The Man Who Would Be King? Book It.

Sunday, 20th August 2017 saw the culmination of over a year’s worth of work, graft, and emotional and creative investment. It’s not something tangible that you can hold, like a novel (yet!), comic book or painting.

No, this art was crafted and moulded over numerous meetings, Skype/Facetime sessions (depending which one provided a better, less pixel-faced connection), and dinners. It was also born out of a deceptively simple concept, birthed, as it was, in the backroom of Vault Comics in Welling, during a podcasting session with then-stranger-now-friend, Kieron.

Now that some time has passed and I can look back on the events leading to this serendipitous meeting of mutual good fortune with an even eye, I wanted to recount them, connecting chaotic, unrelated events into a string of occurrences that suggest, perhaps, a sense of order amongst the chaos, giving you all a better idea not only at how this working relationship came about, but also the processes involved in booking a wrestling show whilst trying to maintain artistic merit, with all efforts going towards not only putting on a fucking amazing wrestling show but executing on an event that had dramatic purpose, heft, and resonance.

The Man Who Would Be King

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State Of The Podcast Address

This has been a long time coming, and I apologise for that. I wanted to take a moment out of our regularly scheduled programming – you know, the raw, honest blogging/state of constant confusion that is my writing process and attempts to find an agent and eventual publication – to host a state of the podcast address.

For those that aren’t aware, I host a geek critique story review podcast titled, ‘Sweet Story, Bro’. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only real show of its ilk. Breaking down stories into the elements I enjoyed as well as what didn’t resonate with me, with a primary focus on narrative choices by the wonderful authors and storytellers that crafted these tales in the first place, all in order to determine whether I found the story ‘Officially Too Sweet’ or ‘Just Not Sweet Enough.’

 

I loved doing the show. It was a perfect justification to dedicate time to all the stories I wanted to experience, whether reading, watching, or playing. Long time readers of Write Steve Write or ‘Sweet Story, Bro’ will be well aware that I feel inspiration can, and should, be sought from every medium. The idea of restricting yourself to only one narrative avenue is an antiquated idea that has no place when considering the depth we can now experience from different platforms, and the podcast’s story choices reflected this value.

The podcast was an outlet. It was a learning experience and an education. It forced me to engage with stories on a deeper level than I had ever thought of before, questioning why the creators made the decisions they made through copious amounts of research. It helped me to further my understanding of formatting and how important it is to be willing to listen to feedback and evolve. When scripting, it allowed me to address my feelings before getting in front of my loyal Blue Yeti microphone. When recording, I would stumble across a stream of consciousness that threaded together thoughts I wasn’t aware I had. It showed me how to be adaptable, but resolute in my personal ‘voice’. It helped me to grow and better myself as a podcaster and, as was always the point, in theory, as a writer…

And it is here that I found myself with a conundrum. Arriving at a figurative crossroads.

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Stop Signs & Deadlines.

Welcome to 2017.

So, here’s a fun factoid: at this point in time I am beholden to no-one and, honestly, that’s how its been for the longest while. It’s also the reason why I’ve been so infrequent with my blog posts, writing, and overall progress. The only thing I’ve managed to really dedicate myself to is my geek critique podcast, ‘Sweet Story, Bro.’

The cruel irony is this: the podcast I created to help me embrace stories on a deeper level – to help me become a better writer – has, for the longest part of 2016, overtaken any sort of actual writing.

The podcast still serves its ultimate purpose. I have definitely grown self aware as a reader since its inception, and I have undoubtely learned from how these writers have chosen to tell their stories. I love engaging with narratives beyond ‘I liked it’/’It was good’ and the opportunity its given me to engage with like minded geeks – shoutout to #PodernFamily on Twitter! – and, perhaps most importantly, it’s fun!

Granted, as much growth as the show has seen since its debut (and format tweakage/evolution) last year on January 4th, I’m still naturally pushing for further growth. For more people to treat their ears to its aural sensations, if you will. It would be a dream if ‘Sweet Story, Bro’ could continue to evolve, to create a dialogue amongst writers and fans, perhaps even rake in a little cash to help with server and equipment costs via Donations and fans using the Amazon links for their online purchases (what a validating feeling it was to see people had been doing exactly this over Christmas!)

The podcast has, undoubtedly, been my greatest success this year. And as stoked as that makes me, it’s a double edged blade as its stolen from me the focus and drive I should have been investing into Temporary.

You know, the book I’ve been working on. One of the primary reasons this blog exists.

And so, like most, in the interest of using this time of year for some key self reflection and introspective dissection, its become clear to me that my habitual self sabotage, coupled with enviable levels of procrastination (emphasis on the pro), wrapped up with a pretty ribbon crafted out of a lack of personal accountability has led me to seeing the end of 2016, like most people, as a bit of a disappointing damp squib.

So, what the fuck do I intend to do about it?

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What’s My Age Again?

NOTE: This post is in turns an emotional outpouring as well as a personal, cutting to the core, dissection with how I feel/where I am at 30. Like my previous posts, I don’t pull punches, and I don’t want to self censor. Others have felt this way; some probably feel the same right now, but I just wanted to take a moment to capture and express my fears, hopes, worries and dreams on Write Steve Write.

With that in mind, enjoy…


It’s been 10 days since my birthday. Since this…

Honestly, I’m still accepting that I’ve finally ticked over into my 30s. No more will my age start with a 2 until I hit 200!

As I sit here pondering about all that I had dreamed of accomplishing in my 20s, all that I thought I would have done and what I thought my 30s would have looked like, I struggle at times to cope with the reality. All that I haven’t achieved. All that I thought I would be, but am not.

Kind of makes me feel like this:

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And then someone comes along, shows you what it’s like to be truly cared about, and does something amazing to help you usher in a new birthday, a new decade, a whole slew of new opportunities, adventures and possibilities…

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Voi¢£.

If you ever get the chance to go and watch writer/director/podcast magnate Kevin Smith speak, then, quite simply, do it.

I’ve written about Smith and his style of public speaking before on this blog, having highlighted a particularly meaningful monologue he made regarding encouraging artists and the creatively inclined, which, in a shameless plug, you can check out here.

But despite my familiarity with Kevin Smith, his wondrous ability to take a single question from an audience that fills an hour and a half, and his overall opinions on the creative landscape, I still found myself excited at being able to see him deliver his mantras live.

When the e-mail from the Prince Charles Cinema appeared as a Notification in the top right of my screen, it took me about 10 seconds of deliberation before I had already punched in my card details. Hell, I was one step away from simply throwing money at my monitor to secure the tickets.

The man just has a way of cutting to the core in what he says, in such a genuinely moving and passionate way that you can’t help but be inspired by the end of it.

Even if “the end of it” is 20 minutes over the scheduled end time, causing a hectic, full on butt clenched, power walk back to Charing Cross for the last train home.

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Start As You Mean To Go

So here we are with a New Year. 2016. A new year, a fresh start, a blank slate. Right?

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Not exactly.

So many times, like you, I imagine, I’ve heard and seen people make commitments that you know, in your heart of hearts, that they won’t be able to commit to.

“I’m going to do [insert this/that].”

And all you can do is tune out slightly and rest your eyes, a fixed smile on your face as you nod your head in agreement.

But why?

Why do these resolutions and promises fail? Is it because they’re overextending? Attempting to reach way too far with unrealistic goals, considering they’re starting from zero?

Most probably.

If I started out this year with a goal in mind, let’s say I wanted to strive to get my black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Well, I’m a one stripe blue belt and have been for almost a year now. Is it possible for me to go from one stripe blue, to black in the 365? No way! Why? Because it’s way too big a goal.

So, what’s the answer?

Like with Temporary, it’s down to making small, seemingly tiny, unrelated progressions, that all, hopefully, add up to a much bigger picture.

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Podcast Solo

As I’ve been waiting on beta reader feedback on Temporary, and keeping myself busy rewriting a preliminary redraft of a short story I’ve been working on, now titled Translucent (which is a Temporary Parallel Event), I’ve also found myself delving back into the wonderful world that is podcasting.

Not participating in the way I once did with the podcasts I used to host, whether it was the eclectically random, conversational (and controversial) news stylings of The Totally Randumb Podcast, or the long, long ago pro wrestling podcast I used to love doing, the Blind Tag! Podcast, but rather looking for new and interesting things to listen to.

The Totally Randumb Podcast holds up, thanks to its (relatively) timeless content: each week, Nick and I would find a couple of totally random, weird, odd, or raunchy stories and discuss them – only finding out what the other had dug up whilst we were at the microphones. It usually led to a lot of interesting, warped conversations, whilst being informative in a “what weird shit is happening in the world today?” sort of way.

Most recently however I’ve been a more passive engager. Honestly? I’m a huge fan of podcasts as a medium; for discussion, for engagement, and for engaging in something you are truly passionate about in the hope to find an audience that cares just as much about the thing you care about (phew!) – it’s always been something that’s been mega appealing to me.

So, what has prompted me to delve into my past excursions with the world of podcasting; and, more importantly, how does any of this tie into my writing?

Answers:

1) Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History.

 2) Hit the jump and find out!

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