Comics, Podcasting, TV

An open ice hockey rink.

This past week (while falling ill with one of the worst ear infections I have ever had as an adult) I started a short form, should-be-daily podcast called Hockey and Stuff. The podcast is about ice hockey and other stuff in my life.

A lot of people have been surprised that I’ve gone deep into ice hockey this year, but I think it was inevitable. I’ve been circling ice hockey since reviewing NHL 12 back in 2011, and then a combination of things happened this year that really got be interested:

  • I started playing more NHL 18
  • I started reading the Check, Please! web comic
  • I discovered you could sign up direct through the NHL’s website to NHL TV to watch games through either the site or their mobile app

Oh, and I am part way through getting an ice hockey tattoo on my right leg. Line work is done and I just need it coloured, which is happening later this month.

But with all that going on, and the new NHL season starting, I figured a short form podcast about ice hockey would be nice to do. Plus it saves me from clogging up my main podcast, Nerds Assemble, with talk about ice hockey – which it really isn’t suited to.

I chose Anchor, because the app and site have been calling to me for a while. With its smartphone recording ability, and it’s on phone editing and ability to add in various sound bits – it’s quite easy to use and versatile. Plus Anchor users can call in to a podcast and those calls can be used in episodes. It also can distribute to a lot of podcast platforms.

It’s best listened to on the Anchor app. You can listen to Hockey and Stuff here. The site also links to where else it’s available (Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, and more) and its RSS.

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Hockey and Stuff

Aside
Writing

I never really stopped writing fiction

A laptop keyboard

I haven’t updated in a while, I get that. I’m not about to make any promises here about increasing my blogging output, but I thought I’d come here and tell you all a thing.

I have written a lot over the past three years

I’ve written almost a million words of fiction in the past 3 years. It wasn’t commercial fiction, it was and is fanfic/fanfiction.

A couple of things led to this, in no particular order…

  1. Becoming a fan of Supernatural in 2015
  2. Pulling out of National Novel Writing Month in 2014
  3. My grandmother dying in 2014
  4. Becoming part of Supernatural fandom culture in 2015
  5. Stress

Fanfic writing, an activity predominantly occupied by people society would identify as female (while individual fanfic writers may not), is something I’ve previously described to myself as junk food writing.

This I’ve come to realise as I adjust to a major life change this year (I started at a new company this year, first switch in almost 6 years), is an unfair assessment.

Writing fanfic is more like the writing equivalent of stew. It’s filling and warming, making you feel good on those days that you need something to help you feel good.

And the feedback you get for posting fanfic is mostly like really well made suet based dumplings. I say mostly, because there are still terrible dumplings (commenters) out there.

But I’m not just writing fanfic

February saw me reach just over 10,000 words on an original novel. I’m hoping to have a complete first draft by the end of the year.

But I don’t think I would be writing it now if I hadn’t had the reassurance of my regular fanfic readers (yes, I have fans) who have really enjoyed what I’ve written over the past few years, and who have confirmed that my writing in general is enjoyable to read. Writing can also be a really lonely process, but fanfic writing is in this nice place where it’s as lonely as you make it. So I’m using some occasional fanfic writing to reassure me that I do definitely have skill and ability as a fiction writer.

Oh, and I’m not writing the next 50 Shades that is definitely not my kind of thing when it comes to something I’m writing as commercial fiction.

What’s the novel about?

It’s a sort of urban fantasy, southern Gothic thing set in Cornwall. I don’t want to get into specifics here as of yet.

I will also have to extensively rewrite the first few chapters after switching from third person limited to first person. Joy.

Will you hit a million words of fanfic this year?

Quite possibly.

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Creative analysis, Marketing and PR

The panic about marketing to millennials (an insider’s view)

I got a new phone yesterday and it coincided with reading an article on millennials just before heading out to get it. I think I must see several articles pop up a week, talking about marketing to millennials/Generation Y in either the B2C (business-to-consumer) space or B2B (business-to-business). The number and tone of these articles makes me feel like there’s a sudden panic taking hold, as US brands (especially) realise that something like 70 million of the US population falls within the millennial band (at its broadest, defined as people born between 1980-2000). It’s a significant proportion of the country’s population. I haven’t seen UK brands and marketers panicking to quite the same level, but we’re talking about it. Continue reading

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