Contemplating the Beginning of 2020

The start of a decade means a new approach for me, journal-ling my writing is something I haven’t done before but I intend to record how much I’ve written and write down 3 to 5 words which describe the day and how I feel about my writing – I even started it on Monday so that I have a full weeks entries in my diary. Whatever your process to achieve your goals is I urge you to do whats right for you, my method may not work for you and vice versa so there is no shame in being different. The start of a new decade gives us a fresh pathway to travel and life will start to make more sense as you progress, its important to keep listening to yourself and overcoming the lessons you are trying to learn.

Looking forward I can see the journey I have to make is far different to how I imagined its going to be interesting and I know I will learn a lot despite the prospect of some of it being quite intense, learning to be a fully fledged writer is something I have wanted for some time now and I cant wait to get my first book finished and on route to its publishing, I know it will take time but I’m prepared to commit to it, I want to see my hard work realised and presented for the world to see.

Beginning new adventures of discovery and creativity is something I cannot wait to embrace, knowing how much I achieved in the last 10 years it intrigues me to discover what I can accomplish in the next decade! Being born in the 80s it means I am now in my fifth decade of my age span, which is pretty amazing in my book, we have seen massive changes in that time and it looks like we are set to see even more changes in the coming years so it is with a new mindset we go forth into the breach to fight the good fight and life our best life. Have faith in the process.

Have a wonderful 2020 everyone, any thoughts or comments please do leave one down below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Over It – 2010 to 2019 – Another Decade Gone

Its crazy to think that the imminently approaching New Year is in fact the end of a decade. The last 9 years have flown by and we are now entering the 20s once more. The 1920s were a turbulent time for for humanity, the first world war shaking countries to the core and the introduction of prohibition in the United States ending the public sale of alcohol for 13 years and fuelling an extensive black market run by gangs across the country, Al Capone essentially built his reputation on the sale of alcohol, obscene amount of money he received through profits were enough to allow the IRS to incarcerate him for 11 years and being fined a record $215 thousand dollars plus interest which is the equivalent to $2,764,986.00 in today’s money.

To me New Year is rarely a big occasion the number of times the night has disappointed despite arranging everything to the last detail means that I have now sworn not to go out but merely stay in with plenty of the things I enjoy. With regards to the future, I know not what it holds but what I do know is that this year will be different, the focus and energy I feel now is different to the past 5 or so years.

I have said it many times but life has its own funny way of teaching you lessons, if at first you don’t get it, it will make you practice until you do. I recently went through some things in the loft that I had kept for nearly 15 years, the CDs are memories of feelings which can be acknowledged but the behaviour doesn’t need repeating. You can be reminded of a good feeling, you can hold that good feeling and turn it into something relevant to now, the same can be said for a bad experience, ask yourself what did you learn? Have you grown since? If the answer to this is no, its time to let go of those feelings.

Its a time for new good habits to be formed, life will not hand it to you on a platter so get ready to do some self-service at the buffet table of life and opportunity. Stay tuned for more details of my upcoming novel and of course my daily posts.

Rare Meat

The term meat can be used in a number of different ways, in reference literally to flesh but also a derogatory term, considered mostly for women but could well be used in reference to men. The term treating someone like a piece of meat referring is a feeling of dehumanisation and objectification, women are most vocal regarding their treatment in this way but I genuinely believe that women are far worse culprits in this case, we shame men for porn and staring at page 3 girls and yet we as heterosexual women objectify footballers, musicians, models, is this any better I ask you? Women may be the more ‘vulnerable’ sex for want of a better phrase but we are just as culpable, men may not feel as strongly about it or it feeds their egos in someway but it doesn’t make it right.

So what makes meat rare? What makes anything rare? exclusivity, uniqueness? Its traditionally defined as uncommon or few and far between, by definition we are all rare as we are not the same and yet some of us are considered rare and some of us common because we don’t stand out, sidelined because we are too shy to show off our assets like others do. There is nothing wrong with being strong and confident in oneself life is for the taking and you should live your best life not caring what others think of you, if you feel uncomfortable say something or walk away but don’t feel trapped do nothing and complain, its akin to whining about the state of your country and then not voting for change.

In a world where we are encouraged to conform and are groomed to be workers for the streams of large companies its important to stand out from the crowd, few will love you for it when you are successful but those friends who love you for you and understand your process will always support you, joining the throng and getting trapped under the glass ceiling is fine if that’s what you want to do but again don’t get yourself then fight like a cat in a barrel because you suddenly discovered youve been stripped of your identity and are just as under appreciated as everyone else. Napoleon Hills ‘Think and Grow Rich’ teaches an individual positive mindset and encourages you to stand out from the crowd, it also encourages you to be the best version of you possible, if you havent read it I strongly suggest you do, its available to buy or download online.

Slay Queen or Sleigh Queen?

Todays prompt is slay, searching on unsplash under the term slay brought the featured image you see in this post, slay queen could be interpreted in different ways my first thought was a christmas related miss spelling but that was quickly dispelled after some preliminary research yielded the conclusion that it is seemingly the pattern of behaviour of a female narcissist, the self-obsessed ladies who can only have things they have specified down to the very last detail to prove the amount of money they spent, cannot meet people without make up on and are obsessed largely with partying and money nothing else.

Its interesting to learn new phrases and names, the etymology of words is fascinating, research made very easy by the power of the internet, although relying solely on reddit and wikipedia for your sources is unlikely to furnish you with consistent accurate knowledge there are plenty of scholarly articles and other more reliable sources, its important to question things as some words and phrases have many different meanings the last thing you want to be doing is insulting someone unintentionally at least if you do insult them intend to do it.

The Trees Are Alive

The forest was always a special place to Alice, she spent a lot of time staring up through the leaves and branches, wondering what the world was like out there. Living in the forest and not being able to leave was a drag, all she wanted to do was explore. The rays of sunlight teased her all day and at night the stars were bright enough to keep her awake. The passion and desire to explore grew over time, one day she knew she had to break free, no longer could she remain trapped inside, she packed a small bag and one night left the village. Many had left and not returned, this was why she wasn’t allowed to leave as it would mean one less to keep the gene pool going, she didnt like those odds and didnt look back as she got to the edge of the forest, there didnt seem to be obvious danger. The trees noticed her leaving, they would remember, like they did with the others.

The land flattened into a green valley with an abundance of animals and plants, on the other side she could see lights, many more than her village had, she could see the sky above her, the stars shining brightly, whatever those lights were she wanted to see it, so she set off into the distance, she would try and write home some day, the village wasnt cut off from the rest of the world it was simply very insular and didnt like contact with the outside world. Maybe she would find some of the people who had left, they could show her the ropes and help her find somewhere to sleep, she had a tent with her it wasnt like she was unprepared but if she could sleep in a bed that would be preferable.

It took several days to walk to the other side it was much further than she first thought. Once she was there it was a confusing mass of people, animals and strange forms of transport. She understood the concept of a wheel but how they seemed to move without a horse or cow intrigued her clearly people were more progressive, maybe her ideas would be better received here, at home they just assumed she was crazy with all her suggested improvements to their farming methods and food processing. Looking across the road she couldnt believe it was someone she recognised, she carefully made her way across to tap them on the shoulder, she hesitated for a moment, they turned just as she shied back she felt a hand on her shoulder and she stopped. Turning round to face them, the memories came flooding back, she threw her arms around the strong shoulders she remembered, she mumbled happy noises and was lead off to safety.

Cats

Funny how you never really own a cat, they say pets are helpless animals that need love care and affection and most importantly feeding, a dog relies on its own humans for food, a cat (with the exception of house cats) if not satisfied with the service its currently receiving from its slaves goes and finds another house to avail themselves of the menu, when they’ve had enough of your bullshit they simply saunter off into the sunset, returning later to see if there might be a better offering.

The story of Cats originally started off as a musical, loved by many and remembered by me as one of the first pieces of musical theatre I’d ever seen as a child. The characters moved like slinky cats they embodied everything I did not, balance, poise, emotion it was truly magical. Fast forward to 2019 and the release of the film (please note I will not be seeing as I don’t want my memories spoiling, the general reaction seems to be similar to mine if I were to see it. The biggest issue seems to be the CGI, despite modern times, the system is still not perfected so there will be disappointments, unfortunately acting can only be taught to a point and the rest is up to the actor themselves, if the talent is not there it will not shine and as they say you cant polish a turd so remember that when you continue the dead horse you have been flogging. Re-releasing the film with improved visuals may help but it bares remembering that film audiences are difficult to bring round once they have been upset.

The point I suppose im trying to make is do be like Cats, think carefully about re-inventing yourself, people love you for you and changing that may make them react badly, the true friends stay with you through thick and thin, be the change you want to see in this world.

Afrique du Sud

Photo by Maëlia Faust on Unsplash

South Africa – a troubled but beautiful land, the chosen holiday destination for some others to visit family.

Hours could be spent on the atrocities marring their records over the last few hundred years. Seven Nobel Peace Prizes awarded and yet it is still considered one of the most dangerous destinations in the world.

The nature reserves rife with poaching and country roads plagued by bandits who take what they want as it passes by.

2019 saw the discovery of an entirely new species of dinosaur which had been on display in a South African Museum mis-identified at the time of classification 30 years ago. A fantastic discovery and a leap in archaeology it would be interesting to see if the rest of the site was accessible, who knows what else might be there to discover.

Nelson Mandela did what he could for peace in South Africa and was punished for trying, his winning the Nobel Peace Prize twice over goes little to celebrating his commitment to the cause. A country divided and now somewhat reunited the disruption and scars remain.

Their rugby team is pretty good, and their cricket team isn’t bad either. I’m told that its a country to experience and it would be interesting to explore one day.

The General

Photo by Tarik Haiga on Unsplash

Standing tall he surveyed his troops, they were in fact local countrymen, not soldiers at all, this made what he was about to do feel much worse. The problem with Government is their innate hatred of the common man, despite their supposed leadership of said people, they cared less about them than they did their dogs (dogs were considered more important than even the Government so this is a slightly skewed comparison).

The General was somewhat at a loss, the desire to try and save these poor men was strong but the consequences would be abhorrent, he would have to try and make it as easy as possible on them, their inevitable deaths would come sooner than they knew, he saw the betrayed look on their faces, it was the hardest part of his job. The warrior programme had never been completed, by anyone other than its creator, this meant that there was a matter of pride for those who were chosen to apply, what they didn’t realise is that it was used as an alternative to the firing squad, the course was so gruelling and treacherous that few made it even a quarter of the way round. The course was just the start the training that followed after had broken many men and some women. It all had to be completed, at the end was a simulated full scale war, for those who made it that far it was usually the last straw.

The group of men in front of the General had all been collected from the same province, a mixture of honest and criminal tendencies, there had been no particular reason other than a whim from the High King. All they knew was that they had been summoned, no more no less, they had heard of people being summoned before but never returning, it was unfortunate but it surely wouldn’t happen to them, right? If they had known what it entailed half of them would have probably absconded and gone into hiding, if you were called there was option, you couldn’t politely refuse the offer, you left that night, no goodbyes just disappeared. How hard could it be some thought, they had no idea, their simple lives had never extended beyond bar fights and the odd clan invasion.

Gesturing towards the beginning of the course he shouted instructions to the men, who at first confused then started running towards the start, some didnt even make it to the start line, crushed in the hundreds simultaneously trying to get to the front. The pistol shot rang out and a mass of bodies started moving towards the first hurdle, it was horrific to see, the trail of broken bodies left behind continued round the first two sections. As the group grew smaller it was now survival of the fittest. They ploughed on they could see what they thought was the finish line in sight, The General continued watching knowing what was coming. Impressed that there were still 100 men there he wondered if this time it would be different, maybe there were warriors out there and they just didnt know it?

The end of the first course saw 75 remain, an astonishing amount considering previous trials. The next two stages removed a couple more but by the final challenge there were still 35 or 40 the General had never seen such resilience, these men didn’t seemed to be phased by anything, the completed the challenge and stood waiting at the end, out of breath and broken but there was still a spark of life in their eyes. They were lead to a banquet which had been laid out for them, they gorged on the feast that lay before them and rested well that night. Morning came and they were brought back to the High Kings presence, odd to think they had actually made it through, none of them could quite believe it neither could the High King quite frankly, declaring them all warriors they started their new lives in the High Kings Court. Still entirely unsure how they managed to get there.

Twig

He looked up at the stars, Twig knew they would come and find him eventually, he had taken enough from the safe for someone to notice, he hoped it would take them a while although he wanted to at least get his head straight before he faced them. Bizarrely he had taken documents but seemingly little cash which was annoying he’d hoped he could use the money to get away from them. The bonds he had taken were traceable so there was no cashing them in, there was enough for the next week or so if he could find a cheap place to sleep but he wouldn’t be skipping town anytime soon, he could hear his phone ringing in his bag, it was his brother who had arrived home no doubt to see the faked robbery that Twig had inexpertly executed and was ringing him to find out what was going on. Twig needed a bit more time before he answered him, Oak was headstrong like himself and fiercely protective of his brother but this would be a difficult one to smooth over.

Oak stood staring at the hallway it was like a bomb had gone off, nothing was missing it was just broken or strewn across the floor, he walked through the house to the safe knowing that if anything would have been taken it would have been from there, he could see it had been opened, there was only one person who had been in the house and the cameras would unfortunately prove it, there was little he could do to help until he understood why Twig had suddenly lost the plot and wrecked the place then run away with barely enough to get him to the bus station let alone out of town. Picking up his phone he sent a quick message to his parents to go out for dinner and he would meet them later, then tried calling Twig again, still no answer, he couldn’t have gotten that far simply because of his inability to drive and barely enough money for the bus to the end of the street. Oak cleared up most of the mess, he would explain to his parents whilst they were out so it wasnt such a shock later.

Twig had his phone next to him now, he had just about cleared his head but he now had no idea what he would do, he wrecked the place before leaving, his parents would go spare, mainly because he hadnt talked to them he had just let it all build up inside and then imploded. Going back tonight wasnt an option he had to stay away until he had at least spoken to Oak no doubt he had managed to smooth it over, Twig felt bad there was no need for his brother to be clearing up after him still or making excuses to their parents for that matter. The phone rang again, it was Oak, Twig took a deep breath picked up the phone.

To be continued.