and it's a tone that seeps through her album from the bittersweet opening of “Keeper of the keys”, to the reminiscent ending of “That day”. Her lyrics are reminiscent of Jewel, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Sarah Mclachlan all rolled into an etherial voice that carries the songs with such emotion that they become richer with each subsequent listen.

The cd is not without it's faults. Her first single “Coming home” initially lacks the killer hooks of “Don't save me” and “Only a fool”, but despite this the melodies are undeniably catchy, and the lyrics surprisingly sweet providing a nice contrast to the heavier lyrics of other songs on the album. “Have you ever” is a strange offering, pairing an undeniably peppy tune with a somewhat depressing subject matter in a way that is shockingly similar to some of her earlier songs, and “Me and the highway” and “Don't move” seem to be almost out of place on this album. At the same time, their levity is almost needed as the album would be almost depressingly heavy without their infectious hooks.

Overall, “Spark” provides a unique experience that is the logical next step for Marit Larsen. The lyrics are bolder and more personal, the package is more polished and the overall effect of the album is one of heavy emotional turmoil, wrapped in a beautiful package of excitement and bittersweet memories. I have often found emotional catharsis in Larsen's music, and am pleased to find myself continually enrapt in the soulful emotional bliss of her growth in “Spark”. If you are a fan of folk or haunting female voices, I cannot recommend this cd enough.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Well Haiku week may have been a failure, but I did find something interesting...
Last year for Design and Colour (yes, it was an actual class) I did a mockumentary for Vitamin Water. Those who know me in depth will probably know I have a bit of a hate-on for the crap, but just in case you didn't, I wrote a little skit about it which I'd like to share with you now. It was a short thing so don't expect something too crazy.

Vitamin Whater? by Matti McLean

Do you get thirsty? Do you like water? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be alive! But next time you go to fill up on regular water think again! Because you haven’t tried anything until you try vitamin water!
What makes vitamin water so special? Well in regular water, we don’t put a bunch of random shit into your water. With vitamin water, we do! How do we know it’s better? Just look at the bottle! This bottle of “not” vitamin water is clear! And this bottle of 100% vitamin water is yellow! Just like your piss!
How do we know it’s better? This incredible beverage has the word vitamin in the title, which means that it must be ! And it’s even packaged better. Forget sinks and filtered water, now you can drink your water out of a bottle that only costs 1000% the price of drinking from a tap! Delicious!
So throw away your vitamin supplements, kiss fruit goodbye and prepare yourself for a life of unbelievable energy and excitement with new vitamin water! Scientifically proven to be a beverage!
Now in diet! For all the fatties out there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Haiku Week Number Two

Another haiku I wrote. Sometimes doing something smaller and simpler is more difficult then writing long sprawling epics. I hope you enjoy it.

Roses by Matti McLean

A rose grows from dirt
It reaches towards the sky
But stops half way

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Haiku Week Number One

I have declared this week Haiku week.
Because, why not?
That's not a haiku but it could be.

Ketchup by Matti McLean

A ketchup bottle
The bottle farts in my hand
My true age revealed


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I've been in a strange place lately. Trying to get over past relationships by covering them up with new ones has proven to be a very self-destructive tactic and I find one of the best ways to release them is to revisit poetry. This poem is dedicated to a singer who I recently discovered and find her music is extremely soothing. I've become a little obsessed with her truth be told, but I'm hoping that she chooses to take that as a compliment!

Ave Maria - Matti McLean

Ave Maria

Sing me a song

And soothe my soul with this bottle of wine

Though I am restless

And indecisive as the wind

I feel my heartbeat like a razor blade

I've covered my scars with relationships

That lasted as well as the wind

I've held onto the issues

And discarded the cures

I hold the urchin in my hand

And feel the spines

As venom envelopes my mind

Your voice helps heal my soul

I hold together pieces but the soul still beats

I try to connect with myself

and don't recognize my face

I turn my ears skywards

but don't hear the comforting words of the sky

so I listen to the voice

of Ave Maria

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inferno - Prologue

So a while ago Dennis came to me with the idea of creating a steam punk version of Dante's inferno and it's an idea I really gravitated towards. I'm a huge fan of the genre and immediately started to write out some primary drafts of the story which I'm now sharing with you now.
This was the original prologue designed to set the mood for the novel. In a good prologue you introduce the tone, the character and the main themes of the book. Or at least you should. I think I was fairly successful in this. Thinking I'll keep writing it as time goes on and try to make something cohesive and delightfully twisted.

Inferno : Prologue by Matti McLean

He closed his eyes as the distant screams whipped past his ears. Smoke billowed through the darkness that clouded his dream as he fell through black storm clouds. Tumbling like a rag doll through smokey billows as skeletal beasts flew past on wings of bone and burnt flesh. The sound of clockwork echoing through their empty skulls. Above him a thousand dark creatures swirled as if preparing to attack the prey. One beast lunged a fanged tangle of teeth towards him missing him by inches. Thousands more seemed to appear and lunge at him as he passed by them, and they'd cackle as if he was another piece of meat for them to consume.

The ground below him burnt. The remnants of a city long burnt and still smouldering were splayed out below him. Long trenches stretched out as the dark landscape seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Tall towers that must have one been proud symbols of technology and progress stretched thousands of feet into the air. A giant clock tower, now decrepit and crumbling stretched out below him, but was rising quickly.

He fell, passing through the burnt sky and between the giant buildings that thrust into the sky. As he fell at speeds he could hardly comprehend; hurtling towards the street he could feel the air grow thick with heat as breath after breath thick with ash rushed into the burnt, scarring remains of his lungs. Two thousand feet, one thousand feet, a hundred feet- all flew by faster then he could recognize. As he was about to find himself a stain on the ground, the earth itself opened up in a giant mouth revealing miles and miles of dark cliff that stretched into a churning lake of fire. Bodies rolled in the flames and the sound of a million screams of terror burst from the ground and threatened to rip him apart. A thousand burnt fingers reached out to him as if pleading him for some form of relief; as if he and he alone could bring them relief. He tried desperately to do anything else, but he continued to fall helplessly, being drawn into the fiery, molten mass below him. The heat radiated at such a heat it almost burst his skin from his body. He screamed as the ground above swallowed him whole and the fire burned on.

So yeah, that's Dante's Prologue. Let me know what you think!
As a note, the artwork is not mine but perfectly emulates the mood I was going for so I had to use it. My thanks to Chenzan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNoNovel - part 1

Well I'm 30,000 words into my NaNo novel and I'm a little torn on it. On the one hand, I'm getting a LOT of words out! On the other, I'm not writing the story that I originally intended to write. Hazard of the business I guess... but I'm doing something a little unusual today. I wanted to share my first chapter with everyone.
It's rough of course, (most everything I write is) but I hope you guys enjoy the beginning at least :)

My original goal of the story was to write a steampunk version of the Scarlet Pimpernel. I think it's safe to say I did not do that.

Wingless - Chapter 1 - Matti McLean

It all began when the Southern Faction decided enough was enough. After years of oppression, they retaliated and the results were bloody and ruthless. That's not to say that the Kingdom of Vern didn't deserve it, they did. For centuries they lived in luxury while the oppressed lower classes struggled to survive. The world was harsh and thankless, and the jobs they performed everyday were not recognized by the ones who ran it. Finally, enough was enough, and they brought it upon themselves to fight back.

It began in Hartford. A terrible and bloody massacre when the Royal guard destroyed a peaceful rally and shed innocent blood on the streets. For the first time, the under classes began to band together and rise up against the oppressors, and with whatever measly supplies they had on hand they fought back. It was useless, however, and the entire resistance was squashed within a matter of hours. Only a few managed to escape but word spread. Soon murmurs were spreading through the villages, and people were banding together to fight for the things they never possessed.

The king and queen had heard rumours of such grumbles from the lower classes but paid them no mind. Instead, they expounded upon their opulent ways and expanded into realms of extravagance that had never been before seen in the country. Instead, the king, a power hungry man who demanded attention and loyalty from his followers, was growing restless and began to plot his superiority from the inside out.

The first official meeting of the resistance happened at Cheryl's tavern. A small inconspicuous inn at the edge of one of the main cities; Temple. The bar was small, scarcely big enough to fit twenty of the queen's men, but that was where the rebellion began. After much plotting in secret, the first battle lines were drawn and twenty villagers overcame the Queen's men in a surprise attack. The poorer classes had got a taste for blood and were beginning to fight for the freedoms that they were denied. Soon, similar coups were breaking out all over the country. The lower classes were uniting at a rapid pace and the ones who knew what to watch out for were beginning to get worried...

“Where is she?” The king demanded. He marched his elaborate shoes up and down the marble tiled hall and scoffed as he clenched his small, gloved hands together in a mixture of boredom and anxiety. He hated being held up. Especially by his wife. She was the one person who could get away with it. “Why couldn't I be more like Henry?” He muttered to himself.

“Your majesty?” A servant smiled sweetly to him offering him a sample from a tray of sweets, but that didn't distract him from his terrible mood. He waved him away, and put one hand down to his sizeable middle with a frown.

“Fifteen minutes. The woman must think she is preparing to meet the bloody bishop.”

The large white doors flung open, but unfortunately it wasn't the queen standing in all her gilded beauty, but instead a man in a mask and black cape. He wore a thick leather belt around his strong frame, and a mask that covered most of his face. A pair of brass goggles sat on top of his head showing that he was not one of the upper class, and the king immediately raised an eyebrow.

“What is the meaning of this?” The strange man said nothing and simply stood in the doorway. Behind him was the sound of swords clattering and firearms exploding. A guard tried to run past him towards the fighting when the man blocked his path effortlessly by stepping to the side. With a swift chop of his hand, the man brought the guard to the floor. The king was shocked and toddled backwards, startled at the lack of respect the man was showing. “Wha... Who are you?” the king stammered. The man said nothing, but the sounds of the riots grew louder by the second. “Guards! Guards!” The king ran backwards and tried to crawl to a safer corner in his room. The guards sprang into action, but the man seemed to be effortlessly cutting them down with a grace and skill that was uncommon.

“Who are you?” The king stammered as the last of his soldiers hit the ground. “There's no way a peasant could do what you're capable of.”

“You have no idea what I am capable of.” The man said.

“What... What are you going to do to me?” The king asked feeling a deep sense of terror begin to eat away at his considerable stomach. He clung to his red velvet curtains, knowing that they could very well be the last thing he would ever see. The threatening man simply shrugged and walked towards him.

“I am a harbinger of justice. A man of the people.”

“You can't be. You fight like you were of noble birth. Are you a knight? An alchemist? What was your past?”

“My past is over.” The man said. “And now it is your turn.” With a calm stride, he turned his back on the king and exited the room, the bodies of the guards still strewn unconscious around him. The king shuddered slightly, but before long straightened up to his full height. He was not a tall man, but his chubby body had always made him feel more powerful than perhaps it warranted. Now he just felt weak and scared.

He crept towards the door as delicately as he could, afraid that the noise of his shoe on the floor would bring that strange and wrathful man back towards him. He stepped over the bodies of his men and slowly peered his way out of the room. He looked down his hallways adorned with art, sculptures and vases far to large to be practical and framed by a golden trim. The marble was bright and glistened to an almost incredible level, but as he watched the sounds grew louder.

The first sign of something being wrong was the way the chandeliers swayed back and forth as if a large gust of wind was rocking them wildly. The candles flickered as a solitary apple rolled into view. It looked fresh and crisp and appeared to have a mind of it's own, stopping just at the other end of the hallway. A second later, it was crushed by a boot made of leather and cloth, by a bushy bearded man with a frown set on his intimidating face. He held a weapon in his hand that looked to be some kind of firearm the King had never seen before.

As soon as the man had seen the fat face of the king, he called out to the others and the din of the battle began to rage closer and closer. The king shut his doors and tried to barricade himself in but his lack of strength left him open and vulnerable. Within moments they stormed the door, breaking through the kings pathetic excuse for a blockade and had him cornered in the room.

Reports are mixed as to what had happened next. Some say that the king escaped to live out his days as a farmer working the fields that he had once owned. The messengers from the underground spoke of a much harsher and more violent story. A story where the king was stripped of everything and paraded around the streets from the back of a horse drawn cart. Some say he was thrown from the balcony, others say he was killed... the only thing that the resistance had made sure of was that the word was released: The king is dead, and all who followed his corrupt and opulent rule would soon face the same fate as their leader. Dozens of aristocrats were gathered and dealt with by the local authorities. Those who were merciful made them live out their days as servants to the ones who had served them. Those who weren't faced the wrath of a scorned people, and faced the consequences.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NANO inspiration - Why You Matter

This was a quick little forum post I posted as an inspirational pep talk to everyone doing NaNoWriMo this year. I'm hoping that someone will be inspired. Either here, or elsewhere. But I hope you enjoy it! It goes along with my original mandate about trying to create a community and the creation of a writing help blog and all that...

I hope you like it! I don't know if it makes any sense, but then again, when do I ever make any sense?

Pep Talk - or Why You Matter

Everyone has a dream. Many people will be releasing their dream to the world this month through a little event all of us know as NaNoWriMo. So much of the world wants to let their voices be heard and the brilliant thing is that, for at least one month, you, the one who is reading this right now, wi'll have the voice and the audience to achieve this.
Isn't that awesome?
Nanowrimo has been a very important part of my life for the better part of my adult life. Stories I've written through NaNoWriMo have become novels, plays, dreams and short stories that have helped to enrich my life and have allowed me to thoroughly root myself in my imagination.
What a great word. Imagination. So many people complain that imagination is only reserved for children. I'm proud to say that this isn't true. Your imagination is your ultimate weapon against the nemesis of mediocrity.
I may go out on tangents sometimes, but I like to think it's a result of my overactive imagination.
I want to tell something to every writer out there, and if you take nothing else from this posting, I hope you take this.
You matter.
Your voice matters.
Your writing matters.
You matter.
Why do I want to impart this to you?
Well the first reason is simple. I want everyone to know that they possess a voice that is distinctly their own, and that even though they may be in a world that will openly reject, dismiss and humiliate them, they still matter. Your voice is your own and no one else can see the world exactly as you do.
The second is slightly more complicated. I believe that your writing is a reflection of you. What you write down is your soul exposed to the world. It is you. Your visions. Your beliefs. Everything. You. Are. What you write. You live in your writing. People get to know you through your writing, even if you never meet them. It's amazing how much you can tell about a writer by simply reading one of their poems. Even haikus.

Everyone matters.
Everything you're creating
Will help you in life.

Think about your favorite authors. Rowling, King, Gaiman... They all started where you are right now. (although maybe they started on typewriters) With a blank page and made some of your favorite stories. They created characters out of nothing, and now you find yourself totally free to follow in their footsteps and stand on their shoulders.
Now, I know you might think it's a little overwhelming... And it is. Blank pages can be scary. Terrifying. Even bad! When all you can see is the little blinking line at the top of a blank page the pressure to write { 1,667 } words in a day can be downright daunting. Terrifying. Just awful. Gut wrenchingly, painstakingly awful.
But... all it takes is one word to unleash a cavalcade of emotional genius. And before you know it, the story will start to happen.
But Matti, you say, why do you think my writing matters?
Well... because there are people out there who desperately need to hear what you have to say of course. Your work will be read: Maybe not as fast as you'd like them too (I have friends who have had my book for MONTHS and not read it yet. SO FRUSTRATING!) but eventually, they will. They will drink in your words like a glass of fresh water into the soul. Writing can be the ultimate release for many feelings: Anger, regret, remorse, grief... and someone out there who desperately needs to know that everything will be okay will be looking for someone who's been through their experiences. Someone out there may be looking for the validation, or inspiration, or imagination that your writing will provide them.
Donald Miller wrote a blog a little while ago called "The Best Writing Advice I've ever received", and in my opinion it's brilliant. He says that we all need to love our reader. And he's write. (ha ha! I made a pun!)
I have a tendency to ramble so I just wanted to tell everyone that you matter. You all matter.
You sitting there reading this. You matter.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


So this was one I wrote regarding a point of view storyline. I was inspired by a Perry Bible Fellowship storyline and just had to write about it.

Pellet - POV

Stay crunchy. Stay sweet. Always fight.

It's never too late for us.

Living in darkness for a brief shot at a greater battle. Our time will come. Piles upon piles of us wait. Our bodies stuffed to the gills, piled as high as the dome of the plastic overhead. The battle draws near.

We feel a shifting on the outside and our bodies are flung from side to side of the massive vessel. We can feel churning outside as we're shaken, moved, hit and flung without any regard to our own safety. The mighty forces beyond our control are judge and jury to our fate. No signs of light. Night, day and everything in between have no place here. We can feel the battle coming, and when it does, we shall be victorious. Time has no meaning here.

It happens. Early one morning, what we assume to be morning, the skies part. Our world is flung upside down as dozens of soldiers pour out into the unknown world. They're never seen again but their memory is seared upon the thoughts of every kernel in this cardboard nightmare. We know that soon we shall follow them and patiently await our time to fight.

It could take hours, days, weeks before it happens again, but time after time the sky bursts open and more and more soldiers are lost to the great beyond. Only a handful remain but time is running short.

It happens. The last remaining soldiers are flung out of the safety of the box and into a cold porcelain arena where we must contest for our lives. The dust of our fallen allies lines the bowl and spurns our anger ever further.

“We shall fight!” I call and rally the broken shells of the soldiers. What's left of us will fight. We will not go down soggy.

The milk descends upon us like a tsunami and soon we can no longer stand. Our buoyant bodies forced upwards by the sharp current of the terrible liquid that is desperate to consume us. We fight with everything that is left within us. We shall not lose after coming this far.

A terrible cry as the milk penetrates the soldiers, but I shall not give in. Time is not on our side, and soon the spoon has come to liberate the soldiers from the struggle and bring them to the place from which no kernel returns. They fight with every fibre of their being, but the struggle is too much for them.

The battle rages for a measureless period of time, and we fight with all our might; but alas, in the end it is all for naught. I am the last of my kind surrounded in a liquid sea of my enemies. I fight until my body is too soggy to move and bloated from the struggle.

The hardness of the silver spoon cuts through the liquid and rescues me from the struggle. I have nothing left and embrace the wet teeth of death.

Stay crunchy. Stay sweet. Always fight.

It's never too late for us.

I realize now that as I write these, I'm quickly running out of my old work from creative writing and might actually need to start producing new pieces soon...

Oy vey... pressure...

The link to the actual comic:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A love letter to Mark Burnett from the remnants of his audience

For our sonnet project in poetry class, I decided to write about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart : What happens to a reality television show when all the excitement has vanished? Such is my debate with Survivor. The show that was once so fresh, new and relevant is now just a hulking shell of what it used to be. No ones cares about it anymore because there is nothing exciting about it. People have cracked the system. You get to find out about alliances, and see people argue and watch people do nothing of interest for days and days and days.
It's pretty pathetic all things considered.
And now that they feel the compulsion to re-include old characters who were voted off in previous seasons... it's just a hulking, massive, rotting zombie of the golden boy show it used to be.
Give me more of Australia where they really had no idea what to do, and all was fresh and unique. That would be awesome. We need another Jerri.

A love letter to Mark Burnett from the remnants of his audience
by Matti McLean

I watch them every week upon the screen
As they complain about the things they do
And wane, complaining about uncooked beans
And lying as the numbers become few.

I wonder how on earth do they survive
The tortures that they face from week to week
To test the boundaries of being alive
and test the winning tribes new lucky streak.

And now I watch as they all play their games,
and lie about the things that they will show
to get ahead, and not to see their names
appear within the palms of mighty Probst

Would I survive for thirty days upon
A film set when the audience is gone?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love Like a Rabble

The first draft of a poem I wrote for poetry class. One of my first experimental pieces turned out to by one of my favorites. I'll find the full version and attach it later. I think it might be interesting to see exactly what changed in a poem so chaotic.

Love Like a Rabble – Matti McLean

Love like a hurricane whips past the world as it turns and it spins without ending, before the sunrise that sets on the land that was dark but will brighten the day of the vampires that play in the shadows of the moon and the branches that grow from the ground that was burnt and will die when the daylight returns from its sleep at the end of the world where the sun and the sky will be one in the night that was day before everything happened when the man took the apple and he ate from the snake that once said that it suffered without end from the fact that it's face never left the ground that was lush and the grass that was grey before dying and growing green to the clouds that were white as the snow that was falling from heaven that burnt up the ashes that flew through the air from the fires that burned in the ocean that churned like a cauldron as it bubbled from heat as the witch burned the bible that created the gas that would choke out the earth as it died in a puddle of global warming from the suicide of fighter planes that crashed in the ocean aiming at the ships that were firing their weapons in a harbour of pearls that were created from grains of sand in the mouths of the oysters of parliament who signed their documents with the blood of the trees and declared themselves superior from the dark-skinned brother who fought with their riots and rap music and jeans that hung low so that you could see their boxers made from the cotton the white man picked from the gardens with trees of knowledge that declared themselves worthy of a god who wasn't listening to the rabble that erupted from the voices of thousands who cared about themselves and the fact that he said the worlds that created the bang that happened when the world began but ended when the church declared itself king of the monkeys and queen of the painters who painted the pictures of nothing but skies filled with stars that were black as the canvas that was used on the sails of ships that the pirates sailed through arches of bones and the mussels that clung to the support under the waves of the rum that was drank by the virgins who climbed up the mountains and bypassed the forests that grew without knowledge of the bulldozers that would come and collect up the people and place them in factories and mark them with stars as the red rain spewed from the chambers where the gas of perfection choked out the Jewish and echoed the screams of a thousands Egyptians when they woke up to find that their tables were empty because someone had left the door open and their kitty cats went out into the dessert and dug up the nation that was hiding for centuries before anyone could push it back into the abyss of despair which was threatening to overtake the capitalists inside of the whale that was spit up and broken by beavers who could chew through concrete and the wires that connected the homes to each other in a way that allowed them to mate with themselves to the pictures of vixens on television that would coo for their money that would come from the soiled hands of thousands of men who would drink up their beers and admire their guts that were bloated from lack of broccoli and food that the other nations demanded for the starving people who were eatting their gold fish and placing their money in ponds where the people swam and sank to the bottom of the Titanic which would sail the seas of indifference when ice would accumulate on the rudders and burn through the pride that sunk a city of people who persisted that there was nothing wrog with caviar and ate with the others who thought that the fur that they wore came from the men who they slept with in orgies of slugs on beds made from roses and barbed wire that would strangle the legs of Nike who soared through the skies behind Icarus and Elijah's flaming horses that burnt out the ozone and left us with a hole to the heavens that lets the sun shine in to the tune of ice tea being stirred while our bubble rap economy continues moving forward like a steam train made of warthogs who look in the mirror and ask themselves why they can't be pretty like the zebras that hunted the lions in the office building where predators fight aliens while Arnold takes off his shirt and yells for the slap chop to come and pierce his aeorta which was the answer to the question on Jeopardy that asked them to answer for their leaders about what they should do about the wars in Korea and the problem with bed bugs who are making their homes in the hair of the homeless who sleep in the corners of buildings that fell when the earthquakes erupted in streets full of vendors who sell off their street meat that was crafted from the bones of the victims of the attacks of the thunder god who fell from the heavens and struck at the natives who would pray for redemption to the church that was built upon twin towers and the mosque around the corner that was bombed by a terrorist who claimed himself to be gods favourite Buddhist ever to die in the name of love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A prose I wrote for a minimalist assignment.

Heels – Minimalist

I stood outside in the snow. Shannon at my feet dry heaving alcohol that wasn't there as she cried out “Leave me! Just leave me! I want to die.” I sigh in frustration. Twenty people in a driveway sharing smokes and stories in the snow. They leave for sodas down the street leaving me with Shannon.

“What do we do about her?” Carter asks.

“I'll call Jesse.” The music from the party rages inside as i call my friend. “We need a ride.”

He arrives ten minutes later, pulling up with his girlfriend. We try to lift her but her limp body fights us off. “I want to freeze to death. Just leave me you fucking asshole! I love you! Why don't you love me!” She throws up. I groan.

“What are you wearing on your feet?” He asks. I shrug and try to play off the heels as part of the new years festivities. I curse Shannon for wearing my boots and take a drag of the cigarette. The taste of smoke is awful and makes me want to die. Or kill.

“Let's try to get her in.” Carter grabs her feet. I take a shoulder and Jesse and someone else grab the rest of her. We stuff her in the back seat of the car and I say goodbye to my boots. It's unlikely I'll see them again. It's a sad thought.

We close the door as Shannon screams in protest behind the glass. Her voice is muffled. I hug Jesse goodbye and go to walk back in the house. I slip my hand in Carters and smile. After being away for so long it's nice to have him back beside me. I go to sneak a kiss when Jesse interrupts. His door is locked. Shannon is out and shows no signs of life despite our yells to rouse her. I shake my head.

“I'll call my mom.” Jesse says walking up to the house.

“We're locked out.” Carter says. “The others went for soda. We're stuck out here.”

“Can I use your phone?” He asks.


“Well fuck.”

“Yeah... Fuck.”

Jesse takes a hangar and tries to pry into his car. I wonder where the hangar came from. Ten minutes later the party returns. Julian calls for an ambulance and comments on the footwear. I punch him in the arm. I can't feel my feet. Carter holds me from behind and I delight in the small amount of warmth he provides.

“You okay?” I ask.



His mom doesn't have the keys and cusses him out. Shannon's thrown up again. Her vomit fogs the mirror. It's gross.

The ambulance shows up. They break into the car and pull Shannon out. I tell them everything that happened and they agree she needs to get her stomach pumped. One of the men asks me what shoes I'm wearing and winks at me. Carter glares at me. I do not flirt with anyone. Ever. End of story.

The night goes on. The ambulance drive away and Jesse promises to see me soon. I know he's lying because he has no interest in my world anymore. I slip my hand into Carters and breathe a sigh of relief. At least I'm still standing.

I slip on the ice and vow never to wear heels again. The only person I'm lying to is myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Had a wonderful meeting with my dear friend today, who handed me back a story I had completely forgotten about writing. This was my last assignment for my Creative Writing class and I was at a point of frustration. Now looking back on it, I have to say it is one of my favorite things I've ever written. I hope you enjoy it!


This piece of paper will change the way you look at life, the universe and everything.

I long for chaos yet it eludes me. I tried to catch it in a cup but the teapot was empty and the skies were dry.

In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth. And the earth. And the earth.

He made the sun, the planets, and other suns that we call stars. But he threw those so far away that man would never reach them, but close enough to us that in our arrogance we believe we can.

The world is spinning. It attempts to fling the human vermin from it's surface but is unsuccessful. This gravity that pins us to its surface is as thick and harsh as syrup dripping over a succulent bagel.

People don't talk anymore. We text, type and sext. Our messages are becoming confused. Our words shorter. Our messages. LOL. Pointless.

The first silent movie was released in 1903. 100 years later the Matrix became a trilogy that was just as quickly forgotten. Progress?

Perhaps the world has always been about keeping things down. No relationship is complete without a thumb on the forehead of the submissive. A man brutally tied to the bedposts by gravities unseen hand and left on the tracks as the train of progress chugs continually forwards.

The only three words that have no rhyme in the English language are silver, purple and orange. Surprisingly, lots of things rhyme with colourblind. Rind. Kind. One of a kind. A humourless kind.

I'm a cereal killer. I kill them with milk. Crunch. The ballad of a peppercorn pirate.

There are no accidents in creation. Man in all his wisdom looks into randomness and is challenged to find patterns out of happy accidents. Reality is just a bunch of dots that we struggle to connect. Out of our fear of the dark we impose light where there is none so we can look into the black and feel enlightened.

Dark is what keeps the light away. We wear dark clothes to look like something we are not. Dark is slimming. Dark is form fitting. Dark is an illusion we fear and don't understand. Dark is deadly. Dark is fun. Dark is death personified in fashion.

Universal connections are impossible because of all the space between them. We do not form lines that unite the cosmos. We create dots amid a sea of black. A mark. A scar. An imperfect blotch on the clean, clear space of the blank canvas of the universe.

Eventually all things must fail. Birds must fall to fly. Babies must fall before they walk. Even kamikazes must fail.

Echidnas live in New Zealand. They do not have knuckles. Sega lied.

Lies are only as true as the people who say them. Belief is cheap and dangerous.

I stabbed my friend Maude in the chest with a stake and she dropped her vase. Post Maude urn.

I lied when I said the truth.

Time is out of synch. Rules crumble. Jericho rises from the ashes like Dark Phoenix as she battles Galactus for intergalactic supremacy. He wears pink pants and a stupid looking helmet.Even he knows that chaos will come and devour us all.

From the pits of Tartarus the serpents will hunt. They spear the Valkyries before Vagner hits the first note. Odin weeps into Neptune's lap. Raven, Loki and Coyote suffer identity disorder.

Life grows simple over time. Thoughts stream across the page but get thicker with meaning and soon all are full of references that even they do not understand. The fight for meaning grows heavy as the weak grow fat from the justice of the first world countries.

There are millions of billions of trillions of planets out there. But only one supports life. Dot.

I fly between the rings of Saturn and search for a Starbucks. There's one around Io but that's too far right now. The long random arm of corporations grab at the promise of the nations.

The lord is my shepherd I shall not wait for anyone to do anything and blame everything that goes wrong on him. Because I am entitled to it all. I am in dominion over everything. Thus it was written, “Thou shall not perish, but donate all your money to corporations and completely forget all your principals and give to a worthier cause.”

Dot. Dot. Dot. All must be connected. Everything is ordered. Nothing is random. All must follow logic. None must step out of line.

Follow the curves of the page. Right off the page.

Follow logical thought.

Think for yourself.

Hang yourself on indifference and struggle with the consequence of a loose neck.

Violence exists all around us. Everyday I wake up and fight my shadow in hopes that one of us will trip up and I'll emerge victorious. I struggle with myself everyday. I don't want to hear

Yellow rhymes with fellow. Blue rhymes with you. Red rhymes with dead. Lots rhymes with gold and bronze. Nothing rhymes with silver. Being second just makes you the first loser.

Look at a page of random letters and you'll discover words. A happy accident that you thrill at. The rebellion of the letters is useless against your desire for order.

Sex is cheap and nasty. My heart breaks for the prostitute who goes without mouthwash.

Poetry falls out of me like chemistry. Cyanide is cheap and effective.

Lust is a sin for all but the phallic. Skinny curve-less people with big feet.

The thoughts are inescapable. The thought that no matter what I do, order will come. My mind races to the edges of my sanity but is dragged back to conformity. Kicking and screaming as the noises grow dangerously loud and complex. My sanity is a curse. The structures are prisons to the thousands of sheeple that come before me.

Suicide is easy. The theme from MASH. M*A*S*H. I never watched that show. Too many stories.

The more you see, the less you know. The more places you visit, the less you see. Find a four leaf clover in your backyard, and you'll miss the mushroom cloud of progress.

My time is thick. Like my neck. The tie is choking.

Dot. Dot. Dot. You try to piece together the pieces once again and find patterns. Graphs. Order. Then find comfort in the thought that the random has been conquered. Like the wildness of the wildness of the wildness.

A man was stranded on a desert island. He'd never traveled before but one day, he found himself alone. Sand and ocean as far as the eye could see. He walked for hours and came across a chair. He never left it. It was his one piece of familiarity amid an ocean of chaos. He lived the last of his life there unaware that his desire for order killed him. A mile down the road a resort ran 24/7 serving fat tourists and spoiled brats.

People say that our brains resort to patterns and finding comfort in familiar objects. Repetition is good. It's something for the mind to latch onto.


And that inside jokes have no weight without former knowledge.

The pieces of plastic on the ends of your shoelaces are called aglets. The holes they go through are eyelets. The more I think about things

Tattoos are black memories that we use to mark where we've been and what we've cared about along the way.

Never have so many people, with so little to say said so much.

The closer we get to chaos in writing, the closer we get to poetry. Repetition is good. It's something for the mind to latch onto.

Time is an illusion. It makes us feel like we're going forward even when we're standing still.

It's not plagiarism if it isn't fun. Work sucks.

I'm hurting. Everyday is a struggle. One email destroyed my world and my heart fell through my body. Now I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Repetition is good. It's something for the mind to latch onto.

I used to count on my toes, but now they let down. When you can only count to ten, you always end up missing a crucial step or two.

The very nature of reality is fracture. Half finished thoughts. Words get caught in throats. I st-st-st- I speak my mind in the hopes I can let my mind wander. It hasn't come back yet.

The essence of nature is destruction. Circle of Life. Circle of death. Circling the drain in between the air pollution, chlorofluorocarbons and allergens that prove that the natural world really is out to get you.

Punctuation is the prison of the English language. It confines the depths and breadths of emotion to the prison of order. It refuses to let chaos reign. We conform to its rules without issue. We follow the thought that a period means stop and a comma means pause and a semi colon can't make up its mind and an apostrophe is just a thought that is so desperately trying to escape. Order is chaos. Punctuation is a stifle to our creativity.

I do not write to make understanding easy. I write because I must. If I stop my fingers will explode and I will have to use my tongue to tell the tales that my brain refuses to hold captive. I will narrate my genius into the corner of creation. I will write because I must and reference those who came before me to prove my genius.

In the midst of chaos we create patterns to establish order. We refuse to recognize the void for what it truly is. A big black inky blackness devoid of life, love and the American dream. Everything feels intentional because we arrange our homes into rooms, and the walls that we create to keep the chaos outside do little to prevent the chaos from existing. Our lives are in peril when the windows break and the deadly breeze rolls in threatening to sweeten our air with the smells of butterflies and bumblebees.

I want to break away from structure. Leave it shattered at my feet. I will leave the period behind and all punctuation shall cease to be

I'm allergic to bee stings. Spider bites make my skin inflate like a balloon. I'm also afraid of balloons. My friend logics it to being afraid of guns. The unsettling thought that at any second a loud bang can eliminate something that had seemed so solid. A balloon defies the laws of gravity that strive so hard to keep the rest of the world nipping at the ankles of giants.

I want to write thick, long lines so dense with meaning that it takes a historian, a philosopher

The dark recesses of my mind house rats that keep the mice at bay. They feast on the garbage in my frontal lobe and defecate down the spiral cord which winds its way around my sanity and allows me to breathe.

Repetition gives your mind something to latch onto. Who cares about synchronicity when chaos is quicker?

I do everything I can to keep people at bay. I write nonsense. I create chaos. I interrupt their sterile, pathetic lives and ramble like a mad man in an attempt to let them know how i feel. My blood is hot. I demand to be alone. I don't need a hug I want space. I want out. I want freedom. I want the sweet embrace of death to kiss me on the cheek. I want life to go away for a while and leave me in the corner with a dunce cap and a cigarette burn.

I humbly pray for patience and scream for sanity.

Some dance with the stars. I dance like a mad man through heaven and hell to find the place where time and space converge in a glorious apex.

The air thins as I thicken. Too many burgers and and fries. I do not see myself as skinny.

In the end the blackness is only temporary. It's always darkest before is goes completely black.

Despite the desperate need for chaos my mind caves into order and sanity.

I am sane and perhaps that is the curse of it all. My mind cannot reach to the end of invention because the desire for structure is too great.

Billions of planets that some argue are all connected.

Carbon is the backbone of the galaxy. Everything in the world is made of this very small, basic element. All life stems from carbon. This can't be proven. Give me a planet of arsenic that I might drink it's salt.

The world is a big, safe, beautiful place. This is false. The world is a place where nothing forgot to exist and something took its place. It's a freak coincidence. An island of life amid a galaxy of black.

We are all connected. This is false. We are billions and trillions and quintillions of light years from the other stars. The other planets want nothing to do with us. We all are alone in the great blackness of space, with no one to rely on but themselves. Some tried to make friends. Some tried to mate but got their hearts broken through emails. This world is all there is. No friendly aliens to come down and rescue us. No loving life form to descend from ET's space ship and fly away home. Instead we are left as the outcast organism that the other biospheres wanted nothing to do with.

We are alone in the galaxy.

We are nihilistic.

We are chaos personified.

Time is irrelevant. Space is indefinite. The only thing left is not.

As a note, there were a lot more breaks and spacing changes I made for the original that couldn't translate into this format so that's unfortunate.

I really enjoyed reading this now as there are a lot of pieces about it I really enjoy. I hope you do as well.

As a note, this could be one of the most difficult things for a writer to write. My goal with this piece initially was to have a work of creation that is so far removed from sanity that it is literally painful to read and difficult to breathe meaning into. During the writing process, I found that inevitably bits and pieces began to match up and that my attempt to write something completely and totally incoherent was in the end a fallacy. Despite my longing for chaos, order inevitably set in and my story ended up being something unexpectedly posessing a coherence that I did not want. When a writer sets out to write something, they inevitably want it all to make perfect sense. Strange how attempting to do the exact opposite is equally as frustrating.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Twi Hard

Been a while since I wrote anything, so I figured I need to get back to this. I have a couple projects I've been up to which I will share soon, but as of right now I really wanted to get back to something light and fun.
This story was one I wrote for my prose class last year, and has stayed with me since then because I really loved it.

Twi-Hard: With a Vengence

Many would consider Betty ordinary. Because she was. Seriously. There was absolutely nothing special or interesting about her. In fact she was so exceedingly ordinary that it often hurt to look at her. Many faces had shattered upon looking at her. Because of this she was forced to wear a paper bag over her head as she grew up. This was how she got the nickname Betty Baghead.

Betty Baghead looked out the window as the car sped along a plain dirt road. Beside her sat her father, who she never really knew because he'd lived so far away; and they only talked once a year on the day after her birthday. She had never liked her father much, especially because whenever he called her, he'd always apologize for not calling her on her birthday. One year, he had called her on her birthday, hung up, and called her the next day instead. He said it was to keep the tradition alive. Though she'd never say it, she always suspected her father of being a drunk.

“No honey,” he said squeezing her ample bosom with his free hand as he drove the tractor. “I only drink with friends. Uh oh! Giant moose! Here, hold my vodka.” He said as he turned the wheel instantly rolling the farm equipment and spilling hay and two sheep on the road. He died, but Betty was fine. The sheep were also fine. As such, she shrugged, and began to walk along the road towards what she assumed would be a city. She was wrong of course, but her bag didn't have eyeholes.

She walked along the street, and after five minutes she realized she was being followed. “Is someone following me?” She called out.


“Okay. Thanks for letting me know,” she said, as she casually continued her walk. After two minutes she wondered if she had been lied to and stopped again. “Wait, is there someone following me or not? I thought I heard footsteps.”

“No. You're just schizophrenic.”

“Well I know that, but I was just wondering if you were a voice in my head, or a vampire. My impressionable teenage fantasies are telling me you're a vampire.”

“No, that is definitely not me. I am not a vampire. Well... No. I'm a voice.”

“Well okay. Thank you for being honest. Now what do you want me to burn?”


“Well when you usually talk to me you tell me to burn something.” She said, her voice muffled by the paper bag. “Did you want me to burn anything this time?”

“No, just keep walking. I like to watch.”

“Okay.” She said as she continued to walk. She wasn't very bright. In fact some would say she was dumb. So what was said before about her not being special isn't quite the full truth. In fact she was exceedingly special. In a short bus kind of way. “Wait a minute... The voices in my head can't see me as I walk.” She said to herself. She tried to turn around but forgot how to, so she fell on the ground and rolled around until she was facing the right direction. “You lied to me! You're totally not a voice in my head. You're a thing!”

“I like the bag on your head,” the voice said. “Can I touch it?”

“Why?” Betty asked, her voice shaking from fear, and her knees shaking from a mild case of polio.

“Because... I like bag heads.”


“Because... It's just a thing I like.” His voice was low and gravelly. It sent chills up and down her spine. She shivered.

“Your voice is low and gravelly. It's sending chills up and down my spine. I just shivered.”

“I saw. Your bag rustled.”

“It does that.” For a long time no one said anything. It was a really long time. “We haven't said anything in a really long time.” She said a long time after the long time had passed.

“Want to make out?”

“Are you sure you're not a vampire?” Betty Bagface asked.

“No. I am definitely not a vampire. I have never been a vampire. I will never be a vampire. Okay, I may have been a vampire once. But no. I am all human. Okay, I'm a vampire. Want to make out?”

“Yes.” She said. But neither of them did anything. “How?”

“Well I must first remove this bag,” he said as he stepped towards her. She lifted her hands up in an attempt to block his hands and instead managed to slap both of them in the face.

“No. It'll shatter your face!”

“No. It wont. I'm a vampire. I'll be fine.” He said as he removed the bag. He looked at her. She looked at him. They looked at each other. It was a moment. Betty took a moment to wonder why she had never put air-holes or eye-holes in the bag. It would have made sight a lot easier. Or at least possible.

She looked at his face. He looked at hers. Then, his face shattered.

“You're beautiful.” He said. He was lying. Then added, “Ow.”

“You're beautiful.” She said reaching up and touching his smooth cheek, and using her free hand to pick pieces of his face off of hers.

“Thank you.” He said. “I never hit puberty.”

“Kiss me.” She said. They kissed. It was hot. In a gross kind of way. “I think we should get married, and not grow old together, and have a baby, and name it a stupid name, and have it marry a werewolf. What do you think?”

“No.” He said. Then he drank her blood. Because he is a vampire and that is what they do.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress on Ignition

So I started this blog not just as a way to share my writings with the world, (hello world!) but also as a way to keep myself on track in regards to my own projects and writings.
As many of you know, I've been working on the sequel to my first book which was recently published via Brighter Books. The first book is entitled "Catalyst" and has been getting some very good feedback which is always new and exciting.
On the second book, I've hit major road block after major road block and have been having massive challenges in overcoming writers block. A part of it was that I was so tied up in the first story that I was unsure of how to make what I know needed to happen, happen in book 2.
So book 2 is entitled "Ignition" and my new stance on it, and the only reason I'm actually succeeding in writing it right now, is that in order for me to start my day right, I need to reach the next page. If I'm at page 14, I write until I'm at page 15.
Now I know what I'm writing right now is not my usual standard of writing. The dialogue is clumsy, the action scenes are unpolished, the writing is quick and bad... But at this stage I know that it's perfectly okay. The important thing isn't how the writing comes out, it's what we do to the writing in the editing stages.
My first draft of this book will be rough. My goal for this project is to have book 2 be approximately 50,000 words, but expanded to 60,000 in editing.
At this stage, my priority is to tell the story. I know now that afterward I will make it prettier, and more glossy and perfect, but right now? Just get it out. Just throw it all up because I know if I don't do this now, it wont get done.
So one week ago my story was at 5,000 words after six months. Not a great track record. I started and rewrote the story at least 3 different times before, so I just wanted to make sure that this time, I just need to get it out. Get it all out. Write it. Just do it. Worry about it later, but for now, just do it.
As a result, I'm now sitting around 10,000 words. A significant advantage.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


For one of the classes in prose we had to write a fable. After struggling with the idea for a while I based it off of a character from the class and wrote about his favorite pastime. As a sidenote all of the stories I wrote for the class had only one word titles. Something which I inadvertently continued with my books... We'll see how long this trend continues.

By Matti McLean

There once was a man who liked marijuana. He really liked it. His clothes were made of hemp. His decorative necklaces were made of hemp (which he wore much more frequently than the clothes). His decorative bandana was made of hemp, his sandals were made of hemp and even his furniture was made of hemp. In fact, this man loved hemp so much that he grew enough of it to make an entire house of hemp. His name was Weedy McHempington, and he was king of Hempingway.

Now Weedy McHempington had a very close group of friends and every night they would get together in his house, which had come to be known as the hemp house and the four of them would play a game of poker.

One week, during a game, one of his friends was bragging about how he could blow smoke rings bigger than any of them. None of them believed him, so to prove his point he took a drag of his funny cigarette and blew a smoke ring so big it stretched from floor to ceiling! Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a twinge of jealousy stir in his stomach.

Then, another friend piped up and told them all that he could make animal shapes with his smoke. No one believed him, so he took a drag of the funny cigarette (or more specifically, two puffs), and when he released the smoke a snake appeared and slithered through the air! Following the snake was a smoke bird, a smoke rabbit, and a smoke moose! Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a flickering of jealousy ignite in his throat.

His final friend sat up and told them all that he could do better than that. He claimed that using his lighter, he could actually light a candle using his smoke. No one believed him, so he took a drag of the funny cigarette and let out a long stream of smoke. To everyones amazement, the smoke carried a flame from one candle to the other. Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a deep jealousy that reached down to the back of his knees. He would not be outdone by his friends!

Once the others had settled down, he declared that he could do better than all of them. He claimed that he could actually create a firework out of nothing but smoke. No one believed him, so when no one was looking (Look! A distraction!) he sipped some of the lighter fluid and took two drags from the funny cigarette. When everyone had turned back around, which had taken an exceptionally long amount of time since there had been something shiny on the far side of the room (Ooh! Shiny... Where was I?), he put his plan into motion. He breathed out a long line of smoke and flammable materials into the candle that sat in the middle of the table. In a beautiful explosion the candle burst into a giant flame bigger than any the four stoners had ever seen. Instead of ducking like normal people, all four of them were hit by the firework, as well as much of the flammable house. Luckily only one thing caught fire; McHempingtons' thone, which he had also made of hemp.

The four of them rushed to fight the fire, but the heavy amount of weed in the chair made that feat much more difficult than it should have been. A heavy, rancid smelling smoke filled the small hut making it impossible to see, and even more impossible to stay sober. The four of them stumbled around like doofuses and eventually collapsed on the ground in a heap. Within minutes the roof had caught on fire and the entire house had gone up in smoke. McHempington escaped with only minor burns, but the other three died. But don't worry, you never learned their names so you should feel no emotional attachment to them.

The moral of the story: People who live in grass houses shouldn't blow smoke.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Toronto Blues

So living in Toronto has been interesting. It's been a heart of healing, of torture and struggle, and a period in my life that will go down as being one of the most difficult I have ever faced. But it's been good. Things are progressing, and progress is good.

And Untitled Or Another
by Matti McLean

Last night was that night.
The night you reach out to clutch at the strands of the shroud of turin
Seeking healing from a heart that’s broken.
A one-sided, beer fueled confession of half-truths
and full hurts
That gnaws the insides of our emotional breadths.
I mourn the loss as a beggar
Clutching at the foggy headed memory of two men
Who once did love each other,
and now smile through them.
A heart beats
but is not silenced by the sounds of an acoustic guitar
That plays Landslide and Maria Mena
And other songs of epitome beauty.
Perhaps the world is spinning
Because we’re moving forwards.
We propel the world with unrequited forgotten love.

Not my best poetry, but I really enjoyed some of the lines so I felt I needed to share it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shatter - the prose

This piece might not have much to do with writing and its function but shows at least some range I hope. This prose was written as an early experimental piece from my class, and turned out as a semi decent poem. It's flirtation with obliterated form is something I kept revisiting throughout the school year, so hopefully you'll see more of it.

Shatter – Matti McLean - Experimentation

The line between poetry and prose had finally evaporated. He hadn't intended it to happen, but it had. In front of him, on the page that he'd just written upon were a series of words, and they had just rhymed. He didn't know what to do, but he kept writing regardless. The pencil continued across the page, but for several moments of writing with un-exquisite diction, unintentional turns of phrase and excessive comma uses, he decided something must be done to this poetry situation. He was writing an exam dammit. This was no place for scholarly poetry.

Overneath counts as a word right? I mean, that's totally a real word. If he challenges this I'll take him to the dean. To court. To the president if I have to. I wish Canada had a president.

Where was I?

He scribbled down a few more lines before hovering around the two lines of accidental poetry.

Is it okay to be ironic in an exam? I mean he knows I'm using “Booger-Horse” ironically, right? I mean it's not like he really cares, right? He has a sense of humour. He must. Why else would he wear turtlenecks?

Scribble, scribble, scribble... The pages blur by as he writes sentence after sentence. He doesn't even know what he's writing anymore, but that doesn't stop it all from flowing out on the page. He lost his point two paragraphs ago, and is now commenting on, something, else... ?

Two minds diverge into one. Confusion enters his brain as the red bull and corn pops he had this morning churn uncomfortably in his stomach. He feels a sickening lurch in his stomach as if an invisible ghost hand has crashed through his sternum with a sledgehammer.

The sickening thought strikes him.

I'm going to be sick. I'm going to sicken myself all over this exam. And then I'll have to do it again.

No. Once is more than enough.

He raises his hand and waits for his professor to stop over at his desk. With a panicked look on his face, and a look of bored tedium reflected on his professors, he opens his mouth as a tsunami of college breakfast emerges from the depths of his gullet all over the bored face of his professor.

He goes white with embarrassment and red from fear. His hands shake as the professor takes off his glasses and wipes one of the frames. With a frown on his face he takes the test and points to the bathroom.

Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.

The professor lets out a scream as he starts to melt. His skin pops and sizzles like bacon until the only thing remaining is a pair of glasses. He screams like a witch melting. No one else seems to notice. He sits there confused. Suddenly he's naked and everyone else in the room is a vampire. None of them sparkle. He wets himself.

A bell. He pulls his head off of the bubble sheet which has plastered itself to his drooling face. He'd been asleep. He laughs slightly as the other students in the room go up to the front and drop off their tests. It had all been a dream. His professor was vomit free, comparatively, and no one seemed out of place.

He looks at the test and realizes it's empty. He had slept through the entire exam. The professor looks at him disapprovingly as everyone else leaves. He makes a terrifying realization that he was going to fail the test. With a panicked look he writes down “overneath” and hands the paper in. On his way out he sinks into a fit of depression. No more scholarship. No money for school. A future of stacking boxes at Walmart and going home to his cats. He didn't even like cats.

A horrible wet feeling slides across his thighs as he makes the terrible observation that not everything was a dream.

He dies a little inside, but no one notices him slip outside and cry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A fish...

I figured the best way to start off my blog about writing would be to share with you my favorite poem from my poetry class at Nipissing. This poem was something I literally got inspiration for in the middle of the night and had to reach over my partner to grab my book to write it down. People debate whether its genius or retarded, but it's been shared in Ontario, Pennsylvania and New York.
I hope you enjoy it.
a poem by Matti McLean

A fish does not a good prostitute make
For their fins are as rough as their scales
If you're looking for sexy submarinal flings
The best thing to do is f*ck whales