Monthly Archives: October 2007


Well, tomorrow is it.  NaNoWriMo starts and my life will get very interesting, thirty days of at least 1667 words a day, to complete at least 50,000 words by the end of the month.  I'm already feeling stressed out.  I was going to take most of October to create an outline and get a good basis for the novel, but that didn't work out too well.  So, in the last two days I've managed to cobble together a rough outline with about 50,000 words worth of scenes.  Out of those scenes, I've done about 1/3 in any sort of detail.  I'll try to add detail this afternoon to the rest, and then the real work begins.

I have some friends that are also doing NaNoWriMo this year.  Best of luck to all of you… I know I'll be needing it.

The NaNoWriMo website is slower than molasses in a Canadian winter (to use a bad cliche), soI don't know if I'll be able to get to itat all for the next week.  We'll see.

Linux and Mac Video Chat

This weekend, on top of all the other things, I tried to get a Video Chat system going with my brother in Calgary.  I thought it would be neat to have him at the family party for the kids.  Well.  Let's just say we need to work on it. 

There are multiple apps that do video chat, MSN, iChat, Skype to name a few.  So here's the breakdown:

MSN: Video on Linux, no Video on Mac
iChat: Not on Linux, Video for Mac
Skype: No Video on Linux, Video on Mac

So there are some of the 'easy' solutions. 

Then we started trying some of the SIP applications.  Our best result was Ekiga(Linux) and xMeeting(Mac).  We had video and voice working most of the time.  But, we could only make a connection with H261, and the video quality really sucked.  Big time. 

We also had partial success with aMSN on both platforms.  Unfortunately, the Mac software needed to be upgraded to work properly, and as soon as that occurred, aMSN refused to sign in to MSN.  Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture?

The end result is… cross-platform video chat is still in the dark ages.  A lot of work needs to be done to get it to work. 

Birthday Weekend is Over

Both our boys have birthdays in October.  Two days apart, in fact, and it can make for a very hectic time in the house.  We had a kids party on Friday with 2 guests for our now five year old, a kids party on Saturday with 8 guests for our now 7 year old, and a family party with 7 guests on Sunday.

Now it's Monday, and it's time to grab the Hoover and clean up after the wild and woolly weekend.

Everyone seems to have had fun though… especially the kids and their guests.  As with all kid get-togethers, we had a few issues.  A couple of the kids insisted on rough-housing, walking on the furniture, etc.  A couple of threats of time-outs brought them back to a reasonable level, I guess.

So, here I am, tired and cranky, and a proud  father to a five and a seven year old.  Go me! 

Holidays and Routines

As I've mentioned in other places in this blog, I really like routine.  I need routine for my daily chores and for my writing.  And nothing breaks up the routines I cultivate better than a holiday.

I drove out to Calgary to visit my bro, stayed there for three days and then drove a rather circuitous route back which took about 20 hours.  While I was there, I tried to maintain my writing schedule, but because of one thing (late nights) or another (food and booze), it didn't work out that well.  I had a blast!

When I got back home, I tried to get into the routine right away.  Unfortunately, a poor critique of a scene in my current novel (which, by the way, I knew was basically a badly timed info dump and needed re-writing) threw me into a bit of a slump.  Falling out of the routine coupled with forgetting 'It's okay to suck' really doesn't help the motivation.

Time to stop the wallowing and get back to work!



About a month ago, I decided to try my hand at NaNoWriMo.  I had an idea in the back of my head that I didn't want to work on until I finished Anshi, but the timing seemed right.  So, I may not blog at all in November, or I may blog obsessively.  I have no idea.  I spoke to Marnie about it, and she was okay with the idea… even when I told her the house would likely be very messy, and supper would consist of plain rice for 30 days.  Go me!  For those that want to monitor my progress, I'll keep a running counter in the sidebar. 



We had a visitor the last week or so, which is what enabled me to visit my brother.  Marnie's Mom came over from Saskatchewan for a very nice visit.  I tried to convince her to move in.  I even told her I'd build an entire self-contained suite in the basement for her use.  No go this time, but I think she's starting to weaken!

Life continues…

Talk about a slow blog period!  Things have actually been happening, but nothing really blog worthy.

I managed to get out for a motorcycle ride last weekend… took a long ride out to the Whiteshell area and did some nice twisty roads.  Too bad they're falling apart and covered in potholes and sand.

I'm heading out to Calgary next week.  My Bro is back from his year long sabbatical, and I'm visiting with him for a few days.  It should be fun!  I got him more of this, and as long as he doesn't feed it to me, I'll be okay.

The revision is going well.  I have some slow days, of course.  For example, this morning I only got about 350 words.  On average I'm doing about 1500 words a day.  I'll have to put the revising on hold for awhile due to NaNoWriMo, but hopefully I'll be fairly far along when that starts.