Category Archives: Language

I hate writing!

So, that’s not entirely true.  I say that the same way I say, “I hate my life.”  I don’t actually hate my life, but sometimes I hate parts of it.  And sometimes all those parts I hate get together all at once and I say “I hate my life,” but what I mean is that I hate the part I’m going through now.  Which is what I’m saying now.  I hate writing! I follow a fair number of professional and semi-professional writers on Twitter.  Some of them like to tweet nightly about how much they wrote — 900 words, 1200 words, 1800 words. I’m not that consistent.  I never have …

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Posted in Writing.

Story and Art

Awhile ago I wrote this post about whether or not video games are art: osmstudios.com/blog/post/videogames-as-art.   If you don’t have time to read it, let me summarize.  I’m of the opinion that video games are art since they are made up of components that are art (writing, drawing, music, etc.) The only part of a video game that is even open to the “what makes art” debate is the gameplay itself.  I still think gameplay could be art in itself, but I landed on the fence. I was thinking back on that post while I drove to downtown Indy the other day and realized that the same question could be asked …

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Posted in Language, Media, Philosophy, Writing.

What’s In A Name?

A love-struck 13 year old girl in a Shakespearean play thought it was nothing.  I disagree.  A rose by any other name would certainly smell as sweet, but I’d never bring home a flower called a “poopoo” for my wife. We tend to give more credence to names than we realize.  Common names are more “hirable” than uncommon names.  You can flip through a highlight of some published studies in this BusinessInsider article.  Some of this is just cultural bias, but there is also a concept called nominative determinism.  Nominative determinism is why all Randys have worked as mechanics and why there is an unusual number of Meryls working in …

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Posted in Philosophy, Writing.

Symbolism in Life

I’m busy taking an online class where I read Science Fiction and Fantasy with people from all over the world.  I’ve now read no less than three forum posts saying “Why can’t a story just be a story?”  After all, real life doesn’t have symbolism in it.  Things are just things. For instance, the guy that came into my office and yelled at me because I informed him that he couldn’t park in our reserved spots doesn’t represent the waning of respect in a culture fixated on entitlement.  He’s just a douche. However, some life events do have a symbolic meaning — at least as far as the person experiencing it …

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Posted in Philosophy, Writing.

Memory Pressure Update

I thought I’d pop in and post a quick update on the status of my creative projects and subsequently my poor brain.  Since I posted my last blog I have brought three of my projects to decent pausing points. Kobold — an evolution of my Gnome project tracker, team management software — now has a mostly finished project module.  I’m now using it to manage it’s own bugs and features.  It’s now capable of tracking its own development. A humorous writing piece concerning the place of sex robots in modern society has been completed in rough draft form.  This is a good time to pause as I need to step back …

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Posted in Development, General, Writing.

Memory Pressure and What It Is Like To Be Out of Stories

About 6 months ago I ran out of stories.  Completely out.  Oh no, I still thought I had original stories; I was wrong.  It turns out that 23 years of experience boil down into a year and a half of stories or about a month of interesting stories.  Someone had to point it out to me. My wife tried, but I’ve been with her awhile so when she said, “Yes, I’ve heard this one,” I didn’t think anything of it.  Even when it got to “Oh my goodness, Dawson!  I know this one, alright?” I could ignore it even when it hit eye-rolls and zoning out. Then it started happening …

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Posted in General, Writing.

NaNoWriMo Autopsy

I finally took the time to read through my entire NaNoWriMo project.  It’s pretty bad — quite clearly dead.  So let’s cut into it. Note that the specimen has shrunk since it’s death at the beginning of December.  As I fix typos, repetition, grammer, etc. words have come flying off.  On December 1st I was just over 40,000 words.  Today I’m just over 39,000.  But words are such a poor measure of writing.  In this case the loss of words means a gain in the readability of the story. Specimen has a pallid tone through the bottom half of skin.  As I rushed to complete the work, many of the …

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Posted in Writing.

Fantasy Worlds

Sometimes I make myself sad.  (Ok, I make myself sad a lot, but that’s not really the point of this discussion.)  I got to thinking the other day about Middle-Earth.  Those of you who are huge nerds have had this problem before.  Middle-Earth is enormous.  It spans The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and has it’s own creation mythos in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, etc.  Tolkien spent the better part of his life building Middle-Earth.  He even took the time to create fictional languages — as was his academic interest.  In all honesty, this sounds like the work of a crazy person, but 50 years later people are still …

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Posted in Media, Philosophy, Writing.

NaNoWriMo Post-Mortem

I didn’t make 40,000 words in the month of November.  Nope! I only got to 38,532 before it struck midnight.  I wrote another 500 words before going to bed.  Things started going seriously wrong right around November 28th, day after Thanksgiving, as they often do.  (Gosh I hate Christmas.)  I had fallen a bit behind, but assumed I’d have a couple of days completely to myself to make it up.  Then one of my friends (one of Marissa’s old high school friends) ended up trapped on the side of the road four hours from home.  You can’t just leave a friend, so we took him in.  Next day my wife and …

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Posted in Writing.

NaNoWriMo Update

I’m now a little over one half done with NaNoWriMo, and I’ve reached the 25,000 word mark or about half way to the goal of 50,000.  I did have a head start, which shows in the fact that I have not averaged anywhere near enough words for hitting 25,000.  I’ve averaged about 1,117 words, nearly double my goal of 600 words, but still around 500 less than that 1,667 called for by the NaNoWriMo official goal. My new goal is to hit 40,000 words by the end of the month which will require an average of 1,000 words.  This is the minimum number of words required to be a “novel.” …

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Posted in Writing.