New year song

I wrote a song for the new year, which is weird as I can’t sing.  However, I’ve put together a rough mix of the music with a “guitar” sound standing in for the vocals:

Here is a link to the lyrics if anyone fancies having a go at singing it.

Click to access Year_End.pdf


Happy New Year!


The Difference of a Day

I can’t believe how much better I feel today.  My head is so much more together and I think that part of it has to do with writing those two blog posts yesterday evening.  If that’s really the case, then the original intention of this blog – to help with my moods and focus – is working.

My TV script idea feels much more cohesive after some work on it today and I even changed one of the characters quite considerably to give it a better balance.  Although there is an element of the cliche about it, still, I think that my approach is different enough that it will push through that aspect and work anyway.  My intention is to finish off the first draft fairly quickly and then show it to some friends for feedback.

Had my hair cut today for the first time in ages.  It feels really weird because I’d let it grow so long and now there’s something missing from my neck.  I think it will be at least a week before it settles back in again.

I spotted a hedgehog in the garden this morning, which is unusual for the daytime.  June went out to film it with the camcorder and noticed that it had an injury on its head.  We have no idea if it’s caught it on a thorn or the cat’s had a swipe at it, but June brought it into the house and it’s currently in a cardboard box in the kitchen.  We’ll release it back into the garden when we let the cat in for the night.

One of the supermarkets in Pocklington recently changed from a Somerfield to a Co-op.  It’s all been done out very nicely, but the arrangement of the shelves feels very confusing.  I think I’ll stick to the Sainsbury’s a little further down the road for most of my shopping, although it gets a little crazy at times and isn’t really large enough for the customers they get.  God knows what will happen when they start building all the new houses around the town.

Doctor Who and Van Gogh

This post will likely contain spoilers, so if you have yet to see Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who, for whatever reason, and don’t want an excellent episode ruined, I suggest you stop reading now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last episode of Doctor Who, in which he went back to 1890 and met Vincent Van Gogh.  I’ve long been into the work of this wonderful artist and have anumber of books about him, including one on his complete works and another containing his letters.  The letters in particular are an excellent insight into him as a person.  I’ve also visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, the latter of which was used in the Doctor Who episode.

The silliness with the invisible monster was a little over-the-top in this context, but overall the meeting with Vincent was handled very tastefully in a great script by Richard Curtis and had a masterful performance by Tony Curran as Vincent.  The scenes at the end were just wonderful and had me thinking, “if only it were possible…”

The tragedy of Van Gogh wasn’t so much that he killed himself (he was a victim of, what people now believe, some kind of bipolar disorder, undiagnosed at the time), but that he had no idea of the greatness of his talent and how much of an effect he would have on later generations of artists and the art viewing public.  If only we could go back and show him this.

But then, how would he have ever been able to carry that burden?

Part of me feels so strongly for him.  To the point where I turn it back on myself, as we are all prone to do – we are our own best frame of reference, after all.  But if such a great talent had trouble making the world see the value of his creative output to the point where he doubted his own abilities, what then of my modest work?

There are downsides to being able to see the bigger picture.  It’s like those films you see that pull out from the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy – in creative terms I know that I’m “an insignificant blue-green planet at the edge of the western spiral arm” *  The Van Goghs and the Shakespeares are the powerful supernovae.

When you read a great book, when you look at great art, when you see a wonderful film – it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the talent behind these creations.  However, because this kind of talent is way beyond most of us it is actually easy to manage.  Those of us who are not in that bracket can accept that we’re not destined for greatness, but we’d still like to be regarded as good, maybe even very good.  We hope that by persevering with our art, our writing, our chosen creativity, that we can become good.

But sometimes, when we’re feeling down, wouldn’t we all love Doctor Who to take us to the future and show us that we did, after all, make a significant contribution.

But isn’t that the scariest thought ever?  What if we were shown that we were complete failures?  How would we then live with that?  Or worse, we’re told that we will write the best novel of the decade.  Every little thing we then wrote would come under such self-scrutiny that we would drive ourselves into despair.

I’m feeling a little down at the moment, but nothing like the horrors that must have befallen Vincent.  I have a lot to be thankful for in my creative career, but these down times can make certain uncertainties loom very large indeed.  Hopefully, I can manage this in a constructive way.

*Not sure if the quote is right.

Sunday Morning, Feeling Good

June and I went for a drink last night, I had a bit of a lie-in this morning, I took my time getting myself together and I feel good.

There’s evidence to suggest that, taken in moderation, alcohol is good for us.  As I haven’t been out for a drink for a few weeks, visiting the pub last night was very welcome indeed.  I don’t like to get drunk these days, but three pints of Abbot Ale, which is fairly strong, was enough to make me a little merry.

So this morning I feel good.  I was hoping to trim the hedges at the front of the house, but it’s blowing a gale at the moment and I’d probably end up chasing the clippings down the street.  I’ll mow the lawn this afternoon once it’s dry again after yesterday’s rain.

On the subject of feeling good, or not, this article on the BBC news site suggests why we creative types may all be a little mad.  When we try to deal with our problems, it’s often easier to do so if we can get some sort of handle on the  causes of those problems.

I posted a new Mitchell cartoon this morning, which I drew yesterday.  Just the thought of him rolling about with laughter at the misfortunes of a dog makes me smile.  I have nothing against dogs, but have no difficulty putting myself into Mitchell’s position and seeing why he would find it so hilarious.  This is probably what the BBC article was pointing to with the similarity to schizophrenia in creative minds.  Well-developed characters speak in our minds with their own voices, but we know they are only the creations of our imagination.

The next Story to Nowhere episode will be posted tomorrow and this morning I created it.  I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say, but as I began writing it came to me quite quickly, along with the idea that I wanted to draw the image in pencil instead of in Photoshop as I have been doing.  I don’t know if this will continue, but I’m pretty pleased with the end result.

By the smell of the aromas drifting up the stairs, I think that my lunch is being prepared by June and so I’ll close this off before I’m called to the table.  Now I can smell it I realise I’m feeling rather peckish…