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Oscar Diamond rough cut geezer

14 Dec

2048px-JOHN_WILLIAM_WATERHOUSE_-_Ulises_y_las_Sirenas_(National_Gallery_of_Victoria,_Melbourne,_1891._Óleo_sobre_lienzo,_100.6_x_202_cm)

I know exactly how poor Odysseus is feeling. He yearns to arrive home safely with his crew intact. What does he encounter ? A bunch of Sirens trying to seduce him onto the rocks ! His men have tied him to the mast permitting him to hear their hypnotic song but preventing him from succumbing to its lethal effect. They are immune because their ears are stuffed full of beeswax. What have  got in common with Odysseus  ? Like him I easily succumb to DISTRACTION, the eighth deadly sin. He wanted to hear the song of the Sirens and experience its death inducing quality yet survive. An unnecessary risk, I might add. Naughty thrill seeker Odysseus. And this is subsequent to spending a great deal of time canoodling with Circe and being subject to her magical ways on her island. Yes, he’s a first class loiterer and thoroughly unfocussed traveller. I, like him, need to bring some discipline into my (writing) activities. Tempus fugit ! How easy it is to fritter away precious time. A few days ago I was in the mood for murder and egregious revenge. I had a couple of hours to plot a storyline and start writing a chapter. Instead, I gave great attention to building a nest around me. I surrounded myself with books, cut out articles, notes, food coffee, pens, laptop and iPad. I was nicely set up to browse all the very interesting things in front of me and enjoy the stimulating ideas contained within. As a consequence I did no plotting and no writing but vowed (good tabloid word) to be more resolute next time. I have played out this scenario on many occasions. The only time I did become more consistently committed to writing was in the period following my heart attack four years ago. I don’t recommend this eventuality as a viable aid to focus and concentration, of course, but every cloud has a silver lining. This blog is a distraction as is my dog, all my books and magazines, gardening,running, cooking and cleaning. I must pull my finger out. The majority of people who write also have a myriad other commitments and still find a way of fitting writing in. But, golly gosh, its difficult.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com This is the website of Joanna Penn, writer,public speaker.entrepreneur and advocate of self publishing. She has about 170 podcasts on iTunes and has conducted many interviews with successful ebook authors. She’s authorative, knowledgeable and shares her experiences of writing, marketing and publishing as they happen. Very easy to listen to, I find them inspirational and entertaining on a number of levels. Joanna recently interviewed Kerry Wilkinson, a very successful British writer and this contrasted strikingly with her more frequent American interviewees. The Americans tend to be very polite, humorous, socially at ease, articulate and receptive. Kerry was some of these things but not to any great extent. When Joanna started the interview and greeted him the response was abrupt and  barely comprehensible. But I did warm to him because he was straight forward and didn’t speak in generalities. Success appeared to come relatively easily, he wrote prolifically and he was very self disciplined. His manner was low key and very matter of fact.There was no showiness. I’ll probably listen to it again. Another bloody distraction. Thank you Joanna !! I’m going for a run now.

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Oscar Diamond rough cut geezer

9 Dec

The plan was to visit Mill Road in Cambridge yesterday and be part of their Christmas Fayre and Market. Mill Road has many independent shops including Asian and Chinese food stores and has a very different buzz from the City Centre which is relatively near by. We didn’t get there because we got waylaid in the charity shops. The Oxfam shop, in particular, has a fine book section (gasp at the shocking treatment I received at the hands of their sales persons described in my other blog  http://aliveandrunning2013.wordpress.com/). I bought:

Introducing Consciousness by Papineau and Selina published by Icon Books

Introducing Darwin and Evolution by Miller and Van Loon published by Icon Books

Dora : an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud published by Collier Books

Freud 2000 Edited by Anthony Elliot (a collection of essays) published by Polity Press

The Integrity of the Personality by Anthony Storr published by Penguin Books

The Icon books feature both graphics and text which hook you into the subject and provide an atmospheric overlay. You can’t ignore the power of the images.

I tend to scoop up books on psychology and psychoanalysis. Invariably they are not difficult to read and compel  you to consider radically different perspectives on causes of behaviour and feelings.

A few days before the Oxfam outrage, I called into Emmaus, a local charity involved in providing accommodation, treatment and rehabilitation for people with addictions. They run a large shop of donated items including books.

I bought :

City of Sin : London and Its Vices by Catharine Arnold published by Simon and Schuster

The Terrorist Hunters : the Ultimate  Inside Story Of Britain’s Fight Against Terror by Andy Hayman published by Bantam Press

Hudson’s English History : A Compendium by Roger Hudson published by Weidenfield and Nicolson

Unlike Oxfam, no-one forced me to buy them but I did catch a man watching me through narrowed eyes. I thought it best to buy something to keep him sweet.

I’m trying to read Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid published by Harper but I’m still struggling to renew my interest in fiction, and particularly crime fiction. We are going to hear Ian Rankin, writer of the Rebus novels, tomorrow. I hope he’s able to give me some motivation.

Oscar Diamond rough cut geezer

10 Nov

With this blog, with the words and ideas contained, I intend to make radical changes. I vow to use all the clichés and tabloid phrases at my disposal to describe an intrinsic shift in my outlook and disposition. I’m fed up with procrastination, willingness to be distracted and endless fantasising about ideas which are never pursued. I’m sixty-one years old! Still young, very young compared to a centurion but indisputably chronologically older than nineteen. I am, however, emotionally stuck in my late teens and early twenties and glad of it! But I’ve always put thing off, let things ride,taken the line of least resistance and put effort into avoiding any stressful changes or stepping outside of my comfort zone. Well, lessons have been learned. At the end of the day I’ve got to change my mindset or I’ll be in bits. Lets be clear about this, I’m damaged goods but there’s still fuel in the tank, still lead in my pencil (figuratively, of course, because I’m using a computer).

What do I want to say? What ideas do I want to explore that will lead to new ways of thinking and feeling? Which then lead to consistently working towards a goal.

I want to write a book. Good news! I have written a book. Well done me. But wait. Despite reading and thinking a great deal about writing, revising and not sending it off to agents and publishers until  it was fully polished  and avoided all the obvious pitfalls a budding writer falls into, I did just that. I received numerous rejection slips and one comment stating I was at the beginning of the creative process. That particularly grated. For a short while I mused about plotting a crime story concerning a serial killer whose victims were literary agents choked to death by rejected submissions. The ones who only accepted emails would have to be dispatched in other ways. But, of course I didn’t pursue it.

I’d like to start a small  internet based  business selling self designed T-shirts. Again I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about this and the steps I would need to take but……………at this point I lost interest in myself and decided to start another blog aliveandrunning2013.wordpress.com