Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #ShortStory – Empty Promises by Amanda Reilly Sayer


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This first post is in response to Diana Wallace Peach’s speculative fiction monthly challenge, and this was a great prompt.

Empty Promises by Amanda Reilly Sayer

The following tale is my response to this month’s speculative fiction writing prompt posted by D. Wallace Peach. Link to her original post here.

Pixabay Image by Brigitte Werner

My quest for self improvement began with good intentions. But you know what they say about that. And they – whoever they are – were right, at least in my case.

The beginning was unremarkable, certainly not a decision with any associated labor. I saw the ad for the Promise, a new innovation in body art, and suddenly understood the answer to a question I hadn’t consciously asked. I’d been unhappy, but resigned. Until I saw myself in the Promise, the promise of how I could be.

Maybe it will sound strange to you. But when I saw the picture – the photo of who I could be – I filled with a previously unfamiliar sensation. My usually hollow emotional chambers near burst with the possibility of that golden body, the gleaming key to my betterment. After even a small taste of that feeling – that fullness – I would have paid any price for more. I was hooked from the start.

During our free consultation, my body artist – BA – left no doubt about the prospect of a better life. The results were guaranteed if the program was followed as prescribed. My decision to proceed was cemented by the described ease, the transformation by an artistic hand, the assured certainty I’d never known from my self-directed choices.

After my initial sessions with my BA and her team, I felt great. The body sculpting was painless and easy as advertised, a combination of well-numbed injections and muscle stimulation. All while I rested on the softest leather chair I’d ever touched. From the the water packaged in slim glass bottles to the sound system that could intuit music preferences, everything was top of the line, sleek, sexy. The perfect mirror for what I was becoming.

The effortlessness it took to achieve my new body was almost too good to be true, but the results spoke for themselves. People immediately looked at me differently. I felt desired and physically attractive for the first time in my life.

Please understand, I only wanted what anyone does. To feel better. To be better. You can understand that, can’t you? I wasn’t a greedy or vain person. Not then.

I might not have needed the additional embellishments – the gold plated forearm, the decorative filigree – but I didn’t know enough to say no. Well, that’s not completely true. I didn’t want to say no. Eventually, I always wanted more.

When the old feelings of self-hatred and emptiness returned, I felt confused, then cheated. Until I called my BA to schedule another procedure. That always helped, at least a little, before it stopped helping at all.

Ultimately, I stopped feeling even momentarily whole no matter what we did to my body. Very possibly, I felt more empty and alone than before I’d started my quest. No matter how I appeared on the outside, the aching hollow inside always returned, magnifying the pain of my unhealed wounds. The loud echo mocked me.

Because here’s one thing I discovered too late: No matter how good an external change feels at first, it doesn’t last if there are no internal changes to match.

I guess didn’t realize being admired wouldn’t feel the same as being loved. I’d thought once people started looking at me, they would really see me, want to know me. But they only seemed interested in the parts of me that weren’t real and I’d lost track of what was.

When I shared my dysphoria with the BA, she seemed unconcerned. Rather, she was pleased to offer me an experimental procedure she called a mood and personality upgrade. There was talk of a brain implant with external mood dial, something I barely understood and would have never considered at the outset. But by then, I would have agreed to anything, anything to feel better.

At what point had my good intentions crossed an invisible line to the point of no return? Many things seem obvious in hindsight, but even now I can’t say when I knew I was in trouble. There were signs along the way, warnings I suppose. But I dismissed them. When my friends and family expressed concern, I decided they were jealous, if not narrow minded.

In the midst of my quest, I only saw the gold possibilities of a body that had previously eluded me, a shell to protect me from the cruelty of rejection and self-loathing I had endured in the past. How could I have known the reality would never quite match the promise of possibility? That the key wasn’t in the armor, but in healing the wounds beneath.

I suppose I understand that now, even if it’s too late to peel back the grotesque mask I traded for my humanity, the failed brain implant. And let’s face it: knowing is different than doing. Just this morning, I noticed my shirtless belly roll over the top my boxers and caught myself itching for another upgrade. I can make no promises to either one of us. I’ve broken too many already. The craving for more hasn’t left me, despite all the unfulfilled promises and new insights.

My story is a cautionary tale. Perhaps you’ll listen, though I’ll understand if you don’t. I didn’t listen to the people who tried to warn me. Still, if I can help even one of you reading this, maybe there is still hope. Maybe one of you will be spared my fate, then help me find my way back.

©Amanda Reilly Sayer 2019

About Amanda Reilly Sayer

My creative expression is fairly diverse, but I think there is a consistent thread which ultimately examines and encourages personal and artistic growth. The engagement with different art forms keeps me interested and in evolution. I hope my efforts will be meaningful for you too.

At least sometimes, I think we progress by stepping back and looking through different lenses. The contrast between different forms helps me do that, ever challenging me to see beyond the known. Watercolor encourages me to think about layers and transparency, which makes for some interesting effects when applied to acrylic paintings. Photography helps me focus on composition and light. Poetry trains me to be succinct and thoughtful about word choice.

There is always a risk of doing too much, of diluting quality. I may yet specialize. But for now, I’ll continue to aim for progression in process, to work towards ever better results. I hope you’ll join me!

Connect to Amanda

Website: https://amandaart.poetry.blog/about-me-2/
Artwork: https://amandaart.poetry.blog/painting-gallery/

Thank you to Amanda for allowing me to share the posts from her archives and I hope you will head over and explore for yourself.. Sally.

Buy a Book Cover for Christmas – Mishi Bellamy – Artist and Illustrator


It is my pleasure to showcase some more examples of the work of Mishi Bellamy who is now offering book covers as part of her impressive portfolio of work.

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From the cultural melting pot that was the 1960s Mishi has worked with the best musicians and designers of the day including The Beatles in their Apple boutique. She also designed graphics and interiors for Forbidden Fruit as well as designing album covers for the 60s music scene.

Mishi lives in France and India, working in several mediums. Digital design is one of her obvious passions. By using traditional Indian Miniature drawing, mixed with contemporary backgrounds her clever images have become a great way for some clients to buy her work, either as posters or signed limited-edition Indian Images prints and now as book covers.

 letters to leonardo lo res

 More from Mishi in coming weeks

LINKS
New Website: http://www.atelierdescolombes.net/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ariadnes-Threads/653309244758607
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mishi-Bellamy-Illustration/405714332904645
Skype: Mishi Bellamy
Portfolio: https://www.behance.net/mishi
Email: mishi@mishibellamy.com

 

Buy a Book Cover for Christmas – Mishi Bellamy – Artist and Illustrator


What do you buy an author for Christmas?  Well how about a unique book cover design that will add the wow factor to their latest creative project.  A book cover is the headline, the advertising pitch and the visual representation of the hard work that has gone into putting those words on paper.. It deserves the best.  Mishi Bellamy has designed for some of the iconic names in music and design since the 60s and is now offering her stunning artwork to authors.

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Mishi Bellamy is a painter and illustrator with an amazing portfolio of work that began in the heady and slightly pyschedelic days of the mid 1960s. Mishi worked with The Beatles in their Apple boutique, designed graphics and interiors for Forbidden Fruit as well as designing album covers for the 60s music scene.

Mishi lives in France and India, working in several mediums. Digital design is one of her obvious passions. By using traditional Indian Miniature drawing, mixed with contemporary backgrounds her clever images have become a great way for some clients to buy her work, either as posters or signed limited-edition Indian Images prints.

Recently Mishi co-illustrated Jonathan & Angela Scott’s Antarctica book. http://www.betterworldbooks.co.uk/antarctica-id-0007183453.aspx

Antarctica-9780007183456

 

A book cover is not just the wrapping paper around an author’s work. It has to grab the attention of the passing eye of the potential customer and shout ‘Me, Me, come and read Me’.

Today thousands of books are published in print and in E-versions and for our own books to stand out from all our competition we need to get that ‘Me, Me’ down to a fine art.

Which is where an artist such as Mishi Bellamy comes in. Of course there is a price to pay for your ‘Wow’ factor but you will be pleasantly surprised how affordable that might be.

I recently featured Mira Prabhu’s book Whip of the Wild God as one of the Books for Christmas and rather than just the front cover of that amazing book – here is the full design.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/buy-a-book-for-christmas-mira-prabhu-southern-india/

WWotG complete cover test small

Over the next few weeks I will be featuring other designs by Mishi – some already in cover format for best selling books, but also others that are just waiting to be adopted to enhance and showcase a book yet to hit the market. You can find her work at the following links.

LINKS
New Website: http://www.atelierdescolombes.net/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ariadnes-Threads/653309244758607
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mishi-Bellamy-Illustration/405714332904645
Skype: Mishi Bellamy
Portfolio: https://www.behance.net/mishi
Email: mishi@mishibellamy.com