With Colin Shitsmearer firmly locked in the cupboard at home with nothing but a couple of cockroaches to feed his evil shit-encrusted body, I've been having a blast at BEAM 2018. In fact, for those followers of this blog who are familiar with my massive ego (a.k.a Jasper Mountbatten the III) and his partner in crime my depression (Derek Bluebottom), I also have something to say about them and the whole experience.
Unlike Colin, who is completely toxic and deserves nothing more than a good slap in the face and 20 years in the hold with no rum ration, I have a slightly more complicated relationship with Jasper and Derek. They do tend to follow me around a little bit. I've noticed a couple of times during this amazing festival of new writing that a glance towards the toilets while talking to a brilliant writer who I've just met, will inevitably catch Derek in the act of standing with his head bowed humming a depressing tune to himself. Alternatively a glance towards the bar will catch Jasper drinking himself into a stupor and doing his best to hold himself back from talking about how brilliant he is.
But it's not long before Derek and Jasper fade away in the shadow of the thrill of meeting new, talented writers who are genuinely fun to be around. Derek goes to the disabled loo and locks himself away and Jasper passes out on the floor of the bar and I am left to enjoy the experience on my own.
I bring this up because I am constantly harried by my demons. I am coming to understand that this is not a battle I am supposed to win. They will always return, I will never defeat them, but as the great Sun Tzu said in the 'Art of War'.
"Know Thine Enemy". And in knowing I am coming to understand them. I'm even beginning to feel a little guilty about Colin back in his cupboard...
BEAM 2018 is nearly over, but one of the best things about it, aside from the community building that I've already mentioned is the inspiration to keep creating, keep building, keep writing. The sheer talent and the breadth of scope that BEAM has revealed is astonishing. Who knew there were so many ways to tell a story through music and lyric? I didn't.
Now I'm going to get drunk. And who knows, maybe Jasper Mountbatten III will turn up to the party.