Friday, 22 July 2011

The Magic Moonstone (A Tale from the Gateway Worlds). Free eStory available from:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

Unwanted Gift
The wife bought me a computer, all cables and fancy keys,
With a TFT, a Pentium 4 and some wossname DVDs.
When I finally found the ON switch, at the back, out the way,
I watched in awe and listened to the whirring CD... JK?
Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to log on. What silly language is that?
I’d have more chance mud wrestling the next door neighbour’s cat.
Press START, All Programs, click Office then Word.
Oops, hang on... an Access Violation’s occurred.
There, that’s better, I can type to my heart’s content...
Wait a minute... not sure where that last paragraph went.
Now a box has popped up and I can hear a ding-ding-ding.
ALT-TAB out be Christ. Chance would be a fine thing!
“You have caused an error,” it said, “Windows is shutting down.”
I could hear the innards sighing, the monitor gave a frown.
I kicked the box which squealed aloud and made the speakers wince.
Hope my letter’s alright in there, I’ve not seen the damn thing since.
So you can have it if you want, this perplexing Packard Bell.
As far as I’m concerned? They can all go straight to hell.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

On ... Fatal Revenant by Stephen R Donaldson
Where once the depth and richness imbued by his 'clever words' added mystery and excitement, now I read over them as if they're not there. I also prefer Thomas to Linden and find myself getting rather sick of her self-pitying whine. "Just get on with it, woman!" I hear myself thinking, usually when I'm skipping the latest short but random assortment of unpronounceable letters. (I've been putting together Seven Words of my own.)

I always feel the time travelling thread is a cop-out and dislike it in science fiction too. In this case, if you want to go back in time just go back and stop worrying about justifying it or have your characters worrying about breaking the laws of causality - you just sent them back in time for goodness sake, too late to be careful now! Sorry, the latent theurgy obnubilated within my information processing system is uncontrollably effusing.

Will I read the 3rd one? Yes. But only after what happened on the last page. Up until then I might not have bothered.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Having promised an insight into my tropical building site garden I thought it about time I shared with you the secrets of cultivating one of your own. Of course, I use the word 'cultivating' quite wrongly.

You're going to need a cement mixer; everything revolves around this, if you'll pardon the pun.  Add to this a strategically inconvenient pile of builders sand insufficiently covered with a holed and garish tarpaulin; allow weeds to grow through - you'll not have a choice. Alongside, proximate enough to mix and spoil, drop recycled chippings. Attempting to wall these 'ball bearings of death' behind planks unsuitable for the job will lend a wonderful, mysterious air to your site.

Scatter an assortment of wood, brick, tile and other plumbing and electrical fittings over poorly laid black weed suppressant matting. Finally, scatter generously with exotic weed seed. Behold.

Friday, 24 June 2011

I know I'm becoming "Australian by contamination" but there's just something about the NZ anthem - when sung at the rugby - that makes the hairs on my neck stand up:

Sunday, 12 June 2011

BW1 DN done.

After days of editing, culling, slicing, formatting, optimising and ‘removing the self indulgences’ I have, with the help of my masters, reduced BW1 DN from its original first draft of 95,000+ words, down to just one; “wickty”.

Okay, its about 88,000 and I've uploaded every word, and a cover, to Smashwords and Amazon. Both sites are 'pending approval'; hopefully be ready for general consumption within 2 weeks, when wickty will be revealed.

Watch this space for more details!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Vast and green, an easy start,
Look within to find the heart.
Upon a rock, beneath a stream,
See it shift, see it gleam.

Monday, 6 June 2011

1. Scan all parts of 10+ year old hand drawn A3 Hops Castle map into Paint Shop Pro 5 and Shift+S to shrink. Copy and align the pieces back together, magic wand and del the unwanted bits. Print.

2. Improvise a light box with a cleaned sheet of plastic taken from an old picture frame raised off a desk equally on both sides by some cherished Alistair Macleans to a sufficient height to allow an IKEA desk lamp to slide easily beneath. Turn lamp on. Trace.

3. De-paperclip and scan unblemished black Artline FINE 0.4 map, Ctrl+A onto copy of “possum paper” as new map layer, reduce opacity to 40%. Add map’s key layer; 60%. Add title layer; opaque. Voila. BW1 DN eBook cover done...

Friday, 3 June 2011

I humbly suggest Monet’s dabbing and rapid brushstrokes in oil technique would have improved immeasurably had he been fortunate enough to witness the unique and beautiful patterns found in the mesmerising spray of possum urine. Certainly The Water-Lily Pond is quite good but lacks that stippled agedness only possum urine can truly achieve. Once my masters demonstrated this technique the rest was obvious. After burning the garden furniture I left some A4 outside overnight and on the morrow it was duly, nay lovingly stained. After allowing for drying time and for the overwhelming stench to fully dissipate, I scanned it, capturing its beauty forever; this will become the background layer for BW1 DN’s book cover.

If you answer to a different master, try rubbing A4 with a used Tetley teabag (“Tetley make tea bags make... paper look really old”). That looks quite good too.

Friday, 27 May 2011

I was asked during the week, 'How is your lemon doing?' Lemon. Singular. Where once hung a beautiful citrus bounty of fish flavouring wonder... there is now only one, effin, lemon, remaining. The others are laying strewn about the little lawn, one possum-sized bite taken from each. Notice I say, one bite from each lemon? Not one lemon wholly consumed and un-missed. Oh no. Bite, yuk, throw, bite, yuk, throw, ... bastards!

However, inspired by this lesson from my masters, I edited the first 15k words of BW1 DN into 13k better ones. It will be ready in July for all my Dear Readers to enjoy. And I'm keeping my singular lemon safe; it may lend zest to the celebrations on ePublishing Day.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Not another effin blog! Well, I didn’t really want to write one either, but the possums made me do it; they are my masters now. They scamper across my tin roof after dark, tapping out Morse code urging me to plant more vegetables (but not to worry about putting onions in because we don’t like them so much) to tie a rope from the tree to the roof to act like a bridge so they can avoid getting their paws dirty on the effin bush turkey poo, and, yes, I was just as surprised as you; start a blog, Rob. Start. A. Blog.

I didn’t argue. I do what they tell me. And this is it. Their blog. They know things and they want me to share this with you; about growing chillies, about Liverpool FC and the offside rule, about Welsh rugby and my tropical building site garden. Oh, and about writing books…