Category Archives: Writing

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.

Links: Identity, Kindle, Language, and the Moon

  • Geek Merit BadgesFanboy Scouts has launched a series of Merit Badges for Geeks including achievements for Speedster, Mt. Doom, Tie Fighter Pilot, Away Team, and more.
  • Privacy in terms of contextual identity. How you present yourself to your friends is not how you present yourself to your colleagues, and what you’re willing to share in each context is going to be different.
  • XKCD is probably right about the future of “old-timey” speech. “Forsooth, do you grok my jive, me hearties?” We have a hard enough time getting the mid-twentieth century right, and that’s with people around who lived it!
  • Darryl Cunningham debunks the Moon Hoax in comic-strip form.
  • The new Kindle looks nice. They’re starting to get to the price/feature/polish point where I’d be tempted. (Well, except for that pesky DRM…) Also, Amazon launched Kindle for Android recently, but I haven’t tried it out. While it will run on Android 1.6, it’s a bit big for my G1 unless I clear out some other apps.
    Kindle Wireless 3G+WiFi.

Links: Traffic, Scott Pilgrim, Soviet Hobbit, Facts, Moon, Toyota and New Spice

Want to see what Los Angeles traffic looks like on a typical Friday evening? You can! A co-worker pointed out to me that you can view statistical traffic on Google Maps in addition to live traffic. To see it, go to Google Maps, enable traffic, then look at the inset traffic key and hit “change.” You’ll be able to choose a day of the week and time.

A Scott Pilgrim fan tracked down the real-life locations in Toronto that Brian Lee O’Malley used as reference, then took photos to match them up with the comic panels.

It reminds me of a story that O’Malley told at Comic-Con last(?) year about the movie production. They tried to use actual locations when possible, and at one point went to film a scene with a particular phone booth, only to find it had been torn out. They rebuilt the phone booth for the scene!

How To Be a Retronaut has a fascinating gallery of illustrations from the 1976 Soviet edition of The Hobbit. (via @dixonium)

Copyblogger presents: Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb. Please, people: learn the differences between your and you’re, and between they’re, their and there! (via This Is True)

A university library has put together a great parody of the Old Spice ad campaign: Study Like a Scholar, Scholar. (also via This Is True )

NPR story: In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter

New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The finding raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is best.

This makes me feel a little less enthused about the next two items:

It’s incredibly cool that we’ve got photos of the Apollo 16 landing site. But that won’t convince people who are absolutely certain that the landings were faked.

And a U.S. Department of Transportation investigation of Toyota crashes blamed on sudden acceleration has implicated driver error in nearly all cases. Of the 75 fatal crashes investigates, only one could be verified as a problem with the vehicle: the Lexus crash last August in which the accelerator was caught on the floor mat, leading to a recall. Of course, the court of popular opinion has already made up its mind…

Do You Fix Old Online Typos?

I always feel somewhat embarrassed when I find a typo in one of my old blog posts, and try to fix it. I’m a little less concerned with forum posts, since they tend to be more ephemeral anyway, and I should probably treat Twitter updates and Facebook status the same way, but I’ve made my share of “Oops, I meant to say ____” posts.

How about you? If you stumble on one of your own online posts and find a typo, what do you do about it?

Fixing Old Typos: Poll Results

The poll is open through June 8. And yes, I know there’s a typo in the question. I didn’t notice until after several votes had been cast, which meant that Twtpoll won’t let me fix it. 🙁