Monday Apr 13 2015
There is something unsettling about a blank page, it seems to be more profound when you are viewing a backlit, LCD flat panel display blazing into your eyeballs. That’s one of the reasons I tend to write on paper first and find where the little rabbit hole leads this time, truth be told though, I have not written in a very long time on screen or not; but today was different.
Sporting a brand new kindle, I’ve been reading much more lately, and I still have books that I’ve bought previously using the kindle android app that showed up when I logged into the kindle. Among these was a book containing the full works of Edgar Allen Poe, including the ubiquitous “The Raven” and reading that led me down this particular rabbit-trail.
It occurred to me rather suddenly, that an awful lot of the pieces we consider truly iconic nowadays stem from the 1800s works ranging from The Raven to Shakespeare and thence even to Sherlock Holmes all took place during these years. Even Charles Darwin’s work on the theory of evolution stems from that period in time.
All this raised the question in my mind, what was different in those times that resulted in such a wealth of work and our own modern times, containing decidedly less ‘classics’.
Aside from the obvious distractions and changes in technology, like the internet, instant communication and television what really has changed?
I’m not talking in any literal sense here, perhaps a more metaphorical context, are we such a different people now as back then?
Is there something present in our minds now, that wasn’t there before; something that stops us being as creative as those in the 1800s ?
Whilst I was writing my thoughts on the paper copy however, an example of my point surfaced;
I literally stopped writing, and searched “What was it like to write in the 1800s?” and that, friends, perhaps tells the whole story…
Friday Jul 25 2014
I know some of you follow my posts , so I’ll just post up a bit of chaos for this morning 🙂 I’ve lately been thinking about my future and trying to develop a little in my career since it hasn’t really been going anywhere since 2010 really. So I decided to write a list of my skills and see if any ‘speak’ to me when written down, and the list changed a little bit as I was writing, here’s what happened:
Photography, Photoshop, Java-script, Flash, Fireworks,. Inkscape, escape, Java,
Alpha, Beta, QA Maker. Thinker, Troubleshooter, agent, sales, Ruby on Rails,
Technical support – Windows, Dos and Linux, Tails, Ubuntu, boot-master control, Programmer.
Free-thinking, problem-solver, Word, Excel, Powerpoint – Phillosophy, Psychology, counselling, Writing, Graphic Designer, Copyrighter, Driver, Driving madness, Home, House, Electronic, C++, Pascal and Basic.
Thought provoking, money-moving, Hacker, Slacker, Youtube crawler, File-type writer,
Over educated under-achiever.
It’s nowhere near perfect, but I like the rhythm it took on, and I’m sure with a little work that would fit brilliantly into some well-placed beats with a voice to match.
Tuesday Jun 24 2014
Well folks, it’s been another little while. No story this time though, my wanderings this morning covered topics like love, wandering, figuring out the puzzle of a Love. What is it exactly that makes people think about in terms of either a) Loving someone or b) Not loving someone?
To me, that concept seems overtly simplified. To me it seems like a far more intricately weaved puzzle than anything either A or B.
I am married, but married to a man who seems very distant emotionally but whom I cannot help but want to love, he’s a rogue, scoundrel and every bit the chivalrous gent, when he wants to be. But I’ll admit 😉 that’s not very often!
But there’s another side to him I can’t see, can’t feel, he keeps it very well buried, and no, I’m not talking affair here – it’s something he would never lower himself to doing without telling me, as I understand it from his personality anyway. After 10 years, you can’t help but feel you know these things, but I digress.
Nope, the puzzle I’m talking about is the parts sometimes we cannot face up to, truths we wish did not exist, or that we cover up. An emotional black hole that’s rent so many of us into so many tiny fragments that makes us hunt franticly for those little bits we’ve lost along the way.
Perhaps love is like that, two (or more) people hunting for their little fragments and finding them, sometimes within each other.
The perfect relationship is perhaps not at all like you see in the movies, perhaps it is far more nuanced than we typically give ourselves credit for.
Friday May 23 2014
Hey folks 🙂
Lovely to see you here!
Sometime ago, I took part in the #FlashFriday twitter hashtag event. What would happen with this is that creative writers of all shapes and sizes would write short 1000 word stories and post them for the community to read and feedback on every Friday. Unfortunately, that hashtag has now been subsumed by pornographic imagery, taking the idea of ‘flash’ to a whole different interpretation.
So, I’ve decided to try and relaunch it – whether or not it gets traction is up to the community of course 🙂 so now, here below – I’ll add the first #FictionFriday story I’ve made in a while. It’s very loose at the moment, but if people like it, I might be able to push it in a more effective direction, possibly continuing into different parts – let me know your thoughts in the comments!
(I’m as rusty as an old nail, so don’t be too harsh!)
A new holographic technology, one that truly gave people an immersive experience was just about to hit production, but there is a lot of scepticism out there about this kind of technology.
“People want something different than television, but don’t feel a truly ‘immersive’ experience will do what it says on the tin. This WILL. Our product puts people right in the centre of the action, mentally and almost physically too. Technology has advanced to the stage where we can make truly photo-realistic visuals. So realistic, that we’ve found in our testing that sometimes people would not know they were in the world we created for them. Whilst this is a good thing, it doesn’t make for high brand confidence.”
Grant was addressing a small group of shareholders at the headquarters of Repli-world. “We need something to differentiate our worlds from the ‘real’ world. I’d suggest that maybe we could have white items in the world, something that glows brightly, or just stands out. Make it so that the user can touch them to return to the ‘real’ world.” Grant waited for a moment, “Or if there are other suggestions?”
The advert appeared sometime ago in the local newspaper, she didn’t read those usually, but for some reason this advert stood out on the page, it spoke to her.
“Wanted, hot new talent to define the biggest thing since television. We need new, fresh ideas to bring life to the stale grind of repeated story-lines. We want YOU to help, send us your project no later than one week of this date, and may the future smile warmly on you.”
It wasn’t like the usual adverts she saw, this one was different, it resonated with her. Perhaps, she thought, it was her break. The one she needed to get her writing, her voice out there.
With the project finally completed, after countless hours, takes, retakes, editing and re-editing, a victorious yell leapt from her mouth, “YES!!!!! I finally done it, yaay!”
she had nailed the audio just the way she wanted it, the perfect scene.
Now, all that was left was for her to set up the presentation and get it ready for submission, she was sure this would be it, this would be the key, her key to a prosperous future.
After everything had been done, Heidi didn’t know what to do next. She thought she would need to show it to her friends before she finally took courage enough to sent it in, it mattered to her, to get their reactions to the project.
Yet, she felt she couldn’t let the project go, she knew of course, she knew she had to, but, it was hers and had been hers alone for so long that she wondered if it was even suitable to send to the studio at all.
If it felt so important to her, would it be wise to give so much of her self-worth over to a corporation, with profits its main goal?
She really didn’t know, but then, she had started for a reason. She felt it was true to what she wanted her life to be.
It was a huge risk, she imagined, the biggest she had ever taken. Whether it was that sort of risk or not remained to be seen, but at least to her, it was the only thing in the world important to her at the time. What then, she pondered, if it was successful, what if it took off and people loved it, was she ready for the big-time? or worse, would people actually hate it? would that ruin her?
Again, she wasn’t sure. For too long, she had lived in the mire of self-doubt and uncertainty. But instead of giving up this time, she decided she was going to take the leap… The biggest step she’d ever taken in her life, was afoot…
Later on that night, Heidi arranged to meet her friend, Lucy after dinner. She always liked Lucy, Lucy always told her what she thought in all honesty – never sugar-coating what needed to be said. Although, Heidi for the most part still wondered if she was just trying to delay putting it out.
“It’s great!” Lucy expleted, “I cannot believe how real that feels to me, definitely, put that out – gawd you’d be a fool not to!”
“What? – You really liked it?”
“Yes, Really! it’s amazing! If they don’t want it, they’re not worth it. Trust me, get it out there babe.” Lucy was effusive, it really gave Heidi a huge confidence boost, she felt warm inside.
Later on in the evening, whilst walking home, Heidi reflected on her friends enthusiasm for her project, it wasn’t Like Lucy to be so enthusiastic for anything Heidi wrote, but she felt buoyed by it, so much so, that Heidi had put it in the envelope she’d made earlier and put it in the post-box.
The next day, Lucy could not get Heidi’s story out of her mind, she thought about it all through work and even into the evening. She still felt that sense of engagement she had when she first read it. “Wow,” she mused aloud, “Heidi really outdid herself on this one, I hope she’s successful.”
Upon arrival at the studios, the brightly coloured envelope caught Grant’s attention, it was interesting enough that he had to fish it out from the seemingly ever increasing mountain of brown and white that got larger with every day that passed.
After reviewing the story, Grant was engaged just as much as Lucy had been
“That HAS to go into our system, no two-ways about it! It’s exactly the sort of enchanted story-weaving we’ve been after.” Grant continued,
“This project will rock the world, make things better, might be a bit bumpy at the start, but we’ll make it work. We need it to work, the world counts on us to give them something unique. Something from the heart, that will stir the soul. Too much is rewritten and rehashed, that whatever meaning was present in the original text no longer applies. We need something relevant for the future, something that will make people wake up and think about the future and where they exist within it.”
Saturday May 17 2014
So, it’s no mystery I haven’t written anything here, or anywhere else for a while, and I’m beginning to realise that perhaps that’s not a good place to be. If nothing gets done, nothing will change. Procrastination in it’s purest form. So I’ll tell you a little bit about where I’ve found myself in the last couple of weeks.
Firstly, I wandered back onto Twitter after a long absence, just to see how things were going, and I stumbled upon a tweet by @Etherius, that’s Chris Lester of the Metamor City audio-books you might have heard of, if not, check the website out – he has some brilliant stories on there (check in the archives) at http://www.metamorcity.com . He tweeted that he had backed a kick-starter project called “Storium” (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stlhood/storium-the-online-storytelling-game) and I wanted to check it out.
I am very glad I did, because it may just be the catalyst I need to get my fingers tapping out some stories again! The kickstarter had been funded, but in it’s last hours with some stretch-goals in progress, and I backed it 🙂
Storium is an interactive storytelling game, which, as you might imagine is a game about interactive storytelling. The basic premise is a little bit like Roleplaying, just without the stereotyped notion of teenagers in a darkened room being isolated and insular. It opens up the idea on a worldwide and approachable scale.
In essence, it’s collaborative fictional writing, you have the ‘narrator’ or ‘GM’ if you prefer, who sets up a scene or an idea and describes within this scene a number of ‘challenges’ that the players can complete within the concepts of the scene and the character they wish to play. No dice or encyclopaedic knowledge is required, just you, your imagination and your keyboard – it’s that simple 🙂
Think something along the lines of, “You are in a darkened train car, it’s the middle of the night and cold outside…” within this scene there could be challenges like “Get out of there!” or “Switch the lights back on.” the beauty of this system though, is that you, the player chooses which challenge to accept, and what happens to meet it. The narrator doesn’t have control of this point in the story, they would have to ‘write around’ or adapt their story to suit what the players wanted to happen later on in the story. What you would end up with is an interesting story made up by many minds with many twists and traps on the way.
I guess it would work like a writing from a prompts book or something similar and, if you ask me, it’s gold-dust for budding creative writers out there 🙂
If you are interested, do check them out, there’s more detail on the systems used on their website. https://www.storium.com or read a bit about the project on the kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stlhood/storium-the-online-storytelling-game
Until next time!
Friday Aug 09 2013
Well, absence makes the heart grow fonder – or so they say. Writing here just as a moment of reflection since I’ve had few of those lately. Today I was in Glasgow, the Charring Cross/Finnieston area. I’ve not been there, at least on foot since long before 2010 I guess, when I worked in the area. There are quite a few new shops around, and some refurbished bars/restaurants it was almost spooky, looking through eyes that hadn’t seen the area in so long. The area was the same, but different – hard to pin it down really. It was similar enough I remembered which shops have changed, which reopened etc. Quite an interesting experience really.
I guess it would come to us all eventually, one of those consequences of growing old I bet 😉 not that I’m old – 32 years only, but each year I feel a little older, and with the places I see and revisit, I can only guess I will feel older still when those times come.
I also visited the art gallery and museum here, its been longer still since I was here last. They had a multi-million pound refurbishment a little while ago, and I haven’t seen it in it’s so called ‘new form’. Let me say straight off, its a mess. Not only has there been some of the galleries closed down, a lot of the so-called ‘exhibition areas’ are really disappointing. So many posters and boards, and very few actual exhibits to go with them. Many seem geared up for a younger audience, when I say younger, think children. In fact it is overly geared to that audience, at least the ground floor is. There is of course the obligatory coffee shop which has taken over a whole wing of the ground floor, disappointing also, but in these hard times I guess the museum really needs the income from that. That aside, even the 1st floor has been down-sized, there are still a few rooms which are galleries, but mostly, more posters, boards and screens.
inishing up by going out the back entrance, which used to bring you straight out into the surrounding park area – instead, now opens up to a car park, and yet another coffee shop. This disappointed me the most, so much so, that I actually expleted aloud “Oh, What a waste!” someone behind me said something, sounded like agreement, but I couldn’t make it out – more of a mumbled comment I think. So anyway, went outside, walked around to what was left of the park area and sat down under a tree in the sunny weather and wrote this up. Not an ideal reboot of my blog, but at least it’s a start 😉
Friday Apr 13 2012
Ever had that feeling that nothing ever goes to plan and you try and work out where you went wrong? Yup, I bet you have, most people seem to have had this problem at some point, if not, at a lot of points along the road. Well I just had one of those, just a few moments ago.
I wanted to elaborate on it, as its supposed to be good practice to write down stuff when you feel bad, helps clear the air and all that.
I’m sure for many people out there, picking up the phone to speak to someone isn’t all that hard to do, in fact you probably pick up the phone without a second thought, it is an entirely different case with me. I have a phobia about phone-calls, making them and receiving them. You see, I get tied up with worrying about providing instant answers and making sure I ask the perfect questions, so much so that I end up getting tied up worse when I actually do speak to someone. So usually I’ll avoid phone-calls like a plague, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.
So, on with the story, I have a small part time job that I don’t think I want to make a long-term thing – but, in order to move beyond it I need to strike out and find something. So to this end, I broke out the old email job-alerts from various recruitment sites again and found a position which does appeal to me. Its the sort of position my new Certificate In Counselling Skills (look me all prideful) could be put to use. The vacancy only had a phone number to call for details, no email address.
Uh oh…I’d have to call to find out more about the vacancy and normally, I would leave this sort of vacancy well alone, but the thought occurred to me that if ever I wanted to conquer my fear of phone-calls, I’d need to make the leap and call someone eventually.
So, I actually managed to pluck up the courage to call 🙂 for the first time ever on my own initiative.
Was it a successful phone-call? No, no it wasn’t. As usual, I got tied up when I was asked a question I completely didn’t anticipate and panicked, then blundered my way to the end of the call and probably made myself out to be a right idiot.
My first instinct after this disaster was to curl up and swear I’d never call anyone again, and you know, I might not.
It was On this thought that I actually wrote this blogpost, to get it out of my head and onto the page, it worked very well, I feel relieved and from it, I also take another thought, although it wasn’t a successful phone-call, it was also a fantastic achievement for me to have made it in the first place and if that isn’t turning a negative into a positive 😉 I may eat my hat, if I had one!
Am I alone in this fear, do you have a similar problem? Leave your thoughts or comments below 🙂