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.

wierdman

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.

yeahyoufailed

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.

Oops I did It Again

Remember when I said everything was ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow? Well, it really was for weeks and weeks and then suddenly BOOM out of left field came a moment of pure random.

Previously, there was a poll:

…and then there was some shonky organisation yesterday.

Well, it’s now all up there and I’m committed. Starting tomorrow, we’re all about the story of how one short, stocky Wolf Girl overcomes immense adversity and saves her star system, ably assisted by a Fish Man and an Ape Woman. Oh, and there is a symbiotic spaceship as well.

I really hope I know what I’m doing.

In Pursuit of Happiness

Yup, it’s that time again. November is (checks calendar) NEXT WEEK and so, we need a graphic for the upcoming ‘write a novel in a month’ journey and some definitive idea of what the fuck is going on. Fortunately, both of these things are well in hand.

NaNoWriMo

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s my mate Tessa explaining why 50k words in a month is such a big deal.ย For me, this is my eighth year taking part, and (hopefully) the fifth year required wordage will be complete at the end. We’ve discussed the plot here, and I’m not going to spend any more time going over details. However, I will find the time to share some of my personal insights over a decade, including that horrible moment when all the planning goes to hell and characters rebel against your well-organised planning.

It’s happened for the last three years and already, I’m hearing mutters of discontent from my major players…

cakehole

However, there’s a ton of stuff that needs to happen beforehand, including a rather important submission that is likely to take up all of my Monday. Therefore, it’s high time I got the backlog of work sorted and the new stuff prepared. All things being equal, we’re going to move into a new phase of work (and visuals) beginning on November 1st.

I’ll see you there ๐Ÿ˜€

Goodbye

Sometimes it is hard to accept that occasionally, progress needs to be sacrificed in order to allow growth. Having begin to grow fruit this year in our garden, that notion is very much being learnt as plants rot in the ground that’s either been far too dry or now excessively wet. The strong and healthy survive, whilst inevitable losses will be removed. Then comes the choice of what gets dug over or composted, and what remains capable of surviving another year.

gardening.gif

Those of you paying attention will notice that, across the next week, a number of posts on this site have been composted. I’m doing a quality sweep, in effect, meaning the best remains but the rest is detached. The features that have been introduced in the last few weeks will be reviewed, and after the NaNoWriMo ‘break’ in November we’ll decide which ones return long-term. Everything that doesn’t make the cut gets electronically shredded, but as no more than about a dozen people saw this stuff? No great loss.

What won’t be removed, and is only going to get stronger, is as follows:

  • Short Stories
  • Weekly Poetry
  • YouTube Playlists
  • Special Twitter Projects
  • Episodic Fiction
  • Special Events

With that in mind, Wednesday this week is quite important.

teaandtalklandscape

I’m holding a Virtual Tea and Talk Day on Wednesday 10th, this will include (obviously not real) tea and cake but real talk about how my mental issues are under control for the first time in (at least) two decades. It will be about offering understanding and support too, plus there’s a good chance I’ll be trying to get some of you to part with your cash.ย 

Yes, there will also be haiku.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Poetry Archive :: Grace

The haiku, on the other hand, goes from strength to strength. It’s the fact there’s structure that makes this much easier to write. My ASD brain thrives within structure.

I gotta fix that and see if there is the means to allow chaos to thrive more…


Grace

Calm, unruffled shift
compose yourself: commencing
graceful attitude.

Ignore fanciful
focus instead: rotating
facets reflecting.

Develop passion,
enquiring: development
mindโ€™s enlightenment.

From depths of belief
soulโ€™s true calling: reasoning,
remake this life, whole.

Emerging, reborn
eloquence: serenity
perfect conclusion.


Blue Sky Thinking :: Doubt

[INT; Alt’s Brain.ย Things have definitely improved since our last visit. Papers have been filed, cabinets are slowly being refilled. The skeleton staff of GUILT and REMORSE are beginning to make some inroads, revealing lavender walls and a dark blue carpet. GOOD and EVILย have their own separate desks, on which are piled roughly even stacks of folders, behind which is a whiteboard with a series of To Do Tasks marked in red and black.

GOOD returns from the coffee machine with two mugs, placing one on her desk before taking the other to BAD, when she stops, face creasing in confusion… ]

GOOD: How many sugars did you say again?

BAD: I’m going to write this on a Post It and staple it to your jacket. Every day is the same: I say two, you repeat it after me, then off you go and forget!

GOOD: I *think* there’s two in there, but the best way is for you to drink it and let me know –

BAD: It’s BLACK COFFEE woman, I can’t drink that now, it’s far too hot!

[DOUBT suddenly materialises between them, dressed only in underpants and a reindeer headband.]

DOUBT: There’s no sugar, you were distracted by Beauty at the water-cooler again, YOU FAIL!

[As quickly as he appeared, DOUBT is gone, leaving the faint whiff of Stilton in his wake. With a heavy sigh, GOOD trudges back to the machine. BAD watches her with a satisfied smile. These shortcomings were always her undoing…]


I tried yesterday to explain what is like when I experience a mental overload. Then it occurred to me that poetry might be quite useful as a descriptor in this situation. This poem’s existed on the hard drive for a while, but never with a confidence to use as explanation. The time has come.

This is my brain, folks. It’ll be here all week.


Doubt

Disparate threads, basic command
thwarted, abortive path untied
slack flax unwoven, memories
playback fast freeze instruction,
coil induction feedback loop
return track, switch back, look out
reload to starting point.

Every action, reproduction
remember how, order direction
exhaustion, normal purpose
fatigue makes it worse, rehearse
varied needs, cover all, enthral
then overload, as brain explodes.
Noise, sound, panic compounds.

Sit, breathe, withdraw, ignore
wait, noise abates with time
blissful calm, relief morphs doubt
Iโ€™ll never find my way back out.
To dream, one day, far away
dissonance dim history.
Then sleep, escape myself.


Poetry Archive :: Mellow

Writing haiku has never really presented a problem, but this restart will give an opportunity to try and be a bit more creative with my imagery. Life, after all, should always be about improvement…


Mellow

Exhale, entwining
brambleโ€™s thorn: protection sharp
relief, juice running.

Seeds burst, explosion
air filled arousal; inhale
winterโ€™s cool foreplay.

Stretching days contract,
hour sacrificed: dark gods
conjure fresh secrets.

Bare arms warm wool-wrapped,
chill morning glass: pumpkin spice
flavours memories.

Summer hanging on
fingertips, slipping: fallen
leaves mark, transition.