Sunday, May 28, 2017

Becoming, Bells and Bumps on Logs

The word of the week is resolute.

May 22 – Victoria Day

It was a good day for a walk in the park.

The good weather has finally arrived here on Vancouver Island, just in time for the Victoria Day weekend. While the last few days have been all right, today was gorgeous, so my lady and I spent a good portion of it outside just enjoying things.


After a fantastic walk in Beacon Hill Park, which included turtles basking themselves on a log( see above )we went for a drive down Dallas road to Trafalgar Park, which has a wonderful view overlooking the Juan de Fuca Straight. It was there that we saw a beautiful sailing ship with unusual red sails heading west... and me without my camera! We raced back to my place and grabbed my camera, then went back down to Dallas Road to capture these perfect images:


I'm so lucky to be able to share such things with a lady as amazing as mine. Not to waste time playing mind games, or other silly relationship things that people sidetrack themselves with... but just to BE myself around her, which is all that she wants.

Another magnificent Victoria Day!


May 23 – Italy?

Well, this is a heckuva deal...

A small town in Italy wants to pay Canadians nearly $3000 CAD to move there and become residents.. and who wouldn't? Just have a look at the place:

Bormida, Italy

Apparently the incentive is an attempt to boost the town's population, as the place is in danger of being completely abandoned:


It if was just myself, if I just had an Internet connection and a steady income, I'd move there in a heartbeat for five or six months, then return to Canada as that would still let me keep my Canadian privileges, like health care. It would also be the perfect writing retreat... and I'd be saving thousands of dollars a month in expenses. Who cares if its remote?

Oh, what a dream that would be...


May 24 – Serve Story, not Ads!

What does it a good story require?

Time.

Apart from good writing, of course, any good story requires the right amount of time to tell them properly. Too often, when it comes to TV or movies, stories are shoehorned into the time available. Episodic TV is especially notorious for this, where audience attention spans and commercials combined to chew up 1/3 of every hour's viewing, which doesn't leave a lot of room for depth of narrative.

That's why I am excited to see how well Netflix is doing lately: as an alternative to traditional television, they are able to be far more flexible with the running times of their content:


I hope this signals the start of an alternative viewing revolution, where viewers are given back control of what they want to watch, and when. This will also free the story tellers, who no longer must trim their stories - good stories, mind you - to fit the medium, but rather tell them exactly as they were meant to be.

Glorious.


May 25 – Ant Love!

Well, this is great to see!

One of my favorite artists, Ant Lucia, whose work hangs on my wall( see below )has found some major success since I learned about him 5 years ago, from his take on Star Wars:

Ant Lucia's work, from my Phoenix AZ trip in 2013 - that's ALL I bought there!

Since then, he's been extremely busy working as a designer and illustrator, and his hard work has paid off as DC has found great success with his DC Bombshells designs:


I think he has a magnificent art style, and I was happy to read that he's turned his passion into success, which is an excellent indicator for any artist who might doubt their abilities. You can find out more about him on his Facebook page, or have a browse through his DC Spotlight article.

Today is also the 40th anniversary of the cinematic release of Star Wars!


While I was only a little kid back then, I still recall the magic of seeing Star Wars in the theatres... how big it was, how loud, and how joyful the story seemed to be... true cinema magic. I could wax eloquent here for pages and pages, but I won't, since so many other people have today - g33ks rule!

It changed movies, and pop culture in general... and it's space opera, which is my fave scifi genre, bar none. Hopeful, full of action and adventure: that's my kind of story.

Here's to another 40 years of Star Wars in the world.


May 26 – Resonating

Today was a rough day for me, mentally and emotionally.

My second Land Mark phone call last night didn't go well at all, causing me to spend the rest of last evening and most of this morning deeply engrossed in my own churning thoughts. I probably appeared unusually grumpy and overly focused to my coworkers today, as several of them went out of their way to do things to cheer me up, which I appreciated.

However, by this afternoon I had managed to expunge the negativity from my thoughts by writing down dozens of questions that had been running through my head for the last week and moreso since last night. The technique of externalization served me well to help me recognize the process I was going through, and how to deal with it effectively.

It also helped me come to a wonderful realization:

Sometimes, you must be struck to resonate..
You hear the sound of your true self.
It also exposes flaws, to keep or fix, as you need.

The thought reminded me of the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, where broken pottery is repaired with gold, rather than be discarded, as it's still useful and beautiful:


I'm pleased that I was able to turn things around today, to take my anger at my inability to recognize and then make sense of logical fallacies I was being presented with, then channel it into something else that was usable in a positive way.

There's more work to be done, but I steering my own ship again, confident that I can sail whatever rough seas might be ahead. Especially with the help of brilliant, caring people like my lady, who took time this evening to hear my mind and give her own thoughtful responses.

On life's journey, such splendid company is always welcome.


May 27 – Successful Saturday!

Sometimes your intentions do work out; mine did, today.

After arising again at 5:05am, thanks to some noisy crows outside( it's nesting  season here and they're manically active )I decided to make use of my immediate wakefulness by getting an early start on working on my book. I interspersed my creative efforts with things like breakfast, laundry and a bit of cleaning so that I didn't overwork my brain and left room for new thoughts.

By noon, I needed to get out of the apartment, as it was a gorgeous day outside, so I decided to go for a walk and find lunch somewhere quiet, not an easy task on a busy weekend of wonderful weather. My steps took me towards downtown and I soon found myself at Sookjai, a Thai restaurant that I haven't been to in over year, due to my stomach problems and mobility issues. They have amazing food, served in big portions at excellent prices, and I was glad I could again be a customer.

It's small, quiet, not overly bright and has comfy chairs...

I was also the only one in the restaurant, which I found odd at first but then I realized might be a fantastic opportunity: I asked the waitress if Saturdays were normally quiet and she replied they were indeed - aha!

After enjoying my lunch for a while, I had a second realization: I hadn't heard a single motorcycle go by for almost 45 minutes. I again asked the waitress if this was normal and she said that she rarely hears motorbikes go by on Fort Street, as they prefer to travel down Cook St. on their way to the Dallas Road area to cruise along the ocean - aha again! I know all too well how many hundreds of motorcycles cruise along Cook Street daily during the better weather, necessitating my need to escape from that constant rumbling hell of noise when I'm trying to write - or even just relax. To date, I've been editing my book in my bedroom on my bed with a laptop, as the noise and distraction of the road outside the front room's windows is simply too much to take even with headphones, drawn curtains and earplugs. Moving's also not an option in this sky-high rental market.

Ponds: Exposed, frog-noisy and uncomfortable to sit in.

I am now thinking that Sookjai can be my new non-work / non-home writing space. The waitress confirmed that customers are quite welcome to come in to relax however they want, often bringing their laptops to use the free Wifi through ShawOpen. As long as they buy food or drink, the restaurant is happy to accommodate during the slow daytime on Saturdays...

Yes!!!


May 28 – More Writing

Since the Mufflerless Red Truck woke me at 5:30am today outside my window, I again had the opportunity to make an early start to my day. 


The earplugs, they do nothing...

My creative muse was in fine form, and I spent most of the morning happily editing my book, massaging the rough clay of the words into shapes better suited to my latest thoughts of how the novel should flow.

I also took time for noontime walk, to get some air and clear my head to make space for more ideas, as I like to think of it. Of late, I've been hesitant to do more than 7500 steps a day, as my leg's been complaining, but paying diligent attention to how( and how long )I sit at work during the day appears to be paying off. So too, does the complete lack of caffeine and alcohol of any kind: I wake up with a clear head, and for the most part I've not been bothered by weather changes, both of which are excellent signs of returning resilience.

The walks, though: so necessary for new creative thought. Much like thinking in a shower, a slow walk along a quiet back street lets my mind wander, free to make creative connections while getting my body moving, forestalling any sleepy urges raised by staying still for too long at a stretch - the ideas flow, and I write them down.

Good.

Back to writing for the evening, with an early day likely for tomorrow...


Another early blog entry this week. It's impressive what you can get done when you don't stretch yourself too thin( ummm...yeah )and focus your efforts. The next few months should be interesting, given the choices I've made this week, so stay tuned to see how thing develop.