Category Archives: Uncategorized

Internet Black Hole

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Links are what makes the internet. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, this can lead to a very long session of reading. I spent around an hour today looking at Mythcreants.

Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels

Mythcreants is a website that has numerous articles about world building -particularity for fantasy and science fiction writers. It talks about tropes and how to create more compelling fiction.

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

As today (Thursday) stands I haven’t been doing any creating because I have been reading these articles. I am well aware of the irony of that statement.

If you are a writer of fantasy and/or science fiction this is a resources that is well worth checking out. Whatever problem you are having with you writing, with the exception of procrastination, there is sure to be something here that you will find useful. They also have podcasts that discuss common facets of fiction. I hope you will check it out.

I hope that you are all well and not going too crazy in our new reality. 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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By the Skin of My Teeth!

I mentioned last week about having a deadline. Well I made it and only just. I am not going to go into detail about the competition as it was an anonymous submission and I don’t want to risk making it known. That might be paranoia on my part but, nevertheless, better safe than sorry. And I was safe but I was almost sorry.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/human-lips-65665/

My competition entry came right down to the wire. I was literally still editing even as the deadline approached. I went to email it. Time was ticking down. And…

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

My computer, Majel, decided at that moment not to connect to the internet – despite the fact that other devices were connected. The time ticked by and all hope was lost. I had missed the deadline.

Then suddenly there was hope again. The deadline was in a different time zone! I had an extra hour! A reboot later and I was able to submit the work.

That’s good.

I was unable to finish the last run through and spell check – so it was certainly submitted with a few mistakes left in.

That’s bad.

However, spelling mistakes notwithstanding, it is a piece of work I am proud of.

That’s good.

Even if I had missed the deadline I would still have a piece of work to send somewhere so from that point of view it was always going to be a success.

So what have I learned from this? Don’t leave things to the last minute? Well I would hope so but I’m not sure how capable of change I am!

Now for the waiting game. It will be four months until the shortlist and winners are announced.

The waiting game sucks lets see what is on TV.

I hope you are all well wherever you may be in the world. I will see you next time for another post. Have a great night or day depending on when you read this.

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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Getting My Tick!

Been Watching a Number of these Videos this week there is some good stuff here

In the style of this video I am making this a two minute job today. (Actually it has been seven owing to a slow computer) The reason for the short one is that I have a deadline! And I don’t want to break the chain of blog posts!

In the grand tradition of underestimating how long something takes I have 1D 16H 51M and 59S to complete a piece of writing. Although by the time you read this that will be down to 23 hours.

So I need to look at that deadline and I will see you next time. I hope you are all keeping well.

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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Where the Title Should be!

Photo by OVAN from Pexels

I sometimes hear people talk about experiencing boredom on their days off This may well have been exasperated in the present situation as so many of us are stuck at home. For those who lean towards being introverted it is less of a problem. The outside world is best avoided!

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

At least that is what I would have said. Yesterday I found I just had to go for a little walk. I wasn’t doing so well so I took a walk and I feel it made quite a difference. So more walking is good! (Although today is Saturday and I have not been out.)

I would love to be able to tell you I have done loads these past few week but it hasn’t come together. I don’t know why that should be – although I have spent a fair amount of time watching stuff I have also been productive – just in other areas! For instance today I was dealing with emails for 90 minutes!

I think, as hokey as it sounds, I am starting to figure some stuff out about myself. I think I am zeroing in on a conclusion that is just out of reach. Maybe…. we shall see.

Thank you so much to all the essential workers whereever you happen to be. You are wll amazing.

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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When Life Feels Overwhelming

This wonderful post expresses exactly how I feel and I wanted to share it with you.

Defining Yellow

I do not need to explain why emotional overwhelm has been at an all-time high lately. The news is terrifying, yet I can’t seem to keep my eyes off of it. I’m worried about every person that I care about, yet I can’t do anything to protect them. I planned to write about overwhelm even before the coronavirus outbreak, but I’m honestly glad that I waited because it’s more relevant now than ever. We’ve all been there. There are a couple of ways to deal with overwhelm: make it worse, or you can make it easier.

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Introvert in Solitary

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-notebook-4144923/

It is somewhat weird being introverted during this time. I do not go out all that much during a normal week, with the exception of work, therefore for me this time shouldn’t be all that different. In fact it should be easy – my lack of desire to leave the house has been replaced with lack of ability.

In the beginning it did feel a little weird not being able to go out but now I have mostly settled to being okay with it. Emphasis on the mostly.

On the whole I am doing okay but I am getting moments of stress and feeling like there are too many thoughts in my head.

https://www.pexels.com/@mehranb

Is this picture a bit too on nose to describe my mental state? Yeah it probably is but I am going to go with it! I am allowed to make disparaging remarks about myself.

I had come to the conclusion that I was mostly stressed because I was having trouble balancing the various facets of my life but it turns out it might be more than that. I now have so many extra hours and it is still not enough.

Photo by Shiva Smyth from Pexels

And frankly that has what has got me worried. I have done 34 hours of my own stuff this week. I am still feeling drained, which I count as different from being tired, and have some aces and pains in my body – but maybe that comes from sitting at my desk all day.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/box-cheerful-color-cute-207983/

Emotions have been a complicated thing for me for a while. I feel I have unsure of myself for a long time. Part of that uncertainly is a feeling of not meeting my goals – now though I know that those issues are not connected with lack of time – it is something else – and I need to discover what that is.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-blank-challenge-connect-262488/

My experience of this unprecedented period is simply one of isolation and an attempt to find what what is wrong with me.

In expressing these thoughts I in no way mean to take away from those who are suffering. I am sure that everyone has been effected – some in big ways and some in small ways – but I think we all need to consider all of our friends and family – from those who just need a quick text message – to those who may need more done for them. Take care of each other and 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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Cookies!

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

I live in a small flat. There is barely enough room to swing a cat (idiomatically of course) so as you an imagine it is a bit of a difficult thing being within these five walls all the time.

Don’t worry that is the right number my flat is a funny shape.

As I said last week it is only a small amount of time before I go a bit peculiar although it has probably already happened.

One of the problems of being at home all this time is it is very easy to eat poorly – because I have the self control of a monkey at a banana factory – except with biscuits (British) and cookies.

So the solution is not to buy that stuff which is the one I am going to go with. (He said eating another chocolate digestive as he types)

I have at least managed to get a small amount of exercise – both at home and a walk in the park. It is not enough but it is something.

This lock down will continue for quite sometime to come. I think as it goes on I will get more and more used to it and start to get a grip on how to live the way we all now have to live.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

I want to close by saying a massive thank you to all the essential workers. There are so many all around the world who are putting themselves at risk during this time and that is amazing. What they are doing for the rest of us is beyond amazing and beyond words. Thank you.

Stay safe everyone. 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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Hello, Mr Flibble

I Can’t Help But Think of This

This is coming to you rather late as the days are all running together and Sunday caught me by surprise – either that or I have the organisational skills of a lemon.

Do not look directly at the penguin.

It is certainly weird not being able to go out – or to be more accurate being very limited in possibilities for going out. And I did go for a walk the other day.

A tree on my walk.

I think my experience of this event is one of learning. I am trying to figure out what to do with this time I have suddenly been presented with. I think I might even be starting to figure out time management but it is a slow process.

I hope you are all well and safe. We will get through this eventually. This is what is meant by: ‘May you live in interesting times’ being a curse.

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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Alone but not Lonely (sort of)

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

So here in the UK, and in other places, we are expected to stay home and only go outside for essentials. I have seen comments on Facebook and around the web of how hard that is. For me not so much – I am introverted – maybe I shouldn’t label myself but it certainly seems to be true. I don’t like crowds and sometimes I don’t even like small groups. Having to be at home is not that much of an issue for me.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-sky-clouds-blue-53594/

I don’t mean for one moment to underplay the seriousness of what is going on in the world – I simply wish to express my experience. And at the moment I seem to be doing okay. I have been out only the once this week, to the supermarket, I do need to get more exercise, and maybe I am going a little weird but for the most part I am okay.

Little man from Hoofddorp

At the beginning of the month I was in The Netherlands. The above picture is from the town of Hoofddrop and was from my last day. I picked a town at random, that was one train from where I was staying, and just went. I wanted to see this stature, had no idea where it was, so I just started walking and it happened to be on the way to a restaurant that I had also picked out at random.

Kapsalon

I was relying on google translate while I was away. Language is a fascinating thing to me. For example I was translating a sign which appeared to be saying ‘artisan sausages’ but as I continued that changed to ‘traditional sausages’ – so me that connection was interesting.

The above picture is a dish called ‘Kapsalon‘ which translates to ‘Hairdresser’s’ – which was rather a confusing thing to see on a menu. The dish consist of french fries, shawarma meat, and salad. And the name? It was invented by a hair dresser.

Amsterdam

I also visited Amsterdam. In Amsterdam I just wondered about the city wanting to take it all in and see everything. In going on this trip I didn’t have a plan. I simply wanted to experience a new place. It was a test bed to prove to myself that travelling alone was something I could do – and I can.

Kibbling

Food wise I didn’t exactly eat healthily. This is what I had the first proper day: battered fish with a sauce – so that made me feel right at home. I got this from a street market that was only there the one day. There were lots of other things available but I couldn’t get close enough to use my translator.

I ate mostly burgers on this trip.

On the first proper day I went to the Muiderslot. This is a small castle which I decided to walk to it tool about 45 minutes and I only went wrong once – I nearly walked up someone’s drive!

The Muiderslot

Inside there are many paintings. This one is my favourite:

The Baker of Eeklo

You can read more about the painting by clicking here.

There had to be a windmill!

I was staying in a little town called Weesp and I saw this on the first day. It was a nice quite place to stay away from the business of Amsterdam but close enough to be easy to get to.

Bikes. Bikes everywhere!

No discussion of the Netherlands would be complete without talking about bikes. They have big parking areas like this one all over the place. I think I saw more bikes in these few days than in the rest of my life combined.

The trip was, overall, a great experience and I really look forward to when travel is possible again and I can look to my next adventure.

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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Star Trek: The Original Series – Miri – a review.

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Disclaimer: This review is for an episode about a deadly disease but it has no connection to the current pandemic. It has just been in draft for – well for far too long.

In this episode we visit a science fiction staple of a post apocalyptic world – given what has been shown in the media lately (This was in reference to the WW III talk at the start of the year) we might be living in a post apocalyptic world by next Tuesday.

One

This episode has a fantastic teaser. Unfortunately it seems to be a teaser for another episode. The Enterprise discovers a duplicate of planet Earth in deep space. However after the teaser this plot point is discarded and we just have the story.

This is like doing a private eye show and having the client who hires the detective be big foot and, after the initial surprise that a Sasquatch wants to hire a detective, it’s completely forgotten the rest of the episode.

SFdebris (Miri – review)

I think that SFdebris’ summation of this really says it all. It is a mystery to me why this plot point was put into the episode. Obviously budgetary, and technological issues too, prevented TOS from having truly alien aliens. I understand that an it is simply a fact that aliens have to look completely human. However the planet can look any way they want.

Two

It’s dead.

Doctor McCoy (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Rand and two red shirts beam down to the planet. Surprisingly, and this is a bit of a spoiler, the red shirts survive this mission – I guess they must have had heart attacks at the shock sometime after they returned to the ship.

The landing party encounter a young man. Although adult in size he has the mind of a child and starts sobbing over his broken tricycle. The man quickly has a seizure and dies.

Interestingly, and I don’t know why, McCoy refers to the man as ‘it’. What McCoy does discover is that the metabolic rate of the man is very high as if he aged decades in just a few moments.

Three

The landing party enter one of the buildings where they meet the titular Miri (Kim Darby). Kirk shows a complete lack of awareness of himself. Miri is terrified of them. And rather than giving her some space, and backing off, he continues to walk towards her… while holding a gun!

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

Now we can argue that she probably didn’t know it was a gun but even so.

I wonder what happened to her – that she should be so terrified of us.

Doctor McCoy (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

Miri starts to open up to the landing party. They find out that there was a plague on this world. The strange thing about it is that only the adults were effected and the children were left to fend for themselves.

Meanwhile Spock leads the guards to try and discover any other signs of life. They hear children chanting but can see no sign of them. I find this scene to be very effective. It is just children chanting but it manages to be chilling.

Children, Captain, lots of them. We couldn’t begin to get close to them. They just to scurry away. Like animals.

Mr Spock (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

Four

Well Kirk is Kirk and is able to charm any woman, because it was the 1960s, and so soon it is quite clear Miri has taken a liking to Kirk.

As he takes her hand she notices that Kirk has the first signs of the disease…and cliffhanger.

Photo by Marius Venter from Pexels

We come back from the commercial break, I only note that as episodes are built around them, to a captain’s log. Each member of the landing party is showing signs of the condition – with the exception of Spock of course but what did you expect?

Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

They find a laboratory covered in cobwebs, so this planet has spiders too, and begin to look for a cure to the condition.

Aboard the Enterprise we are told that some crewmen have volunteered to beam down to assist. Kirk says no to this despite the fact that with the transporter and has-mats it could be done completely safely. However Trek never likes to use has-mats or space suits.

Five

Intermediate experimentation report project on life prolongation.

Captain Kirk (Reading from a file) (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

With the discovery of this file the landing party start to piece together what happened on this planet. I will tell you now ahead of time – they tried to make people live longer and ended up killing everyone!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/addition-black-and-white-black-and-white-chalk-374918/

This seems to happen all the time in science fiction people make an effort to do something wonderful and every body dies!

Luckily the Enterprise has 23rd century technology and therefore has a much better chance of solving the dilemma – also character shields.

As they piece it together though they discover a flaw in their assumptions. If all the adults died then how are there still people on this planet?

How do they keep the line going?

Doctor McCoy (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

They find out that the life prolongation project did work. Miri is actually over three hundred years old. Unfortunately there was a slight snafu – the process may extend life but it kills with the onset of puberty. And as the landing party are all much older than children they are, to use a technical term, fucked.

Six

They talk to the other Grups with these little boxes. Now, if they didn’t have those little boxes, they’d be all alone, huh?

Jahn (Star Trek: The Original Series: Miri)

The other children, believing the landing party to be dangerous, decide to take action – they distract the landing party and steal the communicators.

One thing Star Trek didn’t predict – people’s obsessions with their phones!

It is curious to me that this is as big a problem as it is. When the Enterprise realised they couldn’t communicate with the landing party couldn’t they have beamed down more? Of course taking that option would undermine the ending. However should it be undermined?

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum from Pexels

Let me explain. Not having the communicators means they can’t be sure that the cure is a cure and it could be a ‘beaker full of death’ (Language that is far too flowery for Spock.) And so McCoy takes a chance with it. Except we know McCoy isn’t dying!

Photo by Renato Danyi from Pexels

Yes. This is a bit of a ridiculous thing to point out but sometimes that is the point of a review. Obviously the cure works and the day is saved.

Seven

Kirk is able to convince the children that they can be trusted. They come back with him to the lab where the blemishes on McCoy’s skin slowly fade away.

The Enterprise leaves a team on the planet with more personal being sent to help this world recover.

Concluding Thoughts.

It is difficult to know what to say about this one. The story is interesting on construction but the misleading teaser is disappointing. Still this is an enjoyable outing.

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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