Or not

May 23rd, 2012

Never mind. I found a copy in my Dropbox folder. All hail Dropbox, saver of crappy novels.

Check out “Squirrelburbia” in that link over there, or this link right here for that matter.

Or not, according to your inclination. I’m not the bossa you.

A disaster, wrapped in a tragedy, covered with a crunchy candy coating

May 22nd, 2012

Welp, I may have lost the 2010 NaNo novel for good. The motherboard went kaput on my old computer and I only seem to have a backup of the novel from about November 7, 2010. That’s maybe a third of what I had written when I gave up. Suuuuuuck.

I mean, yes, it was unfinished and kinda janky, but it was salvageable, dammit. I hate losing things. Drives my wife nuts, since she thinks I’m a pack rat (and maybe I am). But I can see the good in everything. I can fix it! Some day! Eventually!

Meh. If I find it hiding somewhere, I’ll post it here as promised, but don’t hold your breath. I’m not.

Another NaNo, another novel

December 2nd, 2011

Just wrote another book. Yawn.

This one was a little easier than the last one, though that’s like saying pooping a bowling ball is easier than pooping a Volkswagen. (What is it with me and scat analogies for writing?)

(Heh heh, anal-ogies.)

ANY old way. This one involves hermits from all across history who learn how to talk to one another across time and space, and they socialize. As hermits do. But there’s another group of evil hermits, see, who decide to change history to benefit themselves. So since one of them happens to live in 1870’s Russia, they hatch a plan to kill Lenin while he’s still a rabble-rousing student named Vladimir Ulyanov. They succeed. Everyone born after 1870 spontaneously reincarnates. Hilarity ensues.

Sadly, the book isn’t done in the sense that the story is complete. I feel like it’s really just started at the 50,000 word mark, which is usually an indicator that it needs a good red-penning. But it also might mean this will be a worthwhile full-fledged book. Guess I won’t know until it’s done.

By the way, I do remember that I promised to post last year’s failure here. But somewhere in my hindbrain, I have a distant hope to finish that one too. And then I’d just be giving away the milk for free, wouldn’t I?

… yeah I’ll get that up here eventually.

Using a Mac: A Beginner Speaks

May 10th, 2011

Woo. I’m a Mac.

Since it’s (legally) impossible to write Mac or iPhone software on anything other than a Mac while Apple really knows how to stick it in your vein, I’ve bogarted an old MacBook at work and started setting it up as a developer machine. It only has OSX Leopard, not Snow Shrimp or Ocelot or LOLcat or whatever the next one is, but I understand the interface isn’t a whole lot different, just *waves hands* better somehow. I’ll upgrade when I have to, I guess.

I’ve been a Windows user for 17 years, so there’s a bit of a learning curve. For instance, on Windows machines, we tend to tuck most of our programs away in the Start menu, leaving only the most vital icons on the desktop while still having all of our programs neatly categorized in some throwout menus if we really need them. Also, when we have more than one program running, everything is right there on the taskbar and we can swap active programs with a single click.

Now on the Mac, there’s this “app bar” with merry little bouncing things across the bottom of the screen. Great. But, um, where are all my other programs? If I put everything I intend to use regularly on that bar, every inscrutable shifting pulsating icon on it will be two microns wide, and if I take some of the icons off, I’m afraid I’ll never find the program again. Also, you’re supposed to be able to tell which programs you currently have running by a little point of light appearing beneath its icon. You know, lost in the glossy reflections. I try not to leave programs hanging open for performance reasons, so this is kind of a pain. I hope there’s a setting to make open programs more obvious, because the points of light ain’t doing it for me.

The Finder is a little odd, though of course that’s just because it’s new to me. So far I’ve figured out that I can type in a program’s name, bring up a dorky looking list of all the programs I have installed and scroll through it, or create what appears to be a window into a much larger desktop chock full of icons. All three of these methods seem rather inelegant, clunky even. Hopefully I can grok what exactly makes this better than a flyout menu. Meanwhile, if you have several programs running, you can only see one taskbar at a time up in the Finder area. So that’s supposed to be “nice and uncluttered,” is it. Hmm.

Also this MacBook Pro has the worst damn trackpad in the history of trackpads, which I admit is coloring my view of the whole shebang. It’s the frustration of going back to the absolute beginning with a new OS combined with the mouse going WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Using Windows would certainly suck with this trackpad. Maybe that’s the problem with how Mac users think of Windows: They install it on Boot Camp, fumble around with either this sub-par tracking device or a one-button mouse, and pronounce it useless.

More experience will change my mind, maybe. But at the moment it’s just a fairly lackluster OS befouled by hardware demons. Nothing particularly “different” about it, unless you just mean “slightly more difficult to know what’s installed and running at any given time.” Which is pretty different.

Fail like a whale

April 18th, 2011

NaNoWriMo went down in flames. I got to 35,000 words and realized I didn’t like what the main character was doing, but didn’t want to backtrack and start that chapter over. And so pchooooo follow the smoke plume all the way down and OH too bad. I’ll post its smoking corpus here in a bit.

NaNoWriMo 2010: Sometimes the book writes you

November 10th, 2010

I’ve been participating in the National Novel Writing Month for the past four years now, and actually won last year, but for some reason this year is like pulling a rusty nail out of a wet board.

I guess part of that is that I’ve given myself a unique challenge this year: Try to write something that doesn’t suck.

No actually that’s not true, I’m fine with writing a novel capable of sucking an orange through a garden hose. This year’s challenge is to write a story that (a) has no human characters and (b) is written as an oral history. That means each segment of the story is being told in conversational monolog format by a forest critter.

What in the name of Uncle Jesse was I thinking. At least this one doesn’t require any research (unlike the Totally Awesome History of America, failed NaNo concept for 2008) or any real desire to tell a coherent story (unlike my untitled failed NaNo attempt in 2007, about aliens doing alien stuff and who even cares).

I guess winning one year doesn’t really predict whether you’ll win the next. I’m about 4,000 words behind where I ought to be and only have 20 days to make that up, which works out to … uhh … eight million words a day. Maybe this calculator needs new batteries. Anyway, I’ll gamely continue, mostly because this story is shaping up into something interesting, but I suppose I shouldn’t be too disappointed if I limp over the line a few thousand words short.

And hey, if it really really sucks, I’ll just post it here for free. So now you all have something to look forward to. Yay.

Too damn connected

September 28th, 2010

My wife gets on me (not literally … well, okay, occasionally, but that’s not the point of this sentence) for spending too much time on the Interwebs. I spend eight hours a day working on a corporate website, then go home and unwind mostly by surfing for a few hours. I spend most of my lunch time perusing ultra-conservative blogs on my Android for the hilarity factor. Even when I’m doing non-computer things, I’ll have Pandora or some internet radio station playing my phone. All my hair has fallen out. My eyes have grown huge and pale. Sunlight burns us. That sort of thing.

She has a point, but it’s not really my fault; it’s YOURS. Yes, you, the readers. You’re all out there being entertaining and intriguing and informative and alluring for the cost of a couple of net connections. Huge swaths of human knowledge are right there at my fingertips. It’s a crime not to take advantage of that.

A serious offer

September 19th, 2010

I’ve decided to make a gigantic Hail Mary effort for success. It has a lot of chutzpah, so maybe people will mistake that for effort and give me money.

I’m going to sell the dedication to my entire future creative output for the price of a single 30-second Super Bowl ad. Yes! Rather than waste millions on a boring ad that may not have any impact at all on already established national brands, one company can simply give me the same amount of money and I will live on that for the rest of my natural life. This will free up my time and energy to actually USE these best years of my life to enrich the world with literature and art rather than toil in drudgery until I’m too old and feeble to make use of the ideas I have now.

So, for only 3.1 million bucks (the price of a single 2010 ad, according to reports), here’s what you get:

  • I will legally change my middle name (currently “Scott”) to the name of your company.
  • I will perform in any advertisements for you, in any format, free and clear for the rest of my life.
  • Everything I make, write, draw, publish, etc. for the rest of my life will be primarily dedicated to your company. Forever. If I live another 50 years, I’ll still be turning out stuff dedicated to your company. (Note that my creative output might not be about your company, but simply dedicated to it. It’s still a good deal.)
  • I will never, publicly or privately, verbally, pictorially, or in writing, criticize or insult your company, or try to draw criticism to it. Even if your company does something horrific. You’ll always have at least one fan.
  • It’s a public relations HOME RUN. Your company will appear to care about people, not shallow consumerism. And I’ll back you up every step of the way.

All of the above terms will last for my entire life, even if your company becomes defunct.

Do you think you’d get that sort of lifetime commitment out of a Super Bowl ad? Do you want to spend so much money on something that will be barely remembered for a month before people get sick of it, or do you want to make a REAL difference in the REAL world for (hopefully) many years to come?

Have your people contact my people. Let’s get this done.

Hey didja know I write games cause I totally write games

August 5th, 2010

It’s been a Big Release Tuesday around here, except it wasn’t Tuesday and I didn’t release anything particularly big. I’ll start again.

I’ve finally put out a new “pen-and-paper style” RPG ruleset for public consumption. I developed it for a game competition several months ago and decided it was pretty keeno, so here you go. Don’t say I never gave ya nothin’. (Yes that’s another blog of mine. I figured Blogger would be a vaguely better choice for a release venue, since it’s popular. Pssh, yeah, I know. What a sellout I’ve become. Shameful.)

Anyway, in case you didn’t automatically click the above link like some sort of Pavlovian drool monster, it’s a game framework called the Forum-Adapted Play-by-Post Online Role-Playing System, or F.A.P.P.O. for short. I worked literally minutes on that anagram, so you know. It’s a system specifically designed for playing RPGs on an online forum, or in Google Wave (R.I.P. *sob*), or any other online venue which has threaded conversations. There didn’t seem to be anything of the sort on the market, so I made my own. I am industrious. Y’all just step.

From time to time I’ll zoop out to the other blog and work on F.A.P.P.O. so you won’t be bothered by my geekery over here in this bastion of sophistication and good taste. *fart* But don’t worry, True Believers, this blog is for everything else in my life. That I don’t post on Twitter or Facebook, anyway. Or Google Buzz (which is mostly just rebuzzing my posts here, so: HI BUZZ!). Or Posterous.

… I need a life.

The DEATH OF THE MOUSE HURF DURF

July 28th, 2010

I just read a really, really stupid article about how everyone is clamoring for touchpads (you know, those nasty little inaccurate panels on notebooks) and how nobody likes using a mouse and they’ll be obsolete soon because somebody came out with a NEW even more amazing touchpad. The future, he posited, will be 100% touchpads. It was so smug and wrong-headed I’m not even gonna link to it. The site that it was on doesn’t deserve the six views they would get from me. I used to read their site for occasional tech news, but forget it. They’re dead to me now. If you were to read it, you’d agree with me that it was the dumbest damn article in the history of everything.

And yet the horrible truth is that this guy is a professional writer. He draws a salary for posting that crap. How? Why? Where? (San Francisco, I already knew that one.) This is yet another example of controversy for its own sake, plus the commoditization of writing. Hooray, the site owners cry, we’re making lots of the moneys! Idiocy sells advertising! More stupid! Turn up the dumb!

And LORD is it depressing. Good bloggers are starving in the streets and yet this bozo is suckling happily at the teat of Big Blog. Now there’s a sentence I bet you didn’t expect to read when you got up this morning.

I need to start a website for good writers and responsible journalists. They’ll all starve, of course, but at least they’ll all starve together.


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