“…between zero and one.”

I’ve been in a weird place recently. Working more often than not (10 days out of the last 12) to try and make a bit of money to go do stuff, I’ve made no progress on anything else I got going on.

And all the work and early starts, the lack of progress and lack of energy, has dulled the mind and allowed doubts and fears to creep in. I push them aside but that only allows them to sneak up behind me.

I need help, I need inspiration, I need an idea.

Then this comes along.

Thank you internet. You are the distraction, but sometimes you are the light as well. It’s time to begin, so let’s start shall we… 🙂

Internet Treasures

One of the best things about t’internet is the trove of treasures it can offer up to you. No longer are we limited to what we find geographically, or even what someone else has deemed worthy of distribution, anyone can take anything they create and make it available to the world in a host of different ways.

And I love it! Rather than buying some generic piece of tat that will languish on a shelf for years to come, you can buy some lovingly crafted work of art that just happens to be a CD, a cookbook, or a simple set of postcards.

In my ever growing collection I have a lovely little hand-made ‘Snickety-Snack’ Cookbook from Kamutflake Girl, an album of retro inspired dance tunes called 3 Flavours of 8 Bit by Dainumo, Jeesh & P SUS, some prints I won from the very talented Rakkadeer, and now the latest addition to my collection, a beautiful book of poetry, a CD of music, and a collection of postcards on the theme of The Perpetual Picnic by the gorgeous Samantha Lamb.

internet treasures

I was so excited to get this in the post. Been a fan of Sam Lamb’s work for ages. Her simple style of work belies a cunning eye for the beautiful and serene. And her attention to the details of a happy life give her pictures and poetry an optimistic nostalgia.

Sorry, I know that’s a bizarre mish-mash of adjectives, but like I say I’m quite charmed by the stuff she does. And Sam really walks the walk when it comes to living a lifestyle too. On her farm in Oklahoma she starts every day with a picnic, taking the time each morning to really appreciate the day. And she always has a camera to hand to document her adventures, so that she can post them on her blog and share them with the world. It’s the kind of thing that inspires me to pursue the life I want for myself, and to do it the way I think it should be done, as that certainly seems the path to true happiness.

It’s not about being ‘professional’, or doing ‘the right thing’, but rather about doing what you enjoy, and making something you love. And if that means life (and what you make) ends up a little rough around the edges, well all the better! Sometimes the crusty bits are the ones with the most flavour. 😉

Stranger Than Fiction

“Little did he know…”

You don’t often get a movie that is truly original, yet at the same time very familiar. In many ways that’s the perfect balance that you strive for as a writer, to write something that no one has ever seen or thought of before, but that no one sits there watching scratching their head wondering what the hell is going on. So it is with Stranger Than Fiction.

Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is an average man. An auditor for the tax office, he leads a very dull, very organised life. His is an efficient world – one of numbers, time keeping, routine and unending loneliness – until one day one simple incident sets in motion a chain of events that will ultimately culminate in his death.

We know this, as does Harold Crick, because we and he can hear the writer narrating in his head.

I can’t really explain this film (nor would I if I could). Instead let me just mention one scene that really struck me when I first watched the movie. Harold is having dinner with a friend. He knows, thanks to the narrator, that he is going to die, but he doesn’t know how. He asks his friend, “If you knew you were going to die, what would you do?” His friend tells him, “Go to Space Camp.”

What struck me was, even though Harold is referring to his own imminent death, the question remains valid for each and every one of us. We are all going to die. Without exception. I guarantee it. So why don’t we act accordingly? Why don’t we chase our dreams every day with the same vigor as we would if we knew we only had six months to live? Why does it take a near death experience to shake us out of our apathy?

I watched this film tonight because the woman he becomes involved with in the movie – the gorgeous and incredibly sexy Maggie Gyllenhaal – is a baker, and the thought of jacking in the day job and opening up a bakery somewhere is very enticing to me at the moment. But so is becoming a writer, and teaching yoga. So which should I choose? Or do I have to choose?

Can I do it all? Maybe. Will I do it all? Maybe not. Will I kick myself up the arse enough to get out there and at least do some of it? God I hope so. I’m 37. In some lives, I’d be over half way by now. In others I would have died years ago. What’s the point of living if you don’t enjoy your life? And if you don’t change it now, then when?

This is a brilliant movie. Simple, clever, thought provoking, and very, very moving. I don’t mind admitting I cried a little at the end (and this is about the fourth time I’ve seen it too). It’s given me a great deal to think about before I go to bed tonight, and I think it will you too. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Aches and Growing Pains

I tell you what, being holed up for 4 days with the flu really gives you a new perspective on things.

For one thing I’m sick to death of being stuck indoors all the time. And that includes work as well as at home. I’ve had the last 2 days off work as they were night shifts and I just couldn’t face them, but even so the thought of going back to sitting in a dark room for 12 hours a day just fills me with dread.

This is in contrast to my writing, which I would like to do for a living. But that would be during the day, regular, with a window, and only from about 10am ’til 3pm (if I’m disciplined enough) leaving me ample time to do/teach yoga, or run a retreat centre, or something like that.

I feel more energised today than I have all week, partly due to some physical recovery, and partly due to recent inspirational communications with the very lovely Rikki Cupcake, who has just set up her own vegan cupcake business after her own work situation became a little ‘intolerable’ (NB: if you live in Arizona and want some cupcakes you should definitely give her a call!). It’s time to move on with things. I’ve stagnated for too long.

So I’ve finished typing up the re-writes for my script (103 pages, thank you very much) and I’m going to print them out today once I get a new ink cartridge. Then once my muscles stop complaining I’m going to get back on the yoga bus and ride it all the way to Teacher Town, lol. Come the summer I should be ready to make some serious moves into a new life. A real new life. One worth getting up for in the morning. 🙂

Om shanti, y’awl.

Week 41 : Working For A Living Sucks!

Working for a living sucks!

I know this won’t come as much of a revelation to most of you (hello my generally mute and fairly non-existent audience) but after having a week off I can unequivocally say that not having to go to work is markedly better than having to go to work.

I spent the first few days just tidying up. Y’know, washing, dusting, hoovering, all those things you can’t be arsed doing after a day at work (and don’t want to do on your days off). Then I watched some really rubbish movies. Why are films so God damned boring these days? Seriously, it’s really starting to get on my tits now. Dull, badly paced, crap characters, woefully functional dialogue, it’s getting impossible to find something with a bit of interest and originality in it. And I weep for the future. With people like Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight, Inception) and Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) getting all the big franchises to muck about with (Superman, Wolverine) even the films that are meant to be no brainer entertainment are set to go the boring, over-worked, who-gives-a-damn route.

But there is an upside. All this crap I’ve injected into my head has inspired me to get on with writing my own stuff again. I was working on a new book, which I still am, but the freedom of that has released some kind of block in my head. I sat down the other night, started on this script I haven’t done anything on in months, and suddenly it just started pouring out. I couldn’t stop almost. Next thing I know it’s 2 in the morning and I’d knocked out 5 or 6 scenes. Same the next night, not as much but still a good chunk of work. And again the night after. And it’s good stuff too. Plus the most exciting bit is there’s more waiting to get out. I know how the rest of the film is going to go now, I just need to get it down on paper. It’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately I go back to work tomorrow for a couple of night shifts. They always wipe me out, so by Friday who knows if I’ll have the energy to keep writing or if I’ll just sit there watching The Big Bang Theory on DVD. Let’s hope not eh?

I’ve bought my Christmas cards already, can you believe it? I feel a little embarrassed. I was just going to buy one to send to my brother in Australia, but then Waterstones had a 3-for-2 on so it was only £8 for 24 cards, and it was for charity, and, and, and… and it’s not right is it? Shops shouldn’t be allowed to advertise Christmas until after Halloween at the earliest. One pagan holiday at a time fellas. There’s no rush.

I sat down to meditate the other day and sat for 35 minutes, which is the longest I’ve ever done. Not that I intended to that is. I set my alarm for 20 minutes, but I couldn’t do that (or so I thought). I opened my eyes, a little confused, to find that I’d actually set it for 20 hours (damn you digital displays). What a numpty. Still, nice to see I can go for a lot longer than I thought I could. Not that I actually ‘meditated’ for all that time, but at least I tried.

Saw a mouse in the flat last night. Been hearing them for a while now but this was the first time I’ve spotted a dark figure scuttling across the floor. Now I have to buy some utterly ineffective humane traps to get rid of them. Have to say, this is where being a vegan Buddhist sucks. Poison may be nasty stuff, but it gets the job done.

And coz long posts are boring without a pic or two check out my latest bit of baking.

chocolate chocolate chip cookies

They look nasty but they taste pretty good. Lots of winging it and substitutions going on, hence their splatty nature, but they can’t all be winners eh?