The writing blog of James Christopher Sheppard. I am a 26 year old gay male from London, UK. Here I present my experiences, poems, thoughts and opinions...

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Thursday, 30 June 2011

26 and living in the 'family home'

It's quite a unique experience, returning to living with your family in your mid-twenties after living alone or with friends for four years. By all means, it is not all bad- having company right there whenever you want it certainly has it advantages, but equally returning to a house bustling with six other human beings when you're tired, grouchy and just want to relax on the sofa for an evening can be highly irritating. Going from having your own lounge, your own kitchen, your own bathroom at your disposal at all times, to sharing all these facilities with what feels like hoards of other people can be somewhat daunting. Of course, with what we sacrifice comes positives, like less money thrown down the drain on rent and having to get your own sodding TV license.

The family drama that you remember as a teenager remain, which is probably the most alarming thing of all. Dealing with a super-emotionally-charged teenage brother and his equally dramatic girlfriend for example is quite an experience. Don't get me wrong, their company is often hugely gratifying, but listening to the over-so tense arguments over what they want to watch on tv is... well, it'll have you wanting to sow their mouths shut and sit them in separate corners of the room, I'll tell you that much.

Then as for experiencing the parents' partners' family around the house as much as your immediate family are there, well that's something, that again, takes time to adjust to. All in all, being around family reminds me what family is about- people being there and accepting you, no matter what. People you can openly express your grumpiness and anti-socialness to, without them thinking anything about it. Equally, however, people that are just forthcoming with you about their bad moods! Haha! I suppose it all ultimately just comes down to adjusting to changes, toughing out the negatives and embracing the positives.
(Mum, me and my brother, Patrick in 2005)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The famous words- 110%

It began, from my memory, with Simon sodding Cowell on shows like the X Factor and Pop Idol. 'If you really want to win this competition, you've got to give it 110%.' Now you watch any TV show, you constantly hear people pipe on about giving 150%, 1000% and 110% of themselves in a challenge. Do they not understand that 100% represents the absolute maximum?? It's just words, yes, but my GOD, I find it mind bogglingly infuriating. People already appear to be getting dimmer, despite the mass availability of information at their fingertips, and this notion of 110% is just plain ridiculous. Someone have a word with Cowell, please.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Scattered by a Breeze

Written by James Christopher Sheppard

Established ’84
scarred into skin.
Southern pride
of the poorest people,
hidden under floorboards
            of Surrey’s suburbia
into every fibre and every tell
of my eye.

No flick of light glistens
or reflects the same way,
for every observer
stands                                                                        differently.
The height,          t h e  d i s t a n c e ,
the      speed                         of        the      racing                         heart,
the size of the engorged erection,
the price paid for
company and irreplaceable time.

All are                        relative                      and change                           perception
of what

 remains an unaltered truth.

The inescapable identity can be masked
but never denied
with clear conscience.
Now here and                                               everywhere
I try to absorb
every image and breeze before me
but neither make their dent.

To be free
of this body and to be carried                   through the air,
as dust,                                  by a breeze
is both destiny and a dream.

Free from aches and pains and a sore back,
free from discomfort and suffering.
To just be Free from                                                                                                                                                                                                                        your perception and judgment

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Written by James Christopher Sheppard
Freckles of dust
laid around carelessly,
Flung to their rest
by a boy who knew better.
Muffled misery
heard only by bricks,
They weren’t her fault
but were they his?

Displaced by laws
of nature and truth,
Products of time
that stretched sterile.
But if time could bend
would the freckles still lay
or would they be kept neatly
in a jar, high on the shelf?

While carless freckles
they may seem, scattered
with noisy breathless grief,
they are best this way.
You can never go back
though it is your one wish.
He was hers for a time and
he was hers to lose.

One soul mate
is more than most
For one day or ten thousand,
One man only will be yours.
Now freckles may be scattered
seemingly carelessly on the floor,
but at least you jumped from the shelf
and made a glorified mess.

The End is Nigh!

Yes, the catastrophic day of knowing the final grade for my degree is getting nearer. Today I received the fifth and sixth portfolios from my final year back, which only leaves two to go. As it stands I have a good grade and I am really happy with it, but the final two grades could still change all of that so I won't count my chickens just yet. 

So, University officially finished almost three weeks ago and I am now a resident of the city of Hull- 240 miles north of London. When I first decided to temporarily reside in Hull following the completion of my degree, I thought it would be a real struggle and deeply unpleasant. Now that I have created my tiny but effective studio apartment style room in my Mother's house, I am the most settled I have been in years. I miss the social aspect of Kingston and the ease of getting around by bike, but on the whole, I am relieved to have moved on from London for a while. It's only £20 and two hours on the train away, after all. 

While I am currently job hunting in the local area, I am still looking at opportunities abroad and am writing for Todd Swift's blogzine, Eyewear, as his music correspondent. I have also just been accepted as an author for Independent Publishing, so I am still chasing my writing career. 

Hull as a city is not as bad as many may think. I am going to find the positives about Hull over my time here and report them back to you all. One point of interest is that you can buy a house here for little over £20,000. I kid you not. Who knows, I may even buy a house in a few years. Just for storage or something, you know. 

I should probably be reflecting on my university experience, but I think it's all still too fresh at the moment to be reflecting properly. I had a life changing four years in Kingston. My mind feels suitably stretched in just about every way and right now I feel like I have more ahead of me than I ever could have done before 2007. 

So there we go, a little teeny reflective moment, without getting carried away. I can finally share my poetry portfolio with you, so I will begin right now. As always, please enjoy and give feedback- it's such a rewarding and helpful part of writing. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I'm back... and I'm a graduate.

And so I can sigh in relief. After finishing my degree at Kingston University and relocating to Hull  left me practically brain dead with exhaustion, I am writing again and managing to actually string coherent thoughts together. Expect more entertaining rambles from me shortly. Don't forget I am seeking employment! I will consider just about anything right now. Ideally it will require me to leave the UK...

The Wind Farm

Written by James Christopher Sheppard

I’m ok being alone?
Hidden away
at times like treasure
at times like bones
and hoarded like a newspaper from the day I was born.
Pointlessly wasting time,
Is this hiding?
I cannot be                 seen,              heard,                         felt.
My page, however, remains
for your information.
Powered, perhaps, by the wind farm I saw on my walk today,
Miles off shore,          white against dense light gray.         Almost invisible. Mostly unnoticed.

Her face still sits as it did two years ago,
next to her name,
written largely and proud as if she is announcing herself
like the rest of us.
Only the page is now filled with ‘I miss you’s’

and has become the only gateway
for us to her
As if it has out-lived her
As the wind farm will out-live us
and keep our pages of pictures and perceptions there, for all to see,
of our fleshy bodies
and regardless of our distorted realities.