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Black Static


The Travelling Theatrical Tour: Freedom

6th Jan, 2012

Author: Peter Tennant

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Today we have a guest blogger.

Cate Gardner is a young and talented writer from Liverpool whose collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits impressed me mightily round about this time last year. When I heard that she was doing a blog tour to promote her latest book Theatre of Curious Acts (which, if the stars align correctly, I'll be reviewing in the next issue of Black Static, along with two other recent releases from Cate, Nowhere Hall and Barbed Wire Hearts), I was happy to offer her this blog as a stopping off place, especially as it lets me put my feet up for the night.

And if you like what you read, then use the last link at the foot of the page to nip on over to Cate's blog and show her some love in the comments section.

Anyway, take it Cate:-

"The Travelling Theatrical Tour: Freedom"

First off, a huge thank you to Pete for inviting me into the hallowed halls of the TTA/Black Static blog, I shall try not to break anything. When I decided to do a blog tour to celebrate the release of my book Theatre of Curious Acts I never expected anyone to invite me over let alone the folk at TTA. Therefore, as we are in such a prestigious place, I've put on my sensible shoes for this post and thought I'd talk about a fantastic writing program called Freedom.

When I started writing back in the early 1990s, I wrote my first drafts longhand before committing the final draft to type. It took forever. Then, around the mid nineties, I bought my first word processor - a Fontwriter - that had super cool floppy disks (well they were super cool at the time). If I were lucky, those disks would store a quarter of a novel. Most of all, the Fontwriter didn't have internet access. In fact, it didn't even know such a thing as the internet existed. Back then, I used to write about 5,000 words a day.

It sounds like a fairy story and like all good fairy stories there's an evil troll hiding behind the rock or in this case behind the microchips, plastic and whatnots.

The evil troll grew from stagnation. While I happily amassed short story credits, my writing didn't improve much, if at all, thus feeding the troll. I attended a handful of creative writing classes but a blindfold and a Liquorice Allsort saw an end to that.  Now, thanks to the internet, my writing has improved tenfold and I continue to learn new things. Heck, some days I even think I know what I'm doing.

Of course, the payback for all the wonderful writing advice that the internet has to offer is the theft of writing time. Although, is it theft if I allow it to steal that time? There's definitely some sort of cooperation happening. Those 5,000-word days are rare beasts now. Or they are unless I employ my trusty knight in digital armour...


Freedom is a program available to download for ten dollars (which amounts to something even paltrier in pounds) and it's a lifeline. You can set Freedom to block the internet for a minimum of fifteen minutes to up to a maximum 480 minutes.  Eight hours!  That last exclamation is just to show off my mathematical skills. The only way to restore internet access before the allotted time is to switch off your computer and restart it. Thankfully, I'm far too lazy to do that.

If you haven't already downloaded Freedom, I highly recommend it.


Thanks again to Pete for allowing me to blather on. My novella, Theatre of Curious Acts, a tale of Great War soldiers and the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, is available from all good online bookstores. More information can be found at my website.




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