Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: introspection

Announcement and Advisories

Short version: daily flash fiction! Trigger Policy updated! Read things what aren’t my writings also!


Hello! I’m Johannes Punkt and you may know me from such PR stunts as travelling into your dreams and releasing spiders all over the place! Haha, who am I kidding, that’s a thing that starts tonight. Starting today, I will resume a thing I hiatused almost a year ago with the Day of a Whole Lot of Drabbles (2012/06/28/the-day-of-a-whole-lot-of-drabbles/). That is right, I will post drabbles (self-contained 100-word flash stories), once a day, for at least a few months. The first of these will go up in about six hours if my calculations are correct.

I have updated the Trigger Policy page. It is now different from before, in light of the change of pace and content of this blog. You can read the whole thing at /triggers/

I have made the decision to not put any warnings, trigger or otherwise, to the daily drabbles that appear on this blog. Please be aware that anything that shows up might be upsetting and proceed with caution. It is impossible for me to warn adequately as triggers are often too specific for a generalized warning to be useful.

The bigger posts like the conlanging and technobabbling will be less common now, perhaps one every three or four weeks, or when inspiration strikes. I will try to review a book again and maybe make that a thing; that was fun.

Lastly, I will mention some serials I am enjoying at the moment. In order of the installations’ length.

The Ritual is like a treasure hunt that is currently most likely to turn you into a dead wooden statue that always stares and never blinks.

The First 500 is like a few details of a huge painting being filled in slot by slot like a meandering snake, and the brushstrokes are wide and the details are fine.

Berlin Confidential is always on my list of recommended reading because damn why is this not a big thing yet? It has mysterious murders, tension, myriad and well-defined characters, angst, gay sex, and Weimar Berlin. AND MORE. I can never sum it up. Just go read it.

Bird of Passage

He was a bird of passage, born with human bones and body. Humans are slower than birds, in many ways, and the instincts weren’t quite right in his head. The swallow sees the leaves turn yellow and knows it is time to leave for warmer climates. He felt the same way when the first snow fell. He had to hand in his minimum two weeks’ notice, organise goodbyes, and buy a plane ticket for the day after his last social promises. He would arrive, make himself known and struggle for months; make friends, even. Then the first snow would fall.

The Balance

as it relates to the things I write.

First of all: crud. I have a story with a deadline of tomorrow night (!!!) and I need to rewrite a lot of it.

This post is sort of a ‘me go too far’ post, countering the one where I totally figured everything out you guys with all the neologisms. I need less neologisms, perhaps. Still some, though.

Someone pointed out that I am probably complicating things too much, and being unaccessible in my writing. This is probably true when even I can’t figure out who the hell would relate to that story and feel emotionally compelled to continue on if they hadn’t already spent a lot of time inside my cranium.

This is not to say the story is bad – it’s not. It’s just lacking an element. Like, you have all these ingredients for an amazing salad but the ingredients are on different continents and you have to start a cargo company for others to be able to enjoy this meal. This fantastical scenario takes place in a world where you are the only entrepeneur at all, everybody else just … uh, makes a decent living doing other people’s laundry.

Anyway, posting publically about this so that I will guilt myself into finishing rewriting the story on time. I can do this!

Also to the people who are proofreading the story RIGHT NOW you people are awesome like fond memories or helium balloons or a pill that you can eat that teaches you jazz just like that. Not to devalue jazz. Jazz is difficult.


tl;dr? Even if it sounds awesome, things like “Patterns of electricity, or something smaller than electricity, spelled fear into the lack of an audience.” isn’t an easily understandable sentence and definitely something I shouldn’t put out there without context. And that was something I wrote trying to make the introduction more easy to follow. This might be a long night.

Protected: I Kind of Do Not Want to Go Outside Anymore (Notes on Naïf)

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[Trigger warnings: might make you uncomfortable about the skin you’re wearing, & violent imagery]


She leans back in her chair, and wipes some of the blood from the corners of her mouth, with a napkin I provided. “Naw, I looked it up – it ain’t my fault.” She does the accent horribly.

I sit down opposite her, ignoring the feet that are now staring at me. She wiggles her toes. “A man is dead, and you have most of his blood inside you.”

Read the rest of this entry »

On Trigger Warnings and the Fiction I Write (Notes on The Refrigerator of a Man Who’s about to Kill Himself)

(I wonder if there’s some old Latin term for tl;dr.)

This post concerns this vignette, in a clear but indirect way:

This post will be about the kinds of things I write and how I strive to write things that aren’t shock-full of upsetting imagery and ideas. Even this paragraph will contain upsetting imagery. It … will probably also be rather scattered. If you don’t know what a trigger is, when speaking of Words on the Internet, the basic explanation is: something that triggers a bad, involuntary response in people’s brains. So when I talk about … cutting off people’s tongues with rusty scissors, this might catch someone off-guard. Someone who had that happen to them, or who was threatened with that, or someone who just has a vivid imagination.


The stuff I write is often upsetting. I write a disturbing amount of stories about ponderments of ending oneself. In my fiction there is violence, rape, murder, emotional abuse, and various other horrible things. They’re just there to be horrible. In my romance there is death, in my science fiction there are dialogue lines like “do what you want with her”. My fantasy is mostly just long quests leading to suicide.

There are some bad things inside my skullbone. I try to write the horrible stuff out of my head, and that’s what happens. One day, I would like to write a story where no-one dies or gets traumatized – I hear those stories are actually possible to write. Like my head could be filled with only petty things and nice feelings and therefore bad things don’t happen to the fictional people I create. Maybe they narrowly avoid the apocalypse and save everybody in the end. Maybe someone breaks their heart and that’s that. Maybe the betrayal alters the outcome of a war fought five lightyears away, in space, with robots.

I know death is common in fiction. That’s okay. We’re used to death in our books and so. Sometimes I do feel the horrible things fit, too. I would like to not write them with so much frequency. If you go to the archive of my drabble blog (link at the bottom of this post), you can see how many more posts nowadays start with ‘Trigger Warning‘. And this is with me not allowing myself to post all of them, for fear of scaring away readers, or falling into a rut. It takes a lot more effort to write something intriguing or emotive that doesn’t involve … you know … awfulness.

It would be nice to post a month without using any of the words noose, blood, or bullet. I feel, probably  wrongly, that my old work was a lot more evocative than my new work. Somehow, I’ve lost the spark. Now the death has reached my eyeballs and I can only see bad things. I feel like I’m resorting to cheap tricks when I write something horrible, because it gets responses more easily than something more subtle.

I think I might be alright with writing horrible things that don’t really happen to people. Things that you can’t relate to very easily. I would like to submit my readers to new horribleness instead of making them relive the past’s horribleness. Aren’t I noble?

(You find a button that lets you remove all the things you regret from your life and you push it. You go about your life knowing that you pushed that button, and that it didn’t do a thing. A part of you dies.)