I’m always slightly behind the times and we have just begun watching Alpha’s.

It’s basically a mutant programme. People with abilities beyond the normal range of humans called Alphas. Usual premise of keeping abilities secret and normal people locking away Alpha’s for being dangerous.

It’s nothing new (in fact it was cancelled during season 2.) Where I’m at, somewhere in season 1, we have five alpha’s working for a psychiatrist who are collecting Alpha’s, locking them away in a high security institute and trying to stop a terrorist organisation made up of Alpha’s.

The five alpha’s a high functioning autistic lad who can literally see phone signals is an interesting spin on the usual genius computer hacker. An FBI agent who can supe up to become super strong and super fast. A fast and loose telepath who can ‘push’ people to do what she wants them to do. A girl with extremely good senses, all five of them making her the sniffer dog of the team. An ex baseball star who has the best hand eye co-ordination ever.

The imagery and way they use their powers is actually really good, interesting and occasionally surprising. However, the characters are a bit flat and so far have had little character development.

What’s sold me on the TV show is the bad guys. Other Alpha’s who are doing bad things by accident or on purpose on both a large and small scale.
My three favourite bad guys so far – Anna, a woman unable to communicate by any normal means who turns out to be a genius. Secondly we have a mother who connects so closely with other people that her turning against them can be BAD! And finally a man who shows people ‘the light’.

Honestly Alpha isn’t my favourite thing on TV. But it is currently my go to show for inspiration and the occasional moments of ‘ooh, that’s cool.’
If you have time spare and want to watch something that thinks about superpowers slightly differently you should very much watch Alphas.

Posted in TV.

Favourite Authors?

So a slightly different blog post from me today and one that I’ve been meaning to write for a few week. A conversation a few weeks ago with someone had us talking about who our favourite authors are and why. Now I have a few and for different reasons. He found it harder to peg down.

I’m going to finish by asking my readers who their favourite author is and why for the sake of interest but here are mine.

Firstly, I think a favourite author is one which you will read every book they write no matter what. For me that’s Jim Butcher, he writes the Dresden files books, pretty much a prime example of Urban Fantasy. I love the Dresden files for the characters and interesting take Jim has on some supernatural creatures like the different werewolf types and different Vampire courts.

Jim Butcher also wrote the Codex Alera series, an excellent example of fantasy. Again I really enjoyed these because he had a different take on ‘magic’ in the world than any I’ve come across. In this world magic is being able to control an elemental that interacts with the world. Of course everyone has at least one elemental.

Both book series are completely different, the one thing they have in common are excellently written characters, and a couple of unique ideas. Oh and how damn easy they are to read.

Now I have never been that interested in steampunk, however, Jim Butchers next series is rumoured (on his own blog) to be a steampunk series. Will I go out and buy it as soon as it hits the book shelves. Hell yes! It doesn’t matter what the man writes I will go out and get it and read it and probably love it and become addicted to the series.

Secondly I think a favourite author is someone who’s work you will go back to read time and time again, now Jim Butcher falls into this category too as one of the few series I’ve re-read. However, my guilty pleasure is Jane Austen, I know it’s cheesy and possibly a little stereotypical given I’m not quite 30 and female, however, I’ve read Jane Austen’s complete works at least 4 times since I found them when I was 16. Not quite as good as Christopher Lee reading the Lord of the Rings every summer but there we go.

I think the only reason I do re-read the Jane Austen novels so often is because they’re so harmless, and easy to get through. I also like heroic men and strong heroines and all the old fashioned ways of living.

That brings me up to the third type of favourite author. The one whose writing you like but it’s not really the writing you like but the world that they created. That’s what I love about Lord of the Rings. I wouldn’t call JRR Tolkien a favourite author because I think the book is the most amazing thing in the world and a complete work of art. But I love Middle Earth, if I could live anywhere it would be there. I semi regularly play a board game based on Lord of the Rings (the war of the ring) and I play Lord of the Rings Online whenever I have time to dedicate to it, and when I am on LOTRO I adore seeing places like the Shire, Lothlorien and even Isengard come to life.

I guess there are fourth favourite authors. The kind that you read a book and think it’s a work of art and the most amazing thing you’ve ever read. I actually don’t have one of those yet.

What about you guys? Who are your favourite authors? Do you have one for a different reason than any of the above?

Another list update

So here’s a random update on what I’ve been up to for project zero/mission 101. I’ve been a bit quiet on the whole blog post thing which makes me sad so I thought I’d get some kind of update about what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks.

1) Read 50 books – Finished Frankenstein – I kind of loved most of it although the ending is a bit of a let-down. I’ve been looking at doing a reimagining of the novel in a steam punk way. I like the monster so I was going to write the monster as the protagonist but for whatever reason that’s not working. Anyway I like Frankenstein and might have to watch a film at some point.

10) Write 1 million words – Currently I’m at 26,348, this doesn’t feel like much and is a little depressing. I never seem to have the time to write at the moment.

36) Complete a ‘Walk to Mordor’ challenge – I’m at 44.7 miles. I found this weblink which tells me where along the route I am. Currently I’m on day 2, still in the shire but rescued by my first elves from a black rider! I could do with getting back into walking somewhere of an evening during the week but with overtime and darkness/snow that’s just not happening at the moment. Roll on better weather!

41 and 42) Write up entire Vusoria world geography and history, write up entire Vusoria biology – I’ve been working on the book of Doom for Vusoria, which is all the background stuff that’s in my head rather than on paper. History and Biology are at draft 1 stage which I’m pleased by!
Wow… I really haven’t done much other than walk and write this last week or so… I have got 98 goals rather than 101 goals at the moment. I’ve just added pass AMSPAR level 3, that’s the medical terminology course that has started today.

I’m still treating the goals as flexible as I don’t want to be afraid of deleting something that I don’t actually want to do. I want to have fun, so unless it’s a necessary evil I’m not going to force myself to do it.

Having said that I’ve just topped myself back up to 101 goals.

I have an idea for an actual blog post that hopefully will be interesting. I’ll try and get that up in the next few days.

Mission 101 update.

Project zero update. Or 101 things in 1001 days.

I currently have 963 days left which which seems like all the time in the world but nearly 40 days down and what have I done?

1)      Read 50 books – I’ve managed two, Alice in Wonderland and ‘Cold Days’ by Jim Butcher. Cold Days was the better of the two but a slow start was a little odd. I’m really looking forward to the next one. Currently reading Frankenstein, still not finished it.

2)      Make a kitten calendar every year – I’ve done 2013’s calendar so this is done until towards the end of this year.

5) Speak to family once a month – Christmas covers this. I need to get hold of someone before the end of the month.  Yes staying in touch with friends and family is something I suck at.

7) Write a synopsis for umbrella – This was completed before the end of last year. Although it was a short synopsis, I’m not sure if I’m going to need another one if I want to send it to agents.

10) Write 1 million words. – I’m currently on about 15,000 this does not bode well for managing it in a year. However, I am somehow managing to write every day. If you want to read more about this challenge it’s over here

12) 30 players for Vusoria – I’m currently on nine so obviously this needs some work. But we still have a while.

14) Run Vusoria 2,3 and 4 – Vusoria  2 is planned and I just need to crack on with writing up some stuff and getting kit together. We’re on schedule at the moment but I could do with cracking on.

16) Finish the fairy cross stitch – Still not half way finished yet but getting some done as I roleplay on a Wednesday and Monday.

17) Sort out Vusoria downtime stuff – Finished this, was mostly easy. Now just waiting for some downtime returns to come in.

26) Answer the 50 questions that will free your mind – ten of these were posted here.

27) Watch 26 films beginning with each letter of the alphabet – D – Due Date – this was very funny.  H – Hobbit, The – SQUEEEEE. L – Living Daylights, I decided to watch the Timothy Dalton Bond films and this was the first of the two.  P – Prometheus, an excellent Christmas movie.

38) Complete a ‘Walk to Mordor’ challenge. I’ve managed to walk a whole 20.6 miles. I should go out for a long walk today but I also want to crack on with writing and actually chill out and play a game.

43) Write up complete Vusoria history and geography – This is the current Vusoria project. It’s been started and probably doesn’t need much work.

48) Edit Umbrella to get into the TP competition – this was edited and submitted. Fingers crossed!

54) Get to level cap on LOTRO on Darma – She is currently level 72 of 85. She’s running around outside Isengard and currently dying all the time as everything around her is level 75. Still Isengard is pretty and the story is currently interesting. I’m hoping I’ll get to see the Ents destroy the place and as I’m currently running missions for Theodred that could be interesting.

80) do the author blog post russ did – It was one of the first new blog posts.

89) find 5 cool things to do on my tablet – Writing, 4 more to go. I do like my tablet but mostly I’m using it for writing.

92) Write the first draft of the cat story – This is the current writing project. It’s a bit slow going at the moment I’m struggling with serious writers block.

There’s some goals I’m still not sure about and some I want to change but we’re at 4 completed and 15 in progress. Wish me luck!



fifty questions that will free your mind 1-10

Since one of my goals is to answer the 50 questions that will free your mind I thought I’d ‘crack on’ it’s something I’ve been saying a lot recently especially to other people.
I’m looking at doing five while I procrascinate doing ‘real’ stuff, of which there is much that I should be doing and nothing that I can face doing. So firstly
1) How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

When people ask I usually forget I’m nearly 30 and claim to be around 22 – 23. I guess it’s a good age, you’ve just finished uni if you’ve gone you’re still young enough people don’t expect you to be a grown up and know what you want to do or have an amazing job or anything. It’s a nice age. I’d like to be there again.

2) Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Failing is hard but never trying is just throwing your life away. I have no interest in doing nothing not anymore, watch me fail gloriously!

3) If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

Well we all have to work right? I don’t know about anyone else but I for one hate getting up every morning, travelling 1-2 hours to work, spending 8 hours in an office even if you love your job! Then travelling 1-2 hours home afterwards. It’s exhausting and I hate it and it has a knock on effect on every other aspect in my life. Including the most important one of me being able to keep a roof over my head… And that was a rant.

As to the rest of it honestly it’s something I’m trying to get a handle on, I have a lot of things I don’t do because I might not like it and a lot of things I do because I feel like I should. I want to stop that and it’s something I’m working on.

Why do we do it? Because we feel like we should. Because society tells us that doing this makes us a good productive member of the world and that’s what we’re supposed to be above and beyond everything else even at the exclusion of our own health and wellbeing… And that’s another rant.

4) When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

If we were being measured today? Probably. Up to now I haven’t done much with my life but I’m working on both sides of this. I’m working on shutting up when I’m supposed to and getting on and doing the many many things I actually want to do rather than just sitting and talking about them.

I think I’m evening the score but there’s work to be done and that’s what the whole project zero thing is about making myself proactive and getting on with interesting things.

5) What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

All of the above? I don’t know this is the harder one for me to come up with. I’d like to stop the need for money but then I like the things I can buy with money when I occasionally have some spare. I’d like people to stop being dicks towards each other. I’d like to end the fact that it seems OK to say “I’m not sexist/racist etc but….”

Stopping people being dicks seems to cover most of my complaints.

Now I said I was going to answer five but you see I’m in a chatty mood and have no one to talk to except for the internet, you’ll listen to me right? So I’m going to carry on all the way up to ten. Sadly not eleven because I am aiming for round numbers not spinal tap references. (I’m not old enough for spinal tap).

6) If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Entertaining people with my stories and ideas. I adored the Saturday night reactions of my LRP players when they wanted to talk about what we’d done to them and how cool that was. I like the thought that people are enjoying something I’ve come up with and created even when that’s table top and I’m so excited to ever get something out there for other people to read.

So more of what I want to do more of anyway, just sadly when money is the currency it’s never going to make me rich.

7) Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

There are many aspects of my life where I’m settling and again I’m trying to make these go away by spending more time on the things I want to do. As for what I believe in.. I believe in being good to people, I think I do a lot of that but there’s always room for improvement.

8) If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I would have travelled more, I would already have kids because I am already getting depressed over the fact that is probably never going to happen and I am not quite thirty. I honestly cannot tell you if a shorter life span would mean I was nicer or meaner to people. I am fairly sure I would have less space in my life for fools though.

9) To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

It would certainly be an acute angle. I haven’t my life has floated along. For most of it. Most of my choices have been what I sense said would be right not what my heart thought was a good idea.

Most of my regrets centre around floating from one thing that seemed like the sensible choice to the other and frankly it’s been boring. Now I’m playing the numbers game and trying to hit all the things that makes me happy and hoping something sticks.

It’s not really controlling the course of my life but it feels a bit better than waiting to see what happens.

10) Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Doing the right things right, because doing the right things wrong doesn’t help anyone and doing the wrong things right is a waste of time. So always do the right things right.

And that’s me for today… At least it wasn’t a writing post right? I’m not sure how many of these questions opened my mind, but I have persuaded myself I’m on the right track for my future. I hope it works.

Writing – it’s fun!

Well the most amazing thing in the world has happened. Warning: I’m easily pleased.

It turns out I’ve discovered something cool to do on my tablet that also helps with my 1 million words a day challenge. That’s right, writing!

You see the reason for the warning now right? I’ve managed 1,800 words over two commutes and two lunch half hours, so that’s kind of brilliant really and that’s with me not using all of the available commuting time. It adds two and a half hours a day of productivity to my life and somehow I’m fast at it, although of course the whole predictive text can be a little frustrating when re-reading!

Currently I’m using Polaris office which is the free writing app that came with my tablet so if anyone can think of any other decent writing apps please let me know. Be they other word processing apps or things that might be fun to use to make life easier. For example Polaris doesn’t have a word count or at least not that I could find. Also remember I’m easily pleased!

The second point of this post is something I knew about myself already but I’ve found really annoying over the last few days. I can’t end my stories. I have two mostly completed story plans, one for a follow up of Umbrella and one for a slightly odd alternate worldy story and neither of them have an ending.

Even though I’m new to the whole writing outlines and they’re probably not very good I feel wrong to try and start writing without knowing how it’s meant to end. Even though that’s always how I’ve written before.

I guess my only option is to stop this strange experiment I’ve been conducting where I try to be a grown up and just go and try and splurge 5000 words onto a page and see what happens. Although if I do that I expect nothing will happen that’s related to the things I’ve already started to plan to write. Already a character that has nothing to do with either of my other projects is attempting to slip into my brain and make me write her.


Next blog post will hopefully not be writing related. I promise!


New year, New stuff.

Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is everything you want it to be and more.

With every New Year comes new plans, new challenges, new obstacles and new shinies. The last one is a little hopeful.

This year I’ve decided to attempt to write 1 million words. That’s 20 NaNoWriMo’s. I’m mad, it’s awesome. You can follow my progress and that of a bunch of other people attempting this challenge over here. I think it’s going to be a fun ride and people should come along for it.

Now while I’ve been quiet online I’ve been busy in the real world. I’m taking advantage of my e-reader to start reading the old classics I’ve never gotten around to. Alice in Wonderland I’ve decided I’m not that big a fan of, however, I’ve fallen in love with Mary Shelley and not even started Frankenstein yet.

I’ve also read less classic novels. Mostly Cold Days the newest Harry Dresden book by Jim Butcher. All I can say about that is WOW.

I had an excellent New Year’s Eve party surrounded by friends and intend to work hard at making sure I see more of them more often.

Finally bookings for the fall of Vusoria have hit 8/30. Not bad going since we’re running in May and have a lot more interest than event 1 did. We’re having our first meeting of the year on Monday and I’ve promised to talk more about being a LRP organiser on a budget so I’ll get around to that.

I’ve even managed some gaming over the last week and am cracking on with levelling Darma, as per mission 101 goals.

We’re re-building The FRPG, something I’ll talk about in another post soon as it’s a fun way of writing with friends if you like Star Trek.

The future looks bright in terms of goals and fun stuff.

I will return you all to your regularly scheduled programming on Thursday.

Have a good year!