Burn Baby Burn

It’s taken a few days, but normality is restored. It all began with the (now banned, previously cancelled) trip to Prague that should have happened this week but hasn’t. Then, yesterday, listening to two hours of people talking about the ramifications of cancelling all football for four months really pushed home what an extraordinary place we all now find ourselves living in.

That thing when people say ‘I don’t remember it ever being this bad’ is a coping mechanism, I now realise. That’s how disaster operates. Humanity draws a line in the sand for itself, past which apocalypse can clearly be seen. As long as that never gets crossed, we all cope and survive and thrive, but once disaster strikes, that same marker is increasingly difficult not only to see but to redraw back in place.

Welcome to what is now undoubtedly an Apocalypse Simulator for the planet.

It took a while yesterday to get my head around everything, but the fact I can now write coherently without internal panic consuming everything’s a real, positive step forward. The last time my own world collapsed, it took months to recover the equilibrium, yet each time since (and there have been a few, let’s be honest) that time scale reduces. It’s almost as if I’ve developed an emotional muscle memory along with my physical ones…

Of course, there is a far larger than average chance that disaster’s a lot closer now than it was a month ago: if that’s the case, reacting fast and sensibly has to be the priority. We have food and essentials now for a few weeks, so if everything did completely stop, nobody would either starve or have a dirty arse. After that, the car’s got a full tank of petrol, we own a working thermometer and have drugs.

Anything else will have to be dealt with on a priority basis.

Two long-form fiction works got pulled out of the files late last night. I suspect both of them are gonna get some love next week, because honestly I need to be able to live in worlds I feel safer in than this one if things get a bit sticky. However, Patreon is now slowly beginning to gain momentum: this is the time to help people get through chaos and uncertainty in positive, entertaining ways.

The more I think about it, launching now might end up as a stroke of genius.


Yesterday, I did a two and a half hour poetry ‘workshop’ at a local place I wasn’t aware existed until earlier last month. The details will be covered in a Writing Site post tomorrow, but there is one part of that process I’d like to highlight here. For one of the exercises, I was asked to look in a mirror and imagine myself as an animal. Except I panicked, and almost ran out of the room in terror.

Mirrors and I have a long history of not liking each other.


It’s a complex equation: body dysmorphia, general anxiety, plus a lot of other neuroses. It is still tough to look at myself completely in a mirror and be comfortable with the image I see looking back. Certainly over the last few years, it has become easier. I end up watching myself however sometimes, just because it is tough to reconcile what is seen with what I know is a far larger and more complex truth.

It’s what makes the Gym some days quite a tough ask, and why I tend to just get on with what needs to be done and not focus on things that use the mirrors as notional guides for positioning. Last night however, I was hugely proud of myself. I took what was the initial panic and reined it in, thanks to my counselling, before pushing through the exercise. It began largely negative, but then ways were found to switch it round.

The final resulting piece was a revelation.

It’s odd how somebody else’s definition of understanding can alter yours, if you allow the process to run its course. It is, of course, the basis of all education: some questions will only have one answer, others are laid out, shades of gray so subtle and often interchangeable as to be indistinguishable from distance. It’s only when you allow complete acceptance of someone else’s ideas that you accept ability to shift your own.

It’s that concept which is vital to make your children understand quite early on: the reason why you teach people rules is so that you can understand them, but once you know them, they are a lot more flexible than you might first realise. The fundamentals of poetry and art are complex and often frustrating, but to know them is to allow the ability to then move away, at your own pace, to new and exciting places.

Last night’s unassuming two and a half hours has started something rather interesting.


Coming Up


You won’t know me, but I’ve been here for a while. It’s been a long, difficult journey to finally start blogging: lots of courage, a fair measure of faith. However, circumstances have dictated change: starting tomorrow, this is how things work.

Neophyte Me could tear the book up and start from scratch, but that would ignore a lot of very good work undertaken over the Summer. It is no longer possible to pretend everything is the same as it was at the start of this year because… nope.

Instead, truth’s a better bet.


The first plan after illness was to ensure September’s exercise output exceeded August’s, which is now done. In 30 days, exercise happened in 20. Next month that will increase to 25. I intend to *gasp* do a third Blaze class on Monday evenings. I have new, workable goals to exceed and then, after Christmas, we’ll see about some redefinition.

I also want to get back to Zwift-ing. Three times a week is the first checkpoint.


My husband is still in Hospital. We should tomorrow know what exactly is preventing his return home, and all things being equal I’d expect to see him back on Tuesday. This has completely destroyed submission plans for the end of this month, because being both mum and dad to a 14 year old plus maintaining domestic sanctity is fucking hard work.

On that front, disappointment versus realistic expectation will be Monday’s writing blog. It’s National Poetry Day on Thursday so that’ll gives brain summat to look forward to. Plus, Think-tober starts on Tuesday. Everything will find a level.

It is all doable, eventually.

As to being the new girl, and what that means?

See me in the morning.


My legs still hurt. I don’t remember that happening for a while, either. This is what happens when you stop worrying about falling off a treadmill at incline and just run on it. It’s also a reminder that doing what you’re told sometimes is not the end of all independent action. Stuff in exercise class is given to you for a reason. Growing is a subtle combination of taking what you need from experiences and then going the extra mile to make it stick.

This was also the result of more weight in squats (bar on your shoulders, squat with it up and down) where the long term aim is to exceed body weight lifted. What happens when I train and up weights is very simple: it exposes muscles that are weakest. In my case I suffer with wrists and ankles, tops of legs and lower back. They need to be stronger, or progress doesn’t happen. That’s why I’m here on a Saturday planning a gym trip later.

I’m also up early preparing to organise the next four weeks of my life to include wring a novel pretty much from scratch. I know it’s doable, NaNoWriMo tells me it is. It’s now how much this matters and how immersed in the world created I can become, and they’re both easy things to do. It will means a reschedule of a few things and organising others around the writing change, but I can do this. Of course I can.

In fact, I’m really looking forward to it :D

Lying Eyes

Day One of a new regime and it is as if I’m the only one paying attention. Even with pitiful amounts of sleep last night the enthusiasm to work and move forward is here in spades. The first page of the novel being entered for an October 1st deadline almost edited itself, but will require more thought and adjectival input than is currently available. What is needed now after pushing VERY hard at the Gym is tea and some planning for other projects.

Deciding not to write any poetry this week was exactly the right move.

I’ve also decided to go ‘cold’ into a NaNoWriMo project this year and not try and resurrect something already half written. Currently we’re in ‘four characters looking for a plot’ territory but the bones are there, and that is all that matters.

Leave that with me.


The first page of this wrote itself too. I am quite excited.

Let’s see where we end up going…