Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rainbows, Rewards and Raw Emotions


The word of the week is ardent.

July 6 – Emotions

These days, I’m lot more emotional than I used to be, which is a good thing.

Maybe I should clarify that: I can access my emotions far easier now than I could even five years ago. Before I changed jobs, my emotions were a liability sometimes, as I couldn't let them get out of control or I wouldn't be able to function for most of a day.

Control was the order and the method of being for me, which meant I emotions had to be kept under tight control, away from triggers that might not be out of balance and stop me from doing my job. No job meant no income and that meant bad things for my family at the time. It's only been in the last couple of years that I can fully appreciate how much of a change has taken place within me. I used to have to fight to get access to my emotional side, to feel anything other than a detached empathy for situation was difficult. 


Not so anymore. I've learned that my emotions are the key to my writing and life both, that to shuffle them off to the side or keep them locked up means that I am far less complete and balanced a person. Such an obvious thing, but difficult for me to re-learn to just let myself feel things, to let my conscious and unconscious minds work in harmony to fully experience every situation.

There's far less stress in just letting emotions out, though a breakdown on the bus might not be the best place or time. Even now, there's very few people that I'll reveal my deepest emotional side to, and I'm thankful to say that my girlfriend is one of them. She continues to amaze me with her depth of character, insight and true listening skills. I’m a very lucky man and so very grateful that she's there to continue with me as I make this further journey back to myself.


The reason I mention this topic tonight is that we went to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out, which was prefaced by an original animated short called Lava. If you're at all worried that you might break out in tears, then don't watch the short: I was blubbering within a couple of minutes and my girlfriend was the same. Lava spoke to my long-held loneliness, to the longing for another and the heartfelt wish to share of oneself with someone else who feels the same way about me.

Again, I'm a lucky man in that regard: it was a wonderful movie night.


July 7 – Giant Robot Duel is a GO?!!?

We’re actually getting a Giant Robot battle!

Well it's not exactly a battle of 10-story giants, it's still pretty cool. The builders of MegBot USA have challenged the creators of the Kuratas mecha in Japan to a robot duel! And this was the response of Kuratas:


So, to recap: both of the world’s first full-scale, fully-functional giant robots are going to battle for supremacy, metal on metal until one of them is defeated and the victor rises from the scraps!

That’s pretty damn cool. Though I kinda wish they could wrangle a deal with this guy, for a fight:



July 8 – Love and Hammocks

How do you define love?

That says difficult question to answer as any I've ever heard of, especially for someone like me for whom the concept has been limited to the bonds familial, not the romantic variety. Much has been written about love, in all its forms and is a subject that humanity will likely never tire of exploring.

In searching for my own meaning for the word, I stumbled across CanYouDefineLove.com – a place where strangers attempt to define the word. Some are good, others are not so much. A more intellectual take on the word is at Brainpickings.org.

When you look at love from a visual standpoint, I like to think about the subtleties and the small things rather than the fiery passions that often overshadow the more important touches. There's one illustrator who has managed to capture these better than any other that I've seen:


Puuung is an illustrator who, once a week, posts an image she has created that tells of shared moments between her and her boyfriend that show how deep their bond goes. It's truly lovely.

When it comes to relaxing together, I've suggested a few times to my lady that we should look at getting a hammock, though I've no place to put it here and we most likely would have to hang it between a couple trees and nearby park, limiting its usefulness somewhat. While I was on the subject, I stumbled across this unusual hybrid involving a hammock:


I like the idea, but it does seem both expensive( $1200 )and impractical. I imagine there'd be a lot of sloshing going on with water loss and while it seems portable, it would take quite some time to get up and running compared to traditional hammock which I normally could get set up in about 10 minutes or so.


July 9 – Blockage? Never!

It was another great night at the writers group!

This evening was my second presentation in as many months: tonight was all about Writer’s Block, a topic that every writer is familiar with and dreads encountering too often. I myself have run into it less often of late, though that likely has to do with my intermittent writing schedule this past year. All the same, I was happy to put together my presentation as it has allowed me to re-familiarize myself with the methods needed to combat this unfortunate writerly condition.


It's been mentioned to me by more than a few group members that my presentations always prove most useful to them. Tonight was no exception, with several people telling me that I have actually inspired them to write again, to use the methods I compiled to break their blocks that have been frustrating them for some time. I can't think of any higher praise, nor reward for my research.

As well, several people told me that they thoroughly enjoying my presentations because of the way that I present: with passion, honesty and diligent attention to the details of the subject at hand. Again, it’s high praise and I’m thrilled to be told that what I’m doing can hold the attention of my audience because of my chosen methods. Quite honestly, my methods are simple: do the research, be honest and passionate about what I present, be open to questions, direct the conversation back to the topic and have fun as a group.

Everyone seems to think that’s working great, which makes me a happy writer.


July 10 – SciFi Superheros

What kind of superhero are you?

If you've ever wondered if Batman is your alter ego, or perhaps if wonder woman is in your mental makeup, then you're in luck. HeroMe.com is where you can go to find out what sort of superhero you are. However, the site doesn't rely on the questions but instead uses the Myers-Briggs personality model test in order to determine the outcome, which I find appealing.


Apparently this sort of thing is been done to death on the Internet for some time now, but for whatever reason, I've not heard of it until this week. 

If you do a search for Myers-Briggs Superheros in terms of images, hundreds of different charts from across as many genres appear: scifi, fantasy, television and comics are all represented – here are a few examples:


I like this sort of thing because it gives an insight into characters, into the motivations of these fictional creations that so many of us can identify with. Breaking down characters into personality types allows you to get a handle on them, to understand what makes them tick and how that makes them different from each of the other characters in their fictionally versus. 

As a writer, that's exactly the sort of thing that I need to know.


July 11 –A Weekend, Merrily!

Whew, what a busy Saturday!

Breakfast with my lady was in Langford, so that we could cruise around a few shops to pick up small niceties before heading back into Victoria. We had planned on spending the afternoon at a friend’s lakeside house, but that was canceled due to the rainy weather. So we instead spent some leisurely few hours at Romeo’s, enjoying each other’s company until it was time for the evening’s entertainment: a play!


A few weeks ago, I picked up a pair of tickets to a local production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, put on by The Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival. It was staged outdoors at Camosun College’s campus, in an intimate setting with around fifty audience members. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a local play, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I needn’t have been puzzled.

It was fantastic, in every sense of the word!

The actors were wonderful: skilled, enthusiastic and impeccably practiced. The production went off without a hitch from first to last, with elegant costumes conjuring up the fairy woods with ease. Each character was played to perfection and I was entranced from the first: bravo!

The audience was incredible as well. Everyone was appreciative and attentive, even the dozen or so young kids who where there with their parents. Silence was total during the play itself and even the weather held off, the threatening clouds doing little more than a sprinkling of us occasionally with refreshing drops for the few hours that we sat outside enjoying the play.

My girlfriend thoroughly enjoyed herself, commenting that she had dreamed for years of going to a Shakespeare play with someone who could appreciate all the aspects that such and help. I had had no idea that it meant so much to her and we plan to do this again sooner rather than later.


July 12 – Rewarding

Last month, I posted about The Reward, an animated video that utilized The Hero’s Journey to structure its narrative. It’s well-worth watching, though again it’s NSFW. All credit to my girlfriend for reminding me about this gem in an email today...

When I looked at The Reward again today, thanks to her, I learned that the short film is now going to become a series, all due to Kickstarter! 


It's one reason why I have hope that my own work will find its audience sooner rather than later - once I get it out there, that is.

Hope is really what it's all about right now. I'm in a place where I can choose what to do with my free time, without fear that all slide underneath a financial threshold or otherwise lose out on life. I'm happy with how my personal life is going and professionally, at least when it comes to writing, I am exceptionally satisfied with how well I'm proceeding along the path of being a writer.

And it seems that things are always on the up these days for me, with little signs thereof, like this double rainbow tonight to mark the end of another magical weekend:


Right now, every weekend is wonderful and each workweek, while stressful at times, are hardly patches on what I've experienced in years past.I'm a happy man and feeling extremely optimistic about the future, while mightily content with the present and leaving the past behind, to read about here, in this blog, from time to time. It's great!