30 November 2009

Aaaaaaaand Breathe...

I scraped the 50000 word target. And by scraped I mean I really barely managed it. It's been a busy month. I wanted to get a start on with an RP project called Dreamtime Stories and the episode I wanted to run is one of four between now and February. I didn't want to be cramming it in later so that only left me one option. In amongst that and the regular business of living finding time to squeeze out 50k was no mean feat.

I'm quite happy with the results, however bizarre they might be. The book's a kind of thought experiment I called "Things Everyone Should Know About Computers" and it blends history with opinion and some quasi-autobiographical stuff. In order to qualify it for Nano I changed the name of the narrator. Is this cheating? I don't think this falls outside of the scope of Nano, so I'm sticking with it.

Apart from this the Mrs and I have been spending a lot of time lounging on the sofa gripped, this year, by X Factor. Mrs Monkey is a musical kind of person and she loves to see singers in competition. I have come to be of the opinion that X Factor gets overly abused for being what it is. Nobody's pretending that the show is innovative or that the contestants can do any more than sing songs.

Lot's of people have come away from X Factor moaning that it dominates the music industry (by which they mean the charts) and that it disadvantages "proper" musicians. As the chief commentator on this subject was Calvin Harris author of the deathless pop ditty "I get all the girls" I think that's a bit rich.

Anyhow, that's old news now. It's just that as someone who doesn't really take part in pop music or charts or any of that kind of thing, someone who's more at home with an old Monster Magnet CD and a documentary about Metallica I can't see why people can't see the televised audition that is the X Factor as anything but a good thing. After all the process is kind of definitive. Rather than take a small risk on fifty maybes why not put all the budget behind one person whittled down from a field of twelve finalists? Say what you like about past winners but at least we know they can sing, some of them can even dance.

Contrast that with the days of Stock, Aitken and Waterman in the 80s when the fact Rick Astley could carry a tune was seen as a novelty. "A pop act who can sing! Who'd have thought?"

As you may be aware I work for a ticket agency that sells for most pop music events and one thing I'll tell you about last year's admirable runners up JLS those lads are grafters. The amount of touring and promotion they've done tells me they deserved their crack at success. One memorable performance the promoter wanted news of their next gig at a venue sent out via e-mail while they were busy performing the current date.

Anyhow. That's my X Factor rant over with... inconsequential as the whole thing is. Now it's time to slip on my shoes and head off to work.

24 November 2009

Nanowrimo Bites

I've been aware that I'm not here...

But it's November and November means Nanowrimo and Nanowrimo means 50000 words. I'm inching towards the end. It'll be a shame if I fail now as I've officially crossed the line into "so near, yet so far" territory.

This brief note just signals my intention to return soon. I think I'm going to attempt to make this a more bloggy blog. It's come to my attention that if people really want to know what I think about role playing there's a 200-page book available which can brief them on the finer points and a podcast along roughly once every three weeks to expand upon these points further.

So the blog really should say something else again. Maybe pull in a little more traffic by being hip and relevant. Well, by referencing the current pop culture buzzwords anyway.

So, in the spirit of times to come, and until December...