March 2021 State of the Blog

March. Another month and with it a tiding of changes. So without further ado, let’s jump in.

The Coming Months

Last year I spent quite a bit of time working on the format of the blog and where I wanted it to go. This year, we’re in a great spot and I’m excited to use my fully implemented changes.

Series

The biggest change comes to series as I’ve now picked a few topics that will span the course of 4 months, the first being World Poetry Month for April. My Mental Health series was always meant to be a one-off but after scrambling to put it together last year for a second year in a row, I came to realize it’s important enough to make annual. The series take quite a lot of work to put together but this year I’m allowing for a little more planning as I get the articles ready months in advance.

After May I’ll have a series that I’m excited to debut focused around sustainability. It’s a topic I’ve wanted to cover in the past but never had the time or energy to talk about more outside of incorporating Dystopia Climate Change themes into my short stories. With the Oregon Wildfires last summer I realized I’d rather take the time to talk about it now than wait until I’m in some bunker waiting out the twilight of our planet. My research led to me understanding that there is no official world sustainability month and the most we’ve really ever gotten is Earth Day. One day dedicated to the planet, that’s it. As such, I decided I’ll give 4 weeks in July.

And closing out the year is October which I’m making my horror themed short story month as I want to do more experimentation with my writing. Last year saw some success and I’m hoping to expand upon what I built to make the series better and more lasting. Expect a combination of Sci-Fi and horror but we’ll talk about that more as we get closer.

Vacation Month

I’m playing around with a vacation month that I can simply take off every year. My schedule has been designed to work around my life so that I can avoid burnout and keep the blog going, indefinitely. Everything I write I enjoy writing and the blog has fallen into a nice rhythm over the last six years I’ve been writing. As such, having a month that I can simply take off without worrying about a status update would be nice. I wouldn’t mind writing every month but I think it’s important to design time around doing nothing. A month for trips, visits, and whatever comes my way. At the moment, August is looking like that month. It’ll be an experiment this year and if I feel good about it, I’ll make it routine in future years. I’ll be looking at the stats for the year and will let you know come June what the plan is.

Status Updates

So these are new. Over the last year, I’ve been playing around with the format and I think I’ve found what’ll stick. September, November, December, January, February, March, June. 7 months out of the year I will post an update, even if a lot of it might just be reiterating points I’ve made in other entries. It’s a time for me to collect my thoughts and allow me to check if the blog is in a good spot. 7 update articles strikes a nice balance between keeping the reader (you) in the loop without over saturating the year with update after update. Always optional to read, it’s designed to give structure to what would otherwise be a collection of poems, short stories, and articles. As such, I’m quite happy that I decided to start doing these.

This Month

This month is up in the air but I’m planning to write chapter 5 of New Horizon. This will be the body of the story and what will ultimately be the start of the climax before the journey winds down by chapter 10. This is my first short story series and I’ve been thrilled with the response. It’s been a blast creating my own world and seeing it come to life with each chapter. I plan to write more 10 chapter series so the fun will never end.

I have a video game article drafted and am working on making it fun, but less nerdy so that anyone can read it. If that’s not ready by the end of the month (or ever), then the second article will most likely be a poem.


And that’s that! The blog will be ramping up next month with World Poetry Month and Mental Health Awareness Month directly after that. We’ll meet back here in June. Any feedback, type below! And, if you want to donate to the blog, I’ll include the link to where you can do so:

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As always, thanks for reading!

New Horizon: Awakening

Before you dive in….

If you have not read part one, I highly recommend reading it… Here

If you have read part one, there is also a part two… Here

And that’s it, enjoy part three!


Henry awoke at dawn. The light was a soft orange and the sky was clear. His clothes were tattered and his shoes were all but gone. He needed a plan. The New Horizon was gone, leaving behind a debris field that was raining fire. Henry needed to scope out the expanse of the forest, which meant he would need to hike. Or climb…

A couple hours in, Henry’s feet were beginning to blister and any further, they would begin to bleed. Henry found a stream, which would have been a rare site when Henry was growing up.

As the climate became ravaged, creeks had all but dried up and the few large rivers that remained had all been dammed. Henry heard a gentle whistle through the air and closed his eyes as he listened to the trees dance. The wind tickled his face and for the first time in his life, Henry felt at peace. And then he remembered Annie and the team.

Charles, Fred, Joe, Laurie, and Annie. A small group, each qualified in their own right. Charles, was the Mechanic among other things. He had grown up in the Eastern Union, where the capital of the United States once stood. When the sea levels started to rise rapidly in the year 2035, leadership did nothing. By the year 2040, what was once Florida was all but underwater. Charles watched as the first flood barriers were built around major cities, carefully designed to counteract Tsunamis as the seas became more violent. As the barrier was being designed and close to completion in the year 2038, historical records indicate that the San Andreas Fault gave way, rendering the flood barriers mute as the West Coast was consumed by Ocean. When the design was finalized and completed in 2040, few were left to fully enjoy its protections.


Henry walked for about eight kilometres downstream before taking a rest. He was tired. The New Horizon was an extensive project, started in the year 2050 and launched in 2060 from Moonbase Alpha; the first (and last) of its kind. The team had been in the station for a year before now. God, how much had changed in a matter of moments. The trees rustled as Henry was lost in thought and a couple of leaves fell in the stream. Henry looked up into the canopy and saw shades of crimson, peach, and maroon. The cold breeze felt nice on his face. It was early September. Henry thought about the explosion and why it had happened… but he had rested too long… Henry stood up and continued downstream, if he could break through the canopy, then he might be able to locate the Blackbox.


And that’s a wrap. Almost to the date, it’s been two years since I’ve written the last chapter. Short stories are new for me and figuring out how to keep a story-line engaging is difficult. The plan for now is to continue the story and hopefully go for around 20 chapters. Ideally, it won’t take years to see another chapter and if the series does well, I’ll most likely update the story-line frequently.

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True Courage: A short poem by Mike Cole

True courage

Is not as it seems

One might think

One must be

Bold.

 

Truth be told, bravery is much preferred.

 

To be brave is to show up,

To be afraid yet move forward anyways.

 

True courage is taking accountability

Admitting when you are wrong, even should you think yourself right.

 

It is putting yourself in the shoes of another and seeing the world as they do,

Not as you want to see it.

 

It is not about ego, it is not about pride,

And it is not waiting for a problem to subside.

 

 

It is looking yourself in the mirror,

and lingers on moonlit nights where sleep is hard to come.

And yet, it is fleeting to most,

A dream that they thought could never be reality.

 

And so one becomes dust,

Never to stand, and never to fall, never truly living, and never answering the call.


Hi all, hope you enjoyed this post. In general, I like to leave the “Outro” to my poetry sections blank as I like the reader to interpret my work. However, I just thought it was worth mentioning that this is an experimental version of my free verse poetry. Up to this point I’ve been playing it relatively safe when writing poetry. I am at a point however, where I am starting to define my style. Expect to see more “out there” poems in the future and if you have any feedback, feel free to hit the contact button or simply comment below!

 

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I love producing content. As I grow as an individual, so does my content. What was once acceptable now isn’t. As such, more time is spent working on each post. I do all edits, research, and content creation. Whether it’s taking photos for a post one day to writing poetry the next, my blog is keeping me busy. Donations are appreciated and are used to invest in creative pursuits whether that be writing classes, art lessons, and anything in-between.

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