Thursday, 21 August 2014

Getting my writing mojo back

My writing schedule is currently sitting perilously close to 60%. It started on the 28th July so we're nearly at the four week mark. I'm not sure whether that can be declared a success. But I do know more regular writing has been done in the last few weeks than I have managed for many months. That's proof that having a plan is vastly superior to trying to do it as and when. Very importantly, my stalled blog novel, As Bright as the Fading Ark, has now been revived. It was poor of me to let it lapse for as long as I did, both for anyone reading it, and for myself. 

What has surprised me is how quickly the voices of Ebbe and Anthony have returned to the tips of my fingers. Within minutes of continuing their adventures, I discovered they had simply been in stasis within my mind, and were quick to defrost, and get on with their lives.

The only issue I found was a frequent desire to type Clara, instead of Ebbe, for the first chapter! Both are so very different in their outlook and attitude, so I'm not in danger of mixing up characters, but Clara, being my primary focus is the name most frequently on my mind. 

But I am glad, so very glad, the story is back up and running. It doesn't matter how long it will take, it will continue, and that's what matters most. 

I'd say my Seal of Solomon follow up, The Staff of Aaron, is about half way through now. These past few weeks have provided a writing boost that has spurred the story to a definite turning point. I find that the moment I have written myself into a corner, is the moment the story takes a thrilling turn. That literally happened last night. Clara had, rather naughtily, decided to head home, much to my surprise. This had thrown the story in the opposite direction I had planned. Her actions swiftly drove me into a brick wall and I found myself uncertain how to turn back, or move forward. 

Eventually I admitted defeat and retired to bed. But in the shower it suddenly struck me why Clara had done what she had, and how the decision to return home proved the natural turning point for the story. Rather than having lost the plot, I now had the perfect opportunity to start to explain the mysteries that have been piling up, and to thrust the adventure precisely where I had planned all along. I had to make a choice, note the idea and continue to bed, or return to the laptop and add the elements required. It was too brilliant, too perfect to not use the burst of inspiration immediately. I ended up writing well past midnight, but the computer was re-shut with renewed enthusiasm. I could sleep easy knowing Clara, Lisa, Heather and the others were heading exactly where I had always planned after all.

How could I have doubted Clara's wisdom? I wanted her to be proactive in her new life, so I should not have been surprised she was making her own decisions, she won't even let her creator control her! 

A third project is something very different. It has been a slow-boil project with a friend, whereby we've been meeting most Tuesdays to discuss, plot and plan a short film. At least, it was originally meant to be a short, but after months of conceptualising, plotting and planning, it would seem to be closer to a feature length. Working on a joint story has been a very different and interesting experience. Unlike working alone, where all your ideas are king, and you write and write, and are unlikely to show the fruits of your labour until it is complete, or very advanced, working as a duo, you are frequently being challenged.

The story, and characters, have been carefully formed, by what was effectively a large amount of question and answer sessions. Why does this happen? What about that? Would this happen? How would they manage that? Is that a cliché? On and on, throwing ideas out there, merging some, ditching others, disagreeing, or offering solutions the other would never have considered. What all those months of meet-ups has borne is an extremely detailed background, a time-line of revelations and explanations; a character driven sci-fi drama. We are now at the stage a screenplay is needed, so the meet-ups are currently on hold. Characters were divvied out, so I am writing one set, and he is writing the others. This will be an interesting experiment because it should bring out very distinct voices. The danger when one person writes the entire script is all the characters starting to sound like the writer. 

Where this project will lead is anyone's guess. The aim is to shoot the film, edit it, and release it online. Clearly, it will be a work of extreme genius, and will launch us into the film world. Foregone conclusion.

This blog is technically my fourth writing project, but no less important than anything else. This is my voice, my thoughts, my interests. It is unapologetically random. Sometimes I have a subject, other times it's just a mind-spill, but no matter what, it is essential to keeping my mind active. The more I write, the better I write, the more I want to write, the more I tell naughty adorable wife not to distract me, and tell me to skive off and cooch up with her on the couch watching movies! Lastly, it is a sanity check, and a reality check. My last blog felt like a release, I spilled my neural guts somewhat, and afterwards, I'll tell you what, I felt like I needed to just get on and do things. By writing, I unleashed some extra confidence, a more fearless side. 

I'll look to bump by writing schedule back above 70% in the next week or so. I'd be more comfortable hovering around 80% rather than 60%. We shall just have to wait and see...

Friday, 15 August 2014

I don't always understand who I am...

Writing, film, art; it's all about trying to understand who, and what we are. As much as we think we know, be it about the nature of our world, about the science of the universe, about human nature, we never really seem to comprehend any of it fully. We're constantly seeking answers and asking new questions. 

I do things I don't understand, respond in ways I don't mean, react to something in a way that takes me by surprise. If I can't crack my own code, what chance do I have of deciphering the code of others? 

There's certainly no universal operators guide to be human. No multi-lingual instructions to refer to when things get confusing. It's why we are so fascinated with what it means to be 'human'. I think that this is the primary reason science-fiction and fantasy are so hugely popular, because they allow us to hold up a mirror, to question our reflection, and see what happens if we tinker with our human formula. What if we extract a human trait, or create species that only has one, or a being that has none. It's a way of assessing who, and what we are. A fictional filtration system.

We're certainly an odd species. We seem capable of emotionally connecting with complete strangers. Indeed, we can become deeply emotionally involved with characters we know are fictional. Yet, we can also see genuine suffering and tragedy, and isolate it emotionally, not allowing the horror to overwhelm our senses and prevent us from living our own lives. Why do we watch a TV show about long-lost relatives, and sob our eyes out, but watch the news with relative apathy? How can the death of a favourite character in a novel, or TV show, cause us heartbreak? 

It fascinates me. People fascinate me. I think they scare me too. There's a level of discomfort that comes from realising that the fellow creatures that surround you are unpredictable, irrational beings, just like you. Fellow beings whose thoughts could match yours to a degree that would shock you, or differ so greatly it would be hard for a non-human observer to believe we are the same. 

I have plenty of thoughts that I don't verbalise. Good, bad, ugly, amazing, wondrous, ridiculous, gruesome, perverse, idiotic, insane, clever, ingenious, pointless and more beyond. I can but assume that most others are the same. Certainly a dubious suggestion a person can fling at you, is that you never think about what you do, or what you say. The idea that anyone else can even comprehend what you may, or may not have thought, is back to the realms of science fiction. If I only verbalise 20% of what I think, can any one person even say they know me? I may speak differently to different people, and reveal different facets of my personality to each, but no one person has the whole. No one person even has enough of a portion to complete my jigsaw. That includes me. I am the biased of all when it comes to me. Surely we all are. The subject of the inner self is one of overwhelming prejudice. 

We can be our own best friend, but also our own worst enemy. We may congratulate ourselves for our achievements, but we may also focus on our flaws, our failings, our problems. Many of the latter three may not even exist. Many positives we believe we have may also not exist. Such concepts are arbitrary, conditional and impossible to truly measure when you are not subjective.

As someone who struggles with confidence, I like to imagine that even the most outwardly confident person has inner struggles. We only ever see the facade offered to us at the moment of interaction, but as I do not offer the sum of my parts all at once, I don't think anyone else does either. 

I think I often project confidence at work, and those who know me only from there may be surprised to learn I am extremely shy, and struggle against my innate desire to retreat, to not be seen, daily. It's a trait I fear often makes me seem rude to others, skewing both my perception and theirs. Because I'm fairly sure I'm not a rude person, but that means if I am ever rude, I may be blind to the fact at the time. And if I am rude by not replying to a social request, it was via procrastinating due to an irrational fear about saying yes, or no. But does that make me rude, or simply appear rude? And is there any difference?

Is the key to understanding yourself to actually look outwardly? To not be introspective, and ponder why you are what you are, but to instead see who others are, and try and understand them? Perhaps we can better judge ourselves when we have spent the time non-judgementally with others. Perhaps. 

There's no easy answer is there. I'll admit, I don't always understand who I am. I'll also admit I don't always like who I am.

Even now, writing this, I'm judging myself, concerned about what I've written, about whether I should mention something personal to me, or some current affairs, of being right, or wrong, or being judged. But not really being concerned. Just a feeling, a sensation,  a chemical reaction to an emotional existential quandary, forming a physical effect that I have to ignore. 

In that sense, art, my art, is my way of both being myself and fighting with who I am. Be myself, be better, don't worry, but don't become complacent. Art is selfish that way. I do it for my reasons, but once I have released it, what you see in it, is what you want. That's why some will like it and others won't. Some will see what I said, others will see what I didn't say. Both are right. 

At the very least, when I ask who I am, or if someone asks me, I should say I am a writer. Good, bad, mediocre. I don't think it matters. I put words to screen. That makes me a writer. That is my art. I use it to externalise parts of me that lie within. My characters are my good and my bad. They live the lives I cannot. They say the things I wish I could say. They're smarter than I could ever be, yet they are me. They are imperfect idiots. They're me in another world. They're me right now. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

What the heck is common sense?

What the heck is common sense?

It's something we all seem to bash on about day in, day out. Someone is always saying "why didn't they use their common sense?", or something about a decision being common sense.

But what is it?

Looking at the dictionary, there are 22 definitions of the word 'common', and 25 definitions for the word 'sense'. That means hundreds of variant meanings of the two words in that particular order.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not daft. I understand that when it is said, the context is specifically referring to something being a logical choice.

But when you stop and think about it, when the same two words can have hundreds of permutations, and the meaning of those two words should really mean something else, what is common, or sensible about the phrase?

A common sense, in my mind, is sight. Most of us have it. Most animals have it. Thus it is common. The same applies to hearing, smell, and touch. These are all, I'm sure you'd agree, common senses.

Therefore, common sense, should really be when we can all smell the delicious Thai food wafting from the kitchen, using the same sense.

But we really mean, the choice was obvious. I suppose the meaning of sense here is number 10 in my dictionary - the recognition of something as incumbent or fitting: a sense of duty. 

Perhaps number 11 is fitting too - sound practical intelligence: He has no sense. 

But now I'm in this part of the dictionary, how about number 12? - something that is sensible or reasonable: to talk sense.

So we can have a sense of something (but not using our actual senses), have no sense (but still retain all our senses), or talk sense (but not necessarily about our senses). All of which don't make much sense. 

Let's say number 12 is actually the most accurate version of sense in the common context. I'm thinking of tying that with definition 4 for common - widespread; general; ordinary: common knowledge.

The latter example is very much in line with common sense, so I feel we are describing what we believe to be a widespread, ordinary something that is sensible or reasonable.

And herein lies my issue with the phrase. Who's definition of what is sensible or reasonable are you using? Only your own, surely? You are using your personal judgement as to what is sensible or reasonable. So how is it common? Are your personal thoughts widespread, general and ordinary? If you think so, how do you know? Can you truly declare that your thoughts are in line with more people than not. Because to be widespread, general and ordinary; to be common, isn't that what you need to know? That you are part of a collective of like-minded thinkers.

So, how many times have you been in a room of, say, twenty people, and agreed with them all? Just twenty people. I can honestly say I don't think I ever have. Frankly, you can be in a room with three people, and you can all still have different ideas about how something should be done. So how common can any commoninity ever be? Yes, I just made that word up, but it sounds nice to say. Try it! (Of course, some of you will disagree).

Also, by which social structure are you considering your sensible or reasonable actions? By your own culture? By the culture where you are now (if not your own)? By some idealised culture you read about in a book? By the Thuggee rulebook? Well, each one of those comes with its own preset ideals, prejudices, and social expectations. So not only do you have your own personal take on sense and reason, but it will be based on hundreds, possibly thousands of years of social indoctrination. 

I don't think we can truly huff at what someone else did, and ponder why they didn't use their common sense. Because they did. They used the sensible, reasonable ideas in their own mind. And those ideas may technically be more common than your own sensible, reasonable ideas. 

If 'bad' ideas are more common than 'good', then they become common sense. And then suggesting someone should use common sense would be a bad idea.

It would seem, to me, to be common sense not to kill. You may even say that the idea IS common sense because it's cited in laws, and religious texts the world over. But yet humans have been killing humans since year dot. In fact we got better, and more efficient at it with new technology. So even something that you would hope you could hold up as the bastion of common sense, falls down daily.

Therefore I return, full circle, to my original question; what the heck is common sense?

It is a myth. It is a legend. 

I think from now on it shall be thus in my mind:

Common dictionary definition 7. - of mediocre or inferior quality
Sense dictionary definition 8. - a more or less vague perception or impression.

So... A mediocre impression.

That way, when someone doesn't impress me much, I can just mention their common sense.

I only hope this blog didn't make a common sense to you...

Thursday, 31 July 2014

I have a plan!


I have a plan. In fact, I had a plan a long time ago, but have only now acted upon it. 

I've established a rota of writing and put into onto the calendar that shows on my phone and my tablet. That way the technology I look at always reminds me that I have better things to do than waste time browsing the Internet or Facebook. 

I do work well to deadlines and targets. So in addition I've created a spreadsheet that mirrors the calendar, which I need to fill in each day with a Y, or a N. It automatically counts the Ys and Ns and tells me how successful I am at hitting my writing targets. 

This blog is day four of my new calendar, and will make me remain on a 100% success rate. This day is the litmus test for my willpower and determination, because I am supposed to do this every Thursday. It is also the thing I have not done since October last year! That's nearly 10 months. If this was my job, I'd have lost it a long time ago! If it was my rent I'd have had a notice of eviction. 

Thursdays have become my one week on, one week off, primary social night, whereby I'll head out with friends for a drink and a laugh. So that makes this a double test. I did pop out after a full day of work, had a couple of pints, and am now back home, having fed and watered myself. 

The temptation, in this relaxed state was definitely to declare the night a relax and chill night. 

But I have a schedule, and a spreadsheet that will expose my slackness, and highlight my guilt. Sure it will only reveal it to me, as I am the one who completes it. But my own guilt, my own conscience is the only one I can rely on to truly forge forward and make a change.

And lo, the dread of waking tomorrow racked with guilt for abandoning my schedule so soon was enough to ensure the computer was opened and the dust was blown of my poor old blog. 

Day four is clearly too soon to declare 100% success is anything other than starters enthusiasm. Day forty will be more telling!

It is a flexible plan. The point is not to strictly enforce rules upon myself. It's more about getting writing done as a priority. I may have a day job, but this is my evening career and, just as my day job consists of a variety of subjects and tasks, so does my writing. 

So I have a screenplay in progress with a friend. I have this here neglected blog. I have my even greater neglected blog novel, As Bright as the Fading Ark. And I have Clara Bow, her adventures continuing in The Staff of Aaron. 

Clara is definitely my focus. I have set aside two nights and one weekend day to her. Not only is she my only current source of writing income, she is also the most labour intensive creation, needing to become a full fledged novel. 

But my brain does go off on tangents and the other projects help me refresh my mind and focus on other concepts that don't fit into her world. 

To account for fluctuations in creative thought processes, although the calendar is chiselled into digital stone, the speadsheet allows me to add a second task/achievement for the day, or to amend the sole task from one to another. In essence, writing of any sort is a success.

Perhaps I shouldn't need to set up such a structured guide. I love writing. I should just do it because I love it. I think it's just how my brain is wired. I know, the "I'll do it tomorrow" thought process is not unique to me. I'm positive that many declarations have been made akin to "as from tomorrow I am going to change and blah blah". And this is despite us all knowing that the only way it's going to actually happen is if we do it now, not tomorrow.

That's not to say I haven't been writing The Staff of Aaron. I have. But it has been sporadic and random. And any poor soul who subscribed to one, or both of my blogs has been only too aware that they have been neglected. I want to know what I can achieve when I have a defined agenda. 

At work I will start a project and it will seem as if the end is nowhere is sight. Yet, within a day or two, despite numerous interruptions and distractions, the task is completed. If that happens without me trying too hard at work, why should the same principles not apply to my writing? In some way I need the variety, the interruptions and the distractions to keep my mind whirring, to focus and refocus my thought process. It's how my mind works. There's chaos up there and I think I need to go with it, rather than try and fight it. 

So multiple projects, with a defined, but flexible schedule, allows form the chaos to remain chaotic, but active, and productive. It's validating my need to dip in and out of different projects, without the guilt that I should have written about Clara, ot whatever I deem to be my primary project of the time. Today is about writing whatever my brains feeds me as I type, without over thinking. This blog has never been a product aiming for a certain target. It was about me typing words, spilling my verbal guts onto the screen and publicising them. It's just me in written form, and if one person, or a million people read it, that's fine either way. I never want to be nervous to be a voice. If writing something publicly makes me nervous how can I ever expect to make a life out of it? Simply put, I can't! 

No promises my dears, but this is week one of 'The Plan'. Who's going to stay with me long enough to see me through to week forty? Or perhaps, more importantly, am I going to stay with you? Because you're not going anywhere are you! You never did. It was me who absconded. Silly me!

Monday, 28 October 2013

This is Halloween - Adventures of a pumpkin carver!

This was our first ever attempt at carving pumpkins...
Tearing out the innards is fun!

We drew our own templates...
Using a pin to prick guide holes onto the pumpkin

Adorable wife's Oogie Boogie template
Gently does it!
Adorable wife getting stuck in!

Yummy by-products to roast!
Roasted with sichuan pepper...
Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup!

Roasted pumpkin seeds! Delicious.

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, 30 September 2013

The etiquette of email and text replies

I try and do things when they need doing. Otherwise they get left, and the longer they get left, the longer it seems to take to do.

This includes cleaning. There's a point where I don't like the mess and just do it, and that tolerance level is suitably low. 

This includes the dishes. I have never liked leaving dishes. I'd much rather get clean them as soon as I can and move on with something. Why anyone would prefer to tackle a towering stack of food encrusted I cannot imagine.

In fact, it includes any commonly disliked chores, with the exception of taking out the rubbish. Not my favourite, because the bin store is so faaaaar! First world problem that I guess. Oh boo hoo, I have to carry my rubbish downstairs and outside. 

Anyway, what I'm talking about is primarily human interaction. Yup, that thing we all do, day in, and day out. Have you ever had an email, or worse, a text, that you knew you ought to reply to, but didn't immediately, for whatever reason? That's fine initially. You may be busy obviously, or just need to think of a good response. But there must be a time limit when you cross from otherwise engaged to rude. I fear I step over that line too often.

I had an email last week that I knew demanded a response. I knew I had nothing to add and could essentially agree with everything the sender said. Easy really. But I didn't feel like answering immediately. I don't even know what that means. How can you not feel like sending an email? The person isn't there, right up in your face, pressuring you to say or do something untoward. So why hesitate?

But hesitate I did. And then it was a few days later and I realised I ought to send something. But now the pressure seemed greater, because if I'd left it that long I should have something to add to the conversation. That wasn't the plan! That was never the plan! Just agree and move along. So I left it a bit longer.

On Friday I caught a glance of the sender from the corner of my eye. Subtle enough that I hoped my inaction was seen only as me not spotting them and hustling on with my busy day. But as I made my way back to the office I wondered whether I ought to send a reply. But if they had seen me, they would know I only did it because I felt obliged after seeing them/being seen. That made the whole issue more charged than it should be and rather than put that sort of pressure on a simple reply I still didn't send it.

But the worst horror was to receive a chasing email today, checking what I thought about the original email. That was it. I was well into the rude not to reply zone and was being called up for it. Now, whatever I sent would be inadequate and solely reactive. A perfunctory reply was swiftly knocked up and sent out, a simple apology, without explanation, added, a subtle grovelling without over egging the matter.

I knew it was too late and I knew email etiquette had been broken and there was nothing I could do but to move on.

It's one thing to do that with an email, but texts are a whole other level. Somehow they demand attention. I think a text is sent with an expectation of a swift reply. That's why the text was sent. It's a message they didn't want you to miss. Had they wanted a casual chat, they would have called and if you didn't answer, no harm done. If they wanted to send you something in depth for you to mull over for a day or so, they would have opted for email (as long as you didn't mull too long obviously). But a text. That sits on your phone and practically screams for a reply. Any text not replied to within a day, suddenly it seems as if you have simply ignored the person. Imagine being stonewalled by someone at a party, only to have the respond three days later. That's how confusing it is if a text message is left hanging in the wilderness.

But once the day deadline has expired, so has the will to respond. I remain aware that something is scratching at me, tapping the inside of my skull impatiently. But how can I possibly respond now if I didn't do it on the day? Surely I have to explain why now? I have to apologise and give a valid, court approved validation for my laxness. But there is no good reason sometimes.

So it gets left, until I become painfully aware that I have stonewalled a fellow human being and am now dithering in my response because I am making all sorts of presumptions about their disdain for me. Obviously people send messages and simply stare forlornly at their phones, awaiting a response that never arrives. Clearly they cannot eat, nor get on with their daily routine until that decisive response turns up. That must be what I'm imagining as my guilt builds to a crescendo and I finally relent, building up the courage to actually respond with a tardy answer. 

Then I await a reply to my own message impatiently. Suddenly, after all of that procrastinating, it seems hard to imagine the sender could not feel the need to immediately acknowledge my reply and either denigrate me in response, or pick up the conversation as if no delay had been experienced. Suddenly I remember why I was dithering. Now they're angrier because they know I did get the reply and had little to add and just didn't care enough to converse with them at the time. I've just made it worse by actually responding, rather than just giving up the idea of having that person in my life.

Not long after I experience a prolonged existential crisis a new message will normally arrive from the original sender, apparently blissfully unaware of my crises of confidence and continuing the conversation without a care in the world. 

I should probably reply straight away. 

But replying is so stressful.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Seeking the next great experience

I seated myself upon the couch with the intention of novel writing. Clara Bow and The Staff of Aaron is in full flow and I planned to add to that. But although I know exactly what needs to happen next in the story, my mind isn't bringing forth the same level of fevered creativity that brought the previous action packed 11 pages I wrote last time to life. It's frustrating, but I figured, hey, rather than admit defeat and do something else, I should just try my hand at writing elsewhere. Ultimately it's all exercise for the writing mind and perhaps I have other things in my cranium that can be better poured into a different writing receptacle. 

So I immediately headed here, to my poor little sporadic blog. There have been things I've wanted to write about here. I had an idea about the way the world is run, and a call for change, but it seemed too grand and needed a little fine tuning in its thinking. So I left it, hence the world has yet to change dramatically. For that I do feel a little responsible, but, you know, we all are really, because we all live in this world and we all have ideas. But often it is easier to continue as we have done. We're lucky some brave souls have broken the mould and tried new ideas. You wouldn't be reading this nonsense on this blog if someone hadn't dreamt a grand dream of shared knowledge.

What has struck me recently is my inability to be truly enthused about things I once loved. For years now I have not really been blown away by a movie experience. That was something that could once hit me like a freight train. The sheer impact of seeing something so mind blowing, so extraordinary, that it left me breathless and desperate to see it again. Sure, not everything can bring that experience, I know that, and I also suspect that the more films I've seen, the harder it becomes to impress me, because I've seen it all before. But I worry that it's also some intrinsic change within me, be it age, or experience, that means I can't be overwhelmed by my experiences. 

I've never been an outwardly excitable person. I'm not one to scream and whoop excitedly at an event, nor do I really laugh with wild abandon when in public. I see people able to do this and actually feel jealous that they can let loose their passions with such wanton abandon. But, we are who we are, and that's fine. But at least, when I truly loved something, I felt passionate and enthused within and couldn't get enough. Films did that for me. I lived the thrilling highs and lows presented to me on the screen and in those brief moments I was free from any real world concerns, just swallowed up by the new reality the film presented.

I know the last film to truly envelope me was The Matrix in 1999. That was 14 years ago! It blew my mind and I wanted to share that enlightenment with everyone, although, as always with such things, not everyone shared my enthusiasm. But it didn't matter, I loved it and that was all I needed. 

Since then, despite there being many great and brilliantly made films, nothing has really reached me to the same level.

The same change happened with books. I used to be love nothing more than to engross myself in a novel. I would soak up the words and let my imagination run riot through their magic. But one day, I finally discovered the quick fix of TV and film and, much to my shame, I allowed the glowing screen slowly swallow up my novel reading, until I lapsed into a dark period where books were owned, but rarely picked up. 

Only as I began to try and ignite my own writing career did I realise that I had lost my own connection to words on the page. I had lost touch with the very creative story telling that had inspired my love of the English language and my own desire to invent adventures to thrill and excite. I forced myself to pick up books and reignite that spark, if for no other reason than needing a reference point for my own efforts, but also because I mourned that young boy who couldn't sleep until he finished the next chapter, and then the next after that too.

Now I mourn the boy, the young man, who felt his chest tighten and his eyes moisten watching dinosaurs chase Dr Grant, Indiana Jones swing across a pit of snakes and Neo realising his full potential. When I watch these moments now, it feels comfortingly nostalgic, but also sad, because just as in life, I want new thrills, new excitements to add to the old memories. If nothing new adds to the mix, after a while, I start to wonder if even the older memories are only comforting because they lie in the past. Perhaps I am remembering a better moment than it truly was? Am I, in effect, creating an unrealistic expectation of the now, by assigning a higher memory of then? 

I suppose the truth is, I am older now, with a different outlook on life, different experiences and different expectations. It's unrealistic to expect myself to react to a movie, or a book, or whatever it is I'm experiencing, to how I would have seen it when I was 14 years younger, or more. 

Perhaps I should stop worrying about not finding a movie experience that rivals the moments I have already lived and just get on with trying all sorts of new experiences. Perhaps the truth is there is only so much space for each type of passion. Perhaps I found my great novels and my great movies and nothing can match them. Perhaps I need to find my new great experiences, outside of my existing passions. 

Or perhaps it's simply a case of resetting my expectations full stop. What may blow my mind now, may have not even interested me then. I can appreciate new things, because my mind has expanded and my experiences have grown. Perhaps I am looking to films and books that used to thrill me, rather than seeking out new ground. Perhaps, perhaps.

Yes, it is definitely important to me to seek out these new highs. I want to find the ones that fit me, the man I am now, not the boy I was, the man I was, but the me of here and now. 

You know what? I think, upon proof reading this back to myself, that I know what I want. It isn't to see or read something to blow my mind. It's to create it. I think that's the missing ingredient. I want to be a creator, more than I want to be a consumer. 

Now, maybe it's time to discover how will I get Clara out of her current pickle....