Tragedy

Sometimes, like it or not, it’s time to admit your shortcomings.

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I am a curious mix of many things: an awful lot of Internet, social pressure, parenthood, genre bias… and the list goes on. So much, from so many often contrary sources. Music is an essential part of that, so is computer gaming. Writing, photography… you get the picture. Except, in the last two years, a lot of the foundations on which this picture was created has slipped away, out of my control.

Therefore, we have reached the point where it becomes necessary to go find the original pictures on which my puzzle is created and work out what pieces are missing or damaged. Except, in that process, there’s a revelation: I’m not restricted by that original look and feel. There is absolutely no requirement to keep living in the 80’s, or pretending it’s the 90’s. Nostalgia is what underpins other people’s lives and not mine.

You can create different compositions with the same pieces. Who knew?

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My long form fiction, it transpires, has become an incredibly useful timeline when it comes to demonstrating how much has been learnt in the last decade. It also means that this work is not anywhere near the quality I need to try and sell myself with. With an important couple of submissions coming up, time to be brutally honest. What you think is great has elements of that within, but needs a heck of a lot of work.

Poetry right now is going great guns: proof of that’s becoming apparent. Short stories also have a phenomenal amount going for them, and working on those is absolutely worth time and effort. The long form, however, needs you to evolve further than is already the case. You’re not good enough. Not yet. It’ll come, in time, just like everything else has and for now, getting upset about what’s been lost is counter-productive.

Time to accept reality before drawing a line in the sand.

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Making life changes is hard work, kids. You don’t sleep properly. Lots of old stuff you’d conveniently forgotten about rises up and attempts to ruin progress made. Just remember that conflict makes the most potent source material. What you are now, after all, is a form of intellectual evolution.

Time to work out what I can save with confidence.

Look Up

We’re behind, which for those of you on Social media will be no surprise. My second computer, pretty much essential for remote work and gaming, has become nothing more than an expensive paperweight. It has forced a fairly significant rethink not only of working space but of the next few weeks, and it is with a clear conscience and only the best of intentions that I’ll be withdrawing from NaNoWriMo.

This event has been part of my life since 2011, and in the seven years participated (I missed 2014) I’ve only failed to finish once. A second time is not a defeat, but really rather significant: November is the month where I’ve altered most as a person. There’s no real idea why either, but the majority of significant personal changes and positives shifts seems to happen just before Christmas hits. This year is no exception.

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Taking the opportunity to leave now also means there’s no panic about what happens next. It will allow me to get back to EX/WHI (which I’ve missed) and that means a change to the scheduled web maintenance and other gubbins that were planned for the end of the month. The rest of this week are now blocked for replacing the old machine, reorganising my tech here and deciding what happens next. We’ll start a new schedule on Monday as a result.

It feels important at this point to stand up and walk away. I could have simply ridden through November and not mentioned it, but that’s no longer the kind of person I am. Instead, it becomes the means by which lots of other stuff gets sorted, which in the end will matter more long term. It gives me the chance to organise beyond a weekly deadline, or a daily word count. Taeken will be finished, but only when there’s time and ability to do so properly.

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Yup, I did fail. Once upon a time that would have hamstrung progress for months, but not any more. Being able to admit stuff and move on remains the most difficult and painful lesson learnt at any point in writing. There’s a ton of other stuff waiting for attention, which if organised well have a far more significant impact on progress and attainment going forward. Central to that is editing a piece that I’ve wanted to finish all year, and that’s essential to the new direction.

Quality, when all is said and done, triumphs over quantity. That’s where the journey is pushing now, and that is the path to follow. It is time to focus on taking what’s already done and making it better.

It’s also high time I made a cuppa.

All Change

I’ve never been very good at change. It takes time, effort and often quite a lot of stress in order to cope with the unexpected, or at least it used to. This week, a couple of rather significant Real Life issues dropped in my lap and neither are avoidable. As life is what it is, that means that the massive set of plans for October need to be shifted, as there will simply not be enough time to complete them to a level that I’ll be happy with.

So, what does this mean moving forward?

The Spaces Between

Next week includes National Poetry Day on the 4th: for this I’ll be presenting 24 Haiku, one per hour for the entire day, with some appropriate visual accompaniment. Because of previously stated RL upheaval, the Symphony project is being shifted to start on November 1st instead. Your weekly haiku and micropoetry are back to cover the gap, plus a return to scheduled daily content following last week’s ‘break.’ As for #Narrating2018 and #Soundtracking2018?

I’ll give you those details tomorrow.

Last Gasp

If you enjoyed last month’s Short Story, October’s will be of interest (don’t want to spoil it for you, tune in on Monday) and undoubtedly some other gubbins will turn up. The only submittables this month are four planned poems, and they’ll be easy enough to complete… then there’s NaNoWriMo coming up, and we’ve already got a plan in mind for that.

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Excited yet? I am. No, REALLY. So much stuff to look forward to, and finally the ability to grasp that if you want everything to work, that requires effort.

See you on Monday 😀

This Is The Day

Tuesday, June 19th will be remembered for many years to come. Not a hugely remarkable day, all told, but one that redefines what I am. The details are recorded elsewhere for posterity: I’d expected to want to talk more about the consequences of the diagnosis but, as it transpires, there’s no real desire to do so. I stuck three letters in my main Twitter bio and left it at that.

A label is not required to be properly defined to the World, simply myself.

There’s too much work to be done out here in the fields first. I’ll let the rest of the World point out their differences and fight amongst themselves. The true renaissance will, I suspect come from altering individual human experiences: once you can be confident in what you are, then positivist will grow in the fertile ground that confidence provides. The future will not be defined by those who stood up and demanded individual attention, but by those who worked tirelessly, often without widespread recognition, to make the World around them a better place for everybody and not just themselves.

It is important to understand what matters in your own existence as a starting point. For me, the diagnosis is largely irrelevant, as I’ve had decades to adjust and cope with how my mind works. Tuesday, June 19th was for everybody else in that regard. What gets taken from that day in a personal capacity is the liberation of expectation and an increase of understanding from others. Without the worry that others won’t accommodate or understand my social restrictions, there’s plenty of space to just get on with the jobs in hand.

I’d like to welcome you to the beginning of what is already shaping up to be a significant Cultural Renaissance.