I imagine you.

I imagine you staring out of the window. Just sitting there, thinking about all the things you have done and all the things you have said and I imagine you in some kind of fog. You move to stroke your chin and the dark black stubble makes a scratching sound and you close your eyes in the hope that this chaos will just simply fade away; maybe nobody noticed, maybe everybody has forgotten, maybe nobody knows about all this anyway?

I imagine you watching drops of water running downwards on the window pane and as you watch them you have an idea, which you then immediately loose and there’s a knock at the door. I’m at the door, and I imagine you contemplating not letting me in, but I’ve come in anyway because there are things that need to be said and I have come to say them.

I imagine you sat opposite me and I’m talking to you. I am not shouting. And I imagine you not taking any of this in; your mind has wondered and you’re gazing at the window pane, watching the drops of water. You haven’t even notice that I’ve left.

I imagine a stream of people knocking at your door. They’ve formed an orderly queue that runs down the hallway, the stairs and out into the street. One by one they knock at the door and enter to say the things that need to be said, only to be ignored by the figure gazing out of the window. And when the last one has left the room, I imagine darkness falling. I imagine you in a room that darkens and fades to black and I imagine you fading with it.

Some thoughts on Interesting North. #intnorth

I missed half of interesting north because I was sat in a plane, and then a train. Considering the flight from Munich to Manchester was delayed by 45 minutes and the train managed to clock up a staggering 30 minute delay, it’s amazing I got to see anything at all so these aren’t really detailed notes of the whole day; just some observations.

First observation: it was really rather good, lot’s of people stayed to the end to listen to Toby swear a lot (Toby get’s brilliantly angry about what we’re doing to the future and his bit was aces). Yes, it was a good thing, with good speakers talking about good things.

Second observation: The audience were really very good; they were open, interested, kind and prepared to listen to some complicated stuff. There was a lot of paying attention and I had the feeling that they genuinely came to learn stuff and not just hang out with the cool cats (if you know what I mean).

Third observation: it is odd when you spot someone in the audience that, a couple of months ago, you had randomly picked out to be stalked by one of your fictional characters. It’s even odder when his wife is speaking at the conference.

Final observation: I bloody love Sheffield. Love it. The people were lovely, the place is lovely and “Airtight Ale” is one of the best beers I’ve ever “experienced”.

If I had to give any highlights of the day it would be Toby (even though he is a divvy), Tom Armitage, Eliot Fineberg and Oli Shaw because there seemed to be a melancholic thread that ran through their talks. That’s not to say the others weren’t smashing, they were. Trust me.

Many thanks to Tim and his team for putting a smashing event together. A word of special thanks to Greg who just looked after me, which is very difficult to do. Greg, seriously, thank you.

If you were there, and watched my twenty minutes, then I’d like to say thank you to you too. I know that it wasn’t easy for you all.

The Rise of The Storyteller.

Interesting text isn’t it? So the next time you hear some marketing chap waffle on about storytelling in business remember:

When people told themselves their past with stories,
Explained their present with stories,
Foretold the future with stories,
The best place by the fire was kept for
The Storyteller 

and consider who you would wish to give up the best place by the fire for. 


Workshop 2. The Framework

So, for those of you that have created a character, it’s time to move onto the next stage of our little workshop. What I’d like you to try and do now is build a framework for your character to live in; something a little like this.


Building an Online Character

There are places that your character must inhabit; they must have an Email and must be on twitter, but other places such as last.fm, facebook, googlemaps, friendfeed, delicious and all the other things I tend to use, depend on you and your character.

Once you have set up your characters framework let us all know where to find them by popping links into the comments section of this post. I’ll then set something up which will help us all in the next workshop. If you’re having trouble with anything just let me know and I’ll help you out as best I can.

If you want to join in, you can – this is open to everybody, but you should read this first.