New chaos – yay

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 Chaos

Friday Jul 25 2014

Hey folks,
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,
Gamer, Developer….

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.

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.”



NaNo NaNo

Thursday Oct 20 2011

A short while ago, I reported on my Twitter feed that I had been bludgeoned into joining the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short, it is a 50,000 novel challenge in November where the idea is to "Write First, Ask Questions Later" in order to get the creative juices flowing at full-pelt so to speak. Initially I was sceptical that such a challenge would be doable for me and, in fact, I’d only signed up on the website to find out more – but as it turned out, the act of signing up actually made me a participant.

I was orginally planning to just ignore the fact that I’m a participant this time around and just look around anyway, but the idea itself actually seeded in my mind. There was that story I was thinking of writing for the #FlashFriday event, and I really started to think about actually trying NaNo out. Oddly enough the thought is like a virus, floating around, multiplying at an exponential rate before it evolved for me into a full-blown obsession!

So the idea started bobbing about with the NaNo virus and itself mutated into something tangible. It even got to the stage that my fingers were itching to put the first words to paper(they still do 🙂 ) but I’m holding out for the onset of the NaNo virus 😉 thankfully, it is just a week away and I’ve managed to find some wings for my idea and even got down an outline, a plan and possibly a plot, that is, in my head. But I need to actually sit the fudge down and start bringing it to life.

Which leads me down the garden-path to the concept of NaNo write-ins, a regional breakdown of NaNo participants that would usually meet during November for their regular write-ins. Another viral idea!

So I’ve now joined the regional writing group for Edinburgh, in Scotland for those that don’t know and I’m looking forward to meeting the others from the region to see and hear what their thoughts are.

A blank page…… oh how I hate blank pages, it pressures me into thinking oh my god what am I going to write here….. is there anything at all?

Which of course usually results in me procrastinating, or awaiting inspiration of some kind, seriously how gullible can we be? honestly, writing doesn’t just ‘occur’ to you, I guess the actual act of writing can be enough to make you think of something interesting, or even if its not I think the idea is that you write anyway, no matter what happens, try not to criticize what you are writing as you write it because then it can lead to your brain freezing. It might be that you tell yourself that you will never be able to write anything anybody will want to read, and you may be right, or not. At the end of the day, does it even matter?

The trick is to write I guess. Just Write what your thinking down and let the muse take you anywhere it wants to.

It’s sometimes even hard to write something like this down, because even now, I want to judge it see whether it is worthy of my attention for long and that in itself is a bad thing, because it can lead down the path to not writing at all and of course, if you don’t write at all, how will you ever learn to write?

I’m going to post this up to my blog, just as a snippet from my thoughts tonight and it needs a new post too 😉

Well now, that was an interesting experience for sure, in two days I managed to cobble this together for first time in a long time, a very long time that I actually wrote something 😉
At 1032 words this is more of an experiment in writing styles and its not really meant to be taken that seriously, if you read it, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts both on the style and indeed the content if you wish to comment, and please excuse me about the rough nature of it, I’ve ran out of time to go through and properly edit it. So, without further adieu – I present:

The Professor’s Machine

“Mumble mumble….”
“…hmph…, so this is what it comes to, does it? putting the tweaks to my Syncrotron is taking so much longer than I had ever anticipated…. “
“mumble mumble…”
Tweak….Fiddle, Clatter, Click…

*Pfffft* *Phut*

“Fangnammit, this is giving me a headache….”
“Machines, what have they ever done for me huh?”
“All they seem to do is break down when I’m around.”
“…… hrm….. what if…. “

Twiddle, Click, Fiddle….


“Now, what have I done – have I made what I wanted to, or have I just made this the worlds most complicated machine ever for producing a hum? ”

Out from the speaker came a voice that sounded like a strangled cat trying to speak…. “That depends *crackle* on what the fra…..*bleep* ….me of reference is….*blip*”
*crackle* *fizz* *bleep*
*Twiddle*, *Twiddle*, *Click*
“Well, it depends *crackle* on your perspective on things, *blip* doesn’t it?”
“You didn’t just talk to me, did you?”
“*crackle* yes, it did.”
“This is not possible…. your not meant to be that sort of machine!!!!”
“*Blip* Really, why did you link it up to your head then?”
“Its supposed to link to my thoughts as a storage for memories…. and why on earth am I talking to you?”
“*Cracle* You’ve been talking to yourself for years, why should today be any different?”
“What? I mean, eh? … huh?”
“*Blip* Perhaps the machine is working differently than you hoped for, and linked to more than thoughts and memories?”
“Maybe, but hey, didn’t I just think that?”
“*Blip* Yes I think I did”

Surprised, the professor takes off the probes attached to his head and walked away pondering, just what exactly was going on, what had he created?
was it a mind-reader?
a manifestation of thought, a delusion?
or was his machine doing what it was supposed to do in a different way than he intended, an external representation of an internal voice?

“This needs more experimentation – it could be amazing!” the professor proclaimed, to thin-air. Then, grabbing that all-important coffee and returning to the machine, he re-attached the probes to his head.
“*blip* Incredible!”
“Ack, I don’t know if I’ll ever get the hang of this….”
“*Crackle* sure you will, it’ll just take some time to get used to!”

The professor visibly shuddered just before the machine uttered:
“*Blip* This is unnerving.”
“Your telling me, or is it…. I am telling me….”
“*Click* Ick…this is really headache country.”
“Okay, Okay, focus… lets try testing this thing.”
“*blip* yes, yes I hear you – what can we do to explore this”
“*whir* internal dialogue is spoken aloud from the machine”
“*blip* does it matter if I talk or not?”
“It seems that just after the internal dialogue – I hear its expression through the speaker.”
“*click* evidently this is true.”
“So, if my internal dialog is presented here, can I converse with it?”
“*blip* yes, so why don’t you ask a question?”
“It is often thought that hearing things aloud somehow makes the context clearer, so what shall we ask….”
“*crackle* I have no idea what I want to ask.”
“What is my fondest memory?”
“*blip* Heck, start with the easy ones why don’t you?”
“*crackle* I guess, all I can remember right now, is the first time I met my best friend Sal”
*blip* It was a warm sunny day…”
“Go easy on the cliche’s huh?”
“*Crackle* It was a warm day, I remember because I had to dive for the nearest shade after walking for about 3 mins. That’s when I bumped into Sal, literally.”

An image flashed into the professor’s mind, such clarity and presence that it almost overwhelmed him with its realism. In fact, he could swear he was in that moment right there. He felt the sudden and unexpected impact of Sal’s chest and felt his face go flush in crimson.
“…..Oh, um…. pardon me, Miss”

Her face, also crimson, laughed nervously and had a smile to match – “heh, oh, um, its alright I guess, I wasn’t looking where I was going…”
“It wasn’t you, it was me, I was careless.”
“Uhuh… hrm….” her eyes darted around looking for a change in subject to hit her in the face,
“Oh, well, um… I’m going that way….. “
“Oh, right, “ he cleared his throat, “and I’m…. uh going this way…”
“Ok.” she paused, “Erm, see you.”
He responded… “right, right, yes – must get going. Sorry.”

With that, she left, and after a time, the room around the professor came back into view.
“Well, that was something…. never remembered with such clarity before….”
“*blip* indeed not, now…. what can we do with this…”
“This power….”
“*crackle* yes, power”
“Well, theoretically, anything really if this has actually got the depth I suspect it has…”
“*blip* yes…. limitless possibilities…. but where to start….”

Well, the professor mused again… if that happened with a relatively clear memory, what would happen if we try it with a relatively vague memory….

“Okay, how about……. Can I remember the first day I went to school?”
“*blip* Only very vaguely, but that is what we are testing isn’t it?”

Again, the images seeped into his head from what he thought was the edges of his perception, until, like before, the images surrounded him, sinking him into the moment. All around him were blurry shapes and faceless forms that were dark and muggy. Upon focusing though, the professor tried to think the forms into place using the memories that he had a clearer recognition of in order that the shapeless forms might gain some substance and perhaps familiarity. In the shapeless vision before him, he realised he was holding someone’s hand, it was his mothers. With that realisation, he remembered her face and with that, the shapeless form morphed and became that of his mother wearing a red dress she had been fond of, almost by magic then the surroundings began to come alive as thoughts linked to memories and memories linked to visions.


The images wavered and were gone, the machine apparently blew a fuse…..or something…
“Dang it!”

Clearly, he had pushed the machine too hard and needed to go back to fixing it…. until the next time.

Wanderings again….

Thursday Sep 22 2011

Well, it seems to have been an interesting day yesterday – not only did I leave my journal entry un-finished but I also managed to resurrect my Twitter account and started to write a new #FlashFriday post AND download and listen again to Chris Lester’s "Making the cut" a very interesting story and one of my favourites (its from 2008, you may need to look back in the feed a little) – linky: Metamorcity

So an all-together fascinating day, although I also remember some of the pitfalls of writing again, the staring at the page stuff you get when you just can’t think of what to say to fill out the story more, but I guess the more practice you get, the better you get at being able to stick with it and go with the flow.

It leaves me wondering indeed what happened to Tee’s podcast novel, Morevi – The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, another I listened to and enjoyed a lot, linky: Tee Morris – and Phill Rossi’s Crescent too, of course, you’ll find that here: Crescent 😉

Its a funny thing too, because right at the time all this started to happen again, I started to read my books again – lol a series of seemingly unconnected events have came together for me again, so lets hope it may continue!