October wasn’t the best of months for me.
Over two weekends, I helped move our San Francisco office to a new location and set up a brand new office in Denver. I’m willing to bet they’re happy I’m not an hourly employee. The whole process was exhausting and I wish I knew who thought this was a great idea.
Having to work those weekends also means I had to cancel a trip to New Orleans for a friend’s birthday. Flight and hotel were booked and I was looking forward to it. I’m also disappointed that I couldn’t go because another great friend, who I’ve been out of touch with for far too long, did make it out.
When I got back from Denver the battery on my motorcycle died. Getting that fixed was quite the event. Then, worse, the very next week I was in an accident. A guy was pulling in to Gough from an alley and thought it was a two way street so he wasn’t looking in my direction. I had slowed down and was going to go behind him when he stopped suddenly. I remember watching my tire hit the back corner of his rental and then nothing until I was standing up to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. Apparently I did a graceful roll, though, and the fact that I wasn’t really hurt (some minor bruises) is testament to that I suppose.
So continuing on with my October, coffee was accidentally poured on my work computer (the guy feels terrible) and then my home computer’s hard drive died. I have my home computer back up and running (mostly; still need to install StarCraft 2) but my work computer is still getting cleaned.
And finally, sadly, my Uncle (Mom’s brother) passed away. I wasn’t terribly close to him but close enough that it came as a shock.
I am saying goodbye to October. Though Rosa got her citizenship, which is a great thing, it’s otherwise been a month I’d rather just forget.Comments Off | Catergorized: family friends life motorcycle technology travel work
I’ve been playing around with IfTTT, an interesting tool to help you automate your online presence. Basically it gives you the ability to say if this happens in my online accounts, then make that happen.
For example, I’m testing it out with three different “recipes”. Each one starts with my “if this” which is, “If I post a new video to my account on YouTube.” What I wanted was that if I posted something new I could automatically post it to this blog, to my Twitter account and make a note in Evernote. Each one has to be a separate recipe, but I created them and will be posting some video in the near future as a test.
I learned about IfTTT from Jamie Todd Rubin who is a major proponent of going paperless and also a pretty accomplished author. While I’m not entirely ready to go paperless, I do enjoy learning where I can automate my life to make things so much easier and get more done.Comments Off | Catergorized: geek technology
Today Literature and Latte announced the anticipated release of Scapple, their “mind mapping” software that compliments Scrivener, my writing software of choice. To get an idea of what it can do for you, check out this video.
One of the motivating ideas behind Scapple was to create a simple-to-use tool to draw out connections and links between disparate notes containing characters, actions, items, or what have you in a manner similar to drawing on paper. What would be wonderful to see eventually is a tablet version that works with a pen, similar to Evernote’s Penultimate. Similar, that is, in it’s simplicity to draw the shapes and connections and have them converted digitally to format, synched to a cloud service, and editable elsewhere.
In the meantime, I’ve picked up Scapple and am excited to start trying it out. Maybe it will help me resolve a sticky plot situation I’ve found myself in with the current story, and even if not at least it will help me visualize the story in a way that words and outlines on screen can’t.Comments Off | Catergorized: apple writing
Yesterday I came to the startling (re)discovery that I write, specifically stories, much better with pen and paper than I do on the computer. Despite having tons of great writing applications, especially Scrivener, my pace of thought and idea flow works better when I am physically writing than typing. So I’ve started a new project as a test and am rewriting a short story in a large Moleskine sketchbook that has already progressed further than I expected in just a day of recompiling notes, plots and characters from its Scrivener project.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not abandoning the digital process. I’m just going to work with a method that seems to work better for me at this stage of writing. Once done I’ll pop everything in to Scrivener and do my editing (which I do better on the computer anyways, based on experience) and finalizations.
Ah, pen and paper. How I’ve missed you!
UPDATE: Though I’m using pen and paper, I completely identify with this guy who uses a typewriter:
When I’m using Microsoft Word, staring at that bright screen kind of zaps some of the creative process from me, and there are lot of distractions with laptops. Plus, I’m one of the biggest self-editors. I’ll write something and instead of forging ahead like you should, I’ll go back and start tweaking things. With a typewriter, you need conviction. If you want to go back and fix something, you have to white it out or edit it later. So it helps me sustain momentum and get to the piece.Comments Off | Catergorized: technology writing
I’ve finished my first book of the year. Not that I started it this year, mind you; I started it probably back in October 2012… But I just finished it the other day. The book: The Magic Circle of Rudolf II by Peter Marshall.
I picked this up for research into a story that I started -and takes place- in Prague a very long time ago. Rudolfine Prague was always an interesting topic for me as you can still see the remnants of the golden age brought on by Rudolf today, and the cultural melancholy that came from his passing and the imminent Counter-Reformation and resultant Thirty Years’ War. Reading the book gave me an inside view of the thoughts, dreams and actions of Rudolf which led to, and depended almost entirely on, his life and peculiarities. Though the goal of the book was to show how Rudolf straddled the line between medieval thought and modern thought during his rule as Holy Roman Emperor, and did a good job of it, I read the book more for historical, character and cultural needs. Alas the coloring needs of writing.
My next task for the book before retiring it to the shelf is to gather all of my notes and put them in my Scrivener file for the project. I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but it’s looking like I might try fiction again: The SFWA European Hall of Fame edited by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow.Comments Off | Catergorized: books prague writing
Normally I read a ton of books. Under previous circumstances I could probably read one a week but a combination of factors left last year, 2012, pretty dry as far as reading went. In fact I read one, single book completely: The SFWA Grand Masters Volume 1. Honestly I’m surprised I managed to finish that one but I was determined to finish something. We’ll see how this year goes, but I doubt it will be too terribly many more.Comments Off | Catergorized: books life
I’ve hit 13000 miles on the moto. Another milestone of sorts.Comments Off | Catergorized: motorcycle photos
I know it’s been an age and a day (or two) since I posted here. It’s been quite busy. That being said I won’t even promise to try and keep up here… Try to find me on Twitter @dooglahs.
I wish I had known about The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, though. I would have tried to make time for that! Especially since there was one here in San Francisco. I could have even dressed up in my Victorian duds. I put it on my calendar for next year…Comments Off | Catergorized: motorcycle
ХудожникподаръциOK, this is something shady but as I want the extra space for my Dropbox account, I’m going to post it anyways. They are offering extra space to my account if you sign up for a Dropbox account by clicking this link. You might ask yourself, “Why should I bother?” Honestly, the answer is you probably shouldn’t bother but with the account you can upload files (like large picture albums or music) to Dropbox and then share it with someone to download. You can also use it to synch files between various devices like your computer, your phone and other things if they are web enabled. For a long time I ignored Dropbox but lately I’ve been using it to back up certain things I don’t want lost in the case of a fire or earthquake, and now I want to back up a bit more (and also some other stuff, but let’s not go into that).
You can sign up for the service and get 2GB for free, which is what I’ve done, and then get more space by either paying for it (blech) or by getting your pals to sign up (also blech). Since I refuse to pay for things if I can help it I’m asking that A) if you have considered using Dropbox then B) please click on this link to sign up so I can get more free space.
Meanwhile, please return to your regularly scheduled day and don’t let this obvious crap get in the way.2 Comments | Catergorized: geek
The last time around, towards the end of the 90s, we saw companies build out the DotCom era on such flimsy business plans as shipping dog food for free with no actual profit margin. Investors poured billions of dollars into these companies seeking magical revenues. Of course the whole thing exploded because it was magic, not real.
Now we’re seeing it again. Facebook is about to go public and folks are saying it is worth billions and billions of dollars. That’s fine, though I’m skeptical. But now Facebook is buying a little photo sharing app called Instagram for about a billion dollars. So now the company that is probably over valued is buying another little company for far more than it is probably worth. Seriously, buying a photo sharing application for a billion dollars is ridiculous.
I’m seeing the next DotCom explosion, and this time it looks like it is at least partially self-funding. This seems far more dangerous to me than the last time around.Comments Off | Catergorized: grrr technology thoughts