Thursday, 14 February 2008

No Beach Boys jokes. Anyone caught will be fined one slap.

Well, I haven't posted for a while (really, there's been little to report).

Karen Clarke has tagged me for a meme (where in the hell does that word derive from? I always thought it was a sort of contraction of 'memory', or 'mnemonic'...), about five ways I 'raise my vibrations' (that's what I meant about the Beach Boys jokes).

Well, here goes, in no particular order-
Being Outside

I love the outdoors. If I'm outdoors I'm happy. It doesn't have to be countryside (it frequently isn't, considering I'm unemployed and can't drive), but a quick walk does wonders. I have very fond memories of camping in the Yorkshire Moors (Goathland, to be precise) when I was younger, and every time I see the photos I took of Thomason Foss and Mallyan Spout (a couple of cataracts in the Goathland area, though I never found the third- the Water Arc), I want to get outside and see something else.

Never seen the waterfalls? Here- (forgive the quality, they were taken with a disposable camera years ago.)

Mallyan Spout

Thomason Foss

Playing with the Dogs
I'm an animal lover. I've been brought up around pets, and usually 4-6 at a time. In my lifetime I can remember 6 dogs, 9 cats (which consisted of 4 strays that I am aware of), 5 hamsters, 1 mouse, 4 rabbits (including a gigantic 12 year old grump called Splodge), and a bearded dragon. (Not all at the same time, obviously... this is over a period of 21.6 years).

Currently my family has just two dogs- an oversized Lhasa Apso called Benson, and a Pug/Lhasa Apso cross (and complete wuss) called Digby (who lived up to his name).

Benson isn't very bright (he'll be sniffing around the the floor for something that was dropped on the table) and lives for food. He has a wicked sense of humour (which normally involves him sitting on Digby... or pushing him off the sofa... or stealing his toys... or pushing him across the room), and hates builders. He also occasionally attempts to dig to China through the carpet.

I called Digby a wuss because he simply doesn't have the persistence to scare anyone off. He'll bark twice and then run away whimpering- when there's nobody around. He demands to play, and obsesses over a bright pink ball. His favourite game is to shove his favourite ball under the sofa, or welsh dresser, or sideboard, and then bark until someone gets it back out for him. And then he'll repeat the process within seconds of ball retrieval.

And if he manages to slip upstairs, he'll launch his ball at anybody at the bottom. Fun! With a capital black-eye.

Not necessarily actually writing, but working my imagination. Writing is just the only way I can get it on paper (since I suck at music, drawing, and photography). Throughout most of my free time, you'll find me concocting intricate plot lines that will never see the light of day, because they're either awful or too difficult to continue. I develop my characters in my head continuously evolving them into something more interesting, more usable in a plot. Not necessarily in their features, but their entire being. When I'm alone (because I have trouble thinking quietly), I'll consider various 'what-if's.

As much as I love silence, occasionally you just can't beat getting up and playing air guitar to 'Sweet Child of Mine', although when you're on the train, it's usually best to restrain yourself. I'm not a fan of loud noises, mostly because my hearing is rather sensitive, but I have a list of songs I have to listen to loud. This list is mostly up-tempo music with high bass levels- rock, usually.

However, my entire catalogue of 1750 tracks consists of 82 genres and 528 artists. Never try and comprehend my entire collection- you'll just get a headache. Quick example- Nature Recordings, Folk, Classic Jazz and Doom Metal... on the same playlist.

So you can't accuse me of being narrow minded.

And now for something completely different-

Watching TV
Well, not exactly TV, since I always end up missing episodes (hurray for BBC i-Player!), but visual media in general. I can be rather picky about what I watch... it has to be involving from the start. Otherwise I'll have turned off before the end of the scene. Having discovered the many wonders of internet television, I've been discovering series that I either haven't seen for years (cartoons!) or have never even heard of because they've never been released in this country (The Tick- Live Action Series!). Some of it is incredible to the point of me having to sew my jaw back on.

Of course, I've only managed to watch it all because I've got far too much time on my hands.

I hate being unemployed. It makes you watch strange things out of boredom.

Well, I've seen this all over the place, but I don't think Anna Scott Graham has done it yet... so tag! You're it!


P.S. Okay... I couldn't fit this in, but a good cuppa never goes amiss, either. A guaranteed feel-good situation.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Hello future! Now leave before I call the police...

I think I've decided on this year's NaNovel... which is good, because it's the one that needs the most development before I start writing it in November.

It's the sci-fi idea. The prequel of the prequel. The main book (which is the first of a planned trilogy chronicling the tumultuous times of a cargo vessel and its crew during war time), has a decent start, but I realised I hadn't developed the universe well enough to continue. So I started a prequel, to allow me to do this.

This prequel of two parts was to include the first official contact between humans and the various species of Andromeda (Messier Object 31) and its neighbour, M32 (not the road). This would allow me to describe the universe through the eyes of a newcomer.

But what of the Milky Way? I've never considered developing our own galaxy, so this new prequel will give me a chance to do that.

Of course I'm still deciding on the plot line (that'll come much later... it's not important yet), but seeing as the rest of the series is space-opera, it will probably involve some form of galactic conflict.

I have characters- a woman in a coma being controlled by a parasite, who's acting in 'her best interests'; an ambassador for an unknown species who looks human but has undergone extensive genetic surgery to hide his true self; a centuries old human, contaminated by time and forced to seal himself within a suit of armour to protect others from the contamination; a man whose voice alone can heal or destroy entire worlds; and a few others I am currently unable to summarise as well as those above.

So, now I've decided, whenever I am forced to take a break from Pulling the Strings, I can develop the Milky Way instead. Something entirely different, so I am not always working on the same sort of thing.

Oh, and on another note... I have an award! Given by Karen Clarke, thank you!

I think I'll frame it.
But without further ado, I'd better pass this on.

Anna Scott Graham, Elizabeth Rose Murray, and Mandifesto.

I was also about to give an award to Annieye, but I discovered she already had one. So be please with a second nomination.

There are a few others I think may be deserving, but these four are the ones that come to mind immediately. Will update the post when my brain is working later today.