Wednesday 22nd March 2017

It’s been a long old day, most of which has been spent shifting  a large quantity of swords around.
This morning was spent editing the last edition of The Climb as well as making plans for the day.
I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to put my driving time to good use, thinking about the upcoming chapter and trying to plan it out a bit better.  I have a number of Spotify playlists that I use when I write.  Some I’ve compiled and others are just ones I’ve found.  However, I tend to rotate between the same four or five.
The office I was working in today for the day job has no WiFi and 3G reception is shit, so I always end up getting there and then finding that I should have selected a playlist for offline playing.  I was therefore glad when I found that I had a decent one setup on the phone and so set off on my journey with that playing.  However it was the wrong playlist.
Mentally, I sort music by mood.  I tend to listen to orchestral soundtracks as anything with words breaks my concentration.  So if I want to write thoughtful pieces I’ll have a soundtrack like Lady in the Lake.  If I’m writing some action, I’ll put on some Two Steps From Hell.
My problem was that the playlist was more the Two Steps From Hell variety when this upcoming chapter needed something more thoughtful.  As a result, I couldn’t really let my thoughts focus on the chapter… and I couldn’t change the playlist whilst driving.  I was a bit disappointed, but I realised my error and picked something more appropriate on the journey home.
Interestingly, my focus didn’t go so much to this chapter but the one afterwards.  I tend to let my creative focus go where it wants, so the drive home tonight (and it was a LONG drive home) had me thinking about the chapter after next.
I take several things from this.  First, that the planning I’ve done for the next chapter is pretty much complete.  Secondly, that it will lead into this new chapter I’ve been thinking about.  That doesn’t mean it will be perfect.  Indeed, I’ve already come to the conclusion I need to do some work in the redraft on some of the secondary characters to the extent that I was actually thinking about how I can make them feature more on the drive home.
The second thing I wanted to focus on today was all the social media tasks I have to do.  The social media, whilst fun, has to take second place to the writing and as a result there are a lot of little tasks that need doing.  For example, I need to update the graphics on my Facebook page.  I tried to design something the other day but it looked terrible.  I also need to update some of the images on my website as there are pages with me over 12 stone heavier and I’d like to focus on the slimmer, fitter me.
This ended up not happening.  My idea was that it was something to think about whilst I did some brainless work on the day job, but the news of the terrorist attack in London really diverted everyone’s attention.
What surprised me were people’s reactions in the office.  I refuse to let terrorists intimidate me, so given that the loss of life was tragic whatever the cause, I look at the attack as a hit and run with a knife attack rather than some “great” terror attack.  That doesn’t diminish the absolute tragedy in my eyes (although others disagreed with me and I’m not suggesting they are necessarily wrong).
I think chasing tornadoes has made me a little less afraid of things.  Of course, if I was there at the time it might be a different story.
I hate it when people say they know how they’d react in such a given situation.  That’s such bullshit.  Some people project this idealistic heroic version of themselves into hypothetical life-threatening situations when the reality is this:  You make split-second decisions based on incomplete information, you worry about the most ridiculous shit, you make wrong decisions.  There’s the world of difference between being in a potentially life-threatening situation and being in one that really is.  A rollercoaster is scary but you know that unless the safety equipment fails you’ll be fine.  A tornado barrelling down on you is also scary but subconsciously you’re not so sure as to your survival.  I suspect in an attack like today, there would be even less certainty.
And yet, some people will boldly claim that they will make the morally right decision in the heat of the moment.  “I know I’d stop everything and run over and help”.  Would you?  I hope you would, I’d like to think I would, but when the back of your mind is panicking “there could be more out there” you might find yourself deciding to get as far away as possible instead.  You can’t tell unless you were in that situation or something very much like it.  That’s why emergency personnel have to have lots of training.
It’s that bullshit nobility that winds me up and I hate it even more when those same people start judging the actions of people present in the situation who didn’t have the benefit of hindsight.
On the social media front, I tried a little promo for The Climb on Instagram today.  It’s a bit different to the content that I’ve been putting out so far and I was a bit worried that it might not get a lot of reaction.  And yet, I’ve had the most comments I’ve ever had to an Instagram post.  Yesterday’s The Climb also got comments on Facebook as well so I’m not sure if the pre-amble was slightly humorous and drew people in.  I’ll be interested to see whether it’s a blip or actual growth.
I had to transport the swords I picked up on Monday to training tonight.  Comprising of the bag that got lost, then found, as well as an armful of loose swords, and also my own gear, I reckon I had enough swords to kit out a good 30 – 40 people.    I ended up coming home with a load of swords tonight as well, since someone thought the loose swords were to go back in my car and I found someone waiting with them when I left training tonight.  So if we get a zombie apocalypse in the next week (and after current affairs today, that seems somewhat pedestrian by comparison), you know where to come to get yourself kitted out 😉
Training went well.  We mixed the attacks and counters we’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks together and really made them work.  We have a surprising number of left handed fighters so we took the chance to really workshop how well various techniques work for and against lefties.  I don’t think that’s really been done before (mainly due to there not being sufficient lefties).
I made sure I got some action tonight, actually gearing up and fighting.  I’m noticing the improvement as some of them are tough to fight now.
As I said, the drive home was ridiculously long, taking me some 2.5 hours.  Yet another diversion on the M4 stuck behind the world’s slowest drivers.  I don’t have a problem if they drive at the speed limit, but it’s when they start doing 30 in a 50mph zone that tired Adrian gets very grumpy.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
Twitter: @figures
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