RSS

It’s How You React to Adversity

“Everybody has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”

“If youโ€™re good and your plan is working, somewhere during the duration of that, the outcome of that event you’re involved in, you’re going to get the wrath, the bad end of the stick. Let’s see how you deal with it. Normally people donโ€™t deal with it that well.”

– Mike Tyson.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Quotes

 

From the Ashes of Sixteen

And wasn’t that a bit of a bastard year? But, then again, the era of multi-generational celebrities is passing and we are losing the icons that were the foundations of the media-crazed world we now inhabit.

For me, after the loss of Lemmy Kilmister, all other celebrity losses are ‘just another death’. I understand that each will impact others in the way that Lemmy’s death hit me. But that’s the point – they didn’t hit me. You might be able to intellectually understand someone’s reaction, but you will never properly (emotionally) understand it unless it meant the same to you.

But, onwards –

Revisiting the usual annual metrics, we see an improvement in some areas – jobhunting: no change (environment worsening), romance: none (with a negative outlook), finances: abysmal (and declining), books published: 4 – bringing the total to 21, including a limited edition of my 20th.

I also upped my flash fiction output, going to four stories per month for 365tomorrows.com from April ’16. And, the creative push required to increase that output has improved the quality of all my work.

Voluntary work/consultation continues in various areas and some new ones.

My fitness has improved slightly, my strength more so, although the lingering damage from past century martial arts is beginning to hinder some exercises. I foresee some time spent at physiotherapy, and/or being told which impairments are permanent, soon.

In summation: the worst things that happened to me in 2016 were largely self-inflicted. I finally learned how to continue writing regardless of the shite going on about me. I have some of the finest friends a man could desire.

As for the world, I now harbour no hopes for an enlightened future in the short-term. We are about to enter a decade of darkness, where fanaticism and greed will dictate the lives of everyone on this planet. Mean hearts and closed minds will come to the fore.

Look to your friends, acquaintances, and neighbours. Know which of them you can rely upon, those you cannot trust, and those that present a threat. Gauge each threat carefully and have some idea of how you could mitigate it. Try to keep at least a weeks worth of canned/non-perishable food and have some way of storing – and collecting – water. If things go to shit, they will go quickly, and you will be unlikely to see it coming. In most cases, a few days of confusion and limited anarchy will be the extent of it. If things get worse, then good luck to all of us. Choose your ground and hold it. Protect those you love. Ally with those you trust. Finally: never judge by appearances or media endorsement.

Predictions? Things are going to get more difficult. More celebrities will die. For many, 2017 is going to be worse than 2016. I still have more stories to write.

With armageddon raining down outside, I’ll be parked in the one solid corner remaining, jotting pencil notes on scraps of paper. Bring more candles. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s have more sense and less hype, shall we?

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Life & Self

 

New World Disorder

And now, like the screaming after Brexit – but in a more immediate time frame – we wait. We know we’re going to be surprised. We just don’t know what form the surprises will take.

Ignore the pundits, the howlers, the hatemongers, and your fears. Live well. Do good. Love carefully but unreservedly. Above all: have fun. Always have fun.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Daybook

 

How Not to Get Your Story Selected

“The problem is in a pinch I can usually find something from ******** that’s passable after rejecting a dozen other pieces from writers for whom gibberish seems to be their first language.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 8, 2016 in Quotes

 

The Pen versus The Sword

I’ve always liked the quote “The pen is mightier than the sword”. However, I also qualify it in my mind with “But the sword has the advantage of immediacy”.

Now, I know that because of my writing, I do and view words in different ways to most people, but I am getting mightily ticked off by the “50 Dead in Orlando Gay Club Shooting.” headlines.

What the f*ck has ‘gay’ got to do with that tragedy? Fifty people died. Mourn fifty lives ended too soon. Their sexual orientation is of low import… Unless… Someone was going for the implicit “you’re okay, it’s just another minority being picked on” form of negative reassurance.

And what that is, is reinforcing divisions. A form of media manipulation, if you will. Every word you contribute to a public medium can have impact. Let’s focus on the inclusive, folks. The petty, stupid and scared are getting fractious. See that? That’s me categorising unfairly. Doesn’t matter if you agree, it’s divisive because I am not present to diffuse the negative aspects of my words with body language, humourous depreciation or contextual setting – or in this case, telling you I’m being unfair.

I have a friend who winds up with minor misinformation people for fun. Problem is, that sort of wind up, released on the internet, is divorced from his swift intervention to correct the induced misconception.

And that, my friends, is where our doom will come from… Not my friend! But words released without recourse to correction.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is frequently less precise.

Please, think carefully about what you release into this virtual never never land.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 12, 2016 in Life & Self

 

More Gods than Most

I’m a religious bloke, but it ain’t no-one’s business but me own. However, there have been expressions of curiousity, which I have been unable to fully meet. That’s the way of personal, eclectic polytheism. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, I have more gods than most, and powers abound from and beyond them. But behind them, far back in the mists generated by the destruction of Britain’s native religions, there stands a crone in a red skirt and a horned man in a homespun shirt. Two figures so indelible they must have scared the usurpers something fierce for them to wreak such havoc during attempts to erase their lore.

As (probable) manifestations of multi-aspected deities, we cannot do much more than guess at what they represented and how they were propitiated (and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying). So I, like many, walk an exploratory, subjective path in a world turned cold to the mass expression, appreciation and usage of the as-yet unquantified abilities collectively entitled ‘magic’.

I have striven for a while to formulate a decent answer to those aforementioned queries. But, in the end, I realised that song is better suited than any words I could assemble.

This track is as close as I can get to introducing the goddess who probably spends far more of her time being amused by my antics than any result I might prefer: the original version of Uriah Heep’s Lady in Black.

Blessed Be.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Faith & Magic

 

Polish Your Own Boots

It’s another long-overdue boot polishing day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Or, as my great-grandfather occasionally termed it (when great-grandmother wasn’t about), ‘bullying the boots’. Not that I can find that slang translation anywhere these days.

Great-grandfather taught me how to work a decent shine in, smiling when he mentioned I’d not need ‘spit shine’ unless I joined up. Ever since he taught the demon that masqueraded as his eldest grandson how to do that, he started a legacy within me: things that a gentleman should be able to do, and not be embarrassed about.

Decades passed before a Peruvian bootblack on the streets of Lima showed me how to mix solvent and polish to redeem badly perished leathers. My work boots have survived twenty years, thanks to that.

For all the marvellous things I’ve been able to do, all the luck I’ve had and all the damn hard work that always seems to accompany good fortune, working a thorough shine into my boots still makes the young savage within me proud.

Cheers, grandpa.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Life & Self

 
 
%d bloggers like this: