The Kredibility Gap

OfMiceAndMen

Well, naturally, one has these ideas which take a little work to eventually put down on paper, to hone, edit, re-edit and finally produce the work as one always knew it should be.

Now I have relatively little problems there, (pause to sit back in large comfy chair and adopt a casual yet majestic pose), but when it comes to the matter of placing the work into the public realm and making it appealing…….

Well things tends to go a bit like this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be This Thine Own Evermore

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Firstly I confess to indulging with the title. I made up that phrase some twenty years ago and have been looking for a good reason to use it, AND have not Googled it ‘cas it’s bound to be there and right now I don’t want to know! S’mine…all mine!!

Anyway, so the other day I received this message. 100 likes and I have 35 people following. Now to put this in perspective I regularly read posts which JUSTIFIABLY attract a 100+ likes and dozens of comments on account of them being, informative, or funny, or evocative to name but three qualifying factors. So those stats of mine are, let’s just say in terms of numbers, modest.

But that is not actually the point; those numbers to me are a celebration not of my efforts but of the environment which is this WordPress writing community. The environment being down to the efforts of you, fellow bloggers who encourage directly and by example of your own blogs.

I admit to starting off goofing around, which is something of a fall-back position for me, but the more I explored and read, the more it became apparent there was a whole positive world out there of people producing the most creative and innovative work, putting into words their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, being willing to share, encourage and help. So it was no more living in the bubble, but get out there and get into the community.

Thus those 100+ likes and those 35 followers and the 38(?-memory overload-time for a cuppa tea) followings are the ones that I feel the message celebrates; me I’m just the messenger ‘picking up on the vibe’

Good luck and best wishes to you all. Long may you thrive! (that’s the translation of the title, and honest I was not thinking of Spock when I fashioned it)

 

Machine…. Your cyber-sands are ticking out…..tick….tick

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I would like to do all sorts of smart and noticeable things on my WordPress Blog, I would like to follow all sorts of links and become wiser and enriched by the information therein.

I would.

Yet I am dogged by this slow, snide, device of mine and its ways of disinformation and distraction. I read someone’s blog, and there is a most interesting link and at once click on it……three minutes later having given way to hopelessness of clicking again there is the inevitable signal that something somewhere is ‘Not Responding’, which is rather obvious. It has also become obvious to some aspect of Windows too, because one of its little programme is now frantically dashing about its little cyber world looking for a fault, which it will not find, well it never has before, and exhausted it lapses. Meanwhile it is necessary to once more call upon the doughty hero of the computer world The Task Manager, and summoned by the loyal minions Ctrl, Alt & Delete this dependable being rises once more to cleanse the flawed link from my screen. I then returning knowing full well I will be told that my browser session closed unexpectedly; now that is patent nonsense, there was nothing unexpected about it at all and some beastly little programme knows full well it was not unexpected too. Even worse when on WordPress  in replying to someone’s kindly response  to something I have written there is a 2 or 3 minute delay while the wretched machine hides the cursor so by the time it bothers to produce it my original reply is degraded by agitation.

Recently I was trying to explain to a retail site that I did want to pay for goods & services, honestly and did not need to go back to the basket, but something somewhere thought there was doubt in my mind. Eventually exhausted I quit, I sent to polite e-mail feedback to the said company asking if there was a problem with their site. Someone responded very swiftly and also politely and informed me with all the wisdom that those versed in such matter can, it sounded like a ‘cache’ problem, I thanked them for their advice; it seemed the proper thing to do. Then I consulted Wikipedia as to what a ‘cache problem’ might be in computer terms. I pride myself that I managed to read as far as the second paragraph but having encountered ‘temporal localities’ and ‘spatial localities’ and finding they had their own references was discouraged and gave up. Had this been a page on Quantum Physics I would have carried on; it is a world of mind-bending perceptions which appeals to me; the computer equivalents do not, they assume the reader knows more than one-tenth of what they are on about.This much I had gathered it was some issue with my machine .

I seek advice of forums, the people who give the advice assume you have what they consider a responsible and mature attitude to computers but speak in words and phrases which require more visits to Wikipedia; the result being an allegorical tearing of hair as I will be confused again. Also there is the danger that in trying to do something which you only one-tenth understand you will remove several vital programmes which cannot be brought back.

But at least on forums the folk accept it is an imperfect world. The people I reserve my venom for are those who explain that something has happened in a way which suggests it is not the fault of the computer, the up-date, the programmer or anyone into whose hands you have placed your sanity and well-being. Never mind that whatever it is which is not working now was working before; this is of no concern to them; their intimation is that whatever has happened is as a force of nature and you should bear stoically with it while they babble away at full speed leaving you no better off than before.

But the one thing I have dredged up from the slurry of information is that there is something wrong with ‘The Hard Drive’; I could not begin to tell you with any degree of ethical certainty what a ‘Hard Drive’ is much less what to do with one when it goes wrong. This much is apparent though; something to do with the Hard Drive is ominous. I fear for my book which I place in the safety of a memory stick; for how can one have confidence in a device which after you have been typing away for 30mins presents you with several items enigmatically headed as ‘WRD’ and refuse you to access them, only for them to vanish at some stage as mysteriously as they came.

So I will purchase a new machine, one whose keyboard does not have traps which sends half of your current paragraph back up three pages ago. One which has Windows 10, Microsoft assured me I would have an update, back in September, a free up-date I fear they have forgotten this promise because they keep fooling about with my Windows 7 not that there is any perceptible improvement. I have no particular confidence in Windows 10, but I do have a book ‘Windows 10 for Seniors( inferred- Dummies)’, with which I will start a’fresh with a new machine and in a spirit of co-operation, convincing it to turn away from the treacherous codes whispered to it by Skynet and be a machine of reasonable and useful disposition. The current machine will not be danced upon nor receive its just desserts with a hammer, but will be consigned somewhere, much uninstalled and relegated to an archive from which information small be bled away until it is but a husk and a warning to all other mico-chipped beings that there are fates worse that being broken into tiny bits. 20160109_153704

So on that happy dawn I will hope to start a progress which will enable me to make more useful blogs with links and images. Until then I must slog away with a grey and yet solid determination that The Machines will not win.

When the Unthinkable Happens

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Well, maybe that was melo……dramatic, but there again when you realise that the project you have been working on since September just is not gelling because the plot is getting subsumed in characters whose numbers are comparable to a public gathering and in consequence is fading ‘neath their unruliness then you might be entitled to give vent to a spectacular demonstration of feelings.

So much for my notion of full steam ahead! Arrgh! Eeek! (and spiffle! I can’t use spiffle anymore! I thought I had invented it as a mild expletive and now I find there as 9,200 hits on Google! I dare not look up ‘Scraith’….not yet anyhow)

Thus what does the poor writer do? (Aside from ditching this laptop! Yeh….your time is gonna come you Skynet acolyte you). Why, start again of course!

Yes, this is addressed to you folk who are just starting out on a writing journey. I must tell you this sort of thing happens all the time. You should always be aware of……..hold on let me just clarify something, I am unable to help you with your devious and villainous computer and its partner in fiendishness Windows, you must seek help elsewhere, I am only qualified to supply vitriolic statements when it comes to these devices……

Ok, so back to the story going flat. Yes it happens. Watch out for the time when the writing of becomes a chore, and when you are typing you suddenly develop the need to look at something on YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Wikipedia and so forth. Your story should be drawing you in; if it’s not it may not be working.

But have no fear, back you go to re-write, remove some characters, see how that works for you. If you still find there is nothing but figurative dust and you have developed the urge to kill off characters who really are quite undeserving of a possibly implausible fate (‘Oh why isn’t Frederik here?’ ‘I’m afraid Josie, it’s bad news. He was on his daily jog through the park when a previously unnoticed alligator rose from the lake grabbed him by leg and dragged him under’. ‘Oh but he was the only one who knew the secret recipe for the gooseberry fondue’ )…. Then maybe it is time to go back to the beginning and start again.

What you say??? But I have written some 50,000+ words! This is unacceptable! Stay away from me you-you-you…person you!!

Fear not, keep the 50,000 words. There are bound to be useful parts, some gems which can be used as a groundwork for the re-start. In fact (if the demons in your machine are suitably cowed) you might be able to Copy & Paste parts into the re-launch. Throw nothing away, it’s all investment, much can be re-cycled or re-visited and pondered over.

Yep, this is just the process I am going through now. Starting right back at the beginning. Some characters were fun to write, they stay, some were good, but just didn’t fit into the plot, truth be known they were pushing the plot out of kilter. Some were just going nowhere. One had everything going for him, handsome, roguish adventurer, should’ve been ideal for a Fantasy novel, but….sigh. (A lesson for you. Stereotypes can be trouble, they tend to have as much personality as wet paper bag- actually a wet paper bag can generate pathos, or a comic interlude, stereotypes not so much)

Ah here’s to the new adventure!!