Twat Me

I am officially a twat. I think that is the word for it, someone who is on twitter. Anyways, yesterday evening I decided to rejoin the twittersphere after an almost two-year long break. As my most immediate goal right now is to rekindle my passion for writing, I of course started looking for some interesting authors to follow, especially of the “up-and-coming” variety. But as I did, I noticed a surprising lack of male hopeful authors. Perhaps a quarter were men, and most of them were only using it as a tool for self promotion, making them completely uninteresting for someone like me that is more interested in the interaction aspect. Not that I am complaining, gender is completely irrelevant (at least in this situation), but I did find it somewhat intriguing. Trying to figure out answers to small everyday “mysteries” like that is always fun. Keeps the ole noggin entertained.

A Gift

Recently my father was on a long weekend trip to London, something of which I in no way was even remotely jealous. Ok, fine. Maybe a tad jealous. It is such a nice city. Great for walking around in, just taking in the many sights. Especially the British Museum. An absolutely fantastic place. As you may have suspected already, I am most definitely an anglophile, and as any good anglophile I am quite the fan of Sherlock Holmes. Which of course is something that my father is aware of, so he bought me this little gift:

It is the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the collection of the first 12 short stories that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but it is not a regular sized book, but a large paperback version. That will indeed make a nice addition to my bookcase. 

Look at those lovely illustrations. Colorized versions of the original art of Sidney Paget. Just beautiful. The book even has small fact boxes interspersed throughout the book, explaining various things that comes up in the stories. An excellent feature, in my opinion. Reading this book is going to be an utter joy.

Sports Team Wins Sports Game!

Warning: the following text may contain traces of national pride.

I have never been much of a sports fan. The only thing I watch with any regularity is national team football (or soccer as some heathens choose to call it), specifically the World Cup, and the Euro Cup. But every now and then I sit down to enjoy some hockey as well. And this year I just so happened to remember there was a world championship going on, so I actually watched most of Sweden’s game all through the tournament. And wouldn’t you know. Sweden actually won the gold. That means we are better than you, you, you, and you. And you as well.

But seriously though, it was a good game. Canada played very well, and it was an even game. If it hadn’t been for the swedish goalie, things could have turned out very differently. So, congrats, boys. Well played.

What’s the Point? – A Manifesto to Myself

What IS the point, exactly?

No, I am not talking about the meaning of it all – I think we all know that the answer to that is 42 – I am merely talking about the overall purpose of this blog, which I have discovered to be far easier to formulate in one’s head than on paper. And worse still, far easier to live up to in theory than in practice. But I digress.

I have always had a passion for writing, which stems back to the roleplaying days of my youth. Being the more creatively inclined, I often found myself in the role of game master, which meant I had to create adventures which I could then inflict upon my friends. As I grew older, these adventures became more and more elaborate to the point that they were more akin to short stories than roleplaying adventures. When I left my teen years behind me, roleplaying games slowly fell out of my life, but the passion to create stayed with me. In the years that followed I sporadically exercised my creative muscles, but it always lacked focus: an isolated chapter here, an intensive scene there, but never anything that could be considered a true story.

That all changed a few years back. A sudden surge of inspiration hit me, a surge of inspiration bigger even than the days of my youth. Whole worlds that I had created in my mind over the years began to amalgamate and coalesce, and suddenly whole stories started playing out in my head. Much was written, and equally as much was discarded, but with each axed idea the stories became clearer. The lack of focus was still there, especially in the way I jumped back and forth between stories, but undeniable progress was nonetheless made on a near daily basis. Then the writer’s block planted itself firmly in my mind. The past year or more I have hardly been able to write at all. It feels all bottled up, a sort of mental constipation.

And that leads us to this manifesto, which is simply just meant to be a reminder to myself. Strange perhaps to write to oneself in a medium such as this, but my mind has always been the most retentive when the ideas have been written down. With this blog I am hoping to unbottle that creativity, and reconquer my love of writing. Writing is often subject to a sort of domino effect; Writing something, anything, can easily lead to an urge to write more. A word becomes a sentence, a sentence becomes a paragraph, a paragraph becomes a chapter, and a chapter becomes a book. The trick is to harness that urge in the right direction. So my intentions are simply to write, to just talk about things I find interesting, to rekindle my love of the written word. The spark will come, I am quite sure of it. In time, I even hope to write the occasional short story here, just for the pure joy of it. Perhaps even dabble in some poetry if the mood strikes me.

Now I just need to remember to occasionally look back at this to see what my intentions are, or were. Hopefully I will, and if not, hopefully I will continue writing. Writing can change minds, and even if that mind is but yours, it is always worth it.

Note to self: FOCUS!

John Cleese

For the past few days I have been watching various talks with Monty Python members from later years, especially ones with John Cleese. They have all been quite interesting, and surprisingly so. I have always been a fan of the man’s comedy, but I was unaware of his keen intellect. I wish I will be as sharp and witty as him when I get to be in my 70’s.

Lesson (Not) Learned

Humans are stupid creatures. We quite often do things that we don’t like, even when we don’t have to. Fully aware that we will end up being angry, or upset, or just generally annoyed, we go ahead and do it all the same. A sort of emotional masochism, if you will. For me, that is Facebook.

Late last night I logged in, something I do only on rare occasions. Usually I try to stay clear because I find it rather tedious – I mean, how many pictures of pets can you look at before you start hating your friends? – but every now and then I pop in to check for messages and have a quick look around. Last night was one such night.

Someone had posted an article about the French election. It was nothing controversial at all, just a simple breakdown of the vote distribution between the candidates, and between the provinces. I had a quick read, and then took a gander at the comments. It was the usual idiocy, just like what you find on any article that is even remotely political: some hailing him as some sort of messiah, some going on about how he would turn the country muslim, interspersed with the usual jewish conspiracy theories. The usual stuff.

But what caught my eye were the ones complaining about how he hadn’t accomplished anything. And not in the sense that his career achievements were lacking. No, they were complaining that he had yet to do anything worthwhile as a president. Three days after election. No triumphant deed in 72 hours was enough to dismiss him as a failure. Things like that always manage to annoy, as well as amaze, me. How someone can be such an ideologue as to hate on someone or something with such fervor that even the slightest semblance of logic has vanished completely. And they weren’t even French. They were Americans. This kind of dogmatic extremism that seems to become more and more prevalent in Americans is something I find very frightening. It exist in Europe and the rest of the world as well, of course, but I have never seen it to this degree on this side of the pond, not this kind of vitriolic hatred just for the sake of hatred. It is unsettling, to say the least.

I think I better stop my ranting now, before it spirals out of control. There will most certainly be opportunities for more of that kind in the future, because knowing me, I will no doubt find myself screaming at the scream over some mind-numbingly moronic comment soon enough. Because not only are we stupid, we are slow learners as well.