An idea

Mar. 12th, 2012 11:06 pm
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It could be argued that the reason we haven't advanced further as a race is because so much of our energy and resources are directed toward developing better ways to kill the enemy. I'm not the first to have thought the only way we'll ever come together as a species, setting aside differences, is if we're threatened by a larger threat external to our planet, uniting us as a species against another species, joined together by a common mortal threat with a rapid agenda. A while back people worked out that human productivity can be enhanced by taking work and turning it into a game. Gamification of mundane and repetitive tasks made for happier people and greater productivity. With all that in mind it may be that the only way we break the back of global conflict, global warming and the like is to somehow convincingly anthropomorphise the problem. Make global warming an enemy. Give it a face. Not in a propaganda sense, but in a 'face that I can smash' sense. An 'enemy we can rally against' sense. Just as if we were being invaded.

Sodded if I know how we'd do that. But it seems to me that if we replace 'aliens' with 'global heat death', or 'foreigners' with 'man's inhumanity to man', maybe we'd get somewhere.

And then I look at Kony2012, (which I think in a very real sense is duplicitous and risks replacing a very bad problem people at least have made progress on with a brand new problem), and realise they may have actually done that. They've given a problem a face. And the world's woken up a little (or so it seems at this early stage). I realise we can't do the same thing for global warming. Unless, one by one, we target the world's biggest polluters.

It's one thing to join a global pile-on against one shitheel in a jungle, and another to take down a phalanx of the world's most powerful institutions, but there is definitely SOMETHING there.
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Star Wars Freeze Mob in Times Square. Great outfits, must have cost a fortune, Nifty reveal around 1m30s.

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If you're not watching American Horror Story, you're missing out. This is my kind of poetry. Episode 1 packs in a *stunning* amount of weird after weird. Episode 2 begins to make sense of it. Episode 3 and the whole thing slowly begins to bloom. It's feckin' rad.

July 4th.

Jul. 4th, 2011 12:52 pm
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This time last year I was in NYC with [personal profile] rufus and [profile] fluffworld and Peter. We explored the Cloisters, wandered through the Met, lazed in Central Park, watched the sky explode over the Hudson and drank beer in some seriously overpacked watering hole. It was great.

I so have to get back. Cheers!
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For some reason I wrote two posts kinda-sorta about 'networking', except that's a loathsome name for what amounts to having friends and not being a dick.

Networking Phase 1: You Think You're Alone

If you were trapped on a desert island with four other people would you or would you not work together to survive?

The creative industry?  Same thing.

The UCLA Mafia? Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola?  Friends.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood? Friends.

Microsoft? Friends.

Marc Maron’s top-rated podcast, WTF, that’s now airing on Chicago Public Radio?  Him and about 200 friends.

Tribes survive, loners die stupid.  Furthermore, this isn’t Lord of the Flies.

Full article here.

The Case for the Karma Collective (can we do away with calling it ‘networking’?)

I like my friends and I’m lucky to have them, so if I can do something for them I will. Especially if it’s something that will add to their life. I did that twice over the last few months and it wasn’t until some time after that I realised how much everyone concerned had gained – or stands to gain – as a result, and was a big inspiration for writing these three(?) articles.

This article features me going on about [personal profile] cavalorn quite a bit, and using personal experience to hopefully make a solid case for consideration of others being a major help in both you and those close to you getting ahead.

Third and final article next week... assuming my related side project bears a little fruit and I have something to talk about as a result.

Full article here.

Or you could just head over to and browse to your heart's content.  While there, you could always click the little button in the top left and subscribe for updates.  Just saying.

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We far too readily adopt the mien of an orphan bootblack knocking at the service entrance, cap in hand to apologise for taking up anyone’s time before asking if possibly someone might need their shoes shined.  Hell, I did it just last week.

This is ridiculous.

A short article on why talking about what you do doesn't have to mean you're a pistolfingers douchebag.


As a by-product of researching the book I’m coming across the etymology for a lot of common words and turns of phrase. I’d heard that a lot of popular/gangsta language is actually medieval English, and I am coming across a lot of it ("dog", "bitch" and "banging" to name three.) But there’s also a few interesting things about stuff we take for granted.   So there's a second post on the surprising origin of some words, as well as a small update on where I've been and what I've been doing.  Short story: burning out.  Long story: a series for children, looking after friends and getting around my agent wanting to see film treatments with a view to shopping them around Hollywood.

Head to for the articles.

Hi.  How've you been?  *thud*

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Hidden treasure, Mad Dave, kids love cages, why I want to be cremated, and the most underwhelming natural disaster ever.


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The Pod is up - we're stopping Arctic drilling!

In the chill, pale pre-dawn of Sunday morning, just as the Arctic sun began to glimmer above the horizon, I climbed down the pilot ladder of the Esperanza - our Greenpeace ship.

Waiting below was the inflatable that raced me over the freezing waters of the Davis Strait towards the looming figure of the Leiv Eiriksson - Cairn's Arctic driller.

Support us by emailing Cairn's bosses to demand their spill response plan

Yellow and orange lights from the rusty rig twinkled through the sea spray as we closed in on our target, turning sharply to avoid the Danish warship that moved as if to block our path.

Within moments we were behind the rig.

Leaping from our inflatable onto a tiny ladder that climbed the sheer face of Leiv Eiriksson's leg, I quickly scaled the 30 metres to our anchor point, safely attaching myself to the superstructure.

A few minutes later a second inflatable appeared - again dodging the navy - with the survival pod itself in tow. Using pulleys we began to haul our yellow friend upwards, right in front of the warship and under the noses of its disbelieving crew. It didn't take too long to get the pod in position, safely anchored close to the huge drilling equipment Cairn plans to use here.

Since then we've been getting comfortable in our little pod home and we intend to stay here as long as we can, stopping this reckless drilling.

But you don't have to be in the Arctic to take action.

While we've been jumping on Cairn's rig, 12,525 of you have emailed the company's bosses, asking them to release their spill response plan. A document that important shouldn't be kept secret, not unless you've got something to hide.

But there's been a development.

Our friends back in the UK office tell us that Cairn have started blocking our emails, preferring to ignore the voices of reason.

Cairn has even started to claim that they can't legally publish the spill response plans, an argument rubbished by our lawyers in Denmark.

But while they can block emails from our website, they can't block emails coming directly from you.

Please support our Arctic action by emailing Cairn's boss Bill Gammell and his sidekick David Nisbet directly, asking for their oil spill response plan.

The Arctic is too precious for these rusty drills.

Follow the live progress, pictures and video from our Arctic action on the Greenpeace website.

Bye for now,

Luke (one half of the pod team)


Site Update

Jun. 1st, 2011 02:39 pm
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3 Techniques To Make Your Fiction Better

As a writer you’ll spend your life hand-crafting every item in your toolkit. It’s these tools that will save you when inspiration flees, when your Muse won’t get out of bed and you have to show up at the page anyway. Here’s three from mine. Use them in good health.

(PS: hoping to use LJ/DW more in future.  Been unbelievably busy the last month or so.)
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3 Steps To Writing A Non-Excruciating Sex Scene

“Rodney employed with rigour the triumphant length of his long-denied ladypleaser, meeting with gusto the quivering, expectant mound of Cynthia’s passion-engorged love pudding.”

Also includes a sample from Falling. This may end badly.
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Of the stories submitted so far for this ghost story anthology (aimed at kids), mine and [personal profile] cavalorn's are the only ones that actually try to scare the everloving piss out of them. I've read Ade's synopsis and, frankly, I think we both earned our paycheques.

Also, stoked that we both get to be in the same book.
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Life as Ricochet.

A friend of mine had his entire life change direction because of a single human hair. And that got me thinking.
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Been stupidly busy. Hoping to have something cool to report shortly. Depends how a few things go.

How amazing is this?

This is Maghidet in the Fezzan desert (Sahara area) in Libya. Fantastic landscape, captured by Marina Savina. See more here.

And this is a shot of [profile] bell_man taken a week ago.

Most of The Basement got together in Melbourne, hung out, ate and drank and just goofed around. It was great.
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If Cooktown were Darkest Africa – and some of it sort of is – then it’s the part of Darkest Africa where Livingston stumbles upon a lost tribe, finds them racing go-karts while high on fermented mango juice and there’s bunting strung across the witchdoctor’s hut that reads FUCK OFF.

Or, to paint it another way, the last mayoral race was between the only three candidates they could get: a Russian immigrant who speaks almost no English, a New Age lunatic, and the murderer who drives their school bus.

They are the few.  They are the crazy.  At least they are if you believe the motto of their cricket club: ‘somos pocos pero estamos locos‘. The Mexican ambassador certainly seems to.  He’s the one who gave it them in the first place.

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Massive Site Update: Practical time travel for writers, as well as new short fiction and sample chapters.

This week you’re going to learn how to time travel. The bad news is it only works backwards. The good news is it’ll make you a better writer. The bad news is it only works with voice, and then only with your voice. The good news is it’ll make you a better writer.

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An article on how building people backwards can make you a better person.

An article on how building people backwards can make you a better person.

One of the pieces I submitted was a short story called My Father as Ferryman, which was set in a goth club.  Shut up.  The story hinged on the quasi- (arguably ersatz, definitely pretentious) courtly dynamic of the place. I’m talking about the grand old days when there was future to burn, clubs were the sanest part of the week, every joint had a card-carrying, frock coated, 100% genyooine vampire who could never get laid and LARPing was as popular as naming yourself after ailments.  If you were around at the time and never got fanged, cursed or knew someone named ‘Baron Necrosis von Rainfuneral’ (“Have you met myne bryde, Anemia?”) you weren’t doing it right.  I saw a kid in a cape the other day and I wanted to hug him.

Of all the critiques I ever received from Critters the one I remember concerns this story.  It was from a middle-aged, middle-class American lady and it read, more or less: “The setting stretches plausibility as this place couldn’t possibly exist.”

Also, a little on Marc Maron, and two lines on something I can't talk about yet. Possibly ever, but hopefully just yet.
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Book related: Read somewhere that the Rock of Gibraltar is at risk of hiving off a great slab, and that if that happens it'll cause tidal waves to strike the eastern seaboard of the US. Anyone know where to find info on this? Google turns up zip. Thought I read it in "The World Without Us" but can't find a ref in the glossary. Apparently geologists have been petitioning govts to address the issue for a while. Anyone?
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I'm attempting an experiment. If you've visited my site and liked what you saw, then I'd like to know what you'd like to read. Subjects, perspectives, opinions, whatever's compelling for you at the moment. No idea if this'll work, but it never hurts to ask.
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Site Update:

Initially I had little to no interest in dating the internet, figuring that if I really wanted to make myself vulnerable to an unmedicated sociopath I could always get back into the goth scene. But I’d heard Julian Assange's profile was still up at OK Cupid, so I looked.   The next thing I know I’ve answered fifty questions, determined that my medieval job would be ‘harlequin’, and am sitting in a park with a disgruntled German eugenicist.

Also, Nicholas and the Chronoporter sees print in China, and there's links to the Rasputin/Satan documentary fronted by none other than [personal profile] cavalorn himself.

(If you like what you see I'd be grateful if you used the 'like' button, or forwarded using the Facebook and/or Twitter links at the bottom of the posts. Thanks!)

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