Island of Lost Souls

As you read this, I hope to be standing on an island, taking pictures. That is the plan, at least, as it is Day One of Photography for the poetry project. This was always going to be the mentally busy one too, and it is certainly working out that way. Keep an eye on the Instagram feed for pictures, of which there will be several as the week goes on. I’m hoping for decent weather: if the BBC website is to be believed, that’s not a problem.

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However, having the running order sorted now, everything feels a fair bit more organised.

It’s roughly four locations a day that need covering, and they’re lumped together in geographically-sensible groups, so there shouldn’t be too much travel time. I’ve already scoped out all my locations and have some pictures of them all, this is just me taking pictures of the things picked to be part of the final collages. Needless to say, quite a bit of work has gone into all this.

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All things being equal, I’ll be back here LIVE on Tuesday, as all those locations are gonna be covered after I’ve done counselling…

The Chain

Suddenly, photography has become very important.

It really helps that the weather is glorious: body’s being forced into daily exercise as part of the rehab process on my left arm, which means walking to and from the Physio/Gym. Forcing mind to consider what is around me isn’t a stretch, but it is a challenge. With the good weather, Spring is the easy, default thing to get grabbed by, especially as the process of bloom and growth is often overlooked. I’m only using my shitty iPhone camera too, nothing fancy, but what is possible by doing so is impressive. When one stops thinking about equipment and focus is shifted to composition alone?

Freedom becomes a basis to simply relax into imagery.

Today’s the first time I won’t have any drugs in my system for several weeks: additional painkillers are finally surplus to requirement. I’m not gonna lie, this has been an unpleasant and often frightening period, and all I’d like now is the return to something approximating ‘normal.’ It has also been quite enlightening in terms of the people who matter or, in some cases, I thought did but perhaps don’t. Again, if I get hung up on details, life isn’t nearly as enjoyable or fulfilling.

This is the moment to simply keep moving forward.

There will be a lot more visual to my Twitter feed going forward. I’ll be organising myself to use imagery a lot more robustly. That means going out to new places and finding things to take pictures of.

Plans are already being made.

Ballad of the Mighty I

Sunday is my day for personal reflection, and it is particularly satisfying this week to look back on seven days that have not simply moved my life forward, but allowed me to relax into the process.

Last night I was drunk: it took four homemade Margaritas (yup, I’m a cheap date) and the stresses and strains of the week simply got lost in the fuzzy haze of a loving husband who not only suggested I could do with the night off but arranged the Mexican dinner to accompany it. I don’t remember the last time I just allowed myself to relax enough to laugh, sing and smile like this. It has been a journey thus far of lots of work but perilously few rewards and I now grasp that maybe there could be more of that and less running myself to the limit. Having accepted that I can only do so much in certain areas of my life if I wish to excel in others? Now comes the process of rearranging the parts of my life to truly reflect the changes I am now going to make.

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Next week’s gonna be a bit odd: I have two days enforced rest because I give blood on Monday night and I learnt the hard way last time there is NO WAY I’m doing anything major until Thursday at the earliest. That means arranging everything around a Thursday/Saturday Gym routine and then on Sunday, the youngest is 12 and I have a day up in the trees doing climbing and other adult activities. This I’m not 100% looking forward to, I will admit, but as my upper body strength is now better than it was the last time I did one of these and I survived then? I should be okay.

I just hope the weather is better than it was last week.

I’m beginning to enjoy planning a daily photograph too for Instagram, now I’ve been doing this for a couple of months it has become habit forming and I’m really pleased with the quality of picture being produced. I am still to do any major work with my camera however, and as it is March next week, it is time to fix that. I’ll be looking for a chance to go to some local spots as the weather gets better and make a point of take pictures.

Lots is planned, now all I have to do is make it a reality.

Ready To Go

And so 2017 begins. I’m too old to be phased by this shit any more, and I sure as fuck know that making any sweeping promises on Day One is just asking for trouble when the month goes to double figures. Therefore, let us begin with the small and attainable goals, right here on the table.

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HEALTH

I could be out there in the rain, suffering for my art, but I don’t need that today. What is more important at this point is laying the foundations for the real, hard work moving forward. This requires me therefore to ignore all sugar, processed or otherwise, for at least a 14 day period so my body remembers what it’s like to burn fat again and not derive all its energy from tea and sweeties. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my PT who will ask me if I want to go full-on hard bastard in losing the last of my weight, to which I am going to say yes. I’ve been running pretty much every other day since Christmas, and most days before, so this form of exercise no longer frightens or intimidates, and my chest is back to pre-infection levels. That means we’re going for it. I will need the cast iron will out, and to not give up because I’m tired and it’s hard. YES I CAN DO THIS.

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WORDS

Tomorrow I’ll send a sample of my words to a grown up who’s never met me and only knows me via Twitter, and we’ll see if I can begin a professional relationship with an Editor. The novel is now back in writing mode, with editing on the side. I’ve set myself a realistic timeframe to write a long-form essay, and I’m actively pursuing writing jobs. That means I have a CV now. Yeah, I’ve never owned one before, but that changed yesterday, and once husband takes a look at the last few edits, I’m going to start submitting job applications. Sadly, because I am not J.K Rowling, my writing career will not pay for itself on current subsistence levels: summat has to change. So, I prove I’m capable of getting work, and I can maybe afford a luxury or two going forward. I’d dearly love a new PC, for instance, and that’s not happening any time soon. The only way I make progress is with sacrifice, and if that means less free time, so be it.

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FOOD

Here’s a heading I’d not have considered could get use at the start of last year. Sure, I’ve cooked some things for myself before, but if you told me last month I’d be enjoying making my own breakfast the night before, I would have laughed at you. In good news this is not about to transform into a foodie blog overnight, because I know how my bread is buttered (^^) and nope, this is not my future. It is however, a necessary part of the journey where I can see what goes into my body because I put it there. I suspect there will be pictures, therefore, of what I do and how it arrives at the state I serve it in. I don’t make any pretensions at being Mary Berry either. There will not be brilliant cake or superb meals from scratch. I’m reading everybody else’s crib notes whenever possible. However there are already the beginnings of a desire to experiment, and that’s no bad thing.

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PICTURES

I got a new Sony Digital camera for Christmas. I asked for it with one desire in mind, to walk around with the lovely retro case my husband bought and show people that is what I’m doing. I’m taking pictures. I want to document the world around me better. One of the things I’ve done with the Mac Mini I use for mail and music is set my pictures from last year up as inspiration, to make me realise I don’t take a bad snap. I should use them as motivation and that is certainly the plan going forward in January. There’s a ton of stuff from New York I’ve been staring at and been stimulated by already. This will never be a bad thing.

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PERSONAL

Gonna try and post every day on Instagram, here and on the Warcraft blog. The writing one will get love too, but only when I’m finished with the workload. I might serialise summat again. There’ll be more non-fiction words there too. I’m getting more confident with personal pictures, and have changed my Instagram profile to reflect this. I love working in B&W. Need to smile more. Gotta be more confident in my ability to be capable. DEFINITELY need to run more and have a better waist. So much to do, and always so little time.


Better get on, then.

History

Once upon a time, I used to be a graphic designer.

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I wasn’t great, but I knew what I liked and I was SUPERB at copying other layouts and designs. I used to design t-shirts too, and one of the bags that will be going out to the Charity Shop this week is full of my efforts. None of them are relevant or important now, but at the time my world revolved around this form of ‘art’ and I realised recently I miss it. Therefore, I’ve been poking around the Internets for graphics programmes to tinker with.

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Right now, I am pounding the hell out of canva.com for no other reason that someone else does all the hard work and I just shamelessly lift the results. Yeah, I know how not big or clever this is, but half the problem I possess right now is the time to do all the heavy lifting. This site puts everything in the right place and I just fuck about with it, and frankly that suits me absolutely fine. I have all the pictures needed to make these things unique and special, and it will add a much needed breath of fresh air to my sites. This also gives me the advantage of looking as if I’m paying someone to do all this shit for me.

That’s the bonus that keeps on giving.

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It also means that while I’m struggling with diet changes and the remains of yesterday’s headache, I can do something productive to boot.