When You’re Climbing Mountains

We all dream of having wings and perhaps the ability to fly,
but when a man’s wings take him to the top of the world
he has no further to go and begins to look down.
He looks down on less trivial things and they begin to appeal
more so than his abilities to build new worlds
as he feels he loses interest in conquering new challenges.

Perhaps this can relate to more than just myself. I frustrate myself as a writer, I’ll be honest with you. Without sounding full of myself I know I have undoubted talent and an ability to find inspiration in hard to reach places and make something special out of ordinary fragments of kindling. What frustrates me is maybe a ridiculous idea of desire to achieve. My competitiveness and desire, whilst good for a writer to have, often leave me losing faith with myself temporarily and wanting constant success. Success is something I’ve attained, and whilst I tell myself it has dwindled deliberately as I take my time with projects and leave myself without stress, it can’t be denied I have achieved little in the last year.

So, as a man stands at the top of his conquered mountain he has options: Climb back down and start to climb another or sit on his pedestal and milk it for all it’s worth. I regularly find myself somewhere in between these two options and that in its essence is what is frustrating. I’m hoping readers can relate to this as I have reached this conclusion myself after a year or so going between the two ‘options’. Ideas come to me regularly and often I have faith in them, but shelf them. Sometimes this is to return to the ‘massive project’ when I have the discipline, time and fully-formulated plans and admitting this makes me embarrassed as I know I have all of these (perhaps the latter less so, but this develops as you work, right?). Perhaps the truth is that I simply don’t push myself to give these ideas a good go. Lets face it- if I have an idea that could change the face of literature for ever I wouldn’t just let it sit in the back of my mind for a couple of years would I?

It’s now almost 5 years since I got an idea for a novel, one I went with strongly and created fragments of for a successful University portfolio only to ‘shelf’ as I developed my talents for poetry and short fiction. Once Tears From Abaddon was released I had my study walls covered in post-its as fragments, ideas and notes for the novel- keenly anticipating its completion and the next success in my life. A few months down the line and I hadn’t bothered making a go of it but not to worry my idea developed into something spectacular and I spent days planning something I knew could be special. That was last New Year. Don’t get me wrong, over the last year I’ve continued to develop the idea further (I now feel it really really really has legs!!) and discuss it with intention to carry it out, but the point remains I haven’t. And that won’t do.

Blueprints is coming along nicely because I did the right thing in allowing myself pressure-less time to carry out the project but failed to realise I need to be putting stuff (mainly myself) out there all of the time. I plan to change that in 2015 and not be content letting my reputation go before me. It’s time for the prince to become king or stop bothering.

If you’ve made it this far congratulations!! Sorry to have taken so much of your time but I hope you can take away a message. We as writers, or in fact we as human beings in any career, must keep finding challenges to conquer. It’s about what you did lately whilst you’re alive and I want everyone to keep pushing themselves to be the best, otherwise someone will take your place. Get out there today and find a new chapter to write, a new beginning to commence and a new mountain to climb.

Well Wishes & Just Promise Tonight.

When I look back over my 2014 I simply can’t believe how much my life has developed. Writing aside, I am in a fantastic place, happy as ever and looking forward to my future. As for the writing I wouldn’t say I’ve moved as many steps forward as I did in 2013, however am building the solid foundations of Blueprints by the Sea as well as pottering on and experimenting with other projects. In the end, that’s what I wanted for myself following Tears From Abaddon and I’ve enjoyed having the shackles off my writing life. As we enter next year there could be some huge developments, so stay tuned for those. In the mean time I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone happy holidays and all the best going into the New Year, as well as thank you all for your support, reading and following of this blog and my writing in general. I only wish I could share more with you all.

But for now I’ll leave you with ‘Just Promise Tonight’ and wish you all the best.

Jordan.

Just Promise Tonight

Rest on me as I’m enchanted
by that look 
in your eyes,
captivating and alive
with the beauty
of a clear oceanic sunrise
and a divine aurora of me.
Take me as your haven
and I’ll take your hand,
for no one could appreciate your love
the way I can.

For it I’ll carry the world, hold it over head
and for our times throw it far away
so you can live, just be.
Just promise tonight you’ll dream of me.

Should dreams be scarce, here I am,
come close and into peace with me,
under the stars, feel their glow
and of my love please understand.
I’ll tell you again, until you know
just promise tonight you won’t let go.

‘On Paper’

Isn’t it fantastic when the words just flow onto a page? I’ve been attempting to get myself full of busy recently as my plans for book #3 come together and that of course means a fuck load of writing!!

I find myself wondering around the world with ideas flowing in my brain that I just can’t wait to get down onto a page. It always bugs me when I transfer that idea or few lines onto a page and then pause and think ‘awesome.. now what?’. I must have the capacity for 50 pieces of poetry at the moment, and around 3 lines for most of them. The question then, is how on earth do I turn 3 lines into 20 at the click of my fingers? Let’s face it, it’s hard to write on cue (or at least I find that hard to do anyway) and it’s hard to create a masterpiece out of nothing. I have certain pieces in the making for Blueprints that I’m really excited about as well as re-writes which ‘on paper’ seem an easy thing to do.. although once on paper it turns out it’s not. I love irony, I believe I’ve mentioned that before. I genuinely believe I have some notes here that can transform into an epic poem or two, and yes, it is frustrating that I’ve sat for a couple of hours and made no progress on them but I know not to worry.

Weirdly enough, every now and then I sit down and start writing something completely new and within one draft and 15 minutes I’ve got myself a decent little piece of writing. I look at that as a good thing though, as those little tit bits of poetry are going to form the meat on the bones of my book and they can come from nowhere. If I did that every day I’d have a lot of my book done in a few weeks, no problem. 

Just remember, when you’re struggling, anything is better than nothing. If you get three lines of your project done today you’re 3 lines closer to completion, take it easy and write what comes naturally to you- not what you think you have to write as you won’t be happy with it. Even a few notes in a note book could be enough work for one day. The rest will come, trust me- I’ve always gotten away with it. One day those few scribbles will turn into something amazing. 

June

My mind has been awash with wondering about where my writing career is over the past few months. More so, where do I leave it and where do I pick it back up? What do I do next and am I ready to take the next steps? I believe an artist’s mind never shuts itself off; no matter what else is going on in there it will continuously provide inspiration and insight necessary to be written on a piece of paper (or in my case a memo in my phone). 

It would appear, and in truth I accepted it as true on occasion, that for now at least I was stepping back from this aspect of my life. I have been less active in all senses of writing, including my blog. But the next steps have continued to be put in place; when they will formulate I don’t yet know and I will take my time in putting the pieces together. Perhaps over the last couple of years I have exhausted my brain with the desire to succeed, even if to a large extent I did succeed. 

The plans I made following TFA’s release are still on my agenda. I have some fantastic ideas for pieces of writing and have continued to work as I have felt the need, even when their creation’s reasons seemed unclear. When it will be completed I do not yet know or worry about, but my next collection of poetry will be called ‘Blueprints by the Sea’ and in large it will be a ‘resurfacing’ of These Waters as I’ve discussed. I will hopefully continue to update my blog with news and extracts as I go. 

All my best to everyone,

Jordan. 

The Small Stuff

So I’ve been lying awake in bed for hours now, as usual. There are several reasons for this. Number one being that there’s a massive storm going on outside and my room is an attic room meaning I’m lying about a foot from the roof and it’s loud, as are the bed springs which creak each time I breathe. Secondly, this is a rare occasion where I’m sleeping apart from my girlfriend which is always an unusual feeling. Thirdly I’ve been ill all week so my stomach’s got me on edge. But the most important reason and the most irritatingly familiar one is that I can’t turn my mind off.

I suppose what I’m trying to do is define myself. What makes me who I am? What motivates and inspires me? I’m not necessarily thinking ‘writing’ here- but life in general and I guess they’re linked. What’s great is when I think about it my life is pretty good at the moment, especially in comparison to how it was when say, I left school several years ago, or University a couple later. I’ve gone from being (largely) overweight to being in pretty good shape, I’ve got a promising writing career ahead of me, including two books and a couple of awards behind me and my personal life is fantastic. Despite being unwell over the last month or two I’ve managed to quit smoking too, a little bonus. I guess you’d say that these are the ‘big’ things in my life and they’re going well, but I’ve been over-thinking the little things. It’s the little things that give you inspiration to write, make you smile at random points during the day. It’s the little things that happen that make us laugh- a joke being shared, that book you’re enjoying reading that you can’t wait to tell someone about, that television show that you dash home for. We forget that while these ‘little’ things give us things to talk about, it’s the ‘big’ things that keep us alive.

I know I’d never have been able to write a lot of the things I have done over the years if not for those. I mean, fuck, if my life hadn’t sucked when I was penning the pieces for These Waters, God knows what would have happened. I wouldn’t have had that book published, I know that much!! Sure, I write about the little things too. Last week I wrote a poem about a painting I found interesting for example. I’ve made a poem out of a yellow flower. I’ve used the story of Lucifer and Salome. But without being shit on in life and writing Cigarettes In The Snow, quite honestly, poetry would never have happened for me. At this point I was at University studying creative writing in general and until about 8 months earlier had never written a poem or considered liking one in my life. I was 19 at this point and I’m 21 now!! I’d not long started dicking about writing poems along with short fiction for my first blog when it clicked with that piece.

I just don’t think life can move forward with just the little things. You know that saying ‘don’t sweat the small stuff?’- I’d never had a second thought about it until tonight. During my overly long, and possibly to you- boring, thought process I got thinking about ‘small victories’- you know the sort, the little bonuses you get during the day that make it a good one or perhaps the moment in which you feel smug having shown yourself to be better than someone else in whatever way.

Having been thinking back to when I was fat (by the way I really was huge as a teenager) I recalled the many occasions over the last few years where I’d ran into someone who I maybe hadn’t seen since leaving school, people who didn’t give my existence a second thought. So often they’ve came up to me, shook my hand, gave me a hug, whatever, and told me how great I looked (i.e. you used to be fat, Jord, remember? You’re actually quite good looking under all that flab, though, aren’t you?). For a moment, that’s a good feeling. There I am being awed by someone who I (more often than not) have a reason to hold a grudge against, but then when you think about it it’s not a little victory. If this person’s opinion mattered to me at all then they’d have been made aware over the last few years that I was looking good now. The people who need to know this do already.

What is important is enjoying the big things in life. I can write all day about my personal life for example, but whilst some scenery I pass may be pretty enough for a poem or a joke I see on twitter may be worth a retweet, the moment passes straight away and it’s never as special second time around. However life is there for, well, a lifetime. It can inspire every day and it does should you let it. I never thought I’d be giving this type of advice, and trust me; if you know me personally you wouldn’t either.

Sorry to go on and on for something I could have said in a few lines, but I needed to bore myself to sleep.

Dreams are possibilities.

Identity

jbtfa1

 

One day we wake up and everything is clear,
the next it can be gone once more.
Drowned and sank with legacies we create
and dreams we strive to live for.
We create characters for ourselves to be
and maybe place them into writing form.
Desiring to be the best in the world,
to be worshiped, to be loved and adored.
But if our identity was a sketch of hand,
what emblems and effects would be drawn?

‘I am a dreamer of a man.
I’m esoteric, compelling and vain.
I carry alchemy in my hands
and bane scarlet veneer in my veins,
silver tainted illusions at the tip of my wings
and a nostalgic beating at my core.
Its cadence is one of a king’s
but it’s fragile and forged as yours.
I take your mortal heart in mine
and turn its brittle pages one by one.
I pick out the most sublime lines
and leave them to burn in the sun.
My whisper as wind to a feather
can order a world to its grave.
My touch; pure as spring’s first heather
can calm the sea’s wildest waves
and alter the blush of your face
and tear up the form of your grace’.

-An extract from ‘Gabrial’
Jordan Baker 2012.

New Projects: Update

Hello everyone. I hope, like me, you’re still taking your personal resolutions seriously. So far I haven’t smoked for 9 days, have cut down on coffee successfully and been out running a few times. Of course, that’s not important because the only goal of mine I need to worry about on this blog is my target to be ‘King’. To do that I need to be writing, obviously, and if I’m honest that’s been difficult so far this year. Since I’ve been quite inactive on here recently I thought I’d post a little update on what I’ve got going on so you don’t all forget about me if nothing else. 

I’m currently taking a break from writing my seasonal piece entitled ‘SialiaSong’ to post here. I realise Christmas has been and gone but the idea has only recently came clear in my head and thinking back to Cigarettes In The Snow and Ashes From The Sky, each have been written around this time over the last two years and have brought success so I figured why not write a new seasonal poem for this season? I’ll hopefully share that piece with you all soon.

I’m excited about a new poetry project which might just make me King, which involves taking an old project and shaking things up, taking original risks such as the sort I like. While a lot of this is planned out I haven’t felt ready to start WIP on this yet, but hopefully by talking about it I’ll start doing something about it. Again I’ll keep my followers updated on that. 

Thirdly I am indeed targeting a re-release of These Waters later in 2014, including new stuff, re-writes, re-branding and ‘re-surfacing’ its pieces. I’ve hinted at doing this recently and began working on it in the back end of 2013- so could officially reveal that I plan to do this last week. The reason is simply because I think it can be better. My debut book should be one I’m proud of, and while the original will always stand alone I’d like to give it a go and do something new with it. This of course includes the rewrite of the Hanging Tree, which I’m most excited about. 

Generally, I have several pieces on the go, which if satisfactory will be used as part of that collection. They are all themed to an extent that they are not out of place in the anthology and it’s been interesting going back into the mind-set of over two years ago to do this. 

There’s a lot I want to do in 2014, and I hope I manage to reach some goals. I know that the only way to do that is to get cracking and knuckle down and make dreams possibilities. (I’ll get all the cliches out the way now so I’m not tempted to use any in my work!!) Along the way I hope I have continued support and will try to give it back along with any help, inspiration and entertainment I can.

All the best everyone,

Jordan.

Dreams Are Possibilities..

TFACELTIC2

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

-Langston Hughes

2014

First of all I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a great New Year too. Before I head off to see it in I thought I’d share some thoughts running around my head.

Mostly, I’m going over what’s ahead in 2014. Personally, I’d like to go through the year making my body the sort of temple it was a few years ago.. and have made the appropriate resolutions. But, of course, I’m here to talk about writing.

Going into the New Year I have a lot of ideas and potential projects running around my head. I find as time goes on, these develop and improve and perhaps this year I’ll produce something to be proud of. Let’s just say I’m excited. One of those projects is of course rewriting, reworking and re-releasing These Waters, complete with new format, pieces and a new version of The Hanging Tree!!

A Legacy Resurfaced

HANGING TREE TEASER 1

 

More importantly though, I have intentions to continue my traditions of trying to do something unexpected, original and stand-out. I believe I have the ideas and opportunity to do this and will hopefully be able to say more as time and work-in-progress goes on.

Early in 2013 I was named the ‘Prince of Poetry’- I hope by the end of 2014 I can be King.

All the best everyone,

Jordan.

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Apologies for being late in getting involved, I’ll blame the busy holiday season!!
Thank you huge amounts to Kayla at Perfecting Patty for The Dragon’s Loyalty blog award nomination! Having researched back, I’ve discovered that this award is a combination of The Versatile Blogger Award and The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and that is just awesome!!

So, the “rules”:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  3. Present 10 or so awards to deserving bloggers.
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself. 

Seven Interesting Things About Me – Well, 7 things about myself I could think of anyway.

1. I have competed in multiple competitive 10k races and was timed running the 100m in under 10.5 seconds.

2. I am currently working on a re-release of my debut poetry anthology ‘These Waters’ and will be writing new stuff for it as well as re-writing the majority of pieces in it.

3. I aim to write novels, have had several ideas for a long, long time but have yet never found the discipline.

4. In 2013 I became a tallenge literature competition finalist.

5. I am always referred to as ‘the poet’ however my first two published pieces were short stories when I was 19.

6. I can drink a pint of lager in 3 seconds.

7. In 2013 I was also awarded the ‘Prince of Poetry’ award by TWC for my poem ‘Ashes From The Sky’- an award for metered, authentic and traditional poetry- ironically, I rarely write this style of poem. 

My nominees:

The Mirror Obscura

Paint the world with words

keithgarrettpoetry

beginingsinwriting

Source of Inspiration

the great power

annamosca

I’ve nominated these guys as I’ve specifically enjoyed their posts and/or they’ve shown great interest and inspiration to myself. Thank you all.

Keep writing.

Jordan.