This is not my main blog. This is the other blog. The one that charts all the random bumps on the highway that is life. It was also my first blog, so it is, in it's own special way, still the best.

The other one, the one that I update regularly, can be found here.

That's all for now.

April 12, 2011

Traveller's Tale

The rack and the ruin
Of outrageous fortune
Haunts all who cross o'er the sea,
But the sights and the sounds
Of the miracles found
Await all who would choose to be free.

I did travel away
In those glorious days
Til I ached in my muscle and bone,
And though each sight I saw
Left me gasping for more
I did hope in my heart to go home.

Still on did I go,
Through the sun and the snow,
To see all that my heart could desire,
Then with all I had learned
I turned and returned
To the site of a once well known fire.

Though my feet changed their course
To that homeward bound voice
That calls out to so many like me,
Still the memories remain,
Spinning loose in my brain,
Of the time that I chose to be free.

C Shiell, 2011

February 14, 2011

A Translation of Mother Theresa’s 'Jeta'


Life is a possibility, embrace it.
Life is beautiful, admire it.
Life is wonderful, enjoy it.
Life is a dream, follow it.
Life is a bewilderment, face it.
Life is a mission, fulfil it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a treasure, cherish it.
Life is rich, saviour it.
Life is lovely, revere it.
Life is a mystery, uncover it.
Life is pain, endure it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a tragedy, forbear it.
Life is luck, benefit from it.
Life is an adventure, be regardful of it.
Life is very precious, delight in it.
Life is a war, learn from it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Masiela Lusha

June 20, 2010

Bad Fantasy Plot Devices

Dear fantasy writer,

Over the years I have spent a lot of time with you and your fellow writers. It's been fun, and I have greatly enjoyed it.

However I have started to notice a few tropes that are... how shall I put this...

They suck. You suck. Bad fantasy writer. Very bad fantasy writer.

Anyway, to here is a short list that I would you prefer not to use in the future:

1) There is no evil overlord of EVVVIILLLLLL.

I mean really? Just because you're writing fantasy doesn't mean you need an evil overlord. You can literally create any type of race you need to fulfil any role you require. Use it. Make a race of carnivorous frog people who desperately need to wipe out humanity. Maybe their range has been threatened and they're fighting back. Maybe they were there first and don't like these uppity monkeys are taking over. Doesn't matter.

What does matter is that it doesn't include a bad guy who is evil because... they're evil. For a start it's been done to death by people who really should know better (Tolkien, Rowlings, Lucas go to the naughty corner). Secondly it's lazy writing. Do better.

2) No time travelling and erasing the main character's traumatic past.

Let's be quite clear here: the main character is the main character because they are driven and skilled. The main reason they are driven and skilled is because of their traumatic past. So by time travelling and erasing their traumatic past you are...?

That's right, in one fell swoop you just completely erased the entire story arc that you'd carefully constructed over the last X books. It didn't happen and so it must be a complete waste of my time. Yes, I'm looking at you Gemmell. Yay?

3) Let it be a fantasy world.

This one really gets me. I mean why? It's a fricking fantasy world. The reason for this is because you wrote it that way. It does not - I repeat DOES NOT - need to be this world. It doesn't need to be related to this world. You know why? Because it's a fantasy world. No matter how hard I try I'm never going to be able to throw a fireball or control an elemental or fly. I'm okay with that. Really I've made my peace.

By all means if it helps move the story forward, or adds an interesting dynamic then transport someone from this world for it (Donaldson, Lewis have a star). If you really want you can even write yourself into your own book, interact with your characters and, hell, blame the 27 years it took you to write the series upon the bad guy (gold star King - but don't do it again). To get to another world I will happily climb through any wardrobe, cross any threshold or even throw myself in front of a car... okay, maybe not that last one. But I honestly don't need some little tid-bit that suggests the fantasy world is the future of this one (Butcher, Brooks - consider yourselves warned).

August 27, 2007

Change Everything. Again

At this point I've been doing this blog for a little under a year and a half. It was started because I had to sign up to comment on another friend's blog. Since I had the opportunity to create a blog I did.

Let's be honest though, I've never really known what this blog was all about. It says it right there at the top. I just said whatever I felt like saying, whether it made sense or not.

Now I do have something to say. Or more accurately I have a framework of ideas in which to say the same things. I don't know if it'll properly work, I don't even know where it's going. But it's there so I might as well use it. So I've created a new, hopefully better blog called Change Everything. Again. For some reason it makes more sense to start in a whole new blog rather than continue this one. It's something to do with new beginnings.

I will still keep this blog alive, but really it'll be more for funny anecdotes rather than anything else. I seem to be averaging about one post a month here, so I'll stick with that for now probably. But really if you want to know what's going on with me then you'll need to check out the other.

Be warned, there's a lot of it...

July 16, 2007

This morning so far...

06:00 - Alarm goes off. Get up and jump in shower.
06:05 - Jump out of shower, throw on yesterday's clothes.
06:10 - Eat cereal bar and have a glass of water.
06:15 - Leave Sister's house
06:20 - Arrive at Train Station, buy ticket and diet coke.
06:23 - Stare at company's London office and try to work out if there's anyway I could work from there today.
06:35 - Get on train. Fail to fall asleep.
06:45 - Get off train at Clapham.
06:46 - Realise I should have gone via Waterloo.
06:54 - Get on slow train that crawls through every station known to man.
06:55 - Fail to go to sleep again.
07:57 - Get off train at Basingstoke. Go outside to have two cigarettes. Trade texts with House mate in Southampton who works in Basingstoke.
08:10 - Get on train at Basingstoke. Fail to sleep again.
08:37 - Finally fall asleep.
08:42 - Wake up at Southampton. Grab free magazine as get off train.
08:43 - Leave station, start running.
08:44 - Stop running, start walking and decide it's time to start going to the gym again.
08:49 - Arrive at flat. Dump free magazine on kitchen table whilst I change.
08:51 - Leave flat with coat with work pass in pocket.
08:51:10 - Leave flat with coat with work pass in pocket and watch.
08:51:20 - Leave flat with coat with work pass in pocket, watch and train ticket. Start running.
08:51:25 - Stop running, start walking, decide to go to gym tonight.
08:59 - Stand on platform swearing at train that left 30 seconds early. Try to decide if it's actually worth getting into work two hours late or if I should just go back to bed.
09:00 - Realise my train was delayed and I was swearing at the wrong train. Try to hide unsuccessfully.
09:01 - Get on train.
09:02 - Realise I left free magazine on kitchen table. Get bored.
09:16 - Realise I have no idea if this train actually stops at the piddly little station in the middle of nowhere that I need.
09:29 - Get off train at the piddly little station in the middle of nowhere, start walking.
09:55 - Get to work.
09:55:20 - Realise work pass is in other coat's pocket.
10:00 - Start working. An hour late.
10:01 - Go to breakfast.
10:02 - Get caught enroute by boss1. Talk to him about a problem.
10:30 - Write an email to boss1 explaining exactly the problem he needs to fix.
10:35 - Get nabbed by boss2. Talk to him about a problem.
11:00 - Finish email to boss1.
11:01 - Write an email to boss2 explaining exactly the problem he needs to fix.
11:30 - Get breakfast.

And after all that I still got to work earlier than Steve... :)

Disclaimer: some dramatic license has been used here. I can actually run for longer than a minute.