Damn. I really don’t want to keep banging on about this… but things haven’t quite been sorted out with the use of my name at www.kasterborous.com.
As technology writing and family life have occupied my time over the past few months, I’ve not really been keeping an eye on what www.kasterborous.com – the website that I setup in 2004 with illustrator Anthony Dry – was up to. I’d assumed that a new editor had been installed and that it was business as usual.
We’re approaching the end of the month so I thought it might be a good time to give a few thoughts to the current shape of my career as a freelancer.
Over the next seven days I will be producing output for MakeUseOf.com, working on two special projects (both of which I hope to be able to reveal next month) and beginning the development of my sister-in-law’s online business, a website which will sell baby clothes and other essentials.
Along with the usual Kasterborous work and podKast the majority of my time will be split between Karen’s site (deciding upon an engine for the back end and settling on a layout) and continuing the development of my own network of blogs.
It’s an exciting time, but a little fraught given the large gap between external contracts!
Well that’s a relief! After a few slim weeks I’ve finally been accepted for work with another high-paying client, more details of which I’ll be ready to furnish in a few days’ time.
Today, however, I need to outline the current status of the Atomic Media websites. They’re currently in different states of readiness for the big relaunch (which might be a bit later than originally intended) and clearing this up in my head should help.
OK, so what’s going on here?
I’ve given the website a facelift and opted for a full on blog rather than a few static pages. To this end, I’ve imported the old content from www.atomickarma.co.uk (which is soon to receive an interesting face-lift…) and updated my portfolio.
We’ve had an interesting few months since the babies came along, and professionally I’ve been able to grab hold of some great opportunities, some of which I’m working on today!
On the down side, work-related matters prevented me from finishing my NaNoWriMo entry, which means I’m going to have to try again next year (just because, okay?) but there is the advantage of having over 13,000 words of a story to play with during any quiet spells in the near future. I may post a sample from the story at some point over the next few weeks.
So, I’m just about to embark on my fourth week as a freelance writer. I’ve learned a few things in this time, but most importantly, I’ve discovered that if you send an email, make sure you have regular access to the account you sent it from.
D’oh! I enquired to a website recently about a potential opening that would result in regular work. I’ve been checking for days now for a response, thinking it had been captured in my boxtrapper. In the event, it seems I sent it from an email account I use only occasionally.
As such I think there is very little chance of my reply being taken seriously. Pretty annoying, but hey, what can you do? In the meantime, I’ll simply have to use that extra effort to finish off the upcoming Kasterborous book…
This is quite an exciting day – the opportunity to earn my “bill money” in the space of 5 articles rather than the usual 8!
As I write this, a virtual installation of Windows XP is taking place (onto which a security application I’m testing will be installed) while simoultaneously a second security-related app is working in the background.
This is week 3 of my freelancing career; it is still early days, although I certainly feel as though I have learnt a lot about how I respond to pressure, not to mention when I’m most productive (mornings)!
There are currently two regular gigs – DeviceMAG and of course Brighthub – but I’m still trying to find that third, key regular gig or establish some sort of semi-regular, high paying gig that might allow me to spend a couple of hours less on the important work and an extra hour on the personal projects.
Meanwhile, the Kasterborous book is nearing completion, although it will require a concerted effort to be ready in time…
So, as the time approaches, various “big things” are in motion. Firstly, a redesign of Kasterborous.com proceeds apace, hopefully completing this weekend once a few minor things are ironed out.
Secondly, the end of Quintessential Comedy; I’ve decided to end this particular blog and integrate any particularly interesting comedy related material here.
Third, I hope to be offering some general observations, reviews and opinions of anything interesting I might have seen, read or heard recently, as well as offering my thoughts on the business of running a niche blog, something I know a little bit about!
Finally for this post, I hope to be able to chart the development of two very different blogging projects over the next 12 months. Both are ready to roll, and really just need content and some obligatory design tweaks…
More on that at a later date…
At some point soon I hope to be able to expand beyond bits left off Kasterborous – but just a quickie to say that the three scripts for Time Leech comics are available on www.kasterborous.com.
Part one of The Time Leech appeared in the Vworp Vworp! pro/fanzine earlier this year, while part three features art from the superb Rick Lundeen (check out his Daleks!)
The link is:
Balancing study with Brighthub is going remarkably well, although it seems that there is scope to increase my Brighthub output if certain situations change in the near future. We’ll have to see how this goes, of course…
In between having fantasies of reforming bands and entering competitions on Absolute, I’ve been expanding the contirbutor base on Kasterborous – this should give Brian and I all the time we need to complete the additional material and complete the K Book.
I’m also – slowly – looking for a suitable artist for the first part of the Valvestate series of comics. Not sure how this will pan out though at this stage.
Finally, as promised, is my entry for Big Finish’s recent comptition to find a new writer. The idea was to conceive and develop a script for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa pairing (Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton). Big Finish revealed this week that the winner was someone else – so as a result, here’s the my entry, beginning with a three-step breakdown and ending with a short sample of the script….
The Doctor and Nyssa arrive outside a small village in the north of England in the mid 18th century. The Doctor has been looking for a clear spot on from which to view Halley’s Comet. Noticing a small cottage on the hill they venture up to see if they can view the event from there. Through a window Nyssa notices unusual machinery with what appears to be an ancient scepter mounted in it, but the man living there refuses to open the door, claiming he has the pox. They follow his suggestion and get a room at the local inn.
As they are making arrangements with the innkeeper, they hear of the death of a local man whose frantic wife is beside herself in the corner of the pub.
His body is at the back of the inn, laid out in his cart – investigating, the Doctor discovers a petrified expression etched into his face. The innkeeper, Hindmarsh, says that locals have been experiencing bizarre apparitions for weeks, beasts and dragons emerging from the ground.
Keen to investigate, the Doctor and Nyssa look outside, but see nothing. Collecting some lamps from Hindmarsh they search for Thompson’s foot prints to get an idea of where he was when the incident occurred.
Confident that it was nothing more than an apparition caused by too much ale, the Doctor has a sudden change of heart when Nyssa’s use of the waveform scanner reveals a high level of silicon in the surrounding geology, coupled with a new, unusual reading. After Nyssa has uncovered the footsteps, they soon find some discarded fresh market goods, indicating the place where Thompson died – and are welded to the spot as out of the side of the valley, a deafening screeching, groaning sound approaches them at breakneck speed.
A train – 50 years too early!
Throwing themselves out of its way, the Doctor and Nyssa take cover beside some rocks.
Examining the side of the steep hill forming that part of the valley, the Doctor finds no tunnel and no tracks, although there is a faint whiff of soot which he attributes to the overall sensory illusion. He cites Stone Tape theory as the explanation.
The nearest place to find an answer turns out to be the cottage they encountered upon their arrival. Deciding to take advantage of the occupant’s apparent distraction with his machinery, the Doctor and Nyssa break in, but are soon overheard and discovered. Abner is an alchemist, and has devised and built a machine to harness energy from the comet to convert lumps of rock into gold.
Mixed with the high silicon content in the surrounding geology the Doctor and Nyssa agree that the Ghost trains are caused by Abner’s gold machine. Realising that the machine is leaking energy from the comet and causing a rare Stone Tape phenomenon, the Doctor and Nyssa defeat Abner by forcing the Stone Tape effect within the alchemist’s house – displaying visions of a seemingly horrific future.