Tag Archives: Art

Book cover design

I’m about to publish the first book in my werewolf apocalypse series.

I used 99designs to find a designer, and more than 50 designers submitted book cover designs!

Please help me choose a cover design by voting for your favourite from the 8 final designs.

Click here to vote in the poll: https://99designs.co.uk/contests/poll/zgi02y

Thank you!

Ethics and Aesthetics

Morality, it is sometimes said, represents the way that people would like the world to work. And Aesthetics could be said to represent the way people would like the world to look.

Ethics and Aesthetics can be grouped together in philosophy under Value Theory, the implication being that the two principles derive from the same fundamental instinct; from the same part of the human mind.

As Wittgenstein put it: “Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.” (Thanks to Michelle Joelle for this.)

Now a moral world where no one suffered would be a beautiful thing for sure, but there’s a strong negative aspect to this correlation between ethics and aesthetics too. Continue reading

Why do we feel sad?

Here I’m not asking what makes you sad. Rather I’m asking, what is the purpose of sadness? Generally speaking, there is an evolutionary reason for all the abilities and faculties that we humans possess. So what is the evolutionary advantage of sadness? Continue reading

A Pessimist’s View on Inspiration – a poem

penYesterday I wrote some advice for an 11 year old friend of my son, who had been unsuccessful applying for entry to a highly competitive school. His mother, Sharon, sent me the following poem, which Robin wrote on hearing that the school had turned him down. I present the poem to you here with his mother’s permission. Robin, I remind you, is 11 years old. Continue reading

Perfect imperfect

I’m not a perfectionist. I never finish jobs properly. This is not laziness, but efficient time management. I never complete a task 100% perfectly. I stop at 90%, or sometimes 70%, then move on to the next job. That means I complete more jobs. Does this bother you? It shouldn’t. It’s not necessary to complete jobs perfectly. To prove this, I won’t even bother to finish this … Continue reading

Music for Easter

As Good Friday approaches, the music I love to listen to most is Bach’s St John Passion. That’s not because I’m religious, but because I love this music and it was written for Easter. Although it’s in German and I don’t understand a word, I can hear the passion in the music and in the human voices that sing the words.

Religious and devotional music and art tap into a deep part of the human psyche. It moves me. Continue reading

Judging a book by its cover

You should never judge a book by its cover, unless of course you are deciding whether or not to read it. For before you read it, how else can you judge it?

Reviews on Amazon, recommendations by friends and the “blurb” on the back all help, but it’s the cover that has the first and potentially biggest impact.

So, given the critical importance of a book’s cover, I am pleased to reveal the cover of my forthcoming novel, The Yoga Sutras, to be published April 2014:

theyogasutras Continue reading

Spring is here!

115_1570Today is the Spring Equinox, and by popular request, I am posting some more photos of the garden. As you can see, Spring really has arrived in Oxford! Continue reading

Spring is near

115_1545I was out frolicking in the garden this morning before work, and I couldn’t stop myself from taking photos. Although it’s still Winter, there are signs of Spring everywhere. Bulbs are thrusting up through the soil, buds are poised ready to open, and some early flowers are already brightening up the dark days of February. Very soon it will be peak growing time here in the garden, but for now everything is on the cusp, waiting …

Continue reading

Suspension of disbelief

suspensionbridgeThere are just so many creative people in our world. There are artists who make us see the world afresh through visual media. There are musicians who play with our emotions just like they play their instruments. There are writers who make us think, feel and imagine through words alone.

But what if your medium was the physical world itself, and your task was to make the impossible possible? That would make you awesome. That would make you an engineer. Continue reading