The Breaking of Resolutions

Last December, I had made a couple of resolutions for myself that I wanted to lead into the new year with. Some of them were attainable, and already I’ve set myself into place with going through with them – I wanted to start using reusable shopping bags, and with that, be a little more environmentally conscious. I’ve done that – I’ve used the reusable shopping bags, or at least, I’ve done so the past few times I went shopping. I’ve also started using Walmart Pay, which allows me to scan my phone and get an eReceipt instead of getting a long piece of paper. We also drink an ungodly amount of soda, so I’m saving our cans to recycle at a local center. Small, doable things that make me feel better and do a little bit of good in the world.

One main resolution I had for this year was one that had carried over from last year, and the year prior to that, and the year before that… I wanted to stop biting my nails.

I’ve suffered from biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall a period in my life where I haven’t seen my nails getting ever so longer and I don’t get the overwhelming urge to bite and chew them off.
It’s partially a symptom of my anxiety, I’m sure. Partially because I’ve been doing it for so long, I’m sure it’s comforting.
But I absolutely hate it. It hurts my fingers and makes me feel gross and makes my fingers look gross and I hate stubby nails with a passion. It’s so bad that my ex-girlfriend used to smack my hand away from my mouth whenever I tried to bite – something that I didn’t appreciate enough at the time.

I’ve tried clear nail polish. Jalapeno juice. Vinegar. Disgusting nail polish made specifically to help with biting nails. None of it lasted more than a few days – and I stopped caring and my nails I kept biting.

But this year – oh, man. This year I felt strong. This year I felt I had it.
For the first couple weeks, I bit my nails at a rate much smaller than I had in a long time. My nails started growing white over my fingertips, something I rarely experienced. My thumbs had nails. I could scratch my arm and feel satisfied.

This was finally it!

But then… I noticed my thumb nails. My teeth chattered. I started picking at the nail, and within a second it was in my mouth. I thought to myself, “I’ll just bite on the nail a bit, not rip it off. That’ll be okay.”
Little did I realize that by doing that, I was weakening the nail. Easier for it to be torn off with my hand later on.

And both nails came off.
And that snowballed into most of my left hand – just taking a little off. Just trimming a bit – until I was back to where I started.
I have a little bit of nail left, but I still felt ashamed. I had come so far only to let myself down again. How could I? How could I take that away from myself? I’ve been biting my nails for twenty years and I can’t summon enough willpower to just stop?
How weak am I?

New Year’s Resolutions are fickle things. They are spur of the moment and come because you get washed away in the feeling of renewal and starting over.
Time doesn’t exist – and the Julian calendar we use only means something to us. The concept of a new year only exists to us – but in reality, days just keep passing. The New Year is just a way of keeping track.

So the question is, why wait for a new year to start making yourself better? If you know you’re going to have certain resolutions, why not start the second you think of them? It’s for the same reason that the laundry can wait until tomorrow. The diet can wait until Monday. You’ll start your new, tighter budget next month. You’ll stop biting your nails next year.

It’s validation that we’ll eventually do the right thing, and gives us a way to keep putting it off. There’s always another tomorrow, another Monday, another year.
Until there isn’t.

And that’s the difficult part.

 

So while I may not have succeeded just yet in my lifelong quest to stop biting my nails, I’m not going to let it get me down yet. I won’t wait until next year. I’ll keep trying until I do it again and then I’ll just start over again – because while keeping track of time is so inherently human, something else that is inherently human is the drive to persevere and to keep moving forward, no matter what happens.
So with that in mind, I’ll keep working towards my resolution. I’ll keep trying.

And I’ll let you know if I ever succeed.

To whoever might be reading this, I hope you’re succeeding in all you’re trying to do – daily, weekly, monthly or for the New Year – I’m sure you’re doing great, and if you don’t feel like you are, there’s always a chance to get back up and try again.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon. 8:15 PM.

 

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I Don’t Know Why I’m Sad

(NOT A POEM)

If has not been made obvious yet, either through the content and themes of my poetry or the few and scattered journal-like posts, I have depression.

I’ve dealt with serious depression since I was roughly fourteen years old. I remember vividly being younger than that – perhaps around ten – and writing in my journal something along the lines of :

“I feel sad a lot for some reason. I feel depressed – not the medical kind, but I don’t feel too happy.”

Little did young me know that it was, what I had called, the ‘medical kind’ of depression. Inherited through my mother’s side, it kicked in hard when I was in my early teens and I started taking medication. My depression was a very key factor in my growing up and a factor in my personality, for better or worse. I started writing poetry and short stories as catharsis for my many sad thoughts, my lack of a social or love life, and just the constant feeling of being alone. It helped me feel better. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, even though I was just reading my own writing.

When I reached seventeen or so, I stopped taking my medication. I had reached a point where my depression was no long a constant roommate – always looming and poking at me and being an active part of my life. It had been relegated to a recurring character in the story of my life, hitting me in small bouts every so often through out the year, and kicking in with my Seasonal Affective Disorder in the second half of the year. But it was no longer a big part of me – and being able to function and be me without the medication was a worthwhile trade.

I was okay. Maybe not happy, because I have only felt truly happy a few times in my life – but content. And okay.

And it stayed like that for a while. About two and a half, three years. I even stopped writing poetry, for the most part. I was a changed person, and I mostly embraced it – sometimes I would worry that my depression was too much a part of me, and that something was missing in my life without it.
But ultimately, I knew that that was a ridiculous notion and I continued moving forward – and mostly had a great deal of fond memories wrapped around it. I was in the first serious relationship of my life, I had entered theatre in my junior year of high school and after trying a handful of various activities I finally felt like I found the place I belonged – I had friends. I had people who liked me. I was as happy as I felt like I could’ve been, and I didn’t want to let it go.

That’s why I ended my first relationshjp – because I felt that as I was attempting to rise above the confines of my depression that I had let define me for so long and finally become someone new in of myself, the woman I was with refused to do the same. I felt that she wanted to stay depressed and I felt like she was pulling me down with me – so I ended it after nearly two years, and I went back into my life with confidence and by god… I was actually happy. For about three months, I felt truly and completely happy – I was popular and liked and I felt attractive and wanted and talented and I fell in love with someone new who didn’t compromise my emotional growth and I. Was. Happy.

It quickly faded. I jumped out of theatre to work more hours at my job to pay the medical bill I had been given after a car wreck, and that stands as the biggest regret I have so far. I faced a lot of those little bouts of depression off and on as the year went on, and I hated how things regressed so quickly.

A couple months later, something happened and then my depression showed up on my front door with its suitcases full of sad songs and tattered clothing and anxious thoughts and reminders of my mortality.

He lives with me now, full-time, a constant companion again for the first time in years – but in those years we weren’t together, he went to the gym and ate well and came back as some sort of jacked up mother fucker who not only made me sad, but gave me more anxiety than I have ever had before – done in such a way that I am never out of their grasps. I get anxious, and it makes me depressed, then I’ll get anxious about why I’m so depressed, and it’s a vicious cycle that shows no signs of relenting.

I have many of the things that I always thought would make me happy, back in the old days of being depressed. Not all, but many of them – and yet, none of it makes me any less depressed.

I don’t know why I’m sad. Sometimes I feel sad about things that I know I’m not sad about. Sometimes I just sit and soak in a pool of black – and nothing is real to me except for the fact that I feel terrible and it’s who I am right now.
For god’s sake, I wrote a whole new poetry book in just under a year dealing with a lot of it.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to say. Would theatre make me happy again? Would actually having some god damn friends make me happy again? I have no fucking clue. Things have passed that I thought would mark the end of my depression, but surprise! It’s still there. So for all I know, none of that would make it go away, and that’s the scary part – I just don’t know what to do.

I feel helpless. I even considered rethinking religion because I feel so damned lost, but I can’t bring myself to do it because it’s so damned ridiculous.

At the beginning of this year, I asked myself and whoever the hell reads this if I was, and if you were, happy. And here at almost the end of the year, I can say – I am not. I don’t know when I will be. I’ll ask the same question next year just to check in, but things don’t seem to hopeful.

Though I am always hoping things get better. Every day. Because no matter what I sometimes feel, I am not depression and depression doesn’t make me who I am.

Also – “The Rubble Before Us; Fleeing Dreams and Other Things” will be out sometime in the next six months, hopefully, maybe. You can read all of the poems in it on here, anyways.

Well… we’ll see.
See you next year.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 8:45 PM

Happy New Years!

Hello, everyone!
Welcome to the last post of 2014!
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on somewhat of a vacation. I didn’t do any writing, including the blog, and I tried to spend this winter break with family and the such, and try not to focus my time online as much.
But, starting on the fourth, The Guy Without a Plan will be back in full swing! Posts will be more consistent and frequent, and I’m going to attempt to be a bit more organized.
A new year means new topics, new points of discussion, and hopefully I’ll be able to make this blog a bit more well-rounded. Recently, most posts have been talking about media, reviews and the like. Those are still an integral part, but I’ll be trying to bring the writing back into the spotlight a bit more. I will be showcasing my poetry once in a while, as well as giving more thorough updates on my novel and writing endeavors. 2015 is looking to be an exciting year!

My first fiction novel, the first entry in an urban fantasy series, The Bright Side to the Dark Arts will be released sometime in May. This novel means a lot to me, and is going to be the book I actively try to get an agent with.
Bright Side is almost done, with only a few chapters left to write, and then the editing process will be in full swing.
If all goes to plan, though, I will have the first four chapters released online for free in January! That way you can get a taste for what the book is going to be like, and how the main character is going to work. I am very excited for the book, and the series I hope to develop with it!

Also, I am working on re-releasing my poetry novel, Creation, sometime in the next year. The original release was a pretty big mess, mostly due to my urge to go ahead and get it published and over with. I am going back through and editing again, whittling it down some, and designing a more professional, cleaner cover. Poetry is still a major driving force in my writing, and I don’t want to leave it behind.

And that’s about it for writing. Otherwise, I’m prepping for the multitude of Back to the Future jokes that will be coming, and fighting off the urge to make them myself.
I’m going back to school.
I’m attempting to open myself up to new things, and trying to adventure a bit more. As much as I love being in front of a computer, I can’t be hooked to a machine 24/7. It’s time for me to branch out a bit more, with my interests and my hobbies and the people I know…
Though I refuse to make New Years resolutions. I’ve always felt like resolutions are just a way for a person to feel a bit better about themselves for the next year, until the depressing realizations hits them that they couldn’t be bothered to go through a single one of them.
am on the other hand, hoping to learn how to play the ukulele. I’m not going to make it a resolution, but I’d still like to see it happen.

Other than that, though… that’s about it!
I wish you all a Happy New Years: stay safe, drink responsibly, and be careful.
And here’s hoping that 2015 will bring a bit more joy in some way to us all, and be a little less painfully average.
I’ll see you guys Sunday.

Have a good morning, everyone. And if I don’t see you later, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

– Brandon, 4:29 PM

One step forward… one month later. *Update*

For a couple months, I have been completely inactive. No meaningful posts, no updates, no anything. This isn’t just to do with my blog, though… this has to do with my entire life, almost.
About two posts ago, I mentioned that I would be gone for a week. I went, I came back, but when I arrived home, I returned an apathetic, lazy shell of my former self. No longer did I write blog posts once every couple of days… no longer did I write twenty or more pages of my stories, no longer did I adhere to my exercise and diet regimen that I was so proud of. I got nothing done, and I went from ambitious to dead-beat in no time.

Why? I have no clue. After coming back from my trip, I should have felt rejuvenated and ready to continue the year. Instead, I got a slap in the face, a shove to the floor, and I just got out of it.
I have slowly been gaining momentum again… reiterating the word slowly. I am slowly beginning to remember to count calories. My interest in writing is peaking again, and here I am taking the time to write a post. Writing these blog posts used to be such a joy, so much to the fact that I was afraid of writing to many too quickly. That revealed itself to not be the case, but I am picking up the pieces that I left and am putting things back together.

So, update. Here’s what is going on. The Next Day is going to be put on hiatus for now, possibly until late next year. I have not been as active in my writing as I needed to be, so I am surely behind. So that is going to take a seat on the back burner.

The New Phantasm is still going to be released as planned… May of next year, if everything goes the way I hope. More information will come on that the further I get into it.

Lastly, this blog. I am going to ease myself back into the waters. I will be posting scheduled once a week, either on Sunday or Monday. Some weeks I might have an extra post on Wednesday, or something like that if time allows, but this blog is not going under.

Just wanted to let anyone and everyone know what’s going on, and I’ll see you guys in a week.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 1:42 PM

Update 6/29/14

Welcome to the last post of June! We’re going to leave this month with a small update on what’s going on.

Firstly, I have started a Facebook page. If you already follow my blog, you probably aren’t going to get much more there that you wouldn’t get there, but I’ll be posting more frequently, and in shorter bursts.
I originally wasn’t even going to do a Facebook page, at least for a while. But a good friend of mine told me a few ways to start promoting myself and my book a bit more, so I decided that now’s about as good a time as any.
So I’d appreciate it if you’d go take a look, and leave a like! You can find it simply by typing in my name, Brandon Vinton, in the search bar, or you can go directly to it here:
https://www.facebook.com/BrandonVintonAuthor

Secondly, I’ve updated my website a little.
I’ve always thought that after a while, I’d stop producing Creation in a physical form, and just leave it in Kindle, and eventually make it free.
That day has not yet come, but I’ve decided to release the first two collections of the book in their entirety to the public for reading and enjoying. These two collections are probably the most raw to me, because they were written without a lot of thought, and were purely based on my emotions. There was no planning, no pre-writing, there was only me and my ranting turned poetry.
The first collection tells the not so cohesive story of the Lonely Liars, a depressed little group of people that live life on the brink of death, always waiting for it all to end. Then in the second collection, someone comes and everything changes. They become addicted not to the thrill of death, but to the high of the pill and injection. They form the Hell’s Dreamers, and the rest is somewhat kind of history.

This book means a lot to me. When I wrote it, I never intended to just make tons of money, my main intent was to share it with people like me who needed it.
This book was never meant to cure depression… but to show people that they aren’t alone in this world.
So until the time comes where the book is fully free, I present to you the first two collections, full and untampered with, on my website.

Just go to the tab that says Creation, hover over it and click on the link. It’ll take you to a page where you can download both the collections separately, and read them at your own free will. They will be in PDF form.

Lastly, I will be leaving for a week in July. From the thirteenth to around the nineteenth, there will be no posts. I know my posting schedule is a bit erratic anyways, but I usually try to post every other day, to every two days.
There will be continued posts until the thirteenth of July, though, so you’ll have that to look forward too.

Any questions? Concerns? Feel free to mail me at b.vinton@outlook.com.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 4:55 PM

Update 6/20/14 – ‘The Next Day’ Update

Image

Finally, a new post that has no opinions, no idealism, no liberalism, no rambling rants!
Just a pure, simple update on the writing.

The next main release is, as I’ve stated before, ‘The New Phantasm’, my horror/thriller fiction story. But to fill in the gap, I’ve taken to writing the follow-up to my first novel, Creation. This is called ‘The Next Day’. I’ve had in mind a sort of Genesis naming theme, God’s creation of everything and the six days of work that followed, but you can interpret it as you will. The book is set to release on eBook in December of this year, with the physical release sometime in the Fall of 2015. 

The thing with poetry is… almost all of it comes from inspiration. When you’re writing a fictional story, there is a lot of it you can just write whenever you want to fill it in. You have an idea, and you go with it. But with poetry, you can’t just want to write poetry and then go do it. (Well, you could, but I don’t know how good it would be).
You have to wait for something, that little nagging feeling, that little emotion that you can just type with your finger roaming free across the keyboard until you get a page or two. 
So when I get something that would interpret well into poetry, I have to go ahead and create it before the idea or emotion loses it’s strength. Because then, you’re writing halfheartedly and the poem trails into oblivion.

This time around, with ‘The Next Day’, my poetry isn’t fueled by my depressed. Creation was the result of clinical depression, drug use, and a lot of mishaps along the way. Creation was really meant to tell you that if you feel this way, or are going through this, you are not alone. There are people that feel the way you do too. There really wasn’t much uplifting, joyous hope for most of the book. Only until the very last collection did it start looking up.
And that’s what I’m leading into with The Next Day.
This will not be about depression, addiction, suicide, heartbreak, and so on and so forth. The entirety of The Next Day’s message is to show the hope that wasn’t present in Creation. It is to show that no matter what happens, YOU matter. This was no real world religious context, either, because I don’t want to alienate other people that don’t believe by forcing God down their throat. This book is for everyone, of all religions, colors, shapes and sizes to show that they are here for something great.

This will also be about trying to tell a story. I had some basic outlines for a story in Creation, the first two collections were linked, and the whole Industry Standard segment was just supposed to be a big rock opera. But what I didn’t do was explain it very well. I tried to hard to keep it within the poetry context, I didn’t realize I could branch out to explain a bit more.
I haven’t worked on these much, so I can’t say much. But there are new things to see, here.

The last thing is very simple. 
The book, yes, is supposed to be about hope and renewal, and so on and so forth, but if you bombard people with all this sappy stuff, especially angsty teenagers, they’ll get tired of it after awhile.
So this book sort of doubles as comedy/satire. As you can see from the little snippet above, I’ve tried to stop taking myself so seriously. I dabbled in some humor before, but I think what I’m doing here will be more relatable, and in the long run, more funny.

So that’s what I’m working on. And I have to say, everything is really coming together alright. I still have The New Phantasm rolling, and geez, that’s a tough gig to do. But that’s a post for another day.
The snippet you see up there is the eighth poem for the first collection, which is done writing wise. I hope to release more of the book as time goes on, just so people can see where it’s going to go.

Well, I feel like I sort of infringed on the ‘no rambling’ portion I agreed too above, so I’ll end right here.
I hope everyone has a great weekend…

…And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 2:36 PM

 

 

Update – 6/12/14

Welcome to my official blog! As I stated in my last update, it was getting obvious that I needed a new outlet for blog posts then Wix itself, because as of now the blog system on there is royally lackluster. 
So I decided to make the switch over to here to get a better experience for myself, and anyone else that stumbles this way. A link to here will be put in the original blog page of my main website, brandonvinton.com, so that this new site can be easily found.
Also, I’ve ported all my original blog posts from my website to here. So all of these posts will say the same date, although they were written on different days, and any mention of my website is not speaking of this, but the aforementioned brandonvinton.com.

In other news, The New Phantasm is slowly but surely gaining a gripping. I am on the fourth draft of the story, lengthening it, editing and revising. The cover is also coming under some changes, which will hopefully work in its favor.
The release date is still in May of next year, though what day is still being debated. Anyone that wishes to get a taste of what The New Phantasm will be about, can visit the Library page on my website, and click on the Aubrey Kasey link. There you can download and read the entire first chapter.

Lastly, on a path entirely separate than that of my next main release, in spare time I am writing and compiling a sort of sequel to Creation. Now this is not a main priority and is more of a side note than anything, but it will be called The Next Day, and released on eBook during December, and in mid 2015 physically.

Both these projects I am extremely excited for, and I am very glad to have finally gotten a proper blog.
Hope everything is well, and more posts are underway.

– Brandon   

Update – 5/23/14

It has certainly been awhile since I’ve dealt with this website. I’m still very active – you know, writing and all that jazz. But updates haven’t really been my thing, so here goes one now.

 

My current book, Creation, is moving out of the spotlight here on my site so I can make room to move forward. I have an official announcement for my new book, The New Phantasm, head lining the front page as to start trying to build some hype and awareness. 
But work for Creation is still going (albeitly a little slow) and continuing. I’m going to continue to work and promote Creation so everyone will have had an opportunity to hear about it.
My intent with Creation was never to make gobbles of money, but to impact others and make a difference. To show that others have gone through what they might be going through too, and to give hope. And that mission will never stop going.

 

Next update, is of course, the announcement for my new book. Set to release in May of 2015, I’m hoping that The New Phantasm as my second book can make more waves then Creation did. As an actual cohesive fiction story, I’m hopeful that as the months go by, it will intrigue many.

 

The last update is a plan or idea, not an actual reality just yet. Due to Wix’s crappy blog system, I’m making plans to move the blogging portion of the site somewhere else, such as WordPress. This will give me the opportunity to be much more active with my blog, and to do more than I am as of now.

 

I hope that everyone has a good weekend. More updates to come.

 

– Brandon

My Library

Just to keep things moving, I toy around with editing my website at least once a day. I see if there is anything I could add, say, or bring that could make it POP a bit more.
One of these ideas that came to formation on the site, was the very eloquently named, My Library.

Basically, as a writer, I have a lot of unused content. Not unwanted, but just didn’t fit in with it’s father project enough to make it into a final cut. I love ALL of my work, (to an extent), so I hate to see it falling into oblivion with the rest of the world’s dead work. To combat this, I’ve set up a page where I’ll be placing a lot of that content, unused, cut, or unfinished – just to get a little extra taste of the kind of author I am. And to the people that order my book, AND enjoyed it, it’ll give them some extra content for free.

Also, I might post previews or snippets of upcoming or possible work – I dunno, we’ll see. I might just put that into a page of its own, I’m not sure. But the point is, for all who want a little more of my writing… or who hasn’t gotten to see any of my writing… check out the content there. It’s free, and should open up in your browser as a PDF.

Hope it satisfies.

– Brandon