Archive for December, 2004

Nameless Meme

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

This is a LJ meme (by way of Rocky), but I’m putting it here in the blog since it’s about writing in general.

1) The basics — edit as you go, or get it out and fix it later? How come?

Get it out and fix it later, mainly because later never comes. I think my prose is wretched while I’m writing it, but after I give it a rest it doesn’t look so bad.

2) Death to adverbs? Use in moderation? Sprinkle liberally? At the author’s discretion?

Death to adverbs. Every single adverb dies, except for those that are only called adverbs because they don’t fit into any other part of speech, either (e.g., either, only, not, etc.). It’s never the right time to use an adverb.

3) Do you start with a whole story, usually, or a spark of inspiration that turns into something else? If it’s a whole story, does it change as you go, or stay solid?

A spark that turns into something else. If I do try to outline ahead of time, like I did for NaNoWriMo, the story still changes significantly as I go.

4) Do you believe in One True Characterization in fanfic, or do you think there’s a spectrum? How broad is the spectrum?

I believe in the One True Characterization, but I sin against it frequently.

5) You’re wandering away from fanfic into the hallowed-yet-terrifying world of profic. What do you miss the most? The least?

I won’t say I miss the feedback, since so few people send feedback anyway. I miss the depth of a shared world, the subtle in-jokes, and the fun of playing off canon. Even in tie-in pay-per-fic you can’t really do that the way you can in fanfic.

What I miss least is the crazy people. Real Editors don’t have a lot of tolerance for lunacy or viciousness. It’s nice to see consistent grammar, spelling, and plotting as well, but they’re nothing compared to the pleasant company of the sane. I admit real writers can be preachy and condescending sometimes, but they mean well. They’re just trying to Help the Wee Newbies; they’re not stalking or defaming their fannish enemies like some people I’ve met in fandom.


Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

There’s already a blog devoted to the tsunami. On LiveJournal, mabfan recounts Europe’s worst earthquake/tsunami. For tsunamis in general, see the WWW Tsunami Information Resource.

Don’t think you’re safe on the East Coast. There are several ways it could happen here - if Cumbre Vieje in the Canary Islands drops a huge chunk of itself into the sea, if Portugal has another earthquake like the 1755 terremoto, or if the continental shelf starts cracking up. It could be bye-bye Boston at any time…

In a Miscellaneous Mood

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

I have sci-fi reviews to blog, but somehow it gets to be a quarter to midnight and I haven’t blogged them another day. Instead you’re getting a link-dump of monumental randomness.

I think most of these came from Jeffrey Zeldman or Todd Dominey, but I’ve lost track of the details.

Rodney McKay

Monday, December 27th, 2004

I did a Stargate meme in the LiveJournal, but I left out Sam/McKay as one of my favorite pairings. He’s definitely a love-to-hate kind of character, and I’m looking forward to seeing him on Atlantis—as soon as I figure out what order to watch SG-1 S8 and SGA S1 in.

Warning: S8 spoilers ahead.

So far I’ve seen New Order. I thought Sam was too harsh with Fifth—one minute she’s all weepy and regretful, and a commercial break later she’s telling him she’ll never love him and never be happy in replicator fantasy land. She could have at least admitted that it was possible, or that she was tempted. Fifth is a nicer guy than McKay, and she admitted she was attracted to him. And Fifth is much cuter than Pete.

Die Spam Die

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Mac link of the day: free icons for OS X developers

Due to an unexpected snowstorm, I’m prematurely back in Boston—almost, but not quite, ahead of the snow. When I checked my email, I found that the comment spammers had been at my sample color-rotation blog. All comments were held up for moderation, but it’s a pain to delete them all.

Since I don’t expect real live people to comment in a demo blog that’s all in fake Lorem Ipsum Latin, I took the easy way out of WordPress comment spam: I deleted the wp-comments-post.php file. Anyone who tries to comment will get a 404 error.

The Incredible Shrinking Moon

Saturday, December 25th, 2004

From SpaceWeather: the Christmas Moon will be the smallest full moon of the year.

Markdown Updated

Friday, December 24th, 2004

Firefox extension of the day: FlashBlock stops Flash ads from flashing

John Gruber has updated Markdown and explained the new licensing. Pardon the late link.

This will probably be my last fresh entry until Monday, as I will be AFK for the weekend. There may or may not be canned stuff for your holiday consumption.


Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

Firefox extension of the day: LiveHTTPHeaders

Slashdot is having a field day over Genetic Savings & Clone. You can now clone Fluffy for a mere $50,000.

More Bookmarklets

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Psych link of the day: A precious case from Middle Earth (via GNXP)

I’ve added some bookmarklets (javascript bookmarks that do cool things) to Firefox. Most of them came from from CowboyScripts, especially from playing with the Size-Align Bookmarklet Generator.


Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

I’m not so concerned about getting the evil PC to look like a mac, but I do want it to act like a mac. I want to hit my usual Mac key sequences and have the usual things happen. Lovely user interface things like QuickSilver (command-space) are just a dream (but for a not-so-cheap imitation see ActiveWords). Cutting and pasting is a day-to-day activity.

In short, I wanted a command key so I could hit command-c and command-v for cutting and pasting. This virtual command key would actually be a control key in disguise, since control-c and control-v are the cutting and pasting commands in the evil OS.

Windows does have a rip-off of the command key—the Windows key—but no one uses it. (Apparently it’s so unpopular it’s even left off the keyboard on some Windows laptops.) In any event, it’s in the wrong place (in Alt territory), and the Alt key is where the command key goes on a Mac. So I had a lot of rearranging to do.

Before I get into sordid things like regedt32, I should mention that in the OS of Goodness and Light, you swap keys by downloading the free keyboard mapper uControl.