It is November. And the coldest November night since 2010. As I draft this, on a chilly Monday morning, the temperature in Braemar is currently -12°c, and falling. Here in the far north, in the town at the end of the world, it is -1°c.
I have been absent from these pages for a wee while, something that has probably annoyed me more than it has you. However, following this brief reflection, I intend to return with a new impetus.
The next post in my Thirty-Nine Steps series should have been Step Four: On Home. However, this question — of what exactly home means to me, whether a place, a time, a feeling, or even people, or a person — was asked at precisely the wrong time. Or perhaps the right time, considering how seriously I have considered it.
I voted remain, obviously. The events in the
However, all these things, not to mention the rise of the right (and please, please, stop calling it the alt-right — the things these people say are not “alt”, they are neo-Nazis, and I have zero tolerance for that and, especially, for them) — these things have stalled my progress on Step Four (and you should also have a look at this post, as it contains a lot of wisdom on how to move forward at this time). I got stuck, rewriting, rethinking, retooling, re-examining what Home means to me. At this precise moment, this feels like home:
When I write fiction (something I shall soon discuss in more depth), I have developed a drafting habit I like. If I get stuck, if I find a scene too difficult to write, or I note that it is taking too long or using up too much of my wee brainpower — then I skip it. I move on. Leave a small note for future redraft-Alex, perhaps, and get to the next step. A draft is always an unruly mess, and this, for me, works. I often return to that point during redrafting and realise the oh-so-impossible scene isn’t even needed, but was actually a distraction all along, simply there to cause me to stumble and pause.
And that is why this is here, and also why it is Step Four-Point-Five and not Step Four.
I shall return to the idea of Home at some point in the future. I shall certainly share that essay with you (and the attendant photos I’ve chosen to accompany it), but not yet. Perhaps not for a while. This is my blog — my place, my rules. For
When it comes to
I have several posts planned for here.
I also want to talk about places I have visited, things I have seen and done. Adventures. Begin to share other posts I have long planned, such as a discussion of items I have found useful over the years, or dip further into how I have shifted my mindset about exercise, how this works out practically. I have a lot to write and post here, and I think it is important that I do so, for myself, if not for any other potential reader.
Too often there is a temptation to concentrate on work-for-money, to avoid those projects and ideas that will not really generate any income, but this is wrong and perhaps even dangerous to the writer. I need to share thoughts that mean something, share ideas that I think might help others and, through sharing, enable me to focus on what they mean to me. I also need to remind myself that there
The kind, the good; they are too often mistaken for the weak. This is wrong, but it is not a bad thing. Those who mistake kindness for weakness and exploit it, well, I feel they are in for a surprise. Again, it is basic tactics; never underestimate your opponent — yet it is a trap I see many bullies currently falling into. Their mistake.
So this is Step Four-Point-Five; a brief reassessment of myself, of my situation, a wee gaze into the future, and a subtle flexing of blog-muscles, stretch of the WordPress tendons. It feels good to wake, it feels good to be thinking and talking again. Hello.