Hey, I’ve been quiet on here for a couple of months now but I think I have time for a quick update.

First, 52 in 2012. The project has been – so far- relatively successful. We’re currently at the beginning of Week 15 and I have 11 songs posted on the album on my Bandcamp. This (according to my calculations) means I have missed two songs, but that isn’t disasterous. My excuses for missing deadlines on this project range from “existential crises” to “being a bit drunk”, but I still have 11 songs online that weren’t there before. I’ll try my best not to miss another deadline for the rest of the year.

Second, there is the matter of self-discipline and epiphanies. I can’t tell whether I’ve had a true epiphany yet, because it’s only really possible to tell how important a moment is in retrospect, but I do feel very different. I wrote Time To Fly about the experience, but I’ll sum it up better here.

Before I started this blog-post, I did some computing coursework. It is the middle of the easter holidays. If that statement wasn’t shocking to you, you clearly don’t know me very well. Basically, I’ve come to the realisation that I have to be more productive and disciplined in my life, and since then, I’ve felt considerably better about myself. I set alarms and timers and force myself to focus on tasks, both college-based and music-based, and it seems to be working so far.

I hope this change becomes permenant, because it’s better for me and everybody else in my life. Only time will tell.

I have plans in my life now that were only vague abstractions until recently, and although it was a little unnerving at first, I feel good about it now. I’ll leave the details of these plans for another post, but the fact they exist says enough in itself for the moment.

Until next time, Jamie out.

P.S. I’m also starting up a casual, story-driven roleplaying game with my friend Clare. It’s in its pre-zygotic stage of development for the moment, but it’s proving to be rather enjoyable so far. I might post more on this later.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, he’s going to set up ANOTHER over-ambitious project and fail miserably at it.” MAYBE. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try, right?

My life is a constant chain of setting up ambitious projects and either failing or succeeding at them. When I succeed, I’m happy. When I fail, I’m not. But nothing feels worse than not having a project at all, so here it is.

FIFTY TWO WEEKS — FIFTY TWO SONGS

I will write one every week and post it before 12AM on Sundays. The first one is ALREADY DONE (as is should be, since it’s Sunday now) and you can listen to it at http://thebattlingfrogs.bandcamp.com

Which leads me onto another thing: THE BATTLING FROGS! “Who the hell are they?” I hear you asking, well I shall tell you. “The Batting Frogs” is me. Under a brand-new and slightly pretentious pseudo-band-name. It’s much more memorable than just Jamie Lucock, don’t you think?

From now on, any music I release will be under that name on that bandcamp. I promise I won’t change it again for a LONG TIME, okay?

Now, I’m going to go work on header and album art for that bandcamp. I can’t let it be boring like the last one.

’till next time. Jamie out.

Freedom is a funny thing. We think of ourselves as free, and in a lot of ways we are. As xkcd put it, there is nothing stopping us from – at any given moment – punching the person we are talking to, in the face.

Of course, we don’t do that, and we have good reason not to. But that doesn’t mean we should not occasionally remind ourselves that the rules we have for ourselves in our head are nothing but imaginary boundaries. As long as what we want to do isn’t going to hurt someone, we should let ourselves do it, no matter how outlandish and against social rules it is.

Because we’re free, to a certain extent, living in a society which allows us to wear, eat and do pretty much what we want. But are we really free if we let social pressure get the better of us? What is the point of having all this freedom of choice if we never truly exercise it?

Today was Children in Need Day and I came into college dressed in ladyclothes. This was partially because I wanted to raise money for charity (and I did), but also partially because it is really FUN. I enjoy crossdressing a great deal, and from now on, I’m going to do it whenever I want to. Not every day, but every day I feel like it. And that is because I don’t need to let myself be ruled by fear. I won’t pretend this was a snap decision, no, I’ve been considering it for a very long time, but the point is, I did it.

For me, leading an interesting life means not being afraid of disapproval from others. Sure, you can go through your life testing the waters with people, poking around and figuring out what is and is not acceptable, but it is so much more simple and enjoyable to do what you want to do, and let the people who are bothered by it slip away through the world’s best sieve.

Many people are very good at interpreting the subtleties of other people’s actions, and figuring out what the people around them are like using that, but I am not. I’m not afraid to admit that I need things spelled out in bold for me. I judge the people around me by both what they do, and how they judge me, and if I succeed in shocking them, I provoke an instant and clear reaction. Easy to understand, easy to read. It clears my head and it leaves me to think about other things which are so much more interesting.

This way of life might not be for you, but it sure as hell is for me, so living it while I’ve still got time. If you’ve read this far, thank you for staying with me. I look forward to your comment if you choose to leave one. Good luck, good people, with the rest of your lives.

Yours,

Jamie Lucock

Some songs that inspired this post:

Hey! I haven’t posted on here in a stupidly long time. I’m just letting you know I’m still alive.

Also, I may not still be alive for much longer, since it is November, which is the month of NaNoWriMo. I’m writing on here when I should be writing in my novel, and I’m several days behind, but I’m determined to finish this one. I finished last year, so there’s no reason I should fail this time, right?

In other news, I just finished mixing and editing a new-ish song. There’s a video of when my friend Lewis and I recorded the bass track for it here, which has a live version of the song at the end. Have a listen! (Skip to 1:45 for the song.)

Also, here’s an excerpt of my novel. In the spirit of NaNo, I’ve left it unedited, so there will probably be typos galore.

Lyn stopped for a moment, and Dom stumbled, almost pushing the cart into her. Very quiet.

“Did you hear that?” She said, swiveling to the left and looking into the dark. Some thicker dust-cloud had obscured the moon even more, and now they were surrounded by desert fog. Thick blackish soup full of poison and mystery. She took another careful step forwards. “I must be imagining things…” she said “I think we need to re-“

“No. No. There is a reason your brain did that and you know it.” He interrupted. “Yes, it probably is nothing, but that deep down instinctual fear is there because…” He swallowed, “…because it might not be.” The only light they had was from the strip of ancient LEDs across the top of their helmets, just above the visors, three off-white dots beaming out into the fog. The white light reflected off the mist, making it actually harder to see. “Now what did you hear?”

“It was… Really nothing.” She swallowed. The radio connection stayed open and he could hear her breathing on the other end. She wasn’t finished. “It sounded like a cry of pain. Some kind of shriek, of agony, hunger. But it can’t be. Everybody else is dead. We know that for a fact.” She sounded like she was desparately trying to believe her own words.

“Yes… How can there be anythi-“ He shook his head and sighed. “No, look at us, we sound like two characters out of a horror film about to get attacked. We convince ourselves everything is okay, and before we know it, one of is being dragged away, screaming and kicking, ready to drive the plot onto a whole new lev-“

“AAUUUUUGGGHIGHGG!!!!” She let out a piercing shriek, and the trolley clattered against the ground, almost wrenching itself from his sweaty gloved hands. He span round away from the fog and back to her, something had  touched the trolley and moved it. And she was gone. She wasn’t in front of him anymore. He began to panic, his heart beating against the inside of his isolating ratiation suit, desparate to be free in the open air and find her and get back to her and be with her. But it wouldn’t happen like that. Not for her. Not for him. He’d heard stories of other survivours, before it’d been confirmed that they were the last two, survivors who’d gone mad on their own and stripped themselves of their radiation suits, exposed themselves to the deadly glory of the new planet earth and been sucked into oblivion in a world of pain.

‘Till next time, and good luck with your mad novelling attempts if you’re also doing this.

A little while ago I was sitting in my room and I decided, “I want to do music properly”. I promptly recorded my latest song to the best of my ability, then started work on a fabulous music video, which took longer than expected and became progressively more ambitious as I went along. I went up and down the country on buses finding interesting locations, got plenty of funny looks from strangers, and pushed my computer to its absolute limit trying to edit the thing.

Finally – and as always, after a much longer wait than planned – it is ready.

I present to you, my wonderful reader, a song. A song about music, love, survival, hangovers and bad breath. A song which WILL appear on my up-and-coming currently un-named album. A song which I am truly proud of.

I give you, OLYMPIC FLAMES!

Also, if you want to download the song, here’s the place for that:

http://jamielucock.bandcamp.com (A donation is optional but would be much appreciated.)

He always thought they looked cool. Dark, imposing, skeletal figures against the bare sky, their limbs outstretched supporting long black trails of raw unfeeling power, snaking off into the distance. They stand in rows across the hills, stock still, alien machines planted on this Earth. Eco-nuts, tree-huggers and the general public say they have something against them, against the way they look and what they represent, but his theory was that they didn’t understand them. Or maybe they’re just scared of them.

Regardless of what people think of them, they’re all the same. They all go home at the end of the day and turn on lights and TVs, sucking away the power drawn through their cables. No matter how many times they scowl at them and complain that they’re clogging up the beautiful countryside, they still use them, they still secretly want them. People are prejudiced against them because the way they look, and forget all the good they do. Loved by none, used by all.

He hung there in the night breeze, pliers clasped in one gloved hand, the other hand with its fingers locked around a steel rung, keeping him in place. He barely swayed as he reached out to cut. It was nearly too dark to see, but he knew the pylons too well. He didn’t need to see to get this job done. A simple job, but it still had to be done, and simple didn’t mean safe. He squeezed the pliers shut around the wire and there was a quiet click as it was severed. A clean cut, all that needed to be done, but it had to be done fifty feet up in the air nonetheless.

It didn’t show on his weathered face, but he still thought about fear from time to time. What it would be like to be caught by a gust, or to slip just for a moment. To plummet down into the dark, the air rushing past and the ground lurching up to meet you. He tucked the pliers into his belt and closed the connections box on the side of the pylon, latching and locking it with diligence. He began his climb back down to Earth.

His rough leather boots touched down on the ground. He breathed no sigh but he was relieved. He had skin which looked like it had been lived in, and his eyes were very dark around the edges. He got back into his mud-splattered white van, twisted the engine into life, and drove off down into the valley, rejoining the road and heading back towards civilisation.

I attended a writing workshop in Havant today with the insane and wonderful Stella Duffy, who I hadn’t even heard of until I was invited to the workshop by someone at college (but I will be buying one of her books soon). She talked us through many different excercises and techniques, and had us running around the room calling stools elephpants, and at one point she asked for a volunteer.

Being me, I felt compelled to stand up and join in with this mystery activity. She told me to take a book off an imaginary bookshelf behind me then look at it. Look at the title and the spine and a message written on the inside of the cover. I stumbled through pulling these things literally out of the air and saying them in front of a group of strangers, and soon she was questioning me on the content of the story. What’s on page 83? A picture? A little girl? Where is she? What is she wearing? What has she got with her?

By the end of this, I’d come up with a very odd but quite interesting story concept. Later on, I wrote a few words based on it. (Aforementioned words available after the jump.)

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