NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 09 – 6184/43816




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



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



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.



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




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


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.

Nearing the Wire



There are times when I worry about my inability to think of a good story. I look back at the days when I was younger and I was writing all kinds of things right off the top of my head. Going through English class notebooks from high school I’m often amazed that I’m reading my own writing. It’s like two different people: one who is young and creative and smart and one who is old, cynical, uncaring, unfeeling, and has no imagination at all.

So I wonder if this is just a facet of getting older and not exercising my creative side, or is it something more biological?

Nobody likes to think of medical problems or, for that matter, brain problems. I only just recently got over a scare of thinking I had an issue with my noggin fillin’s.

I’ve noticed that I forget a lot of things. Well, not really a lot of things, but enough that I notice that I do it. Mostly it’s in the realm of go to the kitchen to get something and walk out of kitchen with something else and not getting what I wanted to get in the first place. Or forgetting where I put something down after just a few minutes. Things like that.

Or, maybe, it’s just that I don’t care enough to think of something to write. I don’t know how true that is, though, because there are times when I really want to write something, but can’t think of anything. Many times I can’t even think of something to write for this blog that few people read and nobody comments on. What’s the point, right?

Maybe I just don’t enjoy it enough to do it for myself.

Pants on Fire


If I do go ahead and commit myself to writing something next month, it’ll be pretty obvious that I won’t be doing any planning this year. Unless some kind of miracle occurs and a Muse visits me in the night to heap tons of great ideas onto me I’ve got nothing to plan for. That means whatever I do come up with will be as hot a pile of garbage as the first one I did.

I’ve never been much of a planner, really, but some kind of roadmap is nice to follow. When I can start ticking off boxes I can feel like I’m making progress other than just a word count. Because, let’s be honest, by the end of November I’m just making up sentences to fill the space to keep up the quota.

Without that, the whole thing feels like I’m tossing stuff in just to keep pace. That’s why I really wish I had some kind of idea of what I wanted to do. I wish I had the ideas and mental ability I did way back when I was younger. I wish I could think of something even halfway decent.

And that’s why I do what I do rather than being an author and making millions of dollars on movie deals.

NaNoWriMo – Steppin’ Out

During the one year that I really participated in NaNoWriMo I liked one particular thing: the Write-Ins. I left the apartment and went to unfamiliar places and wrote with a bunch of other people. It was nice.

I mean, nobody actually talked to me or anything, but it was nice being around other people for a change. Doing (roughly) the same thing.

See, I won’t leave the apartment if I don’t have to. I don’t have much of a reason to. I don’t have a lot of people to see, don’t get invited places, and don’t particular care to hangout at places by myself. These days I even have my groceries delivered.

So these write-ins gave me a reason to get out, amongst the people, and sort of mingle without actually talking to anyone. I think it was good for me.

Which would be a good reason for doing it again, if I could convince myself leaving the apartment would be a good idea.

Wishful Thinking




Do you know what I think would be great? If Apple bought Atari. What’s left of Atari. As much as they can buy.

Even if Apple did nothing with the name, they could at least retire it with a bit more dignity than what it has now.

Some people might be thinking that this idea comes from far out left-field, but it doesn’t, really.

Back when Steve & Steve made the first Apple computer, Jobs approached Nolan Bushnell (a founder of Atari) to invest in Apple. Jobs also worked at Atari. So there’s some historical context.

Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Atari’s R&D departments were working on a number of things that Apple is doing now: Atari stores, medical devices, and phones (granted, they were working on landline phones but cell phones were being looked at, also). In a way, the Apple of today is the non-mis-managed Atari of an alternate universe.

Another reason for doing so would be gaming. Apple is not terribly interested in gaming, except for how it pertains to iOS (iPhone and iPad) customers. When it comes to macOS, it seems more like an afterthought. Which is a shame, because there are a number of people who would like to play games on their Macs. I think Apple is concerned that their main customers are ‘professionals’ and don’t want to taint their computer’s images by being a game machine.

Buying up Atari would give them the ability to market game-oriented computers with a recognizable game-oriented name. Market the Apples to the professional fuddy-duddies and re-brand some computers and macOS for Atari and the gamers. Also, it would be neat if I could get an iMac that was Atari-branded and had the monitor stand shaped like the Atari Fuji logo.

Like this, only way (way!) cooler.

Even more interesting would be if they made Atari computers that used their own ARM processors along with a version of macOS that ran on them.

Currently, Apple is positioning their Apple TV as a sort of cut down console. That isn’t going to go too far until the get rid of the requirement that cames have to be controllable with the included remote. But if they want to concentrate on the Apple TV doing what it’s supposed to be doing best (showing TV shows and movies) then it might be better concentrate less on the game playing aspect.

Instead, if they buy Atari they would get whatever weirdo thing Atari is currently (supposedly) working on. Apple’s last console didn’t do too well (that would be The Pippin), but a new console with the Atari name backed by Apple might fare a whole lot better.

Apple is also trying to get into the television market by creating their own shows. I’m not sure who owns the arcade division at this point, but maybe they could leverage old IP into new shows. I think I’d rather watch a kid’s cartoon based on Bentley Bear (from Crystal Castles) than a movie based on Asteroids.

Unfortunately, I have no say in what Apple does. I don’t even know if it would be a good idea for them to buy it or not, financially. I do know, however, that it would be nice if the Atari name could come back home.