Monthly Archives: January 2014

The End

I have been wrestling with purchasing a flat for the past few months. Yes months! It feels like everything that can go wrong has gone wrong with this purchase! The end is now in sight. I shall very shortly be moving to Pontypridd.

Pontypridd is a small town about 19 kilometers outside of Cardiff. Since Pontypridd is more of a Welsh area than Cardiff I am going to attempt to learn Welsh. I honestly don’t know if I will succeed, fail, or give up before I’ve truly given it a go.

Welsh is, I know, a strange language to want to learn. Almost everyone who speaks Welsh speaks English. From that point of view it could be seen as a waste of time; I feel a connection to Welsh though. When I take the train there is something nice about hearing the announcements in Welsh. I was thinking that I might try and listen to Welsh audio books and see how it goes.

I’ve also thought about doing the same thing for German. My TNG DVDs have a German option so I’ve watched a couple of episodes in German. So far all I can say with any certainty is ‘Der Weltraum – unendliche Weiten.’ – Space: The Final Frontier.

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The Other Day…

When I say that something happened ‘the other day’ I can mean anything from yesterday to a few weeks, or even years. ago. This is useful when writing this blog because the vagueness of that sentence can apply forever. I might see something one day, write about it the next, and schedule it to go out the following week and it can still be valid to say ‘the other day.’

So the other day I saw this video and just had to share it:

Dr. Tyson has an excellent way of putting across, sometimes very complex, ideas in a way that is funny and accessible. If science was approached in this way more in school it would be a very good thing. My memory of science is that it was never that interesting. I did enjoy it though because I had lessons with two good friends but I don’t remember it ever being truly fun.

A lot of science stuff, so basically the entire universe, I don’t really get. I used to think that an orbit was only used, in terms of Star Trek, to keep the planet from running away. I mean as opposed to having gravitational qualities and the like. See I’m proving I don’t understand it now. When I write science fiction I occupationally ask my brother for help, he has a head for these things, but sometimes all I really want is a simple answer. For instance I often just need to know if something is possible or not. However simple answers tend to be rare. As my brother once said there is a reason for simplicity to be illusive when writing science fiction… ‘It is rocket science.’

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Prompt – I Had Known Him For Years

While at university we were regularly given prompts. We were then told to write for a few minutes, usually about a quarter of an hour, and at the end some of us would read it out. Reading out to a class was the best things about university.

For the following piece I had the simple prompt ‘I had known him for years.’

I Had Known Him For Years

I had known him for years. I had never thought of him in a romantic context. At first it was the age difference, he was five years younger than me, sixteen when we first met. When people saw us together they used to ask if we were a couple – we said no and laughed at the idea.

So what was it that did it? How did we end up together? He wasn’t tall, dark, and handsome. More like plain, light, and average. His hair, though short, never quite seemed under control. His nose had a slight kink in it – a rugby accident. He did dress well – shirt, jacket, jeans, never ripped, and no t-shirts with pointless numbers or suggestive slogans

Okay I’ll admit it. It was the uniform! Something about the black jacket with the gold rings around the sleeve ends is very appealing. We did, after all, get married a few years after he joined the navy. Before you think of me as some uniform crazed slut – it was only him. I wasn’t hanging around at the docks awaiting the ships. Maybe we only got together, or stayed together, because of the uniform.

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The Doctor

One of my new year’s resolutions was to post regularly on this site. This means that some of the time I will be writing ahead of time. It feels like a bit of a cheat but there you are.

Speaking of time did you see the Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who? It was unfortunately not very good. The Doctor Who episodes have, in my opinion, become far to complicated recently. Classic Who tended to be small scale. The base under siege stories were often very good. However now the Doctor has saved not only the Earth, not just the galaxy, but the entire freaking universe! Now let’s be clear. I thought the pandorica story was excellent. The disaster was caused by the TARDIS and solved by the Doctor and in that way wrapped up quite neatly.

Generally though the smaller scale stories are better. Part of the reason for this is how the audience relates to the situation. Everyone can understand the fear of run from the monster. However when the threat is planet wide the solution is complicated, might involve techno babble, and it can be a little difficult to follow.

For Christmas my mum got the first four seasons of new Who. I had forgotten how great it was. The stories were great. The Doctor and Rose faced many creatures and the stories were tight. Of course they dabbled in more complicated plots, Army of Ghosts, but they were still wonderful.

Complicated stories can work, and do, but it takes a very skilled writer to make them work. My own novel is too complicated for me because of all the characters and settings. I’m starting to work out the kinks though. One show that does complicated very well is Sherlock. Naturally I’ve just finished watching Sherlock. I think that the writer of Sherlock should have a talk with the writer of Doctor Who and… oh wait…

When Doctor Who returns with Peter Capaldi I hope that Doctor Who will get back to its routs. It is at its best when it tells simple stories with a few key characters.

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The Pregnancy

Introduction

This was originally written for university. I don’t remember the exact context of why I wrote it but I believe the point of the exercise was to practice writing dialogue.

So just a short standalone piece.

The Pregnancy

“Pregnant,” Mathew repeated his daughter’s words. “How did that happen?”

“You want a diagram?” Haley said, looking with some amusement as her father paced across the room.

“Funny,” he said, falling into his chair. “You know what I meant.”

“We used contraception, guess we’re just in that one percent,” she said regretfully. Haley rose from her chair and knelt by her father, “I’m sorry to disappoint you.”

“You haven’t,” he said, though his eyes didn’t quite meet hers. “Are you going to keep it?”

Haley stood and walked across the room. She looked for a moment at the family picture above the fireplace; it showed her mother, father, herself and, her brother in her mother’s arms. When Haley had been born her parents had been ready. She wanted to have children, but was hoping to have had a little more time before it happened.

“Haley,” her father prompted.

“When I studied RE,” she began to pace, “abortion naturally came up. It is different however when it’s you.”

“Yes it is,” Mayhew said, standing. He placed his hands on her shoulders, this time his eyes did meed hers. “Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“In those debates, I always maintained that the choice had to be there, also that sometimes abortion is the kindest thing to do. If one does not have the resources to raise the child properly then…?”

“Then?”

“Sorry I don’t know how that sentence was supposed to end. Put it this way if, if money was no object I would have the baby. The university has child care facilities, or I could find a nursery or…”

“Shush,” her father said soothingly, taking her in an embrace. “So from a time perspective you think you could manage?”

“Yes.”

“What does Neil have to say?”

“Braking away from the hug she crossed her arms. “He’ll have made it to the hills by now.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not,” Haley said as she moved away.

“Didn’t you love him?”

“I don’t even know any more,” she said as she slumped back into her chair. “Anyway he’s gone. He might touch base with me one day. I don’t think he’ll ever be daddy to my baby.”

“He might come back.”

Haley smiled. “Will you help me dad? All I need is the occasional baby sitter, maybe some money, I’ll pay you back, that sort of thing?”

“Of course.”

It was like an elastic band had snapped as he said that. Tears welled in her eyes and she fell towards her father. She held him in the embrace and thanked him.

“You’re welcome,” he said, “do any of your friends know?”

“No.”

“You going to tell them?”

“I think they’ll notice.” She managed a weak grin. “I guess I should.”

“You don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do. Have you thought about names?”

“No idea,” she said. “There’ll be nearly nine months to decide that. She covered her mouth with her hand and went to sit on the stairs, she didn’t know whether to smile or cry.

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The Promise

I just wanted to share this video with you. It’s a song by Emma Blackery, a British you tuber. I’ve been feeling a little down lately and the first line of this song, used as an alarm, was quite helpful this morning.

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