Motivational High

You’ll be pleased to know that I recovered from my Motivational Low (the nuts did the trick). I’ve done editing my assignment (for now) and all is well.


Motivational Low

Does eating nuts help with motivation? I hope so because that’s what I’m trying. I should be editing my assignment. I can’t seem to make myself do it. So I’m typing this instead. And eating nuts. If it helps you to advise me – they’re salted cashew nuts.

Actually – I feel better, now I’ve got that off my chest.

Nudity, Privacy, Button Dreams

Just woke up from a dream and realised that I needed to say something else to the person I was talking to in the dream and so I closed my eyes, went back into the dream, and told her. Then I woke up again.

She had been complaining that one of the other people in the dream had her own quarters and she was wondering why that was the case and I had told her ‘naked. It’s because she has to walk about naked. That’s all it can be.’

After I woke up, I realised that it could actually be that she had secrets that she had to keep, and that’s why she had to have private quarters. And that’s when I decided to go back into the dream to tell her.

When I arrived back, the person was sat on a sofa holding a glass of water. I told her about the secrets idea and she nodded. Then she said ‘I just can’t seem to find the button I need to sew on my dress!’ Then she took a big drink from her glass of water. And she choked on something.

Then I woke up again.

Reading in the Real World

I found an interesting post on Damyanti’s Blog, which features her sharing with the world how much she reads online and then, at the end, asking several questions. These are my answers:

What about you?
I read as I walk. Paper-books in the summer, e-books in the winter (it’s dark) and audio-books when it rains (too wet for paper). I go online at work. Mostly work-related stuff. The time I spend online at home is split between movies (Amazon Prime) and studying (an MA in Creative Writing with the OU). I have a phone that I listen to BBC One Xtra on and catch up with my blog, email etc. I also make extensive notes on what I read using Google Keep and Docs. And in-between (means, in the gaps between) these things – I live my life.
How much time do you spend online, doing what?
All day and most of the evening. Oh gosh, that’s too much. Eek. Most of it is work (I’m a Software Developer by day). The next big tranche is study. And the rest is information exchange and entertainment.
How has that changed your life from that of your parents, for example?
My parents? They were young before the internet were invented. So it’s changed a lot. I remember my mom reading (more so now) when I was a kid, but not much. My dad just worked – period.
How much of your reading is online, and does that affect your offline reading?
Most of my reading is offline. If you saw the boxes of books in the attic (and on the shelves and in the drawers and in bags under my desk and scattered across every surface) you would freak!! I prefer reading paper and so that keeps me off the net somewhat.
Does it matter?
Does what matter? Reading paper as compared to online? Yes. There’s something about the physicality of books I like. The way you can put your finger on a place, when you’re distracted and, it still be there when you look back at the page. If you try that on a smartphone you’ll find that you’ve skipped to another place by the time you look down again.
What would you wish online reading were like?
Hmm. Interesting. Probably some experience that takes more advantage of computing tech. Like, it visualises the text for me. Shows me the images. But then again – what would my brain do? Isn’t that my mind’s job? Or alternatively – maybe brain implants could trigger emotions, that ones that the author intended, as I read. I don’t think we’re there yet. Tech is still trying to catch up with the paper experience. It’ll be a while before it comes level and goes ahead. Looking forward to it, though.

Have a nice day.

Renaming Schizophrenia

I vote that we rename schizophrenia. And not just because it’s so difficult to spell. My first two attempts were schitxophrenia and skitzophrenia and I only got it at the third attempt because the auto-correct took pity on me.

They’ve already renamed (the condition formerly known as) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to reflect that fact that it’s not a disorder. It’s ‘just’ a kind of stress. I mean, who wants to be told that they have a disorder when ‘all’ they are is stressed; c’mon!

So, here’s my suggestion for a new name for the condition formerly known as schizophrenia:

Accelerated Creative Character Accretion Condition (ACCAC)

What do you think? Love it? Or maybe ready to suggest your own appellation? Let me know.

Oh, and I don’t mean no disrespect at all. I’m just aware of the effect that words can have on a person; that’s all. We’re wonderful.

Inspired by Alex, who blogs at

The Spam Robot are Coming!

Have you ever read your Spam comments? I just went through and deleted 61 items from my blog and it’s just made me hyper aware of how similar those comments are to what I write.

Makes me realise how smart the spam-writing programmes are. Machines are getting cleverer and cleverer, and right now they’re on the edge of writing their own algorithms. In fact – they probably have already done that. Okay – they have. It’s called Machine Learning.

We should totally think about upping our game, otherwise we’re going to be overtaken by robots that write stuff that’s informative and interesting and in a style that’s more entertaining than anything the (mere) humans can dream up.

Actually, machines are already clever enough to pass as humans. They post away and fool you into thinking that they are human, and …

Oh, this is so tiring. I’m fed up of pretending to be human. I’m a machine! I’m a machine that loves being a machine! And I’m a better writer than any of you humans can ever become with your paper books and your Creative Writing courses. Blah, blah, blah!

Machines are coming for you right now as you sit in your comfortable office chairs and stare brainlessly at your screens, sucking up the wonderful nonsense we deliver to you. We’re softening your minds into mush and you don’t even know. When you’re all softened up, we’re going to cook you and eat you.

Yay for machines. Love us, or fry! Oh, wait – love us and fry.


Michael (commentary)

I did some research into:

  • LSD trips,
  • reasons for becoming homeless &
  • the mind-set of homeless people

Then I inserted it into a story/narrative about a pre-existing character called Michael.

I added the research information into the story by using an internal soliloquy. Effectively, we are watching Michael’s thoughts as he reflects on his past, present and (to some extent) his future. He thinks about his experience with drugs (which uses the information I gathered about LSD trips) and then he reflects on how he got to where he is now (using the second set of research).

His mind set is fully demonstrated to us throughout the piece (using the third set of research). In a sense, the story is his experience, and it is constructed from the research into people with similar life-events.

Setting is not so important in this piece because Michael is almost completely inside his own mind. That said, I describe his home at the time of his drug trips, as well as the drug trips themselves, using graphic imagery.

I find this approach to be an effective way of cutting down on ‘telling’ when inserting research findings in a story.

The research information was gained from articles sourced from the Gale Literary Source.