Work, work, work. Then unemployment, unemployment, unemployment. Then work,
work, work again.
So much so that I have
not had time to keep this site up to date (not that anyone's reading it,
apart from me :))
The contract with the
semantic analysis software company fizzled out. They ran out of work for
me, and then I waited and waited...
Finally my agency suggested
that I should look elsewhere for another contract.
So I did, and ended up
working on one of the most satisfying gigs I've had in years.
contract called for 90 days at no more than 8 hours a day (with national
holidays off - unpaid, of course).
It has been
extended for another 42 days and I'm hoping for more (but nothing is certain).
The gig is
40 miles away from home but luckily I'm able to rideshare with a friend
- someone I used to rideshare with on a previous contract.
for a biopharmaceutical company, writing scientific papers for researchers.
The work is fascinating, not least because it's been 30 years since I last
looked at Chemistry and a lot has happened in that time.
It's also great
because I get to do tons of online research into things like fractal geometry
and draw pretty pictures of Sierpinski's Gasket and similar esoteric objects.
fun, the people are extremely nice to work with, and my boss is the best
I've known in a long time (and 30 years before that). [To give them all
names: Alastair M, Angela C, Don G, Steve W and now Ed M.]
is getting up at 4:30 am every day and not getting home until after 7pm,
which means about 90 minutes to eat, chat to Casey, check email, and crawl
into bed ready for the next day. The weekends are reserved for sleeping,
doing chores and sleeping...
So no time
or energy for creative writing just now - but lots of ideas, which are
being committed to my organizer ready for the time I manage to sit down
for a few days and write for myself!
So, check back
every couple of weeks or so and see if anything's changed (the home page
update date will always reveal if anything has).
Oh, and did
I mention that I just had my 50th birthday? I wonder how I managed to forget
what's the haps?
Or to put it more sensibly,
what's been happening?
It's been a while since
I had time to keep StoryLines up to date (not since July, in fact). I've
been working on a fairly intensive contract that involves semantic analysis
software and XML-based documentation, to which I have devoted all my time
Now I'm benched for an
uncertain period (i.e., I'm not working and not being paid but the contract
is still in existence) so I'm taking the chance to get some more writing
done as I keep my eyes open for the next opportunity.
Call Me Silvie (aka Îsle
de Trésor) has been registered with WriteSafe but that's about all
the writing I've done in the last few months. I have a good half dozen
stories that are partially complete and I hope to be working on those over
the next few days, and a few more concepts to play with and see what I
now has a mirror in Europe!
In London, to be exact,
- and a new domain name - www.story-lines.com
- registered by and hosted by ASSOCIATED
ANL have a very fast
of presence in Europe - so fast, in fact, that you may find that this site
loads faster than the original Tripod site does...
Both sites will continue
to present the content of StoryLines, but one will be without certain very,
very annoying and intrusive banners.
is quickly becoming so complex I decided it needed a site
The basic structure is
borrowed from ideas I got after running a demo version of SiteXpert
I hope it makes navigating
a little easier - in any event it's a different approach.
I will devise a way to
automate the map shortly; for now it's a (manual) labor of love (so if
you find a broken link please be gentle :)).
know a number of other writers and I'd like to feature them in these pages.
Look out for the Fellow Writers section, coming shortly.
second quarterly competition saw two of my pieces make it to the semi-finals,
and the Malcolm in the Middle script - an earlier incarnation of which
made it to the semi-finals in the previous quarter - made it to the finals.
I have some more edits
to make to it when I can find the time to complete them, and then maybe
it will go a little further.
So not quite all the
way there, but progress, definitely progress.
The current candidate
is the premise for Call Me Silvie (see The Haps), and we'll see how that
does over the next few weeks.
Well, it didn't go anywhere
- them's the breaks. But it's still a workable idea, I think, so I won't
be dropping it any time soon!
TooWrite Short Story Competition
TooWrite Short Story Competition closed on May 10, with five of my
non-fiction short stories entered.
The organizers report
that they have over 900 entries to sift through, so it will be weeks before
they can announce a winner. I'll just have to be patient...
No luck at TooWrite
- my stories didn't make the grade. This time. The next competition
has started and I'm working on another five shorties to go into it!
Therapy For Beginners
idea for Silly Therapy came to me after having spent over an hour on the
phone to the Internal Revenue Service, trying to persuade them that executing
a federal tax lien on my assets would only have a purpose if I had any
assets to begin with (it's a long story). When you have financial
hardship, being hit with a lien doesn't do anything to lessen the hardship,
as we all know.
Well, those of us not
working for the IRS do, anyway.
Therapy For Beginners isn't a competition piece (yet) but it might
turn into an electronic book if I wave a magic truss over it.
The Do It Yourself You
Lazy Bastard self help guide to coping with life's obstacles is designed
to be read tongue in cheek.
This makes the reader
sound demented if they're daft enough to read aloud, and is all part of
The Silly therapy regime
has been known to help with clinical depression, male pattern baldness,
corporate financial instability and cheese making.
What other lies can I
Oh, yes, it makes you
attractive to women or men (especially those with a dog and a white cane)
depending on which side of the street you read it, on alternate Thursdays.
Enjoy and don't sue me.
Bogbrush Saves A Bit Of The Universe
concept arose out of the rediscovery of some characters I created back
in 1973 during a holiday in Barmouth, Wales. I even have photos of
most of them. You can read more of the story behind Dodger and his
somewhat suspect looking relatives here.
Shire Reeve of
occurred to me that there are a number of stories around that are based
on misconceptions (sometimes even on deliberate distortions of the truth).
I've never seen the legendary
story of Robin Hood told from the perspective of the supposed villain of
the piece: the Shire
Reeve (or Sheriff) of Nottingham.
So far this is just a
pitch - I don't have enough research done to even begin a treatment - with
a rough working title.
One thing I found: Nottingham
was originally closer to being called Snottingham (spelled a little differently:
Snotengaham). Luckily for us, the Normans apparently dropped the
Otherwise the people
of Snot might have given us a different version of Robin Hood...
I can see the story going
forward either as a comedy or a drama - both are feasible (especially with
a name like Snot).
Well, the premise did
better than I thought it would during the WriteSafe Competition - it got
to the semi-finals!