Wondrous Stories

Feedback is the best thing in the world. Even the bad stuff is good, you know. It means someone is reading your work. That’s the key, it’s why word of mouth on The Socials is so important. When you get trolled, and we all do, it’s still a good thing because, like it or not, you have distracted someone enough from their own lives to come and interact with yours and THIS is the Elixir of Life. You don’t need gold-plated toilets and armed militia at your disposal. All that shit the Ex_President pulled, deep down, was because he never got enough love as a kid.

Don’t @ me either. You either get it, or you don’t.

The great thing about the unprompted comment above however is the choices that have now been validated as a result of it. 2021 was all about making things easier to do. That means that the first few months of short stories are interconnected and, if I go this as a positive sign in January? It’s time to build on momentum and NOT BLOW IT. The key there, of course, is those three words. I have a sensible, compelling human storyline, Twitter Polls and some online elements to weave into the mix. Hopefully, it’ll get more people interested…

All you can do is your best, when all is said and done. This, fortunately for me right now, is just that.

Face the Music

Not often I make it past 20 likes in the modern world. REALLY pleased with the rebranding image too, and this one will be used on various things going forward. It’s odd, watching things change as they have over the last month. Last January was the first time I’d exercised every day in my life. Now, it’s just normal behaviour.

Stuff is still going well. I’ve submitted a fair deal of writing this month. Rejected pieces are about to go back into the mill. It’s part of the routine. There are ideals to aim for and achievements to be had, the same as was the case before but right now, I am a bit lost, I can’t lie. Even though I hate crowds and don’t enjoy that kind of situation at all… it is missed. Just going out without feeling guilty is a thing, too.

However, when all is said and done, I’m a better writer now than I was last year.

Making your Mind Up

I wrote a NaNoWriMo Novel in November, after nine years of false starts. Yesterday, I had a Zoom call with a friend who’s read it, and she’s urged me to enter it for a first novel contest whose deadline is this week. To be honest, there would not previously have been the confidence to do so. However, that call’s galvanised me into action and a week that was already quite busy has now become full-on as a result. Normally, adding onto an already packed diary would bother me, but now? It’s a challenge.

All of this becomes a stress test of ability.

Over the weekend I also finally finished two poetry submissions, and submitted something else that, again, I’d have never possessed the confidence to do previously. Thinking about what has changed between here and last year, very little actually has in terms of capability. However, belief is different, mostly I suspect because if it’s possible to do 500km in eight days, the strength is within to make these things happen when it matters. So, what is there to lose by pushing the extra mile.

I suppose there’s only one way to find out.

Having finally departed Instagram, this time for good, it still feels like the correct decision. After what happened in the US last week, and the undoubted contribution Facebook has made to general disinformation, there needs to be something done as principle. Therefore, I’ll be using Ko-Fi for pictures and art going forward, because it’s under my terms alone. Algorithms can do one: honestly, if it’s good enough in the end, where it happens won’t matter.

This is my future, and that’s all that matters.

Enjoy the Silence

It is a VERY long time since something consumed me with this voracity. It doesn’t matter either how good (or bad) it is because the story is what matters, above everything else, and we are coming to the end. Now I’m technically done, I’m gonna convert this to a PDF and send it to my tablet, read it over the weekend and work out where stuff needs to be added.

A lot has gone down this week, most of it good. I made a decision last night that, if it works, will finally get me to the place I want to be physically after quite a fair bit of hard work, and a couple of work-related changes have also given pause for considerable reflection. Once I’ve done this I’m going to go and delist a video; a second one will get done tomorrow and not today.

We’ll be back to a semi-normal schedule once NaNo is done.

Telegraph Road

NaNo continues to write itself. I also have absolutely zero desire to do anything related to submission at all, right now. This won’t last but really, truthfully, we are not out of the woods yet, and there is a lot that could go horribly wrong by the end of the year. Eyes on the prize, people, which is not winning, but changing everything so it is better. Winning is a construct, never forget this.

Mostly I am here, healing. That’s what I’m doing. Moving onwards, forwards, with purpose and determination. Words must be written.

Bombs Away

The story is making me very, VERY happy, almost ridiculously so. I’ve spent a long time trying to take this seriously, and maybe that’s part of the problem. Now, I’m just having fun, and it is GLORIOUS.

Also, I’m already at my day three total. Don’t say anything, I don’t want other people to feel dispirited. This isn’t a contest, it’s a fun diversion. It’s a way to forget the shitty stuff in the real world. Most importantly, it is the means by which I can just unplug my brain.

Blues Walk

I no longer have an office chair. I’m typing this whilst sitting on a yoga ball. Over the years I’ve trued various things in an attempt to deal with a back problem that stems from my first pregnancy, and a hastily-applied epidural before an Emergency C-Section. The ball, amazingly, is turning out to be not just a revelation, but the writing accessory that keeps on giving.

Of course, this isn’t going to be for everybody. However, the benefits to posture and general productivity since I blew it up 72 hours ago are significant. Most importantly of all is not the times I’m sitting and using it. I used to idle hugely in my chair, sometimes for hours without making any progress. If this keeps encouraging me to move, and it is, that’s the biggest gift of all.

Slouching is constantly being corrected, and I am here for this.

There is a lot to do, stuff to reply to, and things to write and archive. This is, all told, how I’ve wanted life to be for some time. Everything is largely under my own auspice, with me making the important decisions. All that really needs to happen now is a better form of income, and then I know I’m getting somewhere. We’re working on that today too.

Expect something to purchase from me by the end of the year.

Back and Forth

You’ll no doubt remember the mini mental issue that happened at the end of May/start of June around some poetry. I got the rejection letter yesterday, but it wasn’t like previous ones. Over 500 manuscripts. I made it into shortlisting, roughly 10% of that total. I made it to shortlisting. I understand why people shove that in Twitter bios: you’re close. What I don’t grasp is those who don’t then capitalise on the knowledge.

Once I’m done here I’ll be splitting up that body of work into three pieces. All of them will go off to different places. I’m going to reorganise another collection instead of something half-written for summat in August. This failure has inspired me to greatness, and if all this fails again we’ll just pick ourselves up and start again. An important transition has been completed.

That’s all there is to it, I suppose. There is nothing else to do now than get on with it.

Time to do the work.

Cough, Cough

It is becoming apparent I can still be who I was at the start of 2020. There was some thought given to the idea the ‘old’ me would need to be retired for good, because it was becoming impossible to be heard. Then, yesterday, an important online epiphany took place. This was never about me. That’s the point to so many things that only just registered.

When I am truly honest and authentic, people listen. However, when I enter other people’s conversations and suggest a contrary opinion to the one they are expounding, dynamics changes. A conversation yesterday in which I did this was, on reflection, created as a speech and absolutely did not invite disagreement.

This happens a lot when I challenge people in a certain age group. It happens even more when men are involved. ‘This is my statement of why X is wrong and you will not argue’ has become a stance on Twitter that I never get tired of picking to pieces. It’s the people who expect to be heard, respected and never challenged because they are in charge.

We all know someone like this in our timelines.

I am really enjoying rocking up into other people’s conversations at present. If it’s on Twitter, it’s a public forum, and I am absolutely allowed to be involved. Unsurprisingly, this often does not go down well. I have a job to do however, and it is high time I got on with it without the constant concern that I am somehow not worthy or qualified enough to do so.

This is my aesthetic going forward, and I love it.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Once upon a time, I was horrendously inflexible as a writer. The ideas would supersede everything, including good sense, and in those days a great deal of spontaneity and honestly was lost. However, in the last few years, relaxing away from the rigid forms that a past would often forcefully impose as being right has begun to bear quite fragrant and juicy fruits.

Someone I respect a great deal has also pointed out in the last week that I can commit myself to too much too quickly, and often end up spreading myself quite thin, a sentiment that was echoed by my family after the poetry meltdown in late June. As a result of all of these disparate factors, this week has steered me into a new form of discipline.

Welcome to a game plan that understands that less is more.

The format for the Patreon, which was started without really knowing where I was heading, only that I needed to be online and offering content during Lockdown, has now established itself. A poem a week, a piece of long form fiction and some flash fiction. A LANzine and two newsletters per month. All of this can (and is being) organized far enough in advance to not overwhelm.

There are extra bits, which will sit in the IoW Website, but can easily be slipped into the schedule. It also keeps space free for other ventures: everything placed in a sensible, thoughtful manner. Some stuff won’t happen, and quietly other things will be removed from view, making this whole journey as stress free as possible.

I’m really happy with the way things are working out.

Today I have two grown up Zoom meetings: both will be significant steps forward in real life attempts to become a creative. I hope one day to pick up Patrons from outside the Internet I consider my home, and to do that the content will not be enough. There has to be more depth and breadth to my output. Patreon, like it or not, is only a smaller part of a larger whole.

Being my own boss however is the best feeling in the World.