Archive : Author

Tornado, Tornado, Tornado

POSTED ON October 24th, 2014  - POSTED IN Weather

The last month has been a whirlwind.  Time has done that weird thing where it seems both an age ago and yesterday since I moved house.  I still have boxes everywhere and don’t seem to have a free moment to unpack many of them, and I’m going to bed mentally exhausted as I work through a mountain of a ToDo list.

I have found time to get out though.  I’m sword training twice a week at the moment and that’s going well and last weekend I went to the Torro Autumn conference to hear about the latest in tornadoes and their research.

As regular readers of this blog know , I’m a big fan of tornadoes; not the destruction they wrought but the mere act of nature.  I’ve even chased in the US (and been in the outer edges of a mile wide EF2).

But what surprises me (constantly) is how little we know about these acts of nature and how little research has been done.  What’s all the more surprising is the research that has been done has often been done not by academics but by knowledgable amateurs with an interest.

As much as I am like Benny from The LEGO Movie, “shouting “Tornado, tornado, tornado” instead of “spaceship, spaceship, spaceship” I have a real and genuine interest in the science of tornadoes.  Therefore travelling to the conference last weekend and hearing all about research on things like topography and tornado formation was genuinely riveting.

I enjoyed my day and am determined that the idea for a research project of my own should be moved forward.  I need to find ways to source some historic weather data but it’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of it.

The last time I went to a Torro conference I was a few weeks away from going on my first chase.  Now I’ve been out to the US and experienced tornadoes I’m even hungrier for information.  We’re a long way from being able to predict tornadoes but there’s an army of academics and amateurs studying these things and trying to learn their lessons.

New Article At Fantasy-Faction On Scapple

POSTED ON October 18th, 2014  - POSTED IN Writing

http://fantasy-faction.com/2014/so-whats-the-fuss-about-scapple

So this month over at Fantasy-Faction I’m taking a look at the companion product to Scrivener – the mind-mapping programme called Scapple.  If you’ve ever wondered what mind-mapping is and how it could possibly help you or have looked at Scapple and wondered what it does, be sure to check out the article.

Process Update

POSTED ON October 14th, 2014  - POSTED IN Productivity, Writing

My approach to my writing process is one of continual improvement.  I like to discover different techniques and then try them out, fine tuning them and seeing if they match my approach to writing.

A lot’s changed over the last 18 months in terms of process and I’m largely very happy with it and what it’s delivering.  I’ve possibly got a big process rework for how I approach editing on the horizon but I suspect that will slip into next year.  So for now, any changes are things that aid and support, rather than radically change the current process.

Back To The Grindstone

POSTED ON October 7th, 2014  - POSTED IN Writing

For the last few weeks I’ve been unable to write. After never-ending months of the house purchase looking like it might never go ahead, I suddenly found myself with the reality that not only was I buying a house but I was faced with all the realities and complications that arises from the move.

I had so much to do that I decided it would make sense to put the writing on hold whilst I dealt with life. I hated doing this, especially as I’d got some very key scenes I was desperate to write. But needs must.

Like a lot of writers I sometimes find writing a chore. I often wonder if I enjoy the act of having written more than actually writing. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised how much I missed it whilst moving. Over the last couple of weeks whilst apparent chaos has swirled around me, I’ve longed for quiet time to sit back down and write.

And with this week, that time finally came.

I still have a mountain of house-related tasks on my ToDo list, I’ve yet to really unpack many boxes, and as much as writing last night was like trying to use a underused muscle, I still really enjoyed being back.

I’ve worked hard over the years to be able to afford space where I could work uninterrupted. Now I have it, with a massive new computer desk as well. I have no excuse now not to churn out the words now, do I?

GeoGearHeads 144: GSAK I

POSTED ON October 6th, 2014  - POSTED IN Events, Geocaching

For those of you who missed it last week, GeoGearHeads has posted the video of the webchat we had where I talked about the wonders of the Geocaching software application, GSAK. I sound remarkably coherent for 2am in the morning!

If you’re a geocacher who has been wondering why so many Geocachers rave about this product, check out the video and find out why!

GeoGearHeads 144 Appearance

POSTED ON September 30th, 2014  - POSTED IN Events

Just to let everyone know that I’ll be appearing on the Geocaching Show, GeoGearHeads, this Thursday Night (Friday Morning in the UK) to talk about the software tool, GSAK. Chris and Darryl always do incredible shows so if you can tune in live, please do so. If not, you should be able to watch afterwards via YouTube. More details on the episode and local broadcast information can be found

+Adrian Faulkner returns to talk with +Chris Umphenour and +Darryl Wattenberg about GSAK and how #Geocachers can make the most of the popular tool. Hit the “Q&A” button in the upper right corner of the trailer to add a comment or question to be used in the show. Or email us at GeoGearHeads@CacheAManiacs.com(audio files are preferred so we can hear them in your own voice) or call our voicemail line at 206-350-3647.

For more details on GeoGearHeads check out

The Big Move

POSTED ON September 28th, 2014  - POSTED IN Misc

So I realise things have been a little quiet on the blog the last couple of weeks. As twitter followers might be aware, I’ve been busy with moving to Wiltshire after buying a house in the county. I’d not planned to buy for another year or two but I found a great property at a bargain price that I fell in love with.

It needs a bit of cosmetic work but has a ridiculous number of rooms (especially as it is just a normal house). But the real star is at the bottom of the huge garden. I think calling it a shed, den or an outbuilding is slightly understating it, so I’ve nicknamed it the batcave. In a year or two, when I can afford all the work it needs doing to it, it will be my office. In the meantime, I’ve got the office set up temporarily in another room.

However, after taking all my stuff out of storage, I’ve still got a mountain of work to do to make the house habitable – or at least if I want the use of my living room back!

New Article at Fantasy-Faction on Aeon Timeline

POSTED ON September 3rd, 2014  - POSTED IN Writing

http://fantasy-faction.com/2014/so-whats-the-fuss-about-aeon-timeline

So, this month over at Fantasy-Faction I take a look at another piece of writing software in the form of Aeon Timeline.  For those of you who struggle to keep track of which characters are where when, this can be a Godsend!

The Great September Word War

POSTED ON September 2nd, 2014  - POSTED IN Writing

September.  How the hell did it get to be September already?

With the advent of fall comes the knowledge that the year is running out.  We’re now two thirds of the way through and I reckon I’m about half a book behind my schedule of four books this year.

Which is not bad, but gives me the worry that I might get to the end of this year and have just one finished book to show for it.

So like a lot of writers it seems, September is knuckle down and write month.  If I can get this Thieving King draft done by end of September (and I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be a BIG book), Thunder of Crows could be my NaNo novel and then Refugee could be edited in October… or something.

Gah!  I’ve gone from quietly confident to quietly panicking.  Who stole the summer?

To help me I’ve declared a public word war on the incredibly talented CE Murphy.  Like me, she is behind schedule and looking to have a busy September.  We’re keeping it simple, most words over the month wins, although it’s less about ‘winning’ and more about ‘getting stuff done’.  Feel free to join in at #SeptemberWordWar

Managed to get over 3000 words of Maureen fighting Vargs (i.e. Wargs / Worgs) done as a warm up yesterday so whilst I don’t expect to win it’s given me the impetus to start cranking up the productivity.  I’m especially pleased as swapping between the 1st person present POV of Black as Knight and the 3rd person limited past of Thieving King has proved difficult before now.

Anyone would think that Thieving King has a potential release date!