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.

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.

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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.

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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.Β 

Yes, there will also be haiku.

I look forward to seeing you there.

All Change

I’ve never been very good at change. It takes time, effort and often quite a lot of stress in order to cope with the unexpected, or at least it used to.Β This week, a couple of rather significant Real Life issues dropped in my lap and neither are avoidable. As life is what it is, that means that the massive set of plans for October need to be shifted, as there will simply not be enough time to complete them to a level that I’ll be happy with.

So, what does this mean moving forward?

The Spaces Between

Next week includes National Poetry Day on the 4th: for this I’ll be presenting 24 Haiku, one per hour for the entire day, with some appropriate visual accompaniment. Because of previously stated RL upheaval, the Symphony project is being shifted to start on November 1st instead. Your weekly haiku and micropoetry are back to cover the gap, plus a return to scheduled daily content following last week’s ‘break.’ As for #Narrating2018 and #Soundtracking2018?

I’ll give you those details tomorrow.

Last Gasp

If you enjoyed last month’s Short Story, October’s will be of interest (don’t want to spoil it for you, tune in on Monday) and undoubtedly some other gubbins will turn up. The only submittables this month are four planned poems, and they’ll be easy enough to complete… then there’s NaNoWriMo coming up, and we’ve already got a plan in mind for that.

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Excited yet? I am. No, REALLY. So much stuff to look forward to, and finally the ability to grasp that if you want everything to work, that requires effort.

See you on Monday πŸ˜€

Write Now :: The Book of Shame

I don’t know how other writers deal with rejection, except that it is something that anyone who writes will encounter the moment they throw themselves into competition. It is the inevitable consequence of attempting to be noticed, belief that one is only worthy when a total stranger decides your writing deserving of a wider audience. The problem, of course, is picking up confidence after failure, then carrying on.

I’m not sure if this is novel or not, but rejection here is dealt with via the Book of Shame.

Ever since I started entering contests in 2017, this is where the stuff is remembered: a copy of my poetry printed out, then stuck in place, with accompanying notes to remind what inspired the pieces, and what was learnt from them. The idea is to try and evolve after each piece or group of poems, alter approach and style to better mach the increasing amount of poetry that is being read, and then finally to transcend the feelings of failure. Shame, in this case, is not a bad emotion. It is the understanding that from failure comes progress, and to recall how that took place is as important as the poetry itself.

It’s easy to print the collections in a tiny format on my shonky printer: four poems to a page of A4 and then they’re cut up and stapled together. One of these two will now have four poems added for a second hit at a pamphlet submission, because I honestly think it is good enough. This is the first time that’s happened, and hopefully not the last. It will only get easier if I do more work, after all, and my workload/schedule is beginning to bear fruit in that regard. Who knew that if you keep writing, things get better?

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In the unlikely event I do hit the jackpot, its where I’ll have lots of lovely background stuff to pull from as what inspired me to write in the first place. Whatever happens, it has become a way of celebrating progress and not allowing failure to consume me.

This Book of Shame is one of the most important things I’ve ever made.

Things We Lost in the Fire

Sometimes, I take things WAY too seriously. It’s been like this for decades, too: it isn’t just a mental shortcoming, either. I’d love to be able to say the wiring in my head is to blame, which means I’ll often completely misinterpret signals. Yes, that happens, and there’s comprehension as to why… but other times, it really isn’t.Β Really specific stuff upsets me. Thoughtlessness, arrogance and the inability to possess even basic empathy. When you politely disagree with someone and their reaction is to give you the finger. Nothing says mature and sensible like the bird, actual or metaphorical. That’s probably why I use it so much because, on my day, I’m that person too.

Except you’ll never see it happen.

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I am tired, and need a holiday, and so my tolerance is low. Things other people find funny I will object to, but with a perfectly sensible set of reasons… except there’s no point in listing them. Repeating them is largely redundant if your target audience is gonna flip you the bird and explain that you’re the problem. Get a sense of humour, lighten up, why are you so serious?Β I’m this way because these things matter to me: when the tables turn, and you get incandescently angry over summat I agree with, remind us to have the conversation again and then perhaps you might listen, though I doubt it.

Today I realised how my writing has become the means by which these problems are solved without conflict.

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Short stories and poetry are becoming metaphors for far more than simply my own internal demons. Other people’s actions are now being exorcised, their attitudes that can be so painful to read or observe. I have, in my poetry submissions, also dealt with Brexit and the Internet as general contentious topics: it was never meant to be political, but just ended up that way.Β What was provocation at 2.15 then vanishes into a poem or paragraph by teatime and all the angst is forgotten. This is certainly cheaper than therapy.

Ironically, it is the level of noise and discomfort that the Internet has always emanated which gave inspiration today for another project, which will be presented as part of a submission for theΒ Hollingworth Prize for Poetry, the closing date for which is the end of August. If unsuccessful, I’ve already got plans afoot to self-publish, as this will make up a fully fledged creative project. Experience has shown me that you don’t go into these situations without being prepared for failure, and whatever happens, this is already a concept I’m proud of.

This is all part of the process of remaining sane, arguments and all. I’m not here to be lectured to or shoved about either, there’s been far too much of that in the past. Now, things happen on my terms.

If I fall down, it doesn’t matter.

Beautiful Dreamer

That graphic means only one thing, and it’s TIME TO LOOK AHEAD. Lots to talk about, so let’s get started.

  • This Website Needs Reorganisation

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    If I’m sending potential mentors here, it time to get things sorted. At least two pages as of writing this have no content. I can reorganise some links to be more coherent. Mostly, it all needs a once over and the smell of fresh bread to be more enticing. Therefore, over the next couple of days, stuff will magically appear. Plus, I’ll be dragging out the essays that were written for the Book of the Month project…

  • ‘Quite a Few’ Short Stories in Planning

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    This feature has really taken off over the last few months, and it is consistently (along with the curated music lists) my top engagement with readers. As a result, we have a bit of a binge on, with content being planned a massive SIX MONTHS in advance.Β I think, on return from the break in September, we’ll stick a synopsis at the start of the Twitter feed before the story proper begins…

  • The August Poetry Recap

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    As I have mentioned previously, August is a ‘content lite’ month. However, Twitter will, every day at 2pm (@Internetofwords) and 6pm (@AlternativeChat) provide you with one of the best poems from the last six months, as a reminder that I’m still alive even if on hiatus, and that I’ve written a LOT of poetry since the start of this journey. Yeah, some of it is better than the rest, but HEY everybody has to begin somewhere…

  • Gumroad ‘Coming in October’

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    All things being equal, I’ll have Issue 1 of Arguto to sell at some point in the future. It will give you a tangible piece of literary output, with content not available anywhere else, including pictures and, guaranteed: one short story, one haiku plus a micropoetry sequence. It’s going to Gumroad, as will be some other exclusive items you can buy to help support my journey. Watch this Space.

  • Instagram is Back (well, sort of)

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    No, I’m not Facebook’s bitch, but if IoW is gonna fly, I am gonna need to sacrifice a piece of the soul to the Commercial Gods. This is particularly true now they do video. When the new stuff is ready to go, I’ll let you know, but it will be art/poetry based… and there’s already planning…

  • Supporting My Journey

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This is your scheduled reminder that I’ll take Paypal payments and you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-Fi. If you’d like to donate, click here.


Shut Up

Let me tell you a story, this sunny Monday, of how words can set you free.

In an attempt to try and kickstart my writing career, I took a course at the local Community College. It remains a very Victorian building on the outside, but vastly modern within, and is exactly how you’d imagine Community College from TV shows.Β It was, that first time (two courses were taken) new life in the mornings after kids went to School, and made me feel like, FINALLY, I’d escaped the confines of my own personally-imposed prison. For context, this was (I think) 2011. It seems like a lifetime ago, which with the changes that have now been wrought is not far from the truth.

My teacher was a revelation. He ran (and possibly still does) a comic book appreciation website… yup, it’s still there. I’ll probably follow him once I’ve written this and see if he returns the gesture, but I digress. He was the person who made me realise that my reality, the one that had been self-imposed and created in the panic of Post Natal Depression wasn’t anywhere near the truth of my potential. He was the person, when I read a piece of work with a swear word in it to the group, remarked at how much I clearly relished saying something that wouldn’t normally be uttered in public.

On reflection, this man’s actions began a significant moment in my renaissance.

The restrictions others attempt to place upon you, in their attempts to mould existence in their own image, have been an issue since that bloke on the mountain with his tablets of lore.Β Ironically, that guidance is still being used as truth in a modern would which bears no resemblance to the one that book was created for as rules. It doesn’t stop those who want to make their points with fire and brimstone, so I wonder why people like this get so bothered that women won’t be happy, submissive partners. Fuck that for a game of soldiers, why not just let people do as they wish?

We all know why that doesn’t happen.

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If you want something enough, you work for it. My creative writing teacher, whether it was intentional or not, provided me with some vital fuel for a fire that would not previously burn, but thanks to him, now does.Β When I look back at those weeks where there was purpose in my actions, that it felt good to be surrounded by individuals whoΒ  had at least one thing in common. That’s what’s missed the most in this journey, that there’s still a desire to hang out with those who enjoy words as much as I do. Perhaps it is time I sorted that out.

Maybe this can be that beginning.


[PS: He did follow me back. Cheers Carl, this blog’s for you <3]