On Saturday an entire nation woke with a cultural hangover. Even those who’d entered into Friday evening full of cynicism, woke up asking themselves, “did that really happen?” and “It was rather good, wasn’t it?”
I’ve never been anti-olympics, but I can understand why some are. I have, however, been against elements of the event – the sponsorship, the censorship on urban comment through the whitewashing of graffiti, the missiles on people’s houses.
I am so glad that I blocked out the whole of last week. With hindsight I should have blocked out this week as well.
So last weekend saw my 10,000th cache find. As a rule, I don’t do milestones. I originally planned one for my 500th find and had everything lined up for it to be Stonehenge until I failed to find one of the caches and it put my entire plan in disarray. As a result I’ve largely avoided them since.
First, apologies if anybody is waiting on anything from me (I don’t think there is). I believe everyone I’m working with knows this week is a bust for me, work wise. And if I haven’t told you, I’ve be planning for this for months, and have figured it into any deadlines due next week.
This week sees me find my 10,000th cache, which if anyone knows me and my geocaching, is a HUGE deal. The plans are also huge as well.
I read something recently that argued that it is harder to write hope than it is to write cynicism. I think that’s probably true. Likewise, I think that it’s easier to be cynical than to be hopeful. Showing hope somehow exposes us, lays bare our dreams and aspirations, amkes us vulnerable.
This is why I think symbols are important. I doubt you’d find a writer who disagrees. After all, isn’t everything we create some form of symbolism?
There are many fine and justified arguments against the Olympics: we can’t afford it, it doesn’t benefit local communities. Like many others I get incensed when I see missiles being deployed on top of people’s homes or all the fast food sponsorship (except Cadbury’s. I will not have a word said against them, om nom nom). But setting all that aside, on a purely symbolic level, I’m all for the ideal and symbolism of the Olympics.
Not too brilliant a weekend. First I ended up house sitting whilst the electricians came to do some work. I had no electricity so was unable to do any writing (coz it’s all on computers these days, init?) but at least I read most of Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. I have to say I’m loving his Peter Grant books. Fun, easy reading, and the perfect thing when you are sitting there thinking “surely the Landlord should be doing the house sitting?”.
If I had to list my heroes you’d probably not know one of them. Everyone has heard of George Lucas, Clive Barker and JRR Tolkien but not so many have heard of Larry Hama,. For me he’s up there with those icons.
Larry Hama was the writer of a toy tie-in comic called GI Joe, released by Marvel in 1983 to cash in on the toy run’s popularity. The thing is, it would have been easy for Hama to dial this in. But he didn’t. Sure it had to feature toy of the month and some of those were pretty whacky, but Hama always embraced it, treating his tie-in universe with the respect you’d expect on a big A-list project. No-one was expecting it to last for years, yet I believe at one stage it was Marvel Comics’ biggest seller.
I can’t remember who linked me to this last week, but here’s a wonderful video of Neil Gaiman talking to the Nerdist Podcast about the process of writing. Some wonderful advice here in these 5 minutes that, if you’re wanting to write a novel, will worth your time. If you’re struggling with your writing or feel what your producing isn’t good enough, know it’s like this for all of us. Some wonderful advice here!
So now it can be revealed.
I’m happy on several levels to be able to announce that I am going to be writing for GPS Tracklog on geocaching. I’m sure many of my geocaching friends will have come across the website before, but for those who haven’t (or don’t cache) GPS Tracklog is the premium consumer GPS weblogs globally. It’s the place sites like Engadget and Gizmodo cite as reference. With up to half a million page views a month it has a huge readership and I’m excited to be bringing geocaching to a wider audience.
The plan is to bring the more technical side of Geocaching to the fore with my articles, and I kick this off with a piece on why you should be using GSAK. Be sure to check it out and if you think there’s anything I should be covering let me know, there or here.
This year has been rubbish for me for Geocaching. 2011 was pretty good despite a lot going on in my personal life with 3812 caches found. Prior to that I’d averaged around 2000 a year.
But this year, I’ve done just 500 in the first six months of this year, and for me, that’s abysmal.
It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with the hobby. It’s just a combination of new job with out of hours support, moving and then twisting my spine due to the move, has meant that I’ve long since written off the year as a big numbers year.
Whilst unpacking boxes yesterday I came across my first ever rejection. It was for a story I submitted to Interzone when I was eighteen called “…Just a dream”.
Back then I considered myself a SF writer. I was a massive Star Wars fan (always have been, always will be) and thought that meant I had to be a SF writer. I was writing a SF book, that looking back now I realise was just fantasy set in space (like Star Wars) and finding it difficult to connect with a lot of SF literature. No wonder then that the story itself was rubbish.