Start

My Kitchen, yesterday ^^

My house currently resembles a low budget Disaster movie. All I need now is for Morgan Freeman to turn up and tell me this is all a test and I’ll utterly believe him. Needless to say I’ll be having a few choice words with Bosch Customer Service in the morning. I have a script prepared, and it is EPIC. YES I AM READY.

In the meantime, my patience for many things has reached it’s limit.

STOP! Cuppa time 😀

I’m now behind enough on my Podcast Project to be annoyed, and I’ll do my utmost to get two episodes done this week. There is too much noise and not enough work getting done and I need to fix this, and so I am going to selectively stop listening. Please feel free to take this personally, as I am absolutely sure some people will. I will refer you to the last post, and I’ll be here trying to get myself back organised.

Oh, AND THERE WILL BE FICTION TOMORROW.

The Visitors

Ignore the video, take the song 😀


We’re already into February, and I realise I need a Social Media Policy.
I’ve picked up quite a few people via that there Twitter thing in January, and they fall into two distinct categories. There are those people I assume read The Other Blog and turn up with an actual, genuine interest in what I’m doing… and then there’s everybody else. This includes people wanting to build their follower numbers by following me and the rest of Twitter to see who bites and sticks them back on their list. There’s the You Tubers and Twitchers desperate for followers that they’ll promise you just about ANYTHING to get you added to their total. Except I see through all you ‘personalities’ who are fuelled by algorithms. I will seek you out and remove you. I look for real people curating Feeds, and they are surprisingly easy to find. If I think *at any point* you’re employing Robots to do your dirty work, away you will go.
That means, Rule 1 of the New Policy is simple:  Make me WANT to Follow you.

Often I will follow people for apparently no discernible reason. This is because I did some homework, and the person has given me enough of an online paper trail to justify my initial investigation work as being worthwhile. So, if you follow me and I like the look of what I see, then I’ll open the door for communication, however if nothing comes from this I will walk away quietly (normally when nobody is looking.) I keep quite a tight rein on the stuff that goes in and out of my Feed, mostly because I actively use the format as a writing tool. This has surprised a few people in the past, and I’m now a lot more careful as to what I use in terms of direct interaction with others (via Tweets or quotes.) So, if you have a conversation with me over the medium, and then the same subject turns up in a Blog Post, don’t be surprised, mkay?
Which leads onto Rule 2: My Feed, My Rules.

Says it all.
Wil has it covered, mostly. If you’re gonna turn up and start throwing shade knowing you’ll piss me off, out you go. If you think it’s cool to try and get a rise out of me on summat controversial, you’re having your ass handed to you on the way out to boot. I know how hard and cruel the Internet is, I see it every bloody day, and frankly if you think you’ll get anything out of me to fuel your fire, you are very much mistaken. On the flip side, I’m getting used to offending people with my style. There are clearly those who would like to think reality isn’t their issue and when I wade into situations throwing Real World chaos everywhere, they just get nervous and run away. That’s cool too, I get that. This is both sides of the same coin, after all. I personally don’t see the point most days in pretending that Reality happens to other people. This IS the Future, girls and boys. Like it or loathe it, you will very soon be hard pressed to even pretend to ignore it.

That then finally brings us to Rule 3: I’m not here for the Numbers.

A SEXY CURVE


I’m not here for exponential growth. I may occasionally joke when I hit a 100, or comment on a 1000, but only because I am continually amazed that I watched ever person come in and leave. I don’t ‘do’ this Social Network the ‘right’ way, that much becomes more apparent every day I write. I don’t have a deal with this, and actually as time goes on it becomes progressively easier for me to get a handle on bigger pictures I simply couldn’t grasp before I started dealing with data the way I now do. Twitter is an educational tool, a learning curve all of it’s own, and a peculiar marker for early 21st Century Life. Most importantly for me, it means the people who I really care and love are closer, even if they live thousands of miles away. That apology this morning via DM? MADE MY DAY, it did.

If you want to come play this game with me, there’s only three rules to remember. Any more, and I’d get confused.

Push It

Clearly NOT Rocket Science. At all.

Mankind has done some wonderful things in the last 40 years. The Selfie Stick is not one of them. Although some will argue they serve an important purpose, the rest of us are already predicting the imminent downfall of Society as We Know It as a result of their popularity. If all I have to do is mention the damn things on Twitter to automatically get followed by a robotic sales representative, frankly, everybody’s in trouble.

YEAH RIGHT.

The thing is, actually, these sticks could have another use that maybe the traditional photographic industry’s overlooked. I sense if we let the Adult Entertainment People at these things, the Selfie Stick could take on a whole different life, and the phrase itself could grasp a new, entirely 21st Century double entendre. What if ‘giving yourself a Selfie’ meant using an entirely different part of your anatomy as the means to trigger your own personal money shot?

WORK IT OUT ^^

Now, you’re already shaking your head, believing I’m massively overthinking AND oversharing this, right? I wish. You see, people have already had these ideas, and are selling them. You’re just not reading about them. Let me fix that for you: the people who make the Fleshlight, the male ‘sex toy’ that relies on penetration for your male satisfaction, already has an attachment for an iPad. As the Verge article so elegantly puts it, the idea is to ‘attach the Fleshlight to the iPad and play a sexually arousing video on its screen. A person can then pleasure themselves with the iPad while watching the video in landscape mode, all for the price of $24.95′ Our Selfie Stick idea would take auto-stimulation and the Vine/Instagram/Flickr trend to a new level of financial exploitability. Of course, I suspect that Apple might get the hump if someone tried to patent the name of this as the iCum, but hey it could yet be worth the hassle just for the Court appearance you’d have to make to demonstrate the device in action.

You’ll need a thicker shaft for the grip, I reckon, and I’d start doing those Kegels to make sure you can activate the shutter at the crucial moment. Then, all we need is someone to start a website so you can sell your snaps for a quick profit after the deed is done (www.selfiemoneyshots.xxx) will do: and remember folks, this is the sexytimes exercise you can do all on your own.

Trust me, stranger things have happened to your nether regions in the course of History.

YES THAT’S HOW IT HAPPENED.

Cloudbusting

Seminal works.

In the last few weeks, there has been a not inconsiderable amount of reflection around the notion of awareness. It has been combined with an exercise in grasping what I am and what I have come from, and two pieces of that I wish to share before we move onwards to more interesting diversions. Firstly, the picture we lead with (The Kiss, 1907-1908) was a significant visual influence in my early teens, and my first exposure to it coincided with my English teacher presenting me with a particular piece of poetry to read, with the two combining for a profound emotional response:

Her Song :: Brian Patten
For no other reason than I love him wholly
I am here; for this one night at least
The world has shrunk to a boyish breast
On which my head, brilliant and exhausted, rests,
And can know of nothing more complete.
Let the dawn assemble all its guilts, its worries
And small doubts that, but for love, would infect
This perfect heart.
I am as far beyond doubt as the sun.
I am as far beyond doubt as is possible.
Up to that point sex had been summat you learnt about in Biology. I’d never considered what it meant to me. Needless to say, after over thirty years, this is still very much an ongoing process.

I have been doing quite a lot of exploration in my fiction of late, especially in reference to the various sexual orientations of various characters. This has taken in the more conventional notations of preference, and thanks to contacts via social media I’ve been exposed to a spectrum of new dispositions which I’ve now begun to jokingly refer to as ‘The Sexuality Wallchart.’ There’s also a Glossary of Terminology that was, I have to say, something of an eye-opener. I’d always though of myself as being fairly progressive in my outlook, but my naivety has been quite staggering in the face of a generation who appear to have a definition for absolutely everything. What this has made me realise is just how far awareness has moved in such a short space of time. It has also made me sit and reassess where I live in this Brave New World.
Yes to both. For the record ^^


I have a lot of empathy with 007 in this situation, because it does to me feel like I’ve turned up from being drunk and lost to discover that somewhere along the line in the last decade everything changed and nobody told me. Playing catch up as a result therefore has been pretty fraught, and has resulted in, on a number of occasions, me being caught out over defining one word as one thing when for other people it does clearly mean summat completely different. Fortunately for me however, I am, like Bond, still required to pull the trigger to complete the exposition. My presence is no longer outmoded or insignificant, if I move with the times. That means, with careful consideration, I have to be VERY particular as to what kind of ammo I’m loading when I write anything of note.

As a result of all this, in the current work I’m serialising, some subtle but very significant changes have happened in the last few weeks.

Honesty? I think so.

I wrote the original draft of The Sayers very clearly with a cis mindset, because that’s how I originally envisaged it. However, over time, and with the inclusion of a particular scene in the early chapters, my characters have begun to develop more unique lives, and as a result I have found myself not wanting to impose my limited sexual references on what they are capable of. Once I took off the blinkers, events have moved in far more interesting directions almost immediately, and the narrative is beginning to diverge from its original path. I would be concerned at this if I thought that what I’d learnt and what I was deliberately exposing myself was negative, but as it transpires the effect is the exact opposite. It is giving me more avenues to explore, and is migrating the main plot off the more established track it had been taking and into areas I am finding fascinating to explore.

As an exercise in enlightenment, this has been quite the eye-opener.

Now I really begin to understand that the best writing comes with the widest possible frame of reference. It isn’t just what you want as consideration, it is how you take that and encompass everything else that occurs around you, how this then blends and shapes your final view of the worlds you create. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to gain these insights on my terms too, and in what is an extremely conducive environment for creativity at present. Long may it continue, and if I can keep the mindset and remain a grumpy old cow to boot, so much the better.

Some things may change, but others will remain reassuringly intractable.

Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

Bury them there, nobody’s looking… ^^

Just an advisory, to anyone on Social Media who thinks they’re clever enough to diss their friend(s)/colleague(s) without anyone else working out the fact they’re doing it. You know, the one(s) they were as tight as Kim Kardashian’s ass with: suddenly they’ve fallen out over something, and now the anger burns with the heat of a thousand CGI-generated Suns. They think they’re being clever and oh so subtle in their abuse of them… but the thing is, if I can work out what you’re up to from a semi detached in South East England, your plan is failing. You’re also making complete wankers of yourself in the process.

The problem with your cunning scheme is twofold. Firstly, you forget all the other people who saw this event play out from both sides, and have worked out that you’re the one making the storm in the teacup. Secondly, and more importantly, you’ve also failed to grasp that if you’d like people to take you seriously in the future and not consider you whiny drama queens then filling your timeline with thinly-veiled pokes at the person who has aggrieved you is really not the way forward. You’re hoping most people aren’t paying attention. Yeah, well, the problem there is that, as I have discovered to my cost, an incredible number of people do nothing but.

Available to Embroider and for sale on Etsy  REALLY SOON… ^^

Drama is great when you’re not in it. When someone else generates it you’re more than happy to sit back and lap it up, oh, and add your own tuppence worth in the Pot of Recrimination (available in three colours and four styles.) However, when it’s you caught up with the backwash things get really old, very fast. In fact, this is always a good moment to work out whether the people you call friends are indeed actually that to begin with. because, as I’ve said elsewhere today, knowing who those people are is useful for future reference. But most importantly of all, all those people who you think don’t have a clue who you are because of that Great Internet Anonymity you have because you’re not using your real name? It’s not that simple any more. You’d be amazed how clever some people can be in tracking down connections and joining the dots. They’re the same people who lap up the Internet drama. Except now, these people get paid to do this for a living.

So, when you next decide to spread your drama all over cyberspace? Remember how much it smells, how well it sticks and how difficult it can be to clean up afterwards. Oh, and don’t assume because you’ll forget about it all that everyone else will too.

Some people have VERY long memories.

The Name of the Game


I need to be IN the car, right?

The last five days have been some of the most staggeringly unsettling I think I’ve experienced for a long time. The Real World continues to be dark, unpredictable and full of more angry people than I think most people actually realise. Most of the time that anger only manifests in Social Media. This week, that was peanuts in comparison to what we saw play out in Paris and across Northern France. These are places I’ve stayed in and I love, which hold memories that I refuse to be allowed to be sullied by the disenfranchised souls that decided to try and destroy what is held dear by so many. It might just be a coincidence, I suppose, but anger and confusion seems to have spilt out across the virtual world I inhabit too. It makes sense that people would feel threatened by events, and maybe this would translate into big things causing little things to ignite. When this all happens simultaneously, the World becomes a fight. Except, if I’m honest, that’s always the way it’s been.

This morning, I finally understood something significant for the first time.

Mr Alt got on my back before Christmas about my repeated use of the word ‘perception’ when trying to explain things to him, and last night, as I lay in bed, the word began to peculate in my head. Whether it was the row I had this week concerning what I thought the definition of a certain word actually meant, or the blog I was writing that sprang from the definition of another in someone else’s head, things have stopped being about general concepts any more, and they appear to be boiling down to single expressions. Accountability. Extremism, Feminism. These are definitions that people use to help them understand the World around them. They do this in many places: work, home, social media, and while the rules that govern the first two are often very rigidly defined, those of the third are almost perpetually in flux. What many individuals fail to grasp is that once you cross a line and engage someone else in a conversation via Social Media, your rules fail to completely apply. Notice the deliberate capitalisation there too, because once this happens even the environment may change at a moment’s notice and you could end up being sucked into an abyss you might never escape from.

Turbulence incoming 😀

Last night, I witnessed a meltdown on Twitter I had nothing to do with, but plenty of other people did. I went away and did some digging, and it became really rather apparent what had transpired, and from a distance the utter ridiculousness of the incident became all the more apparent when painted beside what the day had presented to me in World News. I suspect this kind of ‘flashpoint’ is happing everywhere, even as I type: Person A strays into Person B’s space and says something that contravenes/upsets/aggravates THE RULES. More than likely Person A will be completely unaware of said Rules in Person A’s space, and the reaction Person B gives is completely acceptable to them, but the opposite to Person A. DRAMA ENSUES. Then, as more people dive in and the Chinese Whispers increase, it becomes a swirl of turbulence, hapless pulling total bystanders into the vortex of recrimination and judgement.

The thing is, and this is important, these flashpoints do matter a great deal. They can affect Person A’s understanding that people don’t care or grasp how they feel, and that their defence of them is clearly correct: instead of providing illumination and understanding, they simply bolster anger and determination. Person B may stand by their assertions they did nothing wrong, but simply typing what they thought might not have been the most sensible cause of action on reflection. The standpoint of ‘well, that’s how I see it’ is fine until presented with someone who doesn’t. This is how conflict is born, and often the most damage is done to the people who find themselves caught between the two standpoints. The argument of ‘I don’t know these people and therefore it doesn’t matter’ becomes less and less moot with every Real World incident where people under the radar die because of events that could have been prevented IF PEOPLE HAD LISTENED. Just because its not happening in your social sphere, doesn’t mean it never will.

Needless to say, Twitter needs to consider who it recommends to me for follows based on a more sensible algorithm than simply who everyone else reads and who’s in my ‘circles’, because really? Social media is NOT that easy to define any more.

If all else fails…

I’ve long made the joke that my ‘brand’ on Social Media matters a great deal to me. The Alt is a mark I now use everywhere, because I understand the need for continuity, but more importantly I want to make sure people can see me for what I really am. Although it is unchanging on the surface, I am rapidly altering with every day. My attitudes, whilst once static and unmoving, attempt to shift and accommodate as the World evolves around me, and its hard, but what I stand for remains the same. To have the chance to interact with so many people is an opportunity I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime, and to turn any of this down, even the bad stuff? I would be the most stupid of fools. You’ll never have these opportunities again, and every moment is precious, after all. To learn to live in this world is a challenge, and to succeed is always a triumph.

In summary? Take your choices, and if you don’t like them, do something else. But NEVER FORGET the world isn’t just you. Please, PLEASE try and find a way to get on with the rest of Humanity, and don’t deliberately isolate yourself, because there are ALWAYS alternatives.

Trust me, down that road only danger lies.

Gimme Shelter


This year’s got off to a worryingly good start.

There’s no need to go hide from the world until February, which is how the first few weeks of a new year always feels. In fact, all told, this is all a bit too good to be true. I’ve spent the last three days, for the want of a better word, ‘standardising’ my various web presences. I have a couple of places still left to play with (Twitch most notably) but that really needs me to connect my Webcam and bite the bullet of doing on-screen appearances. It will all come however, because I have decided I am determined to do lots of shit this year I’ve promised myself would happen, and now will. Because, as my mother never tires of telling me whenever I see her, we’ll all be dead eventually.

I’m hoping I can get a bit done before that happens 😛

This means pushing a couple of projects out of my brain and into the World, but first I have more pressing concerns. There’s six weeks worth of Gaming Podcasts to knock off, for starters, but I’m quietly confident I can break the back of this by the end of February. It is what I then have time to throw around that: the Novel’s written and fairly solid for that same period, I’d like to try and push another work to completion so I can have a go at pitching it online. Then, I have two other things I wanna do: we mentioned the Bond Movie thing late last year. Well, that has a logo now, and a webspace ready. All I gotta do is stop worrying about everything Eon produced between the Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights and the fact I’d actually have to watch the torture scene in Casino Royale without looking away. Having seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I believe I am now mentally prepared to watch Mr Craig being tortured. This means the first film I review and break down for my own benefit and your general entertainment will be Dr No. Connery, I come for you.


Arriving before the end of January. I hope.

Finally, there’s what I’m going to dub ‘The T Shirt Project.’ I’d hoped to do this once a week and I’m still aiming for this, even if it means stacking up half a dozen pictures at the first time of asking. All will become clear as we go along, and I’ll be asking people to present their own ‘entries’ for my Online Gallery too. ‘Favourite Shirts’ should also launch before the end of the month, barring any major apocalypse-type real life events.


And there’s the other idea. BOOM!

This means that the personal site might start generating its own separate traffic eventually. That’s the plan, and this is why I’ve made both this and the gaming site so generically similar, because although the two different spheres are largely indivisible in my mind, they’re not for others. This way, I get to keep everything roughly together but at the same time very much separate, and it allows me to stick stuff online that I think people might find interesting. Most importantly of all for me, none of this really costs any money at all. It is just time, which is becoming an extremely precious resource, but I am learning to use in more sensible ways than I ever did in my past. If there is one enduring legacy to all this working stuff out, it is the importance of time management.

There’s an awful lot to be said for getting yourself organised.