Good Times

Just made over ยฃ100 with a Tea and Talk event online. Good Times.


I’ve got a piece (one of four being entered this year for the National Poetry Competition) that’s as close to what I really am as anything that has previously been written. It’s title? ‘The First Time I saw Fuck in a Poem.’ย If this stuff is supposed to truly reflect the essence of yourself on a page, then this it. The other three poems are also pretty spot on but this one? Me, absolutely in verbal format. I’m not even sure it’ll make it to judging.

Well, at least I tried.


The backlog of work, finally, is coming to an end. It’s like the washing, which may finally have been surmounted after several weeks of feeling permanently under siege. Once these submissions are done, I’ll be taking a few days off, mostly to take pictures. The monthly stuff is getting easier to deal with. Cutting back on workload is what is required. Not every moment of the day needs to be filled with stuff.


I really need some new friends.

 

Sadeness

I have registered there’s twelve years until Armageddon. I wonder how long it takes everybody else. Probably need a cuppa before continuing as a result.


The plan was to do an early Gym but today, like it or not, life has said no. Instead of getting all grumpy, the day’s just been rearranged a bit. TONS has already been achieved.

Sometimes, not being able to go to plan is exactly what you need.


Life needs to change going forward. It is already beginning, and by the end of this month the hope is to embrace the most significant parts of a targeted shift of direction. More people need to be interacted with, that are out of comfort zones. The only means by which the phobias and shortcomings that exist are challenged is to conquer fear. It is the mind killer, Frank Herbert knew his stuff.

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It is time to use the Internet for good, too. I have already begun this process and can only hope things will continue to become more satisfying over time.

For now, it is high time everything got finally organised, once and for all.

Goodbye

It took a lot of thought (plus a half finished follow up to my fanfic series that would have involved the last three 007’s plus my AU) but I’m done. Bond and I are no longer an item. There will undoubtedly be some issues as to who gets the music collection and plants, but in the main this is an amicable split. In the end, let’s be honest, this is all about the money, and the fact that when you own a phenomena, that is never something a sane person screws with.

I’m fine with the split. The next best thing debuted last night on BBC1 (review to follow) so I’m off to shack up with Doctor Who instead. I used to furiously stan the male version anyway (there is fanfic), so a woman in this role is never, EVER going to be frightening. Despite all the assurances in the article above that women are very well taken care of on Bond sets, placing Ms Broccoli clearly in the Good Guys camp, there is a principle at play here that is never about to alter. The elephant remains untouched in the room.

There is no interest in a future that won’t consider THAT portion of the ultimate pillar of toxic masculinity as intractable.

The interview with Broccoli is interesting in the lengths it takes to explain how Mr Craig’s interpretation is no longer the Bond of old, that elements that typically became part of the persona for so long (and became progressively more denigrated) have been largely removed. However, and this has always bothered me since I was a child, the way these things is now effectively ignored and dismissed has become frankly embarrassing.

Bond is the lecherous family member everybody puts up with ‘coz he’s rich and attractive. Blokes wish they were him. Women like to lust after him because you know, he’s clearly really good in bed because why else would all these women fall in love with him, flirt continuously and be happy that they were one of his harem when he buggers off? The assertion at the end of SPECTRE, riding into the sunset with the woman half his age, is clearly that he shags her until England needs him again and off we go, with nobody remember the bad bits of any of the movies before.

That might have worked a decade ago, but it won’t now.

Sure, lots of people might not know what a Blockbuster was in the Captain Marvel trailer, but everybody gets her relevance in the MCU. This is a company unafraid to stick women front and centre, that is happy to admit it’s fucked up royally with representation and is fixing its house without even a second ask. For 007, men still matter more because they are the executives in the companies whose high-finance, aspiration-based products are advertised on screen. Bond is a reminder of what it might be like to be that cool, when cool means money on top and girls on tap.

When Bond finally stops making money, THEN we know the tide is finally turning, and it occurs to me that if I don’t buy the DVD or the cinema ticket this time, that’s how things change.ย If I walk away from this relationship because finally, toxic is not attractive, we might get somewhere. Casino Royale remains my favourite film in the canon, but theย  bandwagon will not make any money out of me for this, however awesome the final product might be.

Sometimes, you have to be the change.

Moving on Up

Yesterday, rather unexpectedly, I find myself completely alone in the house. Daughter went to Granny, son went to girlfriend, and husband is in Italy fulfilling a dream. As I sat on my own, there was nobody else to worry about or look after. Suddenly, the understanding of what I want to do became remarkably clear, and I’m doing parts all wrong.ย Looking after myself, what I’d do to relax is woefully deficient. Occasionally it needs the correct prompt to push everything off the table.

Last night, that was V for Vendetta.

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I keep making work for myself, almost as if it’s to cover for the feeling there’s not enough in my life: whenever there’s relaxation, I’m almost too scared to let it happen. A lot of this is to do with being able to trust myself to survive and cope when inactive. That might sound odd to some of you, but there’s such a complex balancing act on most days inside my brain that nothing is somehow… well, a failure.ย I’d never watched this movie complete before and am now so very glad I did. Occasionally, you need to be reminded what you have before it’s gone.

The scene I found most upsetting, and which will haunt me for some time, is a moment when history repeats itself and a helpless protagonist is incapable of altering her reality. The only way to personal freedom is undoubtedly to release ourselves from the mental shackles that aren’t placed there by others, but ourselves. I’ve been so wrapped up in what I believed other people expected of me that the true goal’s beginning to be lost.ย Sitting here still alone yet not afraid of what that means, it is time to make good on what is being learnt.

That means that, for a while, this place is the only one that I’ll be regularly updating. The writing stuff is almost at a self-sufficient stage (as it happens) and there’ll be more work on that in November but really, truthfully, it is time to evolve past the reasoning that began the journey here. If I am to be a part of something, let it be entirely of my creation and not what other people consider as reasonable expectation.

Let’s see how this works moving forward.

Evil Woman

This is Day Three of Doing Stuff Differently and as yet there is no desire to stop bolding words or alter approach. In fact, all told, this is going pretty well.

My weight is doing what I expected would happen in the first few days of a major dietary change: if we’re still here in two weeks there can be further tweaks, but for now this feels reassuringly comfortable. The killer will be tomorrow when I get on the Biometric scales and they tell me exactly how much of all this is fat to lose. The amount of new muscle is sizeable, especially around my trunk and legs. At least two pairs of old trousers are now unwearable because of this.

There’s also a sea change around how content’s produced: once the serialised content is back on track (which will happen tomorrow, because it’s already there and just needs editing) I’m getting pretty good at keeping on top of the Twitter stuff. The writing site will have some catch-up on it but I’ll be dedicating November to NaNoWriMo again, so that shortfall gets covered by the Haiku project. Then, in December, it’ll be time to alter everything again because change is good.

Needless to say, I’m all over this.

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They say that it helps to have a nemesis to focus on in order to make sure your enthusiasm is never defeated. Many people make this another person. My enemies are procrastination, sloth and inactivity. To keep moving, producing and thinking is quite exhausting at times but I’ve seen what happens when the forward motion ceases, and it’s not pretty. The benefits of multiple bad guys means you never get to take your eye off the blocks.

Game Over is not an option.

Shake it Off

On the way to School this morning, the youngest got quite emotional over some fan-art that had been drawn for her. It’s something that has happened to me a couple of times in the past, but now I pay for other people to draw me for the headers because, let’s be honest, flattery is a very emotive subject. What is awe in one person’s mind can often become discomfort in another’s. It’s like the aboriginal fear of having a picture taken: your soul is captured without permission, and can never be salvaged.

I heard a theory today that the key to reliable knowledge is constant self-doubt. Just because something was right and true a year ago does not mean that is the case today. The almost continuous flood of online information allows us to re-assess what matters and what doesn’t, and influences are a constant and never-ending means by which the environment around us is redefined. All it needs is someone to come along and upset the apple-cart of familiarity and BOOM the world view changes forever.

I’ve spent a portion of my life using pedantry as a defence mechanism. Now it’s been elevated to a spectator sport, means by which cheap views can be garnered and indignation ignited. It is also the catalyst for an increasing number of Fandoms to spontaneously combust/implode/explode depending on the particular revelations presented. Some are welcome, cleansing fires, whilst others are the worst kind of dumpster trash.

My daughter’s advice to me was amazingly simple this morning: just be nice and do stuff for other people.ย After decades of being worn down to smooth, painless interactions where nobody gets hurt because no-one actually gives any part of themselves in the process, the concept of offering myself to the current Internet is, let it be said, quite a frightening prospect. However, that’s really how this works. You gotta get out there and interact, or else how else does anything change?

The problem, of course, is that there is no control over outcomes in the Wild West of unsolicited interaction. It is why so many people block and mute the inopportune out of their feeds, why Discords are the new Forums where you only invite who you want to talk to, and that everybody tries on certain days to shut out the bad news when actually, it needs to be heard. I appreciate reasoning for those people who leave when the going gets tough, but at some point, somewhere, a stand is required.

Day Two of the New Regime therefore is asking people who are reading this who’d like to develop dialogues to leave a comment. My daughter might argue I’m trying to hard by encouraging people to respond but honestly, this is the only means by which progress takes place. To encourage this, your comment will now instantly appear when posted, I’ve taken screening off for the first time in years.

Let’s see who is listening…

Why

This month, we’re doing stuff differently.

I’ve been blogging in various forms for nearly a decade. Just writing that down sends a shiver through the soul: ten years.ย I’ve been out here for all that time and still, most days, my family doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. The number of people who enquire about stuff which is clearly recorded here and on other blogs, via social media and elsewhere remains staggering. All these words, and stories, and now poems that most people who say they know me don’t have the first clue about, or comprehension of.

It’s all here, but honestly, who is really listening?

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A survey conducted by the BBCย and which forms the basis of a Radio 4 series on Loneliness is fairly damning in the understanding that many of us feel as if nobody is there and supportive when it matters. It’s a constant source of amazement to me that after so long pouring out my heart online, people will still say they have no idea of how I think or feel.ย The problem, in essence, is complexity: most of us only cope with the basics on any given day, and emotional depth can often be difficult when you’re struggling yourself.

Still here millions of us are, carrying on, in the vain hope that someone might comment with agreement, or at least register the notional understanding of how soul-destroying being alive can be when existence is lived largely internally. It is no wonder that so many 16-24 year olds are feeling exposed: their entire world is laid bare for all to see via Social media. When nobody notices that you exist on that stage, it is understandable why such emotions will be generated.

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I look to more high profile people on how they address such issues, and am continually left wanting. Take the famous author I unfollowed this weekend, whose fortune is being made on challenging people’s notion of self. This man complains that he gets grief on Twitter and so prefers Instagram, because there’s less emotion to deal with, yet this is what he writes about in his self-help books.ย Watching his Twitter exchanges, he receives abuse for his ideasย which in many cases appear to be intentionally fuelled.

Trying to manipulate your environment is what many writers love to do as a means to continue interest, and it works: we’d all far rather enjoy other people’s drama than keep recycling our own. The irony of watching American women argue amongst themselves this weekend over what is the best way of protesting injustice is a perfect example of how, by not actually listening to each other, things never improve. Life slowly degenerates into echo chambers, and everyone believing they’re ‘the only one who feels like this.’

You’re not, really.

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I am a terrible listener. My family’s quite right in this regard, and my aim this month is to not be that person. It’s tough sometimes: my son is 18 in two weeks time and I still remember him on my lap as a baby. It is not the other person who is solely to blame for a communication problem, both of you can do better.ย I’m also going to do my damnedest to listen to other people too, which is why there’s some hashtags in my post not normally used.

Changing circumstances can be hard, but speaking from experience, the rewards from doing so are considerable. You’ll be amazed at how much in common you can have with other people if the time is taken simply to sit and listen. If you’re reading this and have never commented before, I’d appreciate therefore knowing you’re here, because that alone is the impetus to keep writing and continuing to be motivated. It appears self-serving because, as of today, it is.

Time to start asking questions of the people who I live with, to see what answers come in response.