Month: January 2014

  • Fantasy Confession

    Fantasy Confession

    I fancy myself a writer, with several books published. Most of the stuff you can buy written by me these days are technical literature. I’m doing alright with that, although I write (and wrote) a lot of other stuff too. Like fiction, which I’m focusing on at the moment (alongside the revision of The Writer’s iPad of course). I’m mostly writing short stories and novellas at the moment, but I’ve got larger things in mind too. There’s a novel that I need to revisit, rewrite, and then ship off to an editor and/or agent. Then there’s all of those ideas, the thrillers and the quirky stuff, the horror and the love stories. The things I write.

    Image by Torley (CC)
    Image by Torley (CC)

    But I have a confession to make. The thing I write best, or at least the thing that’s easiest for me to write, is fantasy. You know, swords and magic and dragons and stuff like that, although not necessarily in the straight-forward flippant way I just said it. Fantasy can be quirky and dark and weird and mature and sad too. I’ve been so engrossed in fantasy literature and pen and paper role-playing games as a kid that it’s made such an impression on me. I get ideas constantly, I have no problems whatsoever building worlds or creating creatures and outlandish characters. It’s a bit weird, because science fiction is further off, although I think I’m pretty good at that too. At least if I take a step from the scifi cradled in today’s science, into the abstract, weird and twisted. Science fantasy if you will, although that’s another beast altogether, come to think of it.


  • Stephen Fry Got It Right

    The Mac turned 30 years old a little while back, sparking not only articles and blog posts of nostalgia, but also this awesome Apple site celebrating the Mac. Among all the pieces, Stephen Fry’s post is the one I like the most. I especially like this part:

    What cannot be denied is that the first Macintosh changed my life completely. It made me want to write, I couldn’t wait to get to it every morning. If you compare computers to offices, the Mac was the equivalent of the most beautifully designed colourful space, with jazzy carpets on shiny oak floors, a pool table, wooden beams, a cappuccino machine, posters and great music playing. The rest of the world trudged into Microsoft’s operating system: a grey, soulless partitioned office, with nylon carpets, flickering fluorescent lamps and a faintly damp smell.

    Whatever tool you choose, the one that you’re happy with is the one that’ll let you perform best. I Stephen Fry’s case, back in the day, the Macintosh was empowering him, making him want to write. Today lots of writers dream of MacBook Airs because it just seems like a sexier way to churn out words than the black fat plastic Windows laptops they’re stuck with. It’s nothing special really, we all want better tools.


  • Some Things That Happened Since Last We Spoke

    This is something of a status update, because I’ve got a handful of stuff that I need to put online, and as this very site still is less suitable for short status updates, I’ll employ the bullet list once more.

    • Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog is now in its fourth edition, done and delivered. The book turned out well, and is available for pre-order. I’ll update the book page later next week with additional information, along with the final cover.
    • I was in the Financial Times recently, pertaining to my iPhone novel writing project. The piece is behind the paywall, but you get eight articles for free if you sign up, so go do that.
    • Speaking of iPhone writing: The MobNov project is progressing (fifth outline revision?), and I’ve got something else somewhat related in store for you guys in the coming months.
    • I’ve finished a short story, I’m editing another short story, and I expect to finish a novella next week. It’s great getting back to fiction writing.
    • And finally, Odd Alice (still without a proper English site, sorry) is keeping me busy as always. The coming week involves a trip to Norway to talk to clients, and we’re building really cool stuff that I’ll no doubt write extensively about in the future as it’s related to publishing.

    That’s it for now. Enjoy your Sunday.

  • Nu kan du förhandsboka Smashing WordPress 4th Edition #wpse

    Men se där, nu går det att förhandsboka den fjärde utgåvan av Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog hos Amazon. Utkommer den 24 februari sägs det.

  • Du prenumererar väl på Appmagasinet?

    Visst prenumererar du väl på Appmagasinet? Det är gratis och en given godisbit i inkorgen varje torsdag för dig som är intresserad av appar till iPhone och iPad.

  • Byt ditt lösenord i dag

    I dag är det stora lösenordsbytardagen, så passa på att byta ditt lösenord. Här finns lite tips för hur du väljer ett bra lösenord.

  • The Preferred Device

    The Preferred Device

    There’s a lot of talk about how the iPad is almost the PC replacement that we all seem to crave, but not quite there yet. Famous tech writer MG Siegler broached the subject recently, stating that although he would like to not buy any more computers, he didn’t think the iPad (his primary tablet of choice as far as I can tell) was ready yet. In fact, he thinks the iPad’s years away from replacing the computer for all tasks, obviously painting i very broad strokes.

    Promo image of the iPad Air
    Promo image of the iPad Air

    In some cases he’s right. I don’t see myself developing high end websites on my iPad anytime soon, although it is theoretically possible already. Siegler’s example, what a nuisance it is to publish (primarily) text content online using the iPad, compared to using the web browser, is a moot one. The comparison with the web browser workflow is also moot, because the tablet offers a different view altogether.


  • The Shrtnws Experiment Is Over

    The Shrtnws logo
    The Shrtnws logo

    Over the holidays I decided to pause the Shrtnws experiment. It’s been great fun and the response has been positive, but the next step is too big at the moment. For those of you who’ve missed it, Shrtnws sent interesting and breaking news in short form, with a link for additional reading and/or source, through Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Additional plans, such as a daily (and later weekly wrap-up) newsletter were on the plate, and technically ready to launch, but I decided not to.


  • The Smartphone, Dumbphone, Tablet Thing

    The Smartphone, Dumbphone, Tablet Thing

    There are those who dream about not having to carry around a smartphone. That’s obviously easy enough, just get a feature phone, or dumbphone if you will, and use it. Thing is, these people don’t want to give up the functionality of a smartphone. For that they have the tablet instead, a device that in many ways mirrors that of a smartphone. “Why should I have to carry both?” they tend to complain.

    Why indeed.

    The Nexus 7 and a dumbphone picked up in France while snowboarding.
    The Nexus 7 and a dumbphone picked up in France while snowboarding

    The idea is this. By replacing the smartphone with a dumbphone, you cancel out all worries about battery life (any dumbphone worth its name can work for days, weeks even, without charge) and the fact that you’re carrying an expensive piece of glass-encased machinery that could easily be lost. Dumbphones are cheap and accessible, and they do one thing well (being phones), thus they’re superior at their prime function, or so the reasoning goes.


  • Le Grand Comptoir, eller 2013 års bästa måltid

    Vem kunde tro att bland de bättre måltiderna under 2013 skulle intas på ett brasserie mitt på Oslos flygplats Gardemoen? Det var inte väntat för mig i alla fall, inte heller det hjärtliga bemötandet som gästerna förärades, viljan att göra alla till lags, och ett till synes sant nöje från servitörer.

    Den här texten skrevs i november 2013, glömdes bort, och prånglas nu helt sonika ut till intet ont anande läsare.


  • Let’s Talk 2014

    So 2013 is dead and buried, here’s three cheers for 2014!

    2014 in pearls, by artisrams (CC).
    2014 in pearls, by artisrams (CC).

    I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do tend to stop and think around this time of year. It’s not really the calendar that’s controlling this, but rather the fact that this period often means I have some time off, or at least things are less hectic, since most people are off work. This time around I’ve actually managed to stay clear from work altogether, wrapping up the fourth edition of Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog just before the holidays.


  • 2013: Not A Year In Review

    I wish I had the discipline to keep close tabs on what the fuck I’m doing with my time, but it seems as if not even the excellent Day One app can solve this for me. In other words, this isn’t another organized recollection about stuff I’ve done the past year.

    Alexander at Odd Alice did the cover for The Writer's iPad
    I did manage to publish The Writer’s iPad

    I will share some random thoughts about my 2013 though, so that we can be over and done with it.

    I’ve failed a lot. Let’s start there.

    • Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, 4th Edition (yeah that’s a mouthful) took its not so merry time. It’s all done and delivered now though, so the late Q1 launch’ll probably hold.
    • I’d wanted to publish The Writer’s iPad after the launch of the iPad Air and the iPad mini with retina display, but that didn’t happen. There’s a ton of things to blame, but I won’t because to me that’s just adding insult to the failure.
    • Remember that fantasy short story-thingy I published for free, in support of the Fireside crowdfunding campaign? Yeah, I’d wanted to finish the first story arc (three short stories at around 10,000 words each), but I didn’t. This makes me sad. I bet my freelance editor is even more sad, because he’s not getting any more money until he’s actually editing a manuscript…
    • The iPhone novel, well, that’s a tough one. I failed writing a novel on my iPhone, writing on a daily basis as the project stated. I did learn a lot though. Most of all that my outline for this particular project were completely out of sync with the mobile writing pace. The story’s done, and it’s shit right now, as many first drafts are. It’s also a bit daft, because it’s got the wrong length altogether. I’ll tally this one up as a failure that could morph into something else.
    • So you want more failures? How about not finishing the first draft of a novel, another two 10,000 word long short stories that’s on my plate, and the site you’re reading right now? There’s more though, like the shuttering of Appricorn, and probably a ton of other things that we could collectively agree to label failure.

    Quite a list, it makes me want to drink. Oh yeah, I failed to drink less too, thanks for reminding me, brain…


  • Things End

    Things end, you know. It could be the book you’re reading, a movie series, or someone retiring. It could also be heroes passing, artists giving everything up to live a different life, or a love lost.

    It’s sort of painful to think about.

    Photo by Andrew_D_Hurley (CC).
    Photo by Andrew_D_Hurley (CC).

    Most of the time we miss trivial things. I’d imagine there was quite a few tears shed when the Harry Potter books (and the subsequent movie series) ended. There’ll no doubt be more when Peter Jackson’s done with Tolkien’s books, and I won’t be a happy boy when Alice Cooper calls it quits, whatever way.

    But you know, these things aren’t only natural, they’re necessary. Nobody got to where they are by just looking at the same static world all the time.

    A popular linkbait in the tech press is “the next Steve Jobs”, and for once there’s some truth in that story angle. Because how could there be a “next Steve Jobs” if he was still around? Then again, if we still had Jobs in this world then that wouldn’t mean that people weren’t striving to be as great as he was, so it’s sort of a moot point.

    The legends, and the knowledge of what has been, are pushing us to create better things and to strive for more. It sucks when something you love ends, but that’s how it is and that’s how we grow.

    Relish what was, create what will be. I think it’s that simple.