We are in ‘evolve or perish’ mode right now, which requires an almost daily reinvention of the game plan. I’m also four weeks out from a 30-mile bike ride on closed roads and nowhere near the capacity to complete it. Therefore, we need some training and a bit of practice, plus some better snacking options than currently exist in the house. Balancing all this is the notion that doing the same as everyone else is a waste of my time.
Therefore, today, it is time to start building some new empires. They won’t be huge, and might take a fair bit of time to establish, but the concepts are solid. I am also doing a new, Tuesday cycling class for a few weeks to try and make it look like I am making an actual effort with the cardio. It’s with an instructor who covered my normal Thursday class last week and ended up killing me. I was very pleased at this turn of events, so it is time to see how things operate in her natural habitat :D
There’s been a lot of struggles over the last year to get my wok/writing balance right. I think we might be getting there now. Certainly the changes to my body would suggest that progress is happening. The next step is to try and normalize the sleep pattern, lay off the biscuits and really make some inroads into finding some kind of style that does not involve living in exercise gear, however comfortable that might end up being…
Day One Proper of my Big Advocacy Gig went off largely without a hitch. I am really having to work rather hard now to concentrate on writing sentences, however, which probably means that a cheeky nap is in my future. The amount of anxiety generated by trying to be someone who looks both focussed and organized is equal to ten times the normal expended energy output. It is a tough ask, even now, to play the part of someone who’s not panicking internally all the fucking time.
However, it is having an effect. People are listening, and conversations are being started, but as this is only Week One of Twelve, I probably need to do something about better management of my feelings. Also, really, will need more sleep than I’m currently managing. I’m not sure why that is either, but it isn’t about the amount of work I’m doing, that is certain. Once this week’s stress over making video wears off, we’ll be in a better place.
I have one out of seven done, and if a nap is secured later, we’ll make that three before the end of the day. The video is all finished and planned, just have to record audio and do the construction work. You’ll see them in a week, which is Mental Health Awareness Week. I hope I can make every one a part of a cohesive, narrative journey.
We managed two days, and then Friday happened with probably the most important thing of my professional career thus far, as the flashpoint. Therefore, I forgive my slip up and am both kind and understanding to myself. It always takes time to re-establish a new system. I am notoriously shit at doing it too, this should never be a surprise. We will regroup, and start again.
There is a phenomenal amount of Stuff happening. I had someone ask for a bio yesterday for a Poetry Submission I’m reasonably certain no-one actually told me I’d been successful in. That’s a new one, and I have absolutely no idea exactly how many poems that means were accepted from my original document. Everyone around me seems to be either starting a journal or a publishing press. It’s proper bonkers, but in the best possible way.
I have my own plans. They are still in the planning stages, but will be reasonably awesome. Or, at least, I hope they will be. The end result will use sharing, video and audio, because these are all things I can use and be comfortable with now. Also, it’s cheaper than renting out a venue, and my audience potentially is 5 billion people. What’s not to like about that?
Watch this space.
Occasionally it is important to be reminded that hope exists. If you’re unfeasibly rich, happily settled in your life and in no need of anything, it is easy to forget where or even that there is an opposite of that place. So many people live in a perpetual state of fear, discomfort and unhappiness, and if the media had their way they’d not exist, period. Other people’s suffering should, in their mind, only happen at distance or long after the fact.
Next week, a lot potentially could change. The whole damn country could alter on Thursday, if truth be told, if enough people can get off their arses and make it. That this will be the last set of elections that do not require you to possess some form of ID to vote is both significant and damning. The people in power want to stay there forever. It’s up to us to make sure that does not happen. It is up to the people to use democracy and usher in real change.
You should vote Green or Lib Dem. It’s a no-brainer, because the Labour Party allowed the Conservatives to fundamentally alter the voting landscape for very much the worse, under the auspice of control. You don’t need these people telling you what to do any more. It’s no longer about experience or policy. It’s about cutting away decades of rotten, dead wood from the Garden of England, before we all choke to death on carbon monoxide.
This is your moment, Britain. Do the right fucking thing.
Is it really going to matter having people with no experience of governing into power when the people who’ve done it for decades are thieving, robbing bastards, who are utterly corrupted from the top down? No, I don’t think it is. Any change is better than nothing. That’s where we are now. Honestly, a bunch of trained Circus Parakeets would be more functional, and lie less.
As a result, it would be easy to be disillusioned and totally depressed today and not get anything done. Nope, that’s not going to happen. I have a decent chance of altering the environment I live in to the better in the next few months, and I’m fucked if I’m letting anybody else piss on those collective fireworks. Change begins with you. That’s where we are, and that’s what’s happening now. Let’s go.
It’s going to be a bit of/slightly more of [delete where applicable] a cesspit on Twitter until The High Overlord makes his first change to the playground rules. Until then, if he was worried that nobody would talk about him, that’s fixed for the foreseeable future. Given the choice between spending my money on making people like me or ending World hunger… I know which one I would have picked. I really don’t give a fuck what people think most days. That’s how you work smart online.
In the meantime, my side hustle in Advocacy, after what’s about five years of pushing, is finally beginning to become Important. I have a meeting Friday for which handouts have been made. I’ve spoken to more people by text message in the last 48 hours than I’ve probably managed in the last three years combined. It has absolutely been a transformative experience, and there is so much to learn that I could be at this for the rest of my life. Let’s hope so, shall we?
The plan here is to not do more than three paragraphs a day, so the drip of news is manageable, and I can keep momentum going. Until such times as they ban me, there’ll also be a Tweet as the only image. This seems like a good balance of ancient and modern going forward. Lord knows I could do with more writing practice along with the poems. It’ll be a measure of progress, and my ability to be succinct under pressure. Now, where’s that second cuppa?
As the World turns, change is inevitable. For me, that means an advocacy gig this morning that’s taken probably over half a decade to properly align. For nearly three years of that, Dean’s been finding pebbles to post on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you exactly *when* I started using them as prompts for poetry, but it’s been a while now. It’s hard to understate just how significant this has been in my evolution as a poet.
Like any skill or ability, poetry requires practice. It’s demanding and exacting, but simultaneously asks for freedom that is often impossible to properly encapsulate. A restraint of six lines was imposed, every day, until this morning when the moment demanded it wasn’t enough. I needed to say Thank You and this seemed like the best way. I will miss this part of the day terribly.
As a result, we will substitute Dean’s early morning wakeup with blogging. It’s not the same, but will ensure that the good work he helped me begin will be maintained. Even when the familiar leaves us, we must endure and move on. Dean’s legacy for me will now last a lifetime, and I can never really find the right way to thank him, except in verse. When a poetry book is finally published… he’ll find himself in my Acknowledgements. That’s a cast-iron guarantee.
The last time I was here, it was February. I cannot count the ways life has changed since them, but the majority of those moments have played out on a platform that’s now owned by a bloke who I do not think is fit to own it. As a result, it’s probably time to make some changes.
We’d better get this place working properly again, for starters…
Progress is being made. It is slow and often very painful, but that’s how this shit works.
Next month, we come back here to post reguarly.