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Posts tagged "all-over-the-house"

Perhaps I just have different tastes

Twitter has been ablaze tonight with people hating the latest episode of Sherlock. I didn’t see the episode as it went out – I forgot it was on and watched it on iPlayer instead – so while I tried to avoid spoilers, I did unfortunately go into the viewing expecting disappointment. Suffice to say I enjoyed the episode despite having to turn the volume up stupidly loud in order to understand what people were saying (where is the subtitles feature on iPlayer? Anyone know?). Perhaps I just have different tastes to others?

A black & white photograph of a bath full of water, with lots of shadows to provide a sense of unease

‘Quack,’ by me, via Flickr (5/365)

Today was rained off. I had fancied a walk out but the rain stopped me doing that. Instead, I spent the day trying to get some work done but failing due to problems with my Internet connection.

Despite the Internet problems, I did manage to brainstorm all of next week’s All Over the House comics with Jennifer, and also the first two comics for series four of The Life of Nob T. Mouse.

It’s amazing to think The Life of Nob T. Mouse is 18 years old now, and All Over the House is five. How time flies. I’ve really loved making these comics, even though there have been times where I didn’t produce any comics whatsoever. I still loved the comics, the characters, the comic-making process. It’s been a genuine pleasure.

Comic creation can be quite an insular process, and very lonely at times. I’m glad that I’ve shared the last seven years of my career with my lovely wife Jennifer; who writes or co-writes the majority of the scripts. All Over the House would not exist without her.

The Life of Nob T. Mouse would probably still be on indefinite hiatus without her making me realise the next episode doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be better than the previous episode. Ink Proof Cannon, despite its faults and its lack of regular updates, would not exist at all without Jennifer helping me regain the confidence to just get on with making comics instead of just always talking about my plans for them.

I’ve spoken at length about why there was such a long gap between series one and series two of The Life of Nob T. Mouse; most recently I discussed it on Episode 10 of Comic Fridays. Essentially, it boiled down to wanting the comeback to be perfect and never feeling like I achieved it. The slow improvement method gets the job done. Waiting for everything to be right never does.

I’ve included the episode in question below, in case you want the full story.

Later on, I took a few photographs of the rain because it seemed like a good chance to get some pretty pictures. Some of them turned out surprisingly well, so I’m quite pleased with that. They weren’t my photo of the day for the 365 days of photography project (I decided to go with a close-up shot of a rubber duck floating in bubble bath because it looked so cute) but the way the light refracted through the raindrops on the camera lens was really cool.

Setting year-long goals

Technical faults that wipe out an entire day’s work are just the thing to get a new year off to a great start. I lost today’s comics and had to re-draw them. It’s an annoyance but if that’s the worst 2014 is going to throw at me, I will thank it for being a good year. Suffice to say, I knuckled down and got on with re-drawing the comics.

'Dragon Bite', my first picture from the 365 Days of Photography challengeIt meant I’m still working at 12.30 am and have had less than an hour away from my computer all day but that’s a small price to pay for seeing your ‘to do’ list with ticks beside every item. Sometimes you have to take your little victories where you find them.

It’s the traditional time of setting year-long goals, so let’s get to it. I’m going to list my new year’s resolutions as bullet points and then talk about them a little more in-depth. It seems simpler that way.

New year’s resolutions

  • Finish writing The Curse of the Other World
  • Finish writing Forged In Blood
  • Finish writing Spellhacker
  • Finish writing my book on Trans activism
  • Create and release a game based on All Over the House
  • Create and release a game based on The Life of Nob T. Mouse
  • Expand All Mouse Media into web hosting
  • Film and release The Forelander on the web & DVD
  • Film and release series 1 of the All Over The House sitcom on the web & DVD
  • Write more regular blog posts (ideally one per day but this may not be feasible sometimes)
  • Take part in 365 Days of Photography again

That’s a lot of resolutions but, when looked at from another angle, they are also all a ‘To Do’ list for 2014. I have faith in my ability to complete each project on this list but completing all of them may prove a little more tricky. I’m up for the challenge however. Let’s hope that I make it through the list – especially the Forelander and All Over the House sitcom resolutions, because those will be things you can sit and enjoy for free online.

For those who don’t know, The Forelander is a short fantasy web series I’ve been working on since early last year. We were supposed to film it in October but filming had to be cancelled due to illness and scheduling problems. I’m hoping to get it filmed and run through post-production as soon as possible because it will be my first foray into medium-scale production and I’m eager to get stuck into it.

All Over the House is a different kettle of fish. I’ve already started work on the scripts. We are aiming for 6 to 9 episodes for the first series, each one about 10 minutes long. While the All Over the House comic uses the usual newspaper gag-a-day format with occasional storylines, the sitcom will focus on one story per series and interject gag-a-day style comedy into the mix to keep the jokes running. It’s going to be great (well I would say that, wouldn’t I).

You may have noticed I’ve got plans for four books, which would mean writing one every three months in order to fit into the year-long schedule. Not feasible? I’ve already started work on three of them and they are coming along nicely. Don’t expect the first of them until at least the middle of the year, though.

The same goes for the computer games; which will probably not arrive until December because work on those is going to be long and drawn out. I think they will be worth the wait.

I’ve already made a start on the blogging and the photography projects. I’ve done the photography challenge before and it was great fun. I really feel like a learned a lot last time I did it, because I pushed myself to develop as a photographer. I’m going to push myself again this year and I’ll be using the photographs to illustrate my blog posts; so these two challenges will essentially be feeding one-another. Again, let’s see how I do with that. I’ve got good feelings for my chances but we’ll have to see how it all pans out.

Hosting came as something of a surprise

My computer setup

All work and no play makes for swift burnout.

Apparently I am now in the website hosting business. This came as something of a surprise because I had no intentions of going into that market but needs must. We recently had quite a problem with our web hosts, people we had worked with for just over seven years, because they started failing to send us invoices, which meant we did not pay for hosting “on time” two months out of the last three.

It’s difficult to claim something is not done “on time” when you weren’t informed of the due date ahead of time but let’s put that aside for now.

I was willing to jot the first lack of invoice down to a genuine mistake but when it happened again just two months later, I asked for my data to be made available to me so I could transfer to a new host. I expected to be able to negotiate paying for a few days’ hosting, maybe even a week’s worth of hosting, in order to have time to transfer my data off their servers. They refused, saying:

I have cancelled invoice 144139427 as it abundantly clear you would rather not pay this invoice, but request we put in the work to recover and package your database to send to you, no doubt FoC. This will not be happening, and you will have to rely on the backups you made yourself.

I consider this matter closed and no further emails on this matter will receive a human reply.

What lovely people they are! Apparently they thought the invoices they claim they sent me were being funnelled into my spam folder. I checked there before sending them a query, and there were no invoices to be found. Goodness knows what was happening to them.

Anyway, since I clearly couldn’t trust these guys any further and since my friend Jade Stewart was expanding her web hosting business, I thought it was a good time to go into a joint hosting venture with her. Now I’m in the process of consolidating all my sites into one WordPress multisite network.

You may see a few glitches on this site, Jenny Kirk’s site, the three comic sites (plus another comic site that is coming onto All Mouse Media soon) and How N’ About while we iron out any troubles caused by the migration. There shouldn’t be many, but forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

Migrating All Over the House took three days, because we had to re-catalogue and re-upload 589 individual comics. This is because the data we lost due to the old host contained the cataloguing for the comics. Oh well. It’s done now and we have fresh backups, so with any luck it’s all going to be much easier to finish off from here on in.