News & Random Thoughts

Great Blog Reset

Posted On 1 May 2021, 2 minute read

I started blogging in 1997. In the nearly quarter century of writing, I have cleared my articles and restarted a few times. Either I was no longer pleased with what I was writing, I got bored, or what-have-you. Today markes the latest Great Blog Reset. Fifty-two blog posts written over the past decade were quietly moved somewhere else. I was not happy with the overall message they told. Fifty-two sounds like ten posts a year.

Cleaning my Closet

Posted On 27 July 2020, 4 minute read

As an author, there are days where it is difficult to write. If you’ve been reading the blog, you will see for me there are many more days where “writing is too hard” and I do other things. I’m slowly grinding through the Luctation rewrite, and hit a bit of a wall with a subplot that needs content. Rather than face the need to create, I turned to “comfort food” of managing the business of writing. After all, I am a project manager by trade. The problem is I have a nasty habit of keeping everything in my mind.

Silence is for the Lambs

Posted On 22 July 2020, 5 minute read

George R. R. Martin is known for a slow writing pace, clocking in at six books in 28 years. The Postal Marine Series is competing at two books in 14 years. At the same time, Randy Ingermanson talked about writing an alternative history series for years without any sign of life until April. His Crown of Thorns series finally launched in April 2020.

Years of Audible, 2017-19

Posted On 11 November 2019, 4 minute read

It has been a while since I updated what I’ve been listening to on Audible. To make up for lost time I will share what I listened to since 2016. As I built the list, I could remember where I was when listening to specific books. For example, the Phoenix Project through Toyota Way were when we were in an apartment in the Summer of 2017 transitioning between our homes. I remember listening to Elon Musk while mowing cleaning the old backyard in Spring 2017. (The book lists are all reverse chronological order.)

Finding Inspiration

Posted On 18 April 2018, 4 minute read

I was told once to find a public figure to look up to and emulate. There are thousands of influential leaders, artists, musicians and philanthropists to choose from. I found one I could emulate. Anakin was a man who took all that life would throw at him, re-invented himself, succeed and remained humble.

The Truth About the Elf on the Shelf

Posted On 23 December 2017, 2 minute read

A few Christmases ago, I revealed the cold, [dark truth about Santa][f77bbe9c]: he is alive and active, but will not visit your home (or mine) any time soon. Since then, I’ve explored other sinister facts about the world we live in. It is time you knew about Reggie, the Elf on the Shelf, and how he contributes to pervasive surveillance.

Eight-Pointed Snowflake

Posted On 15 December 2017, 4 minute read

Plotting writers are always looking for the right structure to frame their book. I’ve tried a few with mixed degrees of success. Here is a model that mixes Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method with the eight segments used by David Lean and the inner character development model espoused in Susan May Warren’s The Story Equation. I’ll touch on Evan Marshall’s The Marshall Plan regarding section length, characters and subplot.

How to Beat Stress

Posted On 25 June 2017, 6 minute read

Stress consumes modern life. We seek to manage it in a myriad of ways. We read self-help books, do exercises, and go to conferences. Yet, the best way to manage stress was communicated nearly two-thousand years ago.

A Decade of Decadent Shaving

Posted On 17 June 2017, 4 minute read

After reading a “modern razor” advertising disguised as a blog post, I realized I have had a decade of shaving the “old-fashioned way.” My shaving experience costs me about 45 cents per week including razor blades, shaving soap and after shave—saving $70-200 each year and enjoying an excellent shaving experience.

A Year of Audible, 2016

Posted On 29 November 2016, 4 minute read

I started audible because I thought I would have a long enough commute to listen to a lot of audio books. This past spring, my commute got longer. This is reflected in the higher completion rate of last year. I listened to 234 hours this year, 165 of those from books purchased this year, and 68 from the previous year. I typically listen at about twice narration speed, so actual listening time is closer to 140 hours. Since narrators target 125 words per minute, I consumed about 1.8 million words.