Saturday, January 14, 2017

So That Didn't Last Long, Did It?

As I did the usual New Year revolution thing, I made a bunch of promises to myself.  One of those promises was that I would write on this blog at least once a week.  Well here it is, two weeks in more or less, and this is my first post of the new year.

It shouldn't be a problem.  Here I am with hypergraphism as a result of Geschwind Syndrome and yet, and yet.  One of the factors involved is a tendency to write excessively so it should be easy for me to write novels, trilogies or major blockbusting series.  Still, I'm not gonna beat myself up about it. I'm gonna forgive myself and let myself write.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bye bye 2016. Will 2017 be better

2016 was the year Nan Harris died and Charlie Jones committed suicide.  Oh no, wait, that was 1979.  2016 was the year David Bowie died and Leonard Cohen and Prince, and Vi Subversa.  It was the year Britain voted to leave the EU, America voted to leave the planet and David Cameron backed off from the mess he'd made saying "Someone else can deal with this shit".  I don't believe in no platform policies but I'd make an exception for David Cameron.

On the plus side it was the year Leicester City won the Premiership and Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  And the Giant Panda and the Humped Back Whale came off the endangered species list.  It was the year I was made redundant, sadly at a much lower level than the amount I was told I could have 13 years ago if only I could somehow contrive not to get a job when the Department of Health reorganised itself.

Let it be known, in the name of Quellchrist Falconer that I consider the change of policy that robbed me like that as a personal assault.  Still, I'm moving on.

2016 was also the year in which I failed to keep any of my New Year's resolutions but it was the year in which I played in my first, second and third festivals so it wasn't all bad.

For 2017 I have only three resolutions.
  1. write as much as possible and (once I leave work) that includes: spending the first 90 minutes of each the first 90 days from 1 February onward writing; complete the promised adaptation for screen of Diary of a Rock Star by Paul Chiles Bown; adapt my own novel Ghost Army for the screen; writing on this blog and it's sister blog at least once a week; carry out my final contributions of the book I'm writing with Kirstein and Craig; enter as many writing competitions as I can; and even write reviews regularly on Amazon or on trip advisor or wherever.
  2. Perform as well and as often as possible.  This includes performances with e-Cog Zero and Edelweiss Pirates UK as well as performing solo as Quinn Agathoni.  That also includes making sure my leaving do is awesome!
  3. Find somewhere awesome to live outside London.
I really regret the last of those but London is so expensive it has, or is in the process of, driven me out.  I love this city for its cosmopolitanism, for the diversity of its people and for the fact that I can find almost anything I need just by walking around.  The only place I can imagine living that's not London is New York City.  I am so tempted to move to New York Lincolnshire just for the address.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Message

So 2015
  • 2015 was the year I was officially told I don't have cancer anymore but they'll keep on checking every 6 months like forever, just in case.  That's good.
  • 2015 was the year my psychiatrist discharged me and said I'd survived half a century with schizophrenia and there was nothing he could do about that until the epilepsy had successfully been treated.  That is, in retrospect, not as bad as I thought.
  • 2015 was the year in which I self published "Ghost Army" (writing as Quinn Agathoni) albeit only on kindle. Several people have told me the book is 'haunting' so that is marvellous.
  • 2015 was the year I stood beside Father Thames and gathering energy from life and love, from concrete and liquid, from river to sea to river and sent Bastet to accompany Kashyapa on her journey to the Summerlands.  That was what it was.
  • 2015 was the year e-Cog Zero met Andy Cavendish at Power Lunches as well as WI and Silver Stags and Imaginary Dreamers.  We have had many reasons since to be grateful for that moment.
  • 2015 was the year I went to Jamaica.  That was good.
  • 2015 was the year I took my wife to Skegness to meet my mother. That was extremely bad, especially as that was the time when Ingrid Andrew died.
  • 2015 was the year I failed to find another job that will support me and my family. That was bad
  • 2015 was the year in which the General election gave a result I found impossible to understand.  That was the worst election result since 1983.
  • 2015 was the year I started working with Professor Kirstein Rummery on her policy paper on social policy and gender equality. That was wonderful.

And what of 2016?  What do I resolve?

As Quinn Agathoni, I will write as often as I can.  
  • I will finish Good People.
  • I will write Ghost Army as a screenplay and try to interest a filmmaker in it.
  • I will attempt to build a novel based on my poetry cycle 'Concerto for Mosquitos and Sunshine',
  • I will enter every writing competition I can.

e-Cog Zero will build up the momentum for a future
  • We will finish recording our album, "What We Wanted..."
  • We will work with Djamel and Kyle and Dafydd and the rest at T-Chances to help Andy Cavendish make it a name to conjure with.
  • We will develop a brilliant website
  • We will produce professional videos.
  • We will attract a following no matter what it takes.

I will do what I can to be happy.  I hope that means
  • Find a job where it's okay to be neurodivergent
  • Achieve something in work and get recognised for it
  • Get the Hell out of London
  • Earn enough money so I can buy novels and go to see bands
Okay, that's as many resolutions as last year, so I hope I can keep more than six in 2016. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

So how did I do.

This blog has now been going ten years with an audience in single figures.  I feel like the bloke with Aspergers who stands in the corner at parties because nobody wants to listen to him going on about his special subject while he finds it difficult to make smalltalk about the other subjects that seem to interest everyone else.  I'm a lot like that myself but apparently not on the autistic spectrum (I'm on the schizophrenia spectrum instead).  Nevertheless, nobody's reading.

Last year, I made twelve or possibly thirteen New Year's resolutions and I have the breathing space to look back.  Let's see how I did.

1) find a way to deal with this mind-sapping depression before it kills me. I'll give myself half a point for this.  It's become irrelevant as I am not depressed.  I am in fact schizophrenic

2) find some way if it is even humanly possible to get another job this year: one that pays double my current salary and doesn't make me wish I was dead. This is an abject failure, nul points! I still don't know how to game the system.  I still haven't reached the second rung of the corporate ladder in 27 years. I even failed to get on a programme that helps the failures like me.

3) Research the possibilities of doing a higher degree. A technical point here.  I've looked into it, even found possibilities.  One point.

4) Do whatever I can to help Nathalie Bennett become Prime Minister. Another technical point on the grounds that there was less I could do than I thought,  I honestly believed she could become PM, the green party didn't, the media didn't, nobody did but I did cause I'm schizophrenic. Despite the overwhelming disappointment, I'll give myself One point!

5) Finish Ghost Army, making it the best it can possibly be by March and find an agent and or a publisher before July. Okay, I slef-published in July.  I didn't find a publisher.  It IS good and people are haunted by it but I believe I could have made it better.  Half a point!

6) Write at least two more novels in 2015. Abject failure! Nul Points!

7) Produce more poetry and, in December, produce a major collection of at least 100 poems. I've written around sixty poems this year but I don't think I'll be publishing a major collection so only half a point.

8) Learn 'Lingua de Planeta'. Failed completely to even begin. Nul points! Caballero.

9) Perform with e-Cog Zero live at least ten times. Yep! Done this. ONE POINT my friends, one shiny solid, unadulterated, untechnical point!

10) Put together a New Year's Eve gig for 31 December 2015 where I will present, compere and perform. Half a point, for why, because there is a possibility of a New Year's Eve gig but Cam Ringel is doing the work not me.

11) Perform at least twelve times as poet/spoken word artist. Four, count 'em four performances Nul Points! Ladies and gentlemen, not good enough.

12) work toward putting together a show for the Edinburgh festival in 2016. Nul Points once again mes amis.!

13) That's twelve, averaging one a month. More would be greedy, but I have an overarching resolution for 2015 and that is this.LIVE! I'm still alive and from where I sit now, that's half a point, but from where I sat in January, it's ONE POINT my friends.  I've been to Jamaica.  I've worked with Kirstein and Katrina and Rhiannon and Joe London and Andy Cavendish.  The future is bright for e-Cog Zero.  I even changed medication from the suicide-inducing Kepra to the liver destroying Carbamazepine.

Add them all up and that comes to SIX out of Thirteen  which is better than I expected.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blistering

What is this blog for?  It was started around ten years ago to give me some way of ranting in public in the days when facebook had not been invented.  It became a way of sharing posts I was particularly proud of on the now defunct BBC websites.  Those were the days, my friends, and if I thought they'd never end I was deluded.

Another thing I've done on this blog is talk about my hopes and fears, my new years resolutions, the failures and successes.  I've used its sister blogs for music, for ideas about alternative history, as an attempt very publicly to speedwrite screenplays. The last a failure as so often in my life.

More successful was the account of my own radiation treatment. At least I kept it going as long as I was being chernobyled (that IS a word dammit, I just neologised it) to get rid of the cancer.  Then there was the time I had the idea I might stand as Mayor of London as an independent in 2016, that fell through when I got cancer, but to be honest, it should have fallen through when I realised I had no charisma.

So what is this blog for.  It's my attempt to voice my opinions, to be heard, but to do that I need an audience.  So does anybody know how I get one.  Is there anybody there? Is there anybody there?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

It's that time again, the time of New Years revolutions: of wanting to do better; of pushing back the past and welcoming in the future. It's become something of a tradition for me to publish my resolutions and lay out how I did the year before. Well, I've doen the latter already, could have been worse, could have been better. I managed four and a half out of seven resolutions. And unincluded bonuses were recovering from cancer, surviving mental illness and self-publishing some poetry.

Now for my 2015 resolutions. Divided by my major personae this year to make sure everybody gfets a look in.
Alcuin
1) find a way to deal with this mind-sapping depression before it kills me.
2) find some way if it is even humanly possible to get another job this year: one that pays double my current salary and doesn't make me wish I was dead. [A note here to whoever passes my statuses on to my employers. I'm sorry to say this, but the thing is, I've been an EO for 26 years. In that time, I've seen literally hundreds of people less talented, less intelligent and less innovative than me promoted time and again while I languish on the bottom rung of a ladder I clearly don't have the nous to climb. It is THAT that makes me suicidal and quite frankly there's nothing you can do to make my job better because what I need is a clear pathway where I can see how to advance by six grades in the next six years. Sorry if that's offensive. I was ready for HEO in 1992 and every time I failed after that, I slipped into mental illness. So. It's not the content of my job that makes me suicidal, it's my consistent failure to learn how to game the system.]
3) Research the possibilities of doing a higher degree.
4) Do whatever I can to help Nathalie Bennett become Prime Minister

Quinn
1) Finish Ghost Army, making it the best it can possibly be by March and find an agent and or a publisher before July.
2) Write at least two more novels in 2015. (I have ideas for these but don't want to announce them yet)
3) Produce more poetry and, in December, produce a major collection of at least 100 poems.
4) Learn 'Lingua de Planeta'

Emily
1) Perform with e-Cog Zero live at least ten times.
2) Put together a New Year's Eve gig for 31 December 2015 where I will present, compere and perform.
3) Perform at least twelve times as poet/spoken word artist.
4) work toward putting together a show for the Edinburgh festival in 2016.

That's twelve, averaging one a month. More would be greedy, but I have an overarching resolution for 2015 and that is this.
LIVE!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wow

Now it seems, while I was busy surviving cancer and mental health issues, I got it together to publish a poetry anthology on Amazon.  It is called "Shark Infested Mind, and I am using the pseudonym, Quinn Agathoni (an unusual abreviation of Alcuin and sort of my grandmother's maiden name - a long story I may tell some day). Here is my Amazon author page.

On the health side of things, my PSA is currently undetectable so I think it's safe to say I'm in remission so bye bye cancer, it was interesting knowing you.  But, since I'm on the stampede trial, my oncologist is interested in my health generally.  While I'm going to be starting psychiatric treatment for my DDNOS in December, she also sent me for EEG and a Brain MRI.  The EEG showed nothing but the brain MRI showed damage consistent with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.  I guess I'll learn more about that down the line.

After a month off sick while my employers reassure themselves I'm not a danger to myself or others, I'll be back at work next Friday, but on Thursday, I'll be attending The Eye of the Storm's event Disrupt Mental Health.  Looking forward to it.