Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Free writing from a professional author.

The big news, as the title suggests, is that I am kind of a professional writer.

Don't get too excited. I'm providing keyword heavy "articles" to portal sites. It's definately not as lucrative as writing Discworld novels, but that gig is already taken. It's not particularly challenging, except to crank out the articles, but it's usually more enjoyable than having to work for a living. My pay should cover living expenses, and as long as people are interested in "refinancing home loans" or "Asia travel tips" and other such thrilling topics, I should be able to keep doing it... until my head explodes from conforming to requirements like "3% keyword density" and "CTR maximising structure" and I start submitting haikus about lemons or pigeons.

On that note, there don't seem to be many pigeons in Calgary. A few magpies and smaller birds (uh they're kind of brownish and go tweet), but my beloved sky-rats are nowhere to be seen.

Pigeons gone.
Who will eat the crumbs?
the sky weeps.

After that little poetry interlude, I should complete the update. I'm in Calgary, mostly installed into a fairly-spacious fairly-downtown apartment. We still don't have a couch, let alone a couch for the deck. Dan (who I met at U of C last time I was here) - and I have a running joke about "pimp my deck" (for those of you who haven't seen it, it's reference to the MTV show "pimp my ride" in which old junky cars are given a $20,000 facelift. This usually involves DVD players and other electronics, a fancy paint job, new upholstery, all that stuff. Our deck is sadly very un-pimped right now - we sit on cushions on the lip of the french doors and look longingly at the barbeque and camp chairs that Nascar-flag-guy has across the alley from us.

We're almost right above a Tim Hortons (although it's a 6 story walk down to get there - at least until we install the absail rope). Timmy's is a canadian cultural icon - Tim was a hockey player who opened a chain of donut and coffee stores, and while they are not as ubiquitous as Starbucks. After going through LA airport, I sometimes wonder if we're headed for a Starbucks event where eventually the entire planet will be covered with Starbucks, everyone will be employed be Starbucks and society will collapse.

Yes, that is a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy shoe-store catastrophe.

No, I haven't seen the movie yet.

Yes, I really want to.

No, I haven't made any plans to see it, I'm really not a big-screen kind of person (I blame being a New Zealander, I like my screens small and understated)

Yes, that doesn't make much sense (it's been out for a week or two now).

On an unrelated note, but something I thought of when I noticed I had footy training tonight - it's funny that my siblings and I are as keen on sports as we are. Mum is, and I have to be careful here because I risk losing half my readership, somewhat fond of sports (but still less than averagely keen, at least for New Zealand), even if she needs to be reminded about the rules quite frequently. On the other hand, our father is definately not a sports fan. In fact, he's probably best described as "anti-sport". To his credit, he trooped along to several years of schoolboy rugby matches and did his best to fit in with the other parents and not tease us too much about playing a "stupid game". He's even managed to learn to "quite like" netball (possibly because he was never forced to play it at school in the 1890s).

At a guess, it's because one of the things my entire family, perhaps the whole clan, has in common is that we are willful and contrary. My paternal grandfather was very keen on sport (or at least English sports like football, rugby, and cricket). So his eldest son dislikes sports, and his eldest son's eldest son likes sports (and one day, I'll inherit the kingdom, bwhahaha!)

"footy" "netball"

WTF? You wacky New Zealanders...

Rugby, ya, like that's a real word or anything. Geez...

Glad to see you're settling in!
BTW are you related to that Mark Bulkley guy who came second in the French Semaine Olympique recently?
Glad to know you have found a suitably creative lucrative way of spending your time! Actually writing good SE friendly web copy is quite as difficult and skilled as you suggest ;)

BTW the above mentioned Mark is not the only famous Bulkeley you are related to, the BBC has an article about how one of your ancestor's diaries is going online. I guess a sort of posthumous 18th Century blog?
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