Strange noises in the chimney

July 15, 2014

I’ve been in the US for two weeks now, and I’m starting to feel settled in. Our house is lovely, if still rather empty and echoey as our furniture is still in the Port of New York, going through customs and, eventually, making its way here. We have a couple of chairs, and yesterday picked [...]

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Amazon’s offers are pure propaganda

July 8, 2014

In the long-running dispute between Amazon and Hachette over their terms of trade, Amazon has used its power over Hachette’s book sales to hurt authors and publisher alike. Amazon has removed pre-order buttons from Hachette books, de-stocked so that some titles appear to be unavailable, suggested to Amazon users that they buy alternative books from [...]

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Loving an alien, part 2

July 2, 2014

Read Part 1. Also, please note that immigration processes vary from country to country, and in the UK they vary enormously over time as the Government thinks up new ways to torment immigrants. The below advice should not be thought of as comprehensive, nor always applicable to your personal situation, but is based on my experience [...]

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Authors, books and choices

June 21, 2014

Doing the rounds this morning on Twitter is a rather forthright review by Christopher Priest of Jon Wallace’s debut novel Barricade. Priest has never been one for pulling punches and, although he acknowledges that “first novels are traditionally given a gentle ride by reviewers”, he does go on to wonder if “a well-deserved duffing up might [...]

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Loving an alien, part 1

June 19, 2014

There were many things that occupied my mind when I was 16, but thinking about the kind of man I might marry was not one of them. Revision for my O Levels was a pretty big thing in my life about then, as was thinking about what I’d do at university, and which of my [...]

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iTunes & Me

March 26, 2014

I put off upgrading to iOS7, for fear my phone might be broken by the process. Today I thought, ‘Oh, don’t be silly, it will be fine’, but oh, no, no, no. The update failed halfway through. I managed to get the phone to finish its upgrade, but it needed to restore itself from back [...]

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Two lessons in dialogue

March 10, 2014

Dialogue. How I yearn to be awesome at dialogue. With good dialogue you can not only move the story forward, you can also draw the characters personality, background, attitudes, prejudices, class status, relationships to others and much more. Yet it’s only too easy, and I say this from experience, to use dialogue simplistically, either as [...]

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Create more than you consume

March 3, 2014

Hi. My name is Suw and I’m addicted to reading meaningless crap on the internet.  There. I’ve said it. I have a procrastination problem. It’s a very specific problem, though, because it doesn’t affect my paid work. When a client is paying me to write a report, do some research, or write, I generally have [...]

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Adobe Creative Cloud subscription warning!

February 20, 2014

If, like me, you’ve signed up for one of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscriptions under the assumption that because you paid monthly, after the first year the contract was also monthly, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. Your subscription is yearly and if you cancel at any point, you will pay a penalty [...]

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Hello, Sheboygan! *Waves at Chicago and New York*

February 13, 2014

For those of you who know Kevin or me well, it will come as no surprise to hear that we are finally moving to the USA: Kevin yesterday started his new job as Executive Editor of the Sheboygan Press and the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, both a part of Gannett. I am still in the [...]

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Why Amazon isn’t going to plug the shit volcano, and the one revolution that will fix the problem forever

February 6, 2014

Mike Cane wrote a blog post in response to Chuck Wendig’s and mine, saying that he thinks the self-publishing shit volcano will come to an end, because Amazon will end it. I left a comment on Cane’s blog, but it was starting to get longer than his initial blog post and I had more to [...]

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Why the self-publishing shit volcano isn’t going to stop erupting any time soon

February 5, 2014

Author Chuck Wendig has written a long post about how self-publishing is turning into a shit volcano. Vast quantities of terribly written rubbish is being published, and this is damaging to everyone in self-publishing. He says (emphasis as original): […] one of the features of self-publishing is that the door is open to anyone. Everyone. Always. [...]

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Awesome Ada Lovelace Day news!

January 23, 2014

This week saw the announcement of a couple of pieces of Ada Lovelace Day news that I’m very excited about. Last year’s day was fantastic, but this year’s is already shaping up well and, dare I say it, may be even better! Ada Lovelace Day at the Royal Institution We’re partnering with the  Royal Institution [...]

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The double-edged sword of mechanisation

January 16, 2014

Via Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread blog I discovered this fantastic video about embroiderers in Appenzell in Switzerland and how their way of life was destroyed by mechanisation. The documentary paints a fascinating picture of the rural families that earnt a living through incredibly delicate embroidery, supplementing what would have been a meagre income from fairly [...]

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Self-discipline is the mind-killer

January 6, 2014

When I started my career as a freelance in the late 90s, I thought that working for myself would give me not only autonomy, but also more time to spend on creative projects such as writing. I was right about the autonomy, but very wrong about the spare time. The first couple of years I [...]

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