Secret Diaries…..

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  • Oh bejesus, finally done with daily maintenance at 11:45, really productive day… #in #nothowiplannedtospendmyday #

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  • Dear prometric, please redo your website, the current one is slow and shite #
  • @stephenfry happy birthday to the man who has been first on my fantasy dinner party guest list for a very long time! in reply to stephenfry #

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  • @lartist sounds like some fairly horrendous mail… in reply to lartist #
  • What exactly are you claiming for? I have photpgraphic evidence of your perfectly intact car! #

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Creating believable characters is obviously a major part of every decent fiction writers trade, so where do these characters come from?  Many writers freely admit that most of their characters are a composite of a number of different people they come into contact with in their da ily lives, this is obviously a fantastic place to start because surely nothing will be more believable than a real person/people.  For new writers this does however often backfire, a tendency to focus on one aspect of someones personality or to combine only negative or positive characteristics results in flat characters who are either too perfect, or too repugnant for the reader to engage with them in any way.

The classic one for this would be the arch-nemesis, regularly guilty of having absolutely no redeeming features and of commiting evil acts for no other reason than because the author has decided the character is evil without thinking about their motivations.  The worst and most evil of people in mankinds history did what they did for what they believed to be perfectly rational reasons, not because they decided one day to be ‘bad people’.  Authors who can embrace this concept tend to create far more believeable villains.

The trick is in finding the right composite of characteristics to end up with a real living and breathing whole, something which I’ve been working on of late, having now got some idea of a plot line for my first real attempt at a novel I now need to populate my new world with some interesting people and this is proving to be a fun activity.  I’ve spent more time people watching in the last two weeks than I have in a while and its all proved very interesting and informative.  Hopefully the results will be worthwhile!

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  • Anyone else noticed that people being outraged at something tends to draw far more attention to said thing than it would otherwise get? #

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You know how everyone’s a computer expert now?  They all know all the answers, ‘it’s the software’, ‘you need more memory’, ‘Macs/Windows/Dell/HP/whatever are crap, you should get a Mac/Windows PC/Dell/HP/whatever’.  As an IT professional stuff like this is annoying enough when its other techs saying it, when everyone else chimes in based on something they heard from some bloke in the pub the general result is said IT tech goes and finds a quiet corner to sit and cry in. Why exactly?  Because aside from the fact that these judgements are often just plain wrong, they regularly suffer from the usual problems of a collection of opinions of blokes in the pub.

They probably know less about IT than you do.

Or, if they do know about IT they are talking about a specific case and not in general terms.  More RAM will not solve every PC problem, one fault does not necessarily make a particular software package useless and (this is a big one) Mac/Windows/HP/Dell/whatever are not the without flaws, and they are not completely useless.  Companies don’t tend to survive very long if they are.

As a general rule, expressing your opinion of what the problem could be with your PC while the office tech is working on it should (if we were allowed) be met with a response somewhere along the lines of  ’If your such an expert why did you call me?  Fix it yourself then.’ unfortunately things like that are not considered good customer service so we smile sweetly and carry on regardless.  Please try to remember that we’re here to help and we are very unlikely to try and tell you how to do your job, so you telling us how to do ours is less than helpful.

Users at my current job have started using a new ploy to annoy the hell out of me, despite keeping them informed of progress and working hard to resolve their problem some have decided that faster results can be gained by emailing upper management with there problems.  This is more annoying than being told how to do my job, this is actually offensive to me.  Particularly as the normal tone of these emails seems to suggest that the IT department have access to a vast store of hidden funds which could be used to replace every PC and server twice over without having any effect on the companies bottom line.

Attitudes like this are what make me consider careers a long way away from IT, truth is though that none of those careers actually has much potential to earn me big money straight away so I’d have to make sure I got my hands on a fairly solid cardboard box to live in till they did….

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Update

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This is the first writing I’ve done this week, not an intentional failure but a failure none the less.  I’ll be well off target I’m afraid.  Unfortunately a lot of things have chosen this week to compete for attention in my brain and they’ve got in the way of my creative muscles somewhat.

My intention is that I’ll make up for the failing next week, hopefully producing one piece a day and massively expanding my output compared to its current levels.  I’m also hoping to get some serious work on The Book done, perhaps even seeing if I can produce something approaching a decent first chapter to get things moving on that front.

Matters have not been helped by the fact that my energy levels seem to be at an all time low, I’m spending more time feeling tired than feeling useful.  Still, four weeks to go and then I can recharge my batteries in a cottage on Exmoor.  Four weeks that can’t really go fast enough….

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