Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Archive for the tag “year in review”


Everybody has to write one of these, don’t they?

Let’s see. What happened in 2015? It might be just writing at this time of the year, but in my head, the year was categorised by stress. Which is weird, because in 2014 I:

  • wrote two plays,
  • performed in two productions,
  • published and launched my first novel,
  • completed a certificate III in Game Design,
  • holidayed in Halls Gap,
  • turned 40 and was painted into the TARDIS,
  • created a CGI opening for the school production which almost killed me,
  • saw my daughter perform at the Melbourne Arts Centre,
  • had our first cancer scare with our dog Amy and then
  • lost my grandfather to cancer (which doesn’t seem that long ago).

2015They were huge things, and very draining. And still, I finished this year completely shattered and I’m just getting out of it now, after a good few days down at Dromana soaking in the ocean (my calm down place). My 2015 list on the face of it is much longer. This year I:

  • Wrote a book starring my daughter as a werewolf
  • Saw They Might Be Giants (again)
  • Watched my lovely wife graduate from university
  • Ran the school radio show and podcast for a year
  • Spent a week in Sydney
  • Ramped up the school 3D printing program
  • Started learning to program in Python
  • Got my debating team into the finals
  • Had a number of articles published in educational journals
  • Had a reunion of the Five
  • Fixed the shower head
  • Ran the sound for Macbeth
  • Wrote half a dozen stories for a sequel to Dwarves in Space and found them mostly awful
  • Discovered Netflix and Stan and Presto
  • Had a Marvel Universe movie marathon
  • Went to a number of art galleries
  • Attended a few Guides functions
  • Started an educational blog
  • Read the Harper Lee sequel nobody thought would ever happen
  • Flew in a very old bi-plane
  • Finished my wedding video – three years on
  • Celebrated Grandma’s 90th

And that’s just the ones that come to mind going back through my photo gallery. Of those, they were all incredibly positive, life affirming and creative pursuits, which didn’t bring me down in the slightest. So why am I so mentally exhausted?

I think all that I can say is: don’t get involved in politics in the workplace. Just do your own job as well as you can and let what’s up top run itself.

I just wish I believed that was a good idea. Anyway, as always, I promise I will write more in 2016. And I have actual things in place to make that happen. AND I did actually write a lot in 2015 – just not on FindingDamo.

Hippy Gnu Ear

A year ago, plus or minus a day, I began a blog. It had a modest goal: to define success, make me famous and tell the life story of Damo – a completely fictional man who just happens to have done a lot of the same things that I have done.

2012And with this modest goal, Finding Damo has been modestly successful. In my first month, I mused upon doing good deeds, conspiracy theories, first love and dating. As the year progressed I talked about the death of my father and the existence of the loch ness monster, my family and friends, writing and spiders. I wrote an entire short story over a number of days, with lots of lovely cliff-hangers. In 2012, I wrote 52 blog entries. I won’t say that I wrote one a week, but the average is pretty good.

And people started reading the blog. At first it was just family and friends. But now, there are a core of random strangers who have latched on and stroke my ego with their kind words. For the year, the blog had 4,000 views, which isn’t going to kill the server, but does keep me interested enough to continue.

I started Finding Damo for a number of reasons. The first was a desire to create an online presence where I could start to make a name for myself before hunting out a publisher. It also allowed me to get into the habit of writing on a regular basis and to practise structuring my thoughts in a way that other people could understand. Believe me, this has been the hard part!

Secondly, I was inspired by a number of people who had successful blogs, and stole the idea from them.

simone2One of my best friends in the world (and I mean in the world – she lives in London) writes a blog called Simone Scribbles. She put me onto Word Press and her blog began as a way to keep in touch with her English friends while she was in Australia. Her prose is incredibly readable and filled with humour and wry observations on life. She’s definitely worth a look.

goodies undiesOne of my first followers is a friend from childhood – Katy. She writes a blog called Ragged Blossom Handmade. It is a series of marvellous ideas on how to recycle clothing and other throwaway items into something new and interesting. She also puts up recipes. Gluten free, very tasty recipes.

remote remotedFinally, my cousin Anna writes a blog called the Fun Activities Catalogue. I know that people say this all the time, but I have never laughed so hard at a blog – professional or otherwise – than I have at Anna’s antics as she tries to relieve the boredom. Asking people on chat roulette about their music choices and getting revenge on her amorous and noisy neighbours are two of my favourites.

But enough about them. This is about me.

This last year was a stupendously busy one. In one year I:

  • Got married
  • Bought a house
  • Edited and submitted a novel for publishing
  • Had two short stories published online (go buy them).
  • Wrote and directed the College musical.
  • Became the public relations officer (official people botherer) for Nullus Anxietas IV – the Australian Discworld convention. This involved, at various times:

And in the twelfth month, he rested.

But now I’m bored. And in the spirit of New Years’ Resolutions that will be completely ignored within a month, I present:

Finding Damo’s list of things to do.

  1. Get an agent. I want this bloody novel published.
  2. If nothing has happened by mid-year, work on self-publishing Dwarves in Space.
  3. Help run Nullus Anxietas IV.
  4. Get back into acting.
  5. Write a serious play.
  6. Submit more short stories for publication.
  7. Write 1000 words a week on Finding Damo. Hopefully more.
  8. Get back to a weight where I can comfortably do up the neck button on my shirts.
  9. Tell gluten, dairy and sugar to “Get thee behind me Satan!” (there has been a certain amount of backsliding over the summer break)
  10. Make the fish-pond habitable for fish (almost there).
  11. Make a troll suit.
  12. Create a video and have it go viral.

I’m also going to start a bucket list, place it on its own page on Finding Damo, and try to knock some of them off.

So, another busy year.

To all those who have been hanging on so far, thank you and a very Happy New Year to you. Now, go and tell your friends! Here’s to 2013 and the survival of the many apocalypses!

There was supposed to be an earth-shattering KABOOM!

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