School’s Out

Here’s a thing. I’m off to what I suppose should be referred to as an Evening Class tonight, and am rather excited at the prospect.

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I wish there were more money to be able to do stuff like this with greater frequency, but it’s just not practical, when a London-based course could cost the equivalent of the monthly food budget. I’m already saving as it is for Mslexicon this year, and that means making some harsh decisions in the next couple of weeks as how everything is funded. I’m already making all the savings possible to let this happen.

However, there is an ulterior motive to doing a couple of hours on the High Street tonight: this venue has an open mic in two weeks, which will be a perfect opportunity in which to take some problematic poetry with me for performance later in the year. It also gives me a focus for the two days writing time I’ve booked at the local Arts Collective next month, as part of the county’s Book Festival.

It allows an opportunity to extend experience to other places.

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All of these venues are on my doorstep, so travel costs are minimal: the two day ‘hot desk’ opportunity is free as well, so I would have been very remiss to have not taken that one up. More importantly than that, of course, the capacity for networking exceeds all other benefits: if you want to be know, you do unfortunately have to put yourself about, and until I gain Banksy levels of notoriety, that’s a given.

It’s the part of this job description I’ve always struggled with, with social anxiety always there as a reminder that you’re never as prepared as you think is enough. However, each time something like this happens, undoubtedly things get easier. That whole thing about practice isn’t just restricted to exercise, after all. Doing something every day has considerable benefit in both brain and body.

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I have a t-shirt for the evening all picked. I will take something pre-written as a starting point to improve. I’ve packed business cards and favourite pencils. All that needs to happen now is to get through the rest of the day unscathed and this will be the first of a number of small rewards, to myself, for distinctive progress made. After all, even the most hardened of professionals benefits from some quality ‘them’ time.

I’ll report on the evening Friday, via a blog.

Feed Me Seymour

In a revelation to me this morning, but not so much to Science, I realised my brain is, more or less, a gigantic filtration system. To demonstrate, I have borrowed this graphic that somebody else made and relabelled it for myself:

This means that I take in a ton of stuff from various sources (where news is a constant and the reactions can be derived from a large number of sources) and then react to it. The time stuff stays in my filtration unit is directly relateable to the complexity of the issue. Currently my brain is processing an issue for The Other Blog, and I’m finding a lot of stuff floating to the surface of my tank as a result. There’s the Cult of Personality, for instance: that bloke that lots of people seem to like who had his TV show pulled because he’s allegedly hit a producer. 350,000 people have signed a petition based, I would hope, on the full and detailed explanation of the circumstances behind his suspension to each and every one of them. Nah, didn’t think so. You see, thinking is dangerous. In this immediate world, it takes far too long. Also, if you’re thinking about it you can’t be a part of the spontaneity of Real Life.

That’s like reading, and we know NOBODY does that any more.

Thank you to @SingingPaladin for this 😀


Words are hard. That’s why people are more and more predisposed to go for the visual, to capitalise on the moment, because the attention span of the average person is now so short…


MMMMMM CAKE.

Aaaaaand you get the point.
That’s why I wonder why I bother, with a story written weekly that no more than a handful of people will ever read. Except, that doesn’t matter. It isn’t about making other people happy: if that happens, then its a fabulous, wonderful bonus, that will make me smile and do the baby fistpump. This is about MY HAPPINESS, and that pretty much crucially centres around the ability I have to become a better writer. I don’t frankly care if  most of the world would prefer me on a camera, or talking instead of typing. To become a better person a LOT of stuff needs to make it into the filtration tank and be dealt with. My means to do this is via these here letters and words, and as long as that remains the case the argument for blogging remains unerringly compelling. Seriously, I used a word last week in a podcast script and my Editor pronounces he’s confident he’s never seen this used by anybody else. That’s just WRONG.
Education, at some point, will involve everyone just sitting down and listening. There will inevitably be some reading involved too. Maybe, when these happen, instead of just tuning out, you could try paying attention.
You never know what you might learn if you do.