Friday, 17 September 2021

Understanding Stories


The Die Hard Pitch Meeting above is quite funny, but it was one of the first Screen Rant pitch skits that made me realize they're not as clever as they think they are. There again, I'm not as smart as I think I am either.

Still, fun to watch.

So this is another state of the writer post. I'm in a better place. The best place mentally that I've been in for a long time.

Several years in fact. Those few followers who have been reading my blog know I've been stuck, and not making much progress on finishing the next novel.

Part of this down to the medication, and part of it is from taking the time to be kind to myself. Allowing myself time to do other stuff. Getting back into my hobbies and learning new painting tricks, which you can see on my other blog

The link between the two being that making models of my ideas then sparks other ideas. And, after much procrastination, I've figured out some important story development for my Gate Walker series.

Let me explain.

When I had the idea that spurred me to write Bad Dog, by the end of the story I also knew where the next two books would go, as the first sequel drove where the next novel would go too.

During the writing of the first story I knew that I wanted to set the stories in a holographic multiverse. From this came the pillars.

I even figured out what they are and why they do what they do, but this is not actually their true purpose, or the reason why they exist. 

However, I didn't bother with working out the details of why they exist, because I didn't need to know why for the stories I was writing. Any characters guesses are just that, their best guess.

However, the next novel is developing the whole holographic multiverse setting.

When I fell ill, my ability to think went into the mental equivalent of the trashcan. I had ideas, but they didn't float my boat.

Good news, I've started having ideas again over the last few months.

In better news, I'm having ideas that excite me. There's nothing worse when writing if your ideas feel humdrum to you then they'll certainly feel humdrum to the reader. So that's the current state of me, the writer.

Now all I have to do is get back in the saddle. I'm working on it.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

An Epiphany and Revelation


Epiphany

A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

‘Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out.’

Revelation

Used to emphasize the remarkable quality of someone or something.

‘seeing them play at international level was a revelation’

I couldn't resist the Agent Smith call out for the title. Consider it a Mum joke. The change forced on the Wachowskis's while making their movie to change humans from CPUs into batteries, is now a meme.

The joke is that social media marketing algorithms exploit human behaviours to turn us into 'batteries' to power businesses is a tad ironic. Here's a link to a book extract on Amazon I read:

 Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Makes you think.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Staycation

Holiday memories: another time, another place.

We're having a staycation.  Susan took some time off so we can stay at home and chillax, as the kids use to say, because I'm sure that if I know the word, the kids have moved on to another. That's what the young do.

Hey, even old fogeys like me can learn new words, though I no longer feel the need to differentiate myself from the older generation.

That must be what it means to be mature. Acceptance of who you are. I don't know.

The only thing I'm sure of is that I was born, I've paid taxes, and one day I will die. That, and I know there's a lot of stuff I don't know. Stuff that everybody else thinks they know, but they don't really know as much as they think.

So, I'm painting, which has become my therapy in these troubled time. My time to put aside thoughts and be mindful.

As a result, my mood is lighter. It helps that the treatment for my rheumatoid arthritis is working and I can now hold a paint brush without pain. The simple things in life bring joy. Especially so when the pain stops.

Normal service will be resumed soon.*

NB: for definitions of soon that remain undefined at this point in time.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

State of the Writing

New news: I've managed to get my ass into gear and I'm now working on my Cthulhu mythos novel, The Bureau. Currently editing/revising chapters: three down, a bunch more to go.

Two Moons is in the equivalent of pre-production hell. New ideas, new science discoveries, and new unintended consequences are driving the project around in circles.

I have also gotten to grips with one of my stalled short stories, but other projects are taking all of my time.

Being the long time SF fan I am, who went to her first convention in 1976, I've also been working on making and painting models for playing tabletop miniature wargames, see here. And let's not start on all the other things I'm into.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Ask Lovecraft - Metaphors


Metaphors are the terrible fate that comes to take reason and sanity from 'English majors,' assuming they had any to begin with. Considered yourself warned. Step back from the metaphor.

This has been a Public Health Warning for Metaphors. Stay safe, avoid analyzing stories for metaphors.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

The Tomorrow War: A Paradox

I'm now going to defend The Tomorrow War by dismantling the criticism I've seen on social media. Wish me luck. Rule number of of time travel paradox movies is that it's a paradox. As such the ending will always seem contradictory.

At the beginning of the story, travelers arrive from the future and announce they are the few remaining survivors and blah, blah, blah.

Notice that the story think skips forward by a year.

That's important.

Also remember that time continues to flow.

Therefore, any sensible response that you can think, of has happened.

For example. We now know that time travel is possible and we start researching how to make a machine, because why wouldn't you?

We also know in passing that the world's militaries rally the troops and send them forward to fight.

Yay!

A Year later the losses are horrendous.

Boo!

Thirty years of preparation go by, but guess what? The aliens don't land in a fancy spaceship, and have bred vast hordes in the faraway places, and before you know it countries start to fall.

Okay, that's a bit farfetched, but assuming no one goes nuclear, it's as plausible as World War Zombie.

The creature breed like rabbits, eat like locusts, and by the time the nuclear option is on the table it's too late.

But at least they have the time machine, and can go back and try again.

We have a hint that this has happened because the heroes daughter tells him how after he came back from his week long tour he was a changed man.

And there's the paradox.

Each time the machine is used you get a slightly different outcome until the time comes when you solve the problem.

Really, is it all that hard for people to see this?

Have at it, roast me social media.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

What I've Watched

To say I've been incredibly under active, and incredibly feeling down over the last two years would be rather obvious. I've found myself rather affected by the deaths of some acquaintances, who in most cases died far too young. But, the whole world has been turned upside down, so it's not just about me.

Needless to say we have watched an incredible amount of shows on Netflix and Amazon.

Here's two that we found incredibly entertaining.

First the fun happy one. Queens Gambit, which I wasn't at first all that keen on watching. Probably down to the way it was 'sold' by Netflix with the blurb, "Orphaned at the tender age of nine, prodigious introvert Beth Harmon discovers and masters the game of chess in 1960s USA. But child stardom comes at a price."

Yeah.

Other reviews used big words like intersectionalism. Ignore them. Yes the show used the trope of drug and alcohol dependency, but it is so much more than that. It's about the passion for chess that the lead character is obsessed with, and how she overcomes problems. I like shows where characters grow by overcoming problems.

The other show that knocked my little cotton socks offs was Dark. Another Netflix show, not only made in Germany, but also in German. We watched it with subtitles, there is the option of an English dub. But, Susan has a fair grasp of German, and I soak up tone and accents from listening to foreign languages. It was how I learnt a lot of Japanese.

But that's a digression.

Dark has three seasons for a total of 26 episodes. It's a complete story, and tightly plotted. Think "By His Bootstraps' by R. A. Heinlein. I described it to a friend as a cross between The 12 Monkeys TV show, with the technical obsession of the movie Primer.

Also, the music is outstanding, both diegetic and non-diegetic (music heard by the characters and music for atmosphere and soundtrack. I loved it. Susan found it difficult to keep track of the the familial relationships, which is complicated. Not helped I imagine by the different time periods and the aging of characters by using different actors.

Regardless. Compelling viewing if you like time travel paradoxes, mysteries, and psychological dread.

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