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(f)Artist

I want to make art. I want to make it for fun. But I also want to make it for a living. I have made plenty of art already. I chased the dream years ago. I went all in on music, it was all encompassing and I found some success, did some things - that when I started - seemed unreachable. But I made mistakes, the product I was pushing was not everything it could have been if I pushed harder and worked smarter. But I was making it up as I went. 

Now and again I feel rushes of inspiration to sell myself to the powers that be but I look at my catalogue and just see flaws. I haven’t made the art that I feel I am capable of. I’m proud of my novels, but they’re flawed. Some people trip over the way I wrote them, making them hard to sell to publishers. My drawing, I have a full unreleased comic book ready to roll - but I can see where it falls short already. 

I stare at my children and feel a little fraudulent. I don’t earn much. Never have. Was always trying to make stuff. And now I’m here, wondering what the next thing is that I can try, the next “product” I can create. A new book? One that learns from the mistakes of the previous two. A new comic book, a new record of music, a children’s book? I feel I owe it to these kids to make something of myself, and the only way I’ve defined that since leaving high school is making art. Glen Hansard busked, was completely broke and slept on people’s couches until his art made him money. I was too “smart” for that. I tried to keep my life together at the same time, and in turn kind of failed at both. I half assed my work and my art.

Now more than ever I need to keep my home life stable and moving forward, but how does an “artist” find success outside of art? I have never returned home from work feeling accomplished, I don’t think any artist does. Accomplishment comes after creating. So I find myself here, standing at the beginning of something, or the end. A friend recently swapped careers, taking huge guts to go from a successful ‘this’ to a starting at bottom of ‘that’. It lit a fire under me, but one that burns weird. I don’t know how to channel it, where to point it. I don’t have those guts. I need to create, but I cannot half ass my work because what little money I make is needed to feed tiny mouths.

So I’m just gonna stand here a bit. At this weird beginning or end place. 

Is that guy still talking about his book?

When the dealio was struck with a little print house slash publisher in Sydney, and this book thing of mine looked like it was about to become real - I thought I should write an "About the Author" to be included in the back of the thing.

Seemed like the thing to do. Many real books have that. So I gave it a crack.

It was to be a positive piece. About how releasing this book isn't my latest attempt to chase the dream of a profession based on my creative whatnots - it is just something that I had inside that I wanted to get out. It was a creative endeavour that didn't rely on anything or anyone bar myself. It was a challenge... but most of all it was just for fun.

But I wanted to earn that positivity by giving a little back story... I began with the line - "I struggle a little. No more than most I am sure. But I struggle with the idea of talent and how it translates into the real world."

Of course the use of the word "talent" grossed me out so what followed was several pages of disclaimers in a story about my numerous failures - and my inability to make peace with the fact that I'll never be many of the things I had hoped I'd be - a father, musician, etc.

The "About the Author" thingy remains unfinished and was not added to the book. In a mere 612 words I had managed to drive myself down into a funk that I would not recover from for days. It had me rethinking putting the book out at all. I began to question my motives. Am I still chasing these creative whatnots? 20 years after my first band Oviparous formed... When does one realise their lot?

Dwelling did me no favours.

Fortunately thanks to modern medicine the darkness subsides these days. If I can pull myself from the dwell I can remember why I wrote the book in the first place - for fun. And how fun would it be to have a copy on my shelf and a copy in the hands of Gav, Dougie, Bricko, BJ et al?!

My book came out. Nervously I inspected the cover. It had printed up ok. I flicked through it - it looked like a book. I was chuffed to see it. It looked like the real deal. There was a feeling of accomplishment I guess - but otherwise life remained as usual.

That is - until I posted a photo of the book to social media.

Now for the "earnt positive" and reason for this post.

I was blown away by the out pouring of love, likes and congratulations from friends and loved ones. Some of the most cherished people in my life reminded me why I value them so highly. Phone calls, texts, DMs, tweets, emails, photos and handshakes... I can almost well up just typing this. I was/am truly blessed to have such a strong support base.

For fear of missing someone I will refrain from naming individuals but let it be known - any form of communication from each and every one of you who reached out contributed to one of the most truly unique experiences I've ever had. Before any of you had even read a sentence I had declared the book a success... not because of what it is... but because of what it did. Because of what YOU did. For me.

There Are Only Moments - Robert J Lisle


Book Description
When its grand city of Algrid is devoured by the undead, unrest grips all of Fallanbrier. 

Lady Farrahy, a member of the royal guard, leads a group of survivors across the vast region in search of safety and a way to restore their once great city. Among those with her is Earl Redsim of the king's council, a greedy and evil man, who also looks to restore Algrid - but for more selfish reasons. 

A young girl named Ruby loses everything she holds dear and must flee her home with Benedict Wolfskin, a relative stranger. The restoration of Algrid hinges on the success of this unlikely pairing. 

There Are Only Moments - A tale full of twists and turns, swords and the undead. 

Today Algrid falls. 

“In the tradition of The Walking Dead crossed with that of Game Of Thrones comes an all new swords and shields, zombies and ghouls novel from Robert J Lisle. But the undead are just the danger that lurks around the corner, the true story is the journey and survival of some truly good and some truly bad characters. There Are Only Moments is a fantasy tale of love, loss, action and fun. The consequences are real and the happy moments, while few, are earnt. A true Medieval Zombie novel” – Leeroy Gussett. 

Malistraad


‘I am the baddest there is!’ Malistraad screamed... at no one in particular.
The warrior’s legs could barely hold him up. Two broken arrows jutted from his back and a large chunk of flesh had been forcibly removed from his breast. Still his heart did beat strong. He was determined. For word was to be spread.
‘You will not take me, not yet!’ Malistraad screamed... at no one in particular.
Not much remained of the warrior’s armour – a shoulder plate and his right gauntlet. His leather boots looked to be ragged, torn and sodden.
The hard dirt was unforgiving.
Thick, tall trees lined the road. Long stretching branches obscured much of the sky and spared Malistraad the hot sun. And still the heat was maddening. The warrior’s wounds stung and the pain ran deep – the humidity was an added irritant.
‘My beard for a tankard of ale,’ Malistraad said with an odd mixture of a cough and a laugh.
An hour or more did pass and Malistraad pounded the road still. Any moment now. Any moment now, a soil-tiller, caravanner or even a whoreson soldier from the capital will spot him, he thought.
Hunger.
Thirst.
Pain.
Soon the sun would sleep. The drop in temperature would be soothing for the warrior, and a moment to close his eyes was eagerly awaited. But relief remained on the other side of an oncoming obstacle.
A beast lurked.

Malistraad seemingly had yet another battle to win before he’d find his rest.