Trying Some New Skillz

Out with my camera yesterday and I created my first Time Lapse vid. Haven't yet worked out how to get it to 'Time Lapse' other than on my camera as in Photo it is just 40 individual photos. Not sure yet if there is a quick and easy way to import it as a time lapse vid or whether I need to create it again in iMovie rather than Photo. Will see over the weekend.

Also made a tiny vid of me with a pint of Brass Castle in the Head of Steam, Liverpool. Just turned it into a quick and dirty GIF using GIPHY. Works nicely as a first try. I think I'll end up creating a few more GIFs when I have the time. Have camera ... just need ideas and time. In the meantime ... cheers!

via GIPHY





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Facebook and The China Syndrome

Finally did it yesterday. Logged on to Facebook last night and deleted the account. Flip! Years of bits and bobs gone in the press of a button or two. Apparently bits of me will be on there for up to two weeks before it all disappears. The image of me fading away electronically on there is quite something. That said I'd deleted so much off there over the last few years there was mainly just photos and music stuff on there anyway. According to the message on Facebook if I log in over the next two weeks I can change my mind and reactivate it. I won't.

I've just deleted the account from my Buffer account (which posts the #ClassSongOfTheDay) so now it's just got Twitter to post to.

The only thing I may miss from Facebook is a few events that I may see through others going to on there, which is unfortunate I suppose but no biggie.

City City

After deleting Facebook last night I watched Only Connect which I seem to watch to demonstrate my ignorance and difficulty at lateral thinking (and to see the wonderfully quirky Mrs Coren-Mitchell of course). It was great to see the BBC show advert afterwards for 'The City & The City' by China Mieville. He's one of my favourite authors and this will be the first thing I've seen on TV by him. Looks like a great cast, including David Morrissey, and it will be very interesting to see how they show the city (and the city); it wouldn't seem the easiest thing to show on the telly. Click on the pic to go through to the BBC page about the production.

The City and the City
David Morrissey in The City & The City - BBC

Can't wait for someone to make some fab feature film or better still a mini-series of any of the New Crobuzon novels. Even thinking about it now I think I need to get re-reading these. If you haven't read any yet get on 'Perdido Street Station' and then catch the China bug.

Perdido Street Station The Scar Kraken
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More Photos

Haven't taken many photos lately, I need to get back to doing it regularly. Put a couple of Daily Delivery Photos up on Twitter today and up on Flickr. It was a nice day after all.

My Flickr account has many more photos of course. Click on a photo to visit Flickr.

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View towards Llanfairfechan from Sychant Pass.

P1030467
Blue sky day on Llanfairfechan front
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More Class Songs

I've finally got around to putting some of the links through to the songs from Class Song of the Day on to the website. Partly this is because of me getting off Facebook. My FB page has largely comprised just the Class Song being automatically copied over there when the tweet goes up each morning at 8am. A few regular visitors to my daily song on FB aren't Twitter users so I thought maybe if they are going to keep following the songs then they are more likely to peer at the website than head over to Twitter.

Sleeper2

As I've already posted 340 links with this Twitter quest that means I face a lot of Copy and Paste to get the links checked and sorted so it will take me a while, but I've made a start with getting March to date and February links sorted on one page. To minimise pages but also minimise scrolling I've decided to display the links with two months per page and it seems to fit alright this way. I won't be updating the links page each day. I'll probably end up doing it once a week playing catch up with the Tweets of the previous week or so - I don't want to give away each of the daily songs in advance now, do i?

FirstAidKit

It'll definitely be easier to click through songs on the list than trying to find individual links through the hashtag for anyone who doesn't follow me on Twitter. So first 50 or so links posted, just another 290 to go through. Flip! A rod for my own back maybe, but once the year is up the effort will have made a nice whole. When I've a moment I'll consider whether to put other information up there in addition to the song links. That said, I only have so much time ya know!

Villagers

Head over to the Class Song (Feb-March) page to check out the links to the songs from the last couple of months. There should be something there for everyone.
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Facebook Analytica

The news about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica over the last couple of days is fascinating and concerning but in the end it comes as no surprise, does it? I've been on the edge of leaving Facebook for a few years and have spent time deleting many old posts in the past. These days I only put an update up there two or three times a month - other than 'Class Song Of The Day' which is linked with the zevonesque Twitter account - so it will be no great loss. The thing that stops people leaving, or at least puts any pause on it, is the risk that you're cutting ties to friends who have no other easy way to contact you. Of course if you're really friends then you will have one way or another to keep in contact (at the very least just ask a mutual friend) - unless you are just using it to cyber stalk. It may be hard to believe but we all lived perfectly well in the days before Facebook with nothing more than a little book with telephone numbers scratched into it, scrubbed out, rewritten and slotted with post-it notes.

Anyway, long story short I am going to delete my Facebook account sometime this week; maybe even today. End of.

Facebook Farewell

Facebook: useful when it started but won't be missed at all at this point. Sorry to anyone who can't find me easily ... er but I'm still all over the www like a rash with a website and Twitter so you can find me with a wee bit of a google anyway. And of course Class Song Of The Day can still be found on Twitter - just search #ClassSongOfTheDay - I'll see about putting a decent page or two on the website too. My biggest fear is losing all my Words with Friends data, but if that disappears in to the electronic ether then so be it.

Links to my Twitter accounts are on my Homepage, you patently don't need the link to the website: you're here!

awalkerorg

The Cambridge Analytica affair is not the reason I'm leaving it's just another nudge in the right direction.

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Time's Eye: FlashFeed & Liverpool Links

A couple of weeks ago I wrote for the Flash Dogs FlashFeed 1.21 the prompt picture (below) proved serendipitous when I later went into the Liverpool Bold Street branch of Oxfam and found the SF novel 'Time's Eye' with a suitably similar sphere on the cover. The book was written by Arthur C Clark and Stephen Baxter. If I hadn't just written for FlashFeed I may have looked past this book. As it happened I didn't.

I've read a few Stephen Baxter books previously including three he wrote with Terry Pratchett ('The Long Earth', 'The Long War' and 'The Long Mars'). I read the first one so long ago (2012) it's not even showing up on my Goodreads. I haven't read Clarke for years, but back when I lived in sepia toned times I loved 'Rendevous with Rama', 'A Fall of Moondust' and '2001',.

I'm two thirds through Time's Eye and I'm loving it - Ghengis Khan is about to go to war with Alexander the Great and some soldiers from the British Raj for the city of Babylon. Of course. I'm certainly glad I took the opportunity to buy the other two books of the trilogy which were in the Oxfam at the time; else I'd no doubt be searching for them forlornly in second hand shops for a while.

TimesEye2 Times Eye

Didn't realise until today that Stephen Baxter is from Liverpool too. Nice that Liverpool has a few links with Pratchett with Josh Kirby, the artist for many of the early Discworld books, coming from Waterloo. Funnily enough one of the few books I've read so far this year was 'The Girl With A Symphony in her Fingers' by Michael Coney; the cover of which was by Josh Kirby (below). Check out some of the artwork from Kirby on the website (click on the Light Fantastic!).

Light Fantastic Girl With The Symphony
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NFFD 2018

National Flash Fiction Day 2018 is on June 16th. The closing date for submissions for <100 word pieces is coming up a lot sooner though:

  • it's this Saturday 17th March

So if you fancy the (free) flash competition then dig out some old pieces or write some new ones and get them emailed over to them in the next few days. Click on the banner below to check out all the details.

NFFD

I wrote three fresh pieces for it and have submitted them today. Two using a couple of my own photos for prompts and one prompt-less!

Coast Yew Tree

Merv P1020862 copy
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Real Life in Fiction

I haven't yet decided whether to run with Project Jaipur or Sarah Hughes yet, but I have done a little more thinking about Jaipur. It is (expected) to be a buddy road (well probably rail) movie with beer - okay an epic pub crawl across many miles and days. It would like to grow up to be a comedy, but who knows?

I've already set out the nine chapter headings, which are largely geographically based, and I've the three main characters (and the princely sum of 2769 words down in Scrivener for it).

Peveril

So it's basically the story about a pub crawl. I should be on firm ground here, right?

I started of thinking I should use real pubs, to almost produce a travelogue that could really be followed. There are several issues with this. For a start I'd need a week or two off to 'research' this which would be costly (if fun) - and the notes each day would get progressively more patchy and scrawly. Of course the way the pub business is things change so fast that by the time the story was finished a couple of the places would probably be closed, have their names changed or at the very least refitted - and the people change all the time - making any focus on real life descriptions pretty pointless.

York

While as a real ale fan and even more a fan of actual pubs it was quite attractive to make these places real. But in reality it is the story and the characters which matter most. The settings will be important, but they can be totally fictionalised. Should the finished article ever get read by anyone the important thing will be the story not whether the pubs and bars are real places and they could in fact distract the reader if I did a bad job of it.

Wellington

So whilst I may use some real pubs in my head to set the stories in I'll change the names in all the cases to protect the innocent (and the guilty). This will mean less worrying about getting descriptions 'right' and more focus on getting the story right. When I wrote 'Fergie Time' I had a few real named places in it, but there were a lot less of them than would be in this story and the settings were less important than the narrative.

In summary, with Project Jaipur I have decided that while I will have lots of real venues in mind I'll change all the names. It'll be important to evoke the sense of these venues be they genuine or totally fictitious. Of course there will be plenty of real named places in Jaipur - just not the pubs - let's drink to that.

Over the next week or so I'll be deciding whether to run with Jaipur or Sarah. Looking forward to making the decision and then going with it.

Sheffield
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Scriv and NFFD

Not had much chance to get writing in Scrivener yet. Have actually imported the legendary "Fergie Time" into it in case I decide to get back into it at a later date. It was nice and easy to do. So now I have three projects in Scrivener with the decision not yet made on which one to go with. Hoping to make a decision on that over the next week or two; Project Jaipur or Project Sarah Hughes. I think I know which one it will be, but I'll see how a bit more writing on each goes first.

Fergie T - Scrivener
Fergie Time

Have written a first draft of a couple of flash stories for the National Flash Fiction Day competition (theme: Food). Still got a few weeks to iron them out or re-write! Will have to write a few 100 word flashes for it too at some point (closing date is a bit closer - 17th March).

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Get Some Writing Done

Not done any writing this week yet, not even a blog update. Ridiculous. Even worse it's not because I've been reading too much - I've only read six books this year. This time last year I'd read thirteen. Motivation has been an issue and a general malaise. I've watched some good TV since the new year (Shetland, Collateral, Endeavour (and some fab Match of the Days thanks to Liverpool)), but that's not the same is it? Worst of all though I've watched some pretty average TV too (Modus anyone?). I'm gonna to get back in to reading instead of TV and get that damn writing habit. First up .. FlashFeed to get on up the FlashDogs ranking (I'm currently a St Bernard don't you know). Woof!

SurfsUp


Second up will probably be a story or two for National Flash Fiction Day.

Then I need to get with it and get something going properly on the larger scale; something Scrivener based.

With respect to non-writing skills I got a couple of things I've set myself to learn. With my camera I need to learn to how to use the Time-Lapse function, I always love seeing them things, and I want to make some GIFS just for fun. But first... FlashFeed.

My Goodreads list of Want to Read is getting a little long. Think I may go for the first of the Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (Time Odyssey Trilogy) books 'Time's Eye' which I bought from Oxfam last week.

WantToRead

#GetWriting
#GetReading
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