Slowly Making Progress

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My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Status: good. better than yesterday, but procrastinating heavily this morning. I was awake at 2:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so gave up and decided to start my day at about 4pm. Trying to work through a few items on the task list before I run out of steam, which typically happens when I get up so early.

Writing.

Not making great progress on this front, and I think I need to rededicate myself to the task. The process which I had in place before was working effectively, so I just need to pick that up again and drive this forward (which makes it sound less enjoyable than it actually is).

I received the edits on Weaver short story from the Editor over the weekend. Fully admit that I haven’t looked at it, and I’d like to start working on that today. The other item I have on the task list is completing the summary page for The Patriot story and then I can start circulating it around to publishing companies for feedback.

Photography.

Did some cost analysis this morning on buying a new PC in my current location versus waiting until I arrive at the next place before purchasing it. Along with the new camera equipment I’d like to start using Photoshop proper, or at least in tandem with Lightroom, and I need a more powerful PC for that. Surprisingly, it’s not that much more expensive here than there, but I think this is due to the sales which are going on right now.

The other issue I’m running into is on the warranty and support side. If I buy something here (or online from an unauthorised dealer like eBay or Amazon) and then transport it across international lines, I’ll lose the warranty. To get access to it, I’d need to ship the unit to someone here who would then have to get it serviced on my behalf. I think that’s more trouble than it’s worth and it may be best if I source a PC from a company which will provide support in my new location.

I also had another look at the system requirements for using Photoshop and I think my current rig is passable, at least in the short term. I’ll need to source a new PC eventually, but at least with this knowledge in hand there’s no pressure to pull the trigger on a more powerful rig now and I can look at pushing this out until later in the year. At the very least, it may be best start using it on my current PC and see if it meets my needs. If the answer is yes, then I’m good. If not then I’ll have a good idea what I need to take that next step and can then source it accordingly.

That’s another item completed from the task list.

Nikon D3400
1/80 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Wabi-sabi

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Imperfections are attractive when their owners are happy with them. 

Status: good. I mean kinda good. post weekend hangover which has left me feeling lethargic and apathetic this morning. That’s not uncommon for a Monday morning. Had a big Saturday night, which resulted in a slovenly Sunday recovering from the festivities. Fully admit that this is a big momentum killer and I seemed to only have the capacity for YT videos this morning when I woke up versus being able to engage with the task list. I think I need to retire this habit as it’s not working for me anymore.

Captain Marvel.

Very mediocre and forgettable. I think I’ll detail my thoughts about the movie into a separate blog post, but this was a very disappointing addition to the MCU.

Date.

Had two dates scheduled over the weekend. The lady I met on Saturday was actually quite nice and engaging. Very quickly realised that the reason we got along so well together was because our dysfunctions were compatible. She has almost the same background as me, and it looks like I’m a good fit to help her recreate her childhood environment. I could see through her body language that she was recognising characteristics in me which are similar to her primary caregiver.

The smart move here would be to run, not walk, in the opposite direction. She reminds me alot of Thais, and that was a fkn disaster which I have no interest in experiencing again. Still, I know this is a temporary situation because I’ll be leaving in two short months, so perhaps I’ll entertain a few meetings with her while I explore alternative options.

Second date for the weekend was due to happen yesterday, and she pulled a no-show. I’m vacilating between indifference and annoyance. She showed signs of enthusiastic interest leading up to the date, which at times felt a bit absurd that someone would be that interested before meeting in person, so I was a little surprised when she failed to show up at the cafe and also that she ghosted me. Part of me thinks that she revealed her true nature by not showing up, and therefore I’m better off having this information now and before I invested any more time into this. The other part of me just wants to send a ‘thanks-for-being-an-asshole’ kind of text message to her, but I know this likely won’t make me feel any better and it will just give her the opportunity to play the harassment card, even if my text is relatively benign.

It might be best to just leave this one alone. I mean, I now know everything I need to know about this person. There’s nothing more to be gained here.

Photography.

In a developing trend, the model I was due to shoot on Sunday decided to cancel at the last minute. Gave me an excuse which may or may not have been the truth. At least she didn’t stand me up, and I had enough time to make alternative plans.

I’m thinking that I may just make arrangements with alternative options, so I’m not wasting any more time with this one.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/7.1
18mm
ISO 100

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Poor Start

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Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.

Status: good. awake at 3:30am and then couldn’t get back to sleep. Drifted off just as the alarm rang, hit the snooze button and then slept for another hour and a quarter. Good grief. Need to work on recovering from poor starts like that. Was able to accomplish a few things this morning, but nothing of substance (I think), and the writing……

Writing.

Poor week for writing. Period. Because I didn’t know what to do next, I gave up yesterday and started working through the task list. Was able to tick a few boxes, but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them. And the poor start to the day today didn’t help. Need to regroup and try again. That said, I am going to set this aside and bang out a few items off the task list rather than let this hold me in place. Maybe I’ll be able to build some momentum this way.

Photography.

Finished processing all my photos from the last few weeks yesterday. I have a few good ones, others are WTF, but that’s okay. It’s all a learning experience. Will be going to The Chase on Saturday night, so good opportunity for food photos. And then will be working with a model on Sunday afternoon – two locations: street and boudoir. Curious to see how this plays out.

Did some cost analysis yesterday on buying new photography equipment here versus waiting until I arrive at the next place before purchasing it. If I wait, I’ll save almost $700, which is nothing to sneeze at and given the cost of the equipment, it’s a significant enough savings which will provide me with enough to spend on peripheral equipment like tripods and such.

Captain Marvel.

With a certain amount of trepidation, I’m going to see this movie on Saturday. Cautiously optimistic that it’ll be okay. Based upon the events in Avengers: Infinity War and what I know of the comic books (which is significant), Marvel is going to have to make some significant changes to the character’s origin, backstory and journey to get it to fit into the movie universe they’ve created. There was a bit of foreshadowing in Infinity War, which is in line with the comic, so I’m aware of one aspect likely to appear in the movie. But the rest is up for grabs. This is unlike any other Marvel movie to date, they’ll essentially be creating an almost brand-new character for the big screen, with the possibility that the only thing recognisable will be the character’s name. Everything else might be different.

Couple that with some rumblings I’m hearing about the potential political leanings of the movie and I’m not sure that I’m part of the target audience for this film. I just want to see an awesome Marvel superhero movie based on the comics I read as a kid. I have little interest in patronising someone’s self indulgent opportunity to do a little axe grinding. Which is what the filmmakers did with Black Panther.

Ok, let’s get on with it……

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 100

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Internal Dialogue

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If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

Status: good. finally feeling human. Maybe I’ll have a dry weekend for the one coming up. I wouldn’t mind feeling human throughout the whole week and not just at the end. Seems to have an effect on my productivity, or lack thereof.

Career.

Pulled the trigger on the return flight yesterday, which has made this Next Chapter feel a little more real, a little more official. There wasn’t an accompaniment of anxiety, so perhaps I’m getting used to the idea. Curious to see how I’m going to react on those first few steps at the beginning of the Next Chapter, how I’m going to feel about seeing old, familiar places which I left behind all those years ago. I’m hoping the experience doesn’t push me down into the depths of depression. If I can just make it to neutral with a hint of sadness, I’ll call that a win.

(All that said, it is a good opportunity and is a stepping stone to the Thing I Really Want. Need to keep reminding myself of that.)

Photography.

Toying with the idea of purchasing some better equipment. I don’t feel like I’m completely ready for it, but once I make the move it will be hard to source the equipment from there, and it’ll potentially be more expensive as well. If I wasn’t going anywhere I’d hold off a little bit longer because I still feel like I need to do some work on learning more about the compositional aspects of photography. It would be a real shame to shell out a small fortune for new equipment and then end up taking “holiday snaps” with it. That wouldn’t be very smart.

Still, better to plan ahead.

Writing.

I’m not so much procrastinating as I am stuck on the next step. I hate the self-loathing which accompanies the lack of productivity. Something else to get my head around. Another lesson to learn. Need to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again. But without the internal invective directed at myself.

That’s not helpful at all.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/4
25mm
ISO 800

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Heaven and Hell

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The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.

Status: good. I mean, just about ok. Overslept this morning. A holdover from three nights in a row of poor sleep. Suspect that this is what trips me up more than anything. It’s one of the things I didn’t miss from alcohol consumption: a poor night’s sleep. The other thing I didn’t miss was the sinus congestion. It’s Wednesday and I’m still congested from drinking on Saturday night. If I remember correctly it takes a full week for my sinuses to normalise, and I’m too stubbourn to take a decongestant (I’m also too stubbourn to take WordPress’ suggestion of using the American spelling of the word ‘stubbourn’). Given these two consequences, are they worth the price of my Saturday night dalliances?

Probably not.

Writing.

Procrastinating because I don’t know where to start. I need to finish off the summary page for The Patriot story and then I can start looking for a way to publish it. But, I’m struggling with the summary because I’m not completely clear on how the story progresses through the three act structure. Which is disconcerting given I’ve written the first issue (or the beginning of the story), and I have a general idea of what it’s about, but I don’t know what happens next. Which is making it difficult for me to complete the synopsis and issue summaries (that make up the story arc through the three acts).

I’ll figure it out, but in the meantime I’m a little stuck. Maybe I should just work on something else rather than allow this to hold me in place.

On a separate note, I submitted the short story ‘Weaver’ to the editor, as promised. It’s out of my hands now. Feedback should take about a week or two, I think?

Photography.

Booked the model for Sunday afternoon. I have four shots on the shot list – two street scenes at Union, and two boudoir shots, which might be a bit ambitious for a 2.5 hour shoot given they are in separate locations and there will be some travelling to get from one to the other. Let’s see how this plays out and what lessons I’ll learn from the experience. I can then apply those to the next session, if there is one.

Dating.

I have a full schedule this coming weekend. Coffee dates on Saturday afternoon and Sunday noon. No great read on either one, however the Saturday date is the one who cancelled on me last week, and I think she is the one who explained that a medical issue forced a career change? Unless she was a cage fighter in a previous life, I’m not sure what that means.

By way of introduction, I sent a section from this journal to the Sunday date as part of my initial correspondence with her. It was met with an extremely favourable response. I mean, she REALLY liked it. During our subsequent back-and-forth I can see that she is projecting idealistic hopes onto me as a result. I’m flattered that she liked the piece of writing and that she is super interested in meeting me, but I’m also slightly concerned that I won’t live up to her expectations.

I don’t live up to my own expectations, how am I going to live up to yours? Disappointment, thy name is online dating.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/7.1
18mm
ISO 100

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Breaking Promises

20190302-DSC_0009Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

Status: wide awake at 2:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. lazed around in bed until the alarm went off at 5am and then got up. Second night in a row with poor sleep and I’m worth nothing this morning. Immediately hit caffeine and YouTube because I was half asleep and needed an excuse to not start writing. Even the meditation didn’t help. All the discipline in the world wouldn’t have saved me, as soon as I’m tired I immediately give up and fold like a house of cards. And then the self-loathing starts because I didn’t keep my promise to myself.

I do that a lot.

Not keeping my promises to myself.

If I don’t treat myself like I’m a priority, then how can I expect other people to do it? If I don’t keep the promises I make to myself, then how I can expect other people to keep their promises? (Is that how that works?) All I know is I have zero tolerance for people who do that to me, yet I’ll do it to myself without even batting an eyelid.

I need to start treating myself better. Starting today.

Photography.

I’m stuck with the writing and procrastinating by raking my brain over hot coals with vapid YouTube videos, so decided to be productive instead and started processing photos from the weekend sessions. I’m actually really really pleased with how some of these have turned out. Not only are my compositional skills getting better, but so is my post-processing on Lightroom. I’m faster, I have a better eye for the style that’s going to fit the photo and my colour matching is progressing (which is saying something because I’m figuratively colour blind – if someone said, “match these two colours or you’re dead”, I’d be dead AF in two seconds). I’ll be posting these to IG over the coming weeks.

I’ve also been able to secure the services of an amateur model to help me with a few shots I’d like to take, and she isn’t too expensive. Will figure out where I’m going to slot it into the schedule. Was so out of it yesterday, I couldn’t even wrap my head around schedules and such, and today I’m not feeling much better, but I’m just going to suck it up and get it done.

Writing.

The short story goes to the editor this afternoon. I promise.

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/5.3
48mm
ISO 800

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The Return of Lethargy

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Status: ok. tired, actually. I’ve allowed that to infect the day and let it push me into being unproductive. I don’t understand how I can have days like today and still find the motivation go to the gym, but I can’t sort myself out enough to focus on the task list – writing, photography, etc.

Decided to break the dry theme to my weekends and did a little bit of parting on Saturday night. I was also out last night, and I while there was no alcohol involved, I didn’t get a full night’s sleep, so I’m pretty lethargic today. We’re almost at the end of the day and I’m only just starting to put pen to paper, so to speak.

I honestly don’t feel THAT bad, I just feel lethargic. It’s probably the result of my programming and I’m likely getting a pay-off from being lazy – maybe its a form of self-flagellation, which sounds about right.

Writing.

The editor I reached out to last week sent me a response on Friday and now all I need to do is submit the story for her to review. Mildly nervous about letting someone read something which I think is maybe average at best, but I want to move forward and see if I have something worth publishing. Best to keep expectations low and use the feedback to up my game, which is the purpose of the exercise, I think.

Date.

Spontaneous date on Friday was better than expected. She was actually pretty engaging and we had a good chat – easy and fun. The best kind. I’m not going to pursue this any further. We’re just not compatible enough, and I think we’re looking for different things. That said, it was a good spur-of-the-moment get-together, and I’m glad I pushed through the OCD and was flexible enough to accommodate it. I need to do more of that.

Ok. Must sleep now…….

 

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