On Continuing

Excuse me a second as I blow the dust off my blogging engine will you? Ahem. There we go.

Hello, hypothetical audience, it has been such a long time hasn’t it? I figured, since this fully armed and operational… I mean URL’d up blog is actually getting some intermittent content from me once again I might as well hammer keys to circuit board and actually blog again, but more on that later. First, since it’s been such a long time since I did this outside of fiction, how are you all?
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Taking a holiday

Recently, dear Hypothetical Audience, I have to admit I’ve been feeling a little burned out on the blogging front. Between some goings on in real life with family, a secret project I can’t talk about until it’s done and other elements of a really hectic schedule this time of year, it’s been increasingly difficult to find the time and inclination to get into writing about something non-fictional on a regular basis of late. To this end, I think I’m going to have a holiday. The Adventures in Reality have always been an experiment into me being able to keep to a regular schedule for written pieces, and across the last 9 months I’ve done pretty well keeping to what I set down initially (beyond a couple of brief little failures). But unfortunately I must let real life take get the better of things and bow out for a bit.

Regular posts are going to stop until the end of June right now, so I can concentrate on other things. This doesn’t mean the Adventures will end, as I’ve got a couple of bits of fiction I’m waiting on proof readers for, and anything else I feel like writing, fact or fiction, will be put here first (I still have notes for a few blog posts knocking around so I’ll work through them). Come end of June hopefully I’ll be in a better position to go back to a regular update schedule again, we’ll just have to wait and see.

If any of you comprise a regular Hypothetical Audience, thanks for your views so far, and hopefully at some point in the future we’ll get this wreck back on track.

Until then, folks


Not this week.

Due to recent familial goings on out in the real world, I’ve had most of the inspiration to write drained out this week. Normal service should resume next week. Hopefully.

Until next time


In Short: The Apple Watch

Before we start, I’d like to announce a slight change to the continuing adventure that’ll be ongoing until easter at the very earliest. Du to a personal project I am embarking upon, I won’t be having that much free time to write until roughly the middle of April. Rather than go on hiatus, which I feel is A. Boring and 2. slightly disingenuous to whatever hypothetical audience I actually have, I thought I’d just make the weekly post far shorter, like a few paragraphs only, until such time I regain my free Sundays once again. Enjoy!

This time last week Apple had something of a shindig over in the USA to parade their latest shiny wares in front of us. As someone who’s used Macintoshes all my life, pretty much, I generally keep an eye on these kind of things to see where the company is going. And trot out a new Mac they did, and shiny it was indeed. But that wasn’t the focus of the event, oh no, this whole bash was predominantly to show off Apple’s entry into the Smart Watch market. Ho Hum.

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On Going Forward

Hello my hypothetical audience, did you miss me? I ask not really expecting a response, as in well aware no one reads this stuff, but nonetheless here I am once again trying to make a go of this blog lark. Lucky us.

The reason I stopped after such a barnstormer couple of months was, unfortunately, the sudden onset of paid employment. The upside was that I could actually live at affordable means again, downside was the relocation, loss of spare time and constant tiredness that comes from early mornings. Needless to say blogging was not forefront of my mind for the last twelve months (not to say I’m not grateful for the sudden change in luck). Of late, however, I’ve been trying to get back in the writing game, since of all my various hobbies and interests that’s the one that keeps drawing me back after all the years. Which brings me nicely back to here.

To keep things interesting and keep my skills sharp I’ve decided to make this blog thing a regular deal for the foreseeable future. Every Monday evening GMT, barring two weeks off at Christmas, I’ll endeavour to write something here, be it my usual rumblings (the “On [subject]” stuff), any fiction I happen to write or maybe some media reviews and anything else I can think of to keep things fresh. Either way I’m going to be getting into the deadline lark for better or ill. Getting into good practice, see? And hopefully as time goes on this’ll help me improve any of the skills I need for the writing thing.

In addition, I’ve also decided to try, though less rigidly than the above, to write a thousand words of fiction a week too. I know that a professional writer is supposed to be able to do that a day, but I’m also doing a 8-4:30 job at the same time, so cut me some slack. Again, this is to sharpen the old skills and get my insane creative flair out there. Some of it I’ll publish, some of it I won’t, it depends upon what it is, why I wrote it and if I can get it proofed. It’s also a convenient cheat for the “once a week blog post” outlined previously, because I’m clever like that. As always, Anything I do decide publish will likely be here, on DA and/or Weasyl, although some formats may preclude one or the other depending on what I cook up.

I’m also planning some other changes for the blog. First and foremost a domain name will be purchased, mainly to avoid over reliance on a “.wordpress.com” address. Not entirely sure what it’ll be yet, but I have a short list drawn up, so shouldn’t be too long before that happens. After that I’m considering adding a seperate blog, or index or something exclusively for my fiction works, just so I can put it all under one roof and have somewhere to put more precious works up without the dubious copyright status of some art sites. Perhaps this’ll lead to a proper website around the blog, but that’s far off at the very least.

Either way, I finally have plans for all this stuff, which is either exciting or terrifying, I haven’t decided yet. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out over the coming weeks, won’t we? The fun starts next week with some musings on the nature of fandom I’ve been wanting to write down for a while now.
‘Till next time, folks,

–Have I ever mentioned I hate the phrase “Going Forward?”

On The Xbox One (Again)

A while back I ranted for a bit about the announced used games/trading policy on the Xbox One. It’s the post immediately prior to this one in fact. It seems I wasn’t the only one to feel this way, as the backlash was something to behold, that rare moment when gamers became collectively self aware enough to realise how both that and the always-on DRM (combined with a genuinely creepy Orwell-esque permanently on camera device) was a very bad thing for them as consumers.

Well, it seems Microsoft was deeply effected by said backlash, and has done a rather spectactular U-turn on things and now both the always online element and the trading nonsense is gone, as announced this very evening.

I’ll leave that in a paragraph of its own so it can sink in. Hell, I’ll even put it in bold. So it seems the people in charge at Microsoft aren’t as mad as first thought. Now, do I think it had anything to do with them actually listening to the fans? Well… yes and no. I doubt the complaints themselves had anything to do with is, not directly anyway, as they rarely do with big companies making any kind of decision. What I do think influenced this is the fact that since the announcement of the stupider features, the console has allegedly tanked in most markets. This would suggest a threat to profits, and that’s clearly what matters most to big business. Which gives tremendous credence to the whole “Vote with your wallets” thing myself and a number of other opponents of some of the sillier business practices have been saying all along. Take Heed, gamers, as this is a good thing for all of us as consumers.

Another positive to come out of this, as RPS’ John Walker points out, is that it starts to establish that Always-On DRM, another major bugbear of mine, and its invasive ilk is a direct threat to profit margins. If this becomes engrained in corporate consciousnesses we may see an eventual end to the practice. Again this is a good thing for all of us. I somehow doubt that the industry will become all pro consumer rights, at least not for a long, long time, but if they start to see that their own practices aren’t going to make them money it may come about by ulterior means. And if that’s what it takes to be treated reasonably by big business, I’m ok with that.

As for the Xbox One itself, as a device… well… while I will admit the removal of the silly stuff is a point in its favour, I remain unimpressed by Microsoft’s offerings from E3. Much like the previous 2 generations, if I am to buy in to this one, I’ll probably stick with either Sony or Nintendo, as both have demonstrated, through better consumer relations, less features that seem bad for gamers, cheaper/free online services (though I’m none too pleased about having to get PS+ to play online on a PS4, even if that doesn’t affect me that much) and even better exclusive titles, they’ve once again collectively incited me far more than the Xbox-du-jour.

Now that’s done with I’m hoping to come up with some more varied content for future posts, including some upcoming fiction, and hopefully not mentioning the XBox One for a looooooong time. I am so desperately trying not to turn this into Yet-Another-Games-Blog. Hopefully I can keep to that.


–Likes an absence of companies playing silly buggers

On Writing Fiction, and Upcoming Content

When I wrote the first entry here the other week I mentioned in passing that I’d be uploading ” the fiction I write for my own entertainment” and thought I’d elaborate on that point a bit, talk about my writings and what I was talking about and give some info on current and future projects. This is also a way of both coming up with something to post this week, and a simultaneous update for my “scores” of Weasyl and DevArt followers, so two birds with one bloggy stone as it were.

Anyway, to abuse an oft-paraphrased and misquoted movie line “All my life, all I ever wanted to be a writer.” Ok, maybe not all I ever wanted to be, my career path shows as much, but you get the gist. From an early age I was coming up with random weird stuff, which friends and relatives can attest to (possibly to my eternal embarrassment). As time progressed the random weird stuff became less random, and more crafted, turning into stuff that, while rough, actually resembled stories and similar.  At school I loved creative writing, so managed to get duped into doing the LangLit flavour of English A-Levels on promise of doing more (which turned out to be something of an exaggeration at my school, both courses did the exact same amount). Despite heading into a career of Graphic Design, I kept at the writing mostly out of fun, and fell in love with the art of world crafting. Often coming up with how a setting worked was as, if not more, fun than writing within it. It was around about that time I decided, in spite of my erratic levels of self-confidence, to start uploading whatever I was writing to the internet. The reception was… almost nonexistent but I kept at it, which brings us nicely up to today.

Moving in to the here and now, currently I upload my work at the art sites Weasyl and DeviantArt (links under the blog title), and am planning to upload anything new simultaneously at both and here if possible, although certain things may be limited to one or the other due to the different way sites handle formatting. While I’m not particularly tied down to any particular style or genre, though because I’m a massive geek I do write a fair bit of science-fictiony stuff, simply because it interests me how much can be done with it. There’s also usually a cynical edge to a fair bit of what I write, which is mainly a reflection of my world view.

Which brings us neatly on to what I’m currently working on, which will probably be what you fine people will be seeing soonest (unless I write something in it’s entirety on a whim). As of now I have two major projects in the works, both extending onwards from pieces I have already written:

First off is “…But It Pours,” the follow up to an earlier piece of mine  “Ricochet”, part of  setting I’m calling “Century23.” Essentially it’s a cyberpunk piece, currently in short form, following the exploits of a nameless hitman in a 23rd Century urban dystopia. The setting started off as an affectionate parody of things like Blade Runner and William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, but has evolved into a slightly more serious world, but I’ve still used some opportunities in the background notes to parody the world as it is today. Currently “…But It Pours” is working out to be a longer piece than Ricochet, but still within the realms of a short story. Unless I really go overboard it should be split into 3 parts when finally posted, although currently I’m not giving any time frame for it due to other concerns. Depending on how I feel after it’s out in the world, there may be more Century23  stories coming in the future.

Secondly is an ongoing project called “Redshift: The History of the 36th Century,” which started with this piece (which I may repost here at some point for continuity’s sake). This one is a bit more unusual, as it’s going to be a series of pieces written in false-document form chronicling a future history heavily inspired by things like Battletech, Firefly and the 2003 reboot of Battlestar Galactica. This means, unlike the previous, it’s unlikely to be prose based or indeed tied down to a single style and format, since I want to be able to experiment while writing entirely from an in-universe point of view. Also, unlike the previous cyberpunk world, this one will be more harder sci-fi than the “rule of cool” employed in Century23. I’m currently trying to keep the “One or Two big lies” method, meaning beyond a couple of unavoidable breaks from reality, the whole thing will be grounded in plausibility (if not possibility). Since I’ve got over a millennia of time to play with, I imagine this will go on for a while, and depending on how long and how well received it is I may spin it off into its own blog to avoid filling here up.

And there you have it, that’s where I’ve come from and where I plan to go with my little writing hobby. Honestly, I don’t write for anyones pleasure beyond my own, but hopefully someone will get something out of it. And as always, any opinions and criticism are always welcome (although please, constructive criticism), so if you have something to say on anything I type, factual or fictional, please speak up, I do like to hear what others think of my work!

–A Man Of Words!