Good Morning, 16th Of February 2021

Good morning, folks!

I’ve been awake about an hour and I’m just about to get going on my mornings writing before I go to work. I’m pulling myself kicking and screaming to the laptop today though. I slept, but I don’t feel like I had a settled night. I know I just need to wake up fully, and getting some work done will help.

Something I realised about myself a long time ago was that if I get a good start to the day then the day is almost always better. It gives me a positive mindset and a sense of accomplishment. So that no matter what else happens that day I’ve already been productive and that puts me in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day.

Raven’s cold

It was a struggle to get out of bed when I did today. I had an internal battle with going back to bed for a couple of hours. I don’t have to be at work until this afternoon, so I could have had a few more hours but that felt like a surrender. I preach about being productive and I do that a lot to try and trick myself into doing it. Sometimes it’s easier to just roll over, but then nothing would have got done. I’ve got a few hours where I can just sit and work. I can sleep after work.

First song on a YouTube playlist this morning 🙂

11th February 2021

Yesterday I started the day off well. I got up early and got work done. I took a member of my household to the dentist and while they were in there I did some scouting in Gravesend town centre, in particular the Civic Centre (see video for more). Once I got home though, I took a mental health hit.

Something small triggered it, something that I see often but yesterday was the first time it knocked me like it did. I didn’t hit rock bottom, but I did fall somewhat. This made it hard to sleep, I think I had maybe two hours altogether. Maybe three at the most, and most of that was today. I was up at 8am like I planned, like I was yesterday but I knew I had to get my head back down. I finally got up at about 10ish and have felt that lack of sleep all day. I’ve tried to nap this afternoon but with no joy. So I’m going to work for a little while, not long, maybe an hour, and then a bath and reading after dinner. Try to relax into sleep.

On the plus side I did get some writing done last night. A little bit on the vampire era, and the part of it I was working on struck me that it might be a part where people may assume that I’m taking from real life experiences a little too literal. I do bleed into my work. I take what I’ve experienced and put it into characters, but how I think I do it is I put the dark moments I’ve had into the stories, but not the situations. I may get close with the odd one but I’ve not got the urge to turn my life into literature, not 100%.

My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ was one I bled into a lot. When I rewrote the ending after I was trying to get myself back it was a totally different vibe to the original ending and changes the tone of the story.

People ourselves into in our work is something that we all do, even if it’s something that’s subconscious. A lot of the time I don’t think we can help it. Writing, for me, is a great form of therapy. I can channel my emotions into my characters and I hope it makes them more real. More relatable.

Another plus side to last nights insomnia was I did look at the Vampire Era again. It’s on my to-do list but I’ve been so preoccupied with Penal Earth and Black Blood I hadn’t got around to looking at it. I’m going to start working on it, because it’s a rewrite and it’ll allow me to write while also working on editing and building worlds. I need to make sure I can find a way to be writing as well as working on the other elements of producing content.

Which is what I’m going to do now!

Getting Back On Track (9/2/21)

The last couple of weeks I haven’t got a lot done. Partly I was feeling unwell, but I think more of it was I was drained. Physically, Mentally, and emotionally. Just sometimes it all catches up with me and I adjust what I’m doing, moving my focus to where it needs to be. Which normally means writing is what suffers.

But, it also helps it. It’s a recharge for me. It allows that creative element of my soul rest, it lets me fill the creative well by (trying) to watch new things. I am heavily influenced by movies and TV, probably more than I realise!

It also helps me refocus. Normally when I take some time away from writing when I come back to it and I’ve got a better idea of where I am and what I need to aim for (which is something I definitely need to do!). It helps ideas grow as well. Even when I’m not writing I’m always thinking about it. There’s one idea or another head-banging in my brain and making sure I know it’s there.

I feel like I’m on the verge of getting back into the flow of it. I felt it a little on Sunday but I pulled a few extra hours at work yesterday which wore me out. I’ve not done a lot today, although I’ve added furry family member videos to YouTube today. I’ve got the next two days off, but have a few bits and pieces outside of writing to do. So I’m not planning to spend two days working on writing but I’m determined to get back on track.

There’s a whole playlist of my Furry Family members on my YouTube channel now 🙂

For now, I’m wiped out. So I’m going to watch a movie, and aim to be up nice and early tomorrow to get a good start to the day.

Failing Each Day

I fail at writing each day. Literally, I don’t hit the goals I know I can hit. I struggle to not just pop Netflix on and fall into movies or TV series I’ve seen a hundred times before.

I fail daily.

But I endure daily as well. When I don’t write I feel guilt which then pushes me through. Some times it takes a couple of days to get over a slump but I always do.

Each day, no matter how hard the words are fighting me I will get the words out one way or another.

Keep. Fighting. For. That. Dream.

No matter how much you may feel like giving up, don’t. I’ve been writing since my early twenties. At the moment I do feel like a failure because I haven’t achieved more. But I’m learning the reasons why I haven’t gotten more done. I’m also at the point where I feel like I’m ready to take the next step.

If I was true to myself, no matter how much of a failure I can feel at times, I still haven’t quit. If I was going to, o would have done a long time ago.

And I remind myself, I’ve got stories being published in three anthologies this last quarter of the year. It’s been a year where writing has been severely on the back burner at times, and I still have three pieces being released the last part of this year.

Even if you’re just getting rejections, keep going. You will get acceptances as long as you learn your trade, grow and improve.

Never. Give. Up.

Good Morning, Sunday

I’ve had another slow week, but as it came to an end I started feeling more myself than I have done in quite a few weeks. Thursday evening I was feeling a lot better and when I woke up Friday I actually felt energised.

So since then I’ve typed up my notes and order for my FanFiction piece. I’ve got a lot of organising to do with this project. I’m going to put it all into a Scrivener file and see what I need to add to connect the scenes together. I think I’ve got a good foundation, and a lot of what I need to be doing is connecting those scenes and expanding some of the scenes I’ve already written.

I have done some more outlining work on a zombie piece, but I’ve got to the point where I’m not sure what else I need to add to the outline that will be useful, so I’ve not done any work on it for a few days and see if anything shakes loose while I’m working on other pieces.

These last few weeks, okay more like two months now, I haven’t written a single word of fiction. As I said at the start of the post, I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again, and I don’t think I’d realised how unwell I was feeling. It was nothing major, but I think it was just a combination of loosing my Grandad at the end of January and some minor, albeit painful health problems. The last few months I’ve just not been myself. I do think how I crashed and burned on the Penal Earth rewrite I was working on at the start of the year hasn’t helped. About this time last week I thought about writing a short story, just a few thousand words, but I need to get some words down. Now I’m feeling pretty good again I’m going to try and get something done in the next couple of days. I’d just like to get some fresh words written, it’s been far too long since I have done that.

Owen is working his way through The Space Watch, I haven’t had any in-depth feedback so far, aside from a technical query, but I’m not expecting anything too detailed until he’s finished and we sit down and have a look at his notes.

I did finally get a Patreon going, and I’ve supported some podcasters and writers I’ve been following for a few years now. I’m a strong believer in supporting creative people, especially in this day and age when it seems like the arts aren’t being taken seriously, and I’m in a position where I can put a little bit of cash to people I like and respect.

Hopefully this coming week I’ll start moving forward again.

Good Afternoon, Sunday

Well, this last week hasn’t been fun. I’ve got a (tiny) kidney stone, and that’s decided to have given me a huge amount of pain and discomfort this week.

I did go to DemonCon(pictures beneath) last Sunday, and enjoyed myself but I was in a fair bit of pain and that did take the sheen off of the day. I was chuffed with myself that I got over some of my shyness and was able to ask cosplayers if I could take their pictures. All said yes. I really do love Cosplayers. They’ve got so much passion and skill for what they do and it’s great to see. I had some good conversations with a few of the people there as well, which is always good for the soul.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

This week has been tough. I’ve been working through my days at work and getting home and all but collapsing. It wasn’t until Friday that I started to feel back to my normal self, and today is the first day where I haven’t had any pain at all. (yeah, I’ve probably just jinxed myself there).

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Writing this week really hasn’t happened. I’ve made a few notes and some outlining details, and have had some good thoughts during the course of the week. I was planning to do some work last night but I was wiped out so I put my feet up, chilled out a little, and aside from writing a blog post I didn’t really do much.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Today I have smashed out the red-pen notes of The Space Watch and gotten it sent off to Owen. I’m looking forward to seeing his thoughts and notes on it when he’s read through it.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

I’m off out for a family meal shortly, so I won’t be doing any more writing stuff tonight. Now that I’ve got The Space Watch off to Owen I’m going to get the final Beta Notes done on my vampire collection.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Wiped Out

This past weeked turned out to be a loss for me. I got struck down with a cold which hit me Friday and then really hit me on Saturday. Looking back at being at work on Saturday and then getting home to clean the henhouse out I’m not too sure how I managed to get through the day.

I’d had to cancel mine and Owen’s meeting in the evening and once I had done everything that I needed to do I just got in bed and watched football and later on the heighlights (with the odd Leathal Weapon film inbetween).

Sunday was much the same as Saturday evening. I spent the day watching football programmes as I rode out the worst of the cold bug. I think Saturday was when the bug hit me the hardest, but even now I’m still not feeling my normal self. My head is still feeling fuzzy and I still have a sore throat and I’m feeling very nasally, but I think I’m over the worst of it now.

This probably sounds like I’m whining a little here, and I am a little, but I find being unwell quite frustrating. In almost fifteen years of working fulltime I think I’ve had, maybe, ten days off sick and none because of something as little as a cold.

I know how lucky I am that I don’t get every little bug that comes along or that I have a serious illness that I have to live with, but I often do suffer from head colds and when I do get one it takes it out of me.

What has been the most frustrating is writing has all but stopped again. This year is turning out really badly for writing, it’s not anywhere near where I was expecting it to be at the start of the year. I’ve really got to pull myself out of this hole that I find myself in.

I feel like I’m finding excuses, although I don’t consider the cold an excuse as my brain doesn’t work properly when I’ve got a cold;  but I think I’m too tired, or there’s not enough time in the evenings or I really need to watch that movie I’ve had on Blu-Ray for six months and haven’t watched yet.

I can write during my lunch breaks at work, I can write in the evenings no matter how little time I have avaliable to me. I just need to pull my finger out and get cracking again!  

Check Yourself For Lumps!

A few months ago I was having some seriously painful abdominal pains. At first I thought it was the colitis I had in my early teens but I was not having any other symptoms so I went to the doctors. My family has a few health issues that crop up in members of my family. Mainly heart problems, asthma and cancer. There was a slight concern that it was the colitis returning, or Irritable Bowl Syndrome, or a wheat or dairy intolerance. There was even a little thought amongst myself a couple of my close family that it may be stress related.

Although I know it’s rare in a man of my age I was fearing that it may be intestinal cancer, but I know how rare that cancer is in a man of my age. I was also having the odd pain in one of my testicles, and I did find a lump.

Needless to say alarm bells rang loud, very loud, in my head.

A few years ago I was given a copy of former footballer John Hartson’s autobiography. Hartson almost died from cancer which- if I remember correctly- originated from his testicles. So when I was at the doctors I told her about this lump (that I hadn’t found since) and with my family history she immediately booked me in for blood tests, I’ve never had so much taken in one go! andreferred me to have an ultrasound to see what was going on. A few years ago this would have left me a bag of nerves, but I just cracked on as I waited for the appointment to come through. It did so quickly and I didn’t really feel any anxiety or anything at all as I waited in the waiting room to have this scan.

The scan itself was A little nerve raking if I’m honest. First he scanned my stomach and mid torso, he scanned the parts on my back and had me laying on my side as he jabbed the scanner thing into me. That did feel quite uncomfortable but I rode it out. Then he scanned my testicles. Us men don’t do talking about these things. It’s just something that we don’t do, but in these circumstances we have to.

The fella who was doing the scan asked me to lift my penis out of the way and laid a piece of tissue over it before he started to scan my testicles. He did this quickly and in a very professional manner. Yes, it felt really uncomfortable and it seemed to last forever but it didn’t and before I know it he said we were done and my doctor would be in touch within ten days with the results.

Before too long I got a letter asking me to make an appointment with the doctor who was dealing with me and that there was no need to be concerned (that was in caps). Sitting in the doctors with my doctor, and another (female) doctor, who was observing my doctor, told me that I had a (very) small kidney stone…A kidney stone. I let out a long, relieved, breath and I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. I hadn’t realised that I was carrying so much anxiety about this. The rest of the appointment is a little blurry if I’m honest, I remember the doctor telling me that unless the pain comes back incredibly bad, I shouldn’t need any medication to deal with this kidney stone and that if I drink plenty of fluids (at least a litre and a half a day) then it should sort itself out.

I do remember asking that my testicles and everything else was okay, but she reiterated that aside from the dinky little kidney stone, I was fine. I know a kidney stone shouldn’t be taken lightly and I have been drinking more then a fish, water, not alcohol. Since then I have had a few pains but nothing compared to what I was feeling before I went to get checked out.

I was worrying over nothing to a certain degree, I may even be called a hypochondriac, but I’d rather go in and find out its’ nothing to worry about, or it’s not too serious then worry that its something incredibly serious. If it is something incredibly serious, the sooner we catch it, the sooner treatment can start.

So my message: GET YOURSELF CHECKED OUT!!!! Men, women, just check yourself out; and if you find something go to your doctor! I think us men are more likely to ignore any pains or lumps, I’ll admit I left it longer then I should have done to get checked out but in the future I’m not going to hold back.

Please, please do check yourselves out, its not difficult. If something dosen’t feel right, or wasn’t there before, see your doctor.