Get Off

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I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I can now state I’m loving the mountain bike.

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The thing about exercise is that it is addictive, but not in a way I’d recognise from previous flirtations with obsession. Yesterday was a glorious Sunday afternoon, out on the 2012 Olympic Mountain-biking track built just down the road from us. There’s impressive views of the Estuary, some absolutely bonkers mental downward runs, and a sense that when this country bid on the Legacy Olympics ticket, they really meant to inspire future generations and not just line the pockets of the already rich. In fact yesterday reminded me of what a thoroughly amazing place this town is to live in.

Yesterday also made me realise that FUCK ME LOOK I HAVE TRICEPS. The sun-cream makes arms all shiny, I know, but seriously people… MUSCLES!11!1!!1 I can now hang comfortably for 20 seconds on the monkey bars, once I hit 30 then its time to start considering how pull ups fit into my exercise routine. Monday PT today is the last for a week, and I won’t be exercising in the Gym after Wednesday for at least a week. This means doing workouts where its just my body as resistance: squats, push ups and probably some running. The seafront where we’ll be staying is lovely and flat: I’m sure I could do something with that. In fact, I think it will be time to start exercising outside.

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Today’s liberating start will be part of a week where lots of stuff ends up, I suspect, a massive disappointment. I’m confident I’ll fail to get a Mentorship I applied for, that the poetry contest I entered will show me not as winner or indeed worthy of notable mention. However, unless I keep applying for this stuff, I’ll never move forward as a writer. Failure is a very important part of the writing process. It gives me incentive to move forward, keep trying, and not lose hope. All these things matter too. You just need a sense of proportion, and understanding that if the momentum remains forward, then that’s better than nothing.

You just need to keep moving, and never stop.

Did It Again

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The company who make my porridge do it in ‘instant’ sachets, with dried fruit to make the whole thing a little less… well, just oats. A while back they stopped making my favourite flavour combination. No more Apple and Cherry for me. Except, a few weeks after the announcement some extra stock appeared in my supermarket of choice. I probably looked a bit strange with the last six boxes of the stuff at the till, but I didn’t care. I’ve been slowly eating my way through them ever since: a packet every couple of days, and using my mindfulness ‘training’ to fully enjoy every bowl. Yesterday was the last sachet.

Sometimes, you don’t realise what matters most until it is too late.

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The World right now provides a very skewed perception if you stare at it continually via the same lenses. By that, I mean using social media as the sole manner of assessing news, or using exclusively as a means to make important decisions. I am genuinely concerned at the number of people who seem to live their lives here, and am all too aware that I am one of them when it comes to promotion of my new venture. There needs to be some changes therefore, and I couldn’t do that without talking time away from the format that is at least part of the problem. So, yesterday is going to be written down to ‘Mental Health.’ It included a PT session (lots of boxing, upper body really hurts) and another 10 miles of cycling. There was also a lot of… well, not very much at all.

Doing nothing is really good for your soul.

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Once I’ve written this there will be a list, as has become de rigeur on a Sunday. Then, it is just a case of getting as much as I can done in the day with a session of cycling inserted in between. There’s a lot of personal stuff to discuss next week, but for now I need to be focussed, organised and just get the stuff done.

Let’s go.

All or Nothing At All

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This morning has been all about Patreon, and the realisation that at least once a month I’ll need to sit down and spend time organising how this project evolves going forward. I’ve amended prices for Tiers, added a new one plus a Contest to keep content moving through to people. I’ve also gotten distracted by making new logos but this has shown up that the stuff I’m currently using isn’t as great as I’d like, and therefore there will be more design faffing once I’ve written this as I amend the IoW site for a more ‘cohesive’ look. I already know this will be needed if I start boosting my posts using Twitter’s Promote feature. It’s not like this is a surprise. However, having to do all of this is tough to get my brain around, until everything gets slotted into the plan.

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I’ve also added summat extra to the exercise routine: I’m paying for Zwift every month and not using it nearly as much as I should, so yesterday I did 10 miles around the ‘virtual’ Ride London circuit. The plan is to try and do 70 miles a week, if only to get my legs into the routine of riding, and my arse an opportunity to adjust to the saddle. This will work until we go away for a mini break in the later part of the month, and I can at least get myself mentally settled with the idea. PT’s been organised to cover holidays for both myself and my Trainer, and I’ll have used up the last of my outstanding vouchers from the operation period by the end of August.

However, I’m not going anywhere today until I get this massive To Do List knocked off… ^^

Coming Around Again

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This is the blog post about Bond 25 that needs to be made, as the announcement popped up yesterday from Eon’s @007 Twitter feed confirming something is in pre-production. Booking a weekend in November 2019 might seem a bit previous, but considering what we’ve seen coming out of Comic Con over the last weekend, it makes perfect sense. This is to prepare the US market for a film which, one presumes, is going to have to be pretty damn special to follow SPECTRE, which effectively drew a line in the sand for everybody involved. If I believe the Internet, Daniel Craig has no soul and is doing two more films. I’m REALLY hoping he is finished with the role as was clearly the case at the end of Bond 24.

As was also true of Dr Who, this is a franchise in desperate need of a reboot.

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The chances of getting a woman in this job however are slim to non-existent. The canon doesn’t support it, and despite the likes of Gillian Anderson saying they’d play Jane Bond, I doubt the majority of the world will want to know. I can’t see Barbara Broccoli allowing her father’s legacy to be redefined in this way anyway: her love of Craig as Bond had as much to do initially with his physical appearance as it was about any ability to act. Bond is supposed to do something at a brain stem level to women that makes his behaviour somehow acceptable. Men just want to pretend they can get away with treating the opposite sex that badly whilst remaining insouciantly cool. Really, like it or not, this role goes to a man, because no woman could ever be that sociopathic and get away with being believable.

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Of course, nothing is stopping the next Bond being Iris Elba, or Dev Patel, except an awful lot of historical baggage. When reduced to only looking at white, heterosexual men, the field gets pretty samey. That’s the problem, all told. Everybody’s of a certain look, or a particular style, and then you’re comparing Tom Hiddleston to Craig or Tom Hardy to Roger Moore, which I’m sure neither would thank you for. Bond, like it or not, is a poisoned chalice: when you die as an actor, I’d argue what you don’t want is to have your family hear your media obituary contain the line ‘best known for his role as 007’ at any point. Anything and everything else you ever did as a professional is effectively sacrificed to commercialism, and that will hurt.

However, even though I’d like a minority interest Bond above white male, there’s probably a compelling argument at present to get Tom Hardy into the Aston Martin. If I believe the rumours that Christopher Nolan is interested in directing, Hardy’s a good fit (Bane in Batman, key role in Dunkirk) and clearly they’d work well together. The problem is, where you go when the criminal organization created solely to engineer your demise seems positively childish compared with the man running the US Government. The enemy remains crime families, sure, but honestly, truthfully, how the fuck are you going to create a believable plot for a Bond movie that’s not been done to death already? SPECTRE only worked as it rebooted the one villain we’ve not seen for decades because, of all things, a legal battle that prevented Eon from mentioning Blofeld existed.

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Whoever they get to play Bond, whether we keep going forward or its rebooted again, is being made to live in a world which his misogyny, plus treatment of the opposite sex has become frankly unacceptable. However sensitive and caring you make the man, he’s still a fucking dinosaur. It is going to take a monumental effort to produce anything based around current canon that won’t look outdated and ridiculous, or that doesn’t involve killing Madeline Swann before the opening title sequence, a la OHMSS. I tried to re-write the canon, but that only worked by making 007 part of an effective unit and one could argue as soon as you take away the ability for Bond to work alone, he’s not Bond any more anyway. Needless to say, I don’t envy the script team one iota. If they pull this off they really are miracle workers.

Until there are details and confirmation of who has the keys to the Aston Martin, all bets are off. Only with more details can we speculate on what happens next. I just hope and pray that the days of a Moonraker style film (with some ridiculous terrorist/cybercrime plot a la Mission Impossible) is not what everybody has to look forward to.

Please Please PLEASE let Bond 25 be a reboot.

Secret Messages

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Yesterday, I wrote a poem.

Not gonna lie here: I think it is the best poem I’ve ever written. Weeks of mucking around with stanza and enclosed space has begun to bear unexpectedly appetising fruit. I took what wasn’t either rhyme or rhythm and made both happen in a manner that, in the end, had me grinning from ear to ear. There is a delicate line to balance between editing and immediacy, and I know with fiction that time is the best editor I will ever find. Better ideas spring from deeper understanding, and with thought come the best answers. However, poetry is different. The immediacy of lyric, moment captured as it happened. That’s what I did yesterday.

I made something uniquely personal.

I can’t say anything more about it right now, but there is now a week in August that has become very important indeed to my journey. It doesn’t matter however if nothing happens in that seven days, because I am happier about my work now that I have ever been at any point in my life.  I still struggle with dark days. This shit does not go away, and there is never a moment to forget that for every high you’re going to get a low. Right now however, at this moment /points I’m great. It’s better than awesome. This is the madness of the moment, of possibility in chaos, that maybe I hit the jackpot with a series of linked sentences.

Now all I have to do is wait and see.

Carry on about your business. There’s nothing here of interest.

Do Your Thing

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Being your own brand is hard work.

I am only now beginning to grasp the amount of work involved in doing everything I’ve promised to the required standard. Don’t get me wrong, there is no regret involved, but at officially T+1 Month into my writing adventure, it is becoming apparent an awful lot of stuff will need a rethink come August. That’s the problem when you’re working from scratch, with a staff of one. What is achievable becomes almost painfully obvious, and overreaching just leaves you tired and grumpy. This weekend therefore I’ll be calling a Staff Meeting, looking at myself and deciding what is doable going forward and what has to be rearranged. Now I’ve managed to sort out a static front page for the IoW site? Those Graphics are gonna have to go, they look awful.

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Its not just that either: there’s no news in my gaming sphere to support daily posting, and I can lose today’s post (and for the next few Wednesdays) whilst I’m running a poll-based series of interactions via Twitter. That then frees up vital time to write fiction. I imagine this must be how it feels to do logistics for a living, the constant reappraisal of every variable on a daily basis as one shoves the unexpected into the mix whilst trying to deal with a historical backlog of maintenance. What I need to do most of all is drag my arse to the Gym to work out the aches in my legs (which are still complaining) and do some heavy lifting. Once my body’s back to normal, brain will run far more productively and I could do with being physically worn out.

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I am also now mindful of other projects that were put in motion months ago and could soon begin to bear fruit. If they all hit at once (and I know that is entirely possible, and should be planned for accordingly) then I’ll need a new plan. I may have been accused of a lack of spontaneity in the past, but I am getting really good at turning my personal requirement on a sixpence. With that in mind, I’m ready for whatever might get thrown at me. I’m going to go schedule a ton of shit, exercise, upload this week’s essay for a 5pm PST launch, make sure it gets at least three scheduled RTs along the way, and then start again tomorrow. I’d be lost without my planner now and the innate sense that what matters most of all is social media engagement. Without that, I’d have no Patreons to begin with.

This is a tough job, but I am more than up to the task.

Running in the Family

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Friday night was quite scary, all told. We discovered our son has an allergy to cashew nuts, and two hours after the ambulance crew left us you’d be hard pressed to see he’d even had a problem. Piriton plus expert triage equalled another reason for me to be grateful the NHS exists and to ensure it is not buggered by anybody, especially the current excuse for national government. It does mean that, over the summer, I’ll be getting both him and his sister tested for a full spectrum of allergies. Neither of them have a problem with peanuts (Thank the Deities) but still, better go make sure we know. Knowledge is power, after all.

Knowing this, I do now grasp that I can’t keep working seven days a week like I currently am: stuff needs to change.

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Yesterday I didn’t write anything of note for most of the day because there no brain to write with. Friday’s stress hit like a punch, and instead I went and filled three bags with clothing and threw away weeks worth of accumulated rubbish, going back as far as my Operation. I’m going to need to take at least a day ‘off’ a week, and I think it will be Saturday, because then I can not stress over being constantly producing content. My daughter’s Summer Holiday begins Friday (son’s still chilling post exams and starts 6th Form College in September, grades willing) and so I will want to be out enjoying what is in the main a Staycation this year. The fact I never even factored this in pre-Patreon’s a bit stupid really. I just live to work.

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Knowing this, I have a long list of stuff to finish this morning, and I’m confident that can be knocked off by the time husband’s back from another organised bike ride. After that it is next week’s planning and then just getting on with process. That in itself is progressively easier, and once I’ve done July I’ll have some actual content to try and woo  new followers into August and beyond. After that? Honestly dunno. Got some stuff ‘out’ there in terms of possible writing-based advocacies and mentorships. Who knows.

Time to just take each day as it comes and crack on.