Writing news

It has been a creative week.

L Lee Lowe (Into the Lowelands) has written a gripping short story, Noise. I loved it, and so did the people who left comments.

Steve Clackson is offering to send people his complete novel Sand Storm, which he’s been posting as separate chapters, as a Word file. If you want him to send it to you, go to Sand Storm blog and leave Steve your email address.

You’ll have to wait a bit to read Ian Hocking’s Flashback, but at least it is finished. In the meantime, visit Ian’s blog This Writing Life and get his previous book, Deja Vu. (Flashback is a sequel.)

No sudoku 30 May

Nerd alert. Creatives are let off from reading on.

I think the sudoku site is, like me, having a bank holiday, as yesterday’s puzzle is still up. So no new link today.

I completed yesterday’s (29 May) easy killer in 12 minutes with three interruptions. Did not do the interactive.

Phil, your time is excellent if you have not done killer sudokus before. I am a very sad person who has been doing one a day since Nov 2004 (on the train on the way to work). Killers were added to the Times back page a year or so ago, upping my daily dose to two.

A good tip for killers is that every large square (of 9 subunits) adds up to 45. So on the 29 May killer, for example, the large square in the centre of the left-hand column has to have a 9 as the "odd square out" (on the right-hand side of the single "6" square).

More holiday reading

I suppose I have to admit to falling into the bloggers’ trap of posting about lists on more than one occasion. And I have recently posted about holiday reading lists. Undeterred, I’m going to link here to (yet) another one, because I think this one is pretty good. It is by Kimbofo on the puzzlingly named Metaxucafe, a literary group blog. (Or Meataxe, as Typepad’s spellcheck helpfully suggests.)

I haven’t read every book on Kimbofo’s list, but by and large, if I have, I have enjoyed it. The selection would be too light for some tastes, but the explanations she provides give a pretty accurate idea of whether the author is likely to be for you (or at least, do for the authors I have read).

Kimbofo’s own blog is called Reading Matters, subtitle "a place for bookworms". It has a reading group attached to it.  The author describes herself as an ex-pat Australian living in London, "a trained journalist who works in magazine publishing and has a slight book addiction which is beyond cure." Naturally, I’ve now subscribed.

Precis of a precis to the future

What will you be doing in 2020? What will we all be doing? For some of us the answer is obvious, but that aside, there are people whose profession it is to think about this sort of question, and who produce the odd doorstop now and again to remind us all of their activity.

Usually I would have neither the energy nor the expertise to deconstruct these worthy documents. But, thanks to David Rowan in Saturday’s Times magazine, I am going to bring you a meta-precis of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s "Forecasting 2020" report, written by 1,656 business executives and 96 pages long. (A meta-precis is a precis of a precis. If you have never heard the term before it is because I have just made it up.)

Here is my summary of David Rowan’s excellent summary of what it will be like in 2020:

  • There will be more of us and we will be an older population.
  • This means ‘the grey wallet’ — businesses will be targeting the oldies instead of chasing the youth market.
  • Personal chemistry: with machines running everything, the human touch will give businesses an advantage (more power to the bloggers)
  • Healthcare will boom — lots of products and services for the ageing population and associated diseases
  • Local energy generation via distributed power
  • Rise of the creative company — ‘knowledge workers’ will become a company’s strongest asset, and employees/potential employees can expect lots of ‘creativity audits’.

OK, that’s it. The Times does not seem to put its Saturday magazine online. The source reference is: D. Rowan, "The next big thing: life in 2020" Times Magazine, p. 10;  27 May 2006.

One film and two new blogs

Yesterday afternoon, taking advantage of the longer-than-usual weekend (today is a holiday here), I went to see The Thief Lord with Cathy and Jenny. They both loved the book; Jenny was very eager to see the film, Cathy less so.

I don’t need to post a review of the film here because seeing it inspired the girls each to set up a blog for reviews. Cathy’s is called Movie Mania; Jenny’s is called Reviewtopia!!! You can find out what they both made of The Thief Lord here (Cathy) and here (Jenny).  In short, it is recommended.