I Have No Sense of Orientation

This has always been a bit of a problem for me, and a bit embarrassing, as I’m quite capable of getting lost inside my own clothes. Out in the real world, the invention of personal, affordable GPS devices was a real boon for me, and ever since they even became integrated into smartphones, I’m able to carry around what I consider to be a “sense of orientation prosthesis” at all times.

In the various virtual realms I’ve frequented from time to time, the game developers have (mostly) been kind enough to provide me with in-game maps of various kinds that fulfil the same purpose. Now, however, as I begin to create a world of my own in which to play out the various events of Dragondream, I find myself at a loss: I suddenly realised that I’m getting to the point where knowing where things are, and how far apart they are, i.e. the whole mapping bit, is becoming important. So far, I’ve written away, mainly trying to get words out and onto the (virtual) page. But as I write more and more, I find that my general cluelessness as to the whereabouts of everything is getting in my way. Continue reading

So what gives?

Well, lots has been going on in my life of late—so much so that I actually managed to forget about posting anything over here. I’ve kept my updates to short messages on Facebook and Twitter, and lately Google+. However, I think I need to re-start this thing, so here I am.

Since 2011-12-18, I’ve:

  • Emigrated from Switzerland to Sweden; one of the best decisions I ever took in my whole life. Switzerland was slowly killing me (almost literally). Perhaps I’ll do another post sometime comparing the two places …
  • Finally managed to sort out various family issues (the details of which I won’t go into here) that were weighing on all parties concerned.
  • Found work at West Art Communication AB, a great place to work, with an awesome bunch of developers and designers. Can’t remember the last time I had so much fun going to work, and my memory (despite claims to the contrary) is actually pretty long
  • Started looking for a house with my girlfriend—I still can’t get over the price of real estate here, compared to Switzerland: look at any property in Switzerland, and just replace the CHF with SEK. The Swedish Krona currently stands at 8-odd to the Swiss Franc, so yes, houses are 8 times cheaper here.
  • Fished out my current writing project from the virtual box it was sitting in, and started working on it again. It wasn’t for lack of inspiration that I shelved it, but what with moving abroad, job-hunting and general getting-settled-in, I didn’t really have the time or energy.

So now what? Well, I’ve updated my Scrivener, installed Aeon Timeline (beta of a completely brilliant timeline application for writers—sorry, Mac-only), got ahold of Fractal Mapper (excellent mapping application—sorry, Windows-only) and basically started cleaning up the manuscript, blowing off the digital cobwebs, and getting this thing back on the road.

Since talking about work is probably boring, I’ll stay on the topic of my novel. Its working title is Dragondream (because of an earlier version—the final thing will probably end up called something else), and that’s how I’ll refer to it for now. Or “DD” for short. In a nutshell, it’s a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and currently stands at around 38’000 words (i.e. about 1/3 done, unless the arcs change in a major way).

As I said earlier, I am planning on releasing it for free in electronic format, under a Creative Commons license, and will make sure hard copies are available, either from somewhere like Lulu or maybe I’ll even find a Real Publisher™ that’ll take it—who knows?

So far, a few people have read the first draft (as far as it goes) and have asked me to get on with the rest, they want to know what happens. A good sign, and a great motivator. My first impetus in writing this is to get the story out; if I later find a way to put a cherry on my cake with it, that’ll be, well, the cherry on the cake.

Slipped again…

Seems I’ve slipped again when it comes to posting on this blog. Things have been busy at this end, what with preparing to leave the country; and I’ve been focussing my writing on a new book I’m working on. The first draft is about 25% to 30% done, being at about 38’000 words.

When it’s finished, I’ll be trying to find a publisher, as well as releasing it on-line for free in a variety of formats.

Anyway, I probably don’t have more than 2 readers, but I thought it fair to them, at least, to keep them updated a little…

Scrivener 2.0 — The Ultimate Writer’s Toolkit

I’ve been using Scrivener since version 1.2 (At least, I think it was 1.2, it may have been earlier) for all sorts of writing projects. If you don’t know about Scrivener, but are serious about writing, then you should definitely look into it: it’s a complete writer’s workshop, with pretty much every feature you could imagine: Continue reading