Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Dawn of NaNoWriMo 2014

It's NaNoWriMo time again, and I'm angsting over what to write.

There is no question I want to participate. I love feeling productive, especially in the writerly sense, and collaborating with hundreds of thousands of other participants really does give me a sense of support. There are naysayers who try to act all deconstructionist about it, the same people who complain about New Year's resolutions. Their argument is, "Why pick a month to do this? Why not get off your butt and start this any time?" The response, of course, is, "It has to start some time, and we chose November. If you can start up a major project like this at the drop of a hat, awesome for you, but what do you get out of pissing on someone else's cornflakes?"

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Third Week of Unemployment

Location: Minneapolis, MN 55408, USA
This is the week of serious job-getting. I'm not in dire straits, we have some savings to fulfill our obligations and we keep low expenses, but... what else am I doing with my days? with my life?

The first week of unemployment was relief. I was sad to leave a job I enjoyed with coworkers I considered friends, but I was stressed. Because there is no way to measure the positive work an editor does, only the negative (items missed), it is impossible to say whether a copyeditor is effective at his job, except for this: "We haven't had to talk to him about anything for a while." That means things are probably okay. But then there's no benchmark for acceptable performance: anything, to any degree, less than perfection is considered failure. And while the admin said they knew perfection was impossible, it was also impossible to measure how close I was coming to that with a ratio of my successful labors to what slipped through the cracks. So once that dynamic was done, I was able to notice the sun and fill my lungs with air and hug my wife in a manner unlike that of a drowning man clinging to a buoy.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Avoiding "Blaand" Puns Because They're Cheap

I'm not the first person to want to research blaand, and I'm not the first to blog about it. But this is my journey as I discover a new beverage and find out what online people know about it.

I discovered this drink because of Dungeons and Dragons. My wife has never played, and I used to run a 2nd Edition campaign, but I only have 3rd Edition rulebooks which is a d20 system and almost entirely foreign to me. But I swore I'd start a campaign, so I researched the demographics of a sustainable medieval village and created a reasonable community of a town and some villages.