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If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything

June 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

We didn’t own an Ipad

June 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m a little short of inspiration this evening, so in the event that you are not one of the 2million people who have already watched this video, I thought I would enrich your life by sharing what is possibly the coolest thing on You Tube! (At least if you’re born somewhere around my generation)

 

 

Monday Night Writing – 24/06/2013

June 24, 2013 1 comment

SFU Total Word Count Last Week – 5090

SFU Total Word Count This Week – 5958

Words Achieved – 868

Well what you know it worked, still not exactly where I would like it to be but one hell of an upside from both the previous weeks.

Last week I said my aim was to try and bring some more structure to my story, perhaps stop “pantsing” and instead do a little “plotting”

I’ll be honest that didn’t happen.

What helped me achieve my additional words count this week was utilising Free Writing, I’m sure that you all know what it is, perhaps you have done it yourself in your own work, or it was something that you did at school long ago.

I have used it in a two ways, the first is the usual fashion. I sat at the PC started a timer of 10 minutes and just wrote, no stopping, no deleting no spell checks. I just wrote about what ever came to mind and didn’t stop for anything.

At the end I had a rather charming if bizarre 873 words about Young Wizard named “Hippopotimus angry bird the 3rd” or Hippo for short (yes I know I spelled it wrong, no spell checks I told ya!)

Obviously this approach doesn’t exactly work when adding to your story/novel/life’s work. Spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammar all need to be correct and after all where does a pointy hat wearing Hippo fit into your story anyways? But you can use pretty much the same idea to get your self going, after all how much of a 1st draft actually make its into the final one? Does removing a few more sentences during the editing process add that much additional work? Plus you never know what gems might come to you whilst you’re on a spree.

I guess the correct term for this is Directed Free writing, instead of literally writing the first thing that comes into your head but from a specific starting point. 

Below are the “rules” for Free Writing, if you are stuck or finding yourself blocked I suggest its worth a try it seems to have helped me somewhat!

  • Write nonstop for a set period of time (10–20 minutes).
  • Do not make corrections as you write.
  • Keep writing, even if you have to write something like, “I don’t know what to write.”
  • Write whatever comes into your mind.
  • Do not judge or censor what you are writing

A little Hint

June 23, 2013 Leave a comment

As I have nothing of any note to say this evening instead I thought I would share with you a program that has made my weekend all the more enjoyable.

At a work colleagues suggestion I have downloaded the Media Hint plug in for my browser, allowing me to access the HULU and the US version of Netflix, why would I want to do that you may ask?

Well the US version of Netflix has a vastly greater selection than the UK one, which has meant I have managed to spend my weekend watching lots of cartoons!!

I love cartoons! 

Categories: Uncategorized

I got a yellow card from the greenfront, so gimme a buck because today’s double-money day

June 22, 2013 Leave a comment

This morning I finished my current reading material 11.22.63, one of Stephen King’s most recent offerings, with Saturday being my appointed “Book/TV Show/Movie” night it seemed like a good idea to share my thoughts.

For man who announced in 2002 that he would be retiring he is going damn strong!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, King is one of my favorite authors. The Dark Tower series ranks in my top 3, with The Wasteland being one of my favourite books of all time, so I do tend to pickup whatever he has to offer somewhere close to release although 11.22.63 had I admit slipped through net and it was only due to a collegue lending me the book that I got round to reading it.

But I’m very glad that I did.

Without giving anything away (Seriously this information can be gleamed from the back cover, no SPOILER alert needed) this is the story of Jake Epping a 35 year old high school English Teacher from Lisbon Falls, in (You Guessed it ) Maine, USA.

Jake is supplementing his income teaching adults gain their GED, upon setting a task to write an essay on a “Day that changed their lives” Jake receives a harrowing and disturbing story about the events that at very least contributed to, if not responsible for that students  lot in life.

This is the “watershed” moment that sets the whole book up, this is where Jake’s “life turns on a dime” if he doesn’t get that essay, doesn’t read it is as emotionally blocked as his ex wife claims none of the events of the next 700+ pages occur, in the context of the rest of the story I think that’s kind of poignant in its own right.

Its these events that lead to Jake being present at the Diner for Harry’s graduation Fatburger, perhaps it’s his being there that day that inspires Al to trust him with his secret as Jake makes clear there’s was strictly a “Cook and Client relationship” but either way Al does call him and tells him about the portal to 1958 and hands him his mission to prevent the Kennedy Assassination.

What follows is an outstanding book, with an interesting take on Time Travel. I love the fact that the hole always goes back to 1958 and going through is always a full reset. This made Jake and Al’s before him hold so much more weight, the event that they both wanted to prevent didn’t occur for a full 5 years after their start date. This added an extra level of risk to every choice made by Jake, as we find out from Al there is only so much time and the “past is obdurate”

The level of detail that King has gone into within the book and the amount of research that must have been put in is in itself an achievement, and it has left me with many questions regarding the Kennedy assassination, something which I find quite remarkable considering how stringently it seems to stick to just the facts, unless I’m mistaken the grassy knoll doesn’t even make an appearance. I have however been goggling many a name today in an attempt to learn more about those people who crossed paths with Oswald in the run up to 22.11.63.

 

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERTS FROM HERE ON IN – you have been warned

The Kennedy Assassination is often used as waypoint in time travelling stories, it’s not surprising it’s a movement so ingrained in not just American History but world history and it’s interesting to think what would have happened if this monumental event hadn’t happened.   

Al paints a potentially brighter future with noting three other assassinations that would most likely not take place by saving JFK and stopping the resulting unrest caused by these, but as we find out the same applies to many of the positive things where introduced by his successor, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts.

In many years time perhaps someone will write a similar story around 9/11, my generations “watershed” moment.

One of the things I enjoy about Kings Books is finding the links to Dark Tower, in 11.22.63 they are tough to find.  

There is a hefty link to IT whilst Pennywise himself doesn’t show up both Bev and Richie do and a significant portion of the book takes place in Derry, and A red and white Plymouth Fury is referenced several times in the book, which is the make and model of the title car in the novel Christine.

But as far as Dark Tower links go they are pretty tenuous, but if you look hard enough you can make anything fit.

In the “new 2011” Takuro Spirit car is mentioned. This is the car that the ka-tet see in Topeka during Dark Tower book IV Wizard and Glass .

The number 19 is used various times. When Jake Epping sees a Plymouth Fury the license plate number is 90-811 which adds up to 19 . His license plate also adds up to 19 , 23383IY. The for rent sign in New Orleans says to call MU3-4192 and that adds to 19 . And, the Dunnings live at 379 Kossuth St. in Derry. This address adds up to 19 . 19 is a recurring number in a majority of Stephen Kings works and not only The Dark Tower.

One of the characters, Beverly, asks Jake if “he knows about the turtle .” This may or may not be a reference to theTurtle Maturin in The Dark Tower Series .

Mobile

June 21, 2013 Leave a comment

The phone, or more specifically the mobile phone, or perhaps even more specifically the smart (who came up with that name anyways it’s not like it thinks for itself) phone is now days an integral part of everyday life.

It is equally important to the business man/woman as it is to the 13 year old school child, you simply cannot and perhaps will not live without it.

I have a somewhat love/hate relationship with them, I have a “smart” phone that I use to txt and make calls, occasionally check Facebook and once in a blue moon play angry birds.

However for those just a few years younger than me the phone is like an additional appendage, a part of their body that needs to be inspected at any given opportunity.

Whilst I worked in store with what was generally a younger group of people than my colleagues that I now work with in the office, disappearing to check the phone was a pretty constant problem, one that I ended up solving by locking the offending items in the safe at the start of the shift.

The look of desperation when they asked for their phones during their lunch break and the elation on receiving it was somewhat disturbing.

Whilst I found and continue to find this inability to leave the phone alone during working hours annoying and borderline obsessive, it is only over the last few weeks that I have decided that a line has truly been crossed.

Reading a magazine/newspaper/book whilst in the toilet is a pretty stereotyped activity, so it stands to reason that in this age of technology it would be replaced with a game of Temple Run or Words with friends. But these normally take place within the private confines of the cubical.

But since when did it become normal to be standing at the urinal, taking a leak whilst texting? And even worse, as I have witnessed recently, having a phone conversation whilst in the toilet, when did that become OK?

I am all for technology and an interactive and connected world, but really, some places should be sacred!

Thursday Night Gaming – Dinosaurs

June 20, 2013 Leave a comment

There is only one thing on the mind of most gamer’s out there this week, and that’s Microsoft’s unexpected and pleasing (depending on which side of the fence you sit ) decision to change their stance on pretty much every policy they laid out for the XBOX One.

So you could be forgiven for thinking that I was going to write about this evening, however people far brighter, more opinionated and with a much bigger following than me have voiced their opinions both positive and negative on this subject.

So instead I thought I would talk you about Dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs and Cowboys in fact.

For a work related project I am checking out a number of the free 2 play titles that are available , and this one really caught my eye. It wasn’t the graphics the game play or in fact any of the fundamental things that you would think scream “play me”.

Bet let’s be honest the minute I said it you where thinking, damn wouldn’t it be sweet to wearing a Stetson, thumbing a six-shooter, shouting ye ha, all whilst riding a dinosaur?

Considering the game is both free 2 plays and browser based I was pleasantly surprised by the graphics of this title, don’t get me wrong it’s no Crysis 3 but it’s a long way from Farmville.

So far I have clocked up about 2 hours of constant game play, in that time I’ve taken a few of the expected kill & collect quests, some meet and greets, the obligatory explore quest and one surprisingly cool group escort quest.

The UI is a very basic and reminds me more of a MOBA than a MM, but at least in the basic playtime that I have put in so far seem functional if not a little worrying that it could get somewhat stale at later levels.

There is plenty of customisation to be had, from additional weapons, clothes and health pots to new dinosaurs and saddles and to pimp your ride. All these are available to purchase using your Dino coins which can be earned via in game quests and kills or purchased in bulk from the store.

Whilst I have now found out the information I needed to for work purposes I have played a significant amount of time since then and will be returning to it for the remainder of the evening.

Whilst this isn’t a WOW beater is defiantly a little different and something that I would say is worth giving a chance.

http://dinostorm.com/

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