Category: Games

May – the beginning of the Summer (by )

It's a new month, a new season and I have a new to-do list. It is time for reordering and sorting. I handed in my last piece of coursework on Tuesday for the PGCert and have plans to take the project I've designed to the next level.

It is called Cuddly Science and you be hearing a lot more about it 🙂

Apart from that I'll be running workshops at The Brewery in Cheltenham for a Poetry Fun day and performing along side the wonderful Joy-Amy, I will also be performing at a slam at the Swindon Poetry Festival and at In Verse. I have the first of the music festivals this month too 🙂

I will also be doing some workshop with the kids at Jean's drama group.

And just to be a tad insane I am taking a ten week course in Improv and Stand Up - as in I'm going off to learn some stage crafty stuff myself. I've been meaning to do something since I left Imperial to be honest but it is now more urgent as I need better performance skills than I have to deliver Cuddly Science to the quality I want. It is ok at the moment but needs to be more - plus I felt that the performance poetry stuff could do with these sorts of skills as well.

It is also a matter of confidence and the accumulation of new skills. I find the concept of stand up comedy pretty terrifying and yet it was what I was edging towards with the Science Show-Off stuff I did. Also I don't like being scared of stuff - once I was scared of heights - petrified of them, my solution was to become a climbing instructor.

Apart from all of that there is the comic book to still be working on and the continual give aways for The Monster Blogs 5 year anniversary 🙂 I also want to get going with a bit more of the Science Writing and communication stuff in general, I still need to do some training for being a STEM Ambassador (science, technology, engineering and maths), to go into schools and things.

As always I am a glutton for punishment and the being of May is Picture Book Writing Week - so I will be attempting to write 7 picture books in the next 7 days. I am going to be focusing on the accompanying texts for Cuddly Science 🙂

The rest of month I will in general be working on my kids books and illustrations - 30 hours min. The summer in general will also involve game design and an update of the blogs.

On the domestic front we are having issues with the insurance company and the dinning room roof still but in general we are starting to get there with the house. There are some infrastructure bits that still need sorting and the garden will hopefully be getting a bit of a make over with the girls swing installed. The allotment is going to be the main priority for a while though as we still need to dig over a lot of it and plant tons of stuff.

We've sorted the play room and are almost there with the girls room, still don't think we will get around to painting the walls this year though 🙁

But we should finally get the curtains up!

Ada Lovelace Puppet Mk 2 (by )

Ada Lovelace puppet head mk2

After the story telling festival in Bristol I decided to refashion Ada's head (or rather get my mum to do it). The first head had multiple problems - like being a bit bumpy and narrow and not quiet having enough room for my hand. Then the new head came up far too fat and wide!

Needing a bit of a re-make, it also seems a bit too stark for me.

I think there will need to be a mk 3 at some point but kids have loved both puppet heads so I am not too worried and my mum has really had to go to town helping me with the puppets. I am currently at the point of saying I have a working puppet. I am still working on the drawings and colouring sheets to go with it and have only very basic game pieces and I need to sort that out.

Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer (before there were actual computers!) and so I have chosen her to show computing in a fun and interactive way - not actually using computers to do it either! There are more puppets to come but I am going to need some funding to fully realise the vision - it is very much part of my mission statement of science/+art for all.

Ada Lovelace puppet

Screnzy, Poetry, Comics and Science (by )

A new month has snuck up and begun on me - this sadly means I missed a couple of deadlines for poems and stories and that, that I wanted to submit. But it also means I am in a month of exciting challenges.

Number one is Screnzy or Script Frenzy which is a spin off of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the idea is that you write a 100 page script in a month. I have been focusing on comic book or graphic novel scripts and so that is what I will be focusing on again this year. You can follow the progress more closely on Purple Monster. I will also be doing the script for my puppet show, which is part of my course work - I basically plan to spend 30 hours working on these types of project - priority has to go to my Ada Lovelace script as I have a deadline at the end of the month. (Ada is the science part! and has drawings to go with! Though I may also be running some science camp activities over Easter).

Number two is NaPoWrimo, this is another poetry writing challenge - again the idea is that you write a poem a day but I plan to spend 30 hours on poetry stuff in general this month. You can follow the progress of this on Turquoise Monster.

Number three is that I hope to release The Little Book of Easter Poetry audio for download - I will probably rope this in with the NaPo stuff. I also want to do some work on my game design stuff but I will have to see how things go especially as I am starting the month off event managing and comparing at the Jordans Cheltenham Poetry Festival 🙂

Art and Thinking and Stuff (by )

Over the weekend we did lots of household stuff like allotment etc... or rather Alaric did. After submission on Tuesday, I decided that I would have the rest of the week off to work on my own creative projects. So I made a book called Berries and Blood and illustrated it and did curly writing and loved it.

Berries and Blood a hand made poetry book

Hand written and illustrated pages of Berries and Blood waiting to be bound

And I am now giving it away over on Turquoise Monster - all you have to do to enter is comment on the post. This is a limited edition - I will only ever make 10 hand written/made/illustrated versions of this collection. There may or may not be print runs.

Alaric of course is sad as he hates stuff I've made, going where he can't see it anymore.

I did a bit of hunting for funds I can potentially tape to develop my Sci-Comms idea, dug potatoes out of the pots I planted them in last year and made roasted veg with them. The chickens gave us eggs for boiled egg breaky and yorkshire puds and I felt happy and proud. It is also 6 months since we got them but more on that later!

We took Jeany to do some painting and gluing etc... of her Lord of the Rings Models at The Games Workshop in Gloucester. And I had two stints in coffee shops/bar type places sorting out my Punk comics/graphic novels. I started this project like four or so years ago, I feel sadder I have not moved a head with it more but I spent a good long time sorting out the series time lines and plots and who exactly is appearing in which bits. It is a long and epic story and I am finding it a little daunting though my main focus is just on the first ten page story.

For those of you who are interested here are some of the notes and pages of the story board etc... trying not to give too much away.

Revolations Graphic novel series plan Story arcs and what not for graphic novel Art and design To-Do's for graphic novel

It would have been fun to work with someone on this project but basically I can not afford an illustrator and I am capable of doing it myself - even if I do not currently feel that way. I thought about offering a royalty cut but it is a lot of work for no def. money and I can't ask someone to gamble like that. So I have dug my books out and been making notes and plans Jean is obsessed with the project and keeps trying to see what I am writing 🙂

I view this as a good sign as she a) loves stories, b) has turned into a little critic on story structure and polish and c) loves her comic books. She moaned about the art work - I pointed out it was just a story board/script thingy and not the actual art work - I don't think she's convinced!

My main conclusion with this is that I need to learn some digital art techniques - I need this for the sci-comms project as well so it's all good. The comics are based in the world and contains the characters from my on going NaNoWriMo project The Punk In Pink - it is kind of scary just how much story I have based in this world now!

Also this week I made a spring button picture with Mary, the how-too of which is on Salaric Craft.

Spring Has Sprung Button Flower Upcyling picture

Mary cutting up cardboard

Again as part of my game design ambitions and science communication stuff I have signed up for the Gamification MOOC as well. Though I will probably only be participating in it rather than doing all the activities within due to time constraints.

It has been a good week and more I have managed this with quiet bad muscle fatigue!

National Science And Engineering Week 2014 (by )

Almost missed it this year! It's National Science and Engineering Week. I am ashamed that having gone off to study Science Communication I then almost missed one of the highlights of the year!

It runs until the 24th so there is still time for... something. Last year did a Science-Art exhibition with Centre Arts with molecular knitting and fabulous jewellery and ceramics from Lizzy Burns.

Which was amazing and fantastic and something I should have followed up this year but I have been far to busy :/

The year before I created Ballads of the Scientifica which you can still listen too or even buy though I do want to make it into a double album at some point so you might want to wait.

So what for this year?

Well I am in the middle of project design for my course and I know that the over all aim for me is to include a gaming element so some thought on sci-game design will be my own personal goal. For you lot out there I might see if I can release my molecular knitting pattern for the duration of the week.

For teachers, parents, kids groups and that there are lots of resources on the British Science Associations website so check them out 🙂

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