This profound thing happened this morning.  You wouldn't know it to look at it though.  Here I'll share.

For my visually impaired readers, I'll describe what you just heard.  That was me, putting my electric toothbrush back on its charging stand, where when I did, it let out an audible little "beep beep" sound.

Why is this profound?  I'm glad you asked.

First, some context.  I live in a lovely house I rent, which is big, and kind of old.  It has charm, and some quirks.  One of those quirks is that the plug where I plug this toothbrush in happens to be on the same circuit as a plug in our garage, into which is plugged a big freezer.  For some oddball reason, that same circuit is partially exposed to the elements through a crack in a lighting fixture for an outside light on our house.  

The net effect of said exposure is that when it rains or snows that circuit shorts out.  And our freezer goes on the fritz, leaving a puddle on the floor of the garage, and ruins what we have in it.  It also makes it impossible for me to charge my toothbrush or run my water-pik.  

When this happens, one of us quickly moves things from the freezer out in the garage to the kitchen, and we wait for the circuit to dry out so we can flip the circuit breaker and resume life as normal.

We've lived here two years now, and it's taken most of that time to figure this out.  We also just got the landlord to seal up that crack, so maybe it won't happen anymore.  Maybe.

That's relevant to my moment of enlightenment I want to share with you.  

My day job has been very draining for me lately.  I've really been considering my options around it.  And at the same time, I've been hard at work on my patreon, which is a time-consuming and expensive side project, given the costs for art, narration help, software and related services.  And while THAT's all been going on, I've also been working on a software business.  It's exhausting, and can feel overwhelming at times.

This morning, I'm listening to a podcast, Risk's Tough Love episode.  The second story in the episode, For the Love of Charlie really, really gets to me.  I'm going to warn you now, if you're the sort of person who emotionally invests in a story, when you listen to this one, it's going to get you too.

It's about David, his husband Jack, and their dog, Charlie.  David loves Charlie, and has many reasons to do so.  The story he tells gives the context of that love.  

In the story, Charlie gets very sick and dies.  David processes his grief.

What does this have to do with my beeping toothbrush?  Kind of everything.  

The other day it rained down like crazy, putting the circuit out of commission.  I've been waiting for days for the circuit to dry out, for my sister-in-law to be able to reset the breaker (which is downstairs in her apartment), for the landlord to fix the house so it won't happen again.

So for days now I've been brushing my teeth, waiting for the batteries to run out on this thing so I will have to move it, and charge it elsewhere.  I had sort of subconsciously bought into this foregone conclusion that it would die on me before any good change happened.  I've also been letting other things on my mind weigh me down.  Political things, job things, project-writing-software-things, all sorts of things.

For lack of a better term, for the past several days I guess I've been doombrushing.  During this morning's doom brush I finish listening to that sad, yet ultimately satisfying and comforting story.  

One profound thing that David said in the story was how in the height of his mourning he lamented how stupid he felt being so racked about a dog to someone.  The guy told him to cut that out, that he had just lost a pet too (a bird), and how all love and pain matters, and doesn't need comparison or validation by anyone.

I nodded.  Fuck, yes.  

I've been telling people for years now that pain is intimate.  It's impossible to understand someone else's pain.  It's human to want to compare your own pain to someone else's, to give it context.  

But you can't really. 

Some days I wake up, pop out of bed ready to just attack the day.  I'll do all these many things, give them all time and energy and drive, and go go go.  Other days, I don't.  I drag myself through the day, feeling like I'm phoning it in on every goddamn thing.  There's this tempting lure to fall into a pall about it.  I hear this chorus of ugly voices sing to me.

"This isn't going anywhere", "I'll never finish this.", or "None of this even matters." are some of their hits.

You know the thing about mindful practice is, it is a practice.  You have to just fucking do it.  It's hard.  It's work.  Sometimes it isn't fun.  Often, really.  And you don't do it to find peace.  If you do, you'll never ever get there.  You do it to be present, to feel what's right in front of you, and move with it.

So my ugly voice chorus was singing their faces off to me last night, and some this morning.  Then I put on Risk, brushed my teeth, and when I was done, put my brush back on its stand.

Beep beep.

Just like you heard in my video up there.  And all that doom I had been carrying around, all that expectation and judgment and harshness just left.  It felt good.

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

It hasn't been easy for Marigold.

Diaper Cover.jpeg

First, when she was just a child. she had to go live with her awful aunt.  Then, there’s the very bad thing that made her run away from home.  

Eventually she grew up and found a great guy.  They got married, had a kid, everything seemed just fine. But it wasn’t.

Marigold realized what she really wanted.  She wanted him to spank her.  Not just that, either.  She wanted him to put her in diapers, and she told him.  

It didn’t go so well.

But that wasn’t going to stop her.  Because once she really knew who she was, that was when little marigold began to blossom.


New illustrated chapters and audio released exclusively at https://www.patreon.com/makoallen 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen

So, I'm excited.  I should say we are excited.

My little, mako-kun, adores our friend Bryn.  They messaged us, out of the blue, this morning to see what we were up to Saturday.  And the stars, gears, and other intricate what-nots have aligned so that Bryn can come over and we can have a playdate!

We're going to watch Finding Dory.  And eat awesome keto fried pickles, which I'm going to make.  We're gonna cuddle and enjoy sharing this awesome movie (one of our favorites) which we cannot believe Bryn hasn't seen yet!

 It's gonna be just like this... except with snack foods and a comfy couch

It's gonna be just like this... except with snack foods and a comfy couch

I'm ridiculously excited about this, for a lot of reasons.  I shall list them for you now:

  1. Bryn, much like myself, is a very-busy-grownup-type-person.  It's a rare moment when we both have time to lavish on one another.
  2. That lavishing thing, yo.  It feels SO GOOD that someone I like so much reached out to me for social time that's just about us.  That's like a luxury beyond luxuries.
  3. It's very worth noting that Bryn isn't just my friend, they're mako-kun's friend.  Like, separately and in addition to being mine.  That feels entirely wonderful for a variety of complex reasons.
  4. We're totally going to have fried pickles, which I found a recipe for, that I'm excited to try.
  5. As much as I love and care for my little brain-room-mate, it's really pretty rare that I put him first in terms of my time and obligations.  Making time and space for him to have fun with his very dear friend feels so damn good.
  6. Have I mentioned how very much I like Bryn?

Is it Saturday yet?

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

 So there’s this thing that’s been on my mind lately. As I have blogged about recently,  I’m a pretty busy guy.

It can be really hard to find time for all these things that I do.  There’s this skill that I’m always refining that really helps me with these things.   It’s the ability to work in discrete micro chunks.

 This isn’t as helpful in my programming work  as it is in my fiction,  but I do use it all the time.

 Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.  So this morning I’m sitting at my desk, trying to do some writing on a new Cam and Eileen story.   I’m having trouble with, trying to figure out the flow of a certain  scene.

IMAGE.JPG

I make the decision to stop writing, get in my car and go to work.   As I’m driving, and listening to a very excellent podcast where Patton Oswalt is talking about writing about his wife’s death, the crucial thing I’m missing for that story comes to me.

FullSizeRender.jpg

 So I very carefully pause the podcast, and turn on the recording app in my phone.   I talk it out.   Let me explain what I’m doing here.   I’m not writing the story word for word,  but I’m exploring with the characters feel.   I say the big beats of the plot,  some particular phrasing that matters.

 Now I feel good about my morning.   What’s more, I know that when I do sit down to write this, I’ve got a plan.  I know what I want the words to sound like, and what it is about the characters that I’m trying to get across to the reader.   That’s really important to me, because I’m writing about characters who have erotic situations, but in the context of their entire lives.

 It matters just as much that the man in the story is interested in pegging, that the woman in the story struggles with being the black sheep of her family.   One fact doesn’t cancel the other out,  they support and enhance one another.  

IMAGE.JPG

Then I get to work. As I’m pulling in and looking for a spot, it occurs to me that this forward movement is enough. In the same day I get to be an author, do my day job, and put in the time to feel I’m living my authentic life.

By embracing progress,  and chipping it out a little bit a time I’m getting there.  That feels really good 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

There's an old joke that says the opposite of congress is progress.

Ha-ha.  Progress is on my mind though.

So, I'm a creative guy.  You know this, because you're here, reading my blog, and my projects are a major part of what I talk about on here.

But I have a lot of things "in progress" at the moment.  Let's see:

  1. I've lost over 50 pounds on the keto diet, and want to lose somewhere between 40-50 more.
  2. I'm getting my personal finances in better shape.
  3. I've got a small company that's building a software product.
  4. I've got a patreon, where I'm writing short illustrated and narrated fiction.
  5. I'm working on my third novel, which will soon be released-in-progress on the patreon.
  6. I'm beginning to release my narrated, illustrated fiction in a new format, as movies.
  7. I'm learning new technologies at my day job.
  8. I'm polyamorous, and working hard to be fully present in my relationships.

Boy, that sounds like a lot.  That's because it is a lot.  Some days, I'm wrung out from it.  I get stuck in a sort of analysis paralysis, unsure of what to do next, what resources I have, what to do when the tank is empty.

I stumbled across this great video by Simon Alexander Ong, about making progress your focus.

In a way, it's a rehash of something I am constantly telling other people.  Don't focus on the wall you're building, focus on the brick you're laying.  Lay it perfectly.  If it's not right, pick it up, adjust it, start over with that brick, whatever.  (And I'm talking about a wall like the Great Wall, a metaphorically overwhelming in scale project, not that travesty you-know-who keeps blathering about.)

When I was a kid, my dad taught me one of the most important lessons of my life, to measure success by motion, not by destination.  You can be 1 step on your path, or 1,000. Your path can change, alter course.  It most likely will, in fact.  Doesn't matter.  As long as you keep going, you're doing just fine.

I had this big obstacle I crashed right into about two weeks ago.  My patreon got suspended for violating their guidelines.  I worked feverishly to figure out how, and do something about it. Then, when I didn't hear from them, sought out other venues for my work.  It was a frustrating yet ultimately beneficial experience.  I learned a bunch of things about where an erotica author can publish, what they can publish, and how.  And that knowledge is going to be helpful to me down the line.  And I had support, so much support.  Friends and family consoled me, offered me guidance, helped me find options.  I am so very loved and supported in my work, by so many.

Thankfully, my patreon got reinstated.  The changes I made put me back in compliance, and I'm good to go.  I'm not going to lie when it first happened, it was crushing to me.  Even that pain and suffering (much of it self-inflicted) taught me things about myself, my efforts, my patterns of behavior and self-judgment, what's important to me, what my underlying reasons are for even doing much of what I do.

515783.jpg

Targets change.  They move.  But it's the travel towards them that helps me know I'm alive.

Listen, you and me, dear reader, we're the same.  Human animals, with only some grasp of what it is we're actually doing as we move through life.  

Keep going, okay?  Because it feels good.