Nov 212011

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks.

This is not because TVTropes has ruined my life, but because because NaNoWriMo owns my soul.

I’ve written an average of 2,000 words a day, every day, since the first of November.

Two. Thousand. What?

Actually, it’s not quite like that. Some days I write three to six thousand, some days I write three hundred to a thousand. Yesterday I wrote nothing for the first time in this whole months because I had a headache.

It’s pretty good practice, both at getting me working every day and at improving my writing technique which is… technically proficient, but stylistically clunky (which is not the same thing as stylistic suck. What do you mean TVTropes has ruined my vocabulary?).

So, what’s the novel about, I hear you cry? Well, to explain that properly I really need to explain the genesis of the idea.

I was sitting in the university, desperately trying to work out what to write for Nano on the first day. My mind went, as it often does, to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces . I’ve never read it, but I’ve heard elements of it down the years, and it always seemed to me that if you think about it the right way, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings have a lot in common.

It’s the story of a boy who has no parents, and is being raised by his nearest living relatives. He discovers that he has power, and is given a magical macguffin. He has to go on a quest, and learn how to use his power along the way. He makes friends, and they become a loyal band. There is a small resolution, and by the end of the first section of his story, he has gained some knowledge, a minor victory, and the first step on the way to his ultimate goal.

So I decided to write the Lord of the Star Potters.

Then I decided that was silly, but had the idea to write a book, but write it from the a perspective you wouldn’t expect. Like, for example Neville’s, Chewbacca’s, or Boromir’s. (Although knowing the Star wars EU that novel probably exists, and the other two are almost definitely existant in fanfic).

So, I made the story of a magical girl, whose mother is wrongly accused of murder. Her mother’s former work partner seeks out her estranged daughter, tells her she’s magical, and together they solve the case. (With a twist. I love twists). Except, this story is about her best friend, who is not magical. She’s just a single mother.

It’s really a very good plot. I with it were in the hands of a better writer, but I’ll make of it what I can.


And my head hurts, so that’s all I have for tonight.

Yup, this is exactly how I see characters in my head.

And his name was Frorryuke

Oct 242011

I didn’t realise until recently what sort of unspoken cultural language we have about newspapers in the UK.
In the same way that someone from England might watch Fox news and mistake it for the same sort of (mostly) unbiased [comparatively] news coverage we get on terrestrial channels over here, someone from Virginia might link to a news article from the Sun, or the Star, or the Daily Fail, and not realise the context of the paper.

The Sun? It’s not just a paper. It’s a working-class, right-wing, non-intellectual tabloid paper.

The Guardian (Or the Grauniad, as Private Eye calls it)? Left-wing. Liberal. Wishy-washy broad sheet (and my favourite).

The Telegraph? (Torygrpah)? Right wing. Upper class. Broad sheet.

The Star? See the Sun, but trashier, and more sensationalist.

The Daily Fail? I don’t even.

Each one reports stories in their own way. And when you, a smart, cultured, not-politically-extreme foreigner, from America, or Australia, or Canada, link to one of these papers you’re inadvertently making a statement.

Personally, I’d link to the Guardian or the BBC. But I’m left-leaning, liberal, middle class and a little snobby.

(Yes, I made two posts in one week. Don’t worry, I won’t keep it up. I’ve never kept up anything like this in my life. So say my 8 other blogs and journals. Although by all means keep checking back or subscribe to the RSS feed and bully me to post more or just watch me fail.)

My masterpiece of MS paint.

This is a man. On a bench. In a park. Reading a Red-top. Which I didn’t mention in this blog. Which is badly-drawn. RELEVANCE!
Oct 212011

I realise that this next is the same level of question as the “Why do foods with LESS fat cost MORE to make”, but I don’t think the answer is the same.

I was looking at Google ebooks and the book on there are generally the same price as paperbacks.


A hardback book costs, say, £20. The paperback version costs around £8.

I assume this difference in price is because the production process for the Hardback costs more, as does the nice shiny card-stuff they use for the eponymous covers.
(Plus a bit extra on top, because any excuse to add to the price is a good one).

I assume a paperback costs as much as it does because you have to pay the following things:

• Writer
• Agent
• Publisher
• Press
• Cost of Printing
• Distribution
• Mark up for bookstores
I don’t know anything about book publishing, but these categories seem reasonable to me.

So why would the same book cost £8 on Google Ebooks?
The very nature of the e-book would seem to remove the Publisher, cost of printing, distribution, and book shop mark-up from the equation entirely.
So what costs might it add?
• Server space.
• Programmers
• Graphic artist
• Distribution programme
But these things are done en masse. Unlike a print run, which might have a cost of say, 50p per book, you instead have to have a personal page for the book, which might have cost you £30 in man-hours in design, server space and implementation; but this can be applied to all of your books. Or, at least, a lot of them. And just retrospectively; it’s to all the future books too. Apply the cost of this one page across all its uses and the price dwindles more.


(In related topics, DRM for ebooks is awful, and why does everything end in 99p in every context?)

A google elf converting a book into an ebook

here is a drawing I did of a google elf making an ebook from a real book. Because you're special.

Oct 192011

New site!


I hate how it looks right now, and I hate that I had to go with a service to make my site, instead of having control of it myself, BUT this one is *way* more functional than the old one, even if it does look like ass.


All the media links should work the same, but now you can comment on things! Cool!


Also, there are tags and… stuff. If you have any suggestions or can help make this more awesome at all, please do.


No, really, please, please do?

Sep 292011

Here you will find the MP3 files of the Echo Chamber podcast!

When TVTropes released a webseries, as a heavy lurker (jojoscotia) I watched it instantly, and every time a new episode came out.
Not content with merely watching the program, I read the blog, the forum thread, the tropes page, and then, when I discovered it, added Zack’s Character on Twitter. Much to my surprise, he added me back, and then tweeted at me. A few days later, Dana Shaw eamiled me, told me she was a KoLer, and would I like to interview the three main cast for Radio KoL. I did a little dance of joy and then said yes.

So, below are links to the MP3s of two interviews. The first, with Tom and Zach in-character. The second, in three parts, is a full interview with the cast, with many hints for the future!


The Echo Chamber interview MP3s are below:
In-character interview with Tom and Zack
Cast Interview Part 1
Cast Interview Part 2
Cast Interview Part 3

I have to apologise for my mic quality. I can’t afford a muffler and I was too excited to remember to point my face away from the microphone. But it’s perfectly audible, and Tom, Zack, and Dana are hilarious!

Sep 052011

My first memory?

Age 3: Woodchips. A park. The ground. Excitement. Safety.
My mum tells me this is a trip to Edinburgh Zoo when I was about 3. I loved the woodchips, and was not bothered about the playpark things like the slide and the swings.

More memories.
Before I was 4: A double bed in a medium-sized room. Lying in bed with my mum being silly. David comes in, and I show him how I can wink. He shows me he can do it with either eye. I bury my face in the pillow and force my eye closed, showing him the results. He’s so silly, I’m so proud. I then taught myself to wink with either eye, much like I would again in primary three, but with fingers.
Before I was 4: A sofa, in a large room. It’s a fairly bare room, and I am sitting on a three-seater sofa across from a TV eating cerial. This is all of this memory. Not what was on TV, not what was happening at the time, just sitting there.
Before I was 5: Christmas morning. A huge tree (It’s not, but I was small), a me-sized perfect wicker chair, with a giant teddybear in it. he had a chain. It was love at first sight, and the joy I felt then is still in the back of my head, wrapped up in this memory like a special present. I don’t know when, but he came to be known as Mr Ted, and was my constant companion for about a decade.
Before I was 5: A kitchen. A birthday. A Postman Pat cake. Candles.


I have one other memory from this time, but it’s probably a bit long and I’ve run out of time. Next time!


Aug 302011

Just workin’ on the site tonight, trying to work out how I’m going to learn to integrate a blogging system into this nice site (rather than integrating the nice site into a blogging system), and thinking about RSS feeds.
I’m not working out how to do these things, just thinking about how I’ll learn to do it.


I’ve been working on changing over the stock pictures to some I actually own (taken by my father). They’re no more relevant to the site than the stock photos, but hopefully they’ll give it it’s own flavour. Right now I’m also working on getting some more pages up; the news section, the podcast page, and the About page. I get a feeling there’s going to be some repeated information though.