New Year, New Computer…More Of The Same Only Faster and Smaller

Those aren’t books. You can’t hold a computer in your hand like you can a book. A computer does not smell. There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt. A book has got to smell. You have to hold it in your hands and pray to it. You put it in your pocket and you walk with it. And it stays with you forever. But the computer doesn’t do that for you. I’m sorry.”

-Ray Bradbury

Let’s see how this goes…

first test, is this keeping up with how fast I can type?  Check

second test, is this updating and moving around as fast as I like to go? Check

third test, actually typing a post about anything on this new machine? In progress…

New Year, new computer. The older computer, I refuse to say old computer as it is only 6 years old and I have children older than that is beginning to show its age. Sad, but true. The older computer worked fine for all of my needs up to a year ago when I started having problems typing.

Typing is what I do. If I cannot type, I cannot a lot of things. Alas, I type fast. Faster than the older computer could keep up with. Ever type out an entire 100 word paragraph, look up at the screen or down if that is your preferred direction of looking and see nothing other than letters slowly appearing?

I have. Scared the shit out of me the first time. Became the normal after a while and eventually, culminating in recently, became frustrating as it slowed my normal pace of writing posts and other minutiae down to a crawl where instead of writing as the words came to me I had time to watch the words appear and get…bored.

Now, as of write now, I am typing as the words appear in my head and the computer is keeping up, other than a fumble finger or three of mine as I learn finger placement on yet another, smaller keyboard. Am I imagining things or are keyboards becoming smaller and smaller? Are humans turning into hobbits or only people who use keyboards?

I just checked, my fingers are as big as ever (good news for the wife and people who need jars unstuck), but there is fur on my toes. Is that the first sign of impending hobbitism? I won’t mind, I have always wanted a house under a hill with round doors and square windows. I assume that if I become a hobbit in addition to being able to use tiny keyboards I will get the house under the hill, otherwise why be a hobbit. Long trips sound nice, but if a wandering magic hobo gives me a ring to take to the local volcano I am going to have to insist on first class all the way.

And here we are at the end of yet another journey. Thank you for the welcome backs. Thank you for reading while I was away. Thank you for reading while I am here. I’d give you some insight into plans, but I have a computer to get up to my settings, a painting/assembly gaming area to finish, and a few other things to finish up first.

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

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Wait, What…I’ve Been Gone For How Long? What Year Is It?

“Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that’s not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But…we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don’t really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The proverbial bad penny.

That clingy ex.

Herpes.

That’s write, I’m back from whatever hiatus I was on. I told myself many years ago that I would never be “that blogger.” You know the blogger I’m talking about the one who starts strong, then disappears (although in my defense and I do not need defending, I did say that I would write when I had something to write about [not that I have much to write about] and then I said I would be off for a bit [now I’m back]), then comes back in fits and starts. I did, I remember the day I said that to myself.

Unfortunately, in the words of me, “Now that I am out of school, not much of interest happens anymore.” And in the words of a wise man, “That’s good to hear.”

“that’s QaQ buSbogh. ”

-somethings are NOT better in Klingon 😦

Shortly after the last post, I took a lot of time off from writing of any kind. For those asking why did the writer stop writing, the answer is rooted in my history. Sit down for story time. I said SIT DOWN! There that is better, as I was saying in a soothing tone, way back in my youth say 20 or so years ago, my life revolved around two things…

who I was fucking

and

gaming

Not in that order. Ask any woman I was fucking back then and she will tell you among other things that I put gaming in front of them unless they too gamed and if they did not game they had better fuck well, suffice to say I gamed a lot. At one point in time for 3 years, 5 nights a week.

If you have ever run a roleplaying game you know that there is a shit, a metric shit, tonne of writing involved. When you run a regular game or in my case games, the metric shit tonne becomes exponentially larger. I know I have mentioned this before, if not here it goes. As the leader (I do not like Game Master unless as part of “Dungeon Knight in the Bedroom” where Master is appropriate, although I do not play games) I wrote out, as in reams of paper adventures, places, people, and things for the players ranging from a low of four to a high just over 10 to interact with. You may have noticed I like to write, back then if we wanted to play, I had to write.

There are two times when roleplaying does not happen:

1.) Several of the players have problems with their non-gaming significant others or get new non-gaming, but “willing to try” significant others. i.e. the significant other syndrome

2.) late November until early January

At least for me this was a thing. Right before Thanksgiving most people bolted home for dinner and enjoying the rest of the holidays. While gaming happened sporadically, among our extended group the understanding is that for once in our lives we would spend most of our time in the real world. Thus for approximately 2 months every year for…well a long time now, I stopped writing. I didn’t need to write and eventually learned not to write for those 2 months.

{I should mention here that five years of college had an interesting way of blasting the fun writing in life out of my head, further reinforcing that when given a break take it, because work is write around the proverbial corner.}

I took the break to do other things.

And that is where I have been, doing other things. Should I tell you some of them or let you guess what they are? I’ll tell you some.

I had a job editing over the holidays. Yes, I received remuneration and a good time. I did not receive a good time, I had a good time…ugh this language.

I got another idea from the children.

I turned my notebook into a disaster zone of notes. Yes, I did resume writing over the break, only I went back to basics-a pen (pour out a drink for the dead pen and his or her brother [how do you determine the sex of your writing implement and the first person to say it’s pink gets a stiff finger to the sternum] who died in the most noble pursuit of putting my ideas to paper) and a note book.

I relaxed.

I thought about my blogging future. I didn’t come up with anything of substance.

I read crap books.

I watched the country slide another space or two towards irrelevancy, anarchy, and more bad times.

I played a lot of video games.* Learned Destiny 2 will not be anything worth a shit for a long time, Just Cause 3 caused motion sickness, and that searching for a group online game for us to play is more frustrating than trying to convince someone that a threesome would be the “best” thing for the relationship**…I need a video game Unicorn. 🙂

I played some tabletop games, built many miniatures, and painted.

And here we are again. I’m writing again. You are reading me again. What will I write about and how often will I post, I do not know. I have some thoughts revolving around the miniature building/painting and games I am playing. I have some thoughts revolving around Puddles and Whiskers. I have some thoughts…

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

– Oscar Wilde

* I prefer to play tabletop games, but holidays do not allow that to happen as much as I would have like, thus video games.

** Don’t do that. If you want to have a threesome, have an open and honest conversation with all involved. In fact, if you need advice I have 3000 words on the subject lying about you can read. Just ask. 🙂

 

I Dream Of A Great Feast, First Though…

“He’d noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination – but at the end of the day they’d settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.”

-Terry Pratchett

Thank you for indulging my need to not write here every day. I say thank you because in spite or despite of my lack of continual writing people still visit in the numbers they did when I posted every day. That says a lot to me.

The last ingredients for Thanksgiving were purchased today. We are ready to begin cooking. Normally I would not say we I would say Barb is ready to cook, as Thanksgiving is the one day of the year where she cooks and only she cooks. There are several famous helper “incidents” that I could tell you about; cutting to the end of each, “She yelled at me because I didn’t do X Y or Z.” Unfortunately due to a conflux of events she may need/want help in the kitchen this time.

Event 1, she has a cold or at least sounds like she has a cold…she says she feels fine despite a cough that wakes the dead (read me)…sick people (or not) need a hand, thus she may have a helper

Event 2, her work schedule…being a pharmacist does not leave a lot (read any) free time around the holidays when you are the new person on the block…funny new is a relative term, seems pharmacists stay for long times making seniority something measured in decades…unlike previous years she has one day for prep instead of few days, thus she may have a helper

Event 3, mouse season, this has nothing to do with cooking, but cleaning. Seems in   there is such a thing as mouse season, we have gotten several independent references to the time of year when the weather turns cold and filed mice look for places to hide…they found our place

I declared WAR! Turned our house into deathtrap dungeon and instituted a strict policy of cleanliness. Not that we were dirty people, but with four people messes happen, and with one primary cleaner (me) some messes lasted longer than necessary. Not anymore. Knock on wood my war is being won and with the timely assistance of at least one if not two feral cats we have not seen a mouse for several weeks. Vigilance remains the word though, which means Barb will have at least one dishwasher in the kitchen with her at all times cleaning as she uses cookware. Hardly ideal, I already have a rotation worked out for those too “stressed” by her potential “yelling about X Y or Z.”

We shall see.

What I do know is that Barb’s Thanksgiving meals are looked forward to each year by everyone who has ever had the pleasure of being at our table. We like to have as many people over as possible, although there are times the numbers are not as large as we hope, the dream is to have everyone over once a year for a great feast.

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”

-Jon Stewart

The Soul of this Writer just doesn’t give a Damn during the month of November.

The primary function of quotation marks is to set off and represent exact language (either spoken or written) that has come from somebody else. The quotation mark is also used to designate speech acts in fiction and sometimes poetry.

In some styles, such as the MLA style, some longer quotations that span multiple lines shouldn’t use quotation marks. Instead, the quote should start on a new line and be indented.

Another use of quotation marks are scare quotes which are used to mean “so-called”, or to express irony.

-The Purdue OWL

Once a year I gain a year, gain an hour, and lose my shit every time people ask me if I the writer will participate in the annual November writing thing. Some letters that mean absolutely nothing to me and while I get that people need a reminder to write or in this case write with an absurd goal of word count X in time frame X I do enjoy watching those who enjoy the challenge taking up the mantle of writer…for a month.

This writer goes on hibernation during the month of November. No clue why. Happened even before the event became a thing, yet another reason why social media is losing its luster-bang out 140 characters, copy a meme, take a photo of your food (most of the time food you did nothing more than order), or post a status update for all of your followers who have nothing better to do than follow your every move, essentially vicariously living your life-and suddenly you to (two) ((too)) are a writer in the same way that anyone can open their fist hole and spew out words in an volume over conversational and in a cadence that matches something akin to music of two cats fucking and you two (too) ((TUE)) are a singer.

And all the while the world continues to burn. Ah well there will always be one last cat meme.

You might think that I am in a bad mood, no more than usual. Just tired of the now annual, “but you are a writer, why don’t you write 30,000 in a month,” bullshit. Why? Because I am a writer and I know how I writer. This writer, bangs out material for 10 months a year and for TUE (to) ((too)) takes a break. A break that has nothing to do with writers block because the writing ideas flow great, what doesn’t is the pen to paper or fingers to keys other than missives such as this where I open the top of my head and dump the contents of my brain…well more like skim the congealed fat off the soup…onto to whatever media I currently fancy which seems to be paper.

Paper just takes. Takes my ink. Takes my ideas. And paper holds. The only editing I can do to paper is scratch out the words, erase the words-but no the indentation caused through the force of my writing is still there-or crumple up the paper, the ultimate form of editing. See, I crumpled up your words and tossed them into the trash (or in my case tossed them in the direction of the trash, I am a horrible thrower of things into other things). You can’t crumple up a computer as easily or a file…although you delete…then again nothing is ever deleted forever…like herpes, pen to paper, and that one night-stand you really really wish would stop calling you…it was one night damnit.

One Night Stand with Accessories 🙂

No, not you. Some other one night stand. You know that time at the place where the thing and all of that.

What does a writer on hiatus (good word) do during apparently the only month when writers are supposed to write do? This writer reads. This writer paints. This writer jots down notes for later. This writer does not write. The soul of this writer just doesn’t give a damn during the month of November.

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

-Mark Twain

Rounding Up Can Kiss My Ass

“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

-George Orwell

Scrunching her face up, her deep thinking pose, our girl says the following while pointing at me across the table, “You said he is older than you.”

“Yep,” Barb says and then leans in and whispers something into our girl’s ear.

“So fifties,” she says with a smile.

I’m laughing.

“If you round up like my teacher says to then you are in your fifties.”

Screw you math!

Maybe you can tell or maybe you cannot because I really haven’t said much about the subject like I normally do, but based on our daughter’s rounding math my birthday is somewhere in the near future. No, I am not fishing for any happy birthdays. Although if you want to send some along I am not saying no.

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”

-Andy Rooney

What I am saying apparently is that my birthday is around the corner and due to a rounding lesson I have jumped from spry 40ish to spry 50ish. I refuse to say older or old because as my doctor recently put it…

“You are,” making the hand gestures for smaller than larger, “…smaller. I don’t need to see you for 6 months, keep up the exercise.”

Suck it exercise bike my ass is on you for LIFE! Life I say. I will become an indoor biker wearing really tight bicycling shorts peddling to nowhere while watching WhatCulture (What Culture is fucking hilarious…to me) on YouTube until the fat falls off and the muscles split my overly tight pants…until I look like a Greek God…probably Pan, but you get the idea, ripped and hairy…no flute playing…or is there? 🙂

Normally or typically around the start of the month of my birth I get all melancholy (personally I like meloncowly; think water melon and cow or insert your favorite melon and bovine…now that is a mental image) and waxing nostalgic. Not this year. No clue why other than waxing hurts and life has done a lot of changing over the past year and I am still attempting to come to grips with the changes. No nothing is wrong, just we went from college destitute to post college life and despite having had a pre-college destitute life this new phase is a hell of a lot more fun.

Without meloncowly and nostalgia to drive me for a month what is there? Well a shit ton of painting, terrain building, writing, house cleaning, dishes, dinners, schedules, and taking care of all of the bullshit that makes up a day in the life of ME, which does not sound better in Klingon although if I had to guess my life would only marginally be more interesting if I was a Klingon…actually probably a lot worse…speaking of which, watch Orville if you can. I don’t care if you don’t like Seth McFarlane this show has all of the feel good vibes of Star Trek with a better sense of how things should be in that the characters act as people. Trust me.

And that is why rounding up can kiss my ass!

“And here…we…go!”

-Joker

Piss Off! Working :)

“I hate writing, I love having written.”

-Dorothy Parker

Before any of my relatives who read this get too excited, I am still a stay-at-home, exercise bike riding, painting, writer. That being said I said, can I say said twice so shortly in one sentence? I guess if I am quoting myself and I am, shit need the quote marks, “I will write when I have something of interest to write about.” Or something like that and likely better in the original Klingon…let’s see…

qapumchu’meH HeghDI’ vay’ Daj ghItlh umqu’ ghot jIH

-Finally Klingon for every word 🙂

See that was better. The gist of the story and my “absence” (the quotes indicate that the word absence is not what I truly meant, just a handy tip from me to…well probably me) is that I am hard at work redoing Puddles and Whiskers. Yes, I know how many times can one person work or one reader read the same stuff? The answer for me at least is, UNTIL I GET IT WRITE! See what I did there?

As a writer or as this writer, I am very happy with my writing until I am not, typically this happens while reviewing (my new word for editing in an attempt to make editing more palatable like adding ketchup or pepper to shitty food, which by the way, if you add ketchup or pepper to food I make for you the first thing I think is “They think my food taste bad”) my writing, something I do a lot with Puddles and Whiskers. However, this time the act of attempting to write a follow-up got me in a state of unhappiness with the writing.

So I pondered and pondered out loud on Puddles and Whiskers and of all things while watching Silicon Valley hit on the idea of a pivot point. This pivot point, instead of wedging Puddles and Whiskers into Stroud why not alter Stroud to fit them? Thus over the past few…however long since I posted DICTATIONSHIP, I have been working on turning Stroud into Menagerie.

Our girl’s Puddles and Whiskers art, by the way. There is more art on Puddles and Whiskers. 🙂

Menagerie for everyone who is not a long time reader, is a serial story I started with animals in space. Space is science fiction, Stroud is a science fiction cyberpunkish setting, thus one plus one equals a lot of work for me. I wasn’t sure how the story would work out, but had to try because I was stuck.

The result, in my opinion, a hell of a lot better. While altering the characters into animals, I found story elements that needed to change or alter, resulting in a stronger story with less “AH HA” moments or “What the Fuck, where did that come from” moments than before. Now, I am not finished, but I am further along that I thought I would get. Oh yeah, for those who want to see a sample of what I am talking about, here you go (yes a link I like the pretty colors.)

So like I said, less bullshit here and more substance. Finding a better story within a story I already enjoyed is something of substance for myself, those who enjoy Puddles and Whiskers, and fellow writers who find themselves stuck…sometimes making a pivot point is the best way to get unstuck.

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”

-George R.R. Martin