I used to play a lot on the Xbox, but then I realised I was wasting tonnes of money on games I hardly played and so confined my gaming to predominantly World of Warcraft. There was the odd exception but in the majority the Xbox has been left to gather dust.
After moving and then working out how to pump the sound through my headphones, I picked up LEGO Batman for the console and have been having a lot of fun with it.
A lot of my friends are reading Fifty Shades of Grey at the moment. Sales of the book and its sequels have grown to a stage where it’s now breaking records, yet some will claim it’s little more than Twilight Fan-fic. However, whether you love or hate the book, I think it and other breakout hits like it hold important lessons for writers.
I’m a big Muse fan, even if I always forget when the tickets to their tours go on sale until after they sell out. Anyway, a new Muse track is always a big cause for excitement. And whilst many bands’ later albums seem to lose some of the magic of why you liked that band in the first place, Muse’s more experimental tunes are probably the ones I love best. This tune, the official Olympics track by the way, is completely bonkers. I could understand why some people might really, really hate it.
But for me: love it and all its quirkiness.
For some reason I’ve overhauled the website. I’ve long wanted to expand my bibliography with details on some of the articles I wrote for Memorablia magazine a decade ago. Not so much to make the bibliography bigger but because I worked hard on that magazine during its lifespan and I’m proud of the articles I wrote.
Trouble was that I thought I’d lost all my copies. That was until I was packing up the old house a couple of months back and came across them buried away in a cupboard. I was over the moon, even more so when I found the magazine with my first ever commissioned article from 1999.
When I was clearing out the old house I came across a lot of my old print publications that I thought I’d lost. I took them with me and, today, have spent the afternoon scanning covers and updating bibliographies. With some magazines I was actually quite surprised just how much I wrote, and whilst I doubt the effort of listing them all will give me any real benefit, it does give me piece of mind that I now have a complete list of my publication history.
I’ve currently got the music from the second series of Game of Thrones on repeat. The album came out this week and is the perfect accompaniment to one of my writing projects. There’s a lot of good tracks on the album (although if I’m honest I don’t think it is as a strong as the first season’s) but this one has to be my favourite, even though it has vocals. I find it strangely haunting. Word by George R R Martin, Music by Ramin Djawadi and sung by The National.
Games writing seems to be in the spotlight at the moment with complaints that it falls foul of sexism and genre tropes.
Let me say, at the outset, that I think people wanting a better quality of writing in their games is a good thing. Only by people questioning the current norms can the issues be highlighted and hopefully resolved.
However, I do want to say a little in the games industries defense. Games writing is still in its infancy. It took comics over 40 years to create Watchmen, yet it’s only been a few years since games writing became more than a cut scene to link two levels together.
It’s fair to say that this year has been a terrible caching year for me. It seems like there have been a long procession of issues which have stopped me caching.
We have a saying in geocaching circles: “it’s not about the numbers”. That’s mostly true, but for some it is about the numbers. Everyone finds their own challenge: for some it’s finding a well hidden cache, or one in an extreme location, or being able to walk a certain number of miles. And for some there’s no challenge at all, just a hobby to dip into on a sunny afternoon.
With the day job meaning I was on call and a bad back stopping me doing any really serious Geocaching, this weekend seemed to be a good weekend to make progress on two of my writing projects.
Project Llama is an unusual beast in that word count can be deceiving. Still in the absence of a better metric, I managed to do a good 5000 words on the project over the weekend. It’s becoming much larger than I originally envisaged, but it’s a lot of fun. I reckon I’m only a third of the way through although there may be other factors than mean the other two acts don’t have such large a word count.
Project Juggernaut is really just being written for shits and giggles. I wrote something to see whether it worked, really liked it and have just basically carried on with it. It’s a perfect project to dip into, and again a lot of fun. I surprised myself when I found out that over the course of the weekend I’d written over 3000 words on this.
I still managed to find time to watch TV, do some reading, get some geocaching done and go to the cinema. I certainly didn’t feel like I was writing all the time despite managing to write over 8000 words. I wish every weekend was like this.
I’d put off reading Storm of Swords. It’s a big book and I’m a slow reader. I’d also not enjoyed Clash of Kings. The circumstances regarding Renly annoyed me greatly, as if the tone of the worldbuilding suddenly shifted. It felt a forced book, one where the writer’s machinations were too clearly on show.
However, I greatly enjoyed the HBO show of Game of Thrones (as well as the book of the same some years prior). George R R Martin proved to be an excellent reader at Eastercon so I decided to give Storm of Swords a go.