Nov 30 2014

Stop what you’re doing and watch this


You’ll thank me.

But don’t thank me — thank Erik Wernquist.  And Carl Sagan.  And NASA.  And Herman Melville…


You should visit Wernquist’s website, too.

 And io9 has a great write-up on this. (I love io9.)

So does Phil Platt.

As for me, I am beyond words.

Go full screen, and turn up the volume…



Nov 18 2014

NaNoWriMo no-show woe


When last we left our plucky heroine, she was valiantly attempting to push on with NaNoWriMo after losing time to moving in to a new office, setting up said office, increasing her Day Job hours, and getting hit with the coldish/flu-ish virus that is making the rounds, having figured that after a week of sniffing coughing and hacking, that thing should be on its way out.

Surprise!  It decided to get worse instead.  What fun.  Oh, for the virus, not me, that is.

Nyquil and Dayquil basically had no effect any more, and just yesterday I dragged myself over to the walk-in center and got told by the nice young doctor that it looked exactly like what everyone else in the waiting room had, but was hitting me harder and sticking with me longer.  Possibly because I was still on chemo, and had recieved a dose just a week ago, a few days after the virus first hit me.

He gave me Tylenol with codeine.   So’s I could actually get some sleep, the lack of which, in my opinion, was just exacerbating the whole situation.

And I did sleep, hooray!  The first dose, oddly, had zero effect, but the second, this morning, let me get a good six hours of snooze.

Result: my brain is now working again.  That’s nice.  I missed it!  My brain is my favorite thing.

Other result: I can now do math!  And,  oh, look!  It’s now November 18, and I’ve written about 5,000 words of my NaNoWriMo project, leaving 45,000 to do in the next 13 days.  That would be 3,462 words a day.


In theory that is possible.   I have at various times in my life achieved over 3,000 words in a day.  But not every day for a sustained period.

Of course, there’s no particular reason why I should limit myself to the NaNoWriMo one-month time frame.   I can go over as much as I need, just not as a participant in the NaNoWriMo cultural phenomenon.  No big deal, right?

Well, true.   But I signed up for NaNoWriMo for actual reasons…

1.  After ten months of grinding through the whole cancer-treatment experience, during which I mananged only to write in small fits and spurts,  I wanted to do something that would knock me out of the artistic doldrums,  kick out the jambs, shake things up, realign everything.   I’d hoped that the total-immersion ethic of NaNoWriMo would be just the thing!  I’ve seen it work for other people.

2.  I’ve always been most productive in an all-out mode.  Every time I’ve finished a book, it was when I’d quit my day job.  But I can’t quit this day job (not yet).  As a participant in NaNo, you’re expected to put everything else in your life on hold (or as close to that as is possible), for the space of just one month.  It seemed that doing only the Day Job and my NaNoWriMo novel would be as close to doing only the novel as could be achieved at this point in my life, and it was worth trying for the space of that one month.

3.  The month of November this year is the only month in which it’s possible for me to do that.   Because: a) I should be getting back more of my strength every day, with the main cancer treatment over, so energy level up!; b) I won’t yet be working full-time at the Day Job, so less drag on whatever emotional and physical energy I do possess; c) I’m doing my usual thing of taking the entire Thanksgiving week off from the Day Job, and effectively withdrawing from the entire universe, and focusing on writing (time off that’s only possible because the Day Job provides us two paid days off that week).  By sheer coincidence the one time I can do all that is the same month as NaNoWriMo.

4.  I’ve heard and seen that NaNoWriMo can be fun!  Let’s have some fun, please? That would be nice.

So.  13 days of NaNo left, almost no way to hit the 50K mark, so what do I do?

I think I’m going to go for the fun bit.

I’m going to do as much total immersion as is feasable (without shorting myself on sleep, exercise and healthy food), while achieving as much fun as possible.

Immersing myself in imaginary worlds is lots o’ fun for me.

So.  That’s the plan.

Nov 13 2014

She’s up!


I now have internet access at my office!  (My own, non-day job office, that is.)  Seems okay so far.

I’m using the FreedomPop service, which allows you to not have a contract.   The router gets its signal  via 4G rather than through any dedicated phone or cable line.

I wanted a no-contract option, since it’s possible that this office won’t work at all, and I didn’t want to commit to a year’s worth of internet to get a decent deal.

I can’t yet officially endorse it, as I’ve only been using it for an hour or so.   I’ll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, still feeling blah, but I’m trying to hit NaNoWriMo a little harder, regardless.

In other news: the freakin’ freight elevator is out of order again!  I need to get some more furniture in here, and it’s two flights up.

Nov 11 2014

Say hello to my little friends, Nyquil and Dayquil


Knocked flat by what is either a really bad cold, the flu, or one of my very rare allergy attacks which I only get when I do something that essentially has me practically bathing in dust, which hey!  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing between moving stuff out of my basement and bedroom and into an office in a very old building!  What a coincidence.

I really don’t have much in the way of allergies, but if you hit me hard enough with stuff, I’ll eventually crack.

The doc thinks it’s not the flu, but notes that there is something “going around.”   I was a little worried about being in the chemotherapy suite among people who might have compromised immune systems; but they just put me at the far end, and requested that I not cough on anyone.  It was slow, anyway, with just a few fellow travelers, so it wasn’t hard to stay to myself.

I did, however, sleep during chemo, which I rarely do.   I’m famous for spending chemo time with my tablet or laptop or Kindle… Instead, I just tried not to snore too much, and shambled home afterwards.

I feel cheated!  I’m supposed to be NaNoWriMo-ing up a storm!

Well, at least I’m refreshing my acquaintance with the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series.  The first three seasons are free to Amazon Prime members for online streaming.   If you haven’t seen it, you really should check it out.  It is delightful in so many ways.

Not to be confused with the Last Airbender live-action movie, which, if you saw it, you should now hit yourself on the head with a hammer repeatedly until you forget.  And then watch the series.

Must go sleep now, with a goodnight kiss from Nyquil…


Nov 7 2014

No internet at the office


New office! A lot remains to be done, of course… at the moment the biggest lack is the Internet. I won’t get service until sometime next week.

Of course, I am SO behind on NaNoWriMo… too much of last week was eaten up with signing things, packing things, having burly men move objects from one location to another, and regular Day Job duties. I still get tired, but I’m so much improved. My office being on the third floor with no elevator should help me get a little exercise.

Meanwhile, for a bit of inspiration, BoingBoing has a short post by Welcome to Night Vale’s co-creator Jeffrey Cranor, wherein he reveals the secret to success in the arts.

Must stop now — I’m blogging from the Day Job, which is not exactly forbidden,  but possibly only because it hasn’t occurred to them that anyone might be doing it. They’re rather 20th-century around here…