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.
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 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 🙂
Wednesday Sep 21 2011
Okay world, time to start kicking the proverbial into gear, its been too long since I found any inspiration from anywhere, so I need to start simply to start typing and see where it leads. I’ve actually formulated a couple of interesting ideas for some new Flash Friday stuff – but damned if it’ll be difficult getting into the flow again, enough of the excuses though – get going.
I hate to spoil my ideas, but needless to say the thoughts going around are of the very abstract and quite frankly weird approach to the individual character and their world.
I’ve not put the proverbial pen to paper in so long, in a way it feels somewhat freeing to do it again, I think what I need is another dose of the Novel PI 😉
so what am I going to do (write) now…? 😉
Laters for anyone watching – I don’t think there will be many at this point though, the blog has been dead too long…
Thursday Jul 01 2010
This question has been eating at me for some time, ever since I started studying
C G Jung, great guy maybe you’ve heard of him?
Maybe not, but your sure as heck to have heard of Sigmund Freud – yup that weird psychologist guy with a fascination for regression therapy and fixated on assuming that everyone who has a problem is sexually repressed. I have no idea why he has such recognition, but then its hard to argue he was one of the original pioneers in Psychotherapy and worth the recognition for that alone.
Which leads me the C G Jung, his work is used all over the world and not many know about it, perhaps you’ve heard of the infamous Polygraph test/lie detector that the Americans sometimes use on people charged with crime? or indeed the words Extrovert, Introvert and Psyche?
Well, these were established by Jung. The polygraph test is based upon the original word-association test used by psychologists today to ascertain where a particular psychological problem exists, based upon the time you take to respond to each word in kind.
But, I do digress a little from my topic – I am writing from the reading halls of The National Library of Scotland with “The Living Symbol” by Gerhard Adler, and “The Psychology of the Unconscious” by C G Jung. These are texts I’m reading in order to launch myself into the knowledge of psychology.
You might then ask, “What course are you studying?” and, the rather shocking answer, is that I’m not. This study is on my own initiative and follows my heart and it all started with one small book, “An Extremely Short Introduction to Jung” by Anthony Stevens, which I read from cover to cover whilst I was studying an Introduction to Person-Centered Counselling at college, which has now completed.
From there, I discovered a veritable Bread-Crumb trail of further reading, which started with the most widely quoted book in the introduction, “Memories, Dreams Reflections” by C G Jung. Now as I’m not working at the moment, I snatched the opportunity to register at the library, and get that book. Again, I’ve read it cover-to-cover and following the trail again.
Which led me to consider the topic of the blogpost, How Often Do We ask what we are looking for?
In itself that question seems fairly simple and easy to answer, but then I considered the much deeper meaning it implies, both in terms of our physical reality and our mental reality. The truth of the matter is that I don’t think we really do in life. We do what is required of us to survive in today’s world, and do what is expected of us in society, often at the expense of our inner-selves. When was the last time, for example, that you listened to that little child’s voice inside that says “Mummy, I want to draw”, “I want to write”, “Tell me a story.”, “What’s that?” all fairly simple questions but have such open ended connotations. Very often we are more used to hearing them from our own children than that of our inner-selves.
Food for thought then, until our next blog post which I will try to have soon, more about my colourful journey’s of late.
Sunday Apr 04 2010
The other day I joined up to Facebook. Yes yes, save your guffaws and retributions….
I did it because one of my collegues found my long-forgotten profile and decided to add me, so when I browsed onto the page hoping to decide about closing the account completely. But when I looked at this colleague’s page, it seemed that a few of my outside-of-work contacts were also using it, so I figured I’d give it a try and started to beef out the profile a bit.
On the surface – it looks like the usual bland social networks you have around the web these days, but the thing that gob smacked me was the sheer scale of it, how many people I knew were actually using it.
Doing some browsing around some friends from work’s profiles I see links and sub-links to people that I had though long since vanished from my life, usually old colleagues from years back but the sheer number of them is staggering. I guess after five years working at a place kinda gets you hooked up into its long shelf-life. An after image if you like, I’m still convinced that the magnitude of the absence of my work-home for so many years is still to sink in. It’s been four days now since I left the office for the last time and I’m beginning to realise its meaning for me.
Why so many days before reflecting on it?
Well, I’ve been busy, I had an interview on the very next day for a new job, a result of my blind applications of the night before. Tonight, though, I’ve been browsing around Facebook again and its giving twitter a new run for its money. Where twitter is generally anonymous, Facebook seems to have more of a life its own, nameless profile pages give way to an insight into real peoples lives and goings on and it leads to cool recollection and reflection, about the people I’ve came to know and have known through work, it feels kind of sad in a way, but I’m sure I’ll find a place for it in the dusty bookshelf of my life to date.
So a Facebook convert?
I don’t really know how to answer that question right now 🙂 I’ll give it some time to see what happens. Let me know your comments on Facebook or Twitter and why you use one or the other – I’d be interested to know what you think.