Blog posts and more

Hi all

So I am afraid I once again bring dissapointment in my wake, I bring no new updates to the orbiter. This is still down to being busy, even though I have now handed in all my work (yay) I have other forms to fill in, and now also am in the throws of helping to organise a friends stag do, which I have no idea how to do. eep. and as I mentioned previously, I am having a hard time with the story anyway, it seems to have hit a lul and i’m not sure how to get around it, which is really frustrating, I have kind of put myself in a corner where nothing interesting or notible is happening in the story, which is frustrating.

in more possitive news however, I was approached by a friend to cover their slot in the ACW (Association of Christian Writers) blog, which I was delighted, and daunted, by the oppertunity to do so.

The ACW also released their first book as an organisation: New Life: reflections for lent. this is a multi-contribution book in which 40 different authors wrote entries for each of the 40 days of lent, and as I was on the team behind getting the book in motion, I was fortunate enough to get to write two introductions, to week 2 and week 3, something I was very flattered by.

I’m not normally one to self-plug but I am excited by it so here is the link to the book on Amazon.

As for the blog post, I wrote it on the topic of creating characters, something that, thankfully, I do know a little something about. and as such, I thought I would include it in the post here…

“characters. While the plot may be the driving force of the story, it is the characters who you as a writer, and also as a reader, must be able to get behind, sympathise with, enjoy the ride with.

So how do we do this? The characters we create can often be a reflection of ourselves, or others that we know, because creating someone out of nothing except our own will and imagination, and then crafting them into a fully fledged person, is difficult.

But those we create don’t have to be fully formed when we begin, in fact it is better if they are not, the journeys they go on with you, perils and pitfalls you throw them into, people you make them interact with, will shape them ever further.

I think our characters can be like a block of ice, ready to be sculpted. As we create them, their names, their backstories, their motives, we chip away chunks of ice to reveal the figure within, but from there we must continue. As we write the story, our character going though the adventures we have planned for them, more and more ice is chipped away, revealing more of the figure beneath.  

The biggest change to your character is the one that will shape who they are and how they relate to you, the readers and of course other characters in their stories, will they change their tone entirely? will they learn from it?

Personally I think having a balanced leading character is key, of course you want your hero to be supported by the readers, but you don’t want to have a perfectly clear and heroic person, otherwise there is nothing relatable to the reader. They need a flaw, maybe many flaws, things that make them angry, things that make them want to give up. Maybe they don’t cope well under pressure and need to make a speech, maybe they hate goats and the villain has taken up residence on a farm.

I think this is in part why people often like villains, they can often be more relatable and more rounded than their hero counterparts, which is something to be acutely aware of.

With each character flaw, like and dislike, interaction with other characters, relevant or not, more ice will be chipped away from the sculpture, revealing the well formed, well rounded character beneath, and once you have that fully formed character, changes can still be made as they go on further adventures with you. To them, you are their parent, and they of course want to please you.”

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed my little pathetic update, though I promise I will continue to work past the roadblock to somehow get the Orbiter back on track.

In the meantime stay frosty



December (kind of) updates

Hey everyone

Once again I must apologise for my tardiness with regards to posting, particularly the next part of The Orbiter.

I know I have used this excuse before but now it is more prominent than ever, my training concludes in February and as such over the last couple of months (as is sure to continue) everything work related has kicked into overdrive as the deadlines approach, and as such most of my time has been taken up by that.

To be even more honest, with the amount of writing I have to do for work, when I do get home the last thing I have been wanting to do is write even more for fun, its just felt like more of a chore as a result.

There is also the fact that I always struggle with the middle of stories, and while I know the general direction I want to take The Orbiter in, and I know the ending, I’ve been finding getting there quite difficult.

I have however been reading a lot more lately, and finding new inspiration down avenues such as that.

I think I’ve mentioned before that simple, narrative driven action-less games have a bit of a soft spot on me, which started when I stumbled across Gone Home a couple of years ago. Well this is still the case, the last year or so introducing to me Firewatch and Life is Strange.

And it was upon playing the prequel to Life is Strange that I was hit with a weird mood that I haven’t felt in a while, what it would be like to live in a kind of minimal way, buy an RV and live on the road, seeing new places all the time, never sure where the next destination is, that sort of thing.

I know realistically that wouldn’t work over here in the UK, and if I were to do it it would need to be in the States, where the land is bigger, the roads are longer and also more accommodating to vehicles of this sort.

(on another note, Firewatch made me want to spend a summer in a national park such as Yellowstone)

While this update doesn’t serve much purpose really, it I suppose strikes as a reminder that inspiration, both for stories and the growing of self, can strike from just about anywhere.

And while I would like to say the next Orbiter update will be out on time, looking at my schedule, this seems unlikely.

I might try to think of something else to post in its place but I can but apologise, and say to you to not hold your breath for me.

In the meantime stay well, and have a merry Christmas of course!


Updates part 2

Hello everyone.

Once again I must apologise for my tardiness, I am still drowing under work and have had a manic couple of weeks where I wasn’t even living at home, instead housesitting for some friends of mine, which really threw my schedule off balance, worst of all, disrupting my sleep which means for the last two weeks I’ve been pretty much exhausted all the time. Including right now.

What this means is that the next chunk of the Orbiter is only really half ready, but to be honest as much as it should be, it’s not even my main priority right now, as I still have to sift through and mark potential candidates for a multi-person contribution book for Lent the committee I am a part of are working on, and so far due to being uprooted and tired I’ve done very little sifting, however I do have a four day weekend approaching which I plan to use to do so, as well as hopefully completing the next part of the Orbiter, which I hope will now live up to standards, as well as hopefully more than that, two months is long enough I think.

Instead, I thought this time around I would tell you all a story, as It’s been a while since I’ve done that.

Little over a month ago, I was in Newcastle for a writing conference, well more like a seminar really, but we had a really interesting speaker who trained as an actor, not sure how much I got out of it but it was certainly an interesting take.

During the lunch break I nipped out to get some food, and on the way got stopped by one of those people on the street, I think we’ve all been there right?

Turns out she wasn’t part of any charity, but was instead selling this discount card that offers discounts in many places in exchange for a small subscription fee.

I wasn’t really interested but I always feel bad for the fact that they often get ignored so I stopped to find out what it was all about.

That was when the probing began, asking me questions about where I shop and go out to eat and hobbies and things like that, I suppose in an effort to find out if I would benefit from it.

But, in my panic, there was a certain point where she asked me how much I spent on shopping each week, and when I said I wasn’t sure, she asked if my Girlfriend did it for me, in my panic I said yes.

Now baring in mind that I’ve been single for a good few years now, I had to run with this story, creating new bogus at every turn. including such things as we’ve been together for three months but live apart (fortunately she didn’t pick up on how little sense this made considering I said that she bought the food)

Most of what I said to her was based upon some kind of reality, I said that we went swing and ballroom dancing, which, while not something I do, are something I want to take up. I did make a comment, when she asked if I took out my other half and treated her, which went something along the lines of “Sometimes, but I like to be pampered too, I expect to be treated just as much.” (I paraphrase because I can’t recall exactly, but it was certainly words to that effect) which garnered laughter from us both as she commented that she could learn from that attitude.

This conversation lasted probably a good 10 minutes, me bluffing my way through various questions to gain a discount card I didn’t even want, but did end up with (though I canceled it straight away, sorry darling, but even your charm didn’t change my mind about not actually wanting the thing)

Weirdly enough though, even though most of what I said was total bull, (even if based off something true) I did learn a thing or two about myself, the things I want out of a potential relationship and my my general attitude towards strangers. My work colleague pointed out to me the other day that I would happily talk to anyone (this was after I had a friendly chat with a chap who was drunk on the bus we were both on) and there is a lot of truth to this.

Most people perceive me as being shy and reserved and quiet, of which I will give them the second two, but I don’t consider myself shy, I’m better one-on-one but give me the chance and I will talk your ear off. I don’t often initiate conversations out of the blue (I can often strike up chats with people serving behind bars or on the cash register (on more than one occasion I’ve held people up as a result. And I think this conversation is a prime example, I was able to happily chat away to someone about a topic I essentially made up, and even got a few laughs out of it, certainly growth on my part coming from where I used to be. Sure I’m still quiet but I don’t view it as a bad thing.

So thank you Woman in Newcastle I never got the name of, thank you for an interesting chat, thank you for actually laughing at the terrible jokes and puns I made, but thank you most of all for the opportunity to view this as a part of my growth as a person.

Anyway, this was a semi-interesting story for you all about a recent experience of mine, It’s not much but I found it interesting to look back on.

Stay frosty y’all



So, it has been a long time hasn’t it? A long time since I’ve sat down and done any kind of update or information, so here goes.

First off, I want to apologise  for my lack of blog post this month, June and July hit me with an absolute mountain of deadlines that I was barely able to climb over, and it just meant that all of my time and resources were (and still are being) poured into that.

This has basically been the reason for why there has been no update to the Orbiter, I’ve simply not had the time, and instead of rushing one out haphazardly  I left it until I could do a post that would I hope meet expectations.

I probably should have done a post at the time explaining this but, as with everything I kept putting it off and eventually left it too late, in fact it took prompting for even this post to appear.

So, in the spirit of updates, lets go:

I am still going my current training, the one I started back in January 2016, and am set to finish February 2018, so nearing the end now, though that does mean things will likely get more intense as time goes on, but hopefully I will be more prepared (fingers crossed)

On the evening of Tuesday 11th July, my cat, Boyfriend (yes that was his name) passed away. My Neighbor and I took him in a few years ago off the streets, and it took him a while to get used to human contact, we speculate he may have spent 7 years or so living on the streets, but we have no way of knowing, but his last five years were spent in what we hope was comfort for him. As such loosing him struck us both hard, but, I still had to work and remain professional, but it may be a while yet before I get used to not seeing him when I come home.

In more positive news, (but equally more terrifying) I have taken up driving, and in fact had my second lesson yesterday. It’s scary as shit and I tense up every four seconds or something, and as it stands, when I panic, I relinquish control, which obviously isn’t the best idea behind the wheel of a hefty 40mph vehicle. But at least I know where I want to improve, and I’m still annoyed that I have yet to learn how to brake properly, remember the clutch dammit!

I don’t think there is a great deal else to say at this point, well there would be if I were the sort of person to expose my feelings towards others openly, but I am not yet one of those people, my idea of flirting is just talking to the person I like and hoping they are braver! haha!

Take care Y;all


The Upwards Climb

This post has been a long time coming.

After a hectic few months, I’m finally back in a place where posting something worthwhile and hopefully useful.

But first, a little bit of information.

Around this time last year I went for a job interview that I thought would be the perfect opportunity for me to take the next step up the corporate ladder (as I believe it is called) however I got unlucky and as such had to remain where I was.

I’ll admit, I wallowed in this for a while. At the time I wasn’t really enjoying my job and the prospect of continuing doing it just wasn’t something I was thrilled at. But I decided to buckle down and continue onwards, and as get more involved with the goings-on of the department. Doing favours for them and actually getting to know some of them properly. And as such, I actually began to enjoy it.

A few weeks ago I went for another interview for the same job, and this time I secured a position, something I was incredibly surprised by.

Now I’m about to say two things that are both seen as cliché, but both are things that, over the past year, have become apparent.

Firstly. If you want something enough, It will happen. If you put forth the effort and time, if you keep working towards it, it will happen. I mentioned once in a previous post that sometimes just an hour a week working towards a goal could be sufficient, and to a point this is true. The reason I said an hour a week is that if you have other responsibilities, be they work or otherwise, sometimes finding the time can be difficult. So just using what little time you have available is the key. Or sometimes just using it for something similar.

I have a nine part series I one day want to write, I have most of the plots and other details mapped out, but because I am trying to focus on gaining a career at the moment, it has had to be put on hold for the time being. So instead I practice my writing both through this blog, and through other short stories I occasionally write. I still put forth some time, and am never giving up on that dream.

But I guess the more solid example is the fact that although it took nearly two years to achieve, I am now moving towards a job with more open doors, I knew I wanted it and made the effort to get there.

The second thing is another cliché: Enjoy where you are.

This sounds really stupid given the first point I made, but it fits in its own way too.

There is the all too well known expression of “Smile and the world smiles with you” and while it may sound stupid, in my experience it is genuinely true. As the more I began to focus on the better sides of my job, the more I began to enjoy the company of those I worked with and the more willing I became to do favours for them and such.

This enjoyment of the job I was doing is what lead to me also pitching in and doing extra things for them, such as sorting out extra papers for them or doing the occasional errand. As I know they appreciate it and at the same time it made my being there feel even more worth it.

Both of these things inevitably helped when I went for the new job too, as it proved a willingness to help out and go the extra mile, something that helped into the interview.

So that’s why I feel that way, if you enjoy the position you are in, you may end up doing more for those around you, who are likely to return the favour.

I don’t want to act like I know what I’m talking about, but if I can ever give any kind of inspiration or advice, these two things are both ones that I feel may be helpful to those out there who are going through a similar thing.

So it is just those two things:

  • Work at your goal and given time you will achieve it.
  • Enjoy where you are at the moment, and it will repay you in some way.

Take care all of you


I can’t think of a title

Is it important to always have something to say?

I tend to go through phases with this blog, sometimes posting twice a week, at other times, taking an entire month off. I’m completely erratic with when I want to say something, and its more or less just when I feel I have something to say. Not necessarily something of any value, but just something in general.

Which begs the question, is it important to always have something to say?

I ask this because I’m almost feeling bad for having not posted anything in about three weeks, which actually feels like an exceptionally long time now I think about it. (Although lets face facts, It really isn’t all that long)

But the fact that I feel bad about not having had anything to say for the past few weeks tells me, or, more so helps confirm something about myself. I really like to be creative and have something to show for my time, thus why I seem to have all these different things on the go all at the same time. However this creates problems on two fronts; so many different things tends to mean I rapidly switch between them, making slow progress with each individually. The other problem stems from procrastination, and as I switch between my differing projects, I spend days doing nothing in between.

So If I have nothing to show for my time, it really puts a slump in my mood and brings me down, so usually I make a rule that if I am not at work, I have to do at least one productive thing throughout it. By productive here I mean something I have to show for my time, be it stitching, a bit of writing, drawing or sometimes just sorting things out. Something I can look at afterwards and feel at least a small sense of accomplishment.

So back to my previous question. I am one of those people that fluctuates rather rapidly, sometimes I don’t really care for saying anything and am more likely to just sit and listen, while at others I would quite easily talk for hours about something you couldn’t care less about.

But do I think its important to always have something to say?

Now this may just be my introverted, quiet nature speaking (In fact it definitely is) But I think I can honestly say no, It isn’t all that important, in fact sometimes its really helpful to just sit back and observe.

Through 2014 I think its safe to say I did a lot of stuff, I went on weekend trips multiple times, as well as taking four short trips away (Though to only two places, I just went to each one twice) I completed two short stories as well as revamping and restarting two of my older projects. suffice it to say I moved around a lot and kept myself incredibly busy.

This year has been less dramatic, I’ve been away once (Admittedly further and for longer) completed one (main) short story and done a few fresh drawings. Couple those with this blog, and I have done a good amount. The main difference being that I’ve been more relaxed and not tried to force anything.

This year has been far more relaxed, and I think I have taken more in, just because I allowed myself the chance to take it all in, I’ve read more, watched more (I fell in love with so many movies this year it’s unreal) but doing all this has allowed new waves of inspiration to smack me in the face.

So not always having something to say can be great for the system.

There is quite a famous quote related to this, that reads; “The Earth has music for those who listen.”

I think it extends further than that though. Admittedly I, like many, have fallen victim to the general feeling of rushingness and ignoring everything around me, hardly ever just taking the time of day to just stop and listen, or sometimes even think. But it extends further in the sense of not only does the earth have the music, but other people do too.

Everyone expresses themselves in different ways, but for the most part we only seem to listen to or see those who express themselves directly, as opposed to through other means.

Something I love to do is listen to movie soundtracks, they are often fantastic but overshadowed by the movie itself, but there is a lot of expression in there that is often missed. Some of these composers pour their heart and soul into the sounds they produce. While Fullbright company produced one of the most compelling and expressive games I’ve ever played in the form of Gone Home.

Now I’m not saying that these will be the right steps for everyone, nor am I trying to rope people into trying to do things the way I do. What I am trying to say however, is just to sometimes just slow down, stop speaking, and see what it around you that you find inspiring.

After all, you never know what you might find out there.

this has been a little longer than usual, my apologies.

Stay frosty.


Does writing matter?

Why do I write?

The other day I was struck with inspiration for a new idea for a short project to write. I haven’t gotten round to it yet as I’ve been rather busy but, I did make notes on it so when I do get started it is all prepped and ready.

But this did get me thinking, what are my reasons for writing? What are my goals?

So, I want to narrow my writing forms into two categories.

Writing for ideas. and Writing to be read.

Now this may seem a bit strange, but rest assured, I am going to explain what I mean.

Firstly, Writing to be read.

It would be very easy for me to just throw some words together on a page and just say “I wrote something.” But I am to expect people to read my work, it is only fair that I do two things. Firstly make it legible and actually readable. Secondly, make it interesting.

Now from what I understand, people mainly read for two reasons, either they are interested in the topic at hand, or they find themselves drawn in by well worded works.

Now as I am aware that for the most part the things I am interested in a lot of other people (at least those I have met so far) are not interested in, so if I were to try to write something for them to read, I would either have to make it about something they like, or really try to make it interesting, so they want to.

Thus the conundrum of my writing. They wouldn’t read about what I would unless I made it exhilarating in some way. Which, rather obviously is not a strong suit of mine.

But, if I were to want someone to read something I have written, I have no choice but to do one of those things. And as for the most part I know very little of what interests other people, I have no choice but to try to raw them in by keeping the pace fast and the excitement high.

Admittedly not much of my writing falls into this category, although admittedly I have a few projects that are rather like that, I have them on hold while I am trying to get other things moving.

So, the other category I mentioned. Writing for ideas.

Admittedly this seems a little vague, even to me, but what it means is rather basic. (I think)

A good amount of the inspiration that hits me is for ideas that seem a little outrageous or somewhat unusual, bit it seems to be what I am good at, and people always seem to say things like “Play to your strengths.”

So, when I say I write for the ideas, what I basically mean is, I write because I get ideas that I think are unusual. Ideas that I both like, and think others may not have thought about.

As a couple of examples, “What would happen if Elevators tried to rise up against humanity?” Or “How does a Painting perceive the world?”

But I think it’s fair to saw that a good reason behind my writing is simply because I enjoy it, I like to be productive, and having something to show for my time is something that writing certainly allows me to do. Not only that, it really helps me express myself somewhat, and that, obviously, is rather important.

Now I have only covered a couple of reasons for writing, and even then only talked about two categories, and only my own at that. Other people write for reasons, maybe to inform, to entertain, or to try to shed some light on a matter.

But for whatever reason, writing is an important tool, one to be nurtured. And certainly one to be respected.

I always hate it when people go to art galleries, only to look at works and say things like, “I could have done that.” Or “That could have been done by a child.”  It bothers me because without even a second thought as to the meaning, reasoning or effort behind it, it is already written off. The same goes for writing, it’s very easy to be written off, very quickly.

So why do I write? Because I like it, and because I hope to at least have some small impact.

Maybe others write for the same reason, or it could be vastly different. But that doesn’t make it any more or less important. As to a writer, a writer is a writer. Someone to respect.

We have a tough time, just to shine a little light.

You are reading this, and you have my undying support.