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intheventofire

The collected works of Mr Neil D Campbell

Magic is… Working with Wildlife Photographer Chris Weston

CWWP_04536

http://www.magicis.com/

One of my favourite jobs ever was creating engaging and emotive text for this incredible website. All images are the property of Magicis.com

Trade In Detectives…

Another Alter Ego
The Formidable Detective Maxwell

So here’s a new coup…

I am very pleased to present my latest work… The voice of Trade-in Detective Maxwell. This was a great fun project and I can’t wait to blow the old trumpet about it, but I believe there is a wee bit of an embargo on the website… so until they go fully public so all I can tell you right now is it’s going to raise some eyebrows… So if you’ve never read a website’s Terms and Conditions before, then I firmly recommend you start with these…

I’ll cut the cloak and dagger act as soon as I can…

So the Webite has gone live… Please have a look at…

http://www.tradeindetectives.com

My own column at last

Slightly Mad uncles Jacques
Advice from the sarcastic and insane is hard to ignore

This is Slightly Mad Uncles Jacques (aka me)

You can read his words of wisdom http://france.holidayhomeadvice.co.uk/french-lifestyle-tips-5-getting-to-know-your-french-neighbours-tips-from-uncle-jacques/

The brief was to write something witty and informative and well they loved the first one and commissioned a series…

How fast are Clichés?

Faster than a speeding bullet? Do they spread like Wildfire?

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I suppose it took some time once, as the phrase seeped from page to page and then from mouth to mouth…

Nowadays, what was witty in the morning can be passé by the end of the day…

I hate clichés and when the planet is mine their deaths will be quirky and helpful with a twst of melon.

We’re heading for a bad spell – The Rise of The Typo

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There was a time when making the front page really took something. I mean sure Jimmy The tap Dancing Squirrel might have had a look in on the slower of news days, but for the rest of us it would take something spectacular to make the headlines. Saving lives perhaps or more likely taking them, war, plague, and the other two horsemen would generally be enough and these days being Simon Cowell seems to count too.

Of course the front page that matters has changed and so too has the rite of ascension.  It’s no longer the front of the broadsheets and tabloid that we covet it’s the front page of Google that matters now and to claim your place in the highest ranks of the hallowed search engines you have to be clever.

Take the word internet, it only takes search engine royalty Google 0.15 seconds to find over 6,580,000,000 references…However misspell it, even by a fraction, and the odds may surprise you… Try Intrenet for example and Google will find just 620,000 and it has to think about it. Curiously it doesn’t even ask me if I meant the other word, it seems to know.

So what does it mean? Well it used to annoy me when bands misspelt their names or went all street and urban with Phat dis and sic that… but now it seems in the future we’ll all be at it…

I’m terrible for typos, only today I sent a nid to a friend and I am constantly saying sory for my typoing. But the real truth of it is we’re just more casual about our writing on the internet I mean FFS in my humble opinion we’re too busy laughing out loud to pay attention to spelling and even grammar.

The dyslexic in me rejoices a little at the thought of people unashamedly communicating without fear of either, but I also know that if there is to be a use for the typo, then the people who’ll use it most are the same folks that always find a use for such things first.  The marketing men…Soon my glitchy spelling and creative grammar could be the difference between page one and page five on Google and in the future that difference could be everything.  Let’s be honest we’re not known for our patience, in fact I’ll wager good money I don’t have, that somewhere on Google there’s stats from some psychologist or marketing mage to explain how many of you I have already lost by this paragraph.

I have no idea where we go from here but I predict that the typos that we were once so terrified about are not only going to be forgiven, one day they are going to be essential…

So enjoy what we have… before the AD men open their bottles of Shampain and tuck into their CavyR.

My first top ten…

I created this using my alter ego Gordon Vader… He’s a great resource when I want to say things that I shouldn’t, can’t, or am just worried about getting sued over…

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In many ways Gordon Vader is my Ventriloquists Dummy… He talks and says outrageous stuff and I keep my lips shut and get away with murder…

Captcha 22

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So I guess this is an open Letter to the folks that make these captcha landmines…

Before I start I want to say I understand why these things exist and I appreciate the work they do in saving me from Online Pharmacies, penis enlargers, Russian brides, and (never really) free I pads…

I just wish there were more ways round them for us special kids…

I have been stuck behind these diagrammatic nightmares for ten or twenty minutes before and the last thing you need after 30 minutes of data entry is a freaking hurdle. I don’t know what it is about these things.  In theory they are just simple pictorial puzzles, but in my mind they mostly look like those stupid 3d magic eye puzzles that were big in the 90’s and they only ever gave me headaches…

Now, I applaud the clever boffins who have added the Audio Captcha option, but some of us have been forced to learn our spelling phonetically, hidden away in our bedrooms terrified that someone will find out that we have problems reading… at least I did when I was younger.

My English teacher, who was what can only be described as a heartless black blooded witch, was completely unable to comprehend the fact that some words are not spelt the way they sound and therefore those of us forced to try fit the square peg in the round hole could never have used a dictionary to spell a word. She once belted me for my inability to  complete this simple task… I kept my head down after that…

The problem lies with phonemic awareness and if you have a problem with that then you’ll understand my issue….They call it a weakness, but come round my house for a game of scrabble or read any of my work and you’ll soon see that it can lead to a unique and interesting style and an unusually high vocabulary.  (Basically to avoid using words that we are unsure of how to spell, people like me will write themselves out of the corner in a thesauric display of literal splendidness.)

Anyway I’m getting off the track here… My point today is that as most of the world moves away from paper and on to the crystal clear retinal displays, we the dyslexics and co are going to get stuck behind these bloody indecypherable minefields… or worse yet we’ll just give up.

So… Dear Captcha, please can you make something on your devices that allows us left brainers to sneak past your little anagrammatical digital doors… Why not do little pictures? I could even draw you some. I mean sure eventually one’s mac book pro is going to get the logic to recognise a stick cow, but that’s years off. So until then, can we please have some indication that you are listening and want to help us get our downloads,  join those forums, or pay our bills. We’re not stupid, in fact think of us as Supermen and your little gatekeepers as kryptonite.*

*mental note funny how I can spell kryptonite first time, but I can never work out how many R’s there are in around…

PS. Please consider putting a little button on your captchas along the lines of…  “Having Problems with this Captcha? Are you dyslexic?” and then maybe a relevant link?

Anyway rant over…

Look Mr and Mrs Captcha my own version and you can use it for free!

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p.p.s. it’s a cow

Why Me?

So you need a writer? Well before you go rushing off to the intern… I’d like a word in your shell like…

Ask yourself what is the purpose? What am I trying to achieve? Why should I choose Neil D Campbell and what’s his angle?

Well… since you asked, here are some approaches we could take…

Emotive – Do you need text that puts your readers on a talcum powder beach and, while they enjoy that corn flour feeling between their toes, slaps a mojito down in front of them so minty they’ll feel like they’ve just brushed their teeth?

The Sound of Inevitability  – We all know this one, it’s the first five minutes of Casualty. There’s a bucket of ice water on the side of the path by the electric fence. There’s a spooked horse on the tow path and a child on their shiny new red bike.  Some how they’re going to collide, but when and how?  Well settle down and clunk click.

Tales of the Unexpected – You know something’s wrong with Denmark and the more you read the more twisted things get. Did you miss a clue and then suddenly when you think you’ve got it in the bag… Blam! Killer Squirrels!

Metaphor Shower – It’s subtle like a slice of lemon in your glass of cola. But the more you drink the closer you get to the twang and before you know it… you knew it all along,

Simply Marvellous Marketing – Power packed no holds barred astonishing punches thrown with precision and perfect planning.  Welcome to the wonderful colourful world of comic book text, where only the strongest Adjectives survive. And Whammy! You’ve got the girl add saved the world.

The Long Haul – sometimes there ain’t any easy way out.  Occasionally you know that you’ll need to keep your readers engaged for the duration. Perhaps it’s more A to Z than A to B. If there is no short cuts then You’ll need someone who can keep the snare tight and the bait sweet did I ever tell you about The Dark Design?

I am a writer of all trades and to date I have enjoyed a career as a travel writer, a published songwriter, I’ve written a 117k word novel, a ton of blurbs for websites,  articles for loads of publications , geek chic blog and even a rock opera… So basically, if you want something written and written well then I am your man.

The Dark Design

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A word about The Dark Design..

We all have our passions, we all have our secrets and The Dark design is both of mine…

How and why it all started is a book of its own, but I can tell you what it is…

The Dark Design is basically a non-linear rock-opera, I’d call it a musical, if I didn’t hate musicals so much.

You can make up your own mind here and follow the story as the plot thickens and the design darkens…

 

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