Life In Upgrades

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For myself, I’ve never bought a Windows based computer. I’ve always built them, all the way back to the 386 days. I’ve even built a dual Celeron system for BeOS (using the wonky but awesome Abit BP6 motherboard). Back in those days it was usually cheaper to build your own than to buy one already made. The other advantage was that if you wanted to upgrade a part of it, you usually could keep the rest of the old pieces so you were just paying for whatever you were upgrading.

My current Windows computer is getting a bit old. I think it’s pushing five years, now. I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade. Technically, I only need to buy a motherboard, processor, and memory (I’ll call these The Core). I have a case, power supply, drives, and other things needed to complete a computer.

The problem with being me, though, is that once I start pricing components, I start pricing everything. Because, boy howdy, things have changed. For instance, I have a giant monolithic black tower case which had everything I was looking for back when I bought it. These days, I’m thinking I don’t want a giant case. After having the behemoth standing next to me for so long, and having a Mac Mini, I’m kind of longing for something smaller. Also, with USB 3 and Thunderbolt, having internal drives aren’t that important to me.

So… I would start looking for a new case. Also, when I upgraded my video card a year ago I noticed that I was running out of the power connectors for the video card. I also needed an adapter to fit them on. New power supplies have the necessary connections so maybe I should get a new power supply?

You know what? My power supply has lights where the cables fit into it. I thought it was kind of gaudy when I first got it, as I didn’t get it for the lights but because it was the right capacity and the right price. Having lived with it for so long, though, I kind of like the look. So I would want the new one to have lights.

My mouse and keyboard also have lights. It’s ridiculously gaudy. But I love it. New cases are covered in RGB lights. So many, really, that I wouldn’t even need a Christmas tree. I could just light up a computer case and all the computer internals.

So, yeah, any advantage of upgrading in pieces goes out the window when I decide to re-buy everything.

But, I’m kind of tired of building my own boxes. It’s also cheaper, now, to buy an already built system. For a little more than those ‘Core’ components, I could have a fully assembled, warrantied, operating system enabled computer. It may not look as wonko cool as super light-em-up cases going around today, but it would be a lot less of a hassle. For slightly more than that, I could have a super compact system bigger than the Mini but way smaller than The Dark Tower.

It’s a conundrum, all right. By now, you all should know what I do when hit by a conundrum of this sort. That’s right, do nothing but think about it excessively. I still don’t have that 5K iMac I’ve been wanting since it was released.

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NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up 2017

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You might be wondering how I did this year. You might be thinking that I’ll be writing about how I knocked it out of the park and ended up writing way more thank fifty thousand words. Maybe you’re thinking that I wrote something really great and I’ll actually look at it again in the future and edit it and try to hae it published.

You’re reading the wrong blog, if that’s the case. No, this year I failed. Again. Sure, I started off pretty good, but it went downhill pretty fast. I always seem to do that. It’s probably why I mostly write short-short stories. I don’t think I can handle anything longer than that.

That being the case, then, next year I won’t bother with it. I’ll just sit here while it’s going on and wish that there was something in life I was even halfway good at it.

That’s fine though. Because I wrote another chapter, albeit a short one, for the Waitress. I like the Waitress. She reminds me of somebody I know.

So it wasn’t a complete failure.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Excerpt

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Louis drove down the stretch of highway. It was dark out. Really dark. He had the high beams on but it didn’t seem to penetrate very far into the void ahead of him.

He was getting tired and antsy. The miles weren’t going by fast enough and he started to think he could push a hundred miles an hour without too much of an issue. He hadn’t seen another car in quite some time.

Ahead, he saw a glow. It was kind of yellowish. He wondered what it was. He sped up, watching the white dotted line on the road flow faster. He got close enough to see that the glow was coming from a tall sign. The base had two rows of yellow lights that ran from the ground up to the circular sign that read “The Oasis Diner.”

Closer still, he could see the diner itself, bright with lights flooding out to the gravel parking lot and sitting in a bubble of night. He pulled in to the parking lot.

The front of The Oasis was mostly large glass panels running the length of the building. Louis could see a counter and booths inside with one person wiping down tables.

Louis shut the car off and walked over to the chrome and glass door, which opened easily when he pulled on the handle. Despite being November, the air outside was still quite warm. When he walked into the diner he was hit by a wintery blast of air conditioning.

The waitress looked up when she heard the door. She didn’t stop wiping down the table she was at but she did look up and smile. “Hi, welcome to The Oasis. Do you want a table or would you prefer the counter?”

Louis wasn’t good with choices. He looked at the booths, with boysenberry purple colored benches and the salmon colored tables that had what looked like hollow boomerangs in light blue and pink. Then he looked at the counter, which had the same color and design as the tables. The stools were the same boysenberry color, but with round muffin shaped cushions.

“I don’t want to get too comfortable, so I’ll sit at the counter. Thank you.”

Louis thought if he didn’t have a back to slouch against it might help keep him awake.

The waitress raised an eyebrow at that but gestured to the empty counter. “Take your pick.” She straightened up and hooked the cloth she had been using to wipe tables into the tie strings of her apron. She went behind the counter and placed a menu in front of Louis.

“Would you like something to drink while you peruse our menu?”

“Coffee.”

She smirked. “Of course. Be right back.”

Louis wondered what that was about. He read through the menu. He didn’t think he was very hungry, but after reading through the menu he realized that he could, probably should, eat something.

The waitress came back and set a cup of coffee down along with a small shallow bowl of creamer containers.

“See anything good yet?” She asked

“Yes. Just about everything. What’s a ‘Monte Cristo’?” He asked.

“Depends on where you get it. Here, it’s French Toast covered in sliced ham, sliced turkey, and Swiss cheese. Served with maple syrup.”

Louis thought about that. “And that’s good?”

“Some people swear by it.”

“All right. I’ll try that.”

“And you want fries with that?”

“Do I?”

“Here’s a tip,” said the waitress, leaning down conspiratorially, “When you’re done with Monte Cristo, run the fries through the maple syrup.” She winked.

“Okay. I’m sold. Monte Cristo with fries, please.”

She wrote it down on her pad, tore off a sheet, and stuck it to a rotating metal device which she turned so the paper disappeared in the back.

“You look beat, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

“Ah, that’s because I am beat. I’m trying to write a novel in thirty days but things keep popping up. I was supposed to be writing tonight, but had to help a friend out here in the wilderness.”

“Why are you writing a novel in thirty days?” She asked.

Louis explained NaNoWriMo again.

She nodded. “And what do you win if you finish?”

“Nothing. There’s no prizes or anything.”

“So, nothing.”

“And I can tell people I did it, I guess.”

“So, bragging rights.”

“Well, also, there’s the satisfaction of having done it. Knowing that I set out to do something and actually do it, well, that’s kind of nice.”

“Okay,” she said. “That makes sense.” She looked down at his cup. “You want some more?”

“Yes, please.”

She filled his cup again.

“How far behind are you?” She asked him.

“Oh, several days. It will be hard to catch up at this point. I’d have to spend hours writing to come close.”

“What’s your book about?”

“Ah, it’s stupid.”

She tilted her head sideways a few degrees. “Then why are you writing about it?”

Louis took a sip of coffee, looking at her over the rim. The head tilt reminded him of a cat and he found it very hard to resist. He tried to read her name tag, but he couldn’t make out the letters. Rather than risking her thinking he was staring at her breasts he looked back down at his coffee.

“Okay. You know Dungeons & Dragons and other role playing games?”

She nodded.

“Well, it’s like that. A group of adventurers wandering around an underground tunnel system fighting monsters and gathering treasure. Stuff like that.”

“For what reason are they doing this?” She asked.

“Oh, fame and fortune, I guess.” He sighed. “That’s another problem I have. I go to these write-ins, you know? People gather together and write and then maybe talk. Other people talk about their stories like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. They seem so full of themselves. I can’t talk like that.”

“Because your story sucks?”

“Yeah.”

There was a ding that came from somewhere.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” said the waitress. She went to kitchen.

Louis sipped more of his coffee. She was right. His story sucked and sucked hard. What was he thinking? He was thinking that it would be fun. It would remind him of his childhood. Most importantly, it was supposed to be easy. How hard could it possibly be to write about a bunch of fantasy figures fighting monsters underground?

Pretty hard, it turns out.

The waitress came back and put a plate in front him along with a side plate of very hot fries. Then she put a container of maple syrup down.

“I’ll let you eat in peace,” she smiled as she went back to wiping down the booths.

He looked at Monte Cristo dubiously. Okay, it did look pretty good. He poured some syrup over it. Then he cut off a corner and bit it into it. Yeah, this was pretty good. He practically inhaled it.

The waitress went behind the counter again. “So, how was it?”

“Every bit as good as you said it would be.”

She nodded her head towards the fries.

He picked one up and mopped up some syrup then put it into his mouth.

“Yeah, okay, this works surprisingly well.”

“Always trust the happy waitress,” she said.

He looked up at her and gazed directly into her icy blue eyes. He saw something in those eyes, then. Something old, something painful.

“You’re not very happy, are you?” He asked.

“So are you headed into the city?” She turned away.

“Towards it, but not into it. It’s a few miles off.”

She looked wistful. “I’ve always wanted to see the city,” she said.

Louis looked up from his plate and right into her icy blue eyes. “Why don’t you go, then? We’re not far from it.”

She looked away, towards the plate glass windows. “I had my chance, a long time ago.”

“It couldn’t have been that long ago,” he said.

“Sometimes I think I’ve spent eternity here,” she said, looking at nothing. She wiped her hands on the towel at her waist. “I had the opportunity, once, you know. Some guy came in here and offered to take me there.”

“And you turned him down.”

The waitress nodded.

Louis ate another fry.

“Why?”

She shrugged. “I felt like I had a duty, here. Didn’t want to leave anybody in the lurch. A lot of it was fear. Some random stranger comes in, saying he can change my life if I just hop into his car. It doesn’t sound like a very good idea, does it?”

Louis had to agree, it didn’t sound like a safe plan.

“So, I didn’t go. I stayed here. I envy people who, you know, say they have no regrets. I have many. Too many.” She started wiping down the counter.

“So, um, what do your friends think of your writing?”

“They’re supportive, I guess, but they don’t really care.”

“Why are you doing this then?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “When I was younger I would write all the time. For a while I thought I would be an author, you know? Write stories, sell books, maybe get a movie deal or something.”

The waitress had taken her hair down and smoothed her golden hair back, putting it in a ponytail again. “Go on,” she said. “I’m listening.”

“Then life got in the way. I got older, got a job working ludicrously long hours. Moved. Got married. Got divorced. Kept working. There never seemed to be any time. Worse, when I did have time to write, ideas wouldn’t come. Once I could have thought of something and have several hundred words written down. Then it was gone. When I heard about this NaNoWriMo thing, I thought maybe if I treated it like a holiday, a special occasion, it would help me think of things again.”

“But it didn’t, did it?” The waitress asked softly.

“No. It sure didn’t.” He agreed.

She poured him another cup of coffee.

“Would you listen to a bit of advice?”

“At this point? Yeah, sure.”

“Okay. It doesn’t matter to anyone else if you succeed or not. It matters to you, and that’s okay. You don’t win anything if you finish this at the end of the month. But you also don’t lose anything if you don’t get the right amount of words. Maybe, sure, you lose the bragging rights or whatever.”

“Well, yeah, but it’s more than that.”

“Not done,” she said. She took a breath. “So, make the month yours. Treat it like a holiday. Write when you feel it. Don’t write when you don’t.  When you don’t, let your mind wander. Scribble, read, do whatever you want. Take a walk. If you don’t make your thousand words a day, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing.”

Louis stared at her. “Yeah.”

“And if you think your story is too stupid to talk to someone about,” she continued, “then maybe it’s not the story you should be writing.”

“Okay,” he agreed. “I will take that to heart. Listen, I need to get going. Can I have the check please.”

“Sure, here you are.” She put a slip of paper onto the counter.

Louis looked at and then took a ten dollar bill out and put it on the counter. Then he took a twenty dollar bill and put that next to the ten. He got up and headed towards the door while the waitress put his plates in one of the gray bins.

“Hey,” she called out to him.

Louis turned towards the counter.

The waitress waved the twenty dollar bill. “Is this because you feel sorry for me? I don’t need it if it is.”

“You have my sympathy,” Louis said. “But the twenty is for being one of the most important people I’ve met.”

Louis opened the door and stepped through. He stopped and turned to the waitress again. “Take a bit of advice from a stranger?”

She smiled and shrugged. “It would only be fair.”

“Sometimes we have to make our own opportunities,” said Louis. He headed towards his car.

“Drive safely,” she said.

The Oasis (original)

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The truck stop diner stood like an oasis in the hazy heat of the desert. The air conditioner hummed quietly while the woman wiped down the long counter. She did this out of habit, mostly, as visitors were infrequent at best. Occasionally a trucker would come along, or a family desperate for something other than the long stretch of desert to look at.

She breathed in the cold air, hooked her towel into the ties of her apron. The coffee maker gurgled like a happy baby while the milk shake machine dripped like some ones incontinent grandfather; everything was normal.

There was a while to go yet before she could leave. It was amazing to her that someone would actually own a place like this, so far from anything. Yet, someone did. It would be a perfect location if more people traveled the road, but very few did. And those that made the trip tried to be across the desert as soon as possible and tried not to stop. But it was a good job. She had plenty of time to herself and as long as the place was clean she had no worries.

She pushed through the glass door and stood outside, holding the door open so the hot desert air wouldn’t oppress her. The desert could be a beautiful place. Varying shades of tan beneath the washed out blue of the sky brought together by the slate purple-grey of the distant mountains. Patches of green where stumpy plants managed to live dotted the landscape along with the tall majestic cactus. Sometimes seeing an animal, a rabbit or a prairie dog, she would wonder why they still lived out here, in the searing heat of the day, nibbling on the plants to get their water. Why didn’t they move off to where the land was more green, water more plentiful, and the air cooler? Humans, after all, made their own beds and lay in them. They might complain about it, but it was their choice.

Another sweep of the landscape and she turned to go back inside. She heard a noise in the distance, faintly at first but growing in volume and pitch. The howling of a mechanical beast let free to run. Up the road an object came, screaming in pleasure that came with being harnessed and suddenly finding freedom. As it came closer the sound of gears shifting down, brakes being liberally applied, and the sudden growl of the beast that had become tethered again filled the hot air. A car pulled into the gravel parking lot. Fire red and sleeker than any she had seen before. It came to a stop, purred loudly for a minute, then became silent.

Back into the cold air she went, behind the chrome lined counter to prepare for a customer. He came in moments later. He stood in the doorway, taking in the coldness and wiping sweat from his brow. Smiling a lazy smile he went to the counter to sit on a round, red stool.

Pulling a pad and pen from her apron pocket, she asked him what he’d like.

He grinned. “Not much for small talk around these parts, are we?”

“Sorry, I just thought you’d like to get your order in. You must be hot and hungry judging by the way you were driving. The small talk comes later, when you something in front of you.”

Laughing, he said, “Ah, yes, that makes sense. And I should get in my order while you’re not busy.” He looked around the diner, at the teeming emptiness.

She smirked. “Very funny. Now what can I get you?”

“What does anyone want, when they come here?”

“A meal, a cold drink, ” she looked at him. “A hint as to when the road ends and civilization begins. Sometimes, against all odds, they want directions.”

“I see. I know where I am, I know where I’m going. I’m not all that hungry. I think I would like a cup of coffee.”

Her eyebrows went up. “Coffee? Hot? It’s well over a hundred degrees outside.”

He nodded. “True. But I still have a way to go, and not enough time to sit over a meal. And I need to be awake while I go. Iced tea just doesn’t cut it for me, but coffee does. Nice, hot, and strong.”

With a shake of her head, she turned and poured coffee into a cup. She set it in front of him. She watched him as he drank it, black, barely blowing on it too cool it enough to drink. His face, beneath nearly jet-black hair, was plain, rather average. He wasn’t especially tall or short. If he was in a group of people he probably would never be noticed. But alone he seemed… Oddly attractive, slightly dangerous but possibly not. Very strange. If his dark eyes were the windows to his soul, he either had none or too much. She put those thoughts out of her head, convincing herself that his averageness was what prompted his taste in attention grabbing cars.

He was smiling at her. She felt a blush as she realized that he knew she had been looking him over.

“Recognize me?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No, I don’t. Should I?”

“Ah, probably not. I had hoped you would, but I’m not surprised that you don’t. It’s all right though, most people don’t.” He pushed his cup towards her. “Can I have more, please? Is this the largest cup that you have?”

She took it and filled it again. “I’m afraid so. Standard restaurant-sized coffee cups are easiest to get.” She placed the white cup in front of him. His hand went out and took hers.

“You are so pale, so white,” he said. Her white skin in sharp contrast to his dark. “And so cold. You spend too much time in this canned air. You should get out more, into the sun.” He turned her hand over, looking at her palm.

Pulling her hand away, she took her towel from the apron ties and began wiping down the counter.

“I like this ‘canned air.’ It’s nice and cool. The sun is damaging to skin, if you get too much of it. Wrinkles, possibly cancer. It ages you.”

“Without the sun, there would be no life.” He grinned again. “What is life in a can, without the sun? May I have some more, please?”

She looked up, seeing the empty cup. “You’re serious about staying awake then. That’s good.” Again, she took the cup and turned to fill it.

“Why don’t you come with me?” he said.

She heard his voice close to her ear, feeling hot breath on the back of her neck.

Spinning around, she was ready to hurl the hot coffee at him but nearly spilling it when she saw that he was still behind the counter, smiling at her.

“What did you say?” she stammered.

“I asked you to come with me.”

“I couldn’t,” she said, placing the cup in front of him. “Besides, I don’t even know where you’re going.”

“To the City, of course. This road doesn’t go anywhere else. Why couldn’t you?”

Taking up her towel again she wiped the counter, noticing, again, the sandstone pink coloring patterned with red and blue stylized boomerangs. They seemed like they were dancing, sometimes interlaced, sometimes apart, all over the surface.

“I work here. This is my job, and I have a responsibility.”

“Ah, of course. Responsibility. Mustn’t let folks go hungry.” He mimed bumping elbows in a room crowded with specters. He laughed again.

“It isn’t busy now, but people do come here. And I get paid to be here, however silly it might seem. What would I do in the City, anyway?”

He cocked his head to one side, considering. “I don’t know. What do you do? Besides feed the hungry?”

“Nothing, ” she replied. “Nothing at all.”

He looked at her with disappointment and amusement.

“Come now, everyone does something. At least one thing that makes them who they are. Surely, deep inside, there’s something that you know you can do.”

Shrugging, she stopped her cleaning. “What do you do?”

He jumped up from the stool. “What do I do! I am the Magician! The Thief! I am the Miner, deep in the shaft. I am the one who knocks on doors, the one who disappears from sight. I am the one who brings the good. I do everything except nothing. Tell me, Lady, who am I?” He finished with a bow, his arms out from his side.

“An actor with a flair for the dramatic?”

He looked up at her, laughing. “Could be, could be. But not right now. Another coffee, if you please.”

Again, she turned with his cup to fill it. Again, she heard his voice but this time it seemed distant, far away. When she turned again he was in the middle booth of three, gazing out the window. She brought the coffee to him then sat on the bench across from him.

“Do you recognize me yet? No, I see that you don’t. And you probably won’t until I leave. And that I must do soon. I don’t normally do this, but I’ll ask again: Will you come with me?”

She shook her head. He sighed.

“It’s possible I’ll be by this way again, and I may stop and ask once more. But it would be better, if you change your mind, to seek me out in the City. Everyone has a better chance of finding me if they search for me.”

They rose from the table together and she followed him to the door. He got into that low slung car and started it up. Again, it purred loudly, but gently.

And she watched the car as it left the parking lot and turned onto the highway. She watched as it picked up speed, howled in joy again, until it was lost in the heat haze rising from the hot asphalt.

She stood there in the doorway, long after the sky had deepened in blue and became black sprinkled with stars. As it got darker and cooler she could see, faintly, the bright lights coming from the City, so far away. Feeling a cold trickle of sweat, she reached underneath her blonde hair and wiped the back of her neck.

She wondered if he would come back, with a mixture of hope and fear. Now, however, it was time to go. She still had time to think, and now that the seed had been planted she wondered if there was something better, something more alive, in the City.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 09 – 6184/43816

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Hello!

You may be wondering how I’m doing, since I haven’t posted in a while. Well, let’s be honest. You’re not wondering. No one cares. So here’s an update!

I’m way, way, behind. If you looked at my graph you’d see this:

 

So, not very good. As I figured, time is playing an issue although I am filling up as much as I have with as much writing as possible. Last night was particularly good; even though I ran out of time, I still had plenty to write so that will be helpful today. Surprisingly, I brought back a character I haven’t written about since the early 1990s, I guess.

So, there you have it.

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Day 02 — 1912/48088

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I’m going to be honest and say that I didn’t get a lot of writing done yesterday. Part of the problem was that I was too busy at work to get much done there. The other part was that it was my birthday and I didn’t want to write anything.

Some people might wonder what kind of wild and wacky things I do on my birthday. Here is a general timeline of what my birthday looks like:

  • Wake up and realize that I’m alive for another birthday
  • Take a shower and get mostly dressed
  • Remove the food bowls from the bird cages, clean them out, re-fill them with more food that the cockatoo will throw all over the floor
  • Replace food bowls
  • Take water bowl from parrot cage
  • Try to take water bowl from cockatoo cage, except he’s standing on it even though there’s a perfectly good perch right next to it
  • Threaten cockatoo with not having fresh water all day
  • Threaten cockatoo with unrealistic violence if he doesn’t move
  • Beg cockatoo to get the hell off the water bowl
  • Remove water bowl when cockatoo climbs up the side of the cage in an attempt to bite my nose
  • Empty and clean water bowls
  • Refill bowls with water
  • Replace parrot water bowl
  • Try to replace cockatoo water bowl, except he’s standing on the rim of the bowl holder even though there’s a perfectly good perch right next to it
  • Stand there and say, “Really? REALLY? Really?!
  • Replace water bowl when cockatoo climbs up side of cage in an attempt to remove my nose
  • Pour me some coffee
  • Drink coffee and browse Reddit
  • Finish getting dressed
  • Shut down the computer
  • Fill up my travel mug with coffee
  • Say goodbye to the birds
  • Drive to Dunkin’ Donuts to buy people at work tasty treats
  • Drive to work, deciding to take the Express Lane even though there isn’t any traffic
  • Get to work
  • Do work
  • Say “Thank you” to all the people on Facebook who wished me a happy birthday and hoped I would have a “great day”
  • Do work
  • Do some writing
  • Do work
  • Sit in meeting
  • Continue saying “Thank you” to Facebook people
  • Drive home
  • Decide to take Express Lane on way home because it’s my birthday, even though it’ll cost upwards of $5
  • Feel ripped off because there’s not a lot of traffic
  • Feel good because traffic starts to build up and I breeze past them
  • Resist urge to wave arms out window to people not in the Express Lane while shouting, “Suck it, you poor bastards!” because if I did that I would suffer severe vehicle catastrophe and block the one lane of the Express Lane and have people hate me. Karma.
  • Get home
  • Order Vietnamese food because I shouldn’t have to cook on my birthday
  • Watch Star Trek: Enterprise. Again.
  • Put left overs in fridge
  • Let parrot out of cage
  • Let cockatoo out of cage
  • Put cockatoo in cage as soon as he tries to get into parrot’s cage which, I’m sure, is deliberate because he doesn’t want out, he wants his snack
  • Wash dishes with parrot on my shoulder who is constantly demanding having her neck scratched
  • Reset coffee pot
  • Finish watching Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Go to bed

And there it is. It is neither good nor bad. It’s not special, either, except that I buy things for other people and spend money on food.

That was yesterday, though. Today is today. With any luck I’ll be able to get some good writing in. If I were smart, I’d find a way to fit this blog post into my ‘novel’ since it’s now up to 610 words.

I’ll carefully consider that.

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Day 01 — 1676/48324

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Like a fool, I have decided to jump in this year. I figure if I don’t make it this time then I’ll just give up any following attempts.

This time, though, things are different. I didn’t decide on a subject until late night on October 31st. This is about as last minute as it gets and it means I don’t have any kind of prepared material. No notes, no timeline, no anything. It’s completely off the cuff.

This probably isn’t a good thing. I’m sure it’ll get confusing and mangled and things won’t make sense. That’s all right, though. At least it’s something and it gets me thinking again.

It’s also different in that it won’t be fantasy or science fiction. This will just be straight up fiction. This is not something I do very often, if ever. Usually anything I write has some kind of fantasy element in it.

I managed to get quite a bit done today, but still just eked out enough words at 1,676 (with a target of 1,666 words) to stay current.

1,676 words written today

I barely made it

 

I’ve been toying with the idea of posting what I’ve written at the end of each day.

I’m a little uncomfortable with this because it’s a genre (I guess?) that I’m not all that familiar with. That sounds kind of weird, actually; I’m basically saying I’m not accustomed to reality. That can’t possibly be good, but there it is.

Aside from that, it will be awful. I know it, I expect it. I will keep it in mind as things go forward.

Halloween

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Happy Halloween. The day when kids get to walk around dressed in clothes they don’t get to wear normally and grab tons of candy. I guess. I haven’t been involved in Halloween activities for a long time. I know there are things like where people gather in a parking lot and hand out candy from their cars as kids walk around in a circle or something. Or parties where kids show up and just get candy handed to them. Because it’s safer. Or something.

Back when I was a kid, the common fears were poisoned candy and apples with razer blades stuck in them. Neither of which, I think, have ever happened. Or, if they did, it was an extremely rare thing. It makes sense, though, that if you have a holiday that revolves around monsters and ghosts and spooky things then the parents should also be frightened of something.

It’s funny, though, that as technology moves forward making it more difficult to get away with a crime (DNA, cameras everywhere, cell phones with GPS tracking, interstate police networked computers, etc.) the more society buttons down on safety, even if it means making things less fun.

And, of course, you can’t run the risk of offending anyone. There might be a person out there who has a problem with ghosts so it’s better to make sure nobody at all wears a white sheet with eye holes cut in them. Although that’s probably offensive for a whole other reason, now.

But it’s not just a time for the kids to dress up and run around like fools; it’s also time for adults to wear clothes that society says is wrong to wear in public. It’s the one day a year a thirty year old woman can dress like an actual princess or a man can dress like a pirate without getting the stink-eye from others.

That’s changed too, though. Cosplay is essentially a business now, with people dressing up as book or movie characters or videogame characters or comic book characters and winning contests and making an income. It’s gone from being something wacky you and your friends did at midnight (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), to something that takes a lot of time, work, effort, and money to pull off.

I don’t think it’ll be very long before people are wearing ‘oddball’ outfits full-time. Hell, it may even be a way of getting that great job if the people hiring are impressed by your Pikachu-inspired outfit.

So, whatever. Get on your fancy duds and get out there. Do something interesting with your life even if it’s only for a few hours. I sure won’t, but I can live vicariously through you.

Out of Time

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So…

Today and tomorrow and then D-Day. Or W-Day. Or N-Day. Whatever it is, I’m incredibly unready for it as I still have not decided on an idea. I’m not even bothering to wait for a good idea. Just any idea.

My best thinking times are when I’m stuck in traffic. My mind wanders to and fro and I think of different things until cars inch forward. It’s pretty sad that, given all the traffic I wait in, I’ve had all year to come up with a semi-decent idea and still haven’t managed it. I haven’t managed to come up with anything. At all. Not a blessed thought.

My birthday is coming up. In my imaginary world, this is the time when I pick out something very expensive to buy myself as a present. In the real world, it’s the time when I think of all the really expensive things that I would buy myself, if I were the type of person who could spend a lot of money on something that I didn’t need. All at one time.

One of the reasons why I haven’t gotten an iMac yet is because I assumed my credit limit wasn’t high enough to just spend a lot of money ordering a computer (that I don’t really need). I recently found out that this isn’t true. That’s when the panic started: I may actually have to get myself that stupid iMac.

Thankfully, a new player has entered the field in my quest to talk myself out of anything. Now it’s deciding on if I should spend $x amount of dollars on a new computer (that I don’t need and don’t have rooo for), or spend that $x amount of dollars on a refurbished unit with higher specs and more geegaws.

Now I have something I can pro/con until the Mac Pro is introduced.

Although, I’m actually considering getting an FPGA board called MiSTY…

Six Days In Purgatory

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I’ve very nearly come to a decision. I won’t tell anyone, of course. Not until, oh, I don’t know… The 31st maybe? But, boy, have I been thinking about it!

I’ve asked for suggestions and gotten one. The same one he always gives me. The same one I try to gently slide around because I have no idea what to do with it. It’s not a bad suggestion by any means. The limitation is mine.

So, if I can’t think of anything else I would have to grab that one and run with it.

Another idea I’ve been kicking around has to do with an immortal person dealing with the modern world. Like, in the past it was easy to stay in one spot for a few years, move to a different town (or state) with a different name and things worked out. These days, it’s DNA, computer records, cameras all over the place, and social media making things awkward.

For a while I had the idea of writing an ‘erotic’ novel using only medical terminology. I gave it up when I realized it would only be amusing for about a paragraph or so.

This is why it’s nice to have a large circle of friends who share the same interests you do. It gives you people to bounce ideas off of, or listen to their stories and spin something different out of it.