Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Portrait of the Artist as a Tired Man

I'm so tired!!!

In no small part that's due to that fact that last night I went back to fencing for the first time in approximately ten months.

I'd forgotten how tiring it was, it's not that I'm unfit now, it's just that fencing uses muscle sets that don't normally get worked in the library or Waterstone's. I got good number of hours sleep but I still woke up tired, it didn't get any better from there.

I've done a doodle of my current state as I imagine I look.

Go to bed then! I hear you cry, but you see - I can't. As I reported yesterday, I lost a story I was working on when my PC died and I've had a small spark of inspiration about how to rewrite what I'd lost so I can't rest until I've drained all the energy from that spark, otherwise it might not still be there when I wake up.

Anyway, this is a minor divergence, I'm going to go make some squash and then carry on with this story. Somewhere along the line I have to get cracking with the books for next week too: Katherine Burdekin's Swastika Night and Ursula LeGuin's Birthday of the World.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Ghost in the Machine is now simply a Ghost

Yesterday my computer died.

Those more attentive to my increasingly rare status changes on my Facebook page may have noticed that a number of days previous I had reportedly "broken" Microsoft Word. Inexplicably this key programme had failed to operate, it failed to ever open.

It seems this was the first symptom of a wider more general problem. Yesterday morning before leaving for work I tried to switch on my computer only to be confronted with a blue screen of death. Something I haven't seen since the old days when I used to mess around on my Mum's computers in school which were running Windows 98. Anyway, this message said that I was experiencing "Unmountable Boot Volume". Restarting numerous times didn't help and today Rob confirmed my fear that the problem may be the physical mechanical failure of my hard drive rather than any sort of system error or software corruption. This means its unlikely I'll be able to recover any of my files, though I hold out hope an expert may manage it.

Most of what was on my PC was backed up onto either my USB stick or my External Hard Drive. Only some photos from the last couple of weeks, some of my newer music and some random jottings would be lost. One thing that I'm grateful isn't is my PhD proposal which has been saved purely by virtue of the fact I recently e-mailed it to some members of staff and can extract it from the sent e-mail still in my hotmail account.

One of the things that HAS been lost (though maybe it can yet be saved) is a story I was working on. This is particularly annoying as I'd written some 5,000 words of it and it was the first creative project I've embarked on in some time that I honestly believed had legs. (Most of my creative projects fizzle out after the initial boom, I either get bored, realise it's rubbish or forget about it).

I'm going to start again because I think it was genuinely a good concept for a short novella and would like to take a stab at writing it in full - something I've not attempted in earnest since I shelved my dystopian science fiction epic XY which I began writing in Year 11 and reached some 50,000 words before realising most of it was tripe and I'd come back to the good bits when I knew a little bit more about literature.

Who knows whether this one will go anywhere, it's not gotten off to the most auspicious of starts but who knows, maybe this will be the one. Not the big one that makes me famous, but the one I actually finish.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Eye eye

So I've been procrastinating again. Last week I watched a brilliant documentary presented by the legend that is Sir David Attenborough, it was about Darwin and the "Tree of Life". Now obviously Darwin crystallised the idea that we now think of as the theory of evolution, but one of the prime arguments against that theory is the eye.

The eye is an incredibly complex organ and if just one thing is slightly wrong then it just won't work. Anti-evolutionists argue that this is evidence that the eye was designed and put onto Earth in its current form rather than evolving. Attenborough however showed several intermediary stages that could actually have led to the evolution of the eye and some creatures that are alive today that still exhibit these "primordial eyes". At the end of the segment there was a quick montage of eyes in the animal kingdom. Only about four different eyes, I can't remember which ones (the red eyed tree frog was definitely in there) and it was a beautifully done piece.

Basically it reminded me of the beauty of eyes, it's something I've always been amazed by since I was very small. The changes in colour, shape, pattern. In the human eye alone these are remarkable, but take in the whole animal kingdom and its terrific.

So below I've created a collage of photos of eyes, there are sharks, eagles, lions, cats, frogs, geckos, humans and so many more. Hope you like it. I'm going to get it printed and put it on my wall. Lovely.