Kung-fu Marketing

People come and go, and that's just a fact of life when you're training. But how do you get them to stick around, especially when they're just starting out and you want to keep them interested? Well, as it happens we may have come across an interesting way of doing that without meaning to this past week. Spoiler : It involves big sticks.

Half Term Head-Weasels

Half Term brought its usual disruption to the routine. But moreover this one brought back the Black Dog in all its ugliness. And, as ever, it has left me questioning what I'm doing. Not just writing, but everything I do. And it's asking me why I do any of it. What's the point in any of it? Writing? Karate? Kung-fu? Why am I doing it? And why am I so scared of even trying?

Neil Gaiman Masterclass : Short Fiction (3)

For the next assignment, Neil Gaiman proposes his students pick from his Calendar of Tales and write a story based on their (read : my) answers. Not being able to come up with much I wracked my brains and decided on January. The question/stepping-off point for January was : Why would January be dangerous? Well, some time and much pondering later I came up with something. Let me know what you guys think.

Neil Gaiman Masterclass Assignment : Short Fiction (2)

The next writing assignments for the same Short Fiction class were to write something quickly within the space of 30 minutes, as well as shorten the original "old ladies" piece by a third. So I have included here the six questions that were asked in order to provide a jumping-off point for the 30 minute task. After that you can find the shortened version of the "two old ladies" piece that I posted two days or so ago. Let me know what you guys think.

Neil Gaiman Masterclass Assignment : Short Fiction

Further to the impromptu story I churned out in yesterday's writing excercise, one of the challenges set in today's Short Fiction class was to go back to what I had written and change the setting. Also I was to try and come up with something that was frightening, upsetting or beyond the bounds of what I'm usually comfortable with. So, here's the two old ladies again, this time with some details changed and a different ending. The ending was somewhat horrifying to write I must be honest, and quite frankly I'm a little shocked that such a thing could come out of my head. But then, that was the point of the excercise was it not?

Neil Gaiman Masterclass Assignment : Two old ladies

Another writing assignment from Neil Gaiman's Masterclass on the art of storytelling. This time the task was to take a simple line from a choice of five and write a page about it, trying to defy reader expectations. The one I chose was "Two old women sitting on a bench with knitting needles and yarn." As before I offer this piece of off-the-cuff writing as-is, with no editing done or spell-checking either. Just offering it as-written. Plus it occurs to me that I didn't include the bench, but rather had the ladies sitting apart. I hope you like it.

Neil Gaiman Masterclass Assignment : Red Riding Hood

In order to try and get myself firmly back on the wagon, I recently signed up to Neil Gaiman's writing masterclass - an online writing class where the maestro shares insights and assignments to try and get other writers on track to do what we supposedly do best. This would be the second assignment where Gaiman instructed those taking the class to look at a known faerie- or folk-tale from a different angle and produce a short piece of work doing so. As such, after a good bit of thought and a few days of trying to work around a cold, I produced this little gem. I haven't edited it and have only given it a cursory glance for mistakes and the like, but I feared if I edited it too much I'd end up stripping it down. Instead I wanted to keep it as it had churned out of my head. So I hope you guys get as much of a kick out of reading it as I did creating, scheming and then writing it.

Martial Meanderings

While still trying to keep the writing impetus going with Lady of the Gate, I have been mostly getting fully back on the martial-arts wagon. And lo-and-behold it turns out that I have been improving. Shocking right? Also I've been thinking about kata and kung-fu move-sets. How do they come about? And how difficult would it be to create one of your own?


Boredom to you does not appear to be boredom to me. We characterise boredom as "tedium" or lack of something mentally stimulating. Whereas in a broad sense that appears to still apply to myself, when I say/type that I'm "bored", it doesn't mean what it means to you.