Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm printing out a manuscript I deemed unworthy of edit or finish back in October 2009. I wasn't doing very well back then, and may have even described that project's demise in my blog at the time. I wasn't well when I wrote that book, nor when I passed judgement upon it. Because I'm doing better, part of me thinks the book might read differently to me now.

Maybe I can even heal the work with a dutiful editing of its content? I guess we'll find out.

I didn't edit any of my own work back then. My wife had time, and I felt better about asking for help. I think this hurt me as a writer, at least with regard to assessing my own work. I need to go back to what I wrote in 2009 and edit everything forward, with my own eyes and by my own hand.

Hopefully, I can garner some perspective and a skill I sorely lack.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Noise is marketed, packaged and shipped like so many other things in this world. It's hard to go anywhere without finding it in high quantity and low quality. Movies and television shows are just orchestrated noise with some expensive visuals synchronized to play along behind it.

To that end, I'm making a new commitment to silence. I think it's an important virtue that so many people fail to exercise effectively and consistently. People think it takes courage to speak up, and sometimes it does. It takes wisdom to know when to shut up.

So, do not spread the word. Do not tell anyone about this new movement I'm starting, and certainly don't talk about it.

Just be quiet. Thank you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Captains Of Finance

If any of the Captains of Finance are wondering why the OWS movement has gotten all sorts of traction and international attention... they need look no further than the Mayors and Governors playing into the OWS's hands. Bloomberg should have just thrown a press conference and had the NYPD beat the heck out of kid clutching an American flag. It would've been cheaper and had the same results. Like I needed more proof the world has lost its mind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well Done Albany PD, New York State Police

You guys are professionals.

"The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor." - State Police Official

Occupy Wall Street Movement, and the Police

Photo via Flickr and probably from these folks. (Still trying to find out who took it.)

I don't troll the internet looking for video of police beating, shooting or otherwise harming protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. You don't have to, it's starting to get common enough that it's everywhere. I'm beginning to think that US policy makers, mayors and police chiefs don't think this will spiral out of control; that something like the LA Riots can't happen again in the United States.

As more people drop below the poverty line and European countries continue to engage in the same financial brinksmanship we have, the situation gets even more dire. People are getting desperate, and they are tired of not being heard. I don't even agree with half of what the Occupy Wall Street movement espouses, but I 100% sympathize with them now that police departments are acting outside the confines of the law to suppress these people.

Full disclosure: My father's been a member of Law Enforcement virtually my whole life, so I'm not making these comments out of any bias for or against the Police. I've seen what the average police officer is capable of... the same thing any other human being. The problem is that they don't have room to make mistakes in a world where one in five people have a smart phone capable of shooting high definition video and sending it to the internet in two taps of the touch screen.

I doubt the police officers responsible will ever be held accountable. Right now, something like that would make the national news, and that's something no town or police department wants. The Police have already put the movement into the mainstream and are threatening to give it a sort of legitimacy that get's attention without solving any of the larger problems.

While people are looking at disgruntled college kids getting kicked around by the police, kids that might be their own, focus shifts from the real problem. I believe that many people that bought a house without putting 20% down, bought things they didn't need on credit, and took out student loans instead of looking for work outside their home town, are just as much to blame as the banking industry for what's happening in the US. That said, I believe that the Americans who engaged in these unwise financial decisions have suffered, and dearly, for those choices.

The Banking Industry hasn't paid the price for their participation, suffered crippling regulation, or been seriously investigated by any government entity responsible for protecting the public from those actions. On the contrary, they've been rewarded and given a pass by our government and allowed to continue on using the same tactics they used before. The US Government has passed new legislation, but none of it has any teeth or means of enforcement.

The banks can pretty much just ignore it.

I feel badly that the Police are left to bear the brunt of the people's anger over this. Protecting a populace from themselves and a criminal element is at least a noble pursuit most of the time. Getting paid overtime to protect the interests of soulless corporations and policy makers too blinded by the money flowing into their reelection campaign funds? Yeah, that would make me question what my oath and my badge stood for if I were a member of Law Enforcement.

As a citizen I don't know what I'd do if our own tiny Occupy movement came under attack in this way. It'd get pretty personal, and I don't think I'd sit by and watch the police take those kinds of actions in my town. I can only imagine how the people in Oakland must feel, and that's really the crux of the problem with the police taking violent action against the protesters.

The flip side is that the protesters need to make sure what they are doing is as legal as possible and that any laws they disobey be done in a civil manner. Using the cause as a front to traffic illegal substances, provoking the police needlessly, or causing local businesses to suffer will hurt the Occupy movement. So far, this has been a battle for public opinion, and if the Occupy folks continue to be merely civilly disobedient, they might have a chance.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Elephant Ears & Corn Dogs

Been hitting it pretty hard this week.

The rate at which I am able to edit text is frustratingly slow. It's maddening in equal measure to how rewarding it has been. I've been moving quickly to generate content but it's clear I'm not so patient when it comes to going back and doing revisions. I want to eventually give this polish to all my projects.

I want to embody the patience that makes a good craftsman. Right now!

Livestrom and I went feature complete a couple weeks back and we're quickly approaching the completion of our initial offering of content. My Thinkpad e420 is probably confused as heck. It's seen more action than my Macs have this week. Live told me his sister was surprised that we were coming to the end of it. Given how hard it has been to hold that project together, I'm not surprised she's surprised.

We started with a half dozen folks committed to the project and eventually ended up with just Leaf and Live rocking the remainder. I love working with other people that possess the same work ethic I do.

I've done one complete edit on one of my novels and I'm slowly working through my Storytelling Sciences book. It's bigger than my first novel, pushing nearly 100k words. By far, the editing of that project has been the biggest mountain I've had to climb in the two years I've been doing this.

To everyone that has insinuated that self-published authors deserve less respect than commercially published ones... you don't know anything about anything. Writers that take on the task of writing, editing and promoting their own works are titans that come to the craft in the way it was meant to be.

Meanwhile, I have several ideas for novels I'll write next year. I've already done a couple 40 page outlines for each and the concepts are beginning to spawn dreams and impressions while I sleep. This is one of a few ways I know I'm ready to tackle a new piece of writing, when my subconscious is getting in on the game. There are so many landscapes I've had the pleasure and horror of visiting while I slumbered that made for great scenes in my writing.

By the end of the year I hope to have one Novella, one Novel, one RPG Book and one WP7 App (TBS Game) ready for the marketplace. I figure at this point that I've only got about 40 working days remaining. I feel a little bit better about my prospects for reaching my goals now than I did three or even two weeks ago. This week has been awesomely productive put in the proper perspective.

I was complaining to my wife the other night about how it seems like I've done so little in two years. Then I stopped and made a quick mental list of what I'd done and how many new skills and tools I had to reach out to along the way. I spent most of August being my own worst enemy, with an internal monologue that basically kept me going through the most difficult part of chemical depression, my old friend apathy.

My Hunter LARP has been kicked to one side, neglected for the last month. I've been told that the people participating are patient folks that are ready to play when I'm ready to run a session. I hate not being able to do everything I'd like to do. I've written what will probably be the beginning of an epic Classic (1983) D&D game when I shut my Primordium Table down for maintenance.

I have to begin serious play testing for my SS RPG next year and I'm already nervous about whether I'll be able to gather together enough of the right folks. My anxiety makes me feel worthless, and like I should just quit everything and find a nice safe job doing something for someone else that slowly kills my brain. Why are there so many people selling elephant ears and corn dogs beside the low road?

All the best and most noble things in life are the things we do for their own sake.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Smoke and Vaporware

I've been an avid reader of John Gruber's "Daring Fireball" for over two years now. I even bought a couple Daring Fireball T-shirts, a black and a grey one. I've always enjoyed his objective take on things and the way he thoughtfully presents things. He gets a lot of flack because he's Apple-centric in the way he writes and a great source of PR for that company.

Full disclosure, I also use a number of Apple's products. Since 2009 I've owned four apple computers, an iPad, and an iPod Touch. I'm also firmly in the Windows Phone 7 camp and have a couple of Thinkpads running Windows and a Samsung Focus. My most modern Lenovo dual boots Windows 7 and Ubuntu. When it comes to operating systems, both desktop and mobile, I'm a well rounded and open minded guy.

Microsoft released a video of one of a number possible futures for mobile business computing that I found fascinating. John has been relentless in his criticism of that video and has posted a lengthy defense to that criticism. Speaking as someone who loves Microsoft's Metro-designed Windows Phone 7, I don't share John's feelings.

John's entitled to his opinion, but I think the video introduces several ideas that would revolutionize mobile computing. I agree that there are many things in the video that are sitting in the distant future. There is one thing I saw that I desperately want, and I think is within reach if Microsoft, Apple or others wanted to reach out to it.

I would love to be able to point the camera on my tablet at the display for my desktop and be able to set a file transfer based on what was on the screen, and vice versa. Using optics and displays as a LOS based interface to initiate file transfers, access advertising and make purchases would open all sorts of doors for mobile computing. Being able to share information this way would make offices, big and small, more efficient.

Obviously, there would be significant security considerations to overcome, but then, there always will be.