March 2014

Something To Take On The Trip

Cover for Something To Take On The Trip

Just before New Year, Vincent Trigili posted a call on MobileRead for donations to a charity anthology being put together in support of the Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, A Children's Hospital Charity. I saw the post in early January, at about the time my calendar was clearing and I was starting to think seriously about doing some writing, so it piqued my interest. I was still busy then, but when I finally got some time in February I remembered Vincent's post.

A call to arms and a good cause! How could I resist?

Something To Take On The Trip is now available for your Kindle or as a paperback from Amazon or in ePub format from Smashwords.

Writing in the Cloud

Writing rising out of some clouds

Back in 2012 I discovered Scrivener, which is a quite wonderful application for Mac and Windows to manage the process of writing. You can gather your research, lay out your storyboard, save and compare drafts, write in an immersive full screen mode, and output to pdf, document and ebook formats using saved templates.

But then a year ago I discovered ChromeOS, which is a quite wonderful new operating system based around Google's Chrome browser, and which takes the hassle out of computing.

Why Crosstimers?

A clock face hovering in space

A couple of years ago I was teaching myself Drupal and built a website centred around a calendar for gamers. The idea was that people wanting to get together for gaming sessions on the internet could announce them there for participants to register. I was intending it mainly for face-to-face role-players, but it would have worked for any sort of online gaming.

The Benefits of Reviewing Others

A person reviewing a document

I wrote recently about our project on MobileRead to put together an ebook anthology of short stories in public. I was a little anxious about putting my story drafts up in front of the group for criticism in full sight of the forum, but I was sure that I would benefit from the comments of the reviewers.

What I hadn't expected was how much I would get out of reviewing the work that the other members of the team contributed.

Exposing the Bones

Archaeologists digging up some text

Over at MobileRead, a group of us are creating an anthology of short stories in public.

We'll go through the whole process of writing, criticism, editing, layout and marketing in full view of the forum. The goal is to end up with an ebook of about 80,000 words which will be available free on MobileRead, Smashwords and Amazon. MobileRead has sensible restrictions on self-promotion, so we had to vet the process with the moderators, but the consensus is that this would be an interesting exercise - and possibly very valuable for the other authors on the site.

Making mistakes in public... Scary.

Hello World

Graham Brand in the Yorkshire Dales

When you learn a new programming language you traditionally begin with some code that does nothing more than throw “Hello World” at the screen. Starting a blog seems to me to be “Hello World” for real, and more than a little bit scary. Still, blogging and shyness are incompatible so here we go.

I’m setting up here because I want to take my writing to the next level, and to get some stories actually out there rather than tucked away where no one can read them. This is very much the start of that journey, so at the moment the cupboards here are bare. Content will come as time goes by, and hopefully you can enjoy the successes and pitfalls along with me.