Home » 2006 » September (Page 2)

Doh!

Ahh, it’s that time of year again. The kids are in school, in close contact with lots of other kids. That means that (in this case) Ryan brought home a cold, and it immediately jumped to Marnie and I. Oh joy. Okay, now I have to go clean the basement. That’s right, cleaning instead of writing… again.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- yes, it is taking a long time.

Misc
I know I said I wouldn’t do this too often, but here are two more You Tube links. I found the first one REALLY funny, and the second one educational!

A programmer that has been working too hard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvz4aY7nvNQ

All men of the world can find common ground in these simple rules of “evacuation” etiquette.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzO1mCAVyMw

Ryan Ouch!

Marnie and I went out last night. Two hours into the outing our babysitter calls us. Ryan had a chair fall on him, and he has a gash above his eye. It looked like it required 3-4 stitches. Two doors down from us lives a nurse that works triage at the children’s hospital. She came over and used those little bandage strips to fix Ryan up. She saved us several hours at the hospital, and Ryan is happy again. I love my neighbors!

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- yes, it is taking a long time.

Misc
I don’t really want to get in the habit with this, but heres another video.

A busy day, a small entry

One hundred six balloons in a mass ascension at the Reno Balloon Race. Can you see where the cow jumped over the moon?

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- yes, it is taking a long time.

Eastern Standard Tribe (Cory Doctorow)

Procrastination

What is procrastination? Basically, it boils down to doing anything except what needs to be done. When it comes to writing, I think I’m one of the best procrastinators.

Yes, some days I will do anything except write. I have cleaned the bathroom, straightened out a closet, and the most pernicious of all, browsed the web for hours. I’ve just spent 2 days redesigning the look of this blog.  What’s a guy to do? Maybe a swift kick in the butt would help. But then again, maybe not.

There are multiple web sites that talk about writers and procrastination, just do a Google search and you’ll find dozens. Have I looked at them? Have I read them? Ha! Read the previous paragraph again to get a hint. Have they helped? Not really.

A writer needs to get his or her butt in the chair, and fingers on the keyboard. I know, I’ve done it. With a full time job and 2 kids, I put in 3 hours a night and churned out (rejected) short story after (rejected) short story. Now I’m a stay-at-home dad. My work hours are longer, though perhaps not as tightly packed. Some days I don’t have time to breathe, while others it seems that I have more time than I’ve ever had. Yet I’m writing considerably less. Some days I’m lucky if I even get in a blog entry. What the hell?

I switched from short stories to novels. Heck, I read a lot more of them, and I enjoy them much more as well. This has added another layer of procrastination, which is even more evil. Now, I outline and research, which is no better than not writing. Still, I am able to convince myself that I am making forward progress. That eventually I will have a completed novel in my hands. Personally, I blame all that on my programming background. Do the requirements, then the design, then maybe a detailed design, then start coding. Does it work? Hell yes. Is it working for my novel? It doesn’t feel that way.

So, to repeat, what’s a guy to do? I know it’s a rhetorical question, since no one reads this blog.

Here’s my plan. I have given myself until September 22nd to finish the outline and start writing. If I don’t start by then… hmmm… some form of punishment will ensue.

I do know that writing is what I’ve wanted to do since, well, forever. I still have a story I wrote in Junior High, the earlier ones are gone somewhere, and the later ones have followed them. Yeah, a paying career took over for about 22 years, but what is my excuse now? I don’t have one. The end.

More Blog Changes

Well, more blog changes. Although the original style (which can still be seen on the main page) works, I was finding it a bit plain. Along comes a beautiful theme for WordPress called Vistered Little. A little work in The Gimp, a few minor CSS and PHP changes, and voila. It only seems to have one problem: the original load of this site will not have a background. Simply clicking reload works. I dunno. I’m no CSS guru.

Writing
If I do too much more research, my brain is going to explode. I had wanted to start writing on September 1st, but I obviously haven’t made it there yet. Ugh.

Misc
This guitarist is simply amazing.

Several authors have written about How to Write a Novel (via sfsignal.com)
Justine Larbalestier
Jay Lake
Elizabeth Bear
Tim Pratt

An interesting week

Wow, it feels like it’s been forever since I posted. My laptop slowed down to the point where it was pretty much useless. So, I figured I’d put my money where my mouth is, and install Linux on it. No problem, I’ve had Linux installed on my various systems for years, even on my daily use ones. The problems started when I couldn’t fullfill my two greatest needs.

  1. I had to be able to sync with my Dell Axim x51v (Windows Mobile 5)
  2. I had to sync my calendar software with my calendar server.

For my writing stuff, I didn’t much care. I knew I could install Microsoft Word using Codeweavers Crossover Office, or I could just bite the bullet and switch to OpenOffice.

Now back to my problems. I found that there was really nothing out there in Linux land to replace ActiveSync. There are some up-and-comers, and some that work with older version of the OS, but nothing that worked for me. I could probably live with that, but I didn’t really want to. I found that Kontact could sync with eGroupware, but it only worked while on-line. Totally unacceptable. There was no ability to keep the calendar on the laptop, and have it sync. As soon as I was away from my local network, no calendar. Seriously, whomever thought up that grand plan wasn’t much of a thinker.

I switched from Gnome to KDE a long time ago, but at this point I figured what the hell. I installed Evolution and it’s required libraries, and found that it ran just fine under KDE. A little bit of a different look and feel, but not bad. Then I did some Web searching (can’t use google as a verb). That’s when I discovered that syncing Evolution to eGroupware was just a PITA. It worked for some, and failed miserably for others. Even to the point of losing calendar entries. There was no way I was going to try this at all.

In the end, I re-installed Windows onto a 50 GB partition, and left Linux (Gentoo 2006.1) on the other 50 GB. I’ll keep plating with it on the desktop for awhile, but not too much me thinks. I’m using Outlook under Windows (Office XP ’cause I can’t find my Office 2003 install CD… damn), and eGWOSync to sync Outlook calendar with eGroupware. Outlook mail doesn’t play elegantly with IMAP mail servers, but I can work around that. Three wasted days… ugh.
Jared and Ryan both started school this week. Jared is in grade 1 full days, and Ryan is in pre-school 3 afternoons a week. Getting back into a routine for our rushed mornings and even more rushed lunches has been interesting. We’ve managed it pretty good so far, and I’m sure we’ll all get better at it as the school year progresses. Both boys are thrilled to be going, and literaly run from home to school, forcing this old man to keep up. Ryan, after his first day, did not want to leave class, and got quite grumpy. Life is good.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- yes, it is taking a long time.

Reference Classics: China (Edward L. Shaughnessy General Editor)

Eastern Standard Tribe (Cory Doctorow)

Writing
A lot more research this week. I should be done shortly, and then I’ll integrate the research into the outline.

Misc
I’m playing with the site some more, so there will be some changes coming up.  Of course, I should really be spending my time writing.  Sometimes it feels like I’ll do just about anything else.

Another rushed weekend, and another busy week.  Spent the weekend with the in-laws in Saskatchewan, which included a total of 18 hours of driving.  I think we all had a good time.

Jared starts school tomorrow, and we still need some indoor shoes for him.  So, we are off to Walmart today, along with all the other stuff I need to get done.  We’ll see how Ryan handles not having Jared around all day tomorrow.
Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Reference Classics: China  (Edward L. Shaughnessy General Editor)

Eastern Standard Tribe (Cory Doctorow)

Writing
A good weekend, and all of it pure research for the current WIP.  I did a few weeks of research back in May, but I was really able to supplement it all this weekend.
Misc
How “Lord of The Rings” should have ended.