Needless to say, it’s been quiet here for the last month or so.
There’s been a fair amount going on in reality, but primarily it was just about taking a break.
OK, I can’t deny, a lot of this year has been a break on D4D, and that’s something I plan/want to change. (That’ll be another post)
The last month, though, has been an intentional break rather than the accidental ones that’ve been occurring. I wanted to take a break from even feeling like I should be writing stuff on here, and to see whether there’s been any further drive to write anything away from here.
It’s been kind-of successful – I’ve got ideas of things I want to write outside here, but I’ve also had ideas and thoughts for posts here as well, so I’m regarding it as generally a positive thing.
There’ll hopefully be more about those things and thoughts over the next few posts, and we’ll see how things to.
At the moment, I’m waiting for some new tech stuff to arrive, that will (hopefully) enable me to do more writing while I’m out and about.
All my current easily-portable tech is either too big (laptop-sized) or has a shitty on-screen keyboard, which is OK for small amounts of typing (email etc.) but bloody hateful when it comes to writing larger amounts of text.
Weirdly, two are keyboard/typing alternatives, and the other is a new device that I’m pretty excited about, and hopeful for.
The first of the keyboards is the WayBlade – what looks like a really nice keyboard, and I’d like to finally get my hands on it. However, as I ordered it three fucking years ago, I’m not holding my breath for it to finally arrive.
The second one is a typing device, rather than a keyboard. It’s the Tap, a wearable device that appears to use chording as a typing method. It’ll take a bit of learning, but I had a device back in the 80s (the Microwriter AgendA) that also used a chording keyboard, so it shouldn’t be too unfamiliar.
Both of those will be useful to have (assuming they actually arrive) regardless – well, it’d be nice to have one or the other, but knowing my luck, both will turn up within a couple of days of each other. But whichever one works best will stay, and be useful with the phone at least.
The final device though is a bit different. Way back when I wrote about writing tools before, I waxed lyrical about the old Psion devices, the 3a/mx, the Revo and the Siena, that were tiny devices with brilliant keyboards – and how it was surprising that there weren’t any similar things around currently.
And now, there’s a new device coming, the Gemini. They’ve obviously worked from the same kind of viewpoint I had, including partnering with the people who designed the Psion devices. They look really promising, and I hope it’ll be as good as it appears to be.
So hopefully, going on the evidence of preview reviews and so on, the Gemini might just turn out to be a decent replacement for most of the stuff I currently use the phone for. It’ll be interesting to find out, anyway.
As part of the whole “write more here” ethos, I’m introducing a new occasional topic, which is quite simply “Things I Don’t Understand About People“. Not the snappiest of titles, but it’ll do for now.
Of course, most of them can probably be explained away as “Because people are generally horrifically shit“, but I’ll try to do a bit better than that.
It may be a short-lived theme/topic, or it might be something that keeps me going for a while. There’s certainly a few bouncing around in my head already, so we’ll see how it goes.
Over the first dollop of this year, I’ve been trying to write more here, as it’s all become a bit intermittent. It’s been kind-of successful, but it’s still not great. I’ve found it too easy to lose several days at a time, and once it’s broken, it’s harder to get back into.
I’ve also got some other writing ideas going on (as briefly mentioned in other posts quite recently) which are also slipping, so I feel like I need a bit of a plan.
Gordon this week wrote about something similar, and about aiming to have more of a schedule for writing, which is something I’m going to try out for a while.
So, starting today, the plan will be to have new stuff here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday. It might not be much, and it might be rubbish – but it’ll (hopefully) be on schedule. Even if it ends up that I have a day where I braindump three posts for the week and schedule them, I’ll be OK with that, to be honest.
Of course, it may not be written on those days – I may write things and then just schedule them in. But having at least a set of target days seems like a good plan.
At the moment, I’ve got several writing plans/projects in my head, but two that are really standing out, and that I want to work on. And already that’s a fair dollop of progress.
For now though, I’m trying something a bit different – I don’t yet know if it’ll work out, but so far it appears to be doing OK.
Basically, rather than just writing and seeing how things develop, I’m taking some time first to outline it all, so I know what the plan is, where characters will go, and how everything interacts. It’s also interesting, from the perspective of figuring out more about how my brain processes these things.
The only thing that concerns me currently about this process is that I know how I am, that once I’ve written something down or otherwise got it out of my head I’ll forget all about the details, and there’ll be something else to grab my attention instead. Oooh, shiny.
So it may be that doing these outlines is as far as I go on these ideas. Or it may be that the outlines gel everything together so that I know what I’m doing, and then just want to get it done.
And only time will tell which of those options will happen. Which is kind of cool, and kind of frustrating…
Over the last couple of weeks, one of the satellite TV channels has been repeating one of my all-time favourite series, “The Closer“, and I’ve been recording and re-watching them. In some episodes it shows its age (it first went out in 2005) with the technology, phones etc., but that’s pretty much to be expected now.
Right from the start I liked it, each episode contained all the clues and ideas needed to solve the crimes, which raised it above an awful lot of the procedural dramas around. It was intelligent in a number of ways, but there was also a focus on personalities, clashes, and idiosyncracies.
I was well into it anyway, and then the last three episodes of the first season hooked me completely. I won’t go into the details, but the final episode of Season One has the best apology ever seen on TV, and it still makes me laugh, even knowing it was coming.
However, it also has a bit of a downside. The writing is so sharp, the characterisation so good (in my opinion, naturally) that I watch it – and a couple of other things, particularly “The West Wing” – and just find myself thinking that I’ll never be able to write like that.
I’m going to damn well try, don’t get me wrong, but yeah, it still makes me a bit demoralised about the whole thing. Fun and games.