Tag: #amlistening

PODCAST shout out: DUST: Horizons.


Following years of half-baked attempts to find new music to enlighten my ears and mind, I decided to sign up to Spotify. Within a few weeks, I was given many top-quality suggestions for new music to listen to, and along with this, I looked into the other things Spotify has to offer, which includes Podcasts. There are so many I didn’t know where to start. Then, I remembered something that happened a few years ago.

….a few years ago I stumbled upon a Sci-Fi short films channel on YouTube called ‘DUST’ I watched one video, about a man who while photocopying documents finds a big Black Hole on an A3 piece of paper that allows him to use it as a portal into anything. As in, he sticks the piece of paper to the wall, walks through the black hole to the other side of the wall), and was instantly hooked. I watched a few more, but then somehow, I became unhooked and didn’t watch anymore. I decided to search for this on Spotify and found ‘DUST: Horzions’. This is the same DUST I found on YouTube but they are now presenting classic short stories from authors such as Philip K Dick and Ray Bradbury and new authors of Sci-Fi.


There are eight stories so far, with the longest being 45 mins, that range in darkness but are all really interesting. Each is unique and very compelling, with some having drops of humour along the way. As I listened to each one, they provided me with time to take in new Sci-Fi (Obviously) and reflect on my own work and how I could change some elements of the endings to my stories. Each ‘Dust:Horizons’ story has a logical end and, although it seems surprising and maybe shocking, makes sense when the story is looked at as a whole. Not one of the stories seemed to be throwing a twist in for no real reason. For impact rather than as part of the overall story, which is always good. Everything tied together at the end, in a sense, and then there were also numerous things to mull over afterwards. And I mulled — a lot.

The above all leads to a question; I know I’m probably late in arriving to Sci-Fi Podcasts but can anyone recommend any? And if they are available on Spotify?




Another break. Another return.

Would you look at that? Its been too long (12th August was my last post) and I again have no reason for it. This seems to be a bit of trend with me nowadays. So, lets see if I can break this down and find out why I haven’t posted in a while.

Most days I hear by blog crying and having a go at me. Why aren’t updating me? What did I do? I hate you! No wait, no I don’t hate you. You created me. My blogging existence was only possible because of you. I love you!!

And so on.

My last post was the first few pages of my last finished story. I posted this to get some feedback, which I did and it was very useful. Then, I remember wanting to wait a while (a few weeks) to see if any more feedback would come. Alas, none did.

Then, I wanted to post but I decided too…. too…write another story! That’s it! It’s all coming back to me now.

I decided to write a story and focus on this alone. The story is actually a side story to go along with my main WIP that I started to write 3 years ago. I’ve been thinking about and have wanted to complete my main WIP since I started writing oh so many more years ago. The side story concerns Steven (The hero of my main WIP) who has been chosen to be one of a select few who must guard and protect all the realms (Earth being one of them) from each other when needed. Reluctantly, he was recruited and trained by the previous protectors who had grown very old and weary and could not continue to do their jobs. In total, there are 6 main protectors who have been recruited. They must recruit others to help defend the realms alongside them. However, the new protectors have to contend with old, bitter ones who wish to cause chaos…

Dun Dun Dunnnn!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cphNpqKpKc4

So far, I have written 55,992 words of my main WIP. I only realised when I started to write it that 50,000 is only a small part of the story. A really small part. With this in mind, I have decided to write side stories that will accompany the main story or potentially will be mixed into the main WIP in due course.

My thinking behind this is to write a novella or maybe novel-length stories for each of my main 6 protagonists. Each story will take each one on an adventure away from the others and see how they get on and have their characters grow. The first side story involving Steven has him thrown into a medieval type realm and an adventure with a Princess. Strangely enough, I have had not the ending of this story in my head but rather the moment they see each other again 6 months after their adventure finishes. This plays out in my head every time a particular song, Katherine Jenkins version of Hallelujah, comes on my MP3 player. It always goes the same way but before I can write that, I need to write the story that sets it up.

I used NaNoWriMo 2018 to write most of and ultimately move along with this side story. As a result, I am almost finished having reached the 50,000 target and in total, I have written 55,992 so far. I am taking a break at the moment for Christmas to concentrate on my reading but will get back to it soon. But not before posting on this poor neglected blog of mine.

As I have now successfully completed NaNoWriMo for the 4th time I will endeavour to use it to kick start my writing again and in particular my blogging activity. Here’s hoping I stick to it. Or I will see in 3 months or so.

Have a good day! And here is a quote that I have only recently found and really like.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson.


My first Manchester Literature Festival experience: Cory Doctorow ‘Information doesn’t want to be free’. 07.10.2014.


I just wanted to let you know about the great talk I recently witnessed as part of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.

I received the booklet which explained all the MLF events and this one stood out for me. I hadn’t heard of Cory Doctorow before but what his talk was about, which covered the choices you make about your digital creativity resonating throughout the internet and three laws to abide by when doing so, sparked my interest. I’ve read plenty regarding copyright laws and what rights writers have when they decide to self-publish or are lucky enough to be signed up by a major publishing house and what they want when you sign a contract but hearing an expert talk about it was something I wanted to hear.

The first law covered the locks that are put in place on something you own, mainly the thing you’ve created, and how it’s not really there for your benefit. As far as I was concerned before hearing this, I thought these locks are there to help. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one lock that you would click before publishing with Amazon for example that would protect your creative product. Cory explained how easy these things are to unlock by saying that such locks were on DVD’s when they first came out and it was broken within 24 hours to allow any DVD to be pirated. Once the lock is in place as well, only the company that put the lock on can remove it. Not even the author can remove it once they agree to it. That sounds pretty scary to me. The Hachette Vs Amazon barnstormer battle came up and he explained how, with Hachette refusing to agree a new deal with Amazon re: sale of their products and such, Amazon have refused to sell any of Hachette’s stuff, which accounts for 40% of their annual turnover. Hachette has mandatory DRM on their products and some websites have this auto-selected when really, by the sounds of things, you shouldn’t use it. It’s akin to having armour round you work like wet tissue paper.

The second law was that publishers will make you rich as long as you are already famous. I’ve read many stories whereby an author will be rejected by publishers, self-publish and sell a lot of books, and then make a deal with a publisher but make it tailored to their needs because they can live without the publisher. It does seem to me like trying to go it on your own is the better option and probably the more satisfying one.

The third law was that information doesn’t want to be free. Information always seems to have some kind of cost to it. When it is put onto the internet, which is the Nervous system of the 21st century as Cory put it wonderfully (if you’ve heard that before, fair enough. But I haven’t so it was a wonder to me at the time) then it does seem like it would be easier to encourage people to freely share parts of their work which would in turn help the sales of the book in the future. This is something that Cory has done very well for many years. He explained as well about how computers seem to be everywhere nowadays. You carry a computer in your pocket (mobile phone) or an iPod or any number of things which can have its contents accessed by anyone if they tried hard enough. He said that in the future everything will run through the internet and that it was evitable.

In conclusion I did enjoy the talk very much, even buying a book of his and getting a picture with him, and would advise anyone who wants to know more about copyright laws to seek out Cory Doctorow and his musings (http://boingboing.net/ and http://www.craphound.com amongst many) . To finish, here are a couple of pictures from the night. Thanks for reading.

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