18 December 2014


I've finished Singularity, and I've got a couple of friends to beta it for me.

I even have a cover picture. Which I made with Windows Paint. Because I'm a well-good artist.

I intend to publish it early next year, once the jury returns a verdict.


13 December 2014

Writing revisited.

My novella is still going pretty well, and actually I'm expecting to have it finished by the end of the month.

Now, I know it's not the biggest writing project I've ever taken on, but if I do finish it, it will be not only the first book I will have had published (albeit through a self-publishing website), it will be the first project like that which I have undertaken and completed. Which, to me, is a big thing.

So, I'll raise my cold coffee again, and toast to a completed book by the open of 2015. Watch this space.

4 December 2014

Getting over being a rubbish writer.

OK, I don't exactly know if the actual quality of my writing is rubbish or otherwise; what I mean here is that I seem to have rubbish discipline as far as, y'know, sitting down and putting pen to paper is concerned.

Well, it seems I've found a way to encourage myself to 'JFDI.'

The novella I'm working on - if you want to call it that - is fairly simple in how I've arranged it; it's as much a concept-anthology as it is a single story, which means I can write out of sequence without having to make or refer to notes concerning characters. Which I've done: I actually wrote the last story first, partly because I wanted an end to encourage myself to work toward and partly because I had a couple of nice scenes in my head that I wanted to write.

Another thing I've done to encourage myself to get it done is blow the dust off my Lulu account, and set it up to actually use. Cleared away a few half-arsed projects that I gave up on when I was still at school, and created the project for the novella I'm now working on. I even have an ISBN registered for it.

So all-in-all it looks like whether or not my writing is rubbish, I'm not so much a rubbish writer any more.

Wish me luck.

27 November 2014


Since I'm new to the great, exciting world of blogging, it's not really likely that you're aware that I'm currently out of work, and while I'm looking for a suitable job I'm keeping myself busy with a couple of projects.

First, I know what it sounds like, saying I'm out of work and looking for a suitable job. Tootles is one of these lazy buggers who sits around passing up job opportunities because he feels like he's above them. Well, not entirely. I'll admit that as an honours Information Technology graduate, I don't exactly want to have to stack shelves at Aldi (though should it come to it, a job is a job); and much of the work for which I'm qualified is simply non-existent where I live. But Tootles just commute or relocate, I can hear you saying. For some of us, it's not as simple as that. First, commuting from near Blackpool to the Manchester area would work out at approximately half of my wage and involve me getting up at all sorts of ungodly hours in order to get to work. And should I relocate, I would need a significant amount of money at my disposal, which would be pretty hard to do.

So I'm holding out as far as IT-related work is involved, and working as a part-time volunteer at a Cancer Research shop, to give myself a little motivation to get up in the morning. I am also in the process of rewriting my CV so that it says 'employ me, I'm awesome' instead of 'I go good computerstuffs.'

In the meanwhile, however, I need to keep myself from stagnating; that is part of why I started this blog. I am attempting to keep myself from spending entire days playing Minecraft and Unreal Tournament, by way of working on a couple of projects which are actually productive.

I would like to point out at this juncture that I am not in receipt of jobseekers' allowance, or any other benefit than the kindness and patience of my parents, for which I am infinitely grateful.

The first of these projects is a piece of music, which currently stands at around half-done. I am a fan of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, among other rock/prog-rock groups and artists, and had the idea to write a prog-rock-inspired piece along similar lines to Pink Floyd's The Wall or The Who's Tommy, looking back over my life to see who I am and who has made me who I am. This project is preliminarily titled 'Riding the Threads' and while I've made it a point not to make the latest stuff I've worked on available to the general public, a copy of the WIP/demo can be heard here.

Riding the Threads has been a fun project so far, and very engaging; in order to do it I have needed to learn how to play a number of musical instruments, including guitars and keyboards. Before I started doing this I could only play the ukulele.

The second of the projects is writing. I have always had aspirations to be a writer of some sort, and while I've had idea after idea for novels, and always thought well, I haven't got the time. Including in the eighteen months since I graduated.

Now, I've heard and read it said by a lot of authors that the only way you're going to write a book is to sit down and write. So all the time I spent swearing silently at prospective empoloyers for not giving me that job, playing Minecraft in a vain attempt to distract myself and/or rage-quit from the job-hunting scene.

So I'm taking up the time I'm not smearing the insides of my brain all over a keyboard, applying for jobs, or rewriting my CV writing bits of fiction. I am currently working on what I'm hoping will end up being a novella which will look at the possibility of technology being developed too fast.

I will keep you posted. Maybe.

22 November 2014

It isn't Christmas yet!

I've been seeing it on the television for most of this month. Amd at least half of the last. Christmas savings this, Christmas presents that. And to top it all off, the one thing that my generation claims to be the one true sign that Christmas is really coming - the Coca-Cola advert came on. Nearly a month early.

I get called a spoil-sport by my friends who consider it to be Christmas as soon as we're into the last quarter of the year. People who start watching Santa Clause and listening to Now That's What I Call Christmas at the end of September.

People like that make me sick. At the end of the day, it's hype upon commercial hype, and it does nothing to make Christmas anything other than an anticlimax. Seriously; when they've been putting Christmas songs and films on, and Christmas discounts are already available at some shops, it makes me glad for it all being over, come January.

OK, maybe it's handy to have your Christmas cards ready to write/send a few weeks in advance. Maybe it's wise to save up for presents and food and expensive cheese and Cockburns Special Reserve Port. Maybe it's prudent to make your Christmas pudding a year in advance, as tradition says, or buy cards and wrapping paper in early January when all the shops want the stock off their shelves (we've all done it). Or even go so far as to buy something you see when you see it, in the spirit of the opportunist.

But it isn't necessary to start making a fuss about Christmas until it's actually getting close to Christmas. You know, maybe the beginning of Advent or so.

19 November 2014

Hello, world.

Hello. Are you sitting comfortably?

Oyez: once upon a time, I was of the firm opinion that things like this were for people who were either interesting enough to have something to say that other people might want to read, or else people who were so utterly pathetic as to presume that I - or other members of the general populus - might want to read about how they've just been to buy beans, or walk the frog, or whatever it is that normal people do.

Well over the last handful of years, I've become aware that it's not just for cool/awesome people - which I am not - or for those so silly as to try and tie a piece of string around a frog so that they can take it for a walk - of which, to be fair, I probably am. What it is, for most people, is a place where they can scramble their ribblings... sorry, scribble their ramblings... to get things out of their system, or else as a medium to sort their thoughts out within their own head. To be fair and honest, I'm probably just going to scribble and rant. Or plug any music or writing projects I may be working on.

Until then. Cheers.