End of Year Blog 2013

It seems I’ve run out of witty titles as we’ve run out of 2013. This year has been a pretty shit year for a lot of my close friends and the general consensus is that it can do one. While it wasn’t as bad as 2012 for me personally, it still hasn’t exactly been a great year. To say I’ve been happy would be quite a lie. If you want examples of why you may trawl back through my blog, but I don’t won’t to dwell too much in this post. That said, people I know have had far worse years, so I spare a thought for them as we move into 2014. I hope 2014 is a lot better.

 

Despite that, there have been some positives:

I’ve done a lot more writing this year than previous years and I feel a lot more confident about the craft. I’ve sent off a few stories to editors, had some rejections and learnt a lot from them. I have two stories out with editors at the moment that I’m waiting to hear back about, so fingers crossed.

I also started my masters course in writing. What started out as work prompting me to increase my qualifications turned into something much more important. Rather than carrying on down the Audio route, for which I’m fairly happy with the depth of my knowledge, I decided to do a masters in something I wanted to do. If you’ve been following my blog you’ll have noticed how much I’m enjoying it and how it has given me the confidence to finally call myself a writer.

I’ve got a number of really great friends here and with wargaming and my masters I’ve been making more of those friendships as well as making new ones.

The band has pretty much been on a hiatus these last few months, but we are working towards the album and that is becoming more proactive as the weeks progress. In fact I’m probably behind everyone else as I’ve not recorded any guitar yet! We will be back gigging in 2014 and will announce some gigs ASAP. It would be great to see some of my new friends as well as old friends at them. 

So on to 2014; I guess my new years resolution, as we all seem to feel the need to push ourselves on the 1st of January, is to write more. My output is increasing all the time as I get more confident and productive, but that can always be improved. I also plan to get published, this year I must get something published, even if it is just flash fiction. 

I’ve got my first assignment due for uni in the first week and I’m fairly confident that is almost finished. So when that is done, I am going to revisit my novel, 5,000 words of which was stolen on my computer, and move on a lot more with that. I need to get in the habit of working on that while I write the various flash and short stories I write most of the time. I also need to learn that when a project is finished, I start work on the next thing, and to avoid the break in between, it’s unnecessary and limits time. 

I’ve got lots planned this year. Off to a tournament at the end of January, my first one in years! Some gigs also and I’m hoping to go get something signed by Stan Lee at LFCC in July. So I’m quite happy with 2014 before it’s even started, I just need to find someone to share it with. 

Thanks for reading and;

Happy New Year!

2012, Twenty-Twelve, Two Thousand Twelve.

I don’t normally do an end of year report, or I have never done one before. But they seem to be the trend of today. It’s early in the morning and I have already come across several people’s thoughts of the year.So, this year, I’ve decided to do one. Last year (2011) was an incredibly emotional year, the Christmas/New Year period was too raw and too many things had changed for me to pluck up the courage to talk about it all. It’s still a sore issue and this year has been equally emotional, but I have a long last found my voice.

2012 has been a year of huge ups and downs. One of the great things about this year is, as I say, I have found my voice. I have finally moved along the road of my great ambition to write. This blog is a part of that, and while I don’t post often I still manage to keep it alive. Meeting some other writers in November, as well as getting advice from the professionals has been brilliant. I have written a lot more this year than I ever have before. I’m very close to finishing one story (that I intend to finish today – it really must be done in 2012 or it’s taken far too long) and with some luck and hard work I may feature in an independent anthology next year. I’m really looking forward to writing that story but there is a way to go before that happens yet. I will try to keep everyone posted.

But despite that, there have been some huge downs this year for me. I’ve been to some very dark places (which I guess has influenced my need to write as well as what I write) because of personal things that have happen. I don’t want to go in to too much detail, and I don’t ever want to place blame. 2011 was a horrible year emotionally and that continued into 2012, where things have not go much better. I’m incredibly happy that I am able to be friends with my ex-girlfriend, and happy that she has moved on. But the fallout from everything that happened, 18 months later, still hurts. Lost friends and broken bridges break my heart. No matter how much I try to do the right thing, someone always ends up getting hurt, and for that I’m sorry, I never want to bring hurt to anyone. There are some people I would like to say sorry to, but have no means. As I say, I don’t want to go in to detail, it’s probably not fair. But if you ask, I will probably wax lyrical.

I know some people will probably say “Oh but you’ve had a great year, what are you moaning about?!”. But to them I say, some things in life are more important than possessions or achievements.

This year, my band played the Download Festival. Yes, it was fucking amazing, yes I’m incredibly lucky to have done it! But you know what the worst thing about it is? It was so incredible, so unexpected that it still feels like a dream. I still don’t believe I actually played, despite being there and seeing photographic evidence. And the further it gets away the more it seems like an illusion, like some fabrication of my fragile mind. Also, Download was a pretty sad time for me (again? yes I know, I moan a lot!) Seeing Metallica for the first time in years without certain company was incredibly heart-wrenching, so much so that I could barely talk to those I was with and had to go to the bar to excuse myself.

I guess I do look forward to 2013. There should be some good things happening, with some luck. But I also dread it. I dread hearing something that I knows is incredibly possible, that may well break me and I hate not knowing. I also hate not knowing if long lost friends are okay and I know that will continue in to 2013. But we will see, tomorrow is a day like any other but it is also the start of a new year and who knows what it will hold?

 

I suppose I should finish this with an album and film of the year. My album of this year is Dead End Kings by Katatonia and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone. ‘The Longest Year’ from their previous album is still my favourite song and therefore favourite song of this year. It has helped me when I’ve felt down and one of the things I intend to do next year is get the lyrics tattooed on the inside of my left arm (Nothing Else Matters lyrics on the inside of my right arm). I just need to pluck up the courage first! My favourite film by far is the Dark Knight Rises. I absolutely loved the end to a fantastic trilogy of films. The jury is still out on the Hobbit.

Let me give you a sample of the lyrics from three select songs off their new album (but all the songs and lyrics are on the album are beautiful):

The Parting

“In the weak light

I saw you becoming the lie.

Taking it all for granted, like freedom.

It’s something you’ll never have.”

Ambitions

“At night walking on the tracks
Change my perspective
Idle hands with wounds and cracks
Stale
Ineffective
But past the veil
The memories of things
Still so in love with you

So dense this strife
Kicked the life
I feel this weight upon my heart

Indecision
Sow the seed
Aspiration is never within reach
At night there is no other view
Sing a song for the ones who never made it”

Dead Letters

“Dim my lights
Time is frail
You shut my mind
But oh well
Trapped and choked
Erased my trail
Split the chest
My heart couldn’t feel more pale
Only once
Could I see clear

Vexation
Internal void
My dreams are getting darker and darker
And darker”

 

The following are the lyrics I’m thinking about getting tattooed:

“In the nights of old I always wished
In the longest year that had me down
And I would freeze if you ever asked me
That was my way”

Or at least the first two lines.

 

Well thank you for reading and I hope I haven’t depressed you too much.

Happy New Year and good luck for 2013!