Resurgence * A Message

empty chair

Wanted to stop by and let everyone know that I am still alive, that I am still here.  The last six months have been full of turmoil, dramatic changes and many unexpected revelations.  I attempted to document slightly fictionalized reflections of what was going on here [On this website], and, up until the last couple of weeks, I think I succeeded in doing that. But even I have limits to what I can endure before succumbing to extreme fatigue!


About twenty-four weeks ago I discovered that my wife and companion of sixteen years was leading a double life behind my back.  That she was, in fact, leaving to start a very different life with someone I honestly despise. This sudden surprise set in motion a series of events that would end up taking me down new pathways that I never would have imagined before– But I’m already jumping ahead, sorry.

About half of the worldly possessions that we had acquired over the years were suddenly gone from the home. She was gone as well.  The place was a mess, a total disaster.  I was left with nothing at all in the kitchen– No plates or silverware, no groceries, nothing in the cupboards.  Even the beloved coffeepot was gone!  No bedding left anywhere.  Three pets that I had grown so accustomed to [A Persian cat and two lovebirds] had been whisked away with everything else.

When all of this first happened I had been working on a series here on Fictional Machines called “Disconnected from the Dystopia” [Which, of course, was rudely interrupted by my life being destroyed].  It is a loosely written epic poem of sorts with an illustration to go along with each page. I had written the rough draft of the first 200 pages or so and had finished / posted the first fifty-nine pages when everything fell apart.  I do still plan on finishing the final draft of this tale and posting the remaining 140 pages of it here, but there are a few other projects that I need to do first.

Anyway–  During the first couple of weeks of the breakup I created and shared “Absent,” “Without,” “Within,” “Withstand” and the twenty pages of the “Withdraw” series in rapid succession.  This whole set has been linked at the top of the home page under the name “The Cycle of Sorrow.” These were all created under extreme stress and heartache, when the wound was still very fresh and part of me believed [Somehow] that it would still be possible to fix this–  To work it out with her and return to the comfortable life I had enjoyed for so long.

By the time that I posted the final page of the “Withdraw” series I had packed up what was left at the place and paid off what remained on the lease there.  The decision to move somewhere else was made almost immediately due to violent threats I received from her intoxicated boyfriend at that time.  Although part of me welcomed the battle that would follow if he actually went through with the threats and broke into my home, I knew that avoiding the conflict and regrouping at a new place was in fact the right thing to do.


I toured many places that were for rent in the city [Even a couple that were outside of the city limits] before settling on an old house with wood floors and interesting woodwork around all of the doors and windows.  I moved everything into my new home [Which is really just one giant art / writing studio with a couch, a bed, a kitchen and a bathroom.] and spent a ton of money replacing all of the necessary items that were missing.  And I spoiled myself with a few extra purchases as well.

During this era I posted the 100 images called “Remnants of the Wasteland.”  Separated into groups of five images with a quote above each set.  The series was meant to be a grim meditation upon the direction the world seems to be speeding towards most days–  And how avoiding another World War is something that needs to be openly discussed by everyone. Unless you are a complete psychopath, I think we can all agree that we do not want to live through something like that.

During those days I was very lost, confused.  I was still flabbergasted by the betrayal by the person I had perceived to be the love of my life.  Echoes, memories, reflections and regrets.  There were many unanswered questions [Hell, some of them still have not been answered].  I fully understood by that point that it was over, that a new chapter of my life was opening up– But the details of that new life were still a complete mystery.

I obtained a luxury car with heated leather seats, a sunroof, twelve speaker surround sound, the works.  Spent a couple months getting to know the machine [How she likes to be handled, etc.].  A strange pattern emerged where I would leave for a drive every evening after the sun went down– Aimlessly drifting around the city, outside of the city and even visiting nearby towns.  Sometimes I would stop to talk to random people and take photos / jot down a few lines of writing.  The other nights I just continued to drive without stopping–  Music blaring from the speakers and the ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts.  In many ways this period was like the war on terror:  Expensive, ongoing and with no clear objective.

More about that period of time will be shared later.


Then I started another series that has now been linked at the top of the home page as “Sixteen Shadows” around the end of November [And shared the final, sixteenth part of this series just a couple of weeks ago].  The title refers to sixteen posts that are separate from each other in theme / style / content with the underlying concept of relaying information and / or messages through art and photography.  Some of the sets are more sequential than others.

This was all quite the departure from my original plan for this website, since Fictional Machines was first created as a home for my short stories [And even “Remnants” had some words included with the quotes].  But I had so many projects going offline by that point that it was the only way to continue posting new content.  I decided that it was better than just letting this site flatline for a couple of months!

As if all of this wasn’t enough–  I am working on a couple of books I have been asked to do and I started the year off with an art show this January [Displayed forty-eight framed pieces and sold many of them–  The first of many shows for 2014, if all goes as planned].  I am also developing a new series for Fictional Machines that will be a hybrid of many different styles and, more importantly, it will be a series that will allow me to bring in some of you talented folks to collaborate on certain pages / certain chapters of the tale!  I hope to have the first couple chapters of that completed and up before February is over.  Believe me when I tell you that I am just getting warmed up here.

I also want to sincerely thank everyone for your continued support! You have no idea how much of a difference it made on some of the really bad days during this whole ordeal to be able to share new work and interact with you all–  I would not trade this online community we are building for anything!


My marriage officially ended yesterday.  I observed a judge perched upon a throne of bureaucracy addressing sixteen years of life as if it was nothing more important than a traffic ticket.  Just another form going into another file cabinet somewhere.  Two people left the courthouse and went in two separate directions.  Upon returning to where I had parked the car I noticed a frozen and trampled flower laying on the snow covered concrete. I took a picture of it, then pried it loose from the snow for a closer examination. As I held the battered petals in my hand I found them to be as cold as her heart.

shadow on building original writing and photography by j. e. lattimer

© 2014 j. e. lattimer all rights reserved


32 thoughts on “Resurgence * A Message

    1. Thanks! I am glad to be back– For the last week or so I just finally accepted the fact that I was completely exhausted. Many days passed where all I did was sleep, read and watch old obscure films! But now I am fully rested and ready for more! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Shehanne! As bad is it all sounds it ended up being almost like a purifying fire of sorts– Many aspects of my life that I cared about were destroyed by bitter and selfish people, but something very new and exciting has been rising up from the wreckage! I wish you the absolute best as well– Thank you for the kind words, take care!

      1. You take care. It is really uplifting to read your comment there. Sometimes in life everything gets burnt but what rises from the ashes is things you never expected. As you say new and exciting things. And just maybe things you were to find.

  1. Take good care buddy. It fades with time and becomes a creative force eventually. Staying in such a relation might have been more hurting over time.

    1. Thank you very much for the comment, Vassilis! Yes, I know what you mean, this world always finds a way to give me more “fuel for the fire” when it comes to the creativity. And I agree with your assessment– After a few months had passed I discovered that I was much happier and more energetic about life in general. Have a great day over there, my friend!

    1. Thank you very much! I would agree with you on that [Of course the old saying about “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings” comes to mind!]. I really needed a break from everything to regroup, rest and refocus. But I am definitely ready to get back to work now! Have a great day over there!

    1. Thank you very much for the comment! Yes, it was quite difficult at first, mainly because I did not see any of it coming– It was like one morning I awoke in a different dimension and someone had pushed the ‘reset’ button! But the new chapter is off to a great start [Many new toys / tools have been added to the art studio]. And yes, you are correct– Creativity has been a major part of my life since I was a child & I have always found it to be the best outlet no matter what is going on, good or bad, etc. Enjoy the day over there- Take care!

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this. Must be difficult for you. I hope that you would eventually transform all these negatives into some thing beautiful and positive in you. Take good care of yourself. Look forward to your new works.

    1. You’re welcome- Thank you for the kind words and encouragement! Yes, it was a trying time for sure, but the funny thing was that the harder the two of them tried to disrupt my life / destroy me the more good luck and good fortune I seemed to have flowing to me through other channels! I don’t know if that amounts to good luck, a higher power looking out for me or if it’s just the way the universe works! Who knows? Anyway, keep up the great work over there and have a wonderful day! 🙂

  3. I am so sorry to hear what you had to go through and at the same time I admire you, how you dealt with it and got yourself sorted. A breakup like this certainly matures you and gives a lot to think about. Looking back at my divorce 4 years ago I say now it was the best thing which could have happened to me, (after I was heart broken at the time). I do hope you can say that one day too. Enjoy your life and what you do , your art work is very varied and just fantastic. You learn a lot through things like that. Glad you are back here and keep showing us your wonderful work. Do take care and look after yourself! You are well loved here . Ute x

    1. Thank you for the awesome comment and the kind words, Ute! It really means a great deal! Yes, I do understand what you mean: It was really quite rough at first, whenever you invest that much time and energy into someone / into a relationship you don’t want to see everything fall apart [Especially when you thought everything was going fine]. But I believe I am already on the path to where I can eventually look back upon it as a good thing, like what you mentioned from your own experience. I was just talking to an old friend who now lives in Japan this morning and we agreed that it would all be used as fuel for the creativity- In fact, I promised him that from this point on I would stop holding anything back with it and just go “full-throttle.” Oh, and I am finally writing again, too! I hope the weekend finds you in great spirits & you are loved here as well! Josh.

      1. Josh, I am so glad to hear you got back to writing and start “full throttle”, go for it,Life has more to offer again and now it is the future you have to create. Make it a great one! 🙂 Ute

    1. Thanks, Stacy Michelle! Yes, I’m still standing– They really tried to destroy me / ruin my life. But the more they tried the more good fortune seemed to come my way. There are many crazy aspects to it all that I could have included / elaborated upon, but I didn’t see any real purpose in doing so. Things have calmed down now, and the storm has left me upon the shore of a new life. A new series will be starting up soon [I have been spending many hours a day on it lately, and I promise I’m going to finish this one!], hope you like it! Take care over there!

  4. I am sorry to hear that you were going through such sad and difficult experiences over the past few months. Being betrayed and abandoned by someone you loved and trusted is painful to say the least. I hope you will be able to build a new and happier life for yourself now. It sounds like you are off to a good start. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much! Yes, things are finally going better by this point– At times it is a little bittersweet, but I’m doing my best to have fun everyday. The process of rediscovering the different aspects and details of daily life after compromising in many ways for over a decade is both challenging and rewarding. Thanks for the comment and have a wonderful day over there! 🙂

      1. You are welcome. I can understand your bittersweet feelings — it takes time to get over the distressing ending of a relationship. And thanks for liking my post about odd love rituals. 🙂

  5. My husband and I both got it (marriage) wrong the first time. Divorce is painful anyway without an ex being deliberately cruel and cold. I’m so sorry for your loss – and that’s what it is. It is the death of something you loved and believed in. I’m so glad you have your art and work as an outlet. I know from personal experience that it will only make it . . . and you better.

    1. Thank you so much for the encouraging words, Anita! Yes, I know what you mean– There are so many aspects / facets to a relationship that spans that much time, it’s not something that goes away overnight. I have tried to stay busy and focused everyday and to find happiness in other ways, and it all seems to be working quite well. The whole event has reached an end by this point and I’m looking forward to the future and new experiences. Keep up the great work over there & enjoy the weekend! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Richard! I really appreciate the comment– There have been about four periods of time over the last two years where I approached the edge of total exhaustion [The art show in January nearly pushed me over the edge because I did every step / aspect of the show by myself from beginning to end, even cutting the glass for the frames, etc.]. But each time it happens I find a way to recharge and continue on. But I’m hoping for less stress in the future as well, thanks! All the best to you and your family over there, and I hope this is a great year for you as well– Take care!

  6. Thanks sharing. It is said whatever happens is predestined. He plans everything for us and we are mere actors under His able directorship. Whatever way He wants us to take or what things He wants us to have, let’s have these, and be satisfied for it is His writ which lasts.

    1. Thank you very much for the comment and the wise words– I would have to agree with your statement and I am pleased to inform you that things are already going much better by this point in time. The new path that I am to walk down comes into focus a bit more with each passing day! Thanks for the support and have a great day over there!

      1. Thanks a lot for appraising the comments. I am pleased that things are going on ‘much better’. Trust in yourself and trust that our Lord is always there for giving us assistance whenever we ask Him. Things will then go in the way you want.

        Thanks and regards

    1. Thank you very much, Mark– I really appreciate that! I am happy to report that things are actually going much better by this point! Keep up the great work over there, take care!

  7. Excuse me for not having perused the site thoroughly. But I want to read the dystopia series in it’s entirety, and it seemed it would better accomplished if I had a copy of it in my hand, in an actual book. Seems like something to be read at night, on a couch, with a blanket, hot mug of coffee, and a cigarette.

  8. Yes, that would be a great way to read / enjoy the story– As mentioned in the post above, about 1 / 3 of the tale has been shared here, will let you know when the entire thing is available. I have been working on this site for about four years now and the original plan was to have a couple books available for purchase during the first couple years. After many different setbacks / challenges / etc. it looks like this will finally be the year when some of them [Including stuff the public has never seen] will finally see print. Hope the new year is off to a great start, take care!

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