It’s been seventeen days, five thousand or so miles, three airports, three hotels, two planes, one car rental, and we are finally with family in California.

Flying across the Pacific Ocean with my wife, a seven-month-old baby, and our dog has been a challenge. Living out of suitcases and sleeping in airport lounges has been an experience and even after seventeen days, our journey is far from over.

Everything we own that we didn’t carry with us is making the slow trip across the Pacific by container ship and will not arrive until the end of next month. That means we are living in a new place with minimal furnishing.

It’s enlightening how one can accomplish day to day tasks with limited supplies and how much we take the simple things for granted.

Expect intermittent sporadic transmissions in the coming months.

Rethinking the Blog

I’m sitting here at my favorite bar in Yokosuka Japan enjoying a cigar and dark beer reflecting on the past five years of blogging. I begun blogging early on when I first decided to take writing seriously.

When I started Barbarian Book Club my goal was to use this space to document my writing process and to make it a hub for promoting my writing. In the past few years due to this place and social media I’ve grown as a writer and also developed numerous professional connections in the independent world of writing.

But, honestly I’ve used this place as an extension of my social media, almost as a long-form version of Twitter.

Yet the biggest undercurrent of development in my growth as a writer has been in the scope of the politic. The more I’ve delved into the culture of the creative the more I’ve realized that all art is strictly in the philosophical and the political. Every act of art is political and cultural because culture is anchored in the political. Culture does not exist independent of politics, because culture is intertwined and reflects the philosophy of the creator.

Accepting the above fact means that I’m no longer going to shy away from using this medium to discuss my philosophical and political observations. Views that have matured and changed drastically in the past five years.

Practically what this means is that I will be using this place as a home not just for my writing but for my observations on culture, life, politics, and religion.

I plan on restructuring this space away from a focus on everyday blogging and towards a more essay focused medium discussing subjects such as masculinity, fatherhood, personal growth, and how these subjects pertain to a fledgling career in the independent publishing subculture.

I have a lot of material planned and outlined and I hope I can grow this page as a discussion hub or at least a place worth visiting for like minded readers and writers.

Perfect is the Enemy of Good

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without – Confucious

This evening I went to the hotel gym. A tiny room with two treadmills, one elliptical, a few dumbells, and some low weight kettlebells. I ran for 30 minutes then knocked out a circuit using the weights. It wasn’t a perfect workout, it didn’t follow any program, but it felt great and I’m looking forward to doing another one tomorrow.

I have a severe problem with procrastination. I procrastinate when it comes to my writing, my working out, and my dieting. This year I’m determined to get a grip on the situation and retrain myself by building new habits.

One of the insidious ways that procrastination, or resistance if you are familiar with Stephen Pressfield’s book The War of Art, gets me is through perfection. I’m always waiting for the perfect time, the perfect opportunity, the perfect program, the perfect conditions.

With working out I’m always stalling because I tell myself that if I go to the gym I have to follow a program. I can’t start a program on a Wednesday, I have to wait for Monday. When Monday comes something always keeps me from the gym, so not only do I miss starting my planned program, but I miss another entire week I could have been lifting.

It’s the same story with writing. I often procrastinate by making excuses to perfection. I can’t start working on this short story because I only have 30 minutes and it deserves more time. Tomorrow I will have two hours for sure. I can’t work on this project because I haven’t read the 30 books on the French Revolution that I’m going to reference. It’s never the right time, never the perfect environment.

So, that’s why I’m happy that the last two weeks I’ve taken every chance to just get to the gym and get something done. I know that I’m not working out optimally, but living in a hotel room out of suitcases isn’t conducive to micromanaged fitness routines. As long as I make it downstairs and move some heavy things my goal is met. It’s not a perfect situation but it’s definitely a good one.

Same with my writing. In the next few months, I’m going to be all over the place. I won’t have a perfect office with a comfortable chair, aromatic candles, and mind-opening background music. What I will have is my laptop and hopefully, I will take advantage of my imperfect minuscule time to get some writing down.

Perfection has its place, specifically when it comes to polishing final products. But you will never reach that stage if you let procrastination take hold and use the excuse of perfection to never create anything.

Final Preparations

In eight days our small family will be leaving Yokosuka, Japan, flying across the Pacific Ocean, and beginning the next phase of our lives.  Last Friday movers came to pack and pick up our furniture and personal items. This coming Friday we will turn in the keys to our house.

Mt. Fuji from the lakes.

As of now my wife and I are living in a hotel room with the baby and the dog. Quinn, the dog, fancies herself a professional guard dog and has decided to bark every time someone walks outside our room. The cramped and hectic situation is not very conductive to writing. Not to mention all of our free time is spent preparing for our flight and tying up loose ends.

Living in Japan has been a fantastic adventure and I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience such an interesting and unique culture first hand. I’m going to miss being out here. But, I’m ready to move on and make new memories and take part in new adventures.

During this chaotic time I am trying my best to stay focused on diet and exercise. I’ve been hitting the gym daily and staying on top of my calorie count. I’m checking in to a deployable command and want to hit the ground running.

I’m also catching up on reading, specifically focused on history and conservative philosophy.

Expect a lot of posts on those topics in the near future.

A Hectic New Year.

Everything is in flux, everything is changing.

By this time next week, my family and I will be enjoying the hospitality of our good friends and preparing the final push towards our journey back to the United States. This Friday, movers will come to our house, pack our belongings, and ship everything we own across the Pacific. After a short stay at the Lodge, where I spent three months when I first arrived, we will fly back to America. If everything goes according to plan we should arrive in California on the 1st of February.

Understandably life is rather hectic. Preparing for a move from Asia to America is a daunting endeavor, but in our case, the addition of a spirited seven-month-old adds an extra layer of complexity. Therefore I haven’t had a surplus of free time for writing or blogging.

I did manage to read a decent amount. Earlier today I finished Mercenaries and their Masters: Warfare in Renaissance Italy. A good book if you are interested in the subject but somewhat dry if you don’t have prior knowledge about the socio-political landscape of 15th century Italy. I love the idea of mercenary armies and when it comes to historical eras I tend to gravitate towards the pike and shot warfare of the European Wars of Religion. Sadly books focused on this subject tend to lean towards the academic instead of the amateur reader.

I’m still walking to work several times per week and enjoying the cold morning while listening to Lord of The Rings. I just started The Return of the King. I know I’ve said this before but the narration is fantastic. I’m surprised by how much depth and nuance I missed when I first read the trilogy over a decade ago. If you haven’t read TLotR at all or recently I highly recommend the audiobooks narrated by Rob Inglis.