A Love Supreme

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This week, I signed up for the first (and second) part of my formal training to become a Mental health Champion. By the end of January, everything will be in place, and it will be time to take the next step into a wider Universe. There’ll be a Time to Talk day in February, of course, but after that… well, that’s a question. I’ve already talked about what can be expected in terms of the site’s content.

Now it is time to talk about me.

This year has been one of the toughest personally I’ve ever experienced. Quite apart from a stay in hospital, my health’s been a point of contention. Everything is crossed for some clear air ahead. Christmas will be a time to finally recover and when blood tests are finally done in January… I’ve done all that can be to improve my iron levels and reduce cholesterol. If it’s not enough, the consequences will be coped with.

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That’s the biggest single change since last year. Before these hurdles and setbacks would put mind and body back weeks, often months. Not any more. Failure has become copeable, fuel to keep me going. Each rejection still hurts, however, and there’s never going to be a point where that’s not the case. However, how I deal with those rejections is going to change going forward.

Most importantly of all, forcing myself into Mental health counselling was the most significant thing I could ever have done for everyone. What has been dislodged as a result will take many, many years to finally deal with. Some of it may never be coped with at all, of course, but that’s not your problem to worry about. Last week, trauma over dentistry was exposed to the light for the first time in over 40 years.

The next time that has to happen, and it will, I’ll be considerably happier.

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For everything else, there is time, and writing. You can expect more passion and anger in my work, less fear and anxiety. There may well be other avenues to pursue with that too: I have a microphone set up with a webcam on my PC. There’s a video editing programme standing by. Although I can’t promise Hollywood production values, I have standards. Words and pictures will appear in 2020.

I’ll see you soon.

Look Out Any Window

Lots of things matter to me. Some are fairly frivolous (see Bond fan fiction) but others come from a lifetime of noticing stuff other people seem to overlook. Environmentalism has been in my life since my teens, donating to Friends of the Earth for over thirty years. We don’t send gifts to close family and relations any more: instead the money that would be spent goes to charities so that it can be used in the most productive fashion possible.

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In the last couple of years, I’ve really learnt to appreciate the value of other people in my life, and how seemingly random interactions can add up to significant and meaningful online friendships. For the last two years therefore there’s been the desire to spread love as far and wide as possible, and I’m in the midst of a new crop of thank-yous delivered via Twitter. Follow the hashtag #FromMeToYou as the month continues to get the full range of haiku, and (as was the case last year) they’ll all be archived here for posterity when we’re done.

Finally, there’s the gift that just keeps on giving: the .GIF file. One day, I will write a set of poems eulogising the significance small pieces of looped video have bought to millions of lives. The .GIF Advent has run for a few years now, and is one of my consistently most-watched features on the other Twitter account. It’s also a little ray of daily sunshine for yours truly, because, let’s face it, this stuff can make you happiest of all.

The gift of giving is a beautiful thing.

Beautiful Day

As we’re now closer to March than we are to the start of February, it is probably the moment to discuss what you can expect from next month’s theme. My daughter loves aesthetics: the complementary and the often dissonant, what one person might define as beautiful being a long way from another’s definition. Next month, both here and via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we will be using Aesthetics as the starting point for a number of projects.

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Aesthetics, at least one definition thereof, refers to important principles in Art History. Speaking as a bit of an amateur lover of all things Art Movement next month will have 31 Haiku, available every day via Instagram and on the Internet of Words Twitter feed, which will explain key aesthetics, quite possibly chronologically if I get my life sorted out. So, you get a bit of poetry and some lovely pictures to boot.

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Of course, I’ll be continuing to use You Tube as a place where I don’t make videos but simply highlight other people’s work: in March you’ll get some alternative definitions of beautiful, as well as a bunch of songs about growth and renewal as part of our #Soundtracking2018 initiative. There’ll also be what is turning out to be a rather popular feature, the daily Short Story on the Twitter feed. This month, we’ll be using Valentine’s Day as our starting point, presenting a poignant love story… or is it?

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Needless to say, I have a lot of other ideas on the table for next month: keep your eyes on the official @InternetofWords Twitter for more details closer to the time.

For now, I have some homework to start…

Get Off

Today marks a significant line in the sand for my ability to plan. It is the first week since I started this journey that a complete seven days worth of Social media output is scheduled in advance. In the case of the short story, that’s a full ten days to end on the 31st (a week on Wednesday.) The plan today is to begin February’s story so I can get it to be beta read before next week, and if the planning for THAT works out, it should mean that 28 days worth will be up long before the month is done, thus granting me even more planning time. 

This expansion of the ability to fit my available spaces is having knock-on effects too. It should allow poetry to be scheduled tomorrow for weekend viewing once the daily ‘postings’ are complete… as will be the case with Conjoin. However, as is becoming apparent with each new day unless I write these things down, I do (and will forget) so it is especially vital to keep a running total of what needs to be done and when. My planner has expanded as a result to take in more space for daily notes and, so far, it appears to be working.

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Tonight, therefore, after cycling and domestic tomfoolery, I will throw down the first draft of February’s short story and complete timelines for both The Sayers and Contractus, so I can check I have events in the correct order. This is also the means by which I don’t just sit and stare at a screen for hours on end with no discernable work to show for that time. It is pushing both mind and body to make the most of the time available and not allowing procrastination to gain the upper hand. If that is able to happen for the rest of the week, there will be much rejoicing.

I wonder if this is what being a grown up really feels like?