Somersault

It occurs to me that constantly having to keep yourself accountable is a lot harder work than it first appears, especially when people are paying to help you progress. It is easy to see how so many people in the arts industry burn out so quickly: it is a treadmill, and it never stops. Therefore, training yourself to be able to get on and off whilst the thing is still moving is the skill I’m now very glad to have grasped.

Over the last week, a lot of plans have been put in place, yet again, and others have had their objectives subtly realigned. By the end of October we should have the self-published pamphlet ready to roll, but this is going to depend on pricing from printers, which I can’t finalise until the contents of said pamphlet are complete… finishing matters more than anything else. Then, once my graphic design skills have been tested…

Needless to say, if I’m not in the right mindset, this is all an awful lot harder.

There’ll be more news on this project on the 15th šŸ˜€

Love What You Do

I’ve learnt a lot in the past year. Most of that’s come in the form of just how much time things take to work out the way you want them. Therefore, planning early and often has become the watch phrase.Ā It means I’ve cheekily skipped last week’s episodic fiction to ensure the next part of the story is told properly, and in the way it needs to be. Most of you won’t notice the changes happening, of course, but for me they are life savers.

That means February’s mostly planned. Paper HeartsĀ is gonna be my Instagram project: bit of poetry, some photography, nothing too fancy. Some days, just gonna be words. I like the idea of not being totally focussed on imagery this time. However, there has to be a LOT of work on the other parts of my equation, and now there’s no immediate timescale around certain projects, this can all be achieved in a far less stressful environment.

February also has some things to look forward to on top of the scheduled.

spidermaster

It’s Time to Talk day on February 6th (effectively two weeks from now) and there will be many words in my various places online during that period. I’ve also booked a creative writing workshop for the following week, so there’s something more to talk about than my own projects. Plus, there is the aborted from this month Video Content that will finally see the light of day.

Also, we get a SUPER BONUS FREE DAY on the 29th that isn’t normally there at all and it would be a foolish woman who did not plan something special for that. So I will, except as of right now I am not entirely certain what this thing will be. It’s going to be clever and massive and may actually involve tea (both beverage and mealtime) now I come to think of it and OH YES THAT’S A BRILLIANT IDEA…

Better go write this down whilst I remember it…

Blue Sky Thinking :: Guilt

[INT; Alt’s Brain. This place resembles a badly-organised office, with filing cabinets open, paperwork strewn across soft, padded desks, chairs and work-surfaces. In the middle stand GOOD and EVIL, both dressed in matching white and red suits respectively, staring at the mess, before turning to look at each other…]

GOOD: Okay, so we’re in agreement: cessation of hostilities until this place is returned to some form of functional order, yes?

BAD:Ā Agreed, and it might be an idea to locate the staff. After all, it’s only been a month away and her brain resembles an explosion in the Amazon ‘Back to School’ section…

[A pile of papers next to a filing cabinet shifts and falls, revealing a woman fast asleep. She’s dressed all in black, with a cloth mask wrapped around the lower half of her face.]

GOOD: Well, there’s someone, what is she supposed to be doing?

[BAD pulls out a small tablet PC from his pocket and hands it to GOOD, who scrolls through a document. Her face crinkles, then enlightenment is located.]

GOOD: That’s Guilt.

BAD: Bet they’re not the only one sleeping on the job. I’ll handle the rude awakening, you see if you can locate Organisation in this mess and we might have a fighting chance of getting somewhere…


It is said that guilt is a strong motivator. I prefer my life not to be ruled by such toxic emotions, but eventually there is always a reckoning. When yours arrives, make sure you’re ready to deal with the fallout. No emotion, just facts and truths are enough.

Always know your exits.


Guilt

If there were memory
these accusations thrown,
hate, recriminations
annoyances unknown:
something more than disquiet
undoubted disbelief
at least complicity
not seeking your relief.

Your histories held close
forgotten in my time
both grief and anger burn
your torture not sublime.
Removal of our past
choice, history rewrites
compassion isnā€™t lacked
our countless nasty fights.

Happy to play villain
easier coat to wear
feel free, feign ignorance
that part of you not there.
These toxic memories
have always been the case
renounce harsh hate for love:
put feelings in their place.

If this means loneliness
an ostracism made
decision instant, right,
my cards already played.
Your guilt will not redress
through otherā€™s words and deeds
leave now, and close that door
only your heart that bleeds.


Words

As a writer, I commit any number of heinous mistakes whenever words are committed to a screen. Over time, those have become easier to spot: word repetition, bad grammar, a real problem knowing where apostrophesĀ go. Earning a high-grade English degree, back in the day, is no guaranteeĀ of competence: nouns are naming words, verbs are doing words, but a lot of definition points in between will need to be double-checked with Google for reassurance. The point to be made at the end of this paragraph is that nobody is perfect.

As a writer, other people place a level of expectation on your ability. Publishers will expect you to know how to present work to them for assessment. Although it might not need to be edited to a plateau of confidence, knowing what flows and works is a bonus. Understanding there is more than one way of stating ‘I woke up and went to kill a dragon’ is useful, but that statement in itself is perfectly acceptable as a final draft if placed in the correct context. Learning how to write is not just editing your work, or knowing which version of your prose is the one you stop fiddling with as a perfectionist.

throwsomeshade.gif

I’ve needed nearly a decade writing about a video game to finally feel comfortable with the words that are produced, but it will never be a perfect world. Even with autocorrect and multiple edits, the stupid still gets through. A testimonial was written in the week for the Physiotherapist who has returned my left arm to pretty much the state it was before the incident with tripping up over my own legs. It was sent with one word missing, which pretty much altered the entire point of the piece. I’d read that word in my head, but it did not exist on the page. The best writers still fuck up. This is a constant process, and will never end.

yeahyoufailed

The one area I’ve not really explored is experimental, off the beaten track kind of wordplay that ArgutoĀ will give the opportunity to muck about with. This site now becomes a place not just for the Twitter-related content but for the exploration of how writing can and should evolve, expanding to fill countless spaces available. With the capacity to write being combined with photography and digital devices, new technology and old ideas have the means by which they can be redefined and improved.

However, at theĀ heartĀ of this all there is tradition and comfort to fall back on. Learning how to be a better writer will continue until my last breath.