Good Morning, 31st of July 2020

It is 7:46am and I’m up and have a cup of tea and a laptop on my lap. I had planned to have a lay in but my back decided to scupper that idea, yeah….. I’m getting old!

But anyway, nothing worked on yesterday. After work I had errands to run and a couple of phone calls to make and then, and yeah I’m gonna say it, I binge watch the new Transformers series on Netflix. I needed a little downtime as well if I’m honest. I needed to shut down for a few hours, and although I didn’t get lost into the series as I’d have liked to of done I did a little, and that took a little pressure off me. Even if it was just for a few moments it helped.

I’m feeling pumped at the moment. I feel like I’m getting back into the rhythm of getting writing done. I still need some more focus and start thinking forward a little. I vaguely know what I’m going to be doing in the next few months but I need to start trying to figure out a plan going forward. What do I want from the next eighteen months? How the hell do I even figure out how to plan that out? It’s something I’ve been thinking on, and will until I have an answer.

This next few months are very vital to where I want my writing to be. I need to figure my track out and get on it and know where I want to be and what I’ve accomplished in, say eighteen months time. I need to work out what I’m capable of achieving in that time.

I have no idea how to do that, I’m taking to a few people. Seeing what guidance I can get and formulating a plan from there.

That’s a wrap, folks. I’m going to get cracking with my day. Have a good one folks.

(If you want an idea of how my mind is a little scattered at the moment, how I’m struggling to keep focus then look at the time stamp at the start of the post, and it’s now 9:28am).

Subtle Influences

It struck me recently as I was watching Terminator 2 that I put Mini Guns into pretty much anything that I can and that it was the influence of this film and the movie Predator that gave me this fascination with this weapon. This got me thinking about what else I may have picked up during my life that comes out when I write, although I suspect this may only become obvious once I’ve had my work read by a few people.

This is a thought that has been running through my head and I suppose I like to put loyal and honest characters in my writing. I like putting certain vehicles in as well. ¬†Having worked in the second hand car trade for the last fourteen years I’ve picked up on what generally is a good car and the types of car that I like tend to be reflected in some of my protagonist’ vehicles of choice. I mention guns a lot too. In my vampire collection I mention different pistols i.e. Berreta and Glock.

From now on I know I’m going to be looking at what I’m writing and trying to pick out where I’ve put my likes and dislikes into the text, which i suppose is all part of being a writer. We let our preferences come out in our fiction.

has anyone else noticed this in their own writing?

Erratic Sleeping Pattens

I would not say that I’m an insomniac but I do have a few issues with sleep. Normally it’s a case that I just struggle to drop off when I get my head down. Some nights I’ll lay for what seems like hours before sleeping, and that is normally something I’m okay with. I’ve lived with it for so long I’m use to it. Waking up 3, 4, 5 times a night is something that I am not as used to and it’s what I’m getting at the moment, and it takes it out of me a lot.
This is a time thing though. I’ve been here before and I’m sure that either in a couple of days, a week or two at the most then I’ll be back to normal. Until then I’ll muddle through and adjust as I need to.

A little trick that I have learnt about falling asleep is that I need to relax my mind a little before I try to sleep. Normally a movie or a chapter or two of a book does the trick.


I Don’t Care

I don’t care, I’m not bothered, I don’t give a f*ck. All of those imply the same thing, the same mentality that humanity seems to be adopting at an accelerating pace. I’ve met a fair few people who say they ‘Call it as it is’ and I think I’ve only met two or three people who did so without being nasty or bitter in their honesty. Most people seem to think its a way of being nasty and getting away with it.

About two years ago I had a car crash (my fault) I had a break up around the same time and a few friendships ended. I was in a dark place and for a while I was close to becoming a ‘I don’t care’ person. That is and never will be me though, I DO CARE. I care about my family, my friends. My Girlfriend Tracie, who I love dearly. I care about my job, I care about my writing. I care about A lot of people and things and that to me is part of who I am.

I can understand people who have been hurt by life and have taken this attitude but I wonder how many people truly do not care in the way they say they do. I’d say there are few people out there who claim to not care but who actually care a lot but it’s part of our culture today. ‘I don’t care’ is part of our vocabulary. I’ll admit I say it, but when I do I normally only say it when talking to Tracie and she knows that something is wrong because she knows how much I hate that mentality.

I do care. I try my best not to say something that could offend, which I do fail sometimes but I’ll always try and put it right.

The less humanity cares, the quicker humanity dies.

Take A Breath

With each passing day it seems like the world is moving faster and faster. We want to get from one destination to another in minimal time. Whether it is getting home from work or settling down and having a family. For some people it’s the ambition to get a certain job, or its trying to force a close friendship with someone.

When I’m driving I notice how people race the red light (come on we’ve all done it) but racing it is one thing, jumping it is another. We can sit in traffic only for someone to cut into our lane at the last minute.

Standing in a que at the post office and I hear people behind me whining about how long it is taking.

Some people will start dating and within a month they are living together, within six months they have a child on the way. Whatever happened to getting settled with each other, I wonder if this explains why there are so many broken homes in this day and age.

We all want faster Internet, so we can tell the world that we’re at a supermarket…(I don’t think that I have don’t that…….)

We strive to get our dream job as quick as we can, maybe looking for corners to cut because we want to get there as quick as we can.

All this rushing, this running around to get where we’re going quicker is part of life today. It’s the world we live in and without a conscious choice the majority of us have accepted it, but once in a while just Take A Breath. Find somewhere to sit down, a coffee shop, a quiet pub, a park bench. Even a shopping centre there will be somewhere to sit down, but find somewhere quiet and watch the world go by because this constant rush of life only wears us out. Take A Breath and appreciate what you have and enjoy the world around you.

Counting Sheep

Last week I struggled to drop off to sleep which I put down to being off from work but that has rolled into this week. Monday night I got about three hours sleep, last night was about four hours. Maybe tonight I’ll get five hours……

I’m one of those people that will lay in the dark for ages before I fall into sleep, recently its been hours that I’ve been laying in the darkness. I don’t know if its because I’m too tired, or not tired enough. I thought it may be because I’ve got things on my mind, but there’s nothing that is really worrying me, nothing out of the normal everyday trials of life that is.

Yes I’ve tried counting sheep, although I got bored so I started counting electronic sheep. It didn’t work.

What’s next? I’m hoping this is just a passing phase. I am pretty sure that I have a general issue with sleeping. It’s rare that I am not struggling somewhere along the way. I’ve always been one to lay in bed for a while before falling asleep, but normally I do drop off. But then I may have a very unsettled nights sleep. I’ve woken up at the opposite end of the bed to that I started and even with my head between my bed and a unit at the end of my bed. Thinking about it I’m lucky I’ve not fallen out of bed :-/

Other nights I will wake up three or four times during the night. Thankfully most of these times I drop back off quickly.

If anyone’s got any tips about getting a better nights sleep I’d love to hear them ūüôā I’m not really feeling the effects of the lack of sleep but it would be nice to get past this.

Still Learning

I’ve been writing for a good, eight years now but it has only been in the last three years that I feel like I’ve grown as a writer. In particular the last two years and in the last year it has really hit me just how much I want the world to see what I write. Not because I want lots of people to tell me how great it is and then I may have lots of money (be nice though) but because these stories are fighting their way out of me any way that they can. Who am I to fight them? Who am I to say “nope you ain’t coming out.” What I need to do is get more self discipline, plan what I am writing a little better and have an overall game plan for my writing over the next couple of years. I briefly mentioned a rough plan in another post but I need to fine tune it. I also need to learn how to plot out a story. I consider myself a discovery writer but I find myself so often hitting roadblocks when I just start writing with little or no ending in mind. Sometimes I can pull this off, mainly in short stories but in longer fiction I crash and burn.

With Project Delphi I have a very good outline, although it has had a number of changes since Owen’s original concept for the story but hopefully the story is better for it now. I also have a very good outline of what will be my NaNoWriMo project this year. It’s a story that me and Owen have been playing with for a couple of years but we’ve never really been able to get it right but now I have a fairly decent idea of where to take the story, although I’m not sure how and where to end it at the moment. It is going to be a lot of fun starting this one with almost a clean slate. The story is generally planned out in my head (except how to end it) and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into it.

Every time that I sit down to write I seem to learn something new about my own skills. I used to think I was awful with dialogue but a lot of Project Delphi’s dialogue has been almost effortless (this is where our beta readers tear the dialogue apart lol) and I think that I have learnt a lot about developing characters in the last couple of years and with Delphi in particular there are little (and major) character traits that I have altered and spoken to with Owen about. This may sound daft but I always knew characters had to have certain driving forces etc. but now I seem to be so much more aware of these forces.

When we exercise we make our bodies stronger, the more writing we do we exercise our minds and that makes our creativity so much stronger for it.

Todays Post

Today has been a little hit and miss. At work I got a lot done which fired me up for getting through Project Delphi’s straight read through, but I got homeland was hit by a savage pollen attack (grrrrrr) and an issue with our chickens (don’t worry it wasn’t a serious issue) so that blew my energy away but after a few episodes of The Next Generation I was raring to go. I wrote a quick blog post and then started reading Delphi and now the straight read is Done! So tomorrow I will start making my notes on the hard copy. I have found that doing this straight read and not making any notes on the hard copy very helpful. It’s given me time to be absorbed into the story and to enjoy it as a reader. Normally I would just be cracking away with making lots of little notes on it but doing it this way has put the whole story into my head so when I do start on the notes tomorrow it is still fresh. If I had not of lost my momentum I would have got a few more things done, this is where I need to work on my discipline. Little lesson learnt.

An Olympic Legacy

Well its all done now and as a proud member of the British Empire I am proud of what our Olympians achieved, my thoughts now move to the Olympic Legacy which¬†has been spoken of a lot since we won the bid.¬† I fear that the Olympic stadium could become a white elephant and all the facilities¬†that have been built could end up abandoned because we, the british public, will not continue to use them the way that they deserve¬†to be used.¬† What I dream will happen is that our success here gives sport such a push that schools and the government HAVE to embrace sport, to take it by the scruff of the neck and start creating MORE¬†sporting icons that can challenge the best athletes in their fields.¬† Football though, begins again shortly¬†so that will take its mantle and become the dominate sport in this country.¬† A sport that our mens team in the Olympics did not succeed¬†in (no surprise there) Why don’t¬†we take half the money that goes into football and put it into sports that don’t¬†get anything near what they need.¬† That wont happen though,¬† yes I am a football fan but I enjoyed seeing some of our humble Olympians and the success they have had at these games.¬† This has been a boost to our fine country, but the economical does not look like it’s come and I fear that this enthusiasm for exploring sporting possibilities may not last long.

What gives me a little hope is that somewhere a child watched as Jade Jones who won Great Britain’s¬†first taekwondo¬†gold medal, or Chris Hoy,¬†or Jessica Ennis and take inspiration¬†from them and have the courage to do something that is not football or rugby or cricket and aim for greatness.¬† As for how the games have left our capital city, lets look back in a decade and see if the Olympic Legacy has been achieved.