Good Morning, 20th January 2022

Good morning folks! how are we all doing today.

I managed to get 372 words written yesterday after quite a busy but good day.

I’m still working on ‘Oliver’ and I’m managing to get past scenes I’m not happy with. I’ve realised I’ve been giving up on a lot of projects when I get stuck but with Oliver I’ve been making notes as I write on whether I’m going to keep a scene or not, or even a whole storyline. At the moment with this story I’ve got a part of the plot that I think if I drop, or hold it back until later in the story, it’s going to make the suspense better, a certain plot point come out of the blue a little more. I also think it’s going to be a little different from the other stories that will be in this universe.

Zombie does need getting sorted. I’ve been putting it off and I’ve realised just how intimidated I am by it. A few months ago I was ready to rock and roll with the changes, but a lot has happened in that time that required my focus. I’m learning how to work that focus better and I’m going to be getting Zombie done (and dusted! it’s long overdue now) very soon.

I’ll be off to work soon, I’ve ticked almost everything off my to-do list which isn’t writing related, so now I’ can start writing for a little before lunch and then getting ready for work.

Please visit my Ko-fi page if you’d like to give me a small tip. All funds go towards writing expenses.

Good Evening, 17th Of January 2022

Good Evening, folks! How are we all doing?

I scratched out 120 words today during my break. I was going to do more whenI got home but I found I had a lot of little bits and pieces to sort out. Some of that was quite therapeutic though. Especially so furniture dismantling I was doing. I’m realising doing practical things is really good for my soul.

Tomorrow, there will be more practical things, but also writing. I’m off tomorrow so there will be plenty of time to be cracking on with all the bits and pieces I need to and get some words written or edited. I’m going to be looking at getting this final draft of Zombie done. I’ve had the editors notes for a long time and I need to get cracking with them. I finally have the time and the mental capacity to get those down.

I have set up a Ko-fi page. I still have my Buy Me A Coffee account, but I’ve had a few minor problems with it and wanted to set up another crowd sourcing account in case I decided to move away from BMAC some where down the line. It’s a never leave your eggs in one basket sorta thing.

Right, I’m off to watch a movie. Have an awesome evening, folks!

Good Morning 1-1-22

Good morning, folks! How are we all doing this this morning? I’d imagine there are a few sore heads surfacing from their beds, sofas, or wherever they found themselves waking after seeing the New Year in. Me, I was in bed and well off to sleep as the clock brought 2021 to an end.

I’m not really one for making a fuss of new years. When I was in my early teens my step-grandad died on New Years Eve and since then I’ve only had a couple of new years that I’ve felt were good. It has become somewhat of a time of year that I can come to dread. Some have been pretty darn awful. So I don’t really pay too much attention to them.

Dizzy doesn’t seem that interested in the fact it’s a new year.

The same could be said of New Years Resolutions. I never really saw the point in them as most people give up on them after a few weeks, and if you really wanted to change something in your life you’d just start doing it, right? Well, this year something feels different. I’ve woken up with a new determination to get my arse into gear and change a few things in my life.

The last couple of years have had a lot of change and growth for me, and I’m getting better at recognising when I need to be more proactive with making changes. I’ve known a few of these changes I’ve been needing to make recently, but I’m not someone who can just snap my fingers and make those changes. I need to let things process a little before making a start.

One of the big ones is I used to be able to get up on my days off and make a start on writing. I think back to when I was in the car trade and my one day off a week would be a Sunday and I’d get up and be working on a blog post by about 8am. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a few years you may remember my ‘Good Morning, Sunday’ posts. Those started because I liked getting up, having a cuppa tea and knocking out a post about what I wanted to get done that day. I felt good getting up and having a good start to the day, and that more often than not led to a decent day. I’ve found if I can get a blog post written early on, or get a few words written, then it gives me a boost for the day. I feel like I’ve already achieved something for the day, which gives me a good vibe going into whatever the day holds.

My last selfie of 2021

Over the last couple of years I’ve lost my way with that, and I need to get back on track with it. And I’m starting today. This is the first time I’ve sat down and ever tried to write a blog post at this time of the day in a long time.

So although I’m not going to make resolutions, I’ve got a list of things I’m looking at being a little more proactive with improving.

Happy New Year, folks! Make it a year to remember for the right reasons.

“I’m always good, me,”

I work at a supermarket and when I’m not on the shop floor I’m on a till. When customers ask me how I am I more often than not I’ll reply with “I’m alright, I’m always good me,”

Even when I’m not okay I say it, and I’ve been thinking about this and the mindset I’ve got growing of seeing the best in life despite what I’m feeling. There are times when I’m feeling down and not as positive as I’d like to be but I still say it.

Some of that is the ‘faking it ’til I make it’ mentality. But what I’m not doing is ignoring what I’m feeling. I’m listening to my body, looking at why I’m feeling like that. This is what I’m doing for all my moods. The more I know and understand what’s going on inside of me; mind, body, soul, the lot. Then I’m going to be able to draw myself to the elements that give me the most positive experience of life.

The biggest element that I’ve noticed which affects my mental health is tiredness. So, that is one of the major parts I’m focussing on improving. I’ve started adjusting my sleep patterns a little, but I think there’s a lot I’ve got to suss out with it. At the moment I’m focussed on getting my head down earlier on nights where I have early shifts. I’m also watching my intake as the day progresses. Definitely no energy drinks after about 3pm, as little sugary snacks after about 7pm (this one I think might be a little harder). I’m trying to wind down my head a little bit as the evening progresses as well. A little less proactive mind, and a little more passive input. Movies, TV, books etc. Gaming does relax me, as does writing and blogging, but those are both pastimes that require proactive thought. Other things are more passive. I can let them enter my mind without them firing up my creative mind too much. Something proactive makes me alert, brains firing and it’s harder to let my mind rest.

Getting good sleep makes all the difficulties of life easier to manage. It makes the fog less thick.

Good Morning! 14th December 2021

This blog post comes to you from a man who isn’t dead tired!

Where I’ve had lots going on recently I’ve not been getting much sleep, and the sleep I have been getting isn’t good sleep. Last night though I was gaming and crashed a car because I nodded off briefly (which in real life can be disastrous). And I decided to get an early night. I was in bed a little after eight with The Simpsons on (something that lets me shut off the constant stream of consciousness, but also something that if I miss any of it I’m not going to loose out on a plot point), and got me head down.

I’m not sure what time I nodded off but I woke up about ten or so and turned off the TV and the next time I woke up was when Max barked his head off and I went down to see what had alerted him (I think it was a fox or something). That was about three this morning. I went back to sleep for forty-five minutes or so and got up when my alarm went off at four.

And you know what, I feel pretty awake today. That’s the first time I’ve tried doing that and I’ve managed to sleep. When I’ve tried early nights before they just haven’t worked.

So today, let’s rock and roll!

Guard dog extraordinaire

7th of December 2021

Evening Folks, I hope we’re all well?

This evening I’ve read through eight more pages of my source file for Penal Earth book two. I’m getting ideas and thoughts on how I want to proceed with it as I’m reading, and I’m realising there’s not going to be a lot I will be able to carry over into the next book. Some of it will be used further down the line but right now A lot of that will be put to one side while I craft a story around what I will be taking from it.

Right, I’m off for the night. I’ve got an early start tomorrow and despite feeling very wide awake, I’m going to try and sleep.

It doesn’t cost anything to be kind. That is one thing the world needs more of.

I’m going to leave you with a video by the fantastic Leah Solmaz where she talks about boosting your moods. It’s really helped me tonight and I think it’s worth a little of everyones time.

I’m A Stress Eater

When I’m stressed out I overeat. When I was younger it was really bad. I’d eat two or three bars/bags of chocolate a day, and I’m talking the large share bags/bars of chocolate not the little ones you get at a newsagents.

It’s a coping method and something I just did. There wasn’t any thought going into it and it’s not been till the last few years where I’ve started connecting the dots and realising its a problem. I try and figure out what pushed me to food, and I find I’m a little grateful I wasn’t going out drinking in those days. Addiction is something that I’ve always feared, so I never really drank too much alcohol and definitely never did any illegal drugs or abuse legal drugs. I didn’t realise that sugar was sneaking in and claiming me, not until many many years later. I used to think ‘at least I’m not an addict’ not realising there was more to addiction than alcohol and what I thought of as drugs.

As I’ve got older its harder to eat as much, and that’s coincided with me realising it’s a problem. And in particular the last eighteen months or so it’s something I’ve been trying to manage better, not very successfully but I’m trying. Writing this post will hopefully help with that as it’s admitting it in such an open forum.

This is a very big bar of chocolate, and I only ate a little of it and have the rest for other days.

I’m listening to my body a lot more, and that’s something which feels like it’s changing. I used to stuff my face and then wonder why I was feeling rough, totally ignoring the tub of ice cream I’d just eaten. Now I’m realising when I’m full, but also managing to stop myself from eating more. It used to be that I would keep going until the bar/bag was finished. The thought of leaving some for tomorrow either didn’t occur or seemed like an obscene concept.

Since realising just how bad I can binge eat and figuring out how to firstly manage it, and now try and beat it I am feeling better. I know the days when I don’t beat it. I feel heavy and sickly. I’m putting so much rubbish into my system and I need to at least compensate with more water for example (drink two litres of water a day folks!). But I feel like I’m going in the right direction with it. I drink less energy drinks, try and eat less sugary snacks and snacks in general. After my evening meal I feel full now, and if I do have something I’m trying to just have a bit but I’m working on not eating if I feel full.

Tea has to have sugar in it!

I’m also thinking about the ‘when’ of eating. Too much sugar in the evenings affects sleep, which when insomnia is something you battle with you don’t really want to give it an ally. I’m trying not to eat after 9pm and with the exception of an occasional hot chocolate I try to just drink water or squash after 9pm as well. I’d like to cut this down to 8pm if I can but for the moment I want to be consistent about having that 9pm shut off.

At times I feel like I’m winning, and then I have a major setback and feel like hell and guilt trip myself for failing so hard, which then strengthens the urge to binge eat. It’s one of those vicious circle things. But I feel like I can get the balance right. Am I likely to give up sugar? no, but I can live my life without it dictating my intake of it. If I consume less sugary snacks I’ll start feeling it both physically and mentally and I’ll hopefully loose a little of the extra weight I’ve gained this last year, I’ll feel better mentally and that’s a win all around.

I don’t actually like this picture of me cause I look at it and just read my gut 😕

Good Morning, 21st of September 2021

Good morning, folks! How are we all doing this morning? I am knackered. The short of it is I’ve not slept properly for over a week now. When I do sleep its not good sleep. I more often than not wake up feeling like I’ve been in a street fight.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to take the rest of the month off from writing. I’m not writing at the moment, so this kind of feels like one of those things where I’m making an announcement that’s not going to change anything. It is though. I will guilt trip myself till the cows come how if I don’t do any writing, which just adds to my anxiety levels (which are always worse when I’m tired).

So, the vague plan is to not do any writing work till October. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment and this’ll let me refocus my attention properly. It’ll give me time to try and catch up on sleep via naps, and not slamming myself for napping and not writing will help.

Sometimes we all need to take some pressure off ourselves. This is me doing that. I do have a lot going on, and the next ten days or so I’ve got a lot I need to focus on.

I have got a couple fantastic little irons in the fire at the moment with writing, so this isn’t because I’m feeling down about writing. It’s just something needed to give, and writing is the most flexible part of my DNA.

When I dit down again in October I’ve got NaNoWriMo to think about (YAY!!!!!), and a couple of short stories I’ll be looking to get drafts of done.

So, lots going on with writing. The passion is still there and strong, I just need a breather from it to focus on other areas of life. And not for nothing, when I get back to it in October I’ll be very reenergised.

Gaming: Grand Theft Auto V Online

I’ve been playing a lot of GTAV online recently as part of working on my self-care. Gaming for me is an escape for me. It’s one the few things that turns my brain off from everything going on around me.

With GTAV I used to play it a lot but my anxieties would get to me. Mostly I’d just drive around robbing convenience stores, stealing and selling cars, and occasionally working for another player as bodyguard or associate. I had a Motorcycle Gang clubhouse but rarely did anything with it. When I would do the missions I’d get very frustrated when another player would thwart my efforts. And after a while it felt like it was becoming toxic to me. I was literally driving around doing nothing in the game. So I deleted it.

A few weeks ago Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming mentioned playing it so I loaded it up again. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to make playing together happen, yet. But I’ve got a few plans for when it does happen.

The first few sessions I didn’t really do a lot, but then I had my day out at Broadstairs and that realisation that fear is ruining my life and I started doing more. I’ve bought a ID counterfeiting business via my motorcycle gang and have done a couple of the Survival challenges. I used to never do anything like that. The one time I did I got a little shit talking from the other players, and that put me off. Now I don’t think I’d be as delicate to it, but I also think I’m not going to be doing many of these missions with strangers. I think I just need to find my people on there. With Stefan I think it’ll be good. We’ve done a fair bit of gaming together and I think we’ll work well together.

I do love how beautiful this game is ☺️

I would like to have peeps I play with on there. You see others doing it and I think it would enhance the experience. It’ll make earning cash easier as well as some of the contacts for example need at least two people and even the ones that don’t an extra gun would be handy. You can recruit players in game to work for you, with a Motorcycle Gang they start as Prospects. I’ve had next to no luck with this, but I will persist as I want to expand that experience of the game.

At the moment I am building funds so I can expand my empire. I have something that’s beginning to look like a plan building. I’ve done a little reading online for tips etc. and I’m beginning to get an idea of where I want to put my money. I’ve just got to earn it first, and I’m not buying funds from Rockstar. I’m not necessarily against that, but its not for me. A) I don’t really have the budget to spend on games outside of my Xbox Game Pass each month and B) I want to earn my money. I don’t want shortcuts. I want to hustle and earn my wealth.

I did what’s called a ‘gang attack’ which is where you face off against twenty or so NPCs, and used my armoured car as a shield! 🤣

Now, other players do bother me. Some, I think they’r recalled Griefers, although I prefer trolls, are just out to ruin others enjoyment. I can understand trying to screw up someone as they’re trying to transport goods. You earn cash and RP (Respect Points) in doing that. It’s the ones who’ll do that, and then spend the next ten minutes just trying to kill you. These people normally have vehicles which are hard to destroy, like military grade fighters, when all I wanna do is get back onto another money earner. I even had one troll message me on Xbox (not even the in game messaging system) bragging about a gaming chair and calling me a noob. Firstly, I’m not sure what the chair has to do with it, secondly, I’m nearly level 100 on the game, so although I’m not a gifted gamer calling me a noob wasn’t accurate, and thirdly I’m not rising to that bait. I’m past that. I haven’t got time to get in a dick waving contest over a video game. If you’re someone that gets pleasure from ruining someone else’s enjoyment then you really need help. I’ll also not back down. I’m not quitting a session due to someone trolling me. Stuff that, I’ve given into too many bullies in my life, and I’m not going to do it anymore. Especially not on a video game.

I’ve made a few missteps cash wise but I’m on a decent road to recovery with it and am getting close to instigating my next major purchase.

I know I’m not the most gifted gamer, but some things in the game I do well. I’ve found I’m pretty damn good on a motorbike (which is shocking cause in real life I’ve never been on one), but I do feel exposed and would rather be driving my armoured sports car. Especially in a session where there’s a lot of hostility going around. I will admit that when I’m in those sessions I tend to be a little more passive and not as pro-active when running my MC (motorcycle gang), but I think I’ll change that. Loosing a payday or dying in game isn’t the end of the world. I’ve not found anything on this game that can be lost and not recovered one way or another.

I feel like I’ve made a commitment to build something in this game. To be successful in it. It’s not going to be easy and I’ve got to keep a strong nerve and not quit when it gets hard.

Since writing this post yesterday morning I have added a nightclub to my growing empire and I think this is gonna help me step up a level.

Realising The Fear

Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.

Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.

Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.

I’m finding this book really helpful.

I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.

Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.

This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.

One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.

My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.

As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.

I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.

I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.

I am moving forward.