What Does Music Mean to You?

Along with a former student, I’m running a study on the relationship between music and personality. I can’t say too much more about it at this stage–otherwise I’d have to kill you, or at least quarantine your data–but if you could see your way to filling in our 10-minute survey, that would be great. You’d be doing your bit for science.

The survey is here.

Writers! I need YOU

My day job has the title ‘psychology lecturer’, which means different things to different people. Part of my time is spent conducting research. I’m involved in quite disparate topics: one minute I’m helping prove dogs can be a bit thick; the next I’m trying to figure out fundamentals of the language processing system.

Since September, I’ve been looking into the psychology of fiction. It’s a vast topic. From the perspective of the writer, one small part involves the creative act of getting words on paper. What processes are involved?

Writers! I need YOU.

Are you interested in contributing to the wobbly, baroque edifice that is science? I’d like to run a study looking into creativity and writing. I can’t say much more at this stage. But if you’re interested, please let me know. This won’t involve any great time investment, and there’s no need to visit my lab.

Small print: You’ll need to be over eighteen, have normal or corrected-to-normal vision, and be a native English speaker.

? The End of the Beginning

My, hasn’t time flown? I sat down to update my blog this afternoon certain in the knowledge that my last entry was about a month ago. It turns out I published my retirement speech in mid August.

I thought it would be worthwhile providing an update on my books. Several people have been kind enough to ask after them. As you know, I’m intending to release them as free ebooks, but one or two problems have cropped up in the course of making this happen. The main issue is that releasing Deja Vu (orFlashback, or The Amber Rooms) for the Kindle – my preferred ebook reader – seems to require a US bank account. That is, it requires a US bank account if I want the book to be the ebook store, which I do. Stephen J Sweeney has pointed me in the direction of a possible service that might let me do this and keep the books free; I’ll get round to looking at that in the New Year.

One option is to leave the ebook files as naked links, here on my webpage, but I doubt most people would find their way here and have the technical know-how to transfer the content to their device. The store is still the best way to go.

Meanwhile, there are somewhat irritating deficiencies in the file formats used by ebook readers and the various tools that a user can use to create them. To take one example, I used Apple Pages to create an ebook of Deja Vu and it rendered fine on the iBook application for the Apple iPad. Then Apple released an update to the application and suddenly the ebook has extra line spaces. Go figure.

Am I writing fiction? That would be telling. I certainly have more time for blues guitar, learning a bit of programming, and concentrating on my academic career. Happy New Year to one – and, indeed, all.