From my interview with an [angel]: “The quantum nature of the Universe? Ah, yes, I know, a bit embarrassing. It’s just because [god] didn’t know the difference between jpg and svg in the beginning. And now there’s too much content to convert it all.”
Breed mutations. That’s what we do as writers. We use our minds to trap existing words and ideas from our cultural surroundings. Then we expose them to high levels of imagination-radiation until they mutate into new creatures that we let loose and claim to have created from scratch.
I have almost no pictures of myself that I feel comfortable with. So when interviewed and asked for an author photo I panicked and threw this self-portrait together. But then I felt people would not understand and think I write children’s stories so I decided not to use it.
But now that I think of it, I dunno, what if I actually do write stories for children? Heroes and monsters looking for a better life are maybe all that we are anyway. Reality might be a fairy-tale and we all look different inside our glamour. Perhaps we are all fiction.
I’ll see you all in the forest tonight, flying around, laughing, shooting lightning from my hands.
The now mostly collapsed socmed platform Ello.co was a minimalistic non-profit alternative to FB with respect for privacy and no advertising. It attracted a lot of artists and writers and it was where I started writing both fiction and socially in English. The #ellowrites community was fertile ground for all kinds of weirdness and I made friends with some “fellow mutants”. It shaped who I became in troubled times. Ello was a real place to me.
Together this small but diverse group created the fictional living twin city of Azza-Jono and collaborated on a collection of short-stories set in that same world. I started writing a story-line I called The Second Voice, of which my short-story The DreamCube Thread (now found in Vast published by Orchid’s Lantern) is an offshoot. I still plan to continue writing The Second Voice in the (hopefully) not to distant future.
What is Azza-Jono then? It’s The Conscious City. The two cities of Azza and Jono connected and divided by a river and a great wall. A city-state with it’s own anthem. Populated by high-tech assassins and glitchslingers, mutants and magicians. An exploration into art, science, religion, madness, dreams and wakefulness. It’s as hard to explain as it is looking into the Sun.
From my personal point of view I think Azza-Jono is fiction becoming real. Much like myself. My first words on Ello were: “I write myself into existence.”
Today the former ellovians are scattered all over internet. And since most of them seem to shun socmed there is almost no information about this fantastic multi-disciplinary project anywhere – except for the collections by T van Santana (see links below). Although I know some of us continue to work with and in Azza-Jono through writing, art, design, music and even animation.
In searching for what remnants I could find that is still available on the internet I was reminded of many fond memories. This strange community of writers, artists and musicians, and the odd fiction we sprouted together helped me to accept myself and transform as a person. I wouldn’t have been Ellinor Kall if all this hadn’t happened.
The time and place was just right. The positive mood, the feeling of something new, curiosity celebrated and rewarded, diversity appreciated, and the sheer force in the creativity. It won’t happen often. Or ever again. For a while this other world took me in and I lived there while healing my wounds.
And to think I just stumbled upon it all by chance when I found Ello while randomly browsing the internet to distract myself from sobbing alone and abandoned on a ten hour train ride all these years ago.
Links to Azza-Jono
T van Santana became our editor and collected our first drafts in this advance reading collection (as in unfinished sneak peak)
My short-story The DreamCube Thread with strong connections to Azza-Jono is published in British anthology Vast
My own main contribution is a collection of The Second Voice-stories that will either be published in print or made available on this website once I’ve had time to work some more with them.
More stories by contributors (will add more when I find them)
Azza-Jono portal (stories, videos and things still up on Ello)
Search for even more fragments and work-in-progress that is left on Ello.co (though many profiles and posts have been deleted since)
Dreamsmear all over my body is hard to rub away. Plaster clogging my eyes. Machinegun neurons firing constantly. Tinnitus reverberation on insane level. Worse when worse. Feel my body swollen from carbohydrate intoxication. Warehouse instinct hijacked by the existing anxiety pushing out the clothes by storing all that dense unfathomable energy.
The words of order scrambled into encrypted noise as I try to decipher only rudimentary particles of complex molecular structures turn out. But I know there is chemistry, I know there is biology, I know there is consciousness. But it’s incomprehensible to me, I live in the swarm. I listen, want to understand, but their vibrating wings are not quite the same as vocal chords.
And so the sensitivity is turned up impossibly high. Keylessly I carry food in a locked backpack. Wings get in, buzz in my belly, distracting. I don’t want it-me to be filled by sound. So I run around in my head as I did as a child. I never grew like I should. Couldn’t stand in that box, never saw the shape, never realized that the shadow is also an existing thing, stuck to my feet.
Historical forensics try to sort out the chain of events that led to this meticulous mind that tries to keep her chaos in order. Finicky stimming, process excess, often unable to milk the nib for words. Taste my tongue – hemaglobinary salvia and thyme passes if kneaded well. A thunderstorm of pure information rustles through the leave me alone. Prognostics hold their breath.
I haven’t adjusted my appearance for weeks. I haven’t been kissed for months. I haven’t been born for years. I have no haven, nowhere in mind to release the tension of being alive. Where are the hands that hold me while I melt apart and where are the fingers that define what is me and what is something else? No difference makes no difference. I’m burning so much energy trying to be someone special instead of being everyone at once.
The slow expansion and the slower contraction, like a one year pulse of the body. It’s a frequency, it’s a vibration, it’s a message. Encoded in the mass there is something to understand. It slips away from my mind and I have never known anything about my own song. The wings, the cords, the amplitude of the pulse are inexplicable to me. There is a mystery hidden in dreamsmear all over my body. To hard to rub away.
“Writer, demi-fictional pseudonym, non-binary queer boy≈girl, maybesexual, anarchist, liminal explorer, positive nihilist, syncretic polymath.”
The quote above is my current Twitter bio. For the benefit of the curious I thought I’d expand a bit upon what I mean with those somewhat cryptic words.
Writer – I write fiction and ramblings, philosophy and poetry. I just got an English language short-story published in print in the anthology Vast. Also several Swedish language novels under another name. Lots of reading on this and my Swedish alter ego-website.
Demi-fictional pseudonym – Ellinor Kall is not my legal name. But this is still me, with fictional parts, imagined into reality. I’m conjured, created from fiction, made part real. I’m a mind without body. Or maybe the alternative behavior of an existing body.
Non-binary queer boy≈girl – I personally reject the concept of gender identity – to me it’s just physical ins and outs, that’s all. I treat it more as just a personality trait and makes no difference in interaction or attraction. I’m neither Venus nor Mars – I’m Mercury.
Maybesexual – I’m not attracted to people on the usual premise. It’s more of a gray/ace/demisexual thing where friends and lovers are not two separate things but different levels of connection on the same scale. The sexual bit only happens very intermittently, so maybe.
Anarchist – Politics are like the remote control to your TV. You have no choice but to watch whatever the one who holds it wants to watch. Anarchists puts the control on the table for everyone to use.
Liminal explorer – I’m curious about the in betweens as you might have noticed. The gradients outside the beaten path. The shadows, the light. Where no girl has gone before. I don’t understand mainstream, I try to do my thing. In life and in fiction.
Positive nihilist – Nothing has inherent value or meaning. We can however give subjective value or meaning to what we want. But that has to be an active choice, we can’t passively wait for the meaning of life to appear to us. I’m a bringer of meaning.
Syncretic polymath – I work the arts like magic. Words, music, drawing, painting, photo, film, animation, etc. from any style, school or genre I like. I learn the rules so that I can break them in the best possible way. Diversity makes fiction stronger.
There’s a child in the little woodland lake, just below the surface. I see her dark shape in the water. I try to reach her, but my strength is gone. The wind moves my rowboat away from her until I lose sight. Who was she, what would she have become if I’d been able to save her?
Every night, every day, there are moving shadows in the water. They swim and play, happy and teasing. They lure me, want me to catch them, to bring them up into the boat. They want to breathe and manifest. They are children of my imagination, my ideas, my mind, my life.
The scent of her presence always upbeated my heart. The cogs in her mind ignited the ones in mine – it’s called cognition. I long, but memory is short – her sharp tongue could sting and hurt me like nothing else.
I remember our time together. It was like the tale of the fox and the scorpion. I was swimming with you on my back, trying to get us both to shore, but you couldn’t help stinging me, cause that’s your nature.
Maybe I’m ready to move on now.
Yesterday I was logs of tar wood burning from all the things that were wrong and beyond my control. Today I am the transcending flakes of ashes with their Brownian motion in the gusts among the oblivious living trees. Tomorrow – maybe I can be a seed in the newly fertilized soil?
2019 in review
I expanded a short-story that got accepted into an anthology (due out 2020). I also recorded some music and kinda finished the novel I’d been writing since forever. I continued up the tree, visited Geburah and did some writing on magic.
I made a peace treaty with my body. I declared that I’m a binary star. While I fought my old foes fatigue and depression I got stuck in boy-mode. I didn’t have energy to get close to anyone so I kept mostly to myself, reading, recuperating.
2020 in preview
I wanna quickly edit and publish two almost done novels. Then move on to writing more short stories that won’t take ten years to finish. Gonna record more new music, solo and with two different bands. Get dirty with some visual arts, both ink+paper and digitally.
I wanna find energy enough to get close to someone for snuggling, giggles and stuff. Assert myself and grow as non-binary. Probably get a tattoo. Definitely care more for my body. Maybe move on from just having a peace treaty with it to actually liking it again.
On a rotating speck of dust, leaning away from the local fusion reactor on an arbitrary amount of orbits, an interconnected accumulation of deoxyribonucleic acid ignite chemical reactions in the lower troposphere that via electromagnetic waves triggers a release of monoamine neurotransmitters.
Visiting the past is always a revelation. This year I found out there is nothing of me left in that shallow world where time stands still. Nothing – but an empty shell mistaken for a person I’m not. I can’t create my present reality here, the past is petrified.
The voices in the past repeat the same sentences for what seems like an eternity of a single moment. They’re at a shore, attempting to chew the rocks in their mouths instead of trying to talk to the ocean of time that is raging and frothing in front of them.
“What’s the point of talking to water”, they’d say if they could. Not seeing beyond. The past is not a place, it’s the inside of people.
Soon I’ll swim back out to my boat where time moves again.
I just woke up from a nightmare where I was forced to put my left hand into a wall-mounted medical device designed to perform emergency amputations. My heart was racing from the panic as I braced for the cut.
This could also be my 2019 in review.
You never see your own faults the same way those close to you do. And they never tell you. On the other hand, they never see the flaws you hide from them. The darkness of absent light, the sharp broken shards of your heart, the empty container where your happiness should be.
You are like
a beautiful sunrise
and you’ve got
You give one to me,
and eat one yourself.
How many apples
remain when sunset
We only use second person narration in poetry and math problems. Is there some kind of hidden connection?
“Learn from the past and deal with any bad things rather than avoid it. Then move on. Stop returning and dwelling, because it keeps you from moving on. To me the past feels more and more like distant backstory that mostly isn’t relevant anymore. I have become someone else now.”
This name, Ellinor Kall, started as an escape, the revealing of an inner secret, as an exploration of myself. Along the years it grew and took on it’s own life. It made me write and act more spontaneous. I didn’t have to care about what those who knew the previous me would think. It made me free.
I connected with people that didn’t care who I had been, they became friends with who I was now. I realized that this name was as true as the other one I have. My alias became me. I let my sides do different things, even prefered different languages depending on who was up front.
For a couple of years I’ve tried to physically manifest my new self in actual reality. Changing my appearance bit by bit, mostly by clothing, nails and some makeup. It alternately brought me comfort and despair, ultimately draining my energy. I’ve been in a civil war with my body.
My inner selves and my body are different. I have come to accept that now. I’ve made a peace treaty with my body. I’ll stop disliking my body, treat it with respect, excercise it and use it to do things we both enjoy instead of retreating into my mind and only using it for transport.
I can be who I am without changing the body I live in. The clothes I wear doesn’t validate me. I can wear high heels or heavy hiking boots. I can be both E and M at the same time, just as easily as I can be both a writer and a reader. I can change appearance based on mood and feelings. I can be fluid on both inside and outside.
I’m Ellinor and I’m M. I’m a writer, musician and magician. I’m liminal, demi-fictional, a positive nihilist, queer, non-binary, genderfluid, an extranousician and a secret oracle. I travel through and explore both fiction and reality. And by my will – I do what I darn well please!
On the troubles of being a binary star…
I separated Ellinor from M when online as a way to explore her as an aspect of myself without the burden of the connotations M brought with him. Now I feel that I want to consolidate. I’m not two separate entities, it’s just two non-binary aspects of one core.
I was born with the body of M. But I’ve always had Ellinor within me. Sometimes she is stronger and takes over the stage and sometimes she stays at home under a blanket with a book while M goes to work. Poor M, he doesn’t want to leave her, none of them likes a job where they have to follow orders and rules.
Ellinor is not just a persona of M. She has her own will, her own mood, her own way of expressing, her own way of writing and interacting with people. She is both stronger and more vulnerable. She has impetus, she is restless and sometimes hypomanic.
M is not the real Ellinor. He is just an aspect of her. Often conditioned by society into a role. He often feels he’s playing a character, putting up a fascade, and he often gets genuinely surprised when he sees himself in a mirror. Sometimes he feels like nothing. Like his task is just to carry a body from A to B.
Sometimes E hates that she looks like M. Sometimes M hates that he feels like E. Sometimes they get along and work marvels. Their wills wax and wane, their interests overlap, and both like writing. Maybe M would like to let go of the selfcontrol, which also makes him prone to judge himself and other, while E is more dominant with a greater kindness who sees mercy beyond the obstacles.
And still – it’s all me.
It was Midsummers Eve, the great heathen celebration of the fallic shape of Scandinavia, and Ellinor was invited by a friend to a small backyard party in a somewhat shady suburb for beer and some kind of grilled, or rather charred, meat referred to only as “fleisch”.
She wasn’t used to socializing with humans and got off on the wrong foot already when she before leaving home realized she hated almost all of her clothes and couldn’t get into the ones she still liked because she had gained too much weight during her recent months under the surface in a low mood cycle of her undiagnosed bipolar-like syndrome.
The people at the party were very nice. But she found herself thinking mostly about her writing, how she was losing so many hours of writing time, how this extra day off from work could have yielded at least a thousand words.
The music was good, mostly metal, but she thought about the poor neighbours having to live with the hosts speakers and hifi-system. The speakers were so tall that she could stand straight next to one and rest her nose on the top of it.
The beer made her tired and the boys in charge of food had only bought the fleisch and some candy to eat. Only. A smörgåsbord of meat, candy and beer. And vodka of course, this was taking place in Sweden, on Midsummer’s Eve, what do you expect?
Some time after midnight, still dressed in clothes she hated, she excused herself and caught a late bus home. No fertility rituals or sexual celebrations for her this year. No dancing around the midsummer pole. The closest thing was a faint hint of fetish feeling for the black rain jacket she wore to not freeze to death while waiting for the bus.
When she finally got home she quickly fell asleep without flowers under her pillow as tradition usually edicts. And so another year passes without carnality. It’s all good. Her vow to be a writer-nun still valid. Well, except that one time just before Christmas. Oh, and the thing this spring. Damn. Neither of them counts!
I just realized that I have navigated off the charts now. That’s why the old maps don’t appeal to me anymore. I have to draw my own henceforth.
I wore boy-shirts for the first time in a couple of years this winter. Something fluid shifted late autumn after reaching the Sun. The Mercurial sign became dominant. I went in between. I had some unfinished creative business to take care of. I revisited myself as I was to wrap it up and felt that I still knew that person.
I’ve been trying how far from the original schematics I feel comfortable to go and had to pull back a bit and assess my findings. Even the eager explorer sometimes needs to regroup at basecamp. The more common path is not mine to thread, it never was.
After some healthy doubt I now feel invigorated. I’m doing maintenance on my gear and have started drawing possible routes on my maps. I’ve set my eyes on a new mountain top.