Podcasting? Me?

Whatever is he up to now? Well, mostly prompted by a series of persistent options in my WordPress dashboard I decided to experiment with turning blog entries here into podcasts. I’ve seen Lady M do similar with her TWITT project and enjoy the process, so while I was having a quiet lunchtime break I started clicking buttons. WordPress seem partnered with Anchor to provide this set of functions, so after mere seconds I was presented with a big long list of blog entry text and the option to automatically convert these to audio with a choice of pre-generated voices.

I’ve worked in tech and with tech for long enough to remember the sheer tedium and pain of trying to get automated systems to pronounce seemingly innocuous words in any semblance of how they should be, so I hesitated before pressing the buttons and opted to record one myself. In this instance the blog entry immediately preceding this one about having an night on my own.

So, other than ego, why have I opted to do this? Well believe it or not I have an ulterior motive and its to do with making my writing more accessible and easy to read. I’ve long been a subscriber to the practice of reading what I write out loud anyway as a simple way to see if I’ve punctuated my sentences. I have a tendency to ramble. You may have noticed. At its best, the written word should ebb and flow like a river with differing sentence lengths and cadences. Reading aloud helps remind me to breathe.

So, you get to hear me try not to faint while reading out my longer sentences, and hopefully that will translate into better reading experiences for people – whether for fiction, or simply work emails. And yes, I will be recording this too.

The link for the podcast by the way is https://anchor.fm/tim-maidment7 – and I’m in the process of signing up the rss feed with a variety of providers.

So far you can listen on Apple at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/timmaidment-com/id1597578500 and on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/show/3WC9JGf1P6V8xnsOUon87l

Writing Stuff

A quick update on the long-gestating novel. Barring a few little linking passages I’ve typed up most of the first draft of the novel. and have the rest in various notebooks, including some alternative takes on scenes. Hooray, but now begins the big edit and reworking of major bits because my focus and tone has shifted as the characters have evolved, and some of the stuff that I’ve come back to read now has me noticing all kinds of plot holes.

So. The current plan now is to streamline some scenes, remove some others, add another couple of viewpoints to see if they work, and try not to throw my laptop across the room. Well, at least more than a couple of times.

This is actually a big deal given I started this with a Nanowrimo in 2011 (I think) and then have wandered all over the place between copywriting as a freelancer, then deciding I needed some regular income and becoming a library person again. I just need to knuckle down and carry on doing this slog. I’ve learned a lot about the sheer grind needed to write long-form stories – and every short story and fiction fragment here and in other places have been learning steps along that road. Nothing is wasted effort. If I say that often enough then I’m sure I’ll believe it at some point.

Now to do battle with Amazon again and see if they’ll accept my bank details for self-publishing at any point.

Change of Plans

I’ve woken up this morning with, in the words of Mre B, no spoons. 

This is a reference to the imagery of one’s mental reserves being a drawer full of spoons, and as you interact with people or perform tasks you hand those spoons out. When you are out of spoons, you need to rest and recharge.

A geekier version of that theory, now doing the rounds, is based on the magic system in Dungeons and Dragons, and talks of spell slots instead. The idea can be thought of as a straight substitution, or expanded, because in Dungeons & Dragons spell slots can be different levels denoting different complexities.

All this sounds lovely, and does appeal to the geek in me, but it’s far too much effort for daily life – and especially when in a position of having low energy or lacking the capacity to deal with people and situations.

So I’m sticking with spoons, and the lack of them, in my drawer.

Today, this has manifested in our choosing not to drive an eight hour round trip to discuss something relating to our plans for a renewal of vows in five year’s time. 

Instead we’ve slept in and stayed under the covers with the intention of doing very little this morning. The people we were going to meet will call us back about midday and so we can meet that plan with less spoon expenditure, and possibly even some fresh ones back in the drawer 

It’s also why this morning’s story was not a continuation of the steampunk extravaganza. More bits of that will come, but I needed a break for a moment. 

The whole thing will get edited and compiled into a longer piece once the fragments are on the table – and hopefully will help demonstrate some of my writing process for longer pieces.
Right, back to my cuppa and book – currently reading The Copper Promise by Jen Williams, and enjoying it immensely.