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Archive for the category “nanowrimo”

300 of/f

300 more posts.
300 less of terrible movies “adapted” from really good books or stories.
300 virtual spam-attack dogs.
300 more keyboards with accompanying fingers to catch up on my what is becoming a majorly-epic-nanowrimo fail. (1667 words a day didn’t seem like a lot until I tried to actually write them. My inner editor is a tough little so-and-so, but he’s going down).
And lots of other stuff.
Most of all–300 less hectic days, and 300 more consistent posts.

What will the kids say?

What would I hope my kids would say, had I any, when grown up? Obviously it means when they grow up, which will be before I do. If I am going to have imaginary kids, they might as well be extraordinarily precocious. I would hope they would say what a weenie I was for not posting an answer. Having posted that answer, the consequent paradox would rip the time-space continuum a big one. I would be able to step back through time and warn myself, so that I don’t write the post. This closes up the paradox. But now there are two of me. Masquerading as myself, I log onto WordPress, and go ahead and write the post, causing another paradox, another me, &c. until I a) get tired or b) take over the universe.

Why such a short, and straightforward post today? Well, it’s November 1st, and NaNoWriMo has officially begun. I’m saving up my really weird writing for that.

Tax(ing)man

OK, out of order, a dollar late and a day short. How would I tax people? No, the better question is How do I tax people? The answer is simple–with my blog, of course!

November is getting closer and I really am going to have to get my priorities in order. No more cheesy, late responses to the daily post! (Famous last words…)

Does Technology Help You Write?

An excellent question at an excellent time. I must answer in the ambivalent.

Yes. It helps me write. Especially now that I have learned to touch type (almost 3 years now), it really is a lot easier than writing things out by hand. I have been pushing myself to get past the 40wpm barrier, and even though I am not consistently there, I have noticed that I can more easily think while I am typing. My fingers are catching up to my thoughts. This frees more of my mind to think about what I want to write and not worry that it will be too much to type. Another way it helps, and this has been a much longer journey on a much steeper hill, is with editing what I have written. The tool of choice for text editing is (for me) Vi Improved, or Vim for short. It works on text with a bevvy–yes, a veritable bevvy–of features. It works the way my mind works when I think about editing. For me this is a very good thing. It takes a while to get used to it, and much longer to become proficient. It has been for me worth the effort, yea, at times the Frustration! I have always the internet close at hand. This will be valuable when it comes to nanowrimo. I can easily research that long forgotten tidbit of information needed to add that special polish to the daily grind. And I can even play a game while I’m at it. (This is where the ambivalence comes in).

No. That said, technology can be more than a little distracting, especially when there are other things to be done. I have found myself more than once taking a quick look at a website and coming to some hours later, perhaps more informed (the latest was an html5 site), but, alas!, without having completed the task I–ahem–sat down to accomplish. The last couple of days my poor wordpress blog has been floundering.

Some may say that the distractions outweigh the advantages, but I say to them: “Bah! Thou knowest not my subtlety. For surely it matters not where I be nor what mode employ, I shall find sufficient that about me for distraction.” Which reminds me, I just need to make a few more tweaks…I know I left that link around here somewhere…

Five Fearful Topics

Today’s postaday2011 topic was to give a list of 5 things you were afraid to write about. While my response to that was perhaps a little less than serious, it is an interesting idea to think about. What might I be afraid to write about?

Nothing. No, not that I am not worried, and therefore could easily write about anything. (That thought did occur to me, but was quickly discarded in light of past experience.) More that I am afraid to write something that really is nothing, or might be perceived as nothing. This includes writing about nothing in particular and writer’s block.

Myself. Which on the surface seems to me to be an incorrect item on the list. Even in that assessment I am convicted in its inclusion. Looking back at the (small but growing) list of posts, I have skillfully skirted this subject, at the same time thinking to myself that I really am writing about myself.

Too <anything>. Too much, little, refined, critical, sappy, sloppy, thoughtless, strange, off-base and off-topic, dumb, smart, smug, stupid, silly, &c.

Graphic Sex Scenes. I don’t think that I would have thought of this on my own, but it definitely is on the top of my list. In addition to the reason which kat gives, I must add that my lack of sufficient practical experience would be so glaringly obvious in description that any attempt at such would render it a hopeless effort.

Anything really-super-mega-important. I mean the Really Big Stuff. The stuff that gets you sent to <insert appropriate location of eternal punishment> not just for being wrong, but for convincing others that your wrongness is right, and generally mucking about with other people’s brains and lives. (This does not include having opinions and stating them and arguing that they are right, but rather those that lead people to disregard their own lives and the lives of others. There are many cults that have ended badly because of this). Not that I would desire to, or even could, write that way, but it is something I would be afraid of writing.

As for the first three reasons, I seem to be making the inroads of progress in setting those fears aside and writing anyway. The NaNoWriMo challenge, and even the Post A Day challenge are certainly helpful in achieving my goal of sharing more, writing and being less concernedly-self-conscious. I think being afraid can be sometimes good, but not if it locks you away entirely from life.

Fessin’ Up

Blogs are conversations with those you may never meet, most likely will never meet in person. At least that’s how I see it. It is using a new and different medium, and broadening the scope of ‘conversation.’ We don’t go back and edit our spoken conversations unless it is really important to do so, nor do we stop in the middle to verify the information we think we know, again unless it is really important. Post A Day is an ice-breaker, or conversation starter. It’s supposed to get the ball rolling, and has certainly gotten this wallflower out onto the dance floor, though he has not mastered all the steps.
NaNoWriMo is different. I don’t see it so much as a conversation, but as a fun and challenging way to fulfill part of the necessary practice for the eventual mastery of the art of writing. A visual artist practices drawing lines over and over to learn how different motions and pressures affect the appearance and to build those nuances into the memory. Sketches are made, many times of the same subject, many times quite detailed over a long period of time. And most times these sketches never become anything polished or finished. That wasn’t the point–they were done out of love for the art by the artist.
Baseball players warm up with weights on the bat to make it heavier. They swing at more pitches during one practice than they would ever see during a real game. But I don’t see that as overproducing, and once they improve they don’t just stop practicing and only play ‘real’ games for the rest of the season. NaNoWriMo could be our “Spring Training” in the Fall.
As for too much crappy content on the web, I wholeheartedly agree, and that has held me back from writing and sharing for much too long. I came to a realization, though, recently. All that content out there doesn’t matter so much, because it isn’t your crappy content. Babies understand this completely and…um…produce a lot before they ever even speak, let alone communicate with eloquence. Not only will I ‘fess up’ to participating in NaNoWriMo, I will say that I’m a-jumpin’ in. Bring on those diapers and nose plugs, I about to produce!

What is freedom?

Heinrick stood looking up at a dark and starry sky filled with unfamiliar constellations. He had wanted to be free from all the woes and miseries. They had looked inviting, those constellations, in the brochure.

Heinrick filed things. Lots of things. Just about everything the Company used, got, bought, sold, was written down. Sure, there were more advanced options–and they were employed as well. The options, not the people. Almost all the people had been fired or quit. But Heinrick had been with the Company for more than 70 years. He had grown up with the grandsons of the founders. They were the ones who continued the antique traditions, and they were the ones who had given him that life position in the Company. But things change.

New owners have new ways. They want to be seen as different and innovative and productive. They want to make money. “Productive Restructuring” it was called. After a year Heinrick was the only one left from his department. And those thousands of files.

Heinrick smiled, remembering the day the Central Juris upheld his contract. He smiled even more at being that last, aging thorn. But more than a year, and only his files and papers, was lonely business. He knew every file, exactly where it was. Knew by the writing, the hand of him that wrote it. Knew the very cracks in the floor like old friends.

But Heinrick longed to be free to spend his days in the sun. He longed to find new faces to replace his workmates’ that faded ever further into silence.

The sand was cool between his toes, the air bit his cheeks pleasantly. Palm trees fluttered sounding like sheets of paper, as if all the files had been left out on a windy day blowing away, away, away from him.

His freedom came with a brochure left lying on his desk. A not so subtle hint from the higher ups. It looked a pleasant place. A remote resort approved for habitation only a few years back. No thick-packed air choking thick-packed people, buildings, machines. Just enough people with smiling faces ever changing under smiling stars and far off sun.

The new owners had agreed reluctantly, but eventually to his offer, and he soon found himself speeding off across the starry void to his new home. They had paid for everything. His place in the resort, like his position had been secured for life. Whatever he wished would be provided. Everything was taken care of. He was truly free to do as he liked, when he liked, go where he wanted, sleep, eat, write, sing, snore in the middle of the day! Freedom to love life again.

At least he imagined that’s what it would have been like, had everything been true. Habitable, yes. He took out the brochure again and turned it over as if he could read its words and see its pictures in the dark. He new the whole brochure from memory. He held it up then looked around comparing. No resort, no people, no lodgings, the only food what he could gather, though it was abundant. And come to think of it, quite tasty. Alone, the trees his only companions, he had not stirred far from where he had disembarked. The stars! Those were the same, they had gotten that right. Here looking up they were much more like sparkling gems than points of light. And he had to admit, he was certainly free. And this was a big island, or continent for all he knew. Tomorrow then, he would set off across the trackless waste, into the heart of steamy jungles, ready for what adventures may come. He slipped into a comfy bed of leaves nestled in a leeward grotto. One last thing before sleep, he thought out loud, and lifting the corner of a nearby rock, filed the brochure underneath.

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