Do You Love Me?

Being honest can be a dangerous move in the modern world. Most people are so tired and jaded that a compliment is largely pointless. The only time that changes is when you’re able to hit someone so far out of your follower reach that they really aren’t expecting anything positive at all. Yesterday, I managed that twice, and two people I hugely respect and enjoy following got a moment when they felt brilliant about themselves. It will have been brief, but was worth the effort.

All compliments are worth the effort if you care.

One line is all it takes. Four words, in this case, is worth more than a KoFi contribution. There are those, fortunately for me, who have been showing their care with cash, and each one will continue to be acknowledged publicly and with enthusiasm when it happens, but the fact remains most of you aren’t poetry fans. I know the short story fans on a first name basis as a result, am looking for non-fiction pathways to draw more people in. The fact remains, Social media is words and pictures, and I can do both with increasing confidence.

Now I need to get people to show me they care.

This is a tough ask for the person who gets cross when people mansplain at her when she knows they’re just trying to help. It’s difficult when it’s annoying that someone just favourites all you work and never retweets it. You can’t make people into a support network, it has to be their choice. Just randomly following people coz they ask you to is not really the answer either. So, here’s the deal. I really need people prepared to listen and respond. I’m looking for interaction, NOT followers.

More people need to want to respond, and that’s what the aim is going forward.

Yes, I need to make money. Yes, you can donate to me if you feel the urge, the details are to your left at the top of the page. More importantly however what matters more is feedback and communication, and it is time to learn how those things work again.

Nothing is ever going to get better if I don’t do the legwork.

The Revolution will Not be Televised

DAY 5: We interrupt our scheduled wibbling for the first of a series of planned observations of reality. This Saturday? It is time to remind you all about the concept of TRANSMEDIA and how, in the space of a week, that concept has utterly altered the entire course of entertainment.

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Bandersnatch is a work of undoubted genius, created by Charlie Brooker who remains right in the front carriage of the Sci-Fi Alternate Futures ARE STILL COOL EVEN IF THEY’RE FUCKING SCARY Hype Train. However, let’s be clear, other people have been doing this shit for years: ‘choice’ in fiction has existed in video games, books, even films for quite some time, well before this Netflix original came along. Working across platforms isn’t new either…

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So, why is everybody so excited? In the simplest terms, Brooker’s the first person to shove on a particular set of wheels and throw engine into the chassis that’s been crying out to be redesigned since it became apparent what computer code can do if you tell a story with it. Here is the fuel of pretty much every Sci-Fi future: one screen provides all. The thing that presents both news and offers entertainment also grants possibility to alter and shape reality as you see fit. Given the building blocks of a story, each individual gets to decide both victor and reward, with thousands of possible variant versions.

Television ascends again as the ultimate serotonin delivery device.

The bigger irony right now, of course, is that if you try and access Bandersnatch through the smartest of smart TV’s, you’re met with a compilation of Black Mirror protagonists from series past apologising that ‘sorry, you can’t watch this episode on this device.’ If you want true interactivity, go watch TV on a Tablet, phone, PC, Laptop or Games console instead. The one TV ‘drama’ that will redefine storytelling going forward cannot be viewed on a dumb, flat screen.

Overnight, everybody’s non-code operated gogglebox got rendered totally and completely obsolete.

Gil Scott-Heron was a visionary, and non net-savvy TV companies might have a bit of a problem going forward. Well, not a problem per se, but organisations such as Sky will be looking long and hard at their set-top boxes, realising that catch-up TV is great and all that but they are yet again behind the curve. The day Netflix launch their fully interactive rival in collaboration with Disney and UEFA all bets are off as to what you’ll want linked up to the ‘TV’.

The future is no longer sending signals to a screen and expecting that to be enough.

Suddenly, TV has the opportunity to combine everything in the one place you want it. No more PC’s in the corner of a room: run it from the widescreen HD central screen, transfer it to a tablet before taking it everywhere. One core processor unit oversees and dictates every form of interactivity in your house. That same Home Entertainment Unit is Alexa’s search facilities and Siri’s voice combined with choose your own drama shows, themostatic controls plus lighting dimmer switches, with the kids homework and your favourite FPS, all voice activated.

Esports will vie for prominence with real sports, but not watching teams of young people competing via controllers. Live sports provide an unexpected new industry : all computer sports games will sign deals with broadcasters to provide means by which players can allow their favourite team to win both Cup and League. Interspersing historical footage with computer generated graphics so real, you’ll never notice the difference and suddenly, choose your own outcome versions of every sporting event in history becomes possible.

There will be a backlash, of course: Traditionalists will shun all new style visual media and return to VHS, Laserdiscs and DVD’s as the only version of entertainment that matters. Books will become their own unique currency, with people hand-producing their own versions of great historical novels with unique, personal twists. Then, there are those who’ll have original TV signals directed directly into their optic nerves, eventually choosing to spend the rest of their existence

only as brains in jars…

As a writer, it’s fun to consider the consequences of things such as Bandersnatch in a wider context. Undoubtedly, the effect of social media on news and entertainment is beginning to alter how the collective consciousness absorbs information. With such new possibilities on the horizon, conventional TV will have to undergo some fairly significant changes in order to embrace such technologies, but if there’s enough demand, it will happen.

Old style TV units and broadcasting mediums are on notice. Aerials on houses will become a thing of the past. Everything is heading towards a future where ‘smart’ and ‘interactive’ beat everything: whether that’s through a fibre connection or via satellite is yet to be decided. The next year also gives Netflix, Amazon and the digitally native platforms a massive advantage over traditional TV. If I were Disney, for instance, I’d DEFINITELY be looking at launching my own dedicated streaming service to take advantage…

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Expect a Disney ‘make your own TV show’ very soon indeed, and once they start it, we’re all doomed.

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My earworm for the day is this trailer music. Cheers, Disney.

Right then, where were we?


#Blogmas is planned. I have 31 Haiku to write, and 25 Christmas GIF to source. Nothing left now but to get on with it, which is what the next four days are about. Also, I need to enter Azeroth for 31 pictures of snowy places. I’d rather be playing Colonization right now, not gonna lie, I have a half finished game from last night that is nagging me for completion. All this stuff as distraction is not good.

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However, this is undoubtedly the most productive I’ve been since August.

That’s no bad thing.

2000 Miles

Next month’s content is pretty much sorted. Now, all that has to happen is the organisation. Yesterday was brilliant for several reasons in that regard: not only did the backlog of archiving and organising finally happen, but almost 200 minutes of exercise was slotted in between.

#Blogmas is gonna happen on the Writing site. Here, you can expect the normal level of whittering, with an occasional lapse into seriousness. The Twitters are gonna be full of Festive Love, Haiku and a .GIF advent calendar, because people seem to like this. Poetry has become the handy go-to ability to get me through the Xmas period, though I’ve left it too late this year to insert crafting into the mix. Not sure what people will get for Christmas this year as a result. I should probably give that some thought too this week.

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Right then, LET’S GO.

Good Times

Just made over £100 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.’ 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.

 

The World is Not Enough

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Between you and me, I am not a great fan of competition. However, it is undoubtedly true that having goals and objectives makes the process of putting in the miles (whether literal or metaphorical) easier to achieve. It is the reason why a daily list of Things to Do is now written without a thought with the second cuppa of the day. In the exercise department, self-motivation is key. Pushing each day to obtain what can often seem like nominal targets does have a benefit: those thirty-six tiny push-ups achieved yesterday will be a little bit stronger once completed today.

Last night, my Functional Threshold Power went up by a massive eight points. It wasn’t through a scheduled test, simply doing the Richmond World Cycling Championship course on Zwift as if I was trying to win it. What is now apparent is that setting goals matter far more than they ever did, because by these yardsticks does the true ability of an individual emerge. It’s why I’ve signed up for all those challenges: sure, some of them dangle free shit like juicy, fresh carrots… the realistic chances of winning any of it is slim to none. That’s not why we’re taking part.

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This effort, plus the fact there was no car to use yesterday in the rainiest day remembered for some time, also pushed the step count up in the range that’s not been seen for many, many months. I miss walking, and that needs to be fixed as the weather improves.

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The Fitbit won’t normally record my steps as miles, and so this is not a strictly accurate representation of effort (18 miles ridden plus about 6 miles walked yesterday would be closer to the truth.) Asking my Fitbit to record the activity as cycling will work if bike moves, but is largely redundant when static, so the thing is shoved in my cycling shorts (at leg level) to record movement that way. As a heart monitor is worn it’s easy to equate an accurate calorie count regardless.

However, if truth be told, the camera and I need to be outside, by the Estuary and in the woods and at the old buildings that are crying out to be photographed. That’s the plan for May, and with an improvement in general organisation, all these things should now be doable.

That’s the plan anyway.

Down, Down

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I’ve spoken before about my obsession with weight, for that is what this remains. I think, after 436 attempts to move past five pounds lost, it is probably the moment to accept some shortcomings. I’m dreadful with discipline and patience. It is easier not to think healthily when stressed. Given the chance, eating is the answer to depression, anxiety and anger. Except, as of today, it isn’t anymore. None of these things remains acceptable as a path forward.

How do you realistically alter the habits of a lifetime?

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Instead of obsessing about this to a large audience, it is time to go small. It is incredibly simple to alter long-term habits. You just do it. Inevitably, there will be fuck ups along the way, and then these occur the solution is not to go back to the old ways. However, four hundred and thirty-five times, I’ve not made it past the first hurdle. That alone should be shame-inducing enough to alter course if it is admitted publicly. The bigger issue, however, is the obsession, and that’s something I watch other people do online every day.

That seems to break down into two categories: the people who grasp they are, and those with no idea it is happening. I don’t want to be the person other people laugh at or point towards because there is a fixation with the same subjects, time and again. This should not about making shortcomings public property… except, to shame me sufficiently into alteration, that’s the path that will now be taken. I can’t be back here in a month with a deeper furrow trodden. I am no longer enough. Please take away your motivational posters, and let me accept the failure for what it is.

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The only person this matters to, in the end, is me. However, so much does hang around this goal, and has done historically for years. The tools are now available to complete the task, and yet it remains undone… and there’s understanding now as to why because once this is fixed, there are bigger demons to face. No matter. Getting nowhere is no longer an option. Wasting time on things and people who do not care is also part of the past. The future is written on my terms.

The next time we talk about this, I’ll have my 10 pounds lost badge.