Tuesday, 29 December 2015

I hoe, I hoe it's off to work I go

As I suspected, my return to gardening and working for myself has taken up more of my time than working shifts in a Casino so before you ask -

  •  No! the Pot Bellied Cook has not been published.
  •  No! I haven't spent most of my free time writing epic prose and that elusive novel.
  •  No! I haven't become the adept programmer I thought I might be once I had my hands on Adobe's Creative Cloud.

In fact apart from gardening, garden design and basically 'blagging it', I don't seem to have done much else since March.  But now that the sun's stopped playing out and the gardening projects wind down for the winter there will be a lot more time to devote to writing and publishing,

I have dipped my toes in and out of the Creative cloud suit with varying degrees of moderate success. but in truth not much.

There is also a version of the HPM in Catalan and Spanish, translated by the Spanish poet Ariadna Garrido which should be available in the early months of next year,

My main focus though has been getting the HPM Website up and running and hopefully attracting enough interest to justify the amount of time I have spent so far.

Screenshot Homepage www.hairyplugmonster.com

For a first attempt at a proper website, I am pretty pleased with the results, admittedly there could be a bit more content, but as I have been in writer's hibernation for the last few years I expect that will come soon.  The main problem was getting to grips with the work flow and having to learn Muse, Edge Animate, After Effects, Premium Plus and Photoshop almost simultaneously - in those precious moments when I wasn't being a gardener.

Screenshot Schools page www.hairyplugmonster.com
Like many other "Built -it-Yourself " website solutions - Muse came with many drag and drop features, but (and I am by no means an expert) being able to integrate it with the other programs on Creative Cloud allows me to believe that I am only limited by my own imagination and creativity. (Even though my child-like mind takes a little bit longer than your average focused adult.)

I have  managed to wrestle back the name www.hairyplugmonster.com,and integrate basic animation, an online shop (that allows you to download directly from the site), contact forms for schools and because I am building it - the website will be constantly evolving and may one day include some basic HTML5 games written by me! For now though, you are just going to have to put up  with a "RESERVE YOUR COPY NOW" 3d banner for the soon to be printed The Pot-Belly Cook and The Three-legged Dog.

It's true..... The PBC will be going to print in January and will be available for sale shortly after.  (Which is why I have started to blog again.)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Removing the weeds...

So it's been a while.
And guess what?

Nothings happened!!

The book still lies idle on my p.c with no print date on the horizon, the website remains dormant and the proposed mini games I had in mind last year remain undeveloped.

That's not to say I have been standing still doing nothing, it's just that my attentions have been directed elsewhere. Mainly work - and shift work at that!  For the last three years I have literally chained myself to the 'wheels of fortune' as a croupier in a provincial casino just south of Manchester and whilst it's far from being classed as your normal run of the mill 9-5 job, it is all consuming both physically and mentally, (which was fine when I had nothing better to do back in the day) but trying to combine it with a family and then trying to pursue a separate career as a writer/publisher has proved impossible.  Something has to give,,,

And it's not going to be the writing that's for sure.

For the last  8 months or so I have slowly but surely got my 'Mo-Jo' back for gardening, so much so that I have been working on my days off maintaining a few gardens here and there and rebuilding my knowledge of all things plantlike.

At the end of March (and barring unforeseen mishaps) I am once again reinventing myself as a gardener/garden designer,  I am hoping that being my own boss should free up a raft of time in the evenings to concentrate on writing and publishing.  To be honest, even if it doesn't at least I will be doing something productive and worthwhile with my time rather than just filling it with a job that just about ensures that I can make it from one wage slip to another.

Wall Flowers

I am not completely turning my back on the Casino industry however, as I still have an original casino game to bring to market across digital, live and slot formats but not having the funds to cover the patents has left this one on the sidelines.  I really wish I could tell people but as the game could be easily copied it's better to keep my own council.

 (However if anybody fancies a blind investment that isn't 100% guaranteed then get in touch. you know where to find me)

So what will gardening do for my writing?  No idea, but having the access to open space and fresh air is going to do the creative juices a world of good.

p.s. I almost forgot to mention that if anyone needs a gardener and you are within travelling distance of South Manchester then again, you know where to find me.