Portrait of the Artist as a 29 Year Old Man…

So happy birthday to me, 29 years old yesterday. The anniversary of your own birth seems a more natural time to take stock of things than the arbitrary date when we have to buy new calendars. And as I begin my thirtieth year (yeah, thirtieth year!) I find for the first time that I’m not that contemplative about things, which makes a pleasant change. Perhaps it is the fact that I am past the “oh shit what am I going to do” panic about my life that was the hallmark of previous years.

Last year, May was a lousy month. The weather was awful, I was feeling depressed about a lot of things, there was upheaval and insecurity at my job, I doubted I had much, if anything to offer in my life, creatively, professionally. I was clinging to the remnants of one life, too scared to take a step towards another. Yes, my 28th birthday (and May in general) was pretty damn lousy to be honest.

This year? The sun is shining. It is gloriously sunny and warm. There are upheavals at work, yes, but in many ways it could prove beneficial to me. I’m more confident in my abilities as a writer. I have several projects on the go, hopefully this summer the script project will take off, two of my longest running ideas are approaching an end, and I have a very major iron in the fire which I am extremely happy about. In fact I’m happy in general, about a lot of things. And as if I haven’t bitten off more than I could possibly chew already, I’ve signed up with a new blog from the creator of the Write Stuff website. It is called Dear Reader, it is a book review site, and I’m one of the reviewers, so time to increase my reading! Plus I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time (not only fitter, but not carrying any injuries – how novel!)

This year (by which I mean this year of my life, not the calendar year) is not necessarily a make or break year for me. But I have a feeling it will be hugely important, professionally and personally.

To celebrate, I completely renounced my previous position on the subject, and got a tattoo. Yes, that is a real one in the photo, not photoshop or henna or a transfer. I then broke another little rule of mine, and bought some books, despite the pile of unread books you’ve heard so much about these past few weeks. The two books both featured on the list of 106 Most Unread Books. The first is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. The second is one that I’ve almost bought numerous times before, and on personal recommendation have finally done so – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Writing, reading, tattooing. Far cry from the respectable associate on the partnership track or respectable post-doc looking for tenure at a university – the way life was supposed to be back in the day when I honestly believed that plans worked.

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6 thoughts on “Portrait of the Artist as a 29 Year Old Man…”

  1. Ah Neverwhere. Interestingly, I’ve always been disappointed by the book for reasons I won’t go into before you’ve read it in (unless you want me to), just in case. I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say about it. The graphic novel version looks rather pretty but I’ve only flicked through it rather than actually reading it – I imagine it’s very similar though. I have the DVDs – I was so excited when they came out ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Interesting….

    Once I’ve read it I’ll like to know why it disappointed. Normally books are superior to the adaptations on film and tv. In this case however, the book is the adaptation of the TV series. Perhaps it suffers from being an adaptation.

    I know nothing of it other than the concept, and that Neil Gaiman made a number of changes from the TV show.

  3. Let me know when you’ve read it and we can compare notes ๐Ÿ™‚

    The TV series first aired in 1996 and I’d catch it just as I got home from school and thought it was brilliant. It’s still fairly good actually. I think that and “Good Omens” were my first introduction to Neil Gaiman.

  4. Good Omens was my first and so far only encounter with Neil Gaiman. I’ve had Stardust recommended to me (both the book and the film). Will move on to Neverwhere after Brothers K.

  5. I really must read the Brothers K at some point. I loved the film of Stardust – it made me laugh and was very fluffy, but I’ve not read the book I gather they’re reasonably different. “American Gods” seems to be the best known Gaiman novel – people either love it or loathe it, it seems. I rather enjoyed it and read “Anansi Boys” on the flight from LA – it was a quick and easy read and quite entertaining.

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