03 March 2008

I've moved sites!

I've finished my web move, and my blog is now hosted completely on my own site, www.maltpress.co.uk.

This blogger site will no longer be updated. Thanks for reading - now carry on over at maltpress.co.uk!

29 February 2008

About to change!

There's about to be a big change on my website - and my blog. I'm going to be moving the blog off blogger (it's a great system, but I want it all centralised) and to a completely WordPress driven site. There might be a bit of disruption on the site over the weekend but normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

20 February 2008

A new poem

Yep - I've done my first poem in about two or three years. Because of Stephen Fry's excellent book The Ode Less Travelled (look it up on Amazon, it's a good read). I've not done it using any particular techniques - I very rarely do, I'm a painfully unskilled poet - but I enjoyed writing it. I hope you enjoy reading it.


We live opposite lives, me
and Gregory.
Just out of step.
At night he warms me up
And by morning the opposite is true;
From red to blue and back
(Him, not me).

I fill him at night from the kettle
And twelve hours later it's me
Plus milk and sugar
Which would make him sticky
And not enhance his action.

Sometimes we look at each other
Him with his unblinking
Felt eyes
And me with my watery alives
And we wonder how we lasted this long
Wanting different things.

But that's what we need -
Me to fill him,
Him to warm me.
The perfect complimentary relationship
With a faint smell of rubber.

03 February 2008

Difficult times

The past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for me - an ill cat (he's now fine), car troubles (ceaseless), money worries, a slow-down in work, some other personal stuff... all of which has resulted in me being in a bit of a grump for a while.

I had a major grump yesterday, ranted a bit, and found myself with my fingers hovering over the keyboard with a job application form in front of me. It's the closest I've been in 14 months of self employment to jacking it all in and getting a real job just so I have some money in the bank and can stop the horrid letters from the Student Loans people.

But then I remembered that I'm a bit of a pig-headed idiot and I don't give up. Giving up is stupid. Changing - that's the way to do things, but not giving up. There's always a way out, and while a "real" job is certainly one way out, I think I've become too antisocial now to be easily re-integrated into working society. Most employers frown at the idea of turning up to work in your pyjamas, showering half-way through the morning, not shaving for weeks at a time if you can get away with it, and the other fine distractions I have.

So I'm getting positive. I'm making proper aims, and proper things to look forward to. I'm planning how to achieve what I want. A lot of stuff I want I know I can't have; I know what I want might change with time. But I'm going to put it all down now and see where I get to. I will get through this difficult patch. Honest.

30 January 2008

Blog in haiku

Work is very hard
Too late to roll in mist now
Not sure what is next

03 January 2008

A new year...

2008, eh? Amazing how quickly it comes around. I can remember feeling smug this time last year for getting through my first ever self-employed Christmas.

Last year I made a few business plans and a few personal plans. Let's see how they panned out and make some new plans to not keep to:

Business plans

  1. Find a designer to work with. Kind of - I've made quite a few contacts this year and I can certainly point people in the right direction for design. I'm also having someone whose design I admire look at my site for me.
  2. Go limited. Nope - and I'm still umming and ah-ing about this one. At the moment I don't see the point. I'm getting by fine, I'm getting work in, and by working as part of consortiums I'm getting the weight of a bigger company behind me when I need it.
  3. Refine what I offer. It's not really been about "what I offer" this year. I am going to get new business cards, and re-do the focus of the website, but other than that there's been little activity on this front. I do what I do, and what I'm asked to do; it's nice like that. I have started to focus my writing work away from my main website, though, and I approach it quite differently.
  4. Sort out an office. Moving house was a great thing to do - the new place for my desk is excellent and I'm very happy here now. No need for an office, although I'd love one, and there's a brilliant building on the A10 I'd like to do up. Anyone got £300,000 to invest in me?
  5. Join a professional body. Yep - I'm now a fully paid up member of BIMA, the British Interactive Media Association.
  6. Upgrade the PC. Got a load more memory, decent graphics card and - most important of all - a really nice big flat screen monitor. Hurrah!
  7. Market. I spend what seems a painful amount of time looking for new work now, even when I'm busy. Once bitten - twice shy.
So - an OK year, plan wise, but successful for the one thing I didn't really put in the plan - keeping going and enjoying it. It's been a great working year with huge, huge amounts of potential this coming year. New plans? OK then:

  1. Sort out dull money things. I need a pension. Humph. I am nearly 30 and I do not have a pension. This is not a good thing. I also need income protection insurance. Luckily, a good couple of months mean I have a better bank balance than I expected - I've managed to pay the first instalment of quite a big tax bill (lots of confusing stuff about having 6 months in hand or something) without dipping in to the money I had put aside for that very purpose. When I know what the next tax bill may be, I might have enough put by to properly invest for my dotage.
  2. New website, business cards, letter heads and compliment slips. I often find myself wanting a compliment slip but have never had any; I am also bored of the design of my site. This is currently being fixed by some very nice people.
  3. Blog more. Both on this blog and on www.willwordforfood.com
  4. Make more distinction between my "normal" work and my writing. The two are quite different at times; plus I like the idea of Will Word For Food and want to really take advantage of it.
So that's business... what about personal? Here's what I planned and how I did:

  • Get back on the stage - nope. Oh dear. Perhaps this year?
  • Live like a monk - extreme! - that was January. I can't remember last January. Didn't really stick to it last year though - went abroad a couple of times, met a lovely girl and made the most of it.
  • Fence in a couple of competitions - Didn't happen. Far, far too busy. In the later part of the year I hardly even fenced on club nights.
  • Pay off my credit card - Not yet - although I'm doing OK. Got to keep plugging away!
  • Take more photos - Yes. Then my laptop died and I lost them all. :(
Not bad - I did have a most excellent and incredibly fun year. I did a lot I didn't plan to do, and it was ace, so in some ways I'm loathe to put down plans for the coming year... but I'll do it anyway.
  • Do my "things to do before I'm 30" - that's pretty much it, except to add:
  • Learn to dive - some friends have been amazed I have a degree in marine biology but have never dived. Apparently I will enjoy it - so that's on my list of things to do. Perhaps it will tie in with the plan to go south of the equator at some point...
So that's it - big ambitions for business, realistic ones for my personal life. Let's hope I manage some of them at least!