The word of the week is incorrigible.
Aug 7 – Shadow Peace
While bullies are as stupid as ever, they're now a major threat to life on earth.
Strumpet to the south is shaking his nuclear willy at North Korea in again so childish that it's stunning to see in this day and age. Such insanely irresponsible behavior of the POTUS, gambling with the possibility of WWIII, cannot be overstated.
Even so, his supporters refuse to refute his crazy behavior, perhaps because we haven't had a world-wide war in over half a century to remind them of the terrible cost.
If I had anything to say, I directed him to watch this video, which illustrates with simple graphics the terrible cost that World War III would have our planet.
Aug 8 – Dang it, tech...
This is the week of technical difficulties, at least for my main desktop.
Thankfully, I've been editing my novel on my laptop, so it hasn't been too bad. All the same, this is what happened in the space of 48 hours:
- Chrome decided to slow down to glacial speeds with the latest update, which I hope will be fixed with the next update and soon!
- My headset microphone decided to disappear after the latest driver update, which is never good sign. I'll probably roll things back when I get around to it, and for now I'm using my Blue Microphones Snowball, which seems to be doing even better job. So perhaps it's an improvement?
- The replacement battery on my old OnePlus One seems to be holding its own; though the charge doesn't last all day, the phone doesn't overheat nearly as badly now. Yay!
- My ‘new’ Galaxy S5 phone is working great, except for the battery it came with. The OEM replacement I ordered for $7.50 CAN arrived today... with a dent in it. Dang! At least the vendor seems to care, since they're sending me a free replacement, but for now I'm keeping an eye on it since lithium batteries tend to catch fire when exposed to oxygen...
- My backup Acer NAS( network attached storage ) device hasn't worked for a month now, ever since I tried to replace the cranky old boot d with a newer and much larger one. At that the projects all get to this fall, with some added priority since I really should have my systems backed up more than once every few months.
On the bright side, computers can do THIS:
Aug 9 – PROGRESS!
I reached the halfway point in my draft's line-by-line edit tonight!
It's been a heavy slog sometimes for the last 10 days, but I've enjoyed every minute of it. poking and prodding words into proper paragraphs, shaving sentences down and whacking words into place. It's a full edit, going through the book from Chapter 1 to Chapter 40, all 145,000 words - a big job, but absolutely critical to make the leap from a third to a fourth( and final )draft.
I've been averaging two full chapters edited a day, which has been a stellar pace that's only picked up as I near the end of the edit... I can feel the energy of the book permeating my muse!
|NOT me this month, thank goodness!|
Immersing myself in the novel like this has been incredible. I'm deep in the story, every day, which is where an author should be when they're feeling 'the Flow.' Waking, I get to writing. Working the day job, while thinking about writing. Coming home, doing all the fiddly tasks of a day to get them out of the way... then writing some more until my eyes droop and I'm ready to fall into bed for the night.
There's not much else to say, except by the end of the month, the finished draft will be in the hands of a select few readers for feedback. Then it's off to find an agent, or even a publisher directly!
Aug 10 – Blue Screen Blues
Do you remember Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow?
It's okay if you don't, but I'd highly recommend grabbing a copy of the movie to watch if you haven't seen it. Sky Captain a film far ahead of its time, to which almost every modern f that uses CGI today, like Valerian, owe a huge debt:
Back in the 1990's, two brothers( Kevin and Kerry Conron )had an amazing idea: they wanted to create an entire film on blue screen and add all the scenery and effects elements afterwards, eliminating the need for costly sets or locations. Any scene could be built inside the computer and the actors dropped in. Commonplace now, revolutionary then. And they did it in 2004, when the Sky Captain was released, with an old-school adventure serial aesthetic that I love!
The likes of George Lucas flew them to his place for a long weekend, with famous directors like James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis and Brad Bird, Caleb Deschanel, and Robert Rodriguez, to name a few. The longer article here has some great detail on their story.
Unfortunately, the film flopped, mainly because it's budget became so inflated with the cost of the stars and the CGI effects, not to mention Hollywood accounting. I own it and love it, and I'm saddened that its creators were forgotten by Hollywood and not given the chance to do more with their talents.
What's even more incredible however, is the link to Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter Of Mars! The Conrons created a demo reel of the movie and pitched it to Paramount a few years later, with the possibility of it becoming a TV series. Sadly, the new head of the studio declined to pick it up, and all we have now is this incredible presentation reel:
Aug 11 – You Don't Know How It Feels...
Who doesn't love Tom Petty?
I've loved the sound of his American Rock since discovering him as a member of The Traveling Wilburys in the 1990's, and I suspect I already knew some of his songs before that.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been a mainstay of my music listening scene for 25 years now, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. What I haven't really thought about before though, is why I like their sound so much.
A recent New Yorker article summed it up for me in two words: Proud Pain.
It really does encapsulate what Tom Petty's sound is all about, but every song is a unique journey, a ballad about the experience of being good. Out of all the, my favorite is Running Down A Dream, which speaks to me about so many things: existence, the interpretation of reality, looking to the future... all of those and more. I present it to you here, and hope you'll enjoy the video's animation as well as the lyrics as much as I have all these years:
Aug 12 – Costly Collecting
It's a good thing I don't collect Lego... or I wouldn't have any spare money.
Because, just announced this week is this glorious retro 80's set:
In order to even get considered as an official set by Lego, at least 10,000 people have to endorse a proposed project on LegoIdeas.com. From there, Lego will decide if there's enough appeal to produce a run of a set, and so it's pretty exciting to see such a creative design for Voltron has made it into production.
Too bad I won't be able to afford the likely $200-$250USD price tag when it comes out in 2018. No sense in looking on eBay either, as almost every major collectible Lego set rises in price over the years, making them decent investments... as long as you don't open the box to assemble them, that is.
Also, for sheer cool factor, how about a beatdown between Optimus prime in Iron Man, done with high-end CGI, solid voice acting and just plain fun fightin' moves? I've even adjusted the start time to skip all the silly live-chatter intro. You're welcome:
Aug 13 – Fragility
A good friend of mine lost their mother today, a week after an accident on a bicycle. It's a damned tragedy, and something that again brings home the fragility of life.
I'm not getting any younger, and while I don't want to make this about myself, you have to wonder about your own mortality when people in your life are affected by the loss of their loved ones. The only have each other in this life, and as the years pass, there are fewer lights to hold back the darkness.
I come from an Italian background, meaning that I grew up with dozens of family members around all the time. As I grew older, we saw my relatives less and less, to where we went from seeing them a few times a month to a few times a year. Weddings and funerals were regular occurrences when I was younger, up until my teens, and then we started seeing less of everyone as we all got busy with our lives - especially when people started moving further away from each other.
It's sobering how little we think about losing our life until they're gone. Of all the things that we could and probably should have said, of the assumptions we made and the times that we could have spent learning more about them. I know in the case of my own grandfather, that I'd love to know more about the rich life he led during his life in Poland before WWII, and the effect that it had on his life. He's extremely intelligent and skilled man, but he's in his 90's now and far away, his mind stuck more in the past than in the present and I feel that he represents much of what people don't think about: we let the important parts of out lives slip away while we're busy doing other things.
Take the time soon to think about your life and the people in it, and what you can do today to ensure that the full measure of their richness is present sooner rather than later.
The last few weeks of writing seem to have really rubbed off on my blog, as I managed to bring it out in about an hour tonight - probably the fastest I've ever written an entry! I'm feeling pretty decent this week, with only a few stomach twinges and a still-stiff neck to distract me here and there of a day.
NOTE: next Sunday, August 20th, I'll be in the USA visiting my girlfriend's parents, so my entry may be delayed as I figure out how to post it. I'm considering bringing my laptop, but given the extremely invasive border searches of late, I don't want to have it randomly confiscated for no good reason. Not that there's anything on it that's incriminating, but I need it in order to continue working efficiently on my novel, among other things. While I'm sure I'll figure something out, don't be surprised if the next week's blog entry is rather brief.