An email has come flooding in to request information about the website software I use. So then, technical minded readers and enthusiastic neophytes alike, let us take a journey into the web. This is the second post in a series about how I do my writing. The first post introduced you to my writing software, Emacs. I mentioned that one of its benefits was that I was able to write everything in one place and then have it ‘publish’ to lots of different places with very little effort.
Are you ready to learn about the overly complicated system I use for my writing? I’m not sure that I would be, but apparently a few of you are desperate to find out. At least, that’s what I’m led to believe by the overwhelming number of requests (there were three) I’ve had to write this series of articles. The plan is to talk through some software and hardware that I use for writing.
I saw a horror film last weekend at the cinema. It’s easy to take movies for granted with the near constant access we have to them: Phones, laptops, televisions, virtual reality home theatres, mixed reality projections into the sky… At any given moment most of us have immediate access to films but, at least for me, these options tend to encourage casual viewing. When it’s so easy to have a film playing wherever I am, I tend to have it playing in the background.
For each of us, there will be some beliefs to which we hold a firm grasp. These few ideals will form the core that is an essential part of our character. For some, a core belief might be loyalty to friends and family. Others might favour helping those in need. The more light-hearted among us might feel that bringing laughter to the world is central to our humanity. I am no different in my need for core beliefs and today I thought I would share one of them with you: I believe in making the time to fail.
I’ve been working on a secret project since the beginning of December 2016 (or not so secret if you’ve spoken to me for more than five minutes over the last four months). If you’re here today (April Fools Day, 2017), you will be seeing part of that project. Welcome to the redesign of johnurquhartferguson.info! The old site had been showing its age and I felt it needed to be refreshed. I’d also been a little unhappy with the ‘writing’ section of that site.
Something has been on my mind for a while concerning the sad lack of updates to this site. A few years ago, I had what might be called ‘an identity crisis.’ I had lost sense of who I was and what I wanted. I realise I’m not unique in these particular pontifications, but perhaps my own peculiar eccentricities in dealing with them may prove interesting to you. My main worry was a simple question: am I happy?
Thank you so much to all of you for reading my stories! It is greatly encouraging to know that people are reading the things I write. People have been particularly kind in their praise of my ideas. That is really wonderful to hear and makes me think this is all worthwhile. I am writing these short stories so that I can improve, and for that I need your help. It’s so encouraging to see the hit count increase when I publish a new chapter, but I also value direct feedback.
The second story I’ve been cooking up is not all that different from the first. I mean, the actual story is totally different, but I think it has a similar feel and explores related issues. Dasein was about exploring whether we are real or have free will, but I think the next story, ‘Soulstice,’ is about the ways our existence is affected by free will. The story also tries to explore whether free will is really that important in our lives, or if luck and circumstance play a bigger part.
The first story on the website is ‘Dasein.’ I’ll put my cards on the table right away: I wrote this a while ago. Probably six years ago. I was trying to explore some philosophical ideas I’d been reading about and see if I could inspire myself to create something with them for academic purposes. Sadly, I never managed to come up with a really interesting discovery in that area, but I still think this is a fun story.
I hope that this site will shortly see some activity in the form of stories. I hope to write one story each month. It’s not a strict schedule by any means and I may not publish entire stories in one go. I could go for a serialised format if it takes my fancy. It always adds a little excitement knowing that you can’t go back and edit something when you’re half way through a story (then again, the Internet makes anything possible).