Archive for May, 2009

Prophets (Profits?) R Us

May 31, 2009

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Sun! I wonder how many people are blogging about sun…

*checks*

A lot. Anyway, was nice to be able to write while topping up my geektastic monitor tan with proper sunlight 😀 The backyard here is a wicked sun trap, and also perfect for kicking back with a guitar and jamming out into the open sky.

Today I read about how Wikipedia have banned the Scientologists from editing the site. Heh. Well, good move probably; those nutters are spreading enough shit onto the field as it is.

[Religion-related section removed, as frankly it wasn’t funny enough to be worth the offense it might cause.]

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to build a church of Nocturn in the back yard. Thanks to the likes of Twilight, and other godawful excuses for vampire fiction, it’s a safe call that alot of the upcoming generation all wish they were vampires. Well – I’m going to set up a vampire church. And it’s going to take over the world, because I will offer all the fan legions real, proper honest-to-Lestat immortality. It is my humble opinion that some parts of religion stem from people playing on humanity’s innate fear of the unknown, and death, and if that is the case, then immortality will provide the best peace of mind of all! Also, it’s a well known FACT that being a vampire means you instantly become sexay, so that’s everyone’s worries about their eternal appearance covered!

And I’ll only charge £10 for the honour. For starters.

I would be rich. And sadly, I think if I did actually go out and do it, I reckon it might just work. Although it has just occured to me that having a ‘vampire’ church in a suntrap might be bad for the… um.. *thinks* … vampireness count of attending members. Not to worry then; I’ll bump membership up to £40 and give them a glass of water with ‘sunlight dampening’ properties.

You heard it here first. NOCTURN. The new world order starts here!

😉

(*Irony Disclaimer*)

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“This Week I Didn’t Even Have To Use My M&Ms…

May 31, 2009

specialicecream

… I have to say it was a good week.”

[Loosely quoted from rapper Ice Cube’s little-known ditty about the joys of kicking back in a ‘hood free of irresponsible snack consumption]

  • Criminal Records Bureau PGCE forms – done!
  • Three good chapters of side-project The Director’s Vamp – done!
  • Ideas and outlines for making short story Hamlet… In Purgatory‘s characters more diverse – done!
  • Received my first competitive rejection for a writing piece – done!
  • Chocalypse story outline and key scenes – done!
  • Five nights of well-recalled dreams – done!
  • Nocturn website  – done!
  • Felt extremely grateful for all the downright amazing people that have given me their thoughts and support when I need it  – thank you so much. I mean – done!
  • Resisted buying blue M&Ms all week – done!

All in all a pretty awesome week, this one, minus the great playlist culling of 2009. Now I’m going to bed and not getting out until I’ve had eight hours sleep. It’s been too long…

iTunes Blues and Website News

May 29, 2009

It’s a special kind of horror opening iTunes to find your music and playlists aren’t there anymore. Especially when you have 87 gigs worth of choons, and playlists crafted lovingly over a number of years…

Fortunately, while all the iTunes data has vanished into the ether, the actual music’s still on the hardrive so all I’ve lost are the playlists. Still, that’s fairly crappy, as I was proud of my playlists – they’re the scaffolding that gives the monolith its structure, the roads criss-crossing a massive desert of data, etc. etc. 😛  Ah well, time for a new start it seems, though I wonder if I can extract them from my iPod somehow… where there’s an internet, there’s usually a way!

Speaking of which,

the NOCTURN website is finished (for now anyway, aside from a couple of character art pieces which I’m sure will be well worth the wait), and running about as well as I could have hoped 😀 Let me know what you think!

http://www.nocturnonline.com

A Red Letter Day

May 26, 2009

N

I felt like I’d scaled the heights of the city itself, and I couldn’t quite believe it for a few moments, but today the website went online for the very… second time. Ahem.

See, yesterday evening I found a highly effective way of overcoming all those problems I was having with getting it online – by deleting the entire root folder that was hosting the site online in a misguided attempt at fixing what turned out to be my uploading everything into the wrong directory. Fortunately, Mr Kiser was on hand to help sort through the vacant aftermath and do a stellar job at getting me back on the right path, for which he gets a hearty ripple of applause, and something in the book that he’ll have to wait and discover for himself 😉 Thanks again mate.

So it was Take Two this morning, and as it turned out I hadn’t commited total digital genocide, so was able to get things up and running through the time and tested ‘let’s click this and see what happens’ method. So yes – the site is now online! 😀

However it’s not quite ready yet, so the next couple of days will be spent tweaking out all the little code gremlins and tightening extracts, lining up stubborn headers, etc etc, and then Friday will be the grand launch!

And by grand launch, I mean I’ll tell people about it, and some of them might visit, hehe. But hell, I’m quite excited! A lot of blood, stone and coding’s gone into the site, and it’s my first real attempt at building one, so it’s nice to see all those stray lines of html finally coming together 🙂

Oh, I didn’t make the final cut of the ‘Can you fantasize…’ competition, so my creative skills don’t get any supper for the next week. And home before nine! >_<

For anyone who’s interested, the Fifthwind posse’s entries can be seen here.

Lucid in the Sky with Dinosaurs

May 25, 2009

HowardMoon

“We all dream. But do we really dream? Yes, we do, but do we really dream? Yes, yes we do. But do we really dream…?

– Howard Moon; Yorkshire philosopher, savant, jazz maverick

———–

Ever had a lucid dream?

The only time I ever wrestled a dream under my control was back when I was eighteen. I was in a golden orange desert, and surrounded by multi-angled Egyptian structures. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but I thought something like ‘that can’t be right’, and suddenly there I was, in the desert.

Then I flew. Oh yeah, did I fly. The interiors of the buildings were vast, marked angles, and with unmatched exhilaration I swooped up and down massive staircases and halls, eventually emerging out into what was now a valley. It was around then that the dream ended, and I awoke. I’ve never experienced anything like it since. Apparently, it’s most likely to happen to teenagers, during times of stress or irregular sleep patterns, and it occurred during my A Level exam period, so I’m guessing that’s why it popped up.

Being able to lucid dream at will though; now that’s something. It’s a long and arduous process; following the aforementioned dream I did some research on the subject and started a regime to be able to do just that. It starts off with getting a grasp on your normal nightly dreams by noting down every detail of them that you can remember when you wake in the morning. As the weeks went by, reciting ‘I will remember my dreams when I wake‘ over in my head as I was drifting off led to my being able to recall dreams very vividly the next morning.

The next part is getting into a habit of thinking ‘Am I dreaming?’, and performing ‘reality checks’ such as trying to change letters in front of you, that sort of thing. The idea behind this is so that it becomes a habit that crosses over into your unconscious self, thus becoming the first stage of actual lucid dreaming: realising that you are in the dream.

After that it becomes a matter of keeping yourself in the dream, through various methods such as spinning, and some other stuff I can’t remember. But anyway, enough with the amateur Wikipedia entry, let’s get to the point:

Lucid dreaming has many applications – it is used as a highly effective way of allowing people to confront their fears in an environment that is under their control. But what would lucid dreaming mean for a writer or an artist? Literally given a sandbox for our imagination, it makes me wonder what untapped horizons could be breached. Could we play out plotlines and ideas to see if they hold up? Actually bring our characters into existence in front of us? If so, that would mean a hell of a lot for the quality of our work; it’s like a direct tap into the imagination. Plus the possibility of bringing back the dinosaurs and racing them, which would be sheer awesome.

Clearly, my previous explorations along the path to lucid dreaming came to an end – once I started university it tapered away into nothing – but as of tonight, I’m going to start the journey again. I’ve proven to myself that I can go the distance with writing a novel; now it’s time to take that focus onto another level.

Back in reality, I updated the ‘Nocturn’ section to something a bit less rickety earlier, though my blurbing skills still need a bit of work. It’s hard to know how much to reveal, and what kind of image to convey in such a brief snippet!

Oh oh, and the website’s almost done. Very exciting stuff – just a few minor difficulties to overcome, such as managing to actually upload the thing…

Six Million Dollars, Man

May 23, 2009

208great.2

*Audiogasm*

This is a visual/audio studio built for home use by music engineer and producer Jeremy Kipnis for a wallet-shaming $6,000,000. Ouch… Though judging by the size of it, he probably found most of that money in change down the back of his monster sofa.

See here for all the eye-popping, ear-blasting details.

Now, if one was ever rich enough to buy one of these aural sex chambers, then one would also need to find somewhere of equal badassery in which to house it, right? Well, yesterday I found:

BoldtCastlePowerHouse

‘The Power House’: located in the Thousand Islands, New York.

That place is so cool I’m surprised the water around it isn’t frozen solid; it even has underwater passages to another, larger castle a little further along the island coast. Underwater castle passages. It doesn’t get much more awesome than that, and my biggest ambition is to live in a castle type house. One day…

As for this day however, no such grandiose schemes. The website’s edging ever closer to the precipice though, and should be ready for a nudge off into the bottomless chasm of the internet very soon – all that needs doing now is making sure all the links work, and tightening up the text and then it’ll be ready to roll!

Oh, the deadline for the ‘Can you fantasize in ten sentences or less?’ competition was yesterday, so best of luck to everyone who entered – looking forward to reading what people came up with 😀

Set Blog Headlines to Predictable!

May 21, 2009

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While the old idioms and adages remain, Star Trek was seriously cool. And very lens-flarey, which is fine; it reminded me of Mass Effect’s visual style – no bad thing. I won’t review it, but suffice it to say that it was one of the most fun sci-fi films I’ve seen in a while.

Had some great news today; I’ve been waiting to hear back from Leicester University about my application to do a French PGCE teaching course, and this afternoon I got a letter telling me I’ve made it to the interview stage… Now these things usually come back to bite me on the arse, so I’m not getting my hopes up, but it’s a good start. The interview day’s on the 11th of June, so got a bit of time to get myself back into French mode – it’s been a year since I’ve *really* focussed on the language, so better start greasing the old cogs with garlic butter and wine…

Got a load of documents that they sent me to read about why nobody’s bothered with taking Modern Languages any more that’re filled with charts and graphs ranging from the useful and interesting, to…

Freemealsareveryimportant

To be fair, my decision to study languages was greatly influenced by free lasagne and chips.

So does the future begin here? We’ll see.

A.D.D. New Post

May 20, 2009

Can’t concentrate at all today. I’ve been bouncing from one project to another like a skin-covered pinball on hot coals, except I keep missing the triple-multipliers and  instead buffer myself into the chasm at the bottom of the table. Score 0, three balls left. Play Again?

The Chocalypse is coming along pretty well:

———

His was a face of chocolate oblivion. The eyes flashed zit outbreaks and ballooning hips. Each of the swollen, black hairs that hung from his sugar-specked scalp was a liquorice dipper without any sherbert to dip in. When his lips broke into a smile, every tooth was a caramel-centred slab of high-calorie menace, and Mazmin felt as if she had gained twenty pounds simply by looking at them. But where else could she turn her eyes? There was certainly no respite to be found in the rest of his figure.

“Let’s wrap this up,” he said in a booming rasp, and Mazmin felt flecks of nougat ping off her face as she stepped back in terror from his diet-raping grin.

“But I… I always brushed twice daily,” she stammered, feeling a drip of what certainly wasn’t icing trickle down the inside of her leg. “Once in the m-morning, and-”

The Horseman interrupted her by blowing through his gelatinous lips, their rubbery surfaces slapping together in a repulsive rattle.

“No concern of mine, meat-thing…”

———

But once I’d written 400 words I felt the tug of the manuscript, and my concentration gone, -KERCHUNK- , ball lost. Two left  – Play Again?

Pulling back hard on the spring-launch mechanism this time, I figure I’ll give the editing all I’ve got. A couple of pages get chalked up as successes, and I’m about to start on the third when I hit a paragraph that reminds me of the website. I never linked up the character pages, did I? It won’t take long…

One ball remaining. Play Again?

Full tilt. Time to play this sumbitch for maximum points.

siteinprogress

So, I link those <a href=”x”>’s like they’ve never been linked before… and then – hm. Gotta practice a blues riff I was messing about with earlier…

THUNK.

0x multiplier. 0 plays remaining.

Dammit. Tea-time, and no motivation to return back to any of the previous tasks.

Still, tomorrow’s a new day, with hopefully record levels of focus… and a trip to see Star Trek, which can’t be too bad.

Also today in a spat of procrastination, reading Jaym Gates’ blog post on various things writerly, forum RPGerly and Firefly fan-filmerly, she brought up the subject of tags, which I’d not given much thought about as of yet, but in the interest of hooking folk and drawing them into the hazy digital metaphor (Welcome! :D) I must remember to stick some in!

Well,  time for one last shot at focussing my attention long enough to get some more words down before the day is done. Please do feel free to say hi if you’re dropping in by the way, always nice to hear from people!

The End of the World Has a Sugar Coating

May 19, 2009

“It’s nothing; just a small cut. What?

Tom was irritated, and slightly embarrassed, to see that she was still staring at him. “Don’t be such a girl, haven’t you ever seen blood bef…”

As he followed her pointed gaze to his arm however, the words quickly cut their losses and faded away upon the sweet-tasting breeze. It was not blood oozing  from the cut in his arm.

Chocolate?” he muttered. “Oh no…”

He was suddenly feeling very faint. Mazmin took a step back from him in shock as his skin started to turn a deep brown hue. He had a pounding headache, and it felt like a dam of pressure was building behind his forehead.

“Mazzy, I don’t know if I-”

For a brief moment their eyes met, and Tom cried chocolate tears.

———–

The Chocalypse is coming…

It’s A Small World

May 18, 2009

So, Earth is rapidly running out of resources and us humans are filling up all of the living space in dangerous levels of overpopulation. Sounds ominous…

However! There is a simple solution, and I put it to you thusly:

We simply genetically modify everyone’s babies so that they’re born as midgets. Imagine if everyone in the world were one quarter the size they are now –  just think of all the reductions in space, waste, and food consumption. And if everyone was the same small size, there wouldn’t be a problem with height discrimination! Score!

Desperate times call for desperate measures right? I’ll be here when the time comes for last ditch efforts to save humanity! (On a serious note for a second, I’m sure that probably is what it’ll come to – radical last-ditch solutions. Nothing will be done until disaster is on our doorstep and the only options left are drastic ones. I’m just glad I probably won’t be around to see them.)

Just a short one this evening (seewhatIdidthere!) I’m afraid – I’m in the middle of writing a story about the Chocalypse. Bye for now!