General news and stuff

Just a general round-up of things this week.

I continually get surprised by how doing these Masterclass lessons of Neil Gaiman's keep challenging me, even though I regarded myself as a pretty creative individual before. Plus in doing the writing excercises in the course every now and then something comes up which gives me some good ideas for potential use later. An example of this would be a dialogue excercise I did between two of the characters from Lady of the Gate. In figuring out how the conversation would go an idea landed that made perfect sense and was also, hopefully, surprising enough that I want to include it if and when I eventually get around to it.

Karate-wise I am happy with my ability to regain my breath after doing techniques, so I seem to be getting the hang of controlling my breathing that way. However I am still trying to find the middle ground with breathing during techniques and still managing to do them at sharpness and speed. After having done all the press-ups in the world on the Saturday just passed, my shoulders, deltoids and forearms have been stiff and sore all damned week. As such, trying to do techniques fast and sharp was challenging to say the least, and just made it all more tiring. Renshi Martyn Harris also continually kept reminding us all that as exhausted as we all were after only so many minutes of the start of the lesson, if it were a grading there would be hours of exertion yet to come. This means that I really have to somehow work on my ability to do techniques well with sharpness and power, while conserving energy at the same time. So currently I'm not happy with how well I do that side of things. But it appears to be something I can work on. There might also be something to be said/typed about getting through on sheer bloody-mindedness.

Kung-fu grading will be coming up soon. However much I can feel anxiety build up in me I remain mentally confident. Especially with all the studies into karate forms/kata I have been doing, it has gotten me to thinking about the kung-fu forms in a similar (yet different) way. Doing the moves, drills and forms to demand will not be the difficult part. The bit I am not looking forward to will be the moments my brain freezes up when questions are asked. So mental excercises shall be required also methinks.

Finally, my congratulations go out to my friend and author Dave Cartwright who has finished his Camelot 2050 trilogy. I am pleased for my friend, but cannot help but feel I am being shown an example of what I could be were I to be more disciplined in my writing. But then I also have to remember that I am not him. My life continues to happen as it will to the schedule it decides to keep. I am very much trying to be more Daoist about the whole thing; letting things happen as they may. That way I alleviate a lot of the perceived guilt for not being as good at this writing business as others with more will and courage than I.

Who knows what the future will bring, right?