Tag Archives: lj

A decade of journalling

Today is the tenth birthday of shepline. You can see the first day’s inauspicious posts here. It seems an appropriate moment to therefore pause for a moment, consider where I was then, where I am now, and reflect on a decade of journal writing.

The writings of 12 February 2003 are not the first entries to be contained within my LiveJournal for I have since gone back and back-filled it with transcriptions of earlier attempts at diary writing or with flashbacks from my memory. This last decade has been my single, longest attempt at writing any kind of diary.

So where was I in 2003…?

Job then: Electronic Content Quality Controller. Basically the guy to make the online versions of some scientific journals like the (Thrice) Monthly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Job now: Web and Digital Media Officer. The web designer for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. I also look after the social networking and do a bit of video work. Its a lot more creative work than a decade ago.

Writing then: I was in the wilderness years. The then titled Blood & Fire was started, but writing wasn’t go so well, so I was busy revising my previous novel Flyht. I still have a fondness for Flyht and may yet dust off the cobwebs to it.

Writing now: My second novel, Mr Tumnal, having published my first, The End Of All Worlds during the last year. I’m nearing the end of this one, after which I will have to revise it, edit it, and then decide whether to try the traditional route of publishing it or take the Indie route again.

Life then: Single. Dreadful levels of self-confidence. Recently bullied at work, starting this journal was part of a plan I had to try and get more confidence in me. About the same time I also became a First Aider at work and joined the Social Committee. Approaching my 30th birthday. Wore no jewellery. At the time of starting my journal I had no pets, although I would soon take on my first cat, Pepper.

Life now: Married. Met Emma on match.com we now have 8 cats, 3 chickens, 2 bunnies, 1 hamster, and some fish. I wear a wedding ring and a necklace – usually amber (I purchased an amber pendant whilst on holiday in Estonia in the summer of 2003), but sometimes Obsidian or a small piece of Celtic glass, or (rarely) Murano glass). In the intervening years I have had coaching for Aspergers, been made redundant from my job at (then) Blackwell Publishing (replaced by a machine), had a spell at OUP doing something similar but with online books, a short spell of unemployment, and been ‘restructured’ once whilst in my current job. I’ve also met my best friend, online, and since married her.

A return to journalling…

I have been remiss. Regular readers of these pages will remember that I used to write in these pages daily, sometimes twice daily or more often. Of late, despite my best intentions, my regular witterings As of tomorrow, I intend to correct this. Some might remember the On the xxx day of advent: series of posts that I have observed for the last through years.

Not that I write these pages to be read, but for my own memory and enjoyment, but, for the fun of it, a poll…


Readers of this journal may have noted that I have just posted a number of backdated entries going back to the end of last year. I’ve been writing offline for a couple of months now, aiming to keep my journal up to date whilst catching up with the past entries, post them all in one go and then go back to writing online as it happens.

I’ve changed my resolve now. I’ve posted what’s written now, and will move forward from here and catch up with backdated entries where I can. This year is going to be a great year with lots of change and interest. I’m going to keep on top of documenting it.


1. commented today that it has been almost a whole month since I last posted. If you are reading this, you will by now know that my threat of mega-spamming my friend’s friends pages has come true.

2. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with the energy efficiency man to check out my house, and (presumably) count the low-energy lightbulbs. I think I may still have one regular one left… *shrugs*

3. Both Emma and I have been really missing each other today. Neither of us know exactly why today we should feel like this, as it’s not exactly unusual for us to spend the weekends together and the weeks apart. Possibly one reason (for me at least) today, is that now that I have taken the deliberate step of not just talking about it, but putting my house on the market, its not impossible that I will have an offer on it in not too distant a future. And if we decide to go for Stratton Audley then … not having to say goodbye upon a Sunday evening is all that bit closer to now…

And by now you will know that this is indeed true. Sorry!
Admittedly its highly unlikely…

Five years later

These pages are five years old. Encompassed here are the journalings of five years of my life, and what a journey it has been. I say it every year, but the experience of writing in these pages is not at all what I thought it would have been when I posted my first, tentative words. The focus of what has been written here as changed as I have gone on, ebbing and flowing from writing to life, to whimsy, to photography. Now, looking back, I feel that it is chronicling, in a way that I scarcely would have imagined, my life in those five years.

Thank you.

She Speaks!

For nine months now, Emma has had ‘an eljay’ account, purely for the purposes of being able to read some of my protected entries but she has already remained silent in these pages; she has been The Quiet Reader. This post then, marks the occasion when she speaks out for the first time and comments on my writings here… 🙂

…if only, that is, to correct an inaccuracy in the details.

Wednesday Musings

1. Another successful lunchtime of editing today. I rewrote one scene, and then skim read the rest of the (tenth) chapter and, concentrating less on the &Thorn;ursar people, it’s already a much tighter chapter, and I think, needing less work as a result.

2. I’ve had three crits so far on chapter nine (part two: chapter three), and once again my fear has been misplaced and it does basically work. That said I seem to have swapped the bad habits of ‘looking’ too much and over-enthusiastic dialogue tags, for too much use of ly words, and in particular slowly. Slowly does it, I’ll get there in the end… 😉

3. I think I might have eaten (slightly) mouldy bread. I was half way through my second sandwich when it started to taste a bit funny – kind of mouldy. It’s several hours later and no ill effects though, so maybe I’ve got away with it.

4. I will be backfilling this journal shortly. I’ve missed so many days, although I have the posts all typed up in a word document. Hopefully normal service will now resume.

A word about ‘That’ silence

Some of my regular readers may have noticed, and indeed wondered about, the almost month-long silence in activity in these pages. I’m not entirely sure why that was, I did have ideas of what I wanted to say and posts aplenty. I will be back-filling these pages with these thoughts shortly.

Normal service will resume presently.

Now We Are Four

At 08:11:37 hours on 12 February 2003 shepline: the journal was born. Actually, I think it might have been a bit before then, and if I’m honest I’m not sure what the situation is regarding time zones, but it was near enough then. Here, I should perhaps mention my LJ Mother (tinyjo) and Father (oxfordslacker) without whom this journal would probably never even have existed.

My first day’s posts can still be found here. Not the greatest works of literary genius I grant you, and far be it for me to say that things have improved since then, but it’s a start, and from small starts bigger things do grow.

So how best to mark this auspicious occasion? A deep and meaningful, friends locked post about the State of Thomas four years on? No. I think rather, a rant. A positive little rant, all things considered, but a rant none-the-less. This one, originally made today, by me, in a thread on the merits or not, the quality or not, of self-publishing over at the CritiqueCircle message boards…

I still think there is a confusion here about what self-publishing means. Yes there are the truly awful books that are published by their authors purely as an ego boost to make them feel that they are a ‘proper’ writer (whatever one of those is), but don’t forget there are also hundreds if not thousands of books published each year by the ‘big’ publishers which are also suitably awful but are published none the less, not for the quality of the writing, but because the author is a ‘name’ that will sell.

The days when publishing by the big publishers is about valued judgements about what is a good book are long over. It’s a business that’s all about making money, and if celebrity biographies and ego-trip-novels by wanna be celebrity writers is the thing that publishers can market easily then that is what they will publish. Which of course means that there is less money in the pot to publish the books of quality that publishers really ought to be publish. Where should these publishers be published then? Well, with luck there will be smaller publishers starting out who can’t afford the quick bucks of the celebrity novel/biography who will take a chance at the new/existing talent writing quality books…

…but it’s getting increasingly difficult. Publishers (even the smaller one’s) are not just looking for the good book these days, but for the ‘marketing hook’ in the writer that they can use to sell the book. It shouldn’t matter how many left arms the writer has, or what heroic they did back in battle of Waterloo before being rescued by aliens and transported hundreds of years into the future (although that probably would make quite a good story!).

It should be the quality of the book in question that is the deciding factor. So who can make that decision? Who is qualified to make that decison? As long as the decision is being made in an objective manner who cares whether it is an established publisher, or new one-man outfit making that decision. And who’s to say that the self-published author’s book is any worse than the one’s being published by the guys with a ‘track record’…?!!

Top Commenters on ‘s LiveJournal

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Total Commenters: 91 (52 not shown)
Total Comments: 2215

Report generated 05/02/2006 14:55:42 by ‘s LJ Comment Stats Wizard 1.7

Tag… you’re it!

If you are reading this then you have my permission to add tags to my posts (from the list provided). I’m not sure how this works, so if some of you could try and play with this and test it out, and then maybe leave a comment in the posts where you did, so I can see it in operation…?

Not the best journal entry in the world…

…but maybe, possibly by the end of this post you will be able to look back and see some thing profound. I feel a need to write something today, it being the 11 month aniversary of these pages – that’s right, in a months time we shall be one! In my mind I would have liked this to be a truly great piece of thought, but thought escapes me today. Still, it feels right to write, to say, something. And so, please endulge me. Let me finish…

But how to begin? I did have an idea for a film today – well when I say today – it’s been brewing in my head for a few days now. It’s a kind of Richard Curtis/Love Actually inspired, ensemble kind of film. There’s a multitude of stories that surround four to six separate groups of friends. The connecting link between these groups, is the internet (for the sake of argument) LiveJournal world. It’s a bit of romance, with twisted plotlines – the central, overarcing story is this internet romance that comes good, defying some of the real life relationships happening in the stories spun around in the orbitting groups.

In the words of one friend: “so kind of using the little stories as dynamoes to generate meaning for the larger overarching story”

So the internet story ends up being more real than the life version. Me like that. It’s the opposite of what you would expect.

Of course, this said, I’m not sure if it’s the kind of story that I have the ability to write…

Normal Service Will Resume. Thomas, you’ve been silly!

I’m such an idiot. The whole point of all of this, has been to do do what I want to do, when and how I want to do it. So why, tell me, am I mithering about which posts I make friends only and which posts I don’t?!!


I apologise for my needlessly introspective ramblings over the past few days. I’ve been an idiot. Someone please agree with me. Tell me I’ve been an idiot.

I promise you, normal service will resume on these pages soon.

The frustration, The relief…

Just finished fiddling with my tables and my LiveJournal styles to make this journal look good in my site (my journal).

Is it funny how the smallest things, when not going your way, can really make you want to throw down your keyboard in disgust, string the mouse up by its tail and go and read a book … and then the relief (and self-satisfied pleasure) when in the twinkling, you tweet one bit of code and suddenly its all lovely again.

(ah well, now just got my friends, and calendar to do now…)

So what’s all this about then?

Hmmn… a LiveJournal for little ol’ moi? What shall I use this for? I think, as I write this that I shall use this primarily for detailing the progress of my writing. Yup, I’m a novelist, writer, author – call me what you will – that’s who I am.

I’m revising Flyht at the moment, and it’s going quite well. Last night I finished working through chapter three Linked that is to say, half way through the old chapter two and have completely obliterated from the story the character of Tom Godwin. He was very very minor character, an annoying little squirt and I’m glad to be shot of him – quite frankly I don’t know how he lasted so long! I think he was remnant of the very early draft one who outstayed his welcome.

Still, I now have the new and “knows where she’s at” character of Little Sarah Broker who succeeds in messing up the head of Clayton and stopping him from getting down to the real business of finding out about flyht


New journal, forgive me whilst I get used it. I had just written quite a long post, but have lost it in the ether – will try and cobble something together again, once I’ve got myself sorted.

(it was a good post too!)