Windows

If you’re wondering about the title to this post, I’ve just had the windows in my flat replaced. Out with the old, raggedy wooden window frames that no-one had taken care of before we moved in and that were close to death as a result, and in with lovely modern windows. Finally we can clean the frames and not simply be wiping off the dust and dirt that settled on top of the grime that has become a part of the frame. Okay, maybe they weren’t quite that bad, but they seemed it after a while especially when the new ones were due.

Our experience may, and probably will, differ…

Of course, the general public being the easily impressed hicks that they usually are, every single fucking slack-jawed yokel person walking past had to stare into the holes in the wall to see what could possibly be happening. Could these windows have been smashed by the shot of an assassin trying to take out a foreign diplomat hiding, no doubt with nuclear submarine plans, in a shitty little block of flats? We must stare to find out and be a part of this event. That really pisses me off about people. They’re so unhappy being themselves that anything they perceive as greatness is something they clamor to be a part of. Celebrity passing in the street? Let’s stand and cheer as if they’ve given inarguable proof of life after death or that one religion is actually right. It doesn’t matter that they’re only famous by proxy (for shagging some sports star or having family that own a hotel chain) and passing around as many venereal diseases as possible. So long as they’re famous they’re great and need to be worshipped as part of the cult of personality we’ve built up.

Anyway, rage over. As we’ve got that evocative title, how about I offer you another insight into my work ethic as a window to my mind. As I mentioned recently, I’m taking a break from my book for a while to gain some distance and perspective on it, and concentrating on writing short stories to go around it and fill in information about the world I’ve created. So far I’ve written over twenty-four thousand words in two stories and have the outlines of another three ready to write up. I’m not writing as often as I did with the book, but I’m doing a lot less editing when I do write. Each story is flowing out of me until complete then going into the editing stage.

You already know I use Evernote on my phone to write each section of my stories and books, compiling them on the computer into a document. Previously I did editing that way too but it just wasn’t working out too well. Having to look back at a document for an idea of what was wrong then go to Evernote was fiddly and I lost my flow more than once. At the moment I’m compiling each story as a PDF when it’s in its editing phase and moving that PDF over to my phone. Then, while I’m feeling creative but not enough to write properly, I’ll read a section of the story and mark the bits I’m not happy with. I highlight where changes need to be made and write the change as an annotation to the document. Then, I can sit at my computer with my compiling software and copy these notes (handily highlighted in bright frigging yellow) from my phone into the main document. The upgrade to my phones ereader was a couple of quid, but I’ve already added over seven hundred good words to one half-edited story using this method and caught more than a couple of mistakes, both spelling and with the logical flow of the story, so I think it’s worth the money.

Click through for a larger image if you want a sneak unedited preview of Cinder, the first complete short story.

I know I haven’t really been posting as often as I used to. On top of the windows and writing, there have been a shedload (as I get more grey haired, I find myself thinking of sheds more often) of other distractions. Some were good (games and media from my birthday and Christmas that I’m still ploughing through bit by bit) while others were more than a little annoying and had me running around the entire frigging county trying to sort out mistakes that others had made on our behalf. Which was just lovely as I’m sure you can imagine.

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8 thoughts on “Windows

  1. Just read the first chapter of Wildwood on my mobile (made a jar-file of the txt-file). Not bad, I see some elements from your favourite games in it.

    • The idea evolved from a conversation about games, specifically the creatures and their relationship to the world, so there are likely gaming elements in there.

    • What you’re talking about is the concept I’ve been telling people about since the 90s. A mobile to go out with that slots into a working home machine with a larger screen and gets the addition of a keyboard if needed. In my concept the phone would have been the main processor of the home machine and would be intelligently loaded with the right data (applications and personal information) for the day based on calendar entries, alarms and a few other features. All of these would be stored on the home machine memory. When using the phone slotted in it would act like a tailored desktop computer.

      Of course, my concept was designed before cloud computing became the norm and were more about hardware than software. The ideas I have now for an OS are kind of like a mix between Windows Phone, Ubuntu Tablets and Nokia Air. Lots of online productivity apps that have seamless offline components and active sync, hubs that work as core apps and have functions added by plug-ins (media player can have podcasts added to it and internet radio, both as extra menu items for example), and dockable multitasking windows that remain functional. I spoke to people about that in 2008.

      The tech world needs to catch up with me at some point because I’m not exactly talking about revolutionary stuff here.

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