Planned Journey Against Actual Journey

I was chatting to a good friend today and our conversation started me thinking about how we made it to certain places/stages in our lives. Compared to where we thought we wanted to go

When you’re a kid you have this picture in your head of what you want to be when you grow up; which we innocently act out by dressing up or role playing. Then in school, our focus is manipulated towards broader career choices based on our academic strengths. Those strengths become more concentrated as we start applying to universities and ultimately graduate in to a job connected to our degree subject or if you didn’t go to Uni, towards those subjects you were basically good at in school.

I’m curious to know who out there had the passion and dedication to stick with that initial first feeling of joy when you were role playing your ideal career choice and how many of you ended up somewhere you least expected.

I know that’s the case with me. I’ve ended up here by the forces of nature not by my own will. In fact I would go so far as to say I began lacking the will to be so determined whilst in school. I wanted to learn everything but had no interest in being good at any of those things. What actually happened was the more I found interesting the more indecisive I became. A trait that probably led me to allow fate to nudge me in other directions; although I’ve seen fate blatantly bullying people to go in the direction they don’t want to, such as those who aren’t fortunate enough to get a job in there related Uni/school subjects (again first-hand experience with that scenario), so with that in mind I’m quite content with just being nudged.

My mind only wonders in this direction now I’m older and wiser (debateable!) and find myself curious as to how my life would’ve been had I been more determined to bend fate to my will and the question; is it still possible?

I should point out that I am by no means miserable at this point, I’m merely musing. I just find the idea of your planned journey against your actual journey rather fascinating. Especially in light of the fact that when I was younger I never contemplated other aspects of my life. For example I was never interested in settling down, I was far too manic for stability and wanted to meet so many interesting people. Yet, here I am celebrating ten years of a relationship that completely blindsided me.

It is the strength of this relationship which makes me wonder if, now, I could make my make believe become a reality. Was the missing component to succeed all those years ago that piece that makes me whole now? Or is it a lost cause and those notions should be left in the hands of the younger minds.

If that’s the case should we stop dreaming? Do our old dreams hold us back now, unable to fulfil a different potential we’ve found through the unexpected path we took?

I think at the moment the answer to all the above questions is nobody knows. The best we can do is enjoy the journey in the moments we have and try to take something positive and educational out of every one of those moments. Most importantly respect our younger selves for once having that fearless attitude and dreaming so big in the first place because somewhere it’s still part of us.

New Year…. Bar Humbug!!

Well I guess as it’s the last day of 2012 it would be rude not to post something!

Anybody who knows me well will know I hate New Years Eve, yep I am the New Year Party Pooper, I1337577_wine_swirl stay in, enjoy a glass of wine and indulge in an early night, I don’t even stay up till 12. I’ve just never seen the fascination, the moment the clock strikes midnight you still have the same issues as 10 seconds ago, you make New Years Resolutions you can’t keep and just get so drunk you don’t even rememebr the party anyway and spend the first day of the New Year hungover so bad you think you’re dying!!

However I do take the opportunity at New Year to, not look forward because nobody knows what will happen from one day to the next but to evaluate the year just gone. It’s never what I expect so it’s always cool to look back and say “I made it through another year in one peice, I’m happy”.

So what happened in 2012, obviously the Olympics were here in the UK and being a crazy tennis fan I watched as Andy Murray won the gold and then later in the year won his first grandslam! The Dark Knight Rises finally arrived, one of the best comic adaptation trilogy’s EVER. Then personally, I bought a house (with my partner obviously!), got a new car, a promotion, Self published my first DSCF3985novel and we added a new edition to our crazy household and got a puppy!! So to be fair even though there was a lot of negative’s and struggles and all that stuff in 2012, I can’t complain really!! They say it’s about the journey and to me the journey is always, in some ways more valuable than the end goal.

So I just wanted to post today, not to complain about my views of New Year but to wish you all an amazing 2013 and I hope the journey of the next 365 days inspires you and also to thank you once again for all your support, I will try and get the sequel out next year!!!

Crazy Road Rage Outbursts

I hate rush hour traffic, for some reason between the hours of 7am-8:30am and 5pm – 6pm is the time for idiots and not just idiot car drivers where you wonder how much the test examiner took in dirty money to say “Yeah you’ve past” when they are the worst driver in the universe. Of course I mean them too but also farm vehicles, oh my gosh, get them out of my way NOW. I know they to are off to work their fields and they have a job to do to but then why the hell did the person who invented the tractor not invent them to go at the same speed as everyone else because seriously 20mph on a 60mph road stuck behind a tractor for 10 miles has seriously made me angry before I’ve even got in to work and had my first Hulk moment of the day And they know they’re holding up all the traffic and they enjoy it We pass several lay by’s on the way they could pull in for 5minutes and let some of the traffic past but NO, instead they sit there chuckling to themselves and you can’t over take because they’re so huge one wheel is as big as your whole car so naturally it’s taking up the whole road. Bullies, that’s what they are; tractors are the Bullies of the road. Then there’s the cyclists, the athletic, environmentally friendly “Serious cyclists” with there proper gear on and suit neatly folder in their rucksack on their backs. The cyclist that believe they could win the Tour De France and cycle miles and miles to work every morning. They are just as bad as Tractors, they hog the whole lane, peddling at the speed of light, their little legs going round so fast it’s like watching a hamster in his wheel and they actually think they’re racing you, granted they’re traveling around 25mph and if I attempted that I’d be dead but still, this does not impress me cycle people, I don’t care that you think you’re the bionic man and could outrun a small moped (or hairdryer), just get in to the cycle lane where you belong and watch where you’re bloody going before a tractor comes along and runs you down. Then to top of your hour long commute the local radio station has started playing Christmas songs. Now I love Christmas (despite the bar humbug persona!) but it’s not even December yet and there’s Christmas light switch ons going on in town centres, there’s even a house in the next village along with lights on their house already (they went up last week!) IT’S TO SOON PEOPLE. Maybe the middle to the end of next week but beginning the first week of November…. NO.

The thing is the moment you see the first sign of Christmas it then becomes one big mad panic because you realise, well I realise, that I am so disorganised and I have about 7 weeks to buy and afford in the first place, presents for what seems like the whole world then there’s Christmas food, what to have on what days? Who’s coming over on what days? Who eats what? Then how much wrapping paper do we need, when should we get the tree, when should we put the tree up (NOT in November) all this stress added on to your existing stress of work and other financial responsibilities and you have the entire month of December slowly giving you a heart attack so why on Earth do people want to start it all in November??? And then when it actually snows in December it makes the Tractors and the Bionic cyclists even more dangerous!!! GRR

Confession – My traffic jam filled commute this morning was made more enjoyable by singing along to Mariah Carey’s All I want For Christmas in a style of performing live at Wembley Stadium – HELP ME they are converting me slowly

All Future Ramblings Are Of My Own Opinion

So I’ve been kind of sucky of late with this whole blogging business haven’t I? Don’t worry folks no answer needed! I go AWOL I come back with a blog promising not to do it again so naturally I go AWOL again. I wish I had some amazing excuse prepared like I’ve finished my polished version of my sequel to The Break and it’s going to be out soon but that would be a lie as after finishing reading my first draft I decided to scrap the lot and start again, a hundred and two thousand words deleted in a flash. Best way really I want something fresh and new I don’t want old ideas to taint the new ones. Alternatively I wish I could tell you I had an entirely new amazing project completed my water lilies, my 9th symphony, my thinker, my Bohemian Rhapsody but who am I kidding I have one chapter of a new idea and another four chapters of a different idea to that.

The truth is I have an attention span of a small child (and some might argue a mentality to match) but there are just too many distractions around me over the last six months to be able to really sink my teeth in to my writing and blog about it. Then I got to wondering about why I set up the blog in the first place and concluded that it was initially only to promote my debut self published novel The Break but as I look about over my previous posts I realised I would blog about more than just that process, then I realised I like ranting aimlessly to the void of cyber space about nothing particular. I did after all call my blog The Eccentric Ramblings of an Amateur and so I present to you a new look, I was going to go with a new title to The Eccentric Raging’s of an Amateur but as my rage would only last for around two sentences and then turn in to ramblings I thought the title was well suited as it was!

So with this new look WILL come more frequent ramblings but not just of the writing kind this time, I’m just going to ramble and you guys can read along or not this time, they’ll be no holding back, please note all ramblings will be of my own opinions but feel free to join in being opinionated.

So on the subject of rambling and being opinionated I offer you this simple piece of advice in the event that something makes you extremely angry, engage your Brain and think before reacting, unlike myself who has just sent a complaint E-mail to the NHS without consulting the person who has been affected by their appallingness. In fact I’ve never really been trained in the art that is think before you act/speak which I’m sure one day will land me in some serious knee deep Shite but until that day I’m here for entertainment purposes and pre written speeches!!! Besides surely holding back results in missed opportunities does it not?

Anyway to conclude this eccentric “I’m Back For Good” blog I’m rewarding all my faithful readers/followers with cheapness!!! All the ranting aside I do actually plan to have the Sequel to The Break (Working title Concordia) out for next spring. I thought it would be a good idea to get yourselves acquainted with the first book first and so if you boogie on down to your Amazon Kindle store you will see it is currently retailing at 77p for you UK folks and a groovy 99c for you USA chaps or if your more iTunes you can hop on over there where it’s 99p. This will be the case until the end of the year, have a read let me know what you think, leave a review and all that Jazz and before you say anything newbie’s I am aware there are some grammatical/spelling errors(check out previous rantings for an explanation)

But cheers for the support and cheers for hanging in there with me in my absences’ it’s been a crazy 2012 and it’s not quite over yet!

Doesn’t Time Fly

My new view from our bedroom window!

I’m back people and I must say it doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly a month since I warned you all I would need to go radio silent due to the big move, which did not go as planned but we’re in now that’s all that matters, so people keep saying, I say, how do you sue a solicitor but that story is for another day! On a more positive note I’m now surrounded by the most inspiring scenery, I’ve seen my first barn owl that wasn’t in a book or on TV, in fact it likes to land on our back fence now and again!!! and I’m loving the rural life, I can’t wait to own chickens once the jungle of the garden has been sorted!!!

It’s very strange in this day and age not having the internet around all of a sudden, I mean I’ve been able to check my e-mails on my smart phone (modern technology amazes me!) but it hasn’t been the same to just sit down at the computer and surf. I do however find it disturbing how much we rely upon it, it has quite obviously become part of everyday life. We ended up using a family members computer so we could set up all our utility bills online for the new house. This was because it was the fastest way to do it, when we phoned these places you had to go through a zillion automated messages, press 1 for this press 3 for that by the time you’d finished punching in numbers you were left on hold for half an hour before you could speak to a human being, yet on the internet we’d set up all our utility bills in 20 mins. It’s almost like the company’s don’t want to speak to you anymore and set up all these barriers to force you to do it online!!

It wasn’t like I didn’t have plenty of distractions to deal with in my absent weeks from the blogging world, there was Wimbledon, where I cried when Andy Murray made it to the final and cried some more when he lost to Federer in the final. Yep I admit I cried at sports, is there a group I can attend for this??? Well there’s still the Olympics and next year’s Wimbledon!!

However as I set up this blog to promote/discuss my writing projects I guess the biggest thing I should share with you all is I now have a completed first draft of my sequel, granted it’s a little all over the place as first drafts tend to be!! but now I’ll just do what I always do put it away for a few weeks and go back to it with a fresh head ready to rip it to shreds!! I think the most difficult stage of any writing project is to be able to go over that completed first draft and be objective, I mean you’ve spent weeks and months creating this baby you’ve poured your entire soul into it and then when you re-read it in full you realise, actually chapter 6 is crap, I don’t like how that character got from A to B in chapter 12, why did I write character X into the story she has to go she’s useless and also to think about the reader as opposed to how you read it. I find this the hardest because its hard to get the balance between being a little cryptic to keep your audience intrigued and making it way to over complicated that it confuses your audience, alternatively you’ve dumbed it down so much you realise you’ve written a book for primary school kids!!!!! I’ve also managed to gather some great material for the book with extras idea I had a while back, I have several alternative endings I would like to try out so naturally they’ve all gone in the folder for that project.

Anyway, naturally now I’m back and I’ve finished my first draft, you can expect to see more posts ranting about similar things from the beginning of the year, I need to start thinking about cover design and most importantly who I can go to for editing this time around so I don’t get conned again as I did with The Break!

The Sun = Bad For Writing

The Sun, the ultimate distraction from writing and along with cake is a weakness of mine. Here in the UK we have been lucky enough to actually have a sunny weekend, which has meant we have spent every waking sunny moment in the garden and taking the laptop with me just was not practical, it was melting in the heat and I could barely see the screen to type it was so bright, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!! The thing is when the weather is nice you have to take advantage of it because as we all know British weather is notoriously unpredictable and within a matter of an hour it could well be raining or hailing again.

It is quite amusing because it seems every British citizen has the same idea about the weather because without fail the first sign of any heat/sun people are out in there board shorts, yep even me, the problem with this is my legs haven’t seen any sunlight for around nine months of the year so wondering around in shorts means you better be wearing your shades if you’re anywhere near me because that bright sun is going to reflect straight off them and blind you!!!! Then you get the people who flock to the nearest beach, now unfortunately if you live in the area of the UK I do, then the term beach is used very loosely, to me when someone says I’m going to the beach it conjures images of golden sands, beautiful sunshine, warm, clear water you can swim in and still see the bottom when its 20 foot deep. Not around here, firstly what should be a forty minute drive turns into four hours as the entire county flocks to the coast on a day like today and clear water, forget it, your feet go missing underneath a sheet of murky dark brown after 20cm never mind 20 feet and that beautiful coastal sea air, replace that with a strong smell of gone off fish and sewage and you have our closest beach, so the garden it was for two days of bliss!!!
Naturally my new found time management skills went out the window, in fact Saturday pretty much looked like this: 7am Got Up, 7:45am took the better half to work, 8:15am Came home did the housework, 10am went to see Sis, 11am went to Bro’s house, 12pm picked up better half, 12:15 got home cracked open a box of 24 Bud and went out into the garden to read the paper and there we stayed until, 3pm Decided to wash the dog (In the Garden!!), 8pm Came in from the garden feeling frazzled!!!! Sunday repeat minus the dog washing!! So as you can see the Garden has become my new best friend.

We were discussing today (In the garden) how it’s strange that when it’s hot and sunny we’re quite happy to sit in the garden doing absolutely nothing for hours at a time but if it was raining or not as warm there’s no way you would sit and do nothing for hours, I know I wouldn’t, I blame the Sun, The Sun changes everything!!!!!

It is only now past 8 O’clock at night again and only a matter of hours before the Monday Morning Blues kick in that I have kicked myself into gear to write something this weekend!!!

Loving The Sun!!!

A 5K Run for The C Word

Well I did it people, I participated in The Race For Life 5k charity run at Burleigh House in Stamford and I was so not prepared for it. I was certainly not prepared for it Physically, I manged four weeks worth of training in January, sat on my ass in February, managed a week in March and April and doubled my body weight in the first two weeks in May, yep I managed to put on more weight for the Run but it didn’t matter nobody cared how fit you are, whether you ran, jogged or walked we were all there to take part in something so overwhelming I can say in all honesty I was certainly not prepared for it mentally and emotionally. Thousands of women from across the county all brought toghther by one cause because everyone had in some way been touched by Cancer. That’s right the big ‘C’ word, everyone thinks it, everyone worries about it but nobody dares talk about it because if you ignore it maybe it’ll go away, maybe it’s not happening to you or your family member or your friend or your friends family member but it IS very real. An announcement was made that a lady particpating today had just had the all clear on Friday, this sent goosebumps running down my spine and tears well up in my eyes, I don’t know this lady but I felt so happy for her good news I wished I could find her and give her a hug, instead I participated in the run to show my support.

The course itself was a test of indurance the ground uneven, windy and hilly but it wasn’t about who finished first, who was in the running, jogging or walking group people laughed and people cried there way around and it was the most fun and the most eye opening experience I think I’ve had, 3000 women, a sea of pink to beat Cancer.

For all you UK guys I would urge you to find your nearest Race For Life event today and sign up, it’s the best thing you will ever do.

Finally A Proper Bank Holiday

At last a three day weekend I can enjoy but what to do? Obviously they’ll be writing involved there always is I decided in the end to continue with the idea that caused my writers block earlier in the week and just let it play out, still working through it but I decided it’s better to have something to work with than not at all.  It’s my Brother’s 30th so there’s going to be family things to do (Still want to keep his birthday present I got him!) and of course mine and my partners anniversary, we’ve been together for 7 years now, we keep saying we’re going to sort out a wedding put we keep doing other stuff instead like buying a house, publishing a book, getting promotion (that one’s not me!!!). Weddings are a pretty big deal though aren’t they, well to the guests, we’d be quite happy to elope to Paris and tie the knot in secret but I’m pretty sure we would then be shot the moment we stepped off the Euro Star! (And my mother would probably take the first shot!!!)

Anyway that’s a thought for another day right now I’m more concerned with making the most from this 3 day weekend. I believe a while ago I blogged that I would really love to work with an illustrator as I lack in the necessary artistic skills, maybe I’ll finally attempt something myself this weekend? There’s going to also have to be some serious video gaming going on I have a stack of games for the PS3 and the Wii where I’ve played the first level then ever had the time to go back and finish and with some more pretty awesome games coming out this summer I should really get a move on!!!

And of course time to get some reading done the only problem with that is, I have nothing to read and I’ve been so preoccupied of late I don’t even no what’s out at the minute, I should be ashamed. So I find myself blogging on a Friday night to ask you all, to bare in mind I have the attention span of a toddler but does anyone have any good recommendations???

It Comes In Three’s

Yes I know I go from Not Blogging Mid Week last week to Blogging on a Monday this week this is because I’ve had the most hideous Monday for a very very long time. So firstly it starts off there’s no internet connection (AGAIN) so I can’t check my bank or urgently transfer the money I need to. Then the Wife takes out her toe on the stone fireplace and I have to say it was pretty gruesome she’d somehow managed to wrench the nail of her second toe all the way back to where it joins on to her foot and smash in the one next to that and then I go to get in the car to go to work only to discover some inconsiderate, disgustingly destructive excuse for a human being has completely taken out my passenger side wing mirror, it’s not even like it was forceively bashed so it was bent back, I mean completely taken out, it doesn’t even exist anymore, it’s like someone apparated it away (OK so I know the act of apparating only exists in Harry Potter but still if it was real that’s what it was like), the only sign I ever had a wing mirror on that side of my car was the lone blue piece of plastic laying on the road, fifty feet away (How’d it get over there?). So I have to put in a crazy panicky call to my Boss explaining I’m going to be late as I need to take Fred (That’s my car!) to a Garage to hope and pray it can get repaired pretty sharpish as it’s MOT is in a week and a half and I can’t afford it to fail let alone randomly payout for parts I didn’t know I was going to need because some idiot is BLIND or either can’t see a huge car sat there or alternatively he/she saw perfectly well and it was intentional. Anyway I think my poor manager now thinks I’m mental (if she doesn’t already!), good job she didn’t witness the reaction that occurred when I discovered this little incident, I think there would’ve been Police and men in white coats involved But she’s pretty awesome and has let me take the day as holiday. Which I think in my ranting I foolishly said I shouldn’t need the whole day!! Ha ha ha ha, how wrong I was. Why is it when you need something specific nobody has what you’re looking for yet someone you spoke to three weeks ago got the same thing sorted in a matter of hours?? Call it Sods Law, call it fate, call it what the hell you like because whatever it is, it doesn’t like me much, I drove to six different garages that I knew of, they all said they couldn’t help out, they either don’t do wing mirrors, they don’t stock the part, they don’t do my make, they only do exhausts you name it there was an excuse. So having become paranoid I was about to be stopped by Police and fined for driving around in a maimed car I head home to try my good old friend Google completely forgetting THERE’S NO INTERNET, so I have to surf on my phone. Now my phone is four years old now and its internet capabilities are limited at best so naturally I see no sense in having an internet bolt on with my package. Twenty One garages Googled later, I never want to see my phone bill next month, I’m going to get the other half to check my E-mails when I know it’s due so I don’t have to look. Anyway finally the best I could do was eventually find somewhere that can supply me with the part but not until tomorrow, I’m so desperate right now I’m taking that option (Watch this space for the adventures of me trying to fit it tomorrow!!) and that’s only because my neighbour gave me the card of the dude he uses to get parts. Which was a very nice random act of kindness as I’m pretty sure he hates us!! But then, his wife is stood the other side of the fence “That’s what you get for parking on the road” She screeches, DO YOU THINK! Obviously didn’t say this but the degree of self control that went in to not throwing the lonely left over piece of blue plastic at her head was so exhausting all I want to do now is curl up and go to sleep. Also, probably would’ve been highly inappropriate as her husband was incredibly helpful, Maybe it’s just her that doesn’t like us, She does remind me a little of Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter, only a bit more toad like. So It’s now three O’clock, the next bus that would get me in to town is in ten minutes and the bus stop is just over a mile away so I would never make that one, the next one now isn’t until ten to four which will get me to town about quarter past four and I’d get to work for twenty five past four only to finish at five which clearly is a waste of time so I’ve had to waste a whole days worth of Annual Leave because of some thoughtless, selfish, inconsiderate IDIOT. So to calm myself I will be indulging in Beer and Takeaway this evening.

Mother’s Day Mayhem On a Saturday????

So, So far, I’ve had no opportunity to hone my drawing skills, (what skills?!) Yesterday was spent doing Mother’s Day things (Yes on Saturday!). Myself and my sister decided we would take Mum out for lunch somewhere nice, we decided this last weekend then on Friday night I bumped in to my Mum in a Supermarket and said “You looking forward to tomorrow?”, “What’s going on tomorrow?” She replies, “Me and Rachel are taking you out for lunch” I tell her “Oh are you? First I know about it” She tells me. Now it’s the first she knows about it because it was apparently meant to be a Surprise and I’ve just let the cat out of the bag!! At what point was it discussed that it was a flaming SURPRISE!! So, yesterday morning began with me picking up the Mother’s Day bouquet of flowers, then off to the parents house where I’m instantly met with “I want a signed copy of your book for Mother’s Day”! “Well you’ll be waiting a while as I don’t even have a copy yet, this huge Bouquet will have to do”!!!

Now as I mentioned in a previous blog my sister is currently hopping around on crutches and I have to say she’s become well nifty on them!! Not only walking with them but she has found them useful to prod you with, point with, and pick her bag up off the floor with (the many uses of crutches!!).

Sat in a restaurant with Mum and Sis is like being involved in a live Catherine Tate sketch, they have the funniest banter and it just flows and rolls off their tongue, natural comedians I’m telling you! So my sisters trying negotiate a maze of tables and chairs to finally sit down at our allocated table, my mother is wondering around through the same maze of table and chairs admiring the decor in a manor a little reminiscent of Dorothy first landing in Oz going “oh this is lovely” I was waiting for her to add “Where’s the Yellow Brick road”! While simultaneously with her phone out wanting to take pictures of everything, my sister filled with embarrassment nearly falls over a chair, no wonder they sat us in a corner away from “Normal” people!!  After dinner, we dropped our mum off and then went to pick up our three year old Nephew from my Brother’s and god knows what possessed us to take a three year old to Toys R Us on a Saturday afternoon. If you didn’t think we were crazy before I’m sure you do know. In all credit to him he was very well behaved and even gave the naughty children, cute, disapproving, disgusted looks and tuts, this is until we found the Thomas the Tank Engine section where he began to gather up one of every engine and start handing them to me and my Sister, where we’re beginning to sway with nausea and panic as we notice they are £10 each!!! We were pretty calm until he’d managed to stock up about £300 worth of toy trains, before we started to negotiate!! They should get small children to negotiate huge corporate business deals! So after surviving the toy store it was back to my parents house to start building train track, which of course is never right, it’s always to curvy or there’s not enough bridges or there’s nowhere for a helicopter to land!

After my little adventure on Saturday with my three year old nephew, my sister on crutches and my mother who’s a closet comedian I was shattered, and was happy to spend my Saturday night sat in front of the TV with a nice bottle of Bordeaux whilst others partied like it was 1999 on St Patrick’s Day!

So today is reserved for quiet working and maybe some more TV!!