Perception

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Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.

Status: good, although I was up way too early this morning. sitting here now fussing over photos for IG and then staring at a blank page trying to decide what to write. Anxiety levels: moderate. I may just bin it and go to the gym.

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/9
18mm
ISO 100

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Street Photography

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

Status: grotty. awake at 3:30am. couldn’t get back to sleep, so got up around 4:30am. sitting here in a pool of fever induced clammy sweat agonising over photos and accompanying captions. Should I just take the day off so I can rest up and get better? Yes. Am I actually going to do that? Nope. I have stuff to do; actually I have a full day and want to squeeze in some writing and photo editing on top of that. I have zero interest in sitting around feeling ill; I’d rather just prop myself up with some aspirin and then get on with It.

Photography.

I’ve had a few good days; actually I was able to take pictures every day over the weekend – Friday to Sunday. Now spending time on the pictures from the 31st, with the 5th, 6th and 7th to follow. Cognisant that time is growing short and I need to consider timing around disposing of the entry level kit before I leave; prefer not to take it back with me, but will keep that option open as a last resort.

The models that I booked for this week have flaked on me, and I think I’ve lost interest in ticking that box. May work on organising that for next week, but I think I’ll be okay with it if I can’t get it done before I leave. I’ll have another bite at that particular apple at some point in the future, but right now I’m enjoying the street photography, so maybe it’s best to stick with that, especially since the weather is getting better.

Date.

M and I are getting together again tomorrow evening for dinner and festivities (or is it me and M? Remember being taught the former in school, but I’ve been seeing people use the latter?). Looking forward to seeing her, but not interested in the partying that will ensue. Don’t get me wrong, I love a debaucherous evening, but not all the time and I’m at that stage of the week when I’m mostly interested in working on my creative projects. Plus I’m clearly sick, so there’s that…….

Writing.

Not much to say on this front other than the photography has taken over. I don’t even have enough energy at the moment to self-flagellate over the lack of writing, which is not a bad thing. As long as I’m being productive with the photography and am not wasting my free time with YT videos and other such time wasters, I’m okay. Will need to revisit this goal because clearly it’s not holding my attention…….

Ok, let’s get on with it.

Nikon D3400
1/200 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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Born Again

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Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

Status: good. still dragging myself out of bed, but good. Taking a little too much time to get ready to go to the “office”, but at least I’m getting up and putting myself in an optimal position to be productive. I’ll call that a win.

Writing.

Excellent day yesterday. I’m repeating myself, but full credit to a good start to the day which set me up for later success. I need to remind myself of this every time I don’t feel like going through the morning ritual and just want to lounge around reading and drinking coffee when I first get up. Churned out three solid, usable pages of the comic book script which I think is a reasonable expectation for someone who is just at the beginning stages of learning how to do this. Production varies wildly, but the fastest writers will produce five pages per day, or about four books per month. The slowest will be one page per day, or one book per month. I’m going to call this a win.

On that note, I appreciate that not every day will be like this. Creating art can be frustrating and disappointing, but days like yesterday confirm what I’ve always suspected: I love writing. I just love the whole process and it’s what I really want to with the rest of my life.

Opportunity.

That said, I will need to detour slightly while I work on establishing myself. The call yesterday with my network contact went well. They have an open position available, but there are a few hurdles to clear. It’s multi-jurisdictional, which is attractive to me. The organisation is good, and I know some of the key players. The position is a bit more junior than I’d like, and as such it likely won’t meet my salary expectations, or match the offer received from the other company, but let’s see how this plays out.

Ok, let’s get on with it………

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 400

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Making Beautiful Things

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I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort and disappointment and perseverance. 

Status: good. kinda. Was awake at 2:30 am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Should have just gotten up and started my day, but I typically run out of juice by the time mid-morning rolls around and then I end up sleep walking through the rest of the day, so decided against it and stayed in bed. Not sure what was rummaging around in my brain which forced me awake at that un-Godly hour, and I was WIDE awake, but it happened. Best not to dwell on it, I think I’ll just focus on today’s tasks instead.

Writing.

Another good day yesterday. The word count on my journal/blog is slowly increasing, as is the word count on my actual story work. I started keeping track of my word count back in December and can see an improvement from then ’til now. I’m much less anxious about the writing and I’m finding it easier to get into the flow. I’m learning to relax and just let it flow out of me.

I’ve set aside the short story first draft which I completed last week in order to let it marinate, and will pick it up again next week to start work on the second draft with a fresh set of eyes. That’s what Stephen King says you should do, so I’m going to defer to his good judgement and experience. Started working on the comic book script which I’ve had kicking around in my head for, oh, about 15 years or so. Realised after completing four pages that I’d rather be writing something else – the Robert E Howard short stories I’m currently reading have awakened my love for the genre, so I’d like to do a little exploring in that space – but, I’m going to finish this one first. Which is what Neil Gaiman says you should do, finish what you start. So, maybe it’s best to follow that advice.

Opportunity.

It’s gone quiet on the offer front, so I reached out to them yesterday to see if they have finished their pre-employment screening process and also asked about next steps. I mean, I think I should be signing some kind of employment contract before I start? I did that last time around, started without having a contract in place, and I regret doing it. Would prefer that we follow the process in the proper order this time around.

Things also went quiet on the contact front, so I reached out to them thinking that the reason for the silence was a lack of interest, but that wasn’t the case. I’m due to have a conversation with them tomorrow about potential roles and how I can add value. My preference is to stick with the offer, but I think it’s best to have a backup plan if it falls through. So, let’s see where this conversation takes us.

I have more to say, but I think it’s best just to get on with it…..

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/4.5
32mm
ISO 200

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On Writing

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I and me are always too deeply in conversation.

Status: good. better than yesterday. I don’t know exactly why I let Mondays derail me like that. I shouldn’t have been as tired as I was. Is age creaping up on me? Is the “OCD” getting worse? Need to mull this over some more. I’m lamenting the lost time and opportunity for doing something productive. I need to remind myself to not allow yesterday’s hiccups to colour today’s outlook. Today is looking good.

Writing.

On Friday I finished the first draft of the short story I was working on. I’ve written stuff and things in the past, notwithstanding this blog, but have never actually finished anything. Appreciate that this is just the first draft and I have one more draft to complete before it goes off for editing, but I think it’s important to recognise the completed milestone and celebrate the win. Go me.

Reward.

Browsing in Indigo, I came across a book of classic fantasy short stories aptly named, The Classic Fantasy Collection (should I be using quotations here?), for $12 bucks. Containing stores from Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, H G Wells and a bunch of other science fiction/fantasy authors I’ve never heard of, all from the early 20th century. No need to overthink this one, 800 pages of short stories from famous fantasy authors for 12 bucks? Yes please, I’ll take one (actually the last one on the shelf). So excited at my find, I tore through the book last night and then dived right back into it first thing this morning. Regular routine be damned (although I did meditate as normal). It’s left me feeling inspired and excited, which is what good fantasy books should do. Life is Good.

Ok, let’s get on with it…….

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5.6
24mm
ISO 100

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Monday Thoughts

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“Our life is what our thoughts make it” — Marcus Aurelius

Status: jesus, i’m tired. I’m more tired than I should be. I didn’t have a big weekend and I’m still not drinking at all. Was out Saturday night, but got a good night’s sleep. Or so I thought. Spent most of the day yesterday reading. I’ve slipped into lethargy, and perhaps it’s because I let my schedule slip and didn’t do any writing over the weekend? I’m thinking maybe I should do a little bit every day. Which brings me to….

Meditation.

I’ve arrived at the section of the How To book which addresses this very thing: lethargy. Timely. The Universe is sending me a message, heh. In any case, I’ll incorporate this into days where I’m feeling lethargic like this. I always blamed it on the hangover, but I’m seeing that’s actually not the case. So, what’s the cause? Don’t know at this stage. Need to explore this a little further.

Tenant.

Spent my Sunday getting abused by my tenant via email. The emails are now pure noise and the threats are getting more direct. I’ve scheduled the maintenance guy to access the unit this week to remediate the issues, or perceived issues, but that knowledge hasn’t placated the tenant at all. They only seem interested in making me feel uncomfortable. This is also something which is addressed in the meditation How To book, so this is also timely. The Universe, dropping knowledge, heh. Need to focus on the techniques in the book which show me how to separate signal from noise.

Date.

This was better than expected. During the course of the evening she told me that she had lied about her age on the dating app. You and everyone else on there, I thought to myself. It didn’t faze me, I’ve come to expect it from folks who pass a certain milestone in life. In any case, it was a great meal and great restaurant. She recommended it, so I’m super grateful for that. The conversation was pleasant enough; we got along well and there weren’t any awkward pauses or uncomfortable silences. I didn’t get her relationship backstory; I don’t know if she had been married in the past. She did say that she was trying to “put herself out there” after the last relationship ended a few years ago. Gut feel that this is a slight fib, suspect it may have ended more recently than that.

One thing that really impressed me was when I asked for the bill at the end of the evening she turned to the server and asked them to split it in half. I was actually going to pay for dinner, but she didn’t want that. She wanted to pay her own way. There was no belly aching or passive aggressive cold-shoulder punishment like I’ve had in the past when I’ve suggested we split the bill. It was like two friends having dinner and then automatically splitting the bill at the end of the evening, because that’s what you do. I can’t tell you how rare that is, and how refreshing.

I’m not going to pursue this any further, but still, it was a good date.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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Transformers

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Transformers.

Status: getting better. still struggling to pry myself off the sheets in the morning, but I’m on the mend. Tonight I’m going to do my Usual Friday Thing and sleep right through with no early morning alarm to interrupt me. That typically means anywhere from nine to twelve hours. Good grief.

Writing.

Had my best day yet yesterday. Was able to get into the flow and produce not only a respectable word count, but also something which is usable. So, I think I’m getting the hang of this process. The new morning routine is working well – rather than getting up and just starting right away, I’m beginning my day like I’m actually going to work. So, get up, food, shower, get dressed, meditate and then sit down at my desk to start writing. I needed to be very honest with myself, getting up and going straight to my desk wasn’t working – I wasn’t awake enough to focus and concentrate, and all my mind wanted to do was ease into the day with some passive engagement, i.e. reading or watching fuckin’ YouTube. This new routine is allowing me a little bit of space to wake up fully and find my center before starting to work – it’s much more effective.

Eliminating Distractions.

Two other add-ons which I’m finding helpful: turning my phone on Mute and then placing it face down on the desk top just out of arms reach. I’ve decided I’m only going to check the phone at specific intervals during the day (so, if you need to get me urgently, you’re S.O.L.). The second is using my ear-buds to diminish the ambient noise around me. I’m finding that the isolation helps me access the headspace where my daydreams live which is allowing me to get into the flow more easily/effectively.

Site Blockers.

One other piece I’d like to incorporate into this Creative Safe Space (heh, fuck) is to install a Net Nanny of sorts which will block access to sites from my browser. Noted that author John Green installed a plug-in on his browser to block all social media sites – he’s attempting to detox from social media for one whole year. I’m not going to do anything as drastic, but I would like to block the usual suspects, like YouTube, for blocks of time during the day. Say, 7-11am and then again from 1-5pm. Let’s see how that works.

Ok, time to get on with it……..

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/5.3
46mm
ISO 100

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