Oh Look Its Christmas Again
Well crap, that’s another year almost gone. I swear after I turned forty every year felt like that it only had 10 months in it. Now after fifty every year feels like it is only eight months long. One minute I am going back to work after Christmas, next minute Brisbane has its brief outburst of winter and then bang here I am again with summer north easterlies blowing, humidity building and cyclones brewing.
This year has of course been the year of writing. A person taking on new hobbies or interests isn’t unusual and it is always good for all of us to try new things or to rediscover a pleasure. The Artist was a main driver in this. Sick of hearing me rave on about anything and everything she cannily suggested that other people might want to share her pain, except with the written word. I am not sure the world needed another person crapping on but there was a higher goal.
I set a goal of writing a novel by the time I was sixty which was ridiculous, as I did not know whether I would have the interest or the time and I certainly knew I did not have the skill. And when I say write a novel I did not mean one that would be in any way suitable for publication. I just meant to get, say seventy to one hundred thousand words down in some cohesive story. I’m here to say I have sort of started one. But there is a saying that 10,000 hours working at something brings you command of it. Well I still have a long way to go. The novel is about 15% done and I think it is pretty awful so far. There are skills I need that I just have not developed yet, but practice makes perfect.
But more importantly and pleasingly I have gone from writing nothing to writing a solid 1000+ words a week every week this year. Most of them go into this blog of course but also short stories have emerged. I am slowly learning the craft. Will I ever write a complete novel? I think so. I just have to keep working at it.
One of the other drivers that got me to write most evenings every week was a desire to develop a pastime to keep me occupied as I get older.
I have always been passionate about music, I love travel, reading and movies and acquiring general knowledge about all sorts of shit. I love words.
But I have always seen myself as a surfer. It has been a love and a constant in my life since I was 15. I have never been that good at it but that was never the point. Competitive surfing is the least interesting and enjoyable part of the whole pastime. But I have to admit the froth factor is declining. The 21st century crowds and the fact I need to drive an hour or so for surf are factors. Joint wear and tear, declining fitness etc. is starting to get in the way. Realistically, and I hope the day is some way away yet, there will come a day when even the longest, thickest board will not be enough.
As I neither desire or know what to do with a men’s shed full of tools, gardening except for food has no interest and bowls, golf and riding a bike wearing lycra are not me. Just reading and listening to music and podcasts while enjoyable and incredibly useful, probably necessary in fact for a writer, they don’t have the required sense of fulfilment. I always enjoyed writing for business and I used to dabble a little as a teenager so writing it is.
Since I have been writing the blog a lot of you have been asking whether Blaze and Gatesy are real. They are real, as real as you and I. Not all the things they say or do may be real however and I can’t tell you about all of the real events that have happened to them because as Blaze says, “ There is more than enough reality going around. “ Which when you think about is one of those things he says that often appears quite profound and right on the money but later on you realise is actually complete crap.
Blaze also said that the best Christmas pop song of all was Wham’s Last Christmas. Now at first I thought that this too was crap but I had a bit of a refresh listen and I think on this, Blaze is actually correct.
When I told him I was doing a sort of end of year blog article he asked if I could give out his PO Box address and advise and I quote, “My loyal readers that Blaze had been diagnosed with an especially virulent type of bacterial infection, was near death and required medical procedures that have recently only become available in Thailand. If they could see their way clear with a small donation towards his ongoing medical expenses etc. etc.”
I told him to stop being ridiculous and that even if it were true I would still not ask my readers for donations. He then added that he could supply receipts and that all donations were tax deductible and any donation over $100 would receive a thank you commorative plaque made from the hubcap of an old Datsun 180B.
I said, no promises but that I would pass the request on.
So that’s done.
Blaze also asked me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to keep the fucking noise down.
I also asked his brother Gatesy, a man of more civility and of strong convictions for a Christmas message of good will but unfortunately he refused to comment without legal advice. He did however recommend a sparkling Shiraz as a great accompaniment to Christmas poultry or ham dishes.
Somehow I think we have all lost a little of the spirit of brotherhood that makes for a pleasant community. Indeed a bearable planet. In my blog titled Being Right is More Than Being Right I listed without a hint of embarrassment or qualification, my list of good things to do and be. Cocky I know, but what the hell this writing thing needs passion and opinion.
Anyway the point is to get out and practice the ten suggestions, you will find them listed here: https://www.chestbeatingbyword.com/home/2018/7/8/being-right-is-more-than-being-right
In conclusion, thanks for reading and go on; make 2019 a better year for all.
This announcement has been brought to you by the following highlights of 2018.
Hockey Dad, Halfway, White Denim, Camp Cope, Parquet Floors, Jeff Tweedy, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile
Hereditary, Isle of Dogs, Deadpool 2, Breath, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Handmaids Tale, Killing Eve, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Ozark,
The Go-Betweens: Right Here, Ken Burn’s Vietnam War, Atlanta
Boy Swallows Universe, The Grapes of Wrath, Lolita, Detours by Tim Rogers
Podcasts - Conversations, The Minefield on ABC App
Childish Gambino’s clip for This Is America
And the Carole King musical Beautiful