The End

This was due to be the 25th’s post, but was shoved to the 26th because not even I am doing a Christmas Day blog, even via the medium of scheduling.

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In 2018 an awful lot was learnt. This remains a long and complex journey ahead, but there are some very important takeaways from a year’s worth of listening to other people tell me what to do on Social media. A lot of stuff doesn’t stick, or is simply lost in the miasma of What Happened Before, but that which remains…

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Thing #1: Don’t pin success on One Great Hope.

I watch those people lucky enough to have made Long Lists or have manuscripts with publishers and know all too well this is exception and not the rule. If all there was in my arsenal was one novel to throw at the people who pay money to print books, things would get quite depressing pretty quickly. So, this year I chose to diversify, and it got results. This has proven to me that this woman can write not only to a brief, but in a manner that’s compelling enough to get her noticed.

That means that this year, same again, whilst expanding on a portfolio of work.

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Thing #2: Yes, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Everybody and his mother are on the hustle. Getting genuine feedback remains a rarity, compliments are few and far between. When you do receive, hold onto these brilliant moments for all you are worth, because their like may never be seen again. My first review is stuck on the wall, in a frame, reminder that I won this contest because the poem did what was asked of it.

All you can do is write your best, every time, and hope it sticks.

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Thing #3: We accept the love we think we deserve.

I’m not very good at listening, even worse at learning. However, slowly but surely, things are getting better. That also goes for accepting compliments, being a good communicator, and making sure that contributions remain fair and constant. Although the temptation remains sometimes to pretend I can’t hear you and nobody is listening, it doesn’t last for very long. Eventually, we all need other people, like it or not. It is time to learn to get on with the world better, and realise that maybe, just maybe, I deserve more than I think.


#Blogmas is done now. We’ll start with the new stuff on the 31st. I promise in advance: NO RESOLUTIONS.

Nobody Does it Better

We are living in a Procedural World
and I am a Procedural Girl…

I absolutely ADORE a good TV Detective show. Ironically, I’ve not seen a Sherlock episode (but with Christmas coming that will hopefully be amended) but have managed a fair number of CSI‘s in my time [all flavours.] Right now I’m using Amazon to trawl my way through the NCIS back catalogue. Really, honestly, I’ll take anything if it a) makes me think and b) has decent ensemble chemistry. That’s the most important factor in my TV watching. All these people have to look like they would really get on.

As a kid I can remember Hill Street Blues and Ironside, Quincy and Columbo¬†with fondness. Satellite TV also allows me the luxury of trawling back through historical gems such as Poirot and the various incarnations of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, though nothing really beats Margaret Rutherford’s superlative filmic incarnation of the character… part of a Saturday afternoon tradition that became a significant part of my early years.

This is part of the reason why good stories matter to me far more than just special effects and surface imagery when translated to film or TV: there is a phenomenal amount of my past built from such narratives, and the desire to place human interest above the ridiculous or overly distracting. I have written a couple of murder mysteries in my time, but amazingly this genre isn’t one I feel could ever have decent justice done to it (pun very much intended.)

This is very much in the ‘enjoyment, not a job’ part of existence, and long may that continue…

The Big Sky

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Good Morning ūüĎć

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I’ve recently replaced my ancient Fruit Phone. Some of you would do a like for like exchange, but I’ve picked the Chinese upgrade that isn’t here for apps or looks, but comes with three Leica camera lenses. Photography is a love affair that began in my teens and shows no sign of diminishing. My obsession, as has been the case for decades, are the images with details often only I seem to find attractive.

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Now, of course, there’s comprehension as to why patterns such as these are so pleasing (and often reassuring, I’ll be honest.) There is a decent spread of subject matter in my work however: places, people, and only the occasional obsession into details. You’ll see my Instagram work linked on the front page, and nearly all of my artwork utilises my own work alongside stock photography. For the more curious, there’s a Flickr page with the complete history in pictures.

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I will admit to an obsession with looking up: late nights, early mornings, and the reminder that another day will take away the pain of before and help build strength going forward. It is also the intractable reminder of our place in the Universe, memo to be grateful for everything that is presented and not waste any time in enjoying the moment. This is the bit that’s still a struggle, but in the glorious brightness of the sunny days, everything is considerably easier.

There’ll be a lot more photography in the future, and as days begin to get longer in a few weeks you can bet that will involve being outside with the camera…

Negotiations and Love Songs

This is #Blogmas, and welcome to a month’s worth of posts which are supposed to act as a shop window for the site and my content. All the images you’ll see this month are pulled, in roughly historical order, from the archives of various websites, pages and social media forum in which I have existed, since the Internet was downloaded on a modem and all you had was text.

In the main these were either made for me, or I did it myself, and looking at my archives there appears to be quite a lot of them.

Let’s begin therefore with a quick overview.

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And You Are?

I have an actual biography page.¬†It has existed for as long as my personal site has been here, which (according to the files) is October 6th, 2011. My Warcraft site came into being on February 2nd, 2009 which means, as of next month, it will be almost a decade since I started blogging. It’s like a completely different world between there and now.

What am I saying, it IS a completely different world, and if anyone tried to write this as fiction, nobody would believe it.


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What Do You Do?

I love to make graphics, and did¬†that for nearly two decades, with lots of other stuff, often in an attempt to impress people who really didn’t really care that much at the results. I’ve been in and out of numerous fandoms. My daughter worries that she’s got no consistency in that regard, but considering my track record… it’s clearly genetic.

I’ve treated a lot of people really poorly too, but in my defence only now is it clear why that happened, and I’m really sorry. No, genuinely it’s the truth, but I’m not off to offer any olive branches any time soon. The past, for everybody’s mental health, needs to stay exactly where it was left.

What I wanted to do more than graphics however was to write. It just needed a while to remember how that happened well. It has taken about 18 years more or less;¬†now we’ve arrived at the point where, with some confidence, there is progress.


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Deep Thought

The process of redemptive blogging really began thanks to World of Warcraft. There were blogs before (and a LiveJournal account I still get the odd acknowledgement from) plus a Facebook page which was sensibly closed well before all the real drama began.

I’ve adopted various pseudonyms and now, in the last week, was my my real name attached back to this website. I only do this with the knowledge both mind and body is ready for whatever the consequences of such actions will be.

That’s taken a phenomenal amount of work. I suffered from depression, anxiety and self esteem issues for decades. We’ve reduced that to just anxiety now, and to maintain it that way is a priority. Understanding why all this happened has been a tough ask, but now I am in control of my own destiny.

Most of the toxic elements in my life have been purged. This is the best it has ever been. This is the happiest I’ve ever felt.


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The Grand Plan

Yes, I want to get my work published. No, I’m not expecting miracles. Yes, hard work is its own reward. No, you don’t get anything unless it is worked for. This website is part of a plan to produce content, on my terms. At the same time, I’m entering contests and looking to generate pieces that others will think good enough to reproduce.

There’s at least one epic Science Fiction novel in me, but more and more there’s the pull of something far more personal. What that means going forward is anybody’s guess. I pulled out of NaNoWriMo this year: there’s too much left unfinished. That’s getting fixed starting today.

Lots of things get fixed starting now.


So, this is the starting point. Tomorrow, we’ll deal in some specifics.