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My sincerest apologies, but due to a final essay intervening in my schedule, I will need one (1) extra day for the judging.
I really dove into the pieces and loved what I found; now I must use a fine-tooth comb in order to draw out a winner.

I apologize again, and thank you for your patience.

~The-Anariarch
And now behold,
our time has come,
to loose our pens;
May they gleam so bright. 


And true to form and honest to my word, the time has come for our monthly 1000 DA point challenge!

First some guidelines

-This is a mental health group. Keep that in mind as some subjects can be triggering to some of our members/readers. However, all of our readers are encouraged to accept these readings and to try to gain something from every piece of literature that is submitted to this group and for this contest.
On that note, please mark your submissions with the “Mature Context” box checked so our readers know to prepare themselves. If you feel your piece has certain specific triggers, including but not limited to [ suicide/self harm, bullying, mental torment/anguish, etc ], please put in a comment in your pieces description.

-One of this groups goals is to raise awareness about mental health and the people who suffer from such an illness. 
Another key goal of mine is to allow our members, ill or healthy, a free forum in which to express their innermost thoughts, emotions, and feelings through the power of literature and writing. 
That being said, please be kind when commenting on anothers work; but do not hesitate to offer positive, constructive criticism. 

We ARE a literature group, and one of our purposes as artists is the perfection of our craft. We all want to advance our pens so that we may better share with the world our innate and unique gifts. 

-With those disclaimers aside, the main event and cause of this contest is to attract new members; get them out of hiding so to speak, so that we might revel in the literature produced by a variety of peoples.

-Try your best to express an idea, thought, emotion, or to convey a meaning through your writing. Literature with an impactful theme or with a flourish of words can truly move the soul, and that is the type of writing I would wish to attract.

----------------------------------

Without further ado, I present this months 1000 point prompt

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===
May my strength see me through this dark night. Yet should I falter here or there, may my works be made forever whole, so that others will not fail. 
===


More guidelines~

-You can interpret this in any way, shape or form, so long as it conforms to having to struggle with a mental illness, or, for the sane, a trying time within/throughout your life.

-Try to really capture the struggle you wish to convey, and the joy of success, or the sorrow of defeat. Not all struggles are conquered, as we all know, but every struggle is not in vain; one always gains experience, for ill or for good.

-True stories and meanings speak volumes, but fiction can be equally powerful. Play to your strengths, if you can use fiction to convey your work, go for it. Often some writers will say that writing from experience is the victor; yet I think all will agree that a creative mind knows no limits and can draw victory from anything and anywhere.

----------------

Information~

This contest will run until the end of the month, November the 30th. It will be advertised in the forums and I will drop notes in as many groups as I can.

After the 30th, I will close the contest folder and begin the judging process. Depending on how many entries we receive, I will require approx. 1 week (7 days), to read and judge all submissions.

You may submit up to two (2) entries for this contest per person. If you feel you need to remove a submission, please let me know in the comments of this journal.

The winner of this contest will receive 1000 DeviantArt Points.

There may be honorable mentions for exceptional pieces that may receive 25-100 points and/or llamas.

This contest is for members only; it only takes a second to sign up.

I will be adding more images to our Visuals folder for some more inspiration. Be sure to check out the folder for some amazing Art.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section and I will do my best to give a prompt reply.

---------------

Thank you for your time, your works, and your efforts; Best of luck to you all!

~The-Anariarch
Another prompt has come and gone and there will be a great announcement at the end of this posting, so be sure to read up!

This week we are graced with two very different, yet moving, pieces of literature for the weeks prompt.

The first piece can be found here:

The MassesThis is not a crime
As you told everyone
Or you think you have told them
In your own ways
An artistic and unique it may seems to you
But not to others who thinks differently
All you did is for the sake of humanity
The sole reason that keeps you going
Eliminate the unwanted and the violent
Who are you to judge,they said
Throwing curses and hates at your shadow
As they can never catch you
Your mind is the ultimate work of god
Swift yet delicate fingers that works the magic
They can never understood such human can be a monster
But you don't want them to understand you.


AlbtraumDamon takes an interesting twist on a narrative about, from my view, two people.
In most poetry that reflects the writers words onto the reader, the writer is directing the words directly into the eyes of whoever reads the poem.
That does not seem to be the case with this piece of poetry.
The word choice, and general feel of the poem lead me to believe that the writer is directing the words to a third party. The detachment the poem gives me, also gives me an interesting narrative that guides me from the writers words, to how this third party might feel upon hearing these words. The speech is encouraging, it even goes so far as to claim that this third party is of divine make and forge.
The ending is what trips me up and completely catches me by surprise. Perhaps it is my own view that is askewed, but the speaker accuses the third party of being a monster; though given the tone of the rest of the piece, it seems this third party is a force of good, and that the title of monster is given by people who do not understand him or her.

A complete 360, but an enjoyable one; well done!


This week second piece can be found here:

War GroundsWhat if you had to fight,
With a better soldier?
Always greater, no spite,
And the best sword holder.
It might not take much,
Just a swift swing,
Or a stab and such,
To keep the red flowing.


In this piece, Emberillion gives us a short, yet powerful poem about envy, war, death, and, of course, blood.
When we are sent to war, we often fight with a nobility and honor to uphold the traditions of our respective nations. We do our best in a struggle for survival amidst horrid campaigns of death and destruction. Yet despite all this, one seeks to distinguish themselves; we all want to bring home medals and receive high honors from our superiors.
Yet as is the case in most situations, there is always a bigger fish.
This two stanza poem shows the ultimate end of envy clouded in the fog of war, where a jealous soldier murders a fellow combatant simply because he or she is “better with a sword” than they are. These two must have fought dozens of battles, it seems a shame that the battle against envy was lost by both parties; one succumbing to murder, the other to the black pit of jealously.

Another interesting turn; an excellent job!

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Today I will not supply another prompt, that will be tomorrow, Sunday the 24th of October; I have an idea, but the right wording escapes me at the moment; and with prompts, wording is key, so bear with me :)

I do, however, have an announcement for our small group of members.

-Next month, November, I will host a one thousand (1000) DA point writing competition that will span two and a half (2 1/2) weeks. One thousand (1000) points has an estimated dollar value of $12.50; so as you can imagine this is a very big deal, especially for a small group like us.

In order to promote the group, I will be listing this contest in the forums and with all our affiliates; but our current members [and apparently anyone who can read this journal] will have extra time to prepare their learned and creative pens.

This is a major competition, so please, take it seriously, but write to your hearts and minds content. The large point pool is mainly there to encourage and stimulate you to draw out that creativity you have hidden within you; I have great faith in our writers.

Don’t think about winning, think about what kind of masterpiece you could write; the experience gained by writing in this caliber will help you a lot more that $12 would; although it goes without saying, some DA points would be nice, perhaps get an Art print you really like.

On that note, one thousand (1000) points probably won’t get you that amazing 24x36 print you really dream of; which is why these contests will become a Monthly event; you can count on at least one (1) one thousand (1000) point minimum contest per month. Some months may have two contests of equal, lower, or perhaps even greater value.

So sharpen those quills, and buy fresh ink and parchment. We will have some excitement coming to our little group soon; you can count on it!

Stay tuned for more details~

All the best~

The-Anariarch
Assault

This morning, not two hours ago, I was assaulted on the street at around 5:30am. An African American, not even 30 years old, came up to me and said he was going to shoot me if I didn’t give him money.
I told him I didn’t have any money, but he insisted; he had his hand in his pocket and didn’t show the gun.
Naturally I didn’t believe he had a gun, so I told him he didn’t have to do this, he didn’t have to steal from me, I had nothing.
Then he saw my wallet in my pocket and demanded I give it to him. He threatened to shoot me again and said he would in 5 seconds.
Again I refused; I said he might as well shoot me in the head because I wasn’t going to give him my wallet; I’ll say why in a bit.
He then punched me in the head and face, and again demanded my wallet.
I kept refusing.
This started on the sidewalk of a rather fancy neighborhood, so it was the last thing I expected. After he threw the first few punches, I realized that he was way to fast for me to fight back, and if I tried to fight back, I would expose my head to even more injury.
So the assault spilled into the street, it was dark, the sun hand’t even come up yet.
He soon went for my wallet, and I held on to it like the Jaws of Life.
After a few seconds of a struggle, he then kicked and punched me some more, but I finally got some sense and started yelling for help.
After my calls for help, he gave up and ran off.

The punches didn’t hurt as much as I thought, I just heard a loud ‘thump’ every time a punch landed on my head; but he got a good one right on my eye socket. In fact, the bruises and swelling hurt more than the actual punches; at the very least, I didn’t fall to the ground.
During the assault, my glasses got knocked off my head, and I was pretty disoriented. I hid in a driveway and called the police, they showed up after about 7 minutes.
I told them what happened, and we went a ride to try and find the guy who did this, but no such luck.
They drove me home and I gave them a police report; really great guys these cops.
So now I’m writing this while I wait for my mom to shower so we can go to the hospital to get myself checked out; the pain from the swelling is really annoying.

Now on to why I didn’t give this guy my wallet.

Inside this wallet are two small pendants, not very valuable monetary but with EXTREME sentimental value.

They look like this:

www.magnoliasandpeaches.com/Ph…

My father carried these with him wherever he went, and believe himself safe while carrying them. It is one of the few things he cherished and passed down to me a few years before his cancer diagnosis.
While they may have not prevented the assault; I am already shaking off the encounter as if it was another normal day in Los Angeles.
The phrase on the pendant reads: “In Hoc Signo Vinces” which means “In [with] this sign you will conquer”.
As with all metaphysical, religious, and occult, symbols they are often meant to carry a symbolic meaning, not a literal one.
Indeed if I had given up my wallet and my dads pendant I would have felt so much shame and depression that I would probably not know what to do or how to carry on; my father was very dear to me.
It may seem stupid, to risk your life for something like this. But as the saying goes, “Blood is thicker than water.” and I refuse to give up anything that holds great value to my family. I cherish my family name and our values; I will not besmirch them.

So by keeping my fathers pendants, I feel all the more powerful now. I survived an encounter, and I already feel the victor for it. I am not afraid, nor am I wallowing in despair; in fact I am quite proud.

Though I will not go for a morning walk that early for a while, which seems like a sensible precaution, I will continue to carry my fathers pendant; for it has seen me through the day.

I am off to the hospital now, and hopefully, everything will check out find.

Enjoy your day, and thank you for your time.
For this week I've cooked up what I hope will be an interesting prompt.

It reads:

A campaign against an enemy with a stalwart ally at your side

Now, the enemy can be an emotion, such as a sense of rage or dread, or it can be anything that could be seen as an adversary or an affront to progress. The ally is key; and is the focus of this prompt.

We often find that we do, indeed, have allies within our reach. They could be as fantastic as a voice in our heads, helping and guiding us, or it could be an alternate personality that reveals itself when it is most needed.
We also have friends that would be willing to help, but due to our own emotions and mental state, we shy away from asking for help; even with the most basic of needs, which can be, often, embarrassing.

But it is important to note that there is help for us all out there; we just need to be open to it.

Good luck everyone with this weeks prompt!

I look forward to reading your works.
Hello one and all @ Written-Madness

I come again with another writing prompt for this week!

Forgive the 1 day delay, but it has been rather hectic in my world; Essays, Doctors appointments and, of course, I had to pick up a framing of this wonderful piece of Art I ordered from DA.

It can be found here, I plan to hang it on my wall, it is truly a marvelous piece.

Saraswati by KatiaHonour

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For this week prompt, I’ll be joining in later with a short piece of my own, but the theme will be:

“An Epic Hero, slaying or falling to his or her inner demons.”

As we all know, some of the most terrifying monsters and ideas come from within the human mind and heart. Both sources can be inspiring or they can be condemning. The mind could fill us with courage and adrenaline, needed to vanquish or rise above the chaos and madness of the mind. The heart can instill love and joy for ourself and others, but it can easily be damaged or injured.

The hero can be a reflection of yourself, or be of someone, fictitious or otherwise, that you know has persevered or has fallen and given up.

The sad reality is, not all of us have the strength and fortitude to continue through our darkest days, and we often find ourselves spiraling down the Abyss.

This prompt should stir some emotions and memories for us all, so the pieces that spring forth could be truly exceptional.

Remember: Art without Emotion is rarely Art at all. So be brave!

Enjoy and have fun!

~The-Anariarch~
Writing Competition - Fin

Our writing competition is now closed.

We have four (4) entries, and I will read them all throughly.

Please give me about one to two (1-2) days to really dive into the literature and see what I can grasp from it.

Thank you all for participating and good luck!

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Today, however, also concludes our 2nd writing prompt.

We had one excellent entry by Moonflower-Essence

Her piece can be found here:

<da:thumb id="561797770"/>

“Vindicated.” is a short, brief, yet profound look at the emotion of accomplishing one goal, yet suddenly realizing how far one still has to go.
The writer begins by lifting a heavy weight from our arms, then crushing us in the harsh reality of even tougher challenges that lie ahead. 
This ties closely to a conversation I had at a local Lodge with a man who, very expertly, tried to show how the completion of a task leads one to question “What do I do now?” We shared a very interesting discourse in which I also related this to politics. A man or woman can run their campaign and sway the minds of the people within his or her own country. 
Yet when the day is won, the candidate now realizes that they must deal with not only their own countries problems, but with the problems of an entire globe. By being placed on the world stage, your problem increase exponentially; or at least it feels that way, with each new day bringing new challenges and difficulties.

But I maintain that if we can conquer these trials, we are tempered all the better for it. This much I know from my own experiences; and yes, it is very difficult at times, but we must press on. It is in our nature to endure the Fire and come out the Victor, a stainless blade with which we can cut down adversity and dispense justice; at least for my own part.

Thanks to all who submitted to the contest and the prompt!

Either later today or tomorrow I will present this weeks prompt, I still need some time to mull things over.

Have an excellent day,

~The-Anariarch~
Pawn Sacrifice - A Must See!

Today I had the great pleasure of seeing “Pawn Sacrifice”, a film about Bobby Fisher, the legendary Chess player who went head to head with Boris Spasky during the Cold War.

Their final matchup is still considered one of the greatest chess games every played.

I normally don’t write journals concerning my daily activities, but after seeing this movie, I felt compelled to promote it.

For those that don’t know, and in an attempt to not spoil the film, Bobby Fisher was considered a Chess Genius. For those of us at Written-Madness we are very familiar with the phrase, “Genius borders on Madness.”

And this phrase sums up the film very well.

The film does an excellent job of showing what it is like to be in the mind of, not only a prodigy, but also someone who teeters on the edges of insanity with questionable mental health.
Those of us, like myself, who suffer from Paranoia or Schizophrenia, along with Manic highs, can easily see themselves in Toby Maguires portrayal of Bobby Fisher.

The film is well done, with excellent characters and casting that fit the times of Cold War America. This is definitely a must see for all of us here at Written-Madness; I think we would all gain a great insight into the workings of the human mind, and the mind of a genius.

Here is the featurette trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyRbH9…

I had trouble finding theaters in my L.A area that were actually showing this film; but this was because I had free AMC tickets and the only AMC theater showing this was all the way in Santa Monica.

But I’m sure you would have no trouble finding a theater nearby to your location.

If you can’t find a theater showing it, I highly recommend keeping this film in mind and purchasing it when it is released on BluRay and DVD.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy the film as I did.

~The-Anariarch~
Our Second Writing Prompt

Well ladies and gentlemen, our first prompt week has come and gone.

Although we only got one submission for this week, I guarantee you its an excellent read!

It can be found here: :thumb560866320:

Commentary:

Vindicated indeed. You captured the prompt perfectly.

Not only does it show how a youth grows and evolves, the ending wraps up a sibling relationship very nicely.

I think many people could see themselves evolving in a similar fashion; and I'm sure many people could relate to the sister
viewing the growth of their sibling(s).

~!Well done!~


EstherLR really got into the spirit of the occasion, even after pounding her head against the wall for some inspiration; It really did the trick. :D

Again, Well done. EstherLR will win a Llama Badge.

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This week I’d like to continue this tread with a prompt inspired by the ending of EstherLR poem.

This weeks prompt is

Vindicated....now what?

You have conquered the unimaginable, braved the torrents and came out the victor.
What do you do now?
Do you rest on your laurels?
Do you seek another challenge?
Do you rest your weary head?
Or do you being to miss the constant conflict and despair?

Feel free to take any direction with this prompt, poetry or prose will be accepted.

And yes, Llamas await!

Good luck to us all!

The-Anariarch
The Second Week

Greeting one and all!

First and foremost, I’d like to welcome our new members to Written-Madness!
-Feel free to browse our gallery for some very inspiring works, and be sure to check out the Visuals-Misc section for provocative images that just might spark the imagination.

Next, I’d like to remind everyone that we have an ongoing contest and writing prompt.

Our First Contest and Writing PromptWelcome one and all to the First Contest and Writing Prompt from :iconWritten-Madness:
First I’ll present our contest; yes there are prizes, which come in the from of DA points.
As many of you know, our group tends to focus on Mental Illness, the ill, unstable, and their friends. To that end, you can expect our contests and prompts to revolve around this theme and topic.
But this should not be seen as a restriction. The theme may be comprised of these elements, but the works of literature they inspire can take on any twist and turn and be about absolutely anything; we just provide that initial spark and we see what comes out of it.
Due to our low number of members, I will run this contest for approx. two (2) weeks, giving ample time for us to welcome new members to our family, and to allow the creative juices to freely flow, unimpeded.
------
The theme of our first Writing contest will revolve around: Neuro-Chemistry .
Most people know that the human brain functions on a


You can view this journal for more information; the prompts will be collected on Monday the 21st. The contest ends on the 28th of this month; although I will extend the deadline if I feel we could attract some more contestants.

Good luck to you all~!

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As I said, this week we have seen new members join and contribute. I’d like to mention a few of those new entries, as well as some older works that I couldn’t mention last week.

The first piece I’d like to mention comes from one of our newer members MaggotsX.

His piece:  Word Choice>&< Word Choice {@}
>& {you}.
>&imagination&&thinkingYou< just said {IT} then, you {took} IT,
{@}:          ----->{again!!!!}thought< for
{@}:   the >{consequences}{open}{bring}>> {cracking} in places.
{@}:   the {{{{heartful/hurtful}}}}...
{@}:   things you say to ----->{me}YOU<
{@}:   HAVE NO {{{RIGHT}}} to >say< IT!
>&


is a short, but interesting conversation between what seems to be two different people. Though from my own perspective, I at first thought it was two voices within my head yelling at each other.
Regardless; the conversation shows very well the regret of committing a harming action against another. “>&<” begins by apologizing; yet as the conversation goes on, it does not seem like he/she truly regrets his or her actions. The victim, “[@]” really draws out the conversation and shows the reader that he or she was wounded deeply. 
For my part, it feels as if ‘{@}” heart was broken, as he or she eludes to having it ‘dropped’ like a toy and wounded enough to spill blood. 
The conversation continues with a mention of how broken trust can damage an individual enough to bring their world crashing down.

These are just my two cents on the piece, feel free to comment in the section below with your own musings.

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MaggotsX second piece can be found here:  Black and Blue+Black & Blue-
Feeling +bruised- today:
took a bad-ass
#$beating@$#,
took a smack
down,
a gut-punch, punchbag
pummel, while +mentally-
hand=cuffed, locked away,
down
down
down in the dumps---,
up in the ward,
..._/\/bouncing\/\_...
off, from padded wall
to padded wall, wrapped
up ((damned straight jacket))
in the #confines of my #chosen
[cell].
I'm by no means
feeling sick




This, to me, is a brief, yet visually and emotionally packed piece of literature that truly shows a chaotic patient slamming against the walls of a cell, injuring themselves in the process. The tantrum is brought on by the usual manic highs that can be found in bi-polar people. Though the writer states that the poem is not specifically about a bi-polar disorder, it is easy to see the manic high in the writing. The shortness of the writing shows how slippery the slope of sanity is with the insane and mentally ill; this can be seen in the 2nd stanza.

Both of these pieces are very well done; great work!

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Although not a member TheNewFireDancer submitted a piece that really deserved to be placed in the favorites; it can be found here:

A Growing DarknessHumans are such naive beings, so few of them possessing the senses needed to understand that monsters and evil exist in this world—we're fragile and easy to destroy. All of our wars feeding our bloodlust and need to control, but it does nothing to prepare us for the war that's been raging in the background for centuries. But the darkness is growing powerful and even the blissfully ignorant humans are becoming aware that something's not quite right in our far from perfect society. All the deities in the worlds beyond cannot save us because everyone falls at some point in our lives; joining the evil, perishing by its hand, or struggling to rise above it. No one is truly immune, no one can truly escape when they fall.
Even I feel the darkness approaching, scratching at the door and begging me to throw back the lock and let it twist the good around me until there's nothing left except faded happiness and all traces of joy have turned to ash. I'm so tired of fighting, tired of watchin


My commentary was posted as follows

An excellent piece of writing~

What begins as a narrative, spoken word piece; more descriptive than anything, blossoms into an ending that truly speaks to the struggles of the Ill and Insane.
The first three paragraphs give a brief, yet detailed description of a nebulous Darkness that seems to gnaw of the very door of a global consciousness; as in
it rends at the fabric of every individuals sanity.
The last paragraph reveals the Darkness as a Mental Illness, culminating with a strong desire that shows in the struggles of the Ill.

The last paragraph really speaks to me personally, as I have been dragged down into the Depths by a cornucopia of Mental Illness, and from those depths 
I feel I have become reborn into the person I am today. I still suffer from my Illness, but I see it as a strength, a source of power and ability
that drives me forward to succeed and evolve into a Man worthy of recognition. 

As a piece of literature, again it is well written, and the ending alludes to the writers own decisions to make when confronting the Darkness.

Well done! This will definitely be added to the Favs folder and will be placed in the Features folder at the end of the week.

Thank you very much for sharing~


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I would like to conclude this journal with a piece that just might make you laugh.
It is a creepy pasta story with some amazing characters. The dialogue truly matches and rises to the occasion. 
It is a bit of a read, but it is really worth it.

The piece can be found here:  Rock Paper Scissors
This Story is how I become the scissor Girl a girl That called herself Bloody.
The story goes like this in a small town there was a school with a girl named Bluntly but they called her Blunt for short. she is a nice and smart girl she has's really long red light hair with a black bow in her hair and she wears glasses her outfit was a pink and blue turtleneck and a black skirt. she tries to make friends but The girl's in the school was jerks to her. they called her name's and say that she nothing but a nerd a lot of people think Bluntly is annoying Bluntly was always lonely all the time nobody like her because she so different than the other people. Blunt like to learn about magic stuff she also know's a little about Dark magic but she never try it Bluntly also love the game rock paper scissors and want to play it with people but they thought that the game was childish.
One day Bluntly was putting up her books in her school locker when she closes the locker she accidentally got her hair


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2nd to last of todays mention is a short poem written by Moonflower-Essence

which can be found here: <da:thumb id="559913585"/>

Captivating and brief but impactful. An excellent rendition of nightmares and the anxiety that follows. Truly worth the read and the Fav+.


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Lastly I would like to leave you all with something to think about.

00bioshock00 wrote the following:  Can you tell...What hurts more?
Feeling all of it, or none at all?


Two lines. One question. The writer leaves us to our own musings on how to answer their question; and a very profound question with deep meaning for those of us who suffer from an Illness.

Very provocative indeed. 

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That conclude my mentions for this weeks journal. I will be moving these pieces and more to our Featured folder; last weeks Features will be placed in Favorites.

I thank you all for sharing and for all your fine work. Please keep it up, we all benefit from your Pens and Parchments

----

One last reminder to check out the Writing contest and prompt journal for information on both.

Our First Contest and Writing PromptWelcome one and all to the First Contest and Writing Prompt from :iconWritten-Madness:
First I’ll present our contest; yes there are prizes, which come in the from of DA points.
As many of you know, our group tends to focus on Mental Illness, the ill, unstable, and their friends. To that end, you can expect our contests and prompts to revolve around this theme and topic.
But this should not be seen as a restriction. The theme may be comprised of these elements, but the works of literature they inspire can take on any twist and turn and be about absolutely anything; we just provide that initial spark and we see what comes out of it.
Due to our low number of members, I will run this contest for approx. two (2) weeks, giving ample time for us to welcome new members to our family, and to allow the creative juices to freely flow, unimpeded.
------
The theme of our first Writing contest will revolve around: Neuro-Chemistry .
Most people know that the human brain functions on a


Have an excellent week!

~The-Anariarch~
Welcome one and all to the First Contest and Writing Prompt from :iconwritten-madness:

First I’ll present our contest; yes there are prizes, which come in the from of DA points.


As many of you know, our group tends to focus on Mental Illness, the ill, unstable, and their friends. To that end, you can expect our contests and prompts to revolve around this theme and topic.
But this should not be seen as a restriction. The theme may be comprised of these elements, but the works of literature they inspire can take on any twist and turn and be about absolutely anything; we just provide that initial spark and we see what comes out of it.

Due to our low number of members, I will run this contest for approx. two (2) weeks, giving ample time for us to welcome new members to our family, and to allow the creative juices to freely flow, unimpeded.

------

The theme of our first Writing contest will revolve around: Neuro-Chemistry .

Most people know that the human brain functions on a combination of neuro-electrical impulses and chemicals that triggers the mystery that is our consciousness.

To this end, I’d like for you to submit a work of literature that approaches the theme of the Harmony or Cacophony of neuro-chemicals in our brain

You can use but not be limited to:

-Harmony, such as in music, and how music can affect the mood of a person
-Dis-harmony, how an image or sound, can provoke an intense response in a subject, be it irrational anger, or profound despair.
-Show the dance between external stimuli and how humans respond to it.
-Use the notion of hallucinations to show how the internal struggle of the human mind either adapts and prevails, or succumbs and falls into a depression.

--You may submit one (1) poetry and/or one(1) prose piece to the appropriate folder per person.
--Prose and Poetry pieces will be judged together; as in one (1) category.

The prizes will be as follows:

1st place: 100 DA Points
2nd place: 50 DA Points
3rd place: 25 DA Points

Since we are a new group, the points pool will be small, but expect the prize pool to increase with future contests.

--The contest will run from 9-14-2015 [Sept. 14, 2015] to 9-28-2015 [Sept. 28, 2015].

--You will have until the end of day on the 28th to submit entries.

--Reading and Judging will be done for two (2) days by The-Anariarch; two (2) days to ensure I have ample time to read each entry, then re-read a short-list of entries in order to pick out which pieces I feel communicate their message most efficiently.

--As a bonus, should I feel that any piece deserves an honorable mention, I will reward the artist with a Llama badge and a mention in the Winners Journal, as well as a place in our features gallery, along with the winners.

--Only members are permitted to enter, thankfully joining requires almost no effort, so I encourage you to join our little family.

--If this contest does not suit your tastes but know of someone who may enjoy it, please, spread the word.

--Good Luck to us all; I will post either a poetry or prose piece in the comments section, written by me, to attempt to further inspire and motivate.

-Enjoy your time writing, Creation should be fun. :)

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To conclude and practice our pens, I offer this weeks writing prompt, of which I will choose a few honorable mentions at the end of the week.

The prompt is:

:::::Vindication after a weary road:::::

Feel free to take this any way you choose, and produce a work of literature to your hearts content.

-Again, have fun and enjoy yourselves.

~~The-Anariarch
Well fellow members and friends of :iconwritten-madness: our first week has come and past, I hope we all had a blast. 

Today I’d like to feature some of this weeks pieces submitted by our members.

The first piece I’d like to mention is by our first member, 00bioshock00 

A Good NightLast night I became quite aware of everything around me, not as in perceptive, but, as in a spiritual way, the voices in my head became quite clear, and listening to them was relaxing, my thoughts were in a perfect flow, no rocks in the river, flowing constantly and perfectly, with a glow that calmed my heart, a shining refletion of the night, as the darkness for once was not a rag put on by me to stop the bleeding, but as a blanket for the perfect warm feeling.
I've never felt so much happiness and yet I was still in pain, my heart was still bleeding, but the red didn't matter as I look into it's empty eyes filling me with clarity, it's crow shaped mask, it's dark robe, it's warm feeling, it embraced me into it's void, holded me with it's hollow hands..
Such an entity of infinite emptiness, and yet we both felt so completed, so.. warm.
It even said good night.. and indeed, it was a good night.


This piece exemplifies the clarity that often comes with mental illness. As hard as it is to believe, we, the insane, often have moments of clarity that come from an era of suffering or great hardship. One can almost say it is our brains way of balancing neuro-chemicals in order to give respite to those who are plagued by Illness. 
This piece does an excellent job of not only showing such a moment of clarity, but also how a person embraces the darkness within and sees it as an Ally, and not so much an enemy.


The second piece I’d like to mention is also by 00bioshock00.

Divine RegretIt's too calm to be right...
I can't be sad
I can't bring myself to cry
I can feel the needle going through my skin
But i can't feel the pain going through my nerves
My heartache is gone, and im not pleased
I can only hear it's empty beats
Feast on my disgrace, for i can't see my path
I am blind and cornered by the shadows of my thoughts
As reality starts feeling unreal
I cut the connection and start living inside
I only wish to feel again..
So please, bring me down from heaven and drag me back to hell.


When I read this I felt the writer as alluding to some satisfaction of addiction. Yet upon re-reading the piece I found an entirely new meaning. To me, the piece speaks about the aftermath of a suicide or self-harm, where the patient finds himself in a ‘calm’ Heaven, in which he or she feels out of place. The writer then goes on to paint the picture that the patient regrets his/her entry into Heaven/Paradise and would rather go back to the familiar sensation of ‘feeling’, hence the ‘drag me back to hell’ ending. I surmise, and relate, that we often feel ‘zombie-fied’ by medication or by a similar sensation, and wish to feel emotion again, even if that emotion is pain and suffering; Some emotion is better than no emotion at all, and I truly can relate.

00bioshock00’s gallery really speaks to the inner struggle of the mentally ill. Please, check out this deviants other works.

These are just my two cents on these pieces, feel free to reply with your own thoughts in the comments. :) (Smile)

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The second writer I’d like to mention is  FireEmber345 
Her piece:  

The maiden in the painting
I had always been good with plants. I was able to turn amazing works of nature into art for nobles. Many people would pay for my grand work, they would want me to make various shapes and forms out of the shrubs. I was very proud of my work. I thought the very hands I was born with were a sign of the grand power above.
Nothing would make me turn away from a grand display of gardening. Until, one day, I received a letter from far across the country. A widowed nobleman with the name Ikolide Benditbarkerten, who was trying to find the best gardener for his manor. What they would be willing to pay for me to be their personal gardener was the largest amount of money I had ever read, let alone had. I felt a sense of amazement, at the employment they had requested, so I went off to the castle.
Soon after, I wished that I had never even accepted the position at that place. The carriage brought me to the Silver and Black castle of the Benditbarkerten. The sky that hung below the castle was as da


This is a very enjoyable read, with an ending and story that is original in it’s execution; which is that of a short, flash fiction story. The piece is long enough to add details and dialogue, yet short and well written enough to allow the reader some room to entertain mystery and suspense. Like most readers here on DA, I like to only scroll down as I read, so my eyes don’t wander and give away upcoming events and secrets. I highly recommend reading, not only this piece, but several others by FireEmber345.

Some of my favorites are:

The Lady Apparition
I am a woman of manners. I bow, I ate properly, and I be kind to people. I've been headmistress of Scottswells' Elegance Academy. But I wasn't always like this. In fact, back in my teenage years, I was a terrible rotten brat. I mean really rotten.
I would play hooky, litter, cheat, date greasers and bad boys behind my parents and take my parents money without permission. My parents soon couldn't take it anymore and told me that if I'm going to get anywhere in life, that I should start acting like a lady. So they forced me to transfer to Scottswells' Elegance Academy. I thought it was for squares and uptight snobs.
They all dressed the same, hey acted like waiters at fancy schmancy restaurants, and they are cleaned pressed. Looking back on it now makes me see how spoiled I was. My name is Leanor Lavane, once spoiled brat.
Even in the weeks that they had taught or at least try, I had shown nothing but how to be a Miscreant. The headmistress at the time Ms. Dina Quartell gave me ugly look


Pretty Pretty Alice
I can't remember a time when anything was as frightening as the day I came to Wimwall Estate. A once large family empire famed for their finest alcohol, now abandon after the family tree was cut short. I was not so sure on the details on what happened, but I manage to buy this old place and turn it into a museum of the Wimwalls colorful history.But looking back now, I wish I'd never set foot in that place.
After setting everything up and getting things ready for our tourist, one of my employees, Tomas Edd came rushing and stuttering about Coffins in a secret room. After an hour of calming him down, we followed him to the study and he flipped a switch, opening a secret room that held the coffins.We checked the coffins labels to read Alice Wimwall on the left and Phil Grey Wimwall on the right. They were the last of the Wimwall generation.
But the thing spelled our doom. What was on the coffins was never to be separated from them. On Alice's final resting place was an old 155-year-old po


The queen that lived a thousand years
Once upon a time, in a kingdom of purest beauty, lived a elegant and petite woman.
She was a beautiful enchantress that was highly  skilled in the ways of magic.
It was thanks to her that her kingdom flourished like a flower in the desert and was well known for it's power and trade.
But after the many decades she grew old and shrunk in size.
The shadows of death were crept up on her with delight and wickedness.
She knew that if the people learn of death calling to her, all her work, all of her kingdom and all of her power would crumble to the earth.
With fear entering her heart and the shadows gathering closer, she demanded that her pet cat who had lived five hundred years to tell her of a way to return to her beautiful age and stay young forever.
The cat, frightened by her obsession of immortality and her threats of sending it to the wolves domain, the cat spoke of magical silver tree in the highest mountains that can create a fruit that can grant the consumer the youth of a youn


Feel free to browse through the rest of her gallery; some really good work.

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I like to finish on a positive and inspiring note. 

To that end I present two pieces from our gallery that can really inspire the Ill and Unique to continue pressing on, despite the many challenges on our path. 

The first inspiring piece is by heylookitsvante:

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A short, yet encouraging line of literature that shows the perseverance of our souls.

The second piece is by :Moonflower-Essence::

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Another short, this time in the form of a poem; a very inspiring piece. It shows the pains we bear, and even takes note that we, sometimes, create our own Hell. Yet despite this, the human souls desire to peace [though some would agree our souls would like some conflict to spice things up] continues to show with the ending: “So, I’ll fight on.”  

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And so I end this journal, with the theme of delving deep into our thoughts and ending with inspiration and the motivation to keep on fighting the good fight.

No matter the cost.

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Be well, all of us, and continue to create Art. The world is a better place with each stroke of our pens. 

~~~ The-Anariarch ~~~
Entry #1 - Recommended reading

There are many ways of dealing with a mental illness. One of the most recommended ways is to learn more about the illness you are suffering from.

While reading the works of Carl Gustav Jung, I came across a book that really dives into the negative aspects of Mental Instability.

The Black Sun: The alchemy and art of Darkness is a book about the power of the darkness that engulfs us all, particularly the ill. It combines Alchemical teachings as well as Jungian psychology in an effort to explain that the Darkness we go through is part of a great mental unfolding; revealing a great power within us all.

Here is the description of the book taken from the Amazon.com site [ which can be found here: www.amazon.com/The-Black-Sun-A… ]


The black sun, an ages-old image of the darkness in individual lives and in life itself, has not been treated hospitably in the modern world. Modern psychology has seen darkness primarily as a negative force, something to move through and beyond, but it actually has an intrinsic importance to the human psyche. In this book, Jungian analyst Stanton Marlan reexamines the paradoxical image of the black sun and the meaning of darkness in Western culture.

In the image of the black sun, Marlan finds the hint of a darkness that shines. He draws upon his clinical experiences—and on a wide range of literature and art, including Goethe’s Faust, Dante’s Inferno, the black art of Rothko and Reinhardt—to explore the influence of light and shadow on the fundamental structures of modern thought as well as the contemporary practice of analysis. He shows that the black sun accompanies not only the most negative of psychic experiences but also the most sublime, resonating with the mystical experience of negative theology, the Kabbalah, the Buddhist notions of the void, and the black light of the Sufi Mystics.

An important contribution to the understanding of alchemical psychology, this book draws on a postmodern sensibility to develop an original understanding of the black sun. It offers insight into modernity, the act of imagination, and the work of analysis in understanding depression, trauma, and transformation of the soul. Marlan’s original reflections help us to explore the unknown darkness conventionally called the Self.
First entry 3am. Some words written a long time ago.

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Never settle for Less - ???
All or Nothing - ???
Push the button - ??? (But under the guise of Kane, Leader of the Brotherhood of Nod
Bow to no man or god, for both are beneath you - The Anariarch
Do. There is no Try. - Master Yoda
Tis' a poor Student that does not surpass the master. - ???
Never again shall Terra be de-fouled by teachings that bind but never liberate
-The Anariarch, under the guise of Raszagal, Matriarch of the Dark Templar
"...with the might and the fury that is our heritage" - Judicator Aldaris
"It can't be done" are the words of lesser creatures - The Anariarch
"Ours is the Fury" - Game of Thrones
"FamilyDutyHonor" - Game of Thrones
The Chains that Bind are the Chains the Liberate - The Anariarch
Live the Dream, Behold the Nightmare (that you have been living) - The Anariarch
"Great men do not seek power, great men have power thrust upon them" - Worf quoting Kahless
Free Will is a Gift. Don't eBay it. - Avenir
One Life One God One Love One World, and all of them Within - The Anariarch
Do not challenge your equals, challenge your superiors, challenge the gods - The Anariarch
I am the Darkness that illuminates the Soul and Kindles the Human Spirit - The Anariarch
We are You are I am - Reworded
Whatever your name, 'know' that you will always be Beautiful - The Anariarch
Get up. You no longer have the option of laying down on the ground. - The Anariarch
"There is no shame in defeat, so long as the spirit remains un-vanquished - Preator Fenix
You are worth more than what others tell you - The Anariarch
Upon this seed do I stand Eternal - The Anariarch
Understanding is not a requisite of Manifestation - The Anariarch