Friday, 31 October 2014

This Hallowed Of Eves

It's Hallowe'en (wow it is too much effort to write it properly) which means it's that magical time of year when kids become little douchebaags who think they can get free candy. Screw you kids I paid for this candy it's mine now! MINE! I'm just kidding of course. I never answer the door on hallowe'en and I never by Hallowe'en candy. At least this year I have the excuse of being robbed two years ago on Hallowe'en.
I did plan to go to my voluntary job in my cloak but I don't know if time constraints will let me do that. I hope so because it's really the only time I'll get a chance to wear it in public and my boss says he believes I would totally wear a cloak in public. It still counts even if it's only on Hallowe'en. I just don't like drawing attention to myself.
Except here, ha!
While I never dressed up out of the norm as a kid, and stuck to devils and draculas and that sort of thing, there was one time I did do a homemade costume. I was quite the youngling, I'd say 11 or so at a guess. and there was a costume contest at a McDonalds near me. Don't judge. So I went in a homemade costume of light grey sweat pants (I translate to 'Murrican) and a grey hooded top and to cap it off an alien mask. I lost out to some little baby dressed as a ladybug. At the time I remember being immensely jealous and thinking the kid only won because she was cute. Now I'm less jealous but I still believe that. Kids have an unfair advantage in costume contests because of the cuteness factor. Hallowe'en is supposed to be spooky people. I'm sorry I was 2spooky4u.
Do you have any Hallowe'en plans? 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

How Quickly Plans Change

This post was changed from it's original format pretty quickly because I got trolled, along with many, many other people. See what happened is I heard a pretty cool piece of news but it turned out to be from a fake news site I'd never heard of before. I think we've all been there.

At least I'm not trolled by The Onion aymore
So instead I've just had to write something completely different that seems to be about how easily people can be fooled by fake news sites rather than the fake news those sites were reporting. At least I double checked things before I published the post and proved myself to be a complete fool.
A picture from the original post I wanted to keep in
Remember to always check where your news is coming from and check their sources as well as your own. Fake news sites can be pretty fun though and always good for a laugh for the people who know it's fake spreading the story. That particular story was shared over half a million times. That's a whole lot of butthurt.

Let's be honest; Have you ever been taken in by a fake news site?

Monday, 27 October 2014

I'm Beginning To Dislike Writing

It's amazing how much things change in a week. Again. When I first started writing articles Brian Miller (fabulous poet that he is) warned me about the dangers of it. I've come to conclude that he is right. In the past week I have written 34 500 word (at least) word long articles and I've come to a simple conclusion; God damn am I burned out.
Face meet desk
People don't realise what a mentally and emotionally tiring and exhausting process writing is. Let me break this down for you a little more; On average I was writing about 3500 words a day. If I could write that creatively into a book I'd have a novel in about 20 days. You know why I don't write that much in a novel? It's not bloody possible. No one should write that much. It's bad for the brain. It's why NaNoWriMo novels suck. Writing that much without a day off to recharge means that your writing sucks.
Yep. Going insane again.
It's not like the pay is very good either. Or that I'll be able to treat myself to keep myself motivated. I've always had trouble keeping myself motivated and it's happening again now. For 34 articles I receive 68 dollars. In terms of hourly pay I get about 5 or 6 dollars for an hours worth of work which, again, might not sound like that much (in terms of work). But give it a try. Write continuously for 3 hours on things you feel no connection to.

There's not nearly enough fun in my life right now. Writing is supposed to be fun.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Hoverboards

I saw this a few days ago but didn't really get the chance to post about it until today. Those of us who grew up watching Back To The Future (2 is where they were) there was only one thing you really wanted from that movie to end up being true. Outside of the DeLorean time machine of course.

I love this car.
That is of course the majestic hoverboard. Which was freaking awesome. We've been clamouring for that piece of tech for quite a long time now. We even used Back to The Future to estimate when they would arrive. They were supposed to be developed a year after the movie was set though, because Marty McFly invented the skateboard a year early. Well anyway, the fancy bastards at Kickstarter have done it again. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the Hendo Hoverboard.
The Kickstarter page has all the details, including a video of the board in action. Unfortunately all the actual hoverboards have already sold out, but they were $10k each so I wasn't likely to get one anyway. No I'm afraid I'll have to wait a few years for the technology to become cheaper. One of the rewards is a go on one at least. But think of the possibilities: One of the things they offer is a hover kit, so you can make anything hover. Not only are we now getting hoverboards, but we're even closer to floating, and eventually flying, cars.

That's pretty damn cool.

What would you make hover? A board, a car, or something else? 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Lost A Job, Gained A Job

So this time last week I was happily posting about how I managed to get a job as an article writer. I was pretty happy about that. Oh how easy life was back when I was so young and foolish. You know, seven whole days ago. It counts. Anyway, things happened and unfortunately this past Monday I was informed that there was no more work for me because I messed up. Essentially I was actually doing someone else's work for them and I did it wrong. So not only did he get in trouble but everyone else working for him at the time ended up out of work.
Boy that was deflating
After a short amount of feeling sorry for myself I realised I should get back to applying for jobs. So that's just what I did. I still felt bad for the majority of the day. Not getting any replies to those job applications didn't help. 

That's when things picked up.
We all need an emergency kitten every so often
Someone did get back to me and offer me a job with them. It's actually more than I was going to be paid by the other guy too. I say "was going to be" because I never got any money for what I did for him in the end. I'm still not really making money but, hey, it's not like I have many expenses. I'm basically earning what a server earns but without the possibility of tips. That's how I choose to look at it. 

Some of the work can be pretty fun though. On Tuesday I helped rewrite almost an entire website for a pizza company and yesterday I had to write recipes for, of all things, pot based lasagne and wine. Yes folks it's true, you can make wine/beer out of any plant/fruit/herb and that includes good old marijuana. Not that I actually smoke pot myself. To be honest I had to transcribe a youtube video for one of the recipes and the woman in the video gave a very, very bad look at pot smokers. I know not all are bad though. 

Well I'm going to end this here before it gets too far into political debate about weed. What matters is I lost a job and gained a job on the same day. I actually got several job offers and had to turn them down. That's new.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Lost And Found

I don't clean my room out nearly as much as I should. In fact I can go way too long without cleaning up. I'm not mentioning a specific measurement of time because that way you can delude yourselves into thinking it's not as long as it really is. I'm just kidding though. Or am I?

Anyway, I had a bit of a clearout recently and now things look better. More than that, I found something that I thought was completely lost to me: My Nintendo DS. I had scoured all of my room for this. At least all of the places where I keep my games. There are about two or three places where I do that and if it's related to gaming, and not in one of those places, I assume it is lost forever. Where it actually turned up is kinda funny yet sad.
Yes that is a Doctor Who case and Sonic Screwdriver stylus
I don't even remember what I was looking for when I decided to go through my bedside cabinet but there it was. I'm sure I must have passed over it a dozen times when I wasn't looking for it, because I never looked in there for it, and never really realised it was there. I guess I should probably go through my bedside cabinet more.

The downside is I don't really have many games for it. I guess I can fix that now I have a job huh? I'm just kidding of course because I have actual responsibilities. Most of my pay is going to replace the savings I had to use when I took myself off welfare. Thankfully it's not too much.

Have you ever found something you thought was lost for good?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Just Some Pictures

Writing for a living means that I've not been able to think of much for blog posts. Take some pictures for now and call me in the morning. I mean, Monday. Normal service will resume Monday. Sorry about this guys but it's three in the morning as I write this and nothing is really coming to me.

Redneck baby

It's so cute they're trying to fly

The math checks out. 

Look upon it and dawwwww
Oh Canada
I want to know that story
Enjoy your weekend people.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

I Got A Writing Job

After weeks of applying for jobs I can now say that I do indeed have a writing job. I find it pretty funny that I was applying for retail jobs for damn near four years without getting anywhere, while my experience was just growing and growing. The last time I volunteered I asked my boss outright if he'd ever given me a bad reference. I figured maybe that was why I wasn't getting anything. He told me that he'd never given me a reference at all, and that people only ask for a reference when they're considering you.
That was super depressing. I was like "What the fuck am I doing wrong?!"
I'd applied for a lot of jobs on the freelancing site oDesk (which I can recommend if you have any kind of skill. Fang they offer coding/website making work) and gotten some outright rejections, mostly just no responses. I tried editing/proofreading and voice work and never really got anywhere with either. My microphone wasn't very good and it turns out my editing skills weren't as good as I thought they were. Again, boy that was depressing.
Though not as depressed as this poor kitty
I ended up applying for some content writing jobs. I mean, I've posted here on this blog for about three years now. That counts for something right? It turns out that it does because I got not one, but two job offers. One was more permanent work writing 300 word news articles on a continuous basis. The other was writing a series of 1000 word articles as a one off. In the end I chose the continuous work and wrote my first batch of articles yesterday. I'm going to be writing more today and the work should continue on. I'm not sure for how long but for now I'm going to be writing professionally. Which is awesome.

I'm also still going to be writing Immortal Space. I'm almost near the end. Whenever I think there's about 20k words left I write about 5k words and realise I'm no closer to the end. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

I Helped Make A Kid's Day

I went to do my voluntary job last Saturday and to be honest I probably got two or three stories from just that one day. Will I make them all into blog posts? Only time will tell. For now though I will tell you about the time that I helped make a kid's day, as the title of the post suggests.
She wasn't as pleased as this chap but no one is.
I was working the cash register/till/whatever the hay you want to call it. I personally call it a till or a very large calculator. Some people can be put off by the number of buttons on a cash register but they really are simple to use. Anyway, that's not the point of the story. It's merely the setting. The point is that as I was standing there, waiting for a customer, I also overheard some other customers. There's this big thing outside the store (wow descriptive writing) and if you put a coin in it, the coin swirls around and around and around. It's fun for both children and me. I'd say for adults but there aren't many adults who'd be as pleased with them as I am.
I think the literal term might actually be "coin spinner"
This little girl wanted to put a coin in it, but her dad didn't have enough change. It's best to use a round coin, and the best round coin is either a 2P coin or a 10P coin. The dad said that they would go into the store and try and find something to buy. If they did, she could have it, and then she could put some of the change into the coin spinner. A couple of minutes later she's standing in front of the counter with a box of dominos to buy and a bank note. I remembered what her dad said and made sure to give her some small change for the spinner, rather than the largest denomination of coin that I could. Because I, my friends, am a good person.

You should have heard her spin that coin around. It was pretty awesome. Made me jealous too.

I count this as a good deed. What was the last good deed you performed?

P.S yes I'm aware I probably made things worse for the dad but who cares? 

Friday, 10 October 2014

I Didn't Even Notice The Tornado

My little town made the news yesterday because holy shit a tornado hit us. By "us" I mean a few houses down the street because it didn't touch my house at all. To be honest the total number of houses damaged is low. It's literally three. Three. Oh wow however did I survive the giant whirling cone of death?
I can't handle the amount of damage. 
That picture is the epitome of the damage. I went down the street earlier and it's already all cleaned up. The street is a little cut off but that's it. That's the only house that really has any damage too. It's kind of funny to see people freaking out so much when I'm just like "Dude, it took out one roof and maybe a tree." You might think I'm being insensitive because there are people whose lives are destroyed by tornadoes. It's because of those people I'm being like this. It sucks when people lose their homes and there's a good chance the person who owns that house might lose it. That would be a tragic shame. But this was hardly a cone of death. Save your freak outs for really bad tornadoes.
Now THIS is a tornado. I'd be worried if THIS knocked on my door. 
Speaking of knocking on my door; that's all I noticed. I sat through it all without even realising it was happening. There was a really bad thunderstorm and I heard a very loud bang but I figured my door opened on it's own and shut on it's own because of the wind. Just down the road during that loud crash a carrot of wind was buffeting a rooftop. Even my dad didn't notice anything. I didn't notice an earthquake a few years ago and this time I didn't notice something cool like a tornado.

Damn.

Have you ever missed a natural disaster and been surprised to hear something hit your neighbourhood? 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

I'm Also A Proofreader/Editor

Recently I decided to prostitute myself (again, not literally) as a voice actor. I even got one offer from Bryan or Brandon. So that was good. I'm back again to prostitute myself (once more, not literally) as an editor and proofreader. 
Who wouldn't want to be paid to read?
Do you find yourself thinking "Boy I sure do love writing, but I just don't have the time to make sure that it all makes sense and is correct." If you do, you have a strange brain. But I have the answer for you. That answer is me. For the low low low price of $5 per 2000 words I will read over your manuscript, your blog, your magazine, your website, whatever. I will read whatever you have that you need proofreading and I will correct any and all mistakes. If there's one thing I'm adept at it's the English language. 
After all, I live there. In one of these places.
Let me reassure you that my cheapness does not mean there will be a lack of quality. It's more about how desperate I am. If there's one thing I've learned from cheap labour it's that you CAN price yourself into the market. I've been writing professionally for about four years now and self edited and proofread all of my own work. I'm damn good at it. The reason I never got anyone else to do it is because I don't need to. I've helped people out with their own projects. I'm a meticulous grammar Nazi who spots mistakes in professionally edited books. Have you seen how many mistakes there are in Harry Potter? I know I have and it's more than you'd think. 

So if you're interested then drop me an email at marknoyce_6@hotmail.com, and let's do business. God damn I'm surprisingly good at this "sell yourself" thing. How the hell did I never get a job? 

So remember, I will proofread and edit your work for less than the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks*.

*I have no idea how much coffee costs at Starbucks I'm just guessing it's overpriced. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Contributin'

About a week or so ago (I'm very bad with time) the boys at A Beer For The Shower, who have probably received more shout outs than anyone at this particular blog, said that they would be participating in a flash fiction competition hosted by the Indie Writers Monthly magazine. I already wrote a 700 word horror story and honestly just condensed that down to 200 words. The first thing to say here is that I made the cut. I'm going to be in their small collection of horror stories for Halloween.
It's totally 2spooky4me.
It gets better though because not only will I be in that issue of the magazine but I'm going to be in more after that. When they sent me the congratulatory email they asked if I had anything I wanted to promote. So I thought I'd take the shot and. after telling them what I wanted to promote (my Amazon page) I said if they were ever interested in expanding their crew then I would be interested. At first I didn't get a response to that particular part of the email but then a couple of days ago I did. They asked me if I'd like to be a contributor and of course I said yes.
This too is 2spooky4me
It's unpaid but it is only once a month. Plus they have a readership of 100-200 people which is pretty good and it's quite a lot of exposure. So I have somewhere to promote myself on a bit of a larger basis and somewhere else to write things. I know that's hardly the best for me given that I have trouble thinking up ideas for posts here, but as I said it's only once a month so I'm sure I'll be okay. I can save writing about...well, writing, on there. Or writing more flash fiction for them to publish. Heck, maybe even writing a serial story. The possibilities are almost endless. Possibly. So be sure to keep an eye out on that.

I'm hoping to have more good news to announce on the job front soon. If it's bad news then at least I have you guys to comfort me. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

My Books Are Free (Or Half Price)

I decided that I might as well do one of those free book promotions on Amazon given how my readership has gone up and I have new people around I wanted to share my books with. So for the next few days (starting from today even!) and over the course of the weekend all of my short stories are going to be available for free from Amazon. You can find them all HERE.
Obey the crazy man and go get your copies today!
That is, all of them except for two. For some reason my story A Chest Of Childhood would only let me make it free for one day, rather than the whole weekend. I have all five promotion days left so I don't know what happened, but something did. So that one is only available today. So you should definitely go get it now.

Just clickity this thing right here.
The other one that's not free is my main collection of stories Tulips and Other Stories. That is however going to be available for better than half price over the weekend. It's on a countdown sale, which means that right now it's 66% off and in a couple of days until be 33% off until this time next week when it's back to full price. That's 8 stories for the price of 1. Eight. It's a wonderful deal. Go take advantage of it. 

Don't forget to review the books when you're done please. Independent authors like myself live and die off of reviews. Thank you. Enjoy the stories and enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Ebola In The USA

I know I'm not much for talking about topical things, and I accept that's a bit of a shame. If I talked about current events I'd almost always have something worth talking about. I don't know if my opinions on the way the world is really affect anyone anyway. Right now though this is more of a public service announcement than anything else.
If you're from the US then no doubt you've heard that Ebola has claimed at least one person down in Dallas, Texas. Now when things like this happen people tend to freak out and I'm here to tell you not to do that. Don't think you have Ebola or anything unless you meet the following criteria;
If you think you do fit that criteria then of course get yourself checked out. But make sure that you're sure. There's going to be a lot of people freaking out and there needs to be a lot of people keeping their calm and keeping their cool.

The U.S is going to take this shit seriously, especially when it's their own people at risk. A health worker with Ebola was brought back here to the U.K and nothing went wrong. He even made a full recovery. People need to calm down and stay rational. I may regret these words in a few months but for now I'm saying that I'm not that worried. Americans need to think of this as just another chance for them to save the world AGAIN by curing Ebola. Go for it my American brothers and sisters! Kick it in it's freedom hating, commie loving, viral ass.

Stay safe folks and remember; it's not the apocalypse.

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