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Upcoming Gigs

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Supporting Jollyboat, Knaresborough: 22nd June

Brig-Aid Fundraiser, Fruit, Hull: 23rd June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Verse Matters, Sheffield, 5th July

Say Owt @ Deer Shed Festival, 21st July

Say Owt @ Great Yorkshire Fringe, York: 25th July

Working Title, Lancaster, 26th July

Nerd Punk, Edinburgh fringe @Banshee Labyrinth 19.50 13th August

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

20.16 Blog #9: The Dark Side

My housemate and myself have been playing Star Wars Rebellion.

He’s the galactic Empire, a power with more resources than all the real-world Empires of our history combined.  I’m a plucky band of Rebels, darting from planet to planet, attempting small-scale missions in the world-weary attempt to cause entire worlds to rise up.

The box says 2-3 hours.  It’s been at least 4.  So far, he’s not found my Rebel base, so far I’ve not completed nearly enough Objectives.  It’s a war of attrition.  And it’s dark outside, like the inky black of space.  And twice as cold.

I’ve been tired this year, and I’m not sure why.  I started with the intention to write a whole host of new poetry.  I have a document on this computer which is called, quite conveniently, Poems 2016.  But none of them are of a quality I’m happy with, and none of them are finished.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has been captured.

I wrote a poem about the 2015 York Floods, but found it too crude and blunt for a complex issue which affected an entire City.  I wrote a poem about William Shakespeare, but it’s just not intricate enough to be worth the niche-ness.  In all frustrating seriousness, I’m in a bit of a rut.

My housemate lands on a planet, which was my Rebel base.  But I moved it.  Sneak

Clearly, neither of us are enjoying this game very much anymore.  We could easily quit, and recommence in the morning.  But we look at the clock, guestimate another 30 mins and crack on.  30 mins passes and Obi-Wan Kenobi has been frozen in Carbointe.  I know the feeling.

So I’ve tried to change my diet, and get some more protein in.  It feels like it’s helped somewhat.  I cut out eggs and milk without too much commitment to the proper replacements.  I’ve added back in eggs, but trying to make up the difference with more Quorn, spinach and kale.

I tried to blow up the Death Star, but didn’t send in enough ships.  The Death Star blows up another planet.  The Rebellion isn’t looking too healthy.

That’s not to say I haven’t been busy.  The Say Owt events we’ve run have been great, and I’ve been doing plenty of busy work for the Laurence Batley Theatre and Harrogate Youth Theatre.  Me and my good chum Nat have been making a theatre show for touring in 2017 (dinosaurs, punks, y’know, the usual).  Oh and blogging.

But sometimes the best laid plans for mice and Sith Lords go awry, and you find yourself, at 23.49, writing a blog as a kind of apology to yourself.

I’m starting to think up new pieces for my next fringe show, a continuation of Up The Nerd Punks imaginatively titled Up The Nerd Punks 2.  I have some poems in my head.  I even started writing a new one the other day.

It’s hard when the Empire have a Super Star Destroyer and you’ve just got a few Transport ships.

It can be hard when there are so many productive people in your scene, and genre.  Making new poems, getting gigs, getting commissions, getting praise.  If you’re a bit stuck, there’s no one to blame but yourself.  I’m not talking about being stuck due to mental illness, anxiety of depression, you can’t help that.  But stuck because nothing’s really flowing, well.  The force flows through us all.

The game ends sometime around 1am.  Chewbacca has been turned to the Dark Side, but in doing so I can ‘cash in’ my Objective to not have any of my characters captured.  We half-heartedly argue about whether Chewie is considered ‘captured’ if he’s not part of the Empire’s side.

It doesn’t matter, I’ve won simply by holding out.  The Base is secure, the Empire will eventually be toppled and freedom will reign across the Galaxy someday. 

You can keep plugging away.  Trying different objectives, holding out, defending or attacking.  Consolidating or controlling.  As long as the Empire haven’t force-choked you into submission, there’s always a New Hope.

One day those fireworks with spark over the moon of Endor.

I sleepily pack up, and we promise to try the Game of Thrones Card Game this week.

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