Where did it All Go Wrong?

Older doesn’t necessarily mean wiser

Gruesomeness Warning (Clicking on the Link Reveals a Colour Picture of the Adult Me)   

Here we are as promised my poetry collection has been published and is available via Amazon for Kindle and as a paperback. I am really pleased with the look of the Kindle version and the mere existence of a physical book I have written, though it does feel a little like an out-of-body experience holding a book filled with my own words. I would describe it as pleasantly freaky!

Anyway here is a link to the book Wreckage hope you enjoy it.

Thank you all for your kind words and support on the blog over the last three and a bit years I really wouldn’t have wanted to do it without you all.

© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Alchemical Reactivity

 

© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

It is fitting that I came across this old blog post (originally posted 18 May 2015) now just as I am releasing my first poetry collection. As it was the first announcement on the blog of that goal. Back then I believed I’d have it released before the end of 2015 and I also intended to have some short stories included in the collection too – well both the timescale and the structure have morphed over time.

Part of the reason it changed and became all poetry was the vain hope that once I’d completed it I would have got all this poetry/feelings nonsense out of my system. A vain hope indeed – despite my continued assertion that ‘I am not a poet. I am a human being’.

It has taken so long either due to perfection or anal retentiveness. I’ll leave it to others to decide which of those two is the most dominant trait in my personality.

What I can say is back many years ago when I first thought one day I will write a book I intended to dedicate it to  ‘The Detractors, Doubters and Critics’ with the epithet ‘Fuck You’. But what I have come to realise was that the No. 1 detractor and critic of my work was me myself.

So the book’s dedication is now a far more positive statement and directed to a far worthier group of people. Because in the end the self-criticism was self-defeating and my harshest critics out in the real world are not the audience this collection is intended for. Because whether this shifts one copy or a million I am proud of my work. It is not perfect, but then it does not have to be.

 

Now here is the original post Ode to Ode Writing from way back in 2015:

Ode to Ode Writing

I am not a poet

I’ve decided to put together a collection of stories and poems; hopefully it’ll be ready to go some time later this year. But that is not the point of this post.

The real point is, when did I succumb to this poem writing infection and even to start aspiring to be a poet.

It’s kind of embarrassing isn’t it, this feelings malarkey, if I am writing fiction I at least get to put all the slushy stuff in the mouths of a character. Poetry doesn’t allow me that luxury, most of the time. The majority of the poems I have written, appear to me, as honest reflections of who I am.

I was originally going to call this post “Bungee Jumping” but I’m not sure there is a rope attached to my legs when I ready myself, pen in hand, to jump into the abyss.

Scary isn’t it?

 

© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Save

Save

Of Grace

 

photo credit: Holly Norval Lifted by the light via photopin (license)

A momentary feeling
Of grace in the chaos,
Of calmness despite
This slow descent
Into catastrophe.
Just a glimpse
Into another universe
Like a stumbled upon path,
An oasis of plenty
In the forest,
Appearing out of the mist
On an April morning.
 
© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

 

UN-Living is Easy

I could un-live in unison
With all those dwelling down holes.
Lost within the rhythm of the swamp
Unwilling to swallow the poison
Offered by the medicine man.
Staying trapped inside the wheel,
The eighteen ’til seventy-five comfort
Of a paycheck and a pain deep in the gut,
And the bitter acceptance that the boss
Really does get paid to know less than me.

 © 2016 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

 One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And take to the sky
 
Summertime, Porgy & Bess

Storms

photo credit: Euphrates via photopin (license)

photo credit: Euphrates via photopin (license)

Inside my mind
Winds howl
There is no solitude
To be found.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Alchemy

Day 18: This post is welcome reminder of summer for me…

Made of sticks and stones

Words from Rush by Frank Regan 2015 Words from Rush by Frank Regan 2015

Hello, how are you?
I’m now back in the UK after a trip to Greece – the island of Skiathos to be precise. Well to be really precise I’ve been back a fortnight but that was only in body, in spirit I was still balanced precariously on a bean bag sipping a cocktail at the Rock and Roll Bar overlooking the bay.
Skiathos was a place I really fell in love with for its scenery, its people and the overall vibe of the place. It had a certain je ne sais quoi (probably sounds much cooler in Greek). Most importantly it was the break I needed to separate me from the events leading up to and the manner in which I left my job. Skiathos was the perfect break from the mundane realities of life.
But no holiday lasts forever, and though it…

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Weeble Wobble

My confidence level, very, rarely stays high. As low as the Marianas Trench, now, I can manage that no problem.
I’m so good at having low-confidence I could even give talks on the subject. Not that anyone would want to listen to me droning on…
You get the picture; I love to talk myself down. And given that it is now four months since I quit work. Summer has been and gone, the days are becoming shorter, and doubts are sneaking-up to hide in the shadows waiting to pounce.
Where’s an Alchemist when you need one?
Let me make it clear, I do not regret leaving my previous employment, in fact, I believe it will turn out to be the best decision I ever made. No, NEWSFLASH, it is the best decision I have ever made in my life so far. However…
At the moment the goals I am working towards haven’t been bringing in the big bucks.

“My other piece of advice, Copperfield,” said Mr. Micawber, “you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and – and in short you are forever floored. As I am!”
From David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

Perhaps they never will. I knew that when I made my decision. But still when someone asks me have I got a job(?), have I been applying for jobs(?). I get angry. Now those that ask me have I got employment tend to know far more about my “Grand Plan” than I have shared online. They shouldn’t need to ask loaded questions, right?
The Big Push
However, the real reason I get angry is because, whisper it, I’ve been asking myself the same.
Is the “Grand Plan” a load of old tosh? I’ll fail at this goal; I’m not good enough to fulfil that role. No one wants to read my poems, let alone my stories. It’s pointless, I’m useless.
For some reason, this time, this self-depreciation made me think of Weebles…

…you know the things that wobble, but won’t fall down.
Because I know it is just a wobble, I’m not falling over; and if I do fall over then so what. At worst, it is a grazed knee or a bruised ego. The plan goes on.
Why?
Well this time there is a difference, this time I actually like and respect the person I am working for, because I am my own boss. That does not mean I haven’t had some good bosses in the past and that I won’t at some future date find myself within a traditional career structure and happy to be there.
For this is not about self-employment, this is about self-respect.
Yes, my current boss makes mistakes, wastes time, spends way too long in coffee shops just staring out of the window, and is the only one who finds his crappy jokes funny. But overall, he is making progress.
Yes, the “Grand Plan” may be held together by sticky backed plastic and forward motion may be limited to a series of Weeble wobbles but I am wholly responsible for my own future.

Falling Down
© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Alchemy

Words from Rush by Frank Regan 2015

Words from Rush by Frank Regan 2015

Hello, how are you?
I’m now back in the UK after a trip to Greece – the island of Skiathos to be precise. Well to be really precise I’ve been back a fortnight but that was only in body, in spirit I was still balanced precariously on a bean bag sipping a cocktail at the Rock and Roll Bar overlooking the bay.
Skiathos was a place I really fell in love with for its scenery, its people and the overall vibe of the place. It had a certain je ne sais quoi (probably sounds much cooler in Greek). Most importantly it was the break I needed to separate me from the events leading up to and the manner in which I left my job. Skiathos was the perfect break from the mundane realities of life.
But no holiday lasts forever, and though it was tinged with sadness, I had to fly back to normality.

In the last two weeks, amongst other things, I’ve started the enjoyable task of going through my accumulated poems and stories to decide what should be included in my forthcoming e-book collection. At the moment it is a longlist but once I hopefully whittle it down to a shortlist I will be able to discern the shape (crisp smooth lines or gelatinous blob) of the overall collection.
That process of deciding what goes in and what doesn’t has led me to a decision. The collection should be poetry only, my admittedly low-level moans to myself that I am not a poet and it’s just a phase came to naught. Poetry only will just give it a better shape.

I am not a poet
On the plus side though it means the next collection will be fiction only. So, once one project is finished, in the back of my mind another one is starting to be formulated.
Then there is the matter of employment – something that pays. Obviously once my two books are published I will be a millionaire or maybe even a trillionaire! But what if that doesn’t happen, what if all I get out of these collections is the joy of writing them – joy alone isn’t going to pay for my ticket back to Skiathos.
I do have a plan for what I want to do with my future and it requires some form of alchemy to take place and no decades of reading fantasy books haven’t finally warped my mind into believing I’m a wizard. By alchemy I mean whatever time and effort I put in to my job is rewarded tenfold emotionally. Yes I want payment but I want (NO I NEED) to derive satisfaction from what I do.
Yes I realise that all jobs have their downsides. The average person spends a great deal of their lives working and the daily grind is always a compromise, I’m sorry kids even after you leave school life is still going to be about deadlines, hard work and stress. Even being a clown is stressful.

However, the reward for all of that stress should not be limited to a week away on a Greek Island. Fifty-one weeks versus one week? That is not a balanced life.
So while I’m trying to create a more balanced life, if anyone has got any lead going spare, I’d like to try a little alchemy.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.