Michael of St. Joseph

☦️ • Creative Writer • CC0
writer@michaelofstjoseph.com
Author of Where Things Went

#blog

If you may indulge me for a moment, I would like to share with you a great victory I have achieved. I have written a story. A complete story, albeit only the first Act of a grander narrative, a complete story nonetheless. It was through this process of writing from August of 2021 to August of 2022 that I discovered so much about myself. A quarter-lifetime of hesitation, of doubt, of weightlessness was cast aside. In retrospect so much anxiety in my life was self-inflicted. An untamed imagination with no outlet to out-pour vivid dreams!

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#soulburst

Soul Burst is a pen & paper RPG where the Gamemaster helps outline and track events as the players interact with the adventure. The game itself consists of 4 simple items; pen, paper, 20-sided die, and a calculator. Our Gamemaster is part secretary, part mastermind using rough sketches and improvisation to keep the stories going. Suggested player count would be 2-5, a minimum of a GM and 1 player. One player could also command several characters.

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#essay

A common myth among creatives, corporations, and capitalists alike is that a product shared is a sale lost. As in, if you let someone borrow something, you have taken a potential sale away. This is a hot debate whether the product is physical or digital in nature. The logic is if one consumer shares their movie, CD, video game, book, etc. that directly equates to one lost sale. Therefore, every instance of a shared item of any kind is a sale that has been lost. This belief is infinitely more prevalent among digital media due to the ease of which digital products are shared. A contemporary example of this is Netflix attempting to crack down on account sharing. A hilarious and somewhat morbid historical example was during the golden age of file-sharing platforms like Limewire when music companies would track down any individual they could find and slap them with tens of thousands of dollars in lawsuits.

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#shortstory

What if I said it best and there was nothing else worth saying?

“He said it best,” said another man. “…And now there’s not another thing worth saying.”

“Oh please mister! One more time! The best thing you ever said, say it one more time!”

A young boy pulled at my trousers, begging me most desperately to say what I said once again. Bystanders froze on their cobble crosswalk journey, interest piqued in the most elegant phrase I had ever made. The boy tugged again at my clothes but his father turned him away.

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#shortstory

“Abracadabra!”

Said no one in particular. The magician man waved his white-tipped wand spewing sparkler sparkles out the tip. Each one weaved to and fro descending and ascending into spirals that illuminated the rest of the esteemed gentleman. His head was eaten by his top-hat, but he peeked through two eye-holes precisely poked for such a purpose. Stark black exterior and a white interior highlighted his red tie that procedurally shrunk into a bow-tie then re-extended back into a proper neck-tie over and over.

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#wherethingswent

She stood at the high gates of an immaculate Mansion. Wrought iron spires twisted and contorted into woven designs obscuring the noble abode. Sleet threaded her fingers through the gate, holding her weight in her grasp as she caught her breath. King was not as forgiving on this journey, never slowing down on account of his companion. Instead Sleet chased after the upset King who lead her to this magnificent place. King slipped through leaving her stuck at the gates, left to behold what new fancy lie ahead.

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#wherethingswent

King slammed the waist-high door of the questionable lift shut, latched a rickety latch and swooped over to the labyrinthian controls. Without hesitation he began pulling every lever, turning every knob, pressing every button, flipping every switch. The contraption responded with unbecoming clicks, screeches, ticks and buzzes whilst the whole platform grated angrily. Several Instrumentalists tasked with the exterior repairs noticed the commotion. They made a stiff sprint over, motioning for the duo get off the elevator clearly not designed for them.

“King, maybe we should…”

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#wherethingswent

White laced gloves, decorative embroidery, jet-black hair, a long-short skirt and golden highlights held the duet partners together. A shared voice. The male Performer had a silver tie and a crystal hat atop his custard suit. His female counterpart held an anticipatory pose, the mic stand cradled in one hand, eyes closed, a downward glance. Her spare arm flared up and one leg held her whole weight while the other bounced to the rising melody.

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#essay

Reading through this graphic novel adaptation of The Great Gatsby reminded me of how stupid public school is. American “education”. Even if the original book is a great American classic, why on Earth should a 21st century teenager care about what a bunch of overly dramatic rich people from the roaring 20’s are up to? I haven’t read this book since high school. But, this colorful, abbreviated version makes a bit more sense now.

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#wherethingswent

Polite, but not particularly gentle. At the end of her trolley express ride the three conductors unceremoniously tossed her off the contraption. The moment her boot struck ground the Instrumentalists instantaneously reversed course returning back into the depths of the blackened Tower. Sleet was left at the entrance of a (mostly) broken door that lead into the remains of a cozier, less expansive recording studio.

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