Saying nothing, until you are capable of formulating a rational answer. It is a lost art, especially amongst the political. They would rather grasp the immediacy of the visual metaphor. It’s cleaner, easier and only requires your military to tear-gas a couple of blocks and not shut down the whole damn Capitol. Except, of course sometimes that’s the unintended visual metaphor everybody else will make the best capital from.

When we all look back on the last week, properly grasping that ridiculous is defined by the last thing that made us think we’d seen everything but clearly haven’t the visual will be what defines this year. It was when companies finally grasped that just sticking up a black block then pretending to care wasn’t actually enough any more.

The bigger truth is that the lies are now so much more apparent when there’s no other shit to cloud people’s minds. By being stuck inside, many have had epiphanies the like of which never really took place when the fascists were voted into power. It has become the perfect storm of information + comprehension = understanding.

As the scales fall from an awful lot of people’s eyes, will you just decide it’s all too much and walk away, or will you understand this is an opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime. Are you about to grasp the opportunity presented, or simply return to the vacuous life you had before because, in the end, all you really care about is yourself.

You are seen, in every connotation of the Urban Dictionary definition.

Time to make the difficult decisions.

Comfortably Numb

Nobody watched that last video I made. Not one person. That’s the trouble with metrics, they tell you who’s listening, like it or not, so when that thing you’ve worked on for three weeks goes out into the world, you know what’s going on. It tells me exactly who is reading this, or listening to my Twitter feed.

In the future, you know exactly how popular you are, and how if you chose it would be easy just to sweep all that shit it would be easier to ignore under the carpet and move on. Except, that fails to factor in that moment when suddenly everybody does want to read your stuff or consume your content. Then it all comes out in the wash.

That’s why we who do all this every day need to be honest about processes.

This isn’t about other people. It is ALWAYS about you, the process of growth as a human being. My biggest single issue with stuff like this is the complete lack of response that inevitably results when posting content that nobody sees: it’s just part of the process. You cannot expect 24/7 praise and adoration, it’s just not sustainable.

On the flip side, once you produce something that garners the ire of someone, or increasingly a group of well-programmed Eastern European robots, the desire to share can fall through the floor. That’s the other side of this coin: desperate for feedback or input, what happens if that doesn’t go the way you anticipated? How do you bounce back in that situation?

You keep doing the miles. That’s the game, forward motion by whatever means possible, and if your immortal soul is damaged along the way, one could reasonably argue it is the price one pays for exposure. We could spend an awful lot of time debating how cruel and unfair the world is, but it won’t change the basic, underlying principle that if you stand where people can see you, and say stuff you like but they don’t, there is an inevitable consequence.

The bigger issue undoubtedly is that discourse is broken. It’s been that way since Brexit in this country and now a Government who thought everybody would forget their fuck up because that’s what happened before is waking up to the reality of what results when emotion supersedes action. You don’t just pretend stuff never took place then move on. Some actions destroy emotional trust forever.

We’re all living and breathing that now. It won’t go away. It’s never going away as the truth of this Government’s incompetency becomes increasing difficult to simply ignore: when the Second Wave of infections cripples the NHS in a couple of months time because shops were opened in an attempt to deflect attention away from that stupidity, one hopes there might be an alternative to living hell.

However, that doesn’t happen. We can’t have a General Election if it could infect thousands more people. What we can do however is grow long memories and not forget just how staggeringly incompetent these people were that many, many people voted in to do so… and when the time comes, make a change that might facilitate an overall shift in consciousness.

Never forget just how interaction matters to each one of us.


there is a plan…

I’ve been meaning for a while to update this site’s look: with this change to the HTML it makes sense to try to match up animated GIF action with the headers. However, as GIPHY is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Facebook… time to look elsewhere for my sources. Eventually, of course, I’ll be able to make my own, and that will be a useful step forward in ability.

Set myself seven things to do yesterday, managed three. Therefore, today’s scheduled rest day has been shunted to tomorrow, as it’s a Bank Holiday here. I did largely relax last night though, and as I have a new phone now (SIM swap ftw) there’s thought to going to take pictures: as I can drive to places now for exercise, plus the fact I haven’t driven for two months…

One of the items on my list is planning for June: I have decided to undertake a major projects, which is asking for forty pieces of writing in two weeks. I’ll know quite quickly whether it is doable or not, a test of my increased capacity to focus to deadline. This is all about my ability to create something from only an idea, plus how to visualise that process from start to finish.

The latter is my biggest single step forward in two months. It also requires a significant shift in personal organization. I believe I’m up to the task, we will see if that confidence is justified by the end of next week. Not everything has to be done in the time frames aimed for, but if I am to succeed going forward, a lot does.

Watch this space.

Funny Girl

I had pudding last night, for the first time in probably a couple of months. Occasionally, over the Lockdown, I’ve sneaked a mini Bread and Butter Pudding in between meals. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy that experience…

I also spent most of yesterday doing the exact opposite of what I’d originally planned for Friday. I wrote a poem which, once it’s sat and gathered dust for a bit, will be one of the three I submit for the National Poetry Contest I will Never Win [*] and That’s Okay. Normally when I do these it is in the white-hot anger of having not won the previous year. Not this time.

This time, it is something else I am angry about. I doubt this will make one iota of difference to progression, but what it does make for is a poem with real bite, distinct from its predecessors and, amazingly, with distinct style too. All in all, it adds up to a comfortable new high water mark for the journey. It will make editing poetry this morning a lot easier.

I give this Poem

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Saturday’s Agenda

If all this gets done today, I can have Sunday off, and that’s all that really matters to me right now…

Sarah, speaking earlier

I’m sorry, I’m having WAY too much fun with all this faffing about: at some point, undoubtedly, we’ll end up going back to boring five line paragraphs, but the temptation to play with all of this for comedy porpoises remains quite strong. In all seriousness however, there are se7en things on my To Do List.

Six are pretty heavy duty, and if I can get traction on them all, and at least four completely finished, I’ll take today as a towering triumph. One is probably impossible today, because it depends on someone else. However, if I can buckle down and get all this sorted, it gives me the free time I need next week to write poetry collections, and right now that matters quite a bit.

Maybe I could ask WordPress to work out a Strava embed for this new system…

[*] Not with that attitude you won’t…

Here’s the Thing

Undeniable Truth #286

(in a long series of ‘Things that Frustrate Me about Publishing’)

I absolutely HATE learning that I’ve not been shortlisted for The Thing, or indeed I’ve not made it past the first stage by getting the email that tells me who has won The Thing. When I am in charge, there will be communication at every stage of the process. I will attempt to provide coherent feedback. Mostly, it will all be far better organised.

Seriously, how hard can it be?

In other news, I played with the WordPress features yesterday and yes, this will be useful, once I can get my head around the process. Blogging every day will help with this, of course. We learn by doing, not complaining it got too hard. Therefore, there will be a great deal of doing and very little of the other stuff, because nobody has time for that.

I wanna use three images here as an example of what it is now possible to achieve going forward with the website: what you can’t see is that this allows me to make my pretty simplistic layout into something hugely sophisticated and smart. It will also fix an issue I have on various webpages that have previously needed to rely on grids for their construction.

It doesn’t look like much, but the consequences of this really are significant.

This Feature is Great

I promise I will learn to use it responsibly.

There will be an actual post tomorrow as well, not just me faffing about.

Shut Up

It is now unavoidable, and I’m not sure how to feel about it, but WordPress is now telling me, like it or not, everybody gets the new editor and likes it. It was WOEFUL the last time I tried it, but by the look of things now simple text is a thing of the past, because you already lost interest two lines ago and are looking for distraction. I really do hate notional progress.

oh look at this
three lovely GIFs
and no coding required

However, this is a fairly important step forward, because over there to my left, in the ‘Blocks’ menu, is one marked as ‘Premium Content’ which does suggest that there is now the opportunity to use the Work Website as a portal for paying subscribers (i.e.; Patreon users) which okay, I’ll accept is sufficient to take off the curmudgeon hat for.

Listen to my Places of Poetry Interview from June 2019

If I were one of those people who ascribe to fate throwing you a cheeky wink from time to time? This is probably a big deal. Who am I kidding, this is ABSOLUTELY a big deal, and will allow some subtle improvements to my site going forward. Probably the biggest one going forward, however, is this block:

Who Knows...?

Everyone is struggling at the moment;
might be a correct statement
but really isn’t well-meant
as way to make me calm:
I understand uncertainty
always constant, part of me
who struggled going out before
you lot got stuck at home.
This time it’s not just me afraid
so many of you worried
time all those armchair experts
redefined beliefs.
It’s not just you that’s frightened
panicking, not sleeping well:
always someone worse off
what if you were alone;
things are pretty tough right now
let’s face it all, together strong;
mental health’s importance raised
collective issues, owned.
Listen, watch your language,
open up with empathy
kindness costs us nothing
donations given free:
that mate you’ve not heard from
message colleagues, relatives
nobody escapes this thing
and no-one stays the same.
Everyone can change the way
we deal with mental illness
all of us possess those skills
kindness, with concern:
find the time to lend an ear
make somebody’s moment
find the time to listen;
who knows what you’ll learn.

Time to have a fiddle with these changes in situ, and see what I can find of use…

This is the Day

This is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time, and having my ability aligned with this week has been, well a bit of an achievement. It probably is the most important thing I’ve made for several decades, if truth be told. It has a reminder within it that I still have mental health issues, that aren’t going to go away any time soon.

Most importantly, it’s a request to get people talking.