Archive : Author

Where Did November Go?

POSTED ON November 21st, 2014  - POSTED IN Games, Productivity, Writing

Gosh, has it really been that long since my last blog post?

November is always a busy month for me.  First, there’s NaNoWriMo which I make a point of doing each year even if my participation is just limited to further work on whatever book I’m currently writing.  Then every couple of years there seems to be a World of Warcraft expansion released around this time.  And this year there’s the added complication of having moved the contents of a 60 foot storage container into my new house and having yet to unpack all the boxes.  I’ve also upped my swordfighting training to twice a week.  It’s no wonder I have little time to blog.

NaNoWriMo 2014

POSTED ON November 1st, 2014  - POSTED IN Writing

If there’s been one thing that’s been grinding my gears lately, it’s some of the anti-NaNoWriMo sentiment out there.  Apparently there’s only one way to get stuff written (who knew?) and it isn’t NaNoWriMo (apparently).  Those pieces that aren’t just clickbait will tell you that NaNoWriMo is a waste of time and if you were cool, you shouldn’t be doing it.

There’s only one absolute rule of writing and that’s in order to get published you have to complete work.  That’s all.  Get the words down and then worry about everything else from there.  How you do that, how you go from having no words done to having all your words done is up to you.  The internet is full of advice, and by all means check it and try it out, but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not for you.

Look at this way, to be a runner, you have to run.  People don’t go around telling runners that the fact that they run down to the shops and back every night doesn’t make them a ‘proper’ runner.  It’s not the speed or the distance that makes someone a runner.  It’s not how they run.   Oh of course, there’s always some guy; some guy ready to tell the world that unless they run exactly like he does then you can’t call yourself a runner.  But you, I and the rest of the world knows that this is bullshit and the guy is just an arsehole.

No, what makes people a runner is that they run regularly.  They go for runs.  By the same principle if you write, you’re a writer, and whether you are a pantser or a plotter, whether you find NaNoWriMo works for you or not, doesn’t enter into it.

So if you’re worried that you want to NaNoWriMo but think that if you do, it’ll somehow ruin your career, you can slap that shit right out of you now.  Likewise, you’re under no obligation to do it.  Doesn’t make you any more or less a writer as long as you get the work done.

For my part this year, I’d hoped to start Thunder of Crows but I’m feeling that I’m behind on Thieving King (this book is HUGE and despite a lot of hard work I feel like I’ve made no progress).  I need to really push on with it.  So for my NaNoWriMo I’m just hoping to get more of it done.  Is it cheating?  Actually no, but I couldn’t care whether it was or not.

New Article At GPSTrackLog On Souvenirs

POSTED ON October 27th, 2014  - POSTED IN Geocaching

http://gpstracklog.com/2014/10/geocaching-souvenirs.html

My latest article is up at GPSTrackLog and this month I take a look at Geocaching Souvenirs – What are they?  How do you get them? And why you should consider ‘collecting’ them.

Be sure to check it out!

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