Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

12/11/2015

FanFic

Filed under: Art,Fiction,Fun,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

No, I’m not writing it, but I’m not knocking it, either!

I know a lot of people do look down on fan fiction, mostly because it traditionally hasn’t been the best quality.  In fact, back in the old days, when I first was trying my hand at writing, it was very much denigrated and no one really wanted to admit that they wrote “fan fic”.  It was, after all, problematic in a number of ways.  For one thing, it was never…
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11/20/2015

Naming Names

Filed under: Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Naming is hard.

Naming things can be one of the most difficult tasks for an author. Whether it’s naming people, places or things, the endless work of finding just the right name, one that sounds realistic and fits the circumstances, can be trying work. For me, place names are the hardest to do well. No matter what the setting, naming towns and streets can be challenging. As it turns out, it can be challenging in the so-called “real” world, too. Back…
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8/14/2015

Writing Pot-Boilers

Filed under: Art,Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 1:00 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

We’re not talking cookbooks here.

Pot-Boilers, far from collections of recipes, are quickly written stories of, sometimes, dubious quality that are sold cheaply.  The name comes from the idea that writers cranked these out to meet their regular expenses, or “keep the pot boiling”, as it were.  You might be familiar with them as “pulp fiction” or the somewhat more modern “airport novel”.

The old “pulp fiction” which I’m most familiar with is science-fiction or detective fiction that was written for cheap…
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7/17/2015

Tin Foil Hat News

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fiction,Fun,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I don’t believe much in the way of conspiracy theory.

That’s true whether it’s office gossip and rumors or things of a larger, more sinister nature.
I work in the oil industry and, with the price of oil being so low right now, you can imagine the paranoid rumors floating around the office about layoffs and who’s going to get fired.  So far, there’s been nothing.  At least, nothing that I’m aware of, but the paranoia is running high.

How does that relate…
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11/14/2014

Genre Writing Rules

Filed under: Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

First of all, there are no rules.

No, seriously, this is fiction we’re talking about here, so the rules are what you make them.  At this point, pretty much every “rule” you can think of when it comes to writing fiction has been broken.  For instance, when I was more dedicated to the craft (ie. fresh out of high school), I read a book titled Mister Johnson, which was written in the present tense.  Generally, that’s a “no no” in fiction,…
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10/31/2014

Tools for NaNoWriMo

Filed under: Art,Fiction,Fun,GUI Center,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but if you are, here are some tools that might help those of you who are.

First of all, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, which is, according to their website, “… a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.”  If you’ve never heard of it, and would like…
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3/21/2014

Fast Fiction

Filed under: Fiction,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

In this case, really fast.

I’ll be honest, I’m not normally a huge fan of gimmicky flash fiction, but I do make exceptions.
The basic idea is to write a story with the fewest number of words possible.  According to literary legend, Ernest Hemingway did it with just six words; “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.  That was allegedly to win a bet with Ezra Pound, as I recall.  In any case, it’s still a gimmick and one that’s gotten a little…
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6/21/2013

425 Free eBooks

Filed under: Fiction,Fun,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:19 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Wow, what a busy week!

I’m sorry that my weekly post of something fun and free isn’t more than this or more in keeping with a theme for the month, but, well, it’s the best I can do this week.  I’m not absolutely sure that I haven’t used this link before, in fact, but, if I did, I’m sure they’ve since added more material to their site.

This week, I’ve got a link to 425 free ebooks!

They’ve got everything from classics of…
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11/23/2012

Rules for Writing

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 4:51 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

The first rule is to WRITE!

No, seriously, in honor of NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d link to things about writing and inspiration this month and, even though, I’m no great fan of rules, especially about writing, some people are.  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share the Guardian’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction.
They asked several authors, some of whom I am more familiar than others, and got each of them to list their “10 Rules for Writing”.  Some are funny, and some are a little too truthful, but one of them may help you break out of writer’s block, or just whatever writing rut you may have worked yourself into this month.
My favorite of the bunch, outside of all ten of Leonard Elmore’s rules, is “The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.”  That comes from Anne Enright, who I confess I have not heard of before, but who is entire correct.
So, get back to writing, okay?

Well, get back to writing after you click the link and read the other rules they have there.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Be careful about the bridges you burn, because one might turn out to be the one you later want to cross."

7/13/2012

Small Demons

Filed under: Fiction,Fun,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:59 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is Friday the 13th.

In the past, I’ve posted some of the possible history of the negative superstitions around Friday the 13th, but I’m not going to mention that today.  I think it’s unseemly, especially since I’ve already talked about the history and traditions surrounding Friday the 13th earlier in the year.
No, I thought I’d share something else.

Have you ever wanted to visit the restaurant in your favorite novel?  How about collect all the magazines they mention?  Or, possibly, even get some special item of clothing or unusual houseware item worn or used by your favorite character?  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a website that had all that little bit of data sliced, diced and indexed for your browsing pleasure?  Well, as it turns out, there is.  It’s a genius little site called Small Demons.  You need to sign in, but, so far, it’s free.  It’s a fun site with all the “stuff” in popular novels, including my favorites from William Gibson, with links to where you can find everything.  I mean, really, they have everything from restaurants to shops to particular brands to, well, everything.  Everything that’s branded or mentioned by specific location is pretty much there.  It’s brilliant.

And, what the hell, it’s Friday, right?  You weren’t doing anything anyway, so why not go check it out?

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