Diary of a Network Geek

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


NaNoWriMo is No More

Filed under: About The Author,Life Goals,On Creativity,Stimulus and Production — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:59 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

At least for this year.

Well, it’s over. Another season of writing and aspiration, or in my case writing and recrimination, is over for the year. On the plus side for me, while I didn’t attempt NaNoWriMo this year, I do have a couple of story ideas and a little bit more of the fantasy world in which they take place worked out in my mind. I still need to work on a naming language, or three, for that world, but if I can do that, and work out a couple of other things, I should be in good shape for next year. The regular writing exercise of “Morning Pages”, which I’ve done since May of this year, seems to be helping, too. I certainly credit that work with me coming up with the two story ideas that I do have floating around in my head, waiting for me to fill in some place names and people names and place them all on a map. Honestly, that’s a fair sight more than I’ve had in a long time, so I’m not even frustrated that I’ve had another year of working so hard at my day job that I didn’t even feel like I could make the attempt this year.

Either way, I hope anyone who did try to write a novel this year was wildly successful!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words! where I normally discuss my efforts at writing and creativity that don’t involve corporate IT work.


Short Film Entertainment

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

So, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and you should be at least three-quarters done with your NaNoWriMo novel.

But, instead of writing you’re here. That means one of two things; either you’re so far ahead that you can take a break, or you’re so far behind that you’ve decided to cut yourself some slack. Either way, just as I promised last week, I have more short films to entertain you. And, hey, no judgment if you’ve given up on NaNoWriMo this year. I didn’t even start and I’ve tried before and given up, too, so, I’ve been there. And regardless of why you’re here, I’m glad you stopped by my humble little site.

This time, I’ve got four films for you. I figured it’s a holiday for most of us, so you’d have the extra time.

The first short film comes to us by way of Gizmodo. It’s a mildly scary short about some nasty things that happen on a night shift in a hospital by Alexander Babaev titled Hospice. It’s ghoulish and definitely reminds me of the uncomfortable feelings I’ve had working at night. But, it’s well done and free, so enjoy!
The second one is the longest of the four and a bleak look at the apocalypse. It’s titled Lunatique and it’s by Brazilian filmmaker Gabriel Kalim Mucci. Yes, it’s a bit grim, but it’s also a very well-done film featuring a female protagonist in remnants of the world, which makes it notable for me. And, it’s quite enjoyable, even if it’s about the aftermath of the end of civilization.
The third film is another post-apocalyptic short. It’s a beautiful animated film that was part of the Sploid Short Film Festival in 2015. It’s called Strange Alloy by filmmaker Loïc Bramoullé. It’s beautiful, but also a warning that we, too, may pass into history.
The fourth is a bit more uplifting. Though it does take a turn at the end.
Again, this one comes to us via Gizmodo, but this time it’s I Am Here by Eoin Duffy. It’s a slightly surreal piece about the nature of being. It’s kind of cool, though, and I liked it, which is why I’m sharing it with you.

So, now you’ve had your break. If you’re still writing toward the NaNoWriMo deadline, get back to it! If not, enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope to see you next week!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.


Some Starting Advice

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Advice for writers.

Specifically, for writers attempting to complete the National Novel Writing Month challenge.
First, jump over to Writer’s Digest and check out their 30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days.  And, also, keep in mind that you’ll have 31 days to do it, but, if you haven’t started already, you’ve wasted at least five days.   (But, it’s still not too late!)  But, I’m going to assume you have started and maybe just need a distraction from all…
Read More


Book Ahoy!

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 7:19 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

NaNoWriMo will soon be upon us!

Golly, I feel rather like Linus announcing the immanent arrival of the Great Pumpkin. Well, misunderstood genius aside, as you, dear reader, can tell from my sidebar, NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. In just a few short weeks, hopeful authors will be scribbling away furiously, or typing, or whatever, trying to crank out 50,000 words, or more, in a month, or less. If that shapes up into an actual novel with a discernible plot, then they will have done better than anticipated. But, that’s not even the point.

For many of us who revere the written word, actually producing it ourselves can be a daunting task. We stare at the blank page, paper or electronic, while beads of stress-induced perspiration well up on our collective foreheads and begin that slow, maddening descent down our angst-ridden faces. NaNoWriMo, however, is about producing. Perhaps not in a stress-free environment, but at least producing in great quantity that often frightening of all art forms, the story. It can be about anything, really, as long as we actually write. The product is the goal, not the quality. In fact, NaNoWriMo’s founder, Chris Baty, encourages participants to set aside their internal critic and simply produce without hardly a concern for content or quality at all. Theoretically, it can be a liberating experience, if you can manage it.

As you all may remember, I came no where near the goal last year, but I did manage to produce more writing in a single month than I had all year. Also, I had a major project at work. And, what I thought at the time was just a nasty cough turned out to be, well, cancer. Surely, that’s enough to excuse last year’s dismal performance.
In any case, it’s a new year and I’ll make a new effort. In fact, I even have the shadow of an idea for a plot…
But, I’ll save that for November, when NaNoWriMo actually begins.


Review: No Plot? No Problem!

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:49 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

I finished No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days last night.

It was good, though certainly not the usual writing book. The author, Chris Baty, is a motiviational writing pro who inspires people to attempt writing a novel every year. He’s the founder of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. You might have noticed that I’ve been “counting down” to that event on my sidebar and that’s why I read this book. I hope, all things being equal, to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. That is, if I can keep my characters from writing themselves now.

No Plot? No Problem! is first and foremost a motivational writing book. It’s fairly light on any real technique, other than those things that get you writing and keep you writing, but, as long as you keep that in mind, it’s a very good book. I don’t know about other potential writers out there, but one of my major problems has always been motivation and actually making myself write on a regular, consistent basis. I love writing, but it doesn’t pay the bills and likely won’t for quite some time, if ever, so doing my job comes first. After that, and the regular duties of life, if I have time and energy left, I might have something to write about. Maybe, if I’m lucky. So, after reading literally dozens of books on writing, I don’t need more about plot structure or scene description or anything else, but I do need motivation. This book has that in spades.

Mr. Baty bills the book as the “official handbook of NaNoWriMo”, so it might be helpful to know what those parameters are as they’re also the parameters the book uses to motiveate you. The goal of both is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, not worrying about quality of either prose or story, just get 50,000 words cranked out by a 30/31 day deadline. Why 50,000 words? Well, according to Mr. Baty, because Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was 50,000 words and the first short novel he picked up when they started all this wonderful craziness. So, there it is. Fairly arbitrary, but a goal that is attainable. And, every year, people participate and attain that goal. Not everyone, but enough people that the thought of doing it motivates me and that’s what I need.

We’ll see how well I do and how much advice I follow from the book!
Oh, and at lunch today, I started The Sociopath Next Door. So far, it’s fairly good and giving me ideas for that book!

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