Archive for the ‘General’ Category

A Recent Interview

Posted: May 28, 2016 in General
Tags:

I recently had the good fortune to be featured on Lorna Suzuki‘s All Kinds of Writing blog, in which I was interviewed concerning my writing and books. Lorna is the author of the epic fantasy Imago Chronicles, which are destined for the small screen as a TV series.  As well as that she features authors on her blog and I was lucky enough to be the most recent one.

Anyone who has used computers or any other device that stores data has run into the problem of disc failure that leads to lose of data.  It is the reason we make – or should – backups in case the main storage goes down.  You just have to hope that the backup also doesn’t fail.

Over at the Southampton University in the UK they are working on a system that may make it a thing of the past.  Utilising lasers and quartz crystal, they have developed a means of storing up to 360 terrabytes on a small disc for a very long time – 13.8 billion years by their estimates.  Not exactly a short amount of time.

It is not yet available for commercial use but it will certainly come in handy if and when it does.

 

The Melancholy of Old Towns

Posted: April 13, 2015 in General
Tags: ,

Last week my wife and baby daughter and I spent a few days on her uncle’s farm out in the country.  On the way there and back we passed through a number of small country towns.  As is often the case, I get a touch melancholy when passing through small towns like that because many have obviously seen better days.  All the old and abandoned churches, shops, houses and schools speak of a time when they were thriving, and to see them slowly wither away touches me.

Part of the problem, as I see it, is that transport is both too fast and not fast enough.  When these places were settled, there were no cars and transport was much slower.  So the towns were self contained communities.  As transportation became faster and faster, the need for all the services was reduced and people could move more freely.  The cities sucked in all the people looking for work and the decline began.

Now imagine if we had super fast transportation, where instead of being three hours from the city, these little places were only half an hour.  You’d probably find people moving out again as jumping on a fast train to take  30 minute ride into the city followed by a short walk to work is a lot faster than many commutes people make by car as is.  At least I’d hope so.  The big cities are getting too crowded and congested.

One thing I want to do, if I ever become a multi-millionaire best seller, is buy one of these fading old towns, or at least a part of it, and bring it back to life somehow.  Maybe make it a writers retreat.  Which would really require a cafe/bakery as well.  Its a nice dream, though one doubtful to ever happen.

Yes, I Am Still Around

Posted: March 15, 2015 in General, writing
Tags:

It had been a while since I last posted to my blog – much longer than I had realised when I checked it out.  Over a year.  That is just a little too long a break.  But I am still around and will get back into the swing of things.

Life over the last year has been busy.  Between being newly married as well as starting a new job, our world was changed by the arrival of a baby daughter, Aubriana Skye, 5 months ago.  As with all bundles of joy, she doesn’t allow much time for writing.  For the first 4 months of her life I got none done, but now, as she gets a bit older, I have started up again.  Not that I’d change any of it.  Being a dad is an amazing experience.

The blog will be undergoing an update as well at some point, and a whole backlog of stories will start making an appearance.  I hope.

As for the million word challenge.  Didn’t quite make it.  Think it clocked in at around 330,000 in the end.  But with last year as hectic as it was, it was understandable that I didn’t make it.  I hope to try the challenge again someday – not this year though.

The Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has just been reopened after being closed for ten years for renovations, which seems an awfully long time.

To announce and celebrate the reopening, a flashmob took place that recreated one of the most famous works in the Rijksmuseum – The Night Watch (or more officially The Company of captain Frans Banning Cocq and lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch preparing to march out), by Rembrandt.  This wasn’t your standard flashmob however…

The following is a short animated film, around 9 minutes in length, about a pair of unlikely adventurers. It is very much in the heroic fantasy style of adventuring (think Conan) than the high fantasy style.

There is also a kickstarter project to turn it into a series.

For such a short film, it packs quite a tale into it.

I saw the following video yesterday, a mash up of two of my favourite shows – Castle and Firefly.  (Both, oddly, starring Nathan Fillion.)

It takes the theme and style of Firefly and uses the cast of Castle.  And its great.