It has been an interesting year. Several things I never thought to achieve have come to pass while the things I want and several things I need have just not occurred. Coming to the end of the year, hindsight reveals a tendency for any positive result to be counterbalanced by a loss of some kind.
In immediate example: I took the hard decision a few weeks ago to have my cats, companions of ten years, placed into care. One of them was very ill and I could not afford proper diagnosis, let alone treatment. So as my responsibility includes their care, I had to take the heartbreaking option of letting them go to another home in the knowledge that the Cats Protection League would ensure that the sick one would get the urgent veterinary care he needed; and at the same vet I had taken them to since they were kittens. Ten days after making that call, the 4×4 owners club I belong to surprised me with the proceeds of a collection that would enable me to cover the costs of getting my car back on the road.
Then my government rent assistance was late and bank charges hit me. So some of the donation had to help cover my rent, an unacceptable but necessary thing. But at least it was only a delay to getting the car fixed, not a betrayal of trust.
I dig around in the detritus of my life that is stored at my brothers and find something dear to me but ultimately nothing more than a collected thing with no use apart from occasional appreciation. I sell it on Ebay and it makes way more than expected. Enough to put my rent for the next month back on track.
Give and take. Strange. Just enough to scrape by, never enough to relieve the pressure.
Last year I met a fine woman who I still think could be the one for me. Her opinion on that is at best undecided. But the turbulence from that gave me the impetus to publish my first book. The creation of which catalysed my poetry creation and made me realise that now I had the means to publish, there was no excuse to not get the book of short fiction I had promised myself for twenty years into existence.
Further strife on personal and career fronts prompted me to write flash fiction and poetry to assuage my pain or weave something positive from it. From that came an offer to be a staff writer for a leading flash fiction sci-fi site.
I arrive at the end of 2011 in a place I always wanted to be at but never expected to achieve: I am a published author and poet. I would love to be able to make a living at this, but it seems that historical precedence and that balance of give and take dictate otherwise: I have not made a penny from my writings, but many people seem to have enjoyed the ones published in various forms. So at least I am fulfilling the archetype of destitute writer 🙂
I have sold many collections to survive, but my collection of ‘less‘ is still healthy: jobless, catless, penniless, loveless, houseless (thankfully NOT homeless – until the next rent increase, anyway).
But generosity of strangers has removed the ‘carless’. The assistance of my brother and friends keeps me afloat. The encouragement of people I have only met online keeps me assured that my writing is not a waste of time. Why is it that you always want the things that you don’t have? I try to appreciate my situation and my staggering good fortune in the face of continuing adversity, but at the waning of the day, tears are never far away.
I shall finish by adding the abstract from above to previous musings: It seems that dreams go off like fireworks or explosives. In the former manner, success lights the sky of your life. The latter occurs as a dream is quashed and the realisation darkens your day. Either way, they spray shrapnel about that can shred other dreams and hopes, or more likely just dent them so that they will still fulfill their purpose, just never quite in the way you wanted or intended.