Wednesday, August 13, 2014

_The Massive_ by Brian Wood

Just a short note to express my pleasure at being able to read volume 3 of Brian Wood's sci fi story _The Massive_.

This series is set in a near future where the ice caps have melted, leading to a worldwide crisis called The Crash. It focuses on a group of Greenpeace-like protestors led by Callum Israel, a former mercenary, who live on their anti-whaling ship _Kapital_ and try to survive in the changed world.

The stories start with a bang, putting characters under stress. And each volume offers tantalizing hints of the past.

The title refers to a sister ship that was lost mysteriously, and which the crew of the Kapital hunts for, sometimes catching her on radar.

That and other surreal elements, the certainly-not-natural character Mary, hint that there is more than just science in the story.

I started reading this series just about a year ago. I eagerly await the next volume.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learn something about HTML5 via the simplest game

I was thinking, I should learn about HTML5.
I thought, maybe I should look at making a simple game in HTML5 
What's the simplest game? Pong.
So I googled 'pong in html5' and got this:

It has a multi-pane window approach and you can see the code results on the right, instantly.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Fletcher Formula

This fellow seems to have cracked the secret formula to Murder, She Wrote:

Here's a snippet:

POLICE IDIOT stands over DESPERATE BUSINESSMAN’S BODY. JESSICA arrives immediately somehow.
Looks like an open-and-shut case, Mrs F. Witnesses heard Shady Contact threatening to kill him, and as a police officer I don’t like to look for further evidence or consider any other possibilities.
I’m not so sure, Idiot! Can you get me his phone records?
OK, for some reason it’s fine for me to share that private data. But I’m telling you Mrs F, this time you’re wrong. I know I have a 0% success rate and you solve all of the 22 murders that happen near you every year, but

ADDENDUM:  This page caused me to skim the Wikipedia page about the show, and there I learned that none other than Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for the show in its later years.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

My writing process at the moment

Rebecca Schwarz tagged me re: writing about my writing process. My process is undergoing change right now. For a year or more I was happily doing rewrites all the time and would rewrite a short story's text from scratch often. These rewrites might not change much ...wording always changed a little, but the structure of the story often did not. I was heavily biased towards a complete retype of the story to make some small change consistently throughout the story.

I was really proud of these rewrites and they made hitting wordcount goals easy. But I came to believe that they were wasting a lot of my time, and I swung the other direction, often spending many writing sessions working on the outline for a story and not writing any prose.

I'm trying to find the synthesis for those two poles now. I'm still spending a lot of time on planning; I don't like to go into a story without knowing where it is going. But I also find that I can generate ideas for a long time and often can't choose an idea without testing it with some prose.

Most recently, I was unable to decide what to do with a story where there was a magical object, and I couldn't seem to pick any one way to visualize it. The story needed a MacGuffin, but I didn't know whether it should be a magic ring or a magic juice jar or what.

After a couple of days of not writing much, I came back and sat down and just started drafting the middle of the story, and quickly settled on a shape for the object. More and more I'm finding this technique useful: generate lists of ideas, then draft to make a decision.

Okay, those are my thoughts on process today. Now I'll tag Doug Sims.

Friday, August 01, 2014

i'm kind of in love with this article about how the social justice of denmark makes it immune to pick up artists

This article looks at one pick-up artist's review of trying to ply his "art" in Denmark and failing... because enlightened government policies have made women too equal to be easily knocked down by negging and such: