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Friday, November 11, 2011


Or House of Blog or somesuch.
Here's the list of creations:
Modblog, the domain version, which won't be incorporating any of the content from this blog (officially the son of the son of modblog in my private nomenclature). That'll have the basic daily rants and screeds and fluff, and update posts like this one. I'm committed to daily posting and may well crosspost between the three blogging platforms-blogger, wordpress, and my domain. It depends on how much I have to say each day.
I'm planning at the very least to do a lot more reviews-books and cds more so than movies, which I don't watch much, and more sports content. Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks specifically. I get a lot of the Cub games on WGN, and the Bears have a few national games. The Hawks are rarely on tv, and the 160 bucks for a season's worth of streaming is ridiculous. But I on the list is :

Thursday, November 10, 2011

nanostatus and project updates

14,481 words now in the books, as of this morning. Changing the metafictional conceit and making the mc a blogger rather than a vidcaster, and changing the setting to more-or-less present day has made a huge difference in thrust and has gotten me through a long section of infopak and dialogue, simply by breaking it up into digestible chunks.
Making each chapter a blogpost has been a masterstroke as far as the writing. I'm surprised that it took me so long, considering how much I enjoy writing flash fiction. I'd always thought of the novel as a themed-short collection. Now it's short-shorts, and I don't plan to apply any Nair as yet.
Was going to do an edit of the first 10k and throw it on here over the weekend, but I don't think so right now. I'm just going to keep chugging along. Tonight I should finally finish the musical portion of the backtrack to Dereliction of Duty, and it's entirely possible that I might get the voiceover done as well and get the whole thing wrapped up. I'm pretty mad at myself for taking so long. I think Sam is too, but he's nice enough not to say so. Will give the project extra attention as a result. Sounds pretty nice so far-Mozart-to-Metallica-in-a-minute.
I have a suspicion as to the cause of my recent lethargy, and we'll see if that bears fruit (it has to do with my O2 system, which has been sounding funny the last day or so). My unfortunate bout with insomnia continues-I'm still keeping vampire hours and sleeping a couple of hours at a time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ready for some football

Much to my surprise, the Bears head into their rematch with the Lions with a winning record at 5-3-0, against the Lions' only-sort-of-surprising 6-2.
I had thought that the Bears were gonna be less than mediocre this year, due to problems with the personnel on both lines. But young Henry Melton and Stephen Paea, waiver-wire pickup Amobi Okoye, and holdovers Anthony Adams and Matt Toeiana have done a decent job so far of creating point pressure, allowing Peppers to edge-rush, which he does so well.
The offensive line seems to have solidified since the second half against these same Lions, when a couple of changes were made. As long as the player known as "Gate 68" remains on the bench, I'm happy. Frank Omiyale hasn't been effective for as much as a ten-minute stretch since joining the Bears, and it's hard to understand why he remains.
It's true that the Bears' receiving corps doesn't have anyone that is regarded as a top-shelf ballcatcher. But they do have a nice combination of speed and hands, and it's good to see that veteran underachiever Roy Williams is catching a ball or two, though his drops are still problematical.
The return of Earl Bennett bodes well. Bennett is the best downfield blocker, has the best hands, and runs the best routes of any wideout on the team. That was evident in the dismantling of the Eagles, in a game that really shouldn't have been close. Forte fumbled against Philly. He probably won't fumble the rest of the year. Without those turnovers, the Bears had a good chance of points on both possessions.
I look for the Bears to avenge their earlier loss and to win over the Lions in a close one. Detroit will be coming after Cutler as in the previous meeting, but they'll have to stay in their lanes to make that effective, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a little play-action, a few more of the rollouts that Cutler does so effectively, and a tad more tight-end targeting, all from three-and-five step drops. May even favor the three, depending on how aggressive the Lion front four gets. If they overpursue, it's going to be a long game for them.
Bears need to hold on to the ball, limit the big plays (three huge ones last time), and give Barber about a fifth of the carries to spell Forte a little. Barber has excelled on goal-line and short-yardage-he's not likely to take the ball the length of the field to the house, but he isn't asked to do that, either.
The other great thing about the win at Philly is that it dragged my fantasy team out of a mire. I've only had one misstep this year (had to lose Rob Gronkowski because of bad bye-week planning), and have had bad luck on my draws (I lead the league in scoring by 50 points but am like third from the bottom in points against, which I have no control over).
I was about to lose last week's game when the Bears pulled out that win and Earl Bennett, Jay Cutler, Devin Hester, Matt Forte, and the Bears defense all had good games.
So thanks, and hey, let's do it again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dipped into it and dipped IN IT

Yep, as remarked on in the previous jinxpost, I went wandering right into the Fallen Earring minefield and was promptly hit with a block. For a couple of hours I sat trying to squeeze one more peanut of a word through my eyedropperful of wanna and then gave up.
I got to work instead on the Letters from Outside archive. It's a wp facility like many of my things, and I'm still monkeying around with the layout a bit. Looks pretty good, though. Dunno what problems I'll have when I start copying and pasting the content but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.
Still has James' Russell's excellent graphic for the logo, and I've tried to match the green as well as I can. The whole thing has a nice clean look to it, which I'm going for. Let the content speak for itself, just unclutter the place.
There's all the time in the world to work on it, and I need a lot of things to keep me going. My convalescence is going decently, but I'm still incapable of all-out effort for extended periods.
I need naps.
Anyway, I'm just gonna add some social-media widgets and see what else recommends itself to my attention before I start filling the place in.
It'll be much nicer digs than Fortune City, and I'm pleased to be able to bring it to people who haven't seen it before.
Fallen Earring now sits at just over 8000 words. I'm gonna peck away at it a little more and then call it a night. Or a day. Whatever.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fallen Earring

I've been busying myself during the midnight hours, fooling around with the templates and graphics for my Planet Moderan site, which has been moved to new servers. I'm not going to automatically transfer over the content, as I have some new things I want to try. There's no real hurry, and I'd like to give those things the best showcase I can.
In the meantime, I'm moving along with my nanonovel Fallen Earring, hovering around 7,000 words for all of the trumpeted fail ( there has to be a certain percentage of anti-fail so that the fail is that much sweeter in this hostile (or merely indifferent universe)).
Yeah...but that fail, that's a problem. The very concept of fail has so invaded things that it invaded my nanonovel last night and made me write this passage of questionable wisdom:

I'm up all night again. Can't seem to shake this bout of insomnia, and am just going to have to run with the sleep/fail and hope it ends soon. So tired. Day upon day of two-three hours of sleep at a stretch followed by exhaustion and passing out at the wrong time of day to reset the Circadian rhythms has me disoriented, and it's all I can do to distractedly type away...
Somehow I managed to record an episode of the show today. I was just watching myself on camera, and I looked like hell. Face all pouchy and dissipated.
The face of fail.
Because that's what I do. That's all we do.
Think about it.
Everything you do is ultimately bound to fail. Entropy always wins, in the end.
That isn't to say we shouldn't bother to do anything, because doing things helps us to pass the time. But the long view says that everything we accomplish is but the erection of an anthill.
Sometimes it's comforting to take that objective view, see things from the mountaintop as it were, to take in the big picture.
Because you can get too close to real sometimes too.

Jeeping jeebus! What in the name of Graham Nash was I thinking? I can see it now, Fail and Loathing In Innsmouth is my new title. Hmm. Waitaminnit. Ok, I gotta do something with that.
I'm working at Fallen Earring. There are a lot of stops and starts but the story is starting to emerge from the ashes of the previous ten or so outlines. It's a lot more autobiographical than most of my things, even though the character isn't modeled after me. But the genesis of a lot of the incidents and happenings in the character's life occurred in my own. Not much Marty Sue, but the charge might have a smidgeon of barb.
Those sections are turning out to be the easiest to write, which leads me to a conundrum.
I'm what you call a linear writer. The flow of words is so important to me that I write things in consecutive order, the way they're laid out. It's only later that I tear that all up and rearrange it.
But I can see where I may be slogging soon. There's a slower section coming up, and the contemplative bogs me down because, well, I'm me. Much more intuitive than contemplative. I don't want to improv on it because it's an important section, but I already know it's gonna be slow and am tempted to ditch the next three thousand or so words and dig into the warping-reality stuff.
Cuz yeah, reality-warp beats fail. The premise is fruitful and I'm inventing spins already. The metafictional angle (my lead character is a blogger) works, fits my warped sensibilities, helps to subtly impress the storyline. I love researching/remembering/dreaming up the period detail. I just need to get through that passage. And I dipped into it tonight.
The Fallen Earring blog. Just in case you want to visit. You never know when I might pop up a segment.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

the Post-Fail Fail

Yep, that's when you really know things are going wrong, when you are so full of fail that it spills out and makes a mess.
I failed to write a word for nanowrimo. I was tired, etc. I slacked, and what's worse, I'm not real sorry. I basically took a day off, failed to do much at all. I was far advanced in my slothness. I was able to stir myself and prepare simple burgers for dinner but that's about it.
Being tired makes me less able to process the oxygen I need. The less able to process, the less energy I have. Vicious cycle. I need sleep, but I'm in sleep/fail mode again. I haven't had this long of a stretch of it since I lived in Rochester and was still slinging burgers for a "living".
The most effort I had in me was to configure some of the widgets for my brand-damn spanking new website, which I'm working on as much as possible between the myriad of other projects I have running. The security stuff and like that, those things can't wait. I'll throw the urls up here soon, but not just yet.
There's cool stuff coming up. I'll just say that. The old pro gloss.
I just wish I had the energy to get it done quicker. There's so much I want to do, but I keep coming around to this lack of energy.
Some of you may not know that I was sick earlier this year. I came down with pneumonia, and it went bad. Bad enough that I'm on oxygen, nine months after I first went to the hospital.
Kind of an inhale fail.
Anyway, I'm still feeling the effects of that illness. I almost didn't make it--I'm thankful that I did, of course, but things can get frustrating.
I do have just over 10k done of the nanonovel, so I'm not so far behind, and I'm still keeping up with nablopomo. Just about finished with the music piece and voiceover I was due to turn in last week (my most abject apologies, S/D). It took three days for it to be quiet enough in here to consider recording voice and for me to have enough wind to do a good job of it. Some days are bad air days.
More later. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Plugging away

I haven't yet gotten around to installing the printer cartridges or setting up the new scanner, so I can't show you yet, but I've gotten the first of the character sketches for the webcomic done, and I like the look of them so far. Since my skills as an artist are not exactly what you"d call well-honed, I'm planning to grow into the thing.
Otherwise, things were a little rough around the edges for me yesterday. I experienced a lot of fail, especially concerning electrical outlets and things plugged in to them. I failed to plug a lot of stuff in. I've been forgetting to mend the cords for my drill and for the third phone, and that lack shows up from time to time, like when I was planning to hang the accordion-fold clothes hanger thing earlier today during a random spurt of want-to-do-something.
Fail. During the short period of self-berating that resulted from this fail, the phone rang. It was someone who utterly failed to say anything at all. I allowed some time for speech to occur, but it never did, even after I asked the party on the other end very politely to state their business.
More fail. I hung up, feeling frustrated by that and by the rubber hose that depends from my nose snagging on things, and went to take a nap.
That rubber hose, boy. It's a lot of fail. Aggravating as hell. I feel like a tetherball. But I have to have it. Not quite as bad as the feeder tube that I had in the hospital, but in the same ballpark of bothersome at times. I wish there was a wireless oxygen feeder. I have tanks, but they only last a short time, and I can't exert myself much at all, less when I don't have an oxygen feed.
So I'm gaining weight, which is aggravating too. I can't work it off. I eat once, maybe twice a day. The stuff I eat isn't horrible-bad as far as calories go. A little on the high side. I like burgers and hot dogs and things, but mostly what I eat are american cheese sandwiches on white bread and tortilla chips. We have a shared meal, which is usually something kindasorta healthy with veggies on the plate, but I live on those cheese sandwiches and the cold water we keep in the fridge.
So I got up from my nap and, you guessed it, made a cheese sandwich while I pulled the items for the night's dinner together. It was a sweet pork tenderloin sliced up and marinated in apple cider vinegar, olive oil, spices, and water, with some Bush's beans and grilled potato wedges (the previous night I experienced potato fail when I mistakenlu used sweetened condensed milk in my potato mix instead of the evaporated milk from the shelf immediately above the sweet stuff. D did NOT like that very much).
I was gonna take pics and post the recipe and all that, but the camera's battery was low, because I forgot to plug it in and charge it up.
More fail.
At least dinner tonight wasn't a fail. A friend of my lady's visited and we checked out a local Mexican restaurant, La Parrilla Suiza. Tasty stuff. Good to meet K.

Friday, November 4, 2011

the unsleeping ones

As I sit here at my desk, I can hear the birds chirping softly, at 3 ayem. I have the tv on in the other room, and they're delighted by the light and the noise, though I have the volume low.
Our parakeets are ordinarily a cheery bunch, and their leader Mr. Bird has proven his worth as a cheerleader more than once. I distinctly recall his happy songs when we were moving across the mountains of New Mexico, headed westward to our new home. That was a bit of a desperate voyage, and time was tight, and I was tired as hell and appreciated his spirit.
But there are times when the little feathered kids get to be a bit too much. This isn't one of those times, but I've actually gotten screaming headaches from the effort of trying to maintain a conversation and watch tv while in the same room with them.
Did I mention that we have 18 of the colorful little fliers?
When we came here we had five. Sometimes that was too many.
One was a lot, periodically. I remember looking at Mr. Bird moments after he arrived, and asking my dearest "Where does he keep his little amp?"
The volume raises exponentially after six. If I go outsiude and leave the door open, I can hear 'em at the front gate, 100 or so feet away.
I'm amazed that nobody ever complains.
Except us. We complain to the sources, but they don't mind us. We're just poorly-trained slaves.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

mach schau!

I'm proceeding with a bunch of behind-the-scenes sort of activities, since I was able to get my webspace transferred and am discovering new features that my old webhost didn't have. It's quite likely that in the future I'll crosspost blog entries between this space, my wordpress blog, and my weblog at Planet Moderan, which is still under construction.
In fact the whole Planet is under construction. I have a mess of stuff planned, and am devising new fun while I implement the present set of ideas.
This while I continue down the nano path. NaNoWriMo countup is now @5800. I've finished the first chapter/story and part of the second, with the rest plotted out, just waiting for me to return to it.

All of that despite the fact that I'm sleeping poorly and am really enervated. I can't get to sleep at night at all any more and crawl into the bed at daybreak, hoping to pass out from exhaustion. Then I either toss and turn for an hour or so and get back up until Morpheus starts talking shit about me again or wake up after a couple of hours, unrefreshed.
Might as well do something with the time. But it takes real effort to be coherent.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vitriol Cocktail

Today is a wonderful newsday. Usually I don't write anything having to do with politics but several things in the political arena are interesting me today. There are other things that are *cough* interesting me today also, and we may touch upon them, but let's first go with the politspeak.
First-Herman Cain is a liar, and an amateur. He doesn't seem to remember what he's said from one interview to the next. At least that's the opinion one forms when watching/reading coverage of his unfolding sex scandal. It seems that he has twice (maybe thrice according to some reports) been sued for some variety of sexual harassment, and has settled in both cases, entering into confidentiality agreements during the settlements.
Once the cases broke, he outed himself and has been uttering his variety of doublespeak since. I don't think I have to find any links for this-they're everywhere. His camp is blaming the equally stupefying Rick Perry campaign group for putting this information out there.
Gee. Cain has become the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and suddenly there's some closet-raking going on. This is likely to be the least of the skeletons, the smallest hurdle he has to clear. The Dems haven't even gotten into it yet.
It's just laughable. The three top GOP candidates are engaging in nutcutting contests already, having reduced Michelle Bachman to the afterthought she should have always been and marginalizing the rest of the field. I find myself loving this circus just as much as I enjoyed the Dem circus five years ago. There's just something about the Presidential race that exposes the essential charm in our national character.
Speaking of national characters, let's talk about the Occupy people and their complete lack of any realistic political agenda. It's fantastic that they want to get involved in the political process and vote with their asses. Sit-ins worked during the civil rights movement, and occupations did things during the Yippie times. Hard to remember anything lasting or really positive that came of it all, but I'd be happy to be reminded of such if indeed there was anything. The money people aren't going anywhere, no matter how many places these people occupy and screech their objections in.
The other great stuff....well, I live in Arizona, which is presently under (and has been for quite a while) Republican rule. Here's an example of how the legislature works-A bipartisan commission (2 Dems, 2 Pubs, an Indy) was appointed to redistrict the state so that no one party is able to zone things to their advantage.
Governor Jan Brewer liked the results so much that she engineered the dismissal of the chairwoman of the committee and did her level best to disqualify its results. This is SOP here in the land of McCain and Jon Kyl, who have bucked the system so much and so often that the state doesn't receive most of the federal benefit money that it otherwise would be entitled to (as I've found out firsthand in the last couple of years).
I love the weather, but the political weatherman calls for persistent stupid occasionally punctuated by cynical manipulation.
I'm a voter. I feel powerless too. I think that most folks want the things I want, but they sure don't vote for anyone who has the slightest idea of how to act for their constituency (in most cases). Reality never sets in.

Speaking of reality disconnects, I've joined this thing called NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month)-the idea is to make a blogpost every day during the month of November. I did this for two reasons-one, to see if I could (in 2009, I successfully finished NaNoWriMo and NaSoAlMo but didn't finish NaBloPoMo...which has been moved to some place called Blogher. A cursory scan of the blog titles says that I'm completely in the wrong place. I should have figured that out from the blogHER addy (I googled and find that blogher is some kinda secondrate iVillage imitation). I'm still gonna do the posting, and am not going to withdraw, but I'm a bit hacked off at the folks that run the thing-today, when I tried to access the portal, I was told that my username and password were not recognized, even though I signed in three days in a row previously and am on the blogroll (#617). I won't be back to claim my merit badge. There's enough stupid on the front page (which claims it is about Life Well-Said and then goes on to belie that statement in the very first article) to put me off, before I get to the article about Kim Kardashian.
Then, back to the political side of things...I'm on the federal tit. I was stricken with pneumonia that got complicated (as some of you know), almost died. There's an agency that coordinates/determines benefits. Their representative is upset that social security benefits of a certain dollar amount were conferred upon me (22$ over what they call their limit) and wants to examine my bank statements. If I don't comply, then my supply of oxygen tanks and other such necessary things will be cut off. I don't think I want to comply-I don't believe they have a right to that information, but I don't see how I can avoid it. It isn't right, it isn't fair, and I really have a problem with the rep's attitude (she craps gold pieces that smell rosy) which is demanding as he'll-she says I NEED rather than I'd like, which betrays her perspective-it isn't about me, and what I need to conduct any semblance of a normal existence, it's about HER.
Forgive me if some of this doesn't make complete sense. I am a chronic insomniac and have slept maybe seventeen hours since last Monday. On the plus side, I've written 5280 mostly-coherent words of my nanowrimo novel in two days, am just about to finish two new songs, and am halfway through the complete Cowboy Bebop.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicken and Waffle

Yep. So here it is again, nanotime, when incipient novelization is supposed to be translated into actuality at 1667 words per day. This will be my fourth attempt. I've successfully navigated the nanowaters before thrice, but have never had the particular set of challenges I face this time-namely, embarking on a novel without any preliminaries.
I was originally going to work on a delayed project, Vermilion Dawn, set many years after Martian colonization. That novel needs some seed from a previous novel to work properly, though, and much rumination led to deciding upon a "rewrite" of a novel I've started several times but haven't finished, in an attempt to exorcise that ghost once and for all.
So, after much waffling, hemming, and hawing,  I withdrew Vermilion Dawn in favor of Fallen Earring, dragged out my ten thousand docs and links and books and whatnot about Hendrix, and furiously began scribbling, in longhand on notebook paper, my proposed outline. That was the day before Hallowe'en.
The floor in my office became decorated with paper balls not long after that. I spent part of a mostly sleepless night shooting them through a Nerfoop I have hanging next to the door and ruminating about how to make the thing work.
Fallen Earring is a genrehopper, a rule-breaker. An altworld themed-story collection that masquerades as a novel and takes place mostly via flashback. I've been working on it on and off for a few years now-the themes and settings of the thing are burned into my brain (like some of my other unwritten or unpublished "works"), and I cannot let them go. The problem is that I hadn't arrived at the proper method of telling the story.
Still not sure that I have. I've gone from third person limited to third omniscient, from present tense to past, to first person, to having different characters tell the story. I've tried having Jimi as a character, which doesn't work at all, having him as the narrator, which really doesn't work on an extended basis, adding metafictional frameworks, turning the events of the narrative this way and that, trying semi-desperately to find a way, the right way, to GET THE DAMN STORY TOLD.
I think I have it. Now I just need to finish up several other projects so I can get at the thing. And hope against hope that I don't change my friggin mind again.
My ancient colored-pencil and smeared-marker pic has been pressed into service as the cover. I added some lettering I developed a couple of years ago, did a little photoshop sharpening, and that was that.
Now I just need to do the writing. I'm actually shooting for @75k, as that's the projected wordcount of the whole thing, and I'm still waffling over whether or not to edit what I do each day and put it up here. Very possible-I'm going to take a look at what I actually have and make that decision.
On other fronts-I'm still waiting for GoDaddy to finish the transfer of my domain to my new webhost so I can get after rebuilding my website. I was hoping that could be done before NaNoWriMo so as not to complicate things any more than they already are, but no go. That's going to be a cause for more waffling as I try to decide whether to go with a more conventionall website or to make everything wordpress. Very likely that it'll be some combination of the two like I've had before, but I just don't know. I'm pretty sore about the short shrift I got from GoDaddy and really don't want to do a whole bunch of coding. That's all up in the air for now.
I almost chickened out of Nano, but when I was established as the community leader from Writing Forums, I had to buck up and run with the ball. WF recently promoted me to global moderator from my previous position as forum mod. Have to set a good example.