Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Separated Dad - one year on

So, scroll back down to my posts of this subject last year - I was consumed with bitterness about my kids being taken from me, and missing everything about living full time with them - the house seemed so empty and I was at a complete loss of what to do - I had been a hands on father for 10 years, and suddenly this was torn from under me, and I was absolutely lost. A lot changed last year, read the posts to catch up, if you wish.

Now back to the present. Just had a whole three days with them, and they are now back at school, and with their mother and D again. and on the drive back home last night, I fell into contemplation and I wish to share it.

Firstly, I do miss the "normal" side of life with them - the rushing around to go to school, them comming out of school, talking about their day, their life in that environment, more than anything. D has that role in their lives now, and yes, I still have a certain amount of resentment, but it is not the all consuming emotion that it was a year ago.

I have had to change my attitude a lot last year, have had to learn to accept my new role, and move forward with it. I now see them every other weekend, and longer periods in school holidays. a year ago, that would have been unthinkable, now, being more than it has been, I am pleased with the arrangement.

I have got used to my life without them, I have moved on from that ball of anger last year, and have firmly planted my life in other directions - living live for me more and more (this was one of my goals last year, at the start .. I HAVE acheived one of them wooo hoo) and they come in like whirwinds, and for a short while, I am back living purely for them again, and then the blaze out, and although I miss them all the time, I am beginning to enjoy the fact that I can "give them back"

Ii still do the same things with them that I used to do most weekends - take them out walking, take them too places of interest - not just mindless entertainment places, but places that can give them a chance to do some learning about the world, or history, nature, that sort of thing. so that side of me hasn't changed. I am also learning something that I didn't have before - that just "hanging with them" is fun, not really rushing around, just chilling in the flat, and enjoying their company. Something hit me last night, I don't know weather it is the distance, or the counselling, or the fight I had to get this time with them (I refuse to use the "access" word see last years posts for why) or a combination of all three, but I have more patience with them now, and I AM A BETTER FATHER! than I was when I was concerned with being the breadwinner, a good husband and a father at the same time. They are responding to that well.(I think another reason is because I am not concerned with being in a failing relationship with the ex, I have more of my headspace to give to them)

So yes, now, 14 months on, I think that the whole split was a good thing for all of us. the four of us are much happier now, and have more time for each other, and we all have good hands in that respect.

SO am I going to have to rename this blog? Has the game finished, the pack put away for another time? NO is the simple answer to that. Life is still trying to hand me a bad hand from time to time, still trying to get a ref for my Uni app, (why is that so hard?) and a change is probation officers due to my move all mean that I still need to cheat at this game, In order to make sure that I come out on top, in the best way that I can. "The pack's been shuffled, we've all got different hands"* and a new game has begun. Come on life, I challenge you.

*new model army, bury the hatchet.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

WOW, What a Change!!!

Well, Just back from the aged P's, and for once, I have been left alone! no cutting remarks about how I am wasting myself by not doing what they would do, just simple letting me get on with My research for Staymaker, while the kids played, brill. HE even picked up my draft and read some of it, and OFFERED TO PROOF READ when I have done. I am really happy, and now am gonna move this thing forward without the negative voices, same goes for all my other plans.
So, yes, I did make progress, in that I have solved two big anachronisms, and know where to move some of this.

Got Kids with me till tomorrow night, and extra day is great, and shows how much the ex and myself have moved on after all the crap last year. look, I think I have dealt myself two of a kind today.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Am I working, or just killing time?

So, in addition to the uni stuff, I am working on my 1st attempt at a publishable novel. first draft written, and now on the rewrite. BUT I am doing under the shadow of a couple of close folk who think it is a waste of time, without reading it, so I suffer from guilt that I am not doing a "proper job" from time to time. BUT getting this to a publishable state is something that I think I have a chance at, and so am not trying to let them get to be.

So, Am I just playing and wasting my time? You decide. First draft done for Nanowrimo, and encouraged by the feedback from a couple of neutral readers, as well as some others, I have been fired on to see this thing through. Have spent the last couple of months re reading and re ressearching, and now embarking on a edit and draft to process. Being ruthless, trying to cut scenes that have no place, writing new ones to cover missed development - telling events rather than listening to chrarcters talk about them, provide more meat. Also, trying to be a bit more historical, and less "make up" where things I wrote lacking the ressearch I have since found the info , and in most cases, it is more exiting than what I made up. BUT each change, however minor, sends ripples through the whole story, and leads me to change things through the whole book, and trying to do that without spoiling the pace and exitement is tough. It is still a pleasure to do, but now becomming serious and hard work.
One example
Jane Gray sat in the large room of the Manor house that her late husband built. “Arthur Gray’s Folly” It was known far and wide, built on the profits of the smuggling that had eventually led to her husbands hanging earlier that year. The Illegal trade in tea, rum and wool had both made his fortune, and led to his downfall. Now she was a widow, living on the money that Arthur had squirreled away, but that was dwindling. Her husband had constructed special cellars underneath the house, connected by tunnels so as to hide the contraband, and, up till last year, these were always full. Now, since Goudhurst, these were empty, and no money was coming in from the trade. She was seriously thinking about selling the place, using the money to get somewhere where she could live, well away from the Manor, and the men who still held control of her, and this place. After Gray was arrested, and hung, their promise to “see her right” had led to her feeling that she was in thrall to them, that they were the masters she was expected to serve. Nothing was more evident than the way that three of them had swept in here tonight, and were now sitting opposite her, as if they owned the place. She looked up at Kingsmill, sitting there with his big boots still on, he may have inherited the role of leader after her husband was arrested, but he was so different to her husband. Gray was all about the money, and in order to safeguard their income, he had turned the gang into the most fearsome in the whole of the south east. Kingsmill, the man who had taken over, was different. He had inherited a gang on the wane, and was even more ruthless than her husband, but with him, it was being in charge that he enjoyed, rather than working for the money. Maybe that was a product of the situation they faced themselves, she didn’t know. All she knew was that the empty cellars meant no money for her, and the fault of this she put firmly at Kingsmill’s door.

I like this scene. It is good, and does move the plot on, BUT it can't be where it is, something later on in the scene is nonsense, I I need to focus on another character that I virtually ignored in the early part of draft one, so I need to reloctaed this, but where? and what effect will this have?


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Avatar -

Ok, My attempts to review the film....
The 3d and CGI was ok, I've seen better, I've seen worse. But the STORY!!!!! wow. It had everything, (I'm not just talking about the fight scenes which were fantastic) but the story had elements of Scot cards Ender series, a touch of Heinleins "Starship troopers" (I'm talking of the book here, not the travesty of an adaptation that missed the point completely) a passing nod to Terry Pratchetts Wyrmberg, and various other influences from fiction. If you are planning on watching, stop reading here. if you have, or aren't going to bother, read on.
The idea of the Pandora, and the natural flora and Fauna, Including the Naavi ( of which more later) being interconnected has echoes of one part of the concept od "Wyrd" which is a large part of my own beleifs. also, that the Naavi were dependant on their land for everything, food, shelter and death, rebirth gods and goddesses in such a way that displacement goes beyond unthinkable, has paralells with, for example the the Mats├ęs of the Peruvian Amazon, who are being threatend by advancing technology and destruction, but refuse to move because their land is more than a just a home, it is a sacred landscape, as well as providing their food and shelter, it is an ingrained part of their traditions, and culteral identity.
ALso, (Indebted to Gary Colcombe of celtic myth podshow for this http://celticmythpodshow.com/blog/2010/01/15/james-camerons-avatar-and-celtic-mythology/) The parralells between the tale of the Na’vi and that of the Tuatha De Danaan are too noticable to miss. The tall, beautiful figures who are obviously not human (to the Celts, they were Fey) who are invaded by humans, the Sons of the Gael, the Sons of Mil, and forced to retreat into the Hollow Hills.
Also as a Mother Goddess, read Eywa as the Mother Goddess of the Celts and the story and relationship is strikingly similar.
All in all, the story was brilliant, and I'm glad to have seen it, I don't want a sequel, I want prequels - first one before the humans came, second one as they arrived.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A judicious application of Hindsight.

So, Raise your hands if this is familiar to you:

You know someone for a few years, sharing interests, hopes, dreams and aspirations, and that soon turns to love, and you marry and raise children. as the years flow on, you concentrate on making that life together perfect, and try and face the problems that life throws at you together, because thats what you do.
But after a while, slowly so you don't notice, gradually you drift apart, being pulled in many different directions takes its toll, but you are to afraid to address these issues and store them up inside, swallow them deep, and pretend they don't exist, until you find yourself sitting at other ends of the sofa, hardly talking. But thats ok, that is part of Marriage, can't expect fireworks all the time, right? But is it. When the rows start creeping in more than usual, when the kids a re snapped at because both of you are fed up, when you spend evenings in different rooms to avoid discussing the big problems you face, is that ok? and all the while, freinds, family and neighbours still think you have the perfect marriage, so you put on that mask when you are out, while inside you are dying.
The rows get worse, the kids get affected, and slowly the destruct button is pressed. Both of you trying desparately to salvage the situation, because you have kids, and to split when you have kids is a step that is still frowned upon by those family and friends who still see your painted smiles, and beleive them to be real.
Sounds familiar? that is what happened to me, and it damn near destroyed me, and facing up to that caused me a lot of problems last year, but know, I look back and realize that the right descision was made bravely, and wish I had the balls to make that 18 months earlier.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing sometimes. But this is just me personally, life isn't a one size fits all thing, but each must work their own solutions out in the end. there is no right answer.


Feeling used, and thinking that if people don't wanna put themselves out for me just once, why should I bother with them.

Anger vs Frustration

Right, So here the deal, I asked an old Manager for a reference for my uni app last week. this is a manager that I respected and respected me, and worked alonside for a long time, and went she went through issues with her hubby and daughter, I listened, consoled and covered for occasionly. I asked her a week ago, and on friday got a call to ask a few things, and she said that she was writing it. It is now wednesday, and nothing back yet.

My first reaction is to be angry with her. WHOA THERE RONNIE!! STEP AWAY FROM THAT WHOOP ASS CAN FOR A SEC! TAKE A BREATH AND THINK! I am not angry, I am frustrated, and getting anxious as this is the last thing I am waiting for before this form is done. Anger is an emotional response to the frustration and anxiety, and a very dangerous one. Responding to the referee with anger will not get me anywhere, it will, in fact, blow the chances of getting the reference. Anger destroys everything it touches, and is a sign that you have lost control of your emeotions. Calm detachment is required - a walk with the dog for a while, then give her a call. and explain the urgency of this is what is required.

And that is the issue, too many times in the past, I have immediatly responded to frustration with anger, and it has been a bad thing for me. now, when I feel anger, I try and pause, identify what I am really feeling is frustration, and find other ways of dealing with that frustration apart from resorting to anger. It works! I am a lot calmer, and am a lot better at dealing levelheadly with shit than I used to.

(Still get the feeling that someone is dealing from the bottom of the deck again though)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Bugger Me, I'm Back

Yup, I'm back here again, wow, a six month lay off!

Well, I had to, bit of this were being used after the wrong people found it, but now all is back on a great keel. I have good access to the kids again, and good relationship with the ex again, the evil ones (in-laws and H) are kept at arms length, I've finally sold the millstone and now am concentrating on two main things
1) Application and going back to uni.
2) Getting my novel, 50,000 words with a beginning, middle and end into a coherent story.
2) is what is my driving passion right now. It has turned from a nana entry into something that , from the responses I have got from my caged reader..NO tame readers, sorry, I don't keep them in cages, they are free range, this is something it is worth pursuing.
And that is the point of the post, I am off work through choice, have some capital enough to concentrate on those two things, and need to do this right now. JUST SOME nameless people can't see that. I am criticised for believing in myself with the Novel, told that I should be concentrating on "proper work" not lazing about, but hell, I'm thirty bloody eight, and YOU haven't even asked to read it,

OK, card wise, slipped all the aces out I think. and, for once, it is me holding the winning hand. Life, show me what you got, I'm calling 'em baby,