Posted in archie reads, artist life, children's fiction, fiction, habits, reading, writing

why archie reads – fiction as self help

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on Earth.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.

Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean;
they show us how to live and die.

Anne Lamott

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I read it too.

archie the writer in grade six

I think I have always been a bookworm.

As a child, I enjoyed reading stories of other people in other times and other places with other problems.

Why is it that we seek out more problems, about people who we don’t even know, who aren’t even alive?

Continue reading “why archie reads – fiction as self help”

Posted in about archie, advice, blogging, failure, fear, fiction, habits, inspiration, life updates, living life, mental health, self help, self-care, writing

help fish from drowning (life update #4)

Dear whoever you are…

Yes, I’m still here, still writing on this blog, though not as often as I had planned.
Oops?
It’s been over a year since my last life update, so here goes…

Let me recap some of the events that have happened:
I’m still living in the Arctic (and if you’re a writer you should too!); I continued working as a full-time sub teacher at a primary school (and really loved it), but in the last few months have switched to a duller paper-centric office job; my best friend died and it was damn brutal for a long while, and I’m only now adjusted to all the leftover emotional scar tissue (some of my coping strategies are listed here); I essentially relapsed and had a tough go of things before again getting sober for what has been about 6 months (read this for more about my life with addiction), and I’m still a writer…

  • What I’ve been Reading: I’m happy to say that I am still (*slowly*) reading through my multiple bookshelves of books, mixing it up with the genres and authors. On audio, I’m listening to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre which is so far so good, albeit more intense than I was expecting. On paper, I’ve been reading through multiple short story collections, including Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories and also Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man – all white men from roughly the same time period yes, but different styles that are very instructive for my learning eyes.
  • What I’ve been Writing: I’m also really pleased to say how much progress I have been making of late in working on all my stories, thanks to my new desk-job, which offers me a lot of opportunities to edit, daydream and research. My priority story of late has been one called Graves (which was my very first story!). This story is one of the Big 3, along with two others (I mentioned in a previous post working on one series called Animals and another post working on another series called Warriors), which means I hope to publish each of them traditionally, as novels, with a major book publisher, someday…
  • What I’ve been … Watching: I have been enjoying a lot of Queer Eye on Netflix, which is really satisfying not only because of the emphasis on self-improvement both inside and out, but also it’s just nice to see how much a difference it can make in anyone’s life to have cheerleaders really route for you and encourage the fuck out of you because that is the basic ingredient toward any sincere personal growth.

Okay, so on to what I want to say here today.

Continue reading “help fish from drowning (life update #4)”

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 Afrofuturism, Alice Walker, aliens, archie reads, Black History, books, fantasy fiction, feminism, fiction, lists, Octavia Butler, radical fiction, reading list, science fiction, visionary fiction

what archie reads – Black History Month

Hey so YAY for Black History. 
BLM is important to talk about because it supports efforts of reclaiming a sense of self among us Earthlings. We all need to make room for knowing about the Past to help understand the legacies we carry with us. Intergenerational magic exists for all of us, but the West suffers from a bout of extreme white supremacy – in so many ways but most definitely inside culture and media. 

As such, one way of changing this reality is to give more attention to reading Black made and Black centred stories, and to learn what we can while we may.

I finished 2 books and can share some of my interpretations, but as always welcome anyone to comment or DM. 

Okay, let’s do this! Continue reading “what archie reads – Black History Month”

Posted in about archie, addictions, artist life, cannabis, depression, drugs, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, living life, mental health, self-care, sobriety, writing

sobriety, drugs & writing something real

I hesitated about writing something about this – about drugs and me and my past and my childhood and my mistakes and my addictions and my shame.
I had to consider whether I would be, in a way, exploiting my past to simply have something mildly topical to write about on my blog.
Or for the people who know me in “real life”, do I need to worry about spoiling my reputation to them? Or ruining my image generally by becoming someone who sells embarrassing memories in my head just to get some attention?

Maybe? But also, maybe not…
I have little clue where this blog post will end up, so let’s find the answer together.

The Office focus sentences

Continue reading “sobriety, drugs & writing something real”

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 artists, blogging, children's fiction, drafts, fantasy fiction, fear, fiction, goals, hope, inspiration, practice, procrastination, radical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, visionary fiction, writing

archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?

I am turning the big three-zero in 2019, can you believe it?
I know, I seem so wise for one so young… lol?
No, but seriously – I’m pretty flabbergasted by that age.

Of course, turning 30 is a big milestone that not everyone has the privilege or good luck to ever reach, so naturally, this needs to be something celebrated with big fanfare.

Michael Dwight partyingThe Office Twirl

But still… 30?

Continue reading “archie’s ambitious pre-30 writing goal that can also get you inspired too, maybe?”

Posted in advice, artist life, egos, goals, inspiration, living life, reading list, reality, self help, writing help, zen

cannot see the trees because of the forest

Hey hello!

In the spirit of me running late this morning, let’s get straight into this, shall we?

  • What I’ve been Reading: I’ve been loving the local library here in Iqaluit (it does not charge late fees!) and have recently checked out Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (who I just now realized lived and writes about the place where I was born and raised) as well as a few more “greatest ever”, “hall of fame”, “best of” anthologies of science fiction and fantasy (I enjoy reading short stories generally, but it seems more efficient in helping me sample a variety of different authors).
  • What I’ve been Listening: a favourite website is Wayback Machine Archive (basically an Internet Time Machine in how it archives so so so much content that would have long ago disappeared from search engines). One way I use it is to find and download old audio recordings of things, like book readings and the like, which is how I am currently listening to The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien – yes, too geeky even for the average geek, I know. But I’ve always been fascinated by mythologies and history, from ancient and medieval recordings of important human events to the more fantastical theological stories of Hinduism, the Abrahamic faiths and so forth.
  • What I’ve been Writing: as I said earlier, I’m still pushing on with revising notes for the different stories I have incubating inside my head – ranging from very short stories to medium length novellas to the longer novel-sized works and the multi-book series too. I vary which I will work on depending upon my mood and energy levels, as some are written for kids, some are more magical fantasy, some are more hard science fiction and some are just unsettling weird surrealism. Currently, I’m focusing on my young adult novel series, “Warriors”.

So that’s a quickie on what I, archie the writer, have been doing.
Now I want to speak a bit to the title of this post, and this phenomenon of how we humans tend to lose perspective, or just become mildly disoriented, in what exactly the fuck we are trying to do – right now, this moment, as you inhale your next breath.

Okay, let me elaborate…

Continue reading “cannot see the trees because of the forest”

Posted in about archie, blogging, craft, egos, fear, goals, habits, practice, procrastination, writing, writing community

why archie blogs – xoxo attention-seeking introvert hopes for approval of strangers

Whatever [our] social identity, the writer is, by the nature of the act of writing, someone who strives for communication and connection,
someone who searches, through language, to keep alive conversation with … ‘the lost community.’

Even if what’s written feels like a note thrust in a bottle to be thrown to the sea.

Adrienne Rich

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I blog.

Michael Scott in therapy

Or, why do I keep a public diary?
I am writing my thoughts and worries for the Internet to gawk at, when I ‘should’ be working on my novels, or perhaps seeing a therapist for proper life coaching, or doing just about anything but this routine of irregularly posting online, hoping for strangers online to affirm my struggles somehow…

Surprisingly enough, there are a few excellent reasons for me to blog – and for you to continue reading this blog.

Continue reading “why archie blogs – xoxo attention-seeking introvert hopes for approval of strangers”

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, artist life, blogging, children's fiction, goals, habits, life updates, living life, reading, writing

it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)

Aloha!

Thank you for clicking on over here. Welcome welcome, or welcome back.

It’s been too long since I wrote on here, and so I thought y’all deserved a brief update on my doings and my pondering and all. Continue reading “it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)”

Posted in advice, archie's DIY, artist life, depression, free, lists, living life, mental health, self help, self-care, writing, writing community

archie’s DIY… mental health self-care

Hey, y’all.

For those who know me, or visit this site on the regular, you will know that I am fairly open about my own dealings with mental illness and mental wellness.

It’s not something I apologize for or regret – quite possibly making me more of an empathetic person and a better writer as result – but it is something I do struggle with, some days more than others…

So, having survived nearly 3 whole decades now, I thought I’d share my own go-to strategies that help me get by when the world is looking especially bleak.

This post is for all us folk needing help (tips, support, hacks, resources, pep talks, etc.) to maintain our health, for today, like, right now –
Or in other words, this is to help you get through the short-term by trying some new solutions in the next few minutes.

I have no formal education in mental health (medical, psychiatric, or otherwise), so am only speaking here from my own experiences of spiralling into acute episodes, and what things have helped me survive to tell the tale.
Most of this draws from the area of CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy – and my intent is to offer up some handy resources because it is not easily available elsewhere.

The self-help info below is listed in no specific order, and some may apply better to anxiety attacks or depressive episodes, but regardless it will always be most helpful when you are better able to identify HOW you feel.

So, try moving away from vague words (like “good”, “mad”, “bad”) and try to be more specific in identifying what emotions are being felt because it helps with self-expression, which helps with diagnosis and treatment.

emotions chart
Finally, not everything below is going to be of interest to you, so skip it if so.

Continue reading “archie’s DIY… mental health self-care”

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 about archie, advice, artist life, depression, failure, fear, goals, honesty, inspiration, practice, self-care, writing

on fuck-ups, neither the first nor last

Fuck.
I should be writing more. 
Not good – me writing so little.
Not enough words.
No, not enough good words.
I need a break.
Already?
Tired after writing this?
How embarrassing.
This is nowhere near good enough.
Never good enough.
Fuck.
Why do I make this so hard?
That’s what she said.
Fuck.
And I call myself a writer.
This is pathetic.
I am pathetic.
Give up.
Grow up.
Get up.
Go, do something else.
Exercise for once goddamit.
Walk, lift something, hit something.
Do anything but this.
Another bad day for writing.
That’s all.
Yeah.
Another bad day in a long line of them.
How many will it take for me to take a hint?
Fuck.
Maybe if I read more, that would help.
What to read?
Too many choices – so little time.
Will this inspire me, or discourage me?
No, my time needs to be spent writing, not reading.
So I need to find more time then.
Need to cut out more of my social life.
What social life?
Cut back on my leisure activities, maybe.
So I can become another worker drone?
More writing, less working.
Gotta quit my day job.
Working too much.
Need to work less, write more.
Simple as that.
But need money to live.
And I call this living?
Pathetic.
Fuck.

Continue reading “on fuck-ups, neither the first nor last”