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The Plan Before the Plan

https://www.pexels.com/photo/hand-pen-writing-plant-58457/

Did you ever have a revision timetable in school? I think I did but that was a long time ago and I have trouble remembering what happened yesterday. The cliche surrounding such a timetable is that you spend so much time making them look pretty that there isn’t enough time left to revise!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/board-chalk-chalkboard-exam-459793/

I actually did a lot of revision. So much that my parents had to actually tell me that I had done enough – and I think suggested I drink something. Maybe that is a false memory – like I said it was a long time ago.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Today there are approximately 1,771,561 apps that help with time management and productivity. Sorry that’s how many Tribbles there were. Anyway there are a lot of apps and you can spend hours planning, finding that the app doesn’t quite do what you want, and planning some more. A wonderful endless cycle of getting absolutely nothing done!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

…or like me you can flip-flop between various apps and paper! I have realised that I will never be completely happy with any productivity set up. That is okay and yesterday (Thursday) I was actually productive! I finished one big tasks which was a great thing to get done and had the great moment of marking something done on Habitbull.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-bull-on-green-glass-field-under-grey-and-blue-cloudy-sky-139399/

Habitbull is a nice looking app with pretty colours all built in! I am back to using it again. The problem before was me. I try to do too much! So fingers crossed I have got it right. It is the start of a new month after all. The other app I am using is Any.do as that is more of a day-to-day thing rather than for longer term goals. What apps do you find useful?

Photo by Plush Design Studio from Pexels

So it is February. I feel like I should review January. This month has been okay. I have had the usual roller coaster of emotions – feeling weird and smiley one day and really unhappy the next. I think though I am starting to get a handle on the clutter and I am feeling a bit more satisfied about life. See you next time!

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Set Fire to Your Flat

A tidy and uncluttered apartment with a nice airy feel.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-center-table-584399/

I hope you like the title and it is not completely click-batey. It goes without saying that I am not advocating arson. Let me explain…

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Inigo montoya (The Princess Bride)

I have stuff. So much stuff. I have books, I have clothes, I have a small army of plastic bags, and I have boxes and bags of random junk. They are things that have come off other things and I might need the thing when I figure out what thing they go with so I should keep it just in case I figure it out.

Move the thing. And that other thing.

Vizzini (The Princess Bride)

Some of the stuff in my tiny flat is under the bed. It was under the bed in the last flat too. So yes it has moved from under one bed to another bed and has not passed through a phase of being used.

A picture of flames.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/fire-orange-emergency-burning-1749/

So why did I talk of fire? Because it has occurred to me that if something terrible happened there is so little that would need replacing. All my writing is backed up online. When my computer died a couple of years ago I just went down to Tesco and bought a new laptop. And my files were all on it within about half an hour. I would need new clothes and new kitchen equipment and not much else.

A well stocked book shelf.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/books-in-black-wooden-book-shelf-159711/

The books would be a sad loss – but its not like I have any first additions or anything. In fact the only irreplaceable stuff would be my diaries and some data on the Wii (Yes I still use the Wii – I am old you see.)

A beautifully tidy house.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/bed-bedroom-ceiling-fan-chair-280208/

When the dust settles and I am safely in a new place I could get new stuff and be sensible about it. For instance I have lots of mugs. So many in fact that if I invited that many people over we would hardly be able to move. So what is the practical solution to clutter?

Tiding up does feel like a military operation.
(Plus I always like to have a reason to share my love of this film.)

There are so many books on the subject of tiding up that if you got them all it would really clutter up a home. I have started by putting stuff into bags. Some of it will be kept, some of it will be binned, and some of it will go down the charity shop. In an ideal would I would shift every signal thing elsewhere and slowly bring it back so as to identify what I actually want. With only one room that is impossible – unless I used an expensive self-storage place.

To say I have a plan would be wrong. Even Baldrick had a plan! The only solution is one bag at a time. And maybe, just maybe, I can make a home that I don’t feel embarrassed to look at. It is so easy to accumulate stuff and so had to get rid of it. Like I said at the beginning though – if it was all gone so little of it would be missed. So I don’t understand why I can’t just get rid of the random stuff I have – even stuff I don’t immediately know what it is.

A tidy studio apartment.
Photo by Medhat Ayad from Pexels

Maybe you too are trying to have a clear out. In which case good luck. Maybe you’re a minimalist in which case I envy your ability to let go. Whatever space you’re living in I hope you are happy – now I am going to move on to the next task on my rather obsessive to-do list.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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And so it begins…

Photo by Peter Spencer from Pexels

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Are you ready? What do I mean by ready? Ready for the Earth to pass some arbitrary point in space? Normally for new year I am sleeping as I usually have work the next day. Not this time though – owing to dumb luck I have New Year’s Day off. Not that midnight is in anyway special to me. I end up seeing it almost every night owing to my inability to do what is best for me and go to bed.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/animal-cat-face-close-up-feline-416160/

As far as new year is concerned it means I can go out and get drunk!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-alcohol-bar-bartender-274192/

I don’t want to do that. To me going out and getting drunk isn’t actually fun. It feels more akin to going to an exam that I haven’t studied for. I don’t like crowds as it makes moving around more brain intensive. It could also be that I am short and therefore it is easy to not be noticed.

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter from Pexels

A friend of mine made me pinky swear that I would do something for New Year’s Eve. ‘Something’ covers everything of course – although probably doesn’t include sleeping. What does an introvert do for a party?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

At the moment I’ve got nothing. It would be nice to go out somewhere. I have this bad habit of wondering around aimlessly in the evening. So there has to be an aim. And it shouldn’t involve too much food. I am sure I have put on weight over the Christmas period – I haven’t had the nerve to check how bad it is.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

I could eat soup on New Year. That is doing something. And no that is not a complete non-sequitur I got a soup maker for Christmas so I would be using my Christmas present. My friend might feel she was being cheated if I said: ‘Yes I did do something on New Year’s Eve – I ate soup.’

What about you? If you’re like me and like to avoid the noise and the crowds what do you do for new year?

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Christmas 2018

Christmas Everyday would lead to bankruptcy.

I feel, almost, compelled to write bah humbug here. There is something about Christmas that is so weird don’t you think?

I am not a Christian so, for me, this isn’t about religion. For me Christmas is about spending time with family, good food, and the giving and receiving of presents. Those are all good things so why then the bah humbug?

Photo by Dana Tentis from Pexels

…because it sometimes seems like you can’t enjoy Christmas your way. I am guilty of that too. I would find it weird to hear that someone was having a lasagne on Christmas day. If you like lasagne then why the hell not?

Someone asked if I was having a Christmas tree and the answer is no. They seemed to find that strange. Firstly my flat is tiny so the tree would have to be up all year, and secondly I am not going to be in the flat on Christmas Day anyway

I still don’t entirely understand all of this song.

While I like the Christmas songs shown here the music every year is the same songs. And if you are shopping, or work in retail, you will here songs like Rocking around the Christmas Tree so many times it makes you want to say: ‘I’ll tell you anything you want just please make it stop.’

The songs are also so jolly. Can’t I just have a regular level of happiness? In my case it is more like a regular level of okness.

I protest I am not a merry man.

Worf (TNG: Qpid)

There is also the problem of talking about the new year. It is always done so with the expectation of hope but we know it will be largely the same. There will be good and bad in the new year just like every other year.

Probably my favourite Christmas song. He just wants to be home

I do not say all his to be down on Christmas. I wish we could do what is said in so many songs. Stop war and really make the new year fundamentally different to the years that have gone before.

No snow so far – just rain. Lots and lots of rain.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/christmas-home-house-light-280204/

I am rambling here. I think it is because in spite of what I have said in the last two posts I do feel like I am on the verge of a new beginning.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-game-match-kids-2923/

Next year I want to find a new job. I want to finish many stories. I want to continue to post here. It may be that the earth is soon to pass an arbitrary point in space but still there is the feeling of an end. And on Sunday 22nd December 2019 – I want to be able to tell you all some amazing things.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Whatever you have planned for the 25th I hope you have an amazing day. This has been a rather morose post as my mind is working through some stuff in the background. My next post will be the last one of the year. Thank you so much for reading.

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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NaNoWriMo – Day 25

Just a quick post for today. The editor on WordPress has changed and now I don’t quite know how to use it! That is fun isn’t it? Like going to the supermarket and finding all the isles have been changed.

I am writing to the future again. By the time you are reading this I will have just got out of work and there is a high degree of probability I will be panicking – as tomorrow (from your perspective) is my last day off in Nano.

I am behind on the word count for Nano as I write so I think I should snap to it before I look even more like the lady in the picture. It doesn’t look like her novel is going well does it?

I have attempted to introduce real physics to my story. Unfortunately I know almost nothing about physics. I have a few science fiction elements, namely FLT and a universal translator – although it takes time to deal with new languages. However I want to have rotational gravity. Now I’m thinking it might just be easier to slap on some artificial gravity and inertial dampeners and forget about realism. I hope your Nano is going well. See you next week when it will all be over!

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Day 18 of NaNoWriMO

person holding black pen

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I like robots. It has been rare, in my limited experience, to see them properly employed in science fiction.

Star Trek doesn’t have robots. They show up very occasionally but are certainly not a regular thing.

Star Wars has lots of robots. Here the droids seem to be slaves. C3PO express signs of fear. So either he is sapient and really experiencing that emotion – or he was put together by a madman who wanted to make a non-sapient being that expressed fear. Like programming a Google home to speak in a quivering voice.

I didn’t even think as I wrote that sentence that we know who built C3PO – I guess it just shows my dislike of that plot point. Let’s not let this turn into a prequel bash or we will be here for a long time. (…or at least long enough to watch the Redlettermedia reviews.)

round robot vacuum

Photo by Jens Mahnke on Pexels.com

The robots I want will be more like a robot vacuum cleaner than a Star Wars droid. They will of course be far more complex.

I have a robot vacuum cleaner but it always got stuck under the sofa. It can go in at the side but not the front so it was trapped until I could rescue it. This made it rather useless as I couldn’t just leave it to work while I was out. It would be nice if it could learn the room and so know where it could not go. Some models will even fall down the stairs as they can’t see a drop.

gray and gold steel gears

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When JMS created Babylon 5 he said: ‘No…cute robots.’ In the like vain I don’t want cute robots either. The robots perform a job on the ship but they are not going to rise up and say: ‘Destroy all humans.’ Nor are they going to seek to be human. Don’t get me wrong Data and Kryten is nothing bad but it is not a story I am interested in telling.

The robots in my story are non-sapient and do what they are told. They are no more slaves than your microwave or weighing scales.

This inclusion of lots of robots is advantageous as it means I can have a very small crew. I can therefore develop all the characters and set myself apart from inevitable comparisons to Star Trek.

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Incidentally I remember seeing some scales once that said: ‘Hello’ as you turned them on. Would you want them to have AI? Imagine stepping on scales and a little voice saying: ‘Oh God get off me you fat twit.’ – well for some that might be sufficient motivation.

NaNoWriMO is going well. By the time you read this I will have just come to the end of a week off work so hopefully I will be well ahead of the target. (Future me: ‘Nope’) My novel is a rambling mess but at least I am not running out of things to say. (Future me: ‘I really am – I just have to push through.’

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Day 11 of NaNoWriMo

blue electric sparks

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I am writing into the future in two ways here. Preparing this post ahead of time and my science fiction novel.

NaNoWriMo is a challenge and it is supposed to be. There is no time for the dreaded writer’s block. At the moment I am thinking about the ordinary world of the story.

There doesn’t need to be some big war that will lead to humans being subjugated by Kang and Kodus. There doesn’t need to be some great conspiracy or evil politicians. It can just be a story of a new world. And world building is interesting if hard.

person holding terrestrial globe scale model taken

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I have a character and she is starting to have a voice in the story. I had some background for her before starting. And as time goes on a writer stars to know the character. A writer my write something and then backspace it because a little voice is telling them it is wrong. Alternatively an idea may arise from no where.

Those ideas can be fought but it is a futile manoeuvre. (Incorrect strategy, Number one.)

I think my character, Stephanie McKnight, is trying to tell me something about her relationship status. I wrote her a boyfriend but she seems to be saying that that is not the whole story. I just have this tiny voice in the back of my mind telling me I am wrong about that but I am not sure in what way.

woman wearing plaid button up sport shirt while holding black hood

Photo by Mariana on Pexels.com

Maybe she is in a poly relationship?

That does provide an interesting dynamic to the story. Science fiction has always been about exploring new possibilities.

I don’t hold to the Roddenberry idea that in the future we will be perfect. However I do think that we could reach a point of being less judgemental about other people’s choices.

I don’t what to get on a soapbox here so I will use a flippant example. I don’t understand people wanting to watch sports. In particular spending hundreds on a season ticket – that doesn’t mean that I am going to call for every stadium to be torn down. And it works both ways – some would ask why I spent £20 on a picture that an actor has scribbled their name on.

animal animal photography barbaric big

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

For now I just need to listen to my character. I’m sure she will revel her wants, desires, and the truth about her in time.

If you’re not a writer this might sound like nonsense. Why can’t a character be what you want? Isn’t a novelist God to the story?

In my experience that is not the case. Ideas come as if from nowhere and when they do the writer has to listen.

So if you are writing now take some time to listen. Are you sure that your character has a pet cat? Might they be a dog person? Are you sure they have a brother? Might it be a sister?

The list of potential questions is endless. Good luck with yours.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

 

 

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