Monday, 29 March 2010

Useful thing a tinfoil hat Ace.

Again I am late in posting, this is purely because of laziness. That and if I did post more often, this blog would become full of me waffling about absolutely nothing for a few lines. I know some of you may think that it is about that at any rate. To you naysayers I say, that you are probably right, thus making you less naysayers, more yaysayers. A word that sounds much more positive I think. Really, we should all be much more positive, that way things won't seem that bad.

So, what is this particular blog going to be about? What am I going to witter on about in the few words that I am going to lay before your eyes, which I am sure are very nice eyes. Will I talk about the Formula 1? Well yes I will for a little bit. Now I like Formula 1, there is something about the cars, in all their engineered glory, whizzing round the track at incredible speeds, roaring past spectators that I find really entertaining. The race this past weekend in Australia was a much better viewing spectacle than the one a fortnight ago in Bahrain. Which was less a race, more a procession of cars. The Australian GP had it all, overtaking, impressive crashes and a rather thrilling finish. Unfortunately Sebastian Vettel (nice young German driver) crashed out after a really impressive start due to some problems with his car. This is a shame because I rather like Vettel, he always comes across as nice and he's impressive to watch. In the end, Jenson Button won, which was nice because unlike Lewis Hamilton, Jenson tends to stay on the right side of Australian traffic police and he's not going out with a Pussycat Doll, so points to him for that.

As I reported in my last blog. I was writing a short story for the Doctor Who audio people at Big Finish. Well, the deadline was today and I managed to do it! Yaaay for me. I managed to write an entire 2,000 words for the story I eventually submitted around 1am. I had originally got a story that I had been sitting on for a while about a hospital with aliens in the basement, in fact the title of this blog is a quote from it. However when I came back to it to give the story a final read through, I didn't like it, so I abandoned it. In it's place I speedily wrote one about a radio. This I was much happier with.

However, this blog isn't about me being happy with my work. It is about my major problem in the writing stakes. Namely, the problem of editing. Now I love writing, putting words onto paper and creating these worlds is a real joy. I enjoy coming up with lots of different ideas and running with them, putting them into a story. However, despite all these ideas, all these wonderful worlds and beautiful words, I can't stand what it is I write. I read the words of any story I have written and just start hitting the delete key like a man possessed by the ghost of some rabid editor. Whole waves of text fall victim to the scythe that is the delete key. This is a problem that I will need to overcome if I wish to become a published writer. Otherwise I shall end up becoming my own worst enemy and never getting beyond a title.

In guitar news, I have been practising the chords for "Running to Stand Still" by U2.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The hardest part

Well, it's been a while since last I blogged. This is because I have been busy and not really had much to say. I did promise that there would be a forthcoming blog on the Indian Premier League. This got cancelled when I watched some of it and it frustrated the life out of me. I love cricket as a sport and really enjoy the T20 version of the sport. However the version presented on ITV4 is so cut up by ad breaks and pointless moments as to make a mockery of the sport.

Rant over.

I have therefore decided to dedicate this blog instead to one of my other Nano aims, namely that of becoming a published author. The key part of becoming a published author is of course having something to write about, one doesn't become a published author by making a candle after all.

I have currently been developing a short story to enter into the opportunity offered by producers of audio adventures of my all time favourite TV show, Doctor Who. The company named Big Finish can be found here. The company have been running a competition to find some short stories for a new range of short story CD's they are looking to produce. I am in the process of writing three separate stories that I am going to then have to choose between to enter.

Now why am I doing this? Well, unseen and non-existent questioner. I am doing it because I simply love to write. I enjoy the idea of creating a world and a series of events. It's the sheer joy of using the language to create this. Part of me also likes the idea of going into a bookshop and seeing my name on a shelf. That is of course the egotistical side of me which is called, for some reason, Kevin.

My ultimate aim really is to get myself published purely for the reasons state above, I don't care much if they become enormous massive Harry Potter style leviathans. It would be nice but I think unlikely. It would be nice to just know that people at least enjoyed reading them, which is I think a much nicer thing to get from reading.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Easy as A,E,D,G,C and other letters

A week has passed since the official launch of TYSIC. As frequent readers (or those who have simply scrolled back through the history) will know, I set myself the aim last week of becoming slightly better at the guitar. This task in theory should have been incredibly easy.

Previous attempts with a guitar have seen me learning one chord (A) and within the space of a few hours forgetting it. This all changed this week as I learnt not one chord but EIGHT. This, as most mathematicians will prove using a simple sum is an EIGHTFOLD increase. The chords I have now learnt are A,D,E,G,C and the minor chords for A,D and E. This has meant that I have now taken them from being mere letters of the alphabet (impressive as they are). They now MEAN something outside of their linguistic context.

Now I don't like picking favourites as it would be wrong to, plus it would hurt the other chords feelings. However, my personal favourite of these chords is G, I don't know why, there is just something about it. Eminor comes a close second.

Another thing that I have developed is switching between these chords, my switching is still rather clunky but there is definitely an improvement from how I was a few days ago.

The next step will be to actually learn how to play a song. I think something relatively simple would be best, no running before walking and other poolside rules.

Next time: A guitar update and also, some writing news.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Talking Football

As promised, aside from the usual updates of my adventures this is the first in a series of additional posts about other things that occur in the world. As the none too subtle picture there --->
indicates, this is a blog about one of my major passions, football.

Football (or as some call it soccer, for reasons known only unto linguists) is a great sport. It contains moments of drama, excitement and comedy. Granted this comedy is in the form of banners, chants and the occasional referee taking a tumble. Often times the sport is depicted as laddish and rather simplistic. At times it can be but it can also be a great leveller, on the pitch, all are equal. There is something about watching football, watching the skills and action of a match is really good.

Little bit over now on with the post. My chosen team is Liverpool but I also follow Huddersfield Town. These two teams are in completly different divisions, which means unless an unfortunate FA Cup tie occurs or both teams end up in the same division through disaster or sheer fortune than my loyalties aren't tried.

This weekend saw the continuation of what many see as the finest Cup in England, the FA. Cup. Over the years this tournament has seen more surprises than, well a very surprising thing. Similes in the comments section please. Rather unsurprisingly perhaps, Chelsea managed to outpace Stoke, Villa beat Reading (coming back from 2-0 down) and Fulham and Tottenham drew forcing a real play. The real surprise however was that Portsmouth managed to beat Birmingham City. Yes despite all their financial woes, Portsmouth managed to outclass Birmingham. This was a real moment of the cup at its best, it was sad that Portsmouth became the first Premiership team to go into administration but seeing them overcome all the troubles was really uplifting. One can only hope that they go on to the Final and win it but even achieving the final would be really good.

Next week, cricket and the IPL.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Commence. Beginning the beguine. Start.

The first day of TYSIC is here! My ten year journey starts today, the day got off to a good start as I saw a man with a long white beard smoking a pipe. I hasten to point out that the man was doing the smoking, not the beard. The days of smoking facial hair are long past I'm afraid. To many my spying of a be-bearded (a word I intend to use more often) man may not seem a good omen to some. Especially those suffering from pogonophobia. However to me it is. A bearded man, is a reassuring sight, one need only look at the list of famous beards to realise that this is true. Santa, Jesus, Brian Blessed, Henry VIII and Charles Darwin. To contrast this a famous pogonophobe is Margaret Thatcher and her reign saw mass strife in the country. That is however a political issue and this isn't the blog for such flights of fancy.

So what does one do now on the commencement of my TYSIC actually mean? It's ten years away from completion, surely a first week can't see an improvement already? Well, humble questioner it can! (of sorts). As mentioned in post number one, this idea is the brainchild of stand-up comedian, author and notoriously slender person Mark Watson. Mark has issued a challenge to his fellow TYSIC followers (yet to have a name chosen). This challenge is simple, take a step towards getting on with ones TYSIC.

Well looking, down my list I will go for my option to become at least competent in a musical instrument. I am afraid that I will be rather clich├ęd and go for the option of guitar. I have had a guitar situated in my room for years now and have never got round to learning it properly. I have tried to learn chords before now and whilst this has gone well, I have forgotten them by the following day. This is of course a problem if one is to learn an instrument. So I shall have to make a concentrated effort to set aside a few hours a day to practice chords. So by this time next week, I shall hopefully have learned a few chords. The ones I learn will be a surprise.

Now on to more interesting issues. This blog isn't just going to be about TYSIC, that would be rather dull and self indulgent, two things I hope I'm not. Every once in a while a more light hearted, opinion thing on various topics such as sports, literature and TV will appear. These will be much more light hearted in tone and presented in a different style to this.

Until then.

P.S. Please check out the people in my following blogs especially ben, becky, BigDawg and any of thers I have rather foolishly forgotten. Sorry to them

Monday, 1 March 2010

The start (an introduction)

Well, this is it. The start of easily the longest commitment in my life. Forget school, forget the degree. This is the proverbial IT (note the capitals, they are an intrinsic part of all this).

What is a TYSIC?

A TYSIC is an acronym. The letters stand for Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge.

What does this entail?

The concept was created by hilarious stand-up, environmental campaigner and sports fan Mark Watson. Who can be found here. Over the course of the next Ten Years I will be aiming to complete a series of goals that will hopefully improve myself as a person.

What are your goals?

My aims are:
  1. Get myself published
  2. Learn to Drive
  3. Visit a major sporting event (world cup, Olympics, European Championship)
  4. Attain an MA in Museum related stuff
  5. Learn a musical instrument to a competent degree
Hopefully this blog will see me stick to the challenge that I would otherwise forget about after the initial rush. The whole thing starts on March 4th.

Also the blog will see updates on other topics such as sport and anything else that takes my fancy.