Posted in advice, artist life, change, fear, goals, honesty, hope, inspiration, living life, self help, writing

it’s no use going back to before 2020, because I was a different person then

You know the the story: a hero goes to rescue someone from a dangerous land, and they are told one explicit rule to follow: don’t look back.
So, of course, they look back.

Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld Painting by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot 1861

Orpheus rescues Eurydice from the dead but looks back and she vanishes forever.
Lot’s wife (unnamed, so let’s call her Lottie why not?) looks back on the doomed town she is fleeing and turns to salt.
And so many other parallel myths from the Japanese, Mayan, Indian and Sumerian legends.

Well that is how a lot of us are probably relating to this calendar year called 2020.
Move on and don’t ever talk about it again, right?
Or at least we all agree this is the botched timeline borne from time travel hijinks right?

Let me ask something outrageous:  Continue reading “it’s no use going back to before 2020, because I was a different person then”

Posted in change, life updates, living life, reality, travel, writing

not even home is like home, and other things behind the curtain (life update #5)

Hey stranger,
It’s been a little while since my last update, so let me catch you up.

  • What I’ve been Reading: I am keeping busy offline, trying to match my reading pace with the rate I’ve been collecting books from little-free-libraries around town. These have consisted mostly of more short story collections, including old SFF treasures like The Many Worlds of Andre Norton (by Andre Norton of course) and new SFF gems like How Long ’til Black Future Month? (by N.K. Jemisin) as well as some of the non-fiction variety like Henry and June (the diary of the incomparable Anaïs Nin).
  • What I’ve been Writing: Despite accomplishing huge leaps and bounds with my online research as a writer and a writer of specific genres, I had to spend a few months completing an online math course (yes, dreadful, I know!) for a credit requirement that I hope will qualify me into teacher’s college someday soon. Since passing that (yay!), I’ve made some serious headway on one of my novel-in-progress, which I had been referring to as Animals but have since begun calling Woods. I am thick into the world-building as well as the scene-ordering, so I expect to be completing draft number two before the end of this calendar year. 
  • What I’ve been Watching: With travel on an indefinite hiatus, I’ve found some relief in the form of binging seasons of The Amazing Race. The U.S. version started in 2001 (imagine, travelling pre-9/11 and pre-pandemic!) but I skipped to season 5 which so far has been mostly entertaining. I’ve already finished the 7 seasons of the Canada version, which was actually more enjoyable (beginning after 2010) maybe because with a lower budget the contestants travel more locally – including my home town!

Speaking of my home town, let’s get on with the main event, shall we?

Continue reading “not even home is like home, and other things behind the curtain (life update #5)”

Posted in advice, change, dystopias, fear, fiction, hope, inspiration, other, reading

how reading fiction helps us hope

I really enjoyed this sentiment here, and so wanted to share:

“What novels tell us is not that it’s going to be OK, or that it is all for the best, because it’s not. People will go on drowning as they try to flee Syria, climate change will get worse, and Trump could do massive damage to the world causing an upsurge in the worst kinds of prejudice.

But novels and stories tell us that this has all happened before, in a different time, with different names but similar narratives. They tell us that it’s OK to be scared, to have complicated feelings, to feel a bit lost, and they remind us that we are human.

Continue reading “how reading fiction helps us hope”

Posted in about archie, advice, artist life, blogging, change, failure, goals, habits, hope, inspiration, living life, practice, procrastination, self help, self-care, writing, writing help

a work in progress – my life and my art

Hi.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
It’s felt like a long while, for me, since I’ve last spilled my thoughts on this virtual paper.

The longer I put off writing on this here blog, then the more I’m likely to think I need to write something even longer, something even better, with my next blog post.

And I’m trying to not enable that sort of rationale, so this right here is an active effort to keep things short and sweet.

Continue reading “a work in progress – my life and my art”

Posted in advice, anarchy, artist life, blogging, change, failure, fear, goals, imagination, inspiration, living life, reality, self help, writing

learning to love how nothing makes sense

It tickles me when I come across a channel or blog with their last post update something like “I’m finally back!” or saying “will resume uploading stuff regularly”, and then they never post ever again.
I find it amusing because I totally fucking get that.
I get their hope and intent at setting their goal to return to something with newfound enthusiasm and dedication, but it just doesn’t work out that way.
Priorities change.
People change.
Things change.

That makes sense, right?
Does it though??

Continue reading “learning to love how nothing makes sense”

Posted in about archie, advice, artist life, artists, change, education, failure, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, living life, reading, reading list, writing

wasted potential, potentially wasted…

Hi bonjour – welcome back.

Despite sporadic blogging habits, the rest of my offline writing life is progressing well. 

  • I continue to be reading books, including ones that have sat waiting on my reading list for many years and I am also listening to audio-books too (for when I prefer to just hide away under the covers in bed). Currently listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and also listening to the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
  • I continue to work away at my various stories, though to be honest, less of this is writing and more of it is cleaning and sorting my notes – the mass of jumbled ideas, germs and inklings. Currently, working at my children’s novel series on Animals.
  • I continue to try at keeping myself grounded and present because I find this practice essential for a healthier state of mind necessary to keep making art. Currently, I’m realizing again how important it is to pay attention to the details of my life, to repeatedly will myself to shake off the clouds that would otherwise leave me living in a hazy fog of repetition and boredom and dissatisfaction.

Continue reading “wasted potential, potentially wasted…”

Posted in about archie, advice, artist life, change, failure, fear, honesty, inspiration, living life, procrastination, reality, self help, self-care, writing community

we are afraid of the same thing

I am pretty confident that I can describe your greatest fear.

Not only that, but I can prescribe a formula to squash it flat.
And at no charge either!
(though I’m not responsible either if you fail to squash it right, and then it just becomes agitated and even scarier and haunts you forever, or something like that… okay?)

Okay, but seriously, I probably can describe your greatest fear.

Remember when you were a kid, and you would play games that had this big surprise?
“What Time is it Mister Wolf?”, where “the Wolf” would keep answering your questions with the time 3 o’clock or 12 o’clock or 8 o’clock, until LUNCHTIME!
Scared me every time… I knew it was coming, but still…

Tricycle The Shining

Continue reading “we are afraid of the same thing”

Posted in advice, artist life, artists, change, death, failure, fear, hope, inspiration, procrastination, writing

life legacies – what are you waiting for?

Please enjoy the irony of how long it took for me to finally just finish writing this post.

It was the past couple of weeks that helped me do it – not borne out of some desperate New Years resolution but actually, a mix of travelling that saw me at my grandmother’s funeral and flying in planes (which I’m quite dreadful with) and being stranded in Ottawa because of a blizzard that kept me from returning home for 5 extra days.

By the time I got home here in Nunavut, I was so flipping pleased just to be finally back. The return journey was awful but that was not what I was focusing on (maybe because I had gotten just really desperate?), and now I am already appreciating how much I need to transfer this perspective to my writing and my life as a whole.

Thinking about death and waiting and delays and everything, it occurred to me how we all leave a legacy behind, and that the scariest thing about that is not leaving a flawed reputation or something but instead leaving this life without ever coming close to finishing (or beginning?) something you fully wish to accomplish – like writing a book.

Like, stay with me a moment when I introduce a slightly morbid notion that you, reader, are going to die unexpectedly on the precise date of:
ONE YEAR, 3 MONTHS, 5 DAYS from TODAY.

Since I’m not a life insurance salesperson, I’m not going to talk to you about getting your affairs and stuff in order, but instead I am going to encourage you to really imagine what you wish to do, say, visit, overcome, leave behind, or accomplish before that date comes to pass and your time here is history.
Think of this not as some death sentence but instead as that big moment in every story when the character’s life-as-they-know-it changes because they cannot ever go back to the ignorance that they held at the story’s very beginning. Feels better already, right?

Okay, allow that news above to really register in your subconscious before continuing…

Continue reading “life legacies – what are you waiting for?”

Posted in advice, change, death, egos, fear, inspiration, self help

murder, archie wrote

Apologies for the dramatic title, but these Jessica Fletcher gifs are not going to appreciate themselves okay?

But I meant what I wrote – murder yourself.
Who you think you are – let that who die, pass away, leave you behind.

And by that, I mean: get out of your way, get out of your head, get out of bed, get out of your funk, go outside, get beyond your expectations for today, and just get on with it.
Jessica Fletcher disturbed

So, are you confused yet?
Wondering what am I talking about?
Doubtful that I even have a point here?
Suspicious that I might be stalling, trying to improvise an answer to my own rhetorical questions?

Am I just trying to create filler to fit in more Murder, She Wrote gifs?

Let me clarify with another JF classic (okay, it may have been partly that last one).

Who the Fuck Knows

But seriously now – across so many spiritual practices and psychological disciplines, there is a fairly consistent agreement about the notion of layered identities. Continue reading “murder, archie wrote”

Posted in about archie, artist life, change, fear, inspiration, life updates, living life

archie the writer – becoming a full-time artist, not growing up or getting a job

I hate work.worksucksfuckwork
I really do.
I think most people do too.

And by ‘work’, I mean essentially any situation where you would not be there, doing that task, associating with that place or those coworkers, if not being paid for it.

That creates a pretty clear distinction between:

  • careers that really challenge ourselves to grow, expanding upon our own potential, rewarding our efforts and investment of time and talents…
  • jobs we do to pay off debts and otherwise serve as a checkpoint in life because we were told this is how to be an adult.

This is an important difference, but so often do we conflate ideas under one broad label. Just as we mislabel ‘work’, we confuse ‘success’ (equating personal fulfilment with competitive materialism) or ‘confidence’ (equating liking yourself with pride and vanity).

Continue reading “archie the writer – becoming a full-time artist, not growing up or getting a job”