Tag Archives: Dan Ladle


I mentioned this story some while ago, it was unfinished at the time. Since then I completed the first draft, rewrote it, had a couple of other people read it, left it in a virtual draw somewhere at the back of my computer for about two years, then did a final copy edit and decided that now was as good a time as any to put it up for your reading gratification/disappointment.

Let me know what you think?

It had been three long years since the first astrophysicist’s alarm had sounded. In that time every resource available had been drawn upon to build mighty ships capable of carrying sufficient technical and scientific citizens, animals, plants and knowledge away from the Earth to seek somewhere to settle and terraform as a replacement home. Perhaps one which would be far enough from any asteroid belts to minimise the risk of a similarly catastrophic meteor strike to the one which currently threatened the end of existence on this planet.

Hank still wasn’t entirely sure why he’d been selected as a “Chosen One”. A geologist by profession, his main interest was in palaeontology – Precambrian for preference. It was a bit of a niche field of study, and for some reason it had removed him from his comfortable laboratory and his sedimentary rocks and placed him here amongst the intelligentsia and those with recognised special technical abilities.

There were some up-sides, of course. For one thing when the town-sized meteorite Delendis actually struck destroying an estimated 95% of life on Earth, he would no longer be there to suffer the resulting climate swings, which were estimated to last 30,000 years, and the accompanying environmental upheaval. There was also the fact that he would be heading off into the infinite blackness of Space – it was what every child dreamed of and many adults aspired to, but he wasn’t so sure it was as exciting in actuality, when the crew was 2,000 strong and he personally wouldn’t have anything to do with pressing the buttons that changed course, accelerated or slowed down “Pathfinder”, as the craft had been unimaginatively designated following a six month long world-wide brainstorm.

Another advantage that he hadn’t originally foreseen was that the average age of people picked for the mission was 23. Hank was slap bang in the middle of this demographic and couldn’t help but notice that a good percentage of the other passengers were quite attractive. He wasn’t sure that anyone in the planning consortium had thought about this, the sexual tension that these circumstances were creating would be created under these circumstances; a couple of thousand frustrated scientists, engineers and, for the most part, geeks, who weren’t generally used to hanging out with the opposite gender, let alone being stuffed into a flying box with them – even if the box itself was about the size of a large tower block, albeit one designed by someone who had spent too much alone time in a darkened room without air conditioning.

Still, Hank had always been more comfortable around the fairer sex than a lot of his contemporaries and optimistically hoped this might give him a bit of an advantage when it came to finding something to do on those long, or in fact constant nights!

The overcrowded living conditions were also leading to tensions of other sorts. On more than one occasion Hank had entered a room to be greeted with angry silences from the engineers and aerospace technicians who were attempting to get the machine ship-shape, before the planned take off in less than six days’ time.

Just now though, this was none of his concern. Hunger had visited early tonight, so he headed to the eating quarters at around seven o’clock, instead of his habitual nine. He’d always tended towards a nocturnal lifestyle and the habit had persisted, even after leaving university.

What a difference a couple of hours made! There were people from wall to wall and conversations bounced off the ceiling, almost deafening in their intensity. Hank squeezed in at the food bar and grabbed some salad and something vaguely resembling meat, then looked around for a seat, which seemed to be in short supply. He had to jostle through the crowds of bespectacled people to wedge himself unceremoniously between a thin, drawn looking guy and a woman with a long scar across her cheek, both of whom appeared uncomfortable at his incursion.

He started eating, slowly becoming aware of the conversation taking place next to him. The scar-faced woman was trying to speak quietly to a muscular man across the table, but the volume of people and conversation made this difficult. What they were talking about sounded like it should have been more confidential. Apparently, ‘One of the rocketists,’ this being slang for the actual rocket scientists, ‘was telling the flight planner that he didn’t think the materials they were using were man enough to take the strain. He said that they were better before we went all biodegradable! Apparently a thousand years ago we’d have been using carbon fibre and metal, instead of all this Plastech and Polymet garbage. It wouldn’t be so bad if we hadn’t returned all the non-recyclables into the earth, let alone the fact that it seems to have upset the tectonic stability of the planet.’ cleverly managing to argue for and against environmental sustainability at the same time.

The talker’s confidante leaned back in his chair and placed his long, sturdy hands behind his shiny head. ‘Last I heard they were worried about the lateral stabilisers. My guess would be that we’ll get into space and start spinning like a Ferris wheel. On the bright side, at least we might improve the Grav-Lock mechanisms in the process and be able to stand up without floating away.’

Hank had heard many such conversations in the two weeks since his relocation to Pathfinder, most of them were one sided put-downs of another worker’s or divisions’ attempts to fix things and keep to schedule. But the volume of complaints had been steadily increasing over the last week and everyone was getting close to breaking point.

He finished his meal and left the table, shoving his tray through the hole beside the doorway which took the dirty dishes to who knew where, to be cleaned and redeployed. As he walked out of the room he almost bumped into Maggie. ‘Hi Hank.’ She had a way of talking which twanged at his baser instincts, but he didn’t know if it was the tone of voice or the fact she managed to make a flight-suit look like a fashionable ensemble for a night on the town. It certainly didn’t help him think.

‘Hey, Maggie. How’s it going? Have they fixed that air conditioner in your room yet?’ His eyes attempted to find somewhere innocent to rest his gaze but had to give up and settled on her face.

‘No luck! On the bright side, it makes bedtime interesting when you don’t know if you’ll need to wear a fur coat or a negligée until you step into your bedroom.’ She accompanied Hank as he walked down the corridor, ‘what’s happening in the world of prehistoric beasties?’

Hank vaguely studied the back of his hand as he thought about an answer, ‘To be honest, I think the only reason I’m on this trip is to pad the numbers and give the botanists someone to ridicule.’

Maggie put her hand on Hank’s shoulder, sending a shiver down his spine, ‘I can’t imagine anyone laughing at you. I tell you what, do you want to come back to my room for a drink?’

Hank was momentarily taken aback but managed to gather his senses and form a reasoned response, rather than blurting out “really?” Which was the first thing that came to mind. ‘Yeah, I don’t seem to have a lot on until we make planetfall, which should be in about fifteen thousand years’ time.’

Maggie led the way as Hank tailed her, wondering which of the 439 decks her quarters would be on and whether she would have time to realise her offer had been a mistake before they got there. But it was only a couple of levels up and, before he knew it, he was standing in a strangely perfumed room, while Maggie went to find “something more comfortable” to wear – which in Hank’s estimation was always a bit of a misnomer.

He visually investigated the room, although there was no reason for this as pretty much every berth on the ship was identical. His eyes soon alighted on the display stretched across part of the wall opposite the bed. The screens had their own power supply and turned on as soon as you entered the room, or at least they were meant to… more often than not though you came in to find it merrily announcing current mission stats and a likely launch date to no one at all, or it’d turn itself on at three o’clock in the morning just after you’d got to sleep because of some badly timed ventilation testing in the laboratory down the corridor.

There was currently a news story playing which showed the projected date – roughly three weeks away – for the impact of Delendis into Earth. Hank stalked over to the monitor and popped out the fuse holder at the bottom left corner, the screen showed an agonised pattern of random noise before it lost its picture and became just another section of the plain matt white wall.

The sound of the door to the bathroom sliding open reminded him where he was. ‘Sorry, I might have disabled your monitor.’ Hank turned around to see what Maggie’s idea of “something more comfortable” was. She appeared to have gone for the less is more approach, the diaphanous material hung in just the right way to make Hank’s major intellectual functions temporarily abandon him for a better viewpoint, he realised his mouth was hanging open and snapped it shut, nearly severing his tongue in the process.

Maggie stood by the bed, ‘Are you planning on using that for something?’ She pointed towards his hand. Hank looked down, as if seeing the fuse and his hand for the first time. He reached back and placed it gently on the desk without removing his eyes from the sinuously seductive prospect in front of him.

Hank massaged his forehead to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating then walked towards Maggie while loosening his flight-suit. Probably not the attire he would have chosen for such circumstances, but with a choice limited to that or nothing, it was probably preferable.

The two stood in front of each other, Maggie patiently waiting, Hank struggling with the unforgiving fastenings that held the suit in place. When he had finally removed the top, he looked into her piercing and intelligent green eyes, which looked back at him with dividends. He glanced down, then up again and started to think of a polite way to suggest they might be more comfortable on the bed, ‘Well I don’t know about you but…’

Suddenly the lights went off, Maggie gasped, ‘Hey, how did you do that?’

‘I didn’t do anything,’ Hank replied, ‘probably just another power cut.’ As he finished saying this a red light started flashing in the corner of the room. It was the sort of light that suggests to the observer that its presence is not a sign of forthcoming gaiety. ‘What on Earth is that for?’

Maggie motioned towards the small piece of electronics laying on the desk, ‘It might be a good idea to plug that back in.’ Hank almost managed to pull off a casual walk over to the screen, trying not to look as worried as he felt.

After a couple of abortive attempts, the fuse slid back into its housing and the screen crackled back into life, a calm voice droned out of it “… please prepare yourself. An error has occurred. Await further instructions.” The screen showed a live shot of the Pathfinder in its entirety, lit up from below, with the night sky framing the uneven crenelated upper surface of the ship.

Her smooth face creased, ‘How can we prepare ourselves if we don’t know what’s going on?’

Hank shrugged, then moved his head closer to the screen and squinted at the ultra-high definition picture, ‘Hey, come take a look,’ he continued to inspect the night sky as he felt Maggie’s body press into his back, this close contact should have set his teeth on edge, but his mind was too busy trying to make sense of what he was looking at, ‘Is that what I think it is?’

Maggie’s eyes flashed back and forth with the small moving objects on the screen, ‘Comets? Lots of comets! You don’t think that’s why the alarm’s going off, do you?’

Hank thoughtfully scratched his chin, ‘I’m not sure but I think it might be a good idea if we go to bed,’ Maggie gave him a look which suggested that wasn’t the suggestion she was expecting, ‘for our safety,’ he added, completely failing to sound as authoritative as he was aiming for.

Maggie’s frown turned into a grin, ‘I was at those safety briefings too. They mould to your body contours when the ship’s taking off.’ Her eyes widened when she realised what Hank was suggesting.

The screen blustered back into life, flashing red and white out of time with the light in the corner of the room. “Attention. The estimated time for the impact of Delendis has been adjusted. Impact will take place at twenty-one hundred hours tonight.”

Hank and Maggie both glanced at the clock next to the screen. It read 20:23. Hank looked at Maggie with his lip curling in consternation, he was about to tell her he would go back to his room and leave her to prepare when the voice inexorably continued. “Please find your nearest launch berth and assume positions for take-off immediately. This is not a drill. Launch sequence will commence in T-minus two minutes.”

Maggie launched herself towards the bed and flicked the launch mode switch, Hank looked uncertain as to what he should do until she said, ‘What are you waiting for, get on.’ He assumed the correct position, on his side as the plaque above the bed instructed, trying to lay facing her, in as professional a manner as he could while she was wearing something which left so little to the imagination. Why he thought this necessary, when five minutes before he had been assuredly stripping off in front of her, was not something he cared to think about as he settled back feeling the odd clamminess of the biomech mattress subside wherever his skin pressed into it.

Maggie moved her head into a more comfortable position, which meant they couldn’t help but stare into each other’s eyes, ‘I didn’t even think the ship was ready yet.’

Hank reached out for her hand and squeezed it in as reassuring a manner as he could muster, in lieu of actually finding something to say which might make her feel better. The screen on the wall showed decreasing numbers, while the computer-generated voice droned through a 120 second countdown, which seemed to take forever. Eventually the last five digits elapsed then, nothing happened. Hank glanced awkwardly towards the screen, which showed 00:00. ‘Looks like you could be right…’

An ear-splitting creak thundered through the ship, followed by the sound a planet sized central heating system would make getting ready for winter. Finally, a noise like a concert hall full of radios picking up the static from the start of the Universe signalled the first Grav-Lock Impulsion engine firing, it was shortly followed by many more. The initial feeling of heaviness passed through Hank’s body and he wondered if it would get worse, just as the ship juddered off the ground with a crunch and pushed him against the padded mattress so hard that he couldn’t even turn to look towards the window.

Maggie’s hand pressed down on his, but he didn’t know if this was voluntary or because of the acceleration, he hoped it was the former. The speed of the ship seemed to constrict Hank’s lungs, it was almost unbearable and lasted, as close as he could estimate, for at least as long as the countdown to take-off had. Although there was no reduction in the ongoing acceleration of the ship there was suddenly a lurch which left Hank and Maggie floating five centimetres above the bed. Maggie huskily reminded him, ‘Don’t move yet,’ as another static crackle and an almost gentle descent back to the welcoming surface indicated that the internal Grav-Lock systems were now on-line.

‘Come on, I have to see’ she said, as she sprung off the bed towards the small semi-spherical window. She looked out, her jaw dropping at the sight of the Earth dropping vertiginously away behind them.

Hank squeezed his way in next to her and saw the inspiring sight of the planet – on which every single thing in recorded history had ever happened – drifting serenely into the starry night sky. Not far away from the big blue/green ball of everything they had ever known, a city sized rock outlined by red fire was drawing towards the planet, leaving a stream of particulate residue in its wake and preceded by many smaller meteors and meteoroids which were clustering round the larger carbonaceous motherlode.

‘Well, that’s it then. We’re off.’ The situation was affecting Hank in psychological crevices he didn’t even know he possessed, ‘No more sunny days and walks in the park, no more birds singing in the trees, no more waterfalls, no more lazy days hammering at rocks in the middle of nowhere. I’ll miss it.’

Maggie looked askance at him, ‘Don’t be so melodramatic. Get a grip on yourself, this is exciting!’

Hank shook his head and dragged himself out of the introspection. ‘The worst thing is that it’s the big ones that go first,’ Maggie gave him a quizzical glance, ‘in mass extinctions, which is what this is likely to be. It’s the megafauna and flora that go first. The Permian-Triassic extinction took out 90% of all life on Earth. Funnily enough we’re probably about the biggest thing that might survive through the radiation, re-entry firestorms, dust and debris fallout, earthquakes, hurricanes, acid rains… You get the idea!’

‘So, wouldn’t be much fun then. Makes you glad to be the most intelligent creature on the planet, or off it, in fact.’ She turned and kissed him. ‘Well, we seem to have a little free time, shall we find something useful to do with ourselves while everyone else is still panicking?’ She moved back to the bed and slid on seductively, patting the empty spot next to her, ‘Come on, before it gets cold.’

Hank stared at the retreating planet for a while longer, before turning and taking in the full glory of Maggie’s curvaceous body. ‘Ah, why not?’ He pounced across the space and landed next to her, ‘I guess we have a duty to propagate the species. After all, apart from the livestock and specimens down on the zoological decks, we Troodons are going to be the only dinosaurs that live on after Delendis wipes out all life as we know it.’

Underground, Overground

About 13 years ago I got a job as a team leader for a team of techies at a university.

About one year into this one of the guys was troubleshooting a problem with a user’s calendar and asked me to help out, by giving me full access to his own calendar in Microsoft Outlook.

A week or two later I realised he had forgotten to remove my privileges, and had gone on holiday. I immediately created a recurring event on the second Monday of every second month which simply said:

“Remember you’re a Womble.”

I then removed my access but also sent out an invite from my own account to the rest of my technicians for the same date every two months, to tell him that he is a Womble – all of them accepted without questioning what on Earth planet I was on (I loved that team).

Because of the way Outlook works, after I removed my privileges, he wasn’t able to delete the reminder. Oops!

It is now about twelve years later, he left my team about six months after this incident and we kind of lost touch a bit (you know, work, etc.) even though we were still in the same department. Since then I have moved jobs, and emigrated to Australia.

When I checked my phone after getting on the train to work this morning the self-same techie had tagged me in a post on Facebook. I wondered what it could be. The post had four words in it. Can you guess what they were?

It turns out he still gets bi-monthly reminders that he is a Womble. I suspect he will do until he leaves the university, although it is one of those kind of places where you can have a job for life!

I’m hoping he stays for many years yet, moving up the echelons, eventually reaching some kind of senior management role…and keeps getting reminded that he is, indeed, a small, litter-collecting, sentient mammal who lives on Wimbledon Common!!!

Read ‘Em And Weep

Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook, follows me on Twitter or, unlikely as it seems, occasionally looks at my Google+ account, will know that for the past two years or so I have been undertaking a reading marathon of Pratchett proportions.

I started with The Colour of Magic and continued with all 41 Discworld novels, as well as the maps, cookbooks, tourist guides, kids books and short story collections. After this I started on the non-Discworld books – Strata, The Dark Side of the Sun, the Bromeliad trilogy, the Johnny Maxwell books, etc.

The reason for this single-minded readathon are numerous, I tend to reread my Pratchett collection every few years anyway, but after his untimely death in 2015 I couldn’t bring myself to pick up a book by any other author.

I assumed this feeling would pass but several months later I was still in the same mood, a year later I felt the same, two years later and I was still in my reading rut.

Seemingly unrelated, about two months ago we got notice that our landlord wanted their house back, which was a bit inconvenient because we were just in the middle of trying to find somewhere of our own to buy. Scroll on to about a week ago and the house is full of boxes as we get ready to move to a new rental. I was packing up my Pratchett collection (shudder) and amongst them I found my Kindle, untouched since I picked up The Colour of Magic.

I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I left it on top of my drawers in our bedroom. Then, last Sunday night I was getting my stuff ready for work the next day and thought “why the hell not” and slipped the e-reader into my bag.

When I arrived at the train station on Monday morning I got it out and started reading (American Gods by Neil Gaiman, if you must know!), and have been doing so on every journey to work and back since. It seems my reading mojo has returned and, with it, my brain has also fallen off a deep precepice into the icy waters of “I Have To Write” again.

Ideas are sloshing around inside my head like a particularly spectacular Formula One pile up and my fingers are itching to type. But what to do first?

I’ve been working on a few things, slowly, for the past few months, a Discworld fan-fiction piece about Rincewind; a comedy fantasy novel about a vampire; a biography about my life as a type one diabetic; a kids book I’ve been working on for a couple of years now.

All these conflicting stories are arguing for precedence, so what I’m going to do is…go to sleep! Life is complicated enough at the moment without worrying about what and when to write, so I just need to put digits to keyboard whenever I get the chance.

Wish me luck!

Terry Pratchett, April 28, 1948 – March 12, 2015

I woke up this morning as I would on any other day, alarm sounded, arm wildly flailed to find the snooze button, hop out of bed, pull on some shorts, turn on phone and head to the kitchen to make some toast. After my blood test I buttered my toast, sat down and started checking my messages, I had been tagged in a post on Facebook by my friend Ian, so I opened Facebook and went to see what he was drawing my attention to.

This is how I learned of the death of Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE.

Our cat had decided to spend the night outside, this is unusual for him, so Deanne got out of bed to open the back door and call for him. After being outside for seven hours the cat came in and used his litter tray immediately, rather than taking the more sensible option of relieving himself in the garden, but I digress.

I felt numb, but not as sad as I would expect, reading the article from the Independent newspaper. I walked through to the bathroom and held the phone out to Deanne to show her the news and as she said ‘oh no’ I burst into tears. I think that sharing the news with her had made it real. She asked me if I was alright and I didn’t answer, because I was not.

To explain why let me take you back in time to 1988. I was a prolific reader, even when I was 13, and begged, stole and borrowed any book I could get my hands on to devour the words held within. One day my eldest brother, Paul, had just finished a new (second hand) one. As usual, I asked if it was alright if I read it then took it before he had a chance to answer.

I started reading and found that I couldn’t put it down. I laughed so much that I cried, then I actually did have to put the book down in several places because I couldn’t control my body for the humorous convulsions taking it over.

The book was about an inept, cowardly Wizzard (not wizard), living on a flat world carried on the back of four elephants, standing on the back of a colossal turtle named Great A’Tuin. The magician was called Rincewind and he had been tasked with looking after the Discworld’s first ever tourist, a friendly bespectacled man with a profusion of gold, coming as he did from the Counterweight Continent. The book was called The Light Fantastic.

I finished reading, put it down and immediately counted up my meagre savings to see if I would be able to afford the first book in the series, which was called The Colour of Magic, thankfully I could and so, at my first convenience, I did so.

This is how I came to know Terry Pratchett, and how I became ensconced in his worlds and words. At first I just had to get the books, no matter how, so for a time I bought them when they came out in paperback, as it was more affordable, but as I got more and more entrenched in the fabulous places and people it started to become an addiction.

I would investigate the release dates and make sure I had enough funds at my disposal and a free morning in which to visit the local bookstore so I could get there first thing in the morning, buy a first edition hardback copy of whatever the latest one was, then spend the rest of the day in repose on the sofa letting the characters, situations, stories and puns (or plays on words) bathe my mind in a glorious warm glow of happiness.

To put this in context, my wife and I met about 13 years ago, it is our twelfth wedding anniversary and 13th anniversary of being a couple at the end of this month and I love her, and our son, more than I can put into words. Having said that, I met Terry (in a metaphorical sense, although I was lucky enough to see him in the flesh as well) 27 years ago and although I didn’t know the man, exactly, I have loved his words for longer than I have been growing hair on my face, I had Terry before I had my first job, he was with me through the good times, the bad times, the happy and sad times, he helped me cope when life was at its toughest and added to the euphoria when things were at their best.

This is why I will miss Sir Terry more than I can say, I have read almost everything he has ever written, I own a good deal of his work in first edition hardback, have a folder containing newspaper articles and short online pieces I discovered over the years, and only just got hold of A Slip of the Keyboard. I feel like I know him as well, or better even, than I know some of my closest family members.

The hole that his passing is going to leave in my life is irreplaceable. The only positive twinkle being that I have an enormous library of his scrawlings, from The Carpet People, first released in 1971 three years before my own arrival into the human race, to the final message on Twitter, which I suspect he had quite a hand in crafting. I will read these again and again, as I always have, and I will get pleasure from knowing that he would have appreciated he was making someone’s life a better one.

Terry Pratchett was not just my favourite author, he was a part of my family and I will miss him as such.

Here’s hoping Death was kind, giving him a pat on the back and offering to carry his typewriter.

A Tweet in the Dark

I am currently working on marketing Jump, and when I say working on it is a bit like a full time job. Let me outline my strategy.

From the eleven characters in my book I picked six, there was some reasoning behind my choice, as some are no longer available at the end of the book and some are not the sort of people to go around “expressing themselves” in public. For these six characters I set up accounts on Twitter, this included finding profile pictures (I didn’t use photographs of people’s faces, that might have caused some issues), I also found some images for the backgrounds and headers and got them all prettified.

After the initial account details you are asked to choose people to follow, I decided not to go for anyone who might actually know me, instead I decided what sort of things each of them would like and started adding, e.g. bands, organisations and people.

So I ended up with six accounts for imaginary people who I then needed to allow to start having opinions and things to tell the world about. This was an interesting exercise because, although some of them are a little like me, e.g. similar taste in music or technology or etc., they are also quite different people. However, after writing a book about all of them I felt relatively confident that I could come up with some interesting things to say (on their behalves!).

Initially I set up the accounts and purely logged in and out of Twitter on my computer, but this soon got a bit tiring so I added each of their accounts to my phone, fine but not super easy to cope with swapping between and responding to each other’s Tweets, after all, they know each other and have worked closely together so are a pretty close group who interact a lot, although they are all starting to build up their own group of followers.

Now though, I have settled on using TweetDeck, which is a fantastic little program you can install on your desktop computer, then add Twitter accounts and receive, compose and respond to Tweets. My favourite thing though is a function I am just trying out, its possible to schedule your messages to be sent at a later time and/or date. So far today I have found a number of different things of interest which I have written Tweets about and marked for sending between about five PM tonight and half three tomorrow morning. This is very useful when your characters live in a completely different time zone and part of the world, as mine do!

Anyway, my plan is to get these six people interacting with a bunch of (probably, you can never quite tell) real humans, then slowly leak out bits of the story, eventually admitting that they are actually characters from a book and trying to appeal to their followers to buy their story.

I have no idea if this will work, but its quite a lot of fun pretending to be an attractive thirty-something woman with an interest in shoes, or a multilingual translator, or a guy who built a time machine.

If you like you can try to find and follow them, but I’m not giving you any sort of hints so you’ll just have to seek them out for yourselves!

An Exercise in Self-Awareness

Due to the seemingly everlasting task of applying for jobs I have decided to take some steps to try and refresh my outlook as, to be honest, it can become a little tiring constantly being ignored and turned down for roles I could do with my eyes closed, welded together, then encased in concrete and sunk to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

I had a sudden brainwave the other night and decided it wasn’t my worst idea, so I did a bit of research, found a tool, then started putting together a mind map of everything I can think of to do with me!

Now, I’ve never tried any mind mapping software before but as usual finance is paramount, which is why I decided upon FreeMind which, after trying and becoming frustrated with a couple of tablet based apps, seemed to be the most simple and effective one you can get for a PC.

So I’ve started writing down everything that I can think of about me! I haven’t finished yet but am well on the way to having a pretty, but messy, synopsis of everything to do with Dan Ladle! It’s a funny problem to try and break everything about yourself into small manageable chunks, then decide which of them is worth expanding. Obviously writing is the first thing I transcribed, I’ve put down all my ideas, whether fully formed and written or just initial scribblings. I also wrote all about my music, although I haven’t gone as far as putting song titles. Then on the other side I’ve covered work and education which, at the moment at least, isn’t as fully stocked as my personal side, but I have a plan to trawl through my CV and chuck anything relevant onto it.

My reasoning for carrying out this task is that, if I have enough information in the map then when I try applying for a job I can look over the image and cherry pick the relevant experience. Whether this will actually work and be practical I have no clue, but at least it’s a bit different to just hammering out the same old words, phrases and other CV related rubbish again and again!

This is where it’s at right now, click on it if you want to see a full sized version.



Mind Map of Me

Mind Map of Me