The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘personal growth’

Resolutions, And Other Things

Posted by BigWords on January 9, 2011

If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, then you will know that I tend to do things… Differently. This post is a perfect example of being ever so slightly off kilter. Because the other stuff distracted me at the opening of the year I haven’t got around to doing my new years resolutions yet, which is a shame because of their importance in framing the reasons why I have been so busy lately. Yes, folks – it’s because of resolutions that I have yet to announce that I have been so quiet… That’s the level of logic we’re hitting here, so I may as well lay out everything. Oh, and I’m going to explain the puzzle I left you to play with at the end of the AW Musical Chairs Blogfest, but you should read through the resolutions first, to see why something like that is appearing at all.

And yes… Before you make note of it, today is my birthday, but I’ve already mentioned the fact that they tend to go awry, so steering clear of the subject is the smart thing to do.

Resolution The First: Submit More Material. Lots More.

This is where people should avert their eyes, because you’re probably not going to like what you read. It’s a way of thinking that has served me well in the past, so it seems like it will work for my writing as well – I’m going for coverage rather than prestige. There are a few blogs I have read where people have pointed out that they don’t submit to non-paying markets, and that strikes me as a massive missed opportunity. I’ve already sent out six pieces, and it is only the ninth of the month, so (as I pointed out on Twitter earlier) you’re hopefully going to get tired of seeing my name in print.

Resolution The Second: Post More Information.

I’m going to get things rolling soon enough on the epic book lists again, but I’m thinking of revisiting the stalled guides as well. The one which I had big plans for in the summer of 2010 will be reworked to appear as a series of smaller pieces, where I can devote more words to the material than would have otherwise been possible, but I’m also staring at the groundwork of a genre guide which will supersede those already covering such material. It’s always annoyed me that the material gets too large for use in anything, but by ignoring the printed mediums it opens the possibility of truly definitive works.

Having taken the time to open a Goodreads account, I suppose that fits under this banner as well, as I really do need to update it with books. By following Resolution The Third, this should become an easier proposition to take care of…

Resolution The Third: Make Better Plans.

Things seem to get derailed awfully easily, so planning well in advance for disruptions to plans makes sense. This may seem a weird choice for a resolution, but it is something which, had I thought if it of in my twenties – making backup plans, and backup plans for my backup plans – could have saved me a lot of money and time over the years. I’m still in the middle of things which are directly related to the lack of backup plans, but I’m digging myself out of that slowly and surely.

If I had been prepared to deal with unusual events, I could have had a whole lot more free time in 2010 to write, and to have fun, and to… y’know. Do stuff.

Resolution The Fourth: Move Preemptively On Things I Want

I’ve spent a lot of time of the last year seeing things happen, while thinking about the pros and cons of going all out to get ahead on things. Waiting to see how things are going, and watching others make their move, didn’t work out so well. I’m going to try and be a whole lot more proactive, setting things in motion in advance of when I need them. This could count as an addendum to Resolution The Third, but by placing it as a separate entry I should be better prepared to follow it through.

Resolution The Fifth: Raise The Stakes.

Things are going to get much, much more complex in my writing. I’m wearying of simplistic, and the opportunity to fully explore how high I can raise the intellectual bar appeals to me. Using foreign phrases and obscure words may be frowned upon, but I intend to use every trick in the book from now on to keep people on their toes. I’ve played with being the smartest kid in the room before, but it’s far past the time when I should have shrugged off the simple in favor of the complex.

Please try and keep up while I show off how smart I am.

Speaking of which, I did promise to reveal the secret stuff hidden in the AW Musical Chairs Blogfest, so here goes:

Kerilyn (the name of the main female character) is a Gaelic name meaning black, which fits with the dark tone her character carries throughout most of the story. It is no coincidence that the male lead is named Lucas – a name commonly held to mean ‘light’ in naming tradition.

The following is where the change slips in:

Standing at the main entrance to the park, Keri pondered how two weeks of brief companionship had changed her expectations of the park, and how it had ceased to loom so large on her mind. There were still nights where she would awaken in a cold sweat, but the darkness had lifted.

Firstly, I shortened her name to Keri, then I compounded this by stating “the darkness had lifted” in the body of the text. Yes, it’s probably too blunt a version of the Meaningful Name trope, but it has a certain appeal…

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The Year Ain’t Over, So Stop Mourning It

Posted by BigWords on December 22, 2009

There’s a lot of posts being written at the moment which seem to lament the passing of another year. Somehow I’m not feeling the motion towards a new year yet, though I’m sure there are people who have been planning their December blog posts for a while now. It is, after all, the final chance to comment on all of the news stories, to bitch about the way we’re all a year older, to state defiantly that next year will be better (c’mon – it can’t be worse, right?) and to place their spin on the current state of the world. That is all fine and well, but there are still some days to go before I have to retrain myself to write the correct year on stuff. I hate the time at the start of a new year when I always get the date wrong.

When people write up their summations of the past year, and the past decade, they will try to confuse you with stories about personal growth – the need to show off and explain how they’re somehow a better person is one of the (many) things which still eludes me. If I had a personal growth I’d be making an appointment for my doctor to immediately get it removed, but that’s just my opinion. If you like your growths where they are, then by all means show them to the world. I’m not gonna pretend that I’ve mellowed any. Hell, if anything I’m even more bitter and twisted than ever (I watched Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen), still as impulsive… Maybe even less sociable than ever.

And why, now of all times, do people suddenly come over all sentimental – as if the year which has just kicked them in the ass never happened? I’m beginning to wonder if there is something I’m missing out on. Is it just me, alone here, mocking the frivolities of an arbitrary date we are held in thrall to? It isn’t as if there is a rule that we have to enjoy the “season of goodwill to all men” and be merry. Merry. Hmmm… Merrymerrymerry. After a while it isn’t even a word anymore, yet it is everywhere at the moment. It doesn’t really inspire goodwill in me rather than an uncontrollable urge to punch somebody. Anyone. The next person who says ‘Merry Christmas” perhaps.

One thing the last twelve months has taught me, in the particularly annoying way that only time can, was that I shouldn’t make plans. I really shouldn’t make plans. Three of my big ones were utterly ruined by unforseen events, so I can only surmise that there is some weird universal constant which determines that the making of plans is a Very Bad Thing. That sits just fine with me. I was planning on (maybe) sending out some Christmas cards this year, but haven’t. No biggie… The world hasn’t ended, there are no impending problems, and I doubt anyone will really notice.

I am, of course, going to use the fact that I’m not sending out cards as a way to appease the global warming nutters – never passing up an opportunity to make myself look good will remain a personal goal, though it hardly counts as a positive thing.

Oh, and if you, dear reader, happen to be one of those global warming nutters advocates, tell me this: Why am I freezing my balls off under a blanket of snow here in Scotland? If the planet is getting warmer, which I doubt, where have the sunny skies gone? I’ll concede that there isn’t as much of the white stuff (well, the other white stuff anyways) as there used to be, but it hardly constitutes proper scientific proof to the very, very debatable theory we’re screwing up the planet. Answer me, science bods.

2009 was the year we put war behind us and… Oh, wait. No, we’re still at war. How the hell are we still at war? Did anyone sign anything? I seem to remember some vague promises about decreased involvement in Iraq, but a promise from a politician is as good as supermarket credit- you’ll get screwed in the end, it’s only a question of how hard you want it. The endless reporting is one of the reasons I try not to watch BBC News 24 or Sky, because they seem to revel in the misery and human despair. With video footage. Lots of video footage. It’s a good thing nobody else seems to be watching, or they’ll wrangle a way to keep the war going longer for good ratings.

We didn’t disappear into a giant black hole when the Super-Collider was plugged in, which disappointed and overjoyed an equal amount of people. I guess that the naysayers had a point about dangerous experiments, but their massive knee jerk overreactions were a personal highlight of the last year – one particularly good commentary claimed it might open up a hell dimension and plunge us into the game Doom for real. Seriously. That shit is hilarious, and I am really disappointed that it didn’t pan out as expected – man, I really, really want a FBG. More than I want peace on earth. More than I want to find an agent.

2009, huh? Bit of a let-down. At least we managed to move some ways into the future, with bionic limbs being advanced, a robotic eye that seems to hold promise, advances in robotics, tweaks to the way the internet works… Soon (prob’ly not in my lifetime) we’ll actually have spaceflight on a regular basis. No, wait a sec – Richard Branson is getting all hot and bothered about a plane/spaceship thingy which might, possibly, precluding problems, actually deliver on that promise from the pages of The Eagle comic. We’re still waiting on proof that it won’t develop a problem on its’ inaugural flight, requiring Superman to bring it back to earth safely (okay, so that reference is asking a bit much of you).

I should mention Obama somewhere here, as that was a highlight – as was the redneck KKK fuckers who were caught with guns, then were stupid enough to admit they were going to kill the president. Jeez, Darwinism in action. I bet their parents are proud. Politics… I really don’t think anyone comes here for insights into politics, but I have to say this – 2009 was the year we discovered just how low, underhand, scumbaggy (is that a word?) and compromised some leaders were. Gordon Brown betrayed the UK every few days, The Italian government flip-flopped like a dying fish, the Chinese and Aussie governments tried to choke the life out of the internet… Bad year for politicians.

Oooh, lookee – I made some political commentary and managed to conveniently neglect mentioning how badly British politicians have been working the system to line their own pockets. Or how one of their number was caught with an illegal immigrant working on their staff. Or how we had reports of the stupid lengths some MP’s were willing to go to screw over their constituents.

Somehow it doesn’t seem like anything ever changes, no matter which year we are in.

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