Category Archives: Writing

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I don’t like Twitter threads.

In most cases, if something takes more space than one or two tweets to say, it’s easier to read as an article. It’s especially bad with very long threads, and those that aren’t crafted to make each tweet a unit. When sentences continue on from one tweet to the next as if they’re only line breaks, it makes it hard to pick out a statement to highlight, or where to start.

On the plus side: Tweets are more likely to be seen, more easily shared, and people can interact as they’re posted, like a live conversation. A thread that’s crafted to fit in 140-character chunks has a rhythm to it, like a daily comic strip collection vs. a comic book. And an unplanned tweetstorm gives both the writer a chance to get their ideas down quickly and the reader a chance to see them unfiltered.

Compared to an article, a tweetstorm provides immediacy, and any Twitter thread provides reach. But they’re still a pain to read.

Also written (of course) as this twitter thread.

20 Days of NaBloPoMo 2015

Well, I dropped out of the 30-day blogging challenge after 20 days. Ironically, I think part of the problem was that I tried to get ahead. Most days I would write a post in the evening, either just after the kid went to bed or just before I did. On day 20, I posted at lunch. That broke my routine, and I forgot to post the next evening.

So…

I finished a few posts I’ve been working on for a while, so that worked out. There were several things I noticed that turned into what I hope made interesting commentary. That’s two wins. But then there were the days of filler, too. It’s not like I need to keep “I hate the 405” on its own page, after all. (Besides, that’s a given.)

Things I Learned

I really don’t like writing about current events or politics these days. On Friday the 13th, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about, but couldn’t start. I ended up reading Tumblr for some idea to jump off of, and found the Epi-Pen infographic. Then I went a whole week deliberately not writing about Paris, Beirut, or refugees.

If I wanted to keep the volume up without regard to focus, I think up plenty of ideas during the course of a day. I just have to (1) write down the topic so I remember and (2) find the time/inclination/brainpower to do the writing.

I wrote more about my kid than I expected. Probably more than I’ve written publicly in quite a while. This isn’t a parenting blog by a long shot, but in addition to costuming and art, I used several family conversations as jumping off points.

When I obsessively listen to a show for a week, I come up with lots of things I’d like to write about it. I followed Chess with a Les Misérables binge, and now I’ve got about five Les Mis-related topics on my list.

If you can’t think of anything to write about, ask your spouse for a topic.

I’m actually more comfortable sitting on the couch and writing on my tablet than firing up my computer and sitting at my desk. That surprised me, but the Galaxy Tab S2 is sooooo much faster than the Nexus 7 it’s ridiculous. And hey, couch!

Tally

6 Random observations.
4 Amusing photos that fit within one of the site’s long-running categories.
3 Articles I’ve been working on for a while and finally got around to finishing.
3 Follow-ups to older posts or series.
2 Reaction pieces.
1 Interesting photo that I cross-posted from Instagram/Flickr to satisfy the goal.
1 Total filler that I would delete if it weren’t for keeping a record of how far I got in the challenge.

List

  1. Mixed Emotions/Halloween/Comikaze
  2. Fruit Basket Case
  3. So Much for SudaSudafed
  4. I “Liked” Twitter Favorites
  5. Phone vs. Camera
  6. WiFi is the New Color TV
  7. Gloom ahead, blue sky behind
  8. So that’s where Vaporware comes from!
  9. Aaaargh!
  10. Genre TV Update
  11. Chess (Musical)
  12. Les Mis/Chess: Cosette vs. Florence (and Eponine)
  13. Epi-Pen How-To
  14. Symbolic Costuming: Stage vs. Screen
  15. Coin Slot For Your Cell Phone
  16. AAAAAARP!
  17. Panorama Fail: Chalk Edition
  18. Is the ransom note look obsolete?
  19. Too Many Notifications
  20. Oddly Specific Advertising

Moonrise

The full moon hung low in the east, rising pale yellow against a shadowed sky. A cluster of lights floated next to it, airplanes lining up for approach to the runway I was driving past. I’d glanced over just as I passed under their flight path.

Above the moon and the lights, a band of pink crossed the sky. Above that, it shaded into blue.

To the west, past a chain link fence, past the tracks being laid down for a rail extension, past the expanse of the runway itself, the sky was orange. Bright yellow clouds, the only clouds in the sky, shone with light from the sun that hadn’t quite set for them yet.

I drove on.

A Month of Daily Blogging: NaBloPoMo 2013 Round-Up

For November 2013, I decided to try NaBloPoMo and post every day this month. I’d been getting all the NaNoWriMo emails, and while I didn’t have the time or story ideas (and Katie’s covering the “writing a novel” thing), I was a little nostalgic for a writing challenge. Today wraps up my participation in the event.

I learned two things about daily posting:

  1. It’s not as easy as it sounds, unless you’re willing to count the equivalent of a Tweet or Facebook status as a blog post.
  2. I would rather write fewer, higher-quality posts than more, lower-quality posts.

That quality vs. quantity issue especially bugged me when it came to my ongoing Les Miserables commentary. Those take a couple of hours to put together, and as a parent with a full-time job, free time is at a premium. I can think of a number of occasions when I sat down to work on my next article and realized no, I need to get a post up today, and I don’t know if I’ll have time to finish that one. Some of the resulting posts are worth it, including a few where I would have written a short note, but found that I had a lot more to say on the topic. Some, I’d probably delete tomorrow if I didn’t want to keep them up for the record.

I thought I’d do a breakdown of this month’s posts:

Broad Categories:
11 Life observations
9 Entertainment/reading
6 Photo-centric
4 Tech

Recurring Topics
5 Les Misérables
4 Trip to San Francisco
4 Local city observations
4 Comic conventions (the actual Long Beach con, wondering about WonderCon’s future)

Originality
19 Substantially new content at this blog only
4 Built around previously-posted photos (mostly from Instagram)
4 Short commentary posts linking to other content (3 of which were at least to my own stuff at another blog)
3 cross posts (two at Speed Force, one at Reading Les Mis)

I only resorted to blogging about blogging twice (except to fill out the links to my Les Mis articles and give them a little more substance), and only once did I just toss up a random photo to make deadline.

Full list (or if you prefer, a standard blog view of the posts):

Daily Posting Observations

So, I think I’ve lost the NaBloPoMo challenge, since I failed to write anything yesterday. I had something planned and everything, but I’ve been blogging in the evenings, and felt sick last night and completely forgot that I even needed to. All I remember is lying on the couch, reading Les Miserables, and reading kids’ books to my son.

Although technically I did write a post for Speed Force on Wednesday, so I suppose I’m still in the clear.

It’s been an interesting process. I’ve found myself stumbling on topics to write about, observations that ordinarily I’d let drop, or in some cases start writing and never come back to again.

It’s also been a problem. Specifically with my Les Miserables commentary. I’m on page 1162 reading, almost at the end, but my posts are only up to page 843. I’d really like to get that going again, but while I had plenty of free time in the evenings on my business trip, now that I’m back to my normal life, I have a lot less free time.

If I’ve got half an hour, and an obligation to blog something, I’m going to use that half hour for something that I can write quickly, not to get started on something that’s ultimately going to take me three hours spread out over several days to finish. And that, IMO, is counterproductive to the goal of blogging more. I’m still of the opinion that in the long run, less frequent high quality content is better than more frequent low quality content.