Tom & Dori

I don’t think I ever bought one of Tom Negrino’s books. The law of averages suggests that I must have, solely due to how many of the things he wrote. (I’ve just gone to my analog library to double-check. Sure enough: one of his introductory JavaScript books. Of course.) I always envied that kind of…

For Shame!

Greetings from CocoaConf Yosemite, an exceptionally lovely conference for Mac developers taking place at a lodge inside Yosemite National Park. Conferences like this one are a relatively new development. The focus is far away from new APIs and project management. Instead, the speakers tend to spend their 45 minutes talking about how we write software, how we…

Writing strong female characters

I was reading some fiction this morning and recognized another reliable tipoff that an author doesn’t know how to write a strong female character: the book’s female lead only exists to prevent the male lead from looking insane every time he delivers exposition. For instance:   Carson drifted into the empty living room. He settled…

Wisdom from “Project Runway”

I’m watching this week’s “Project Runway” on my iPad while eating lunch. The designers are in the workroom. I’ve just heard a certain phrase that seems to come up a few times in every season. There are days when my writing does not go well. Sometimes, the writing is going so desperately Not Well and…

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WRITERS’ BLOCK.

This morning, I came across a list of tips on how to get through ten different kinds of writers’ block. Pro Tip: there aren’t “ten different kinds of writers’ block.” There isn’t even _one_ kind. There is no such thing as writers’ block. Okay? On a physical level, writing involves just sitting in a comfy…

Tabled for Consideration

People often do weird things when they’re chasing productivity. Alas, despite my efforts towards higher things, I am a People. I do a lot of writing in coffeeshops and where-have-yous. Partly it’s because of the Very Writerly Thing where you get a little energized by the presence and activity of people around you. Partly it’s…

But I Won’t Crumple Them; That Would Take Effort

Suffice to say that this has been one of those heavy, frustrating workweeks in which I’ve been constantly distracted by the knowledge that there’s a valid passport in my filing cabinet and enough available credit on my Diner’s Club card to buy an air ticket to almost any friendly nation on earth. The only hitch:…

“Fast Eddie…let’s play some pool.”

Minnesota Fats (played by Jackie Gleason) is on the ropes. He’s been shooting high-stakes pool against Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) all through the night and into the morning. He’s been beaten and everyone in the pool hall knows it. The only reason why Fast Eddie hasn’t collected the victory and the stakes is the fact…

Foolishness

Now that the 1 has flipped over to 2 on my novelty “Numbers In Strict Numerical Sequence-A-Day Calendar” I can call your attention to a couple of goofs I had going. It was an unusually active April Fool’s Day for me…so much so that my Hand-Blackening Soap (“Indistinguishable from the genuine article…guaranteed ice-breaker”) remained in…

Possibly (Hopefully) The Low Point

5 days until final book deadline. There’s a certain amount of shaving and showering that should be happening but isn’t. The true sign that I’ve reached the end game (as well as the low reserves of my mental faculties) is when I must resort to lab rat methods of motivation. Witness (metaphorically only, unless you’re…