Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 3/20/23

What Happened Last Week?

More like “what didn’t happen last week.”

Spring ultimate frisbee league was postponed due to a pretty strong storm system that came through Wednesday night. The soil (a generous term for it) in Arizona doesn’t soak up water very well. Therefore, the Park & Rec Departments are pretty quick to close fields before athletes in cleats tear them up. So, our first game was cancelled. Well enough, since our league director hadn’t announced teams. (…still hasn’t as of this Monday morning…) The delay has caused me, the web monkey, much consternation. In fact, I really let my league grumpiness tank much of last week.

Played ultimate yesterday, a Sunday rarity. Matt’s wife organized a game for him for his birthday.

Haven’t been in a reading, watching, or blogging mood, which leaves my other hobbies of playing Minecraft and tinkering with my to-do lists.

A Good Moment

Had a really nice time gaming with Eric on Wednesday. Definitely the highlight of the week.

Random Link

Is Nope a Western? (via YouTube) Also, Nope wasn’t nominated for any Oscars? Not cinematography? Not sound? Sheesh.

Writing Check-In

Got started, late in the week, on Draft 3.

Also, another rejection on Flash Story #2

Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 3/13/23

What Happened Last Week?

The weather has warmed up to normal levels finally, which mean that Eric and I ran and threw every day last week and played ultimate on Friday. Spring league starts this week, we play on Thursday, but other than that we don’t know too much. Organization for league started later than it should have and registration was slow and smaller than usual. This week I’ll have all kinds of updates to make to the website—teams haven’t even been published yet!

The Western Ultimate League season started on Saturday. The Sidewinders, our local professional women’s ultimate frisbee team, won both their games! Which is good news because the college basketball season is at an end for Nebraska fans. (I have a tendency to mark time via sporting events . . .)

Ended up playing too much Minecraft, as I do.

Random Links

Writing Check-In

Craft articles of the week: The 5 Turning Points of a Character Arc
Which led to me to realizing that I was over complicating my plot. Since I’m going to start (what I’m calling) draft 3.

Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 3/6/23

What Happened Last Week?

Just been plodding along. Last week the weather was chilly and rainy. Haven’t gotten out as much as is probably good for me, but the weather is supposed to be warmer this week and spring league is (probably) starting next week. I’ll have additional VOTS work this week (probably).

Random Links

The Comfort of Liminal Spaces (and The Desire to Disappear) (via YouTube) – I’ve been thinking about liminal spaces a bit, especially since watching Skinamarink (2022). It seems that a major factor of why people find Skinamarink scary is that they find the long shots of empty hallways, classic liminal spaces, unsettling. It occurred to me that I don’t have that reaction to liminal spaces. I’ve worked a number of jobs in empty, or nearly empty, buildings. Also, since I am not a driver, I’ve spent a lot of time after events, waiting to be picked up. Weirdly, I don’t find these places creepy. While I don’t agree with all of the YouTuber’s assertions, I do find liminal spaces kind of peaceful.

Let Your Readers Think For Themselves – Against using thought verbs, like thought, realized, knew, and the like. As with all writing advice, YMMV. I think (cough) that good writing includes both brevity and exposition. Contrast is a good thing.

Writing Check-In

It’s been a rough time for one of my flash fiction pieces. Two rejections in just over a week!

Still working on my NaNoWriMo project.

Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 2/20/23

What Happened Last Week?

What did happen last week? I didn’t do as much work as I should have, watched a few movies, and wrote a few blog posts. Today, I’m creaky and fatigued, as sometimes occurs.

A Good Thing

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, my alma mater, won two basketball games. At this point in the season, after losing two starters, beating higher ranked opponents is cause for celebration.

Random Links

There’s been a lot about about AI generated content in my corner of the internet (and most corners of the internet).

  • ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web – I believe this piece by Ted Chiang is mentioned in North’s above Twitter thread, but it’s worth noting again.
  • A Concerning Trend – The editor of Clarkesworld magazine on the trend of junk AI submissions to short story markets.

Writing Check-In

Still haven’t finished my novel. I should do that this week. Maybe. Contemplating a short story based on an open call. No word on outstanding submissions.

Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 2/13/23

Faleigh’s Base

What Happened Last Week?

At the end of last year, I started watching “plan with me” videos on YouTube. I wanted schedule/productivity ideas because, well, I’m always playing around with my task lists. A few of the YouTubers I watched use the MäksēLife planner. I’m not one to spend $70 on a planner, but I was intrigued by their goal-setting system. I availed myself of some of their free downloads, did their “compass” assessment, and promptly discombobulated myself for the week. (I really enjoy Cindy Guentert-Baldo’s channel. She’s middle-aged and very down to earth.)

It was a relief when Eric started up a new Rebirth of the Night (RotN) Minecraft server. RotN is a mod pack that adds tool-using zombies and occasional mob invasions, and makes everything a bit harder. The above picture is my base by the end of Sunday, suspended above the water for anti-mob purposes, with a lovely harvest moon setting in the background.

A Good Thing

The lunchtime ultimate frisbee pickup group had its annual-ish potluck party on Friday. I organize it: I ask Ned (fellow player) if we can use his backyard (he also kindly grills for us) and I have everyone bring something to eat/drink. We play a little ultimate frisbee and then have lunch. The turn out is usually pretty good and, though I fret every year, there is always plenty of food. Friday was no different and it was nice to hang out and chat with people after the game.

Random Links

A couple downer links this week:

And I’ll follow those up with my usual reminder to vote.

Writing Check-In

NaNoWriMo Project: It’s all new writing from here on out. If I get stuck this week, I should probably consider working the “Cali Gothic” story.

Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 2/6/23

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Pexels.com

What Happened Last Week?

Ever have one of those weeks when things go a little wrong? When maybe you minorly screw up just about everything? Yeah, that was last week for me. Nothing went terribly wrong, but nothing was quite right either. By Thursday/Friday, I was in a foul, foul mood.

Good bit: Eric started DMing a Gamma World campaign using GURPS. Gamma World is a post-apocalypse setting and is full of mutant animals and puns. My characters is a blind bipedal human-sized guinea pig with radar vision named Ray Carls, Jr.

A Good Moment

I was up early enough on Friday to catch some of the sunrise. The sky was particularly lovely in shades of peach, mauve, and deep blue.

Random Links

Books edition, apparently:

Writing Check-In

Writing-related link of the week: Five More Creativity Exercises for Writers

NaNo project task list:

  • Finish the new interstitial scene I started last week.
  • Rewrite last remaining scene from the November draft.
  • Write the ending.
Posted in History

Monday Miscellanea, 1/30/23

Picture from behind of a woman lunging for a frisbee.
One of my favorite pictures of me playing ultimate frisbee, from late January 2019. Pic courtesy Chikara Kakizawa.

What Happened Last Week?

As I predicted, I had a lot of ultimate frisbee things last week. Winter A/B league fully started, so I had some of the schedule and “B” division teams to post. I also had a couple updates for our yearly New Year Fest tournament. I played pickup twice. Dave, who was the co-founder of the pickup game I’m now running, is in town. He retired to Michigan a few years ago and is snow-birding this February/March.

A Good Moment

Friday pickup was again a bit of a highlight. I didn’t play very well, but we had a good turn out, my body was feeling good, and the weather was pretty perfect. (My life is so boring.)

Random Links

Writing Check-In

Some writing-related links:

  • 6 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Writer’s Block – I’ve called the last few years a writing hiatus, but I suppose block is a word for it too. Funnily enough, I can see a parallel between “plot” blocks and “creative” blocks. Both can involve a twisting of logic into something that doesn’t feel like reality and is wrong.
  • Novel subplots – Not sure I agree with everything here, but that’s how writing advice goes.

I’m not really where I wanted to be at the end of January, but that’s what happens when a week and a half gets eaten by apathy. I intend to continue working on my NaNoWriMo project. I have two scenes left to rewrite and a whole lot of new material to add. It’s more like rewrite a scene, add a bunch, rewrite a scene, add a bunch, so I’d really like to have both of those rewrites out of the way by the end of this week.