There's been so much lately to say and so little time in which to say it. For which, honestly, I am sorry. And when I say that I'm sorry, please let me clarify to whom I am speaking: I'm apologizing to myself. I've wanted to keep this ramble fairly constant and swore that I wouldn't let work affect things after the holidays. Well bad me. Bad me. I've somehow let far too much time slip away without realising it, and that's just not going to make me a happy panda.
It matters to me to keep up with my online writing for several reasons. The first reason is that if I'm not constantly producing work, turning out product and Creating, I feel like a Consumer. I don't wanna feel like a Consumer, pois'on girls. I want to be a Producer. It's just how I live.
The second reason that I want to keep this up is to keep myself in the habit of writing, even when I'm in the midst of a creative dry-spell, like I am at the moment. Or should I say a creative bottleneck (one of those cute Japanese ones with the marble in it), where I have a slew of ideas and none of them really want to leap from my mind and onto the page.
The last reason I want to keep writing is because of the slime-aliens from Bleetar VII. Keep up the good work, guys!
Zo, life has changed for me quite a bit. You already know (if you've been reading, and shame on you if you haven't!) that I've moved into the Feared United States and taken a job there. In that time, several other things have happened, about which I'm going to ramble right now. So sit back, take a Dramamine and hang on for the... most disappointing ride of your life!
First off, I had a decent enough Christmas. Being the lazy sod I am (or perhaps the fellow who's been working on his job non-stop for months), I took off a cool two weeks to spend with my family, back in Ontario. It was a nice enough time, though towards the end I do wonder if I stayed a touch too long, as I don't think they were quite sure what to do with me. I was quite happy to play Deux Ex on my laptop when they had their own things to do, but I wonder if I didn't get the sense that they felt a little bit wry or guilty that they had their own lives. Honestly, if they're reading this, I had a great time and I hope they don't think that I was bored.
I also discovered that my room is being slowly but surely cleaned out, top-to-bottom. As in 'everything moved out and put elsewhere, for my later reclamation'. Well, if you've ever had your entire... bastion of sanity cleaned out on you while you were away, you'll know just how denuding the effect really is. I felt a little bit lost for a while as I looked around and realised that I was no longer in my own room. I was in a room that had been mine, and was in the process of becoming not mine.
There's something a little bit unsettling about that realisation. Especially if you're like me, and you're constantly sure you're going to foul things up and find yourself on the skids one day. I'm not saying that I was considering a retreat back to my old home, just that... it made me feel less like I had any sort of landing-pad whatsoever. I suppose I just need to get past this feeling and focus on the fact that I am a fairly good, somewhat talented person who can make a go of his career of the moment.
Speaking of careers... well, I've decided for the umpteenth time that coding, while lucrative (and something I'm darned good at), just isn't mine. I'm going to ride it out as far as it will go, to be sure, but the yen to teach is strong within me. Specifically, the yen to teach at a university pulls at me like the gravitational attraction of Pamela Lee's implants. See, the need to Produce is not limited to just writing. It's all parts of myself... I have the need to write. To produce. To study and take in and then to write and push out again. I have the need to warp little minds to my way of thinking and perhaps... just perhaps... impart a little of the joy of English that I feel in their heads. I wonder if I'll ever get to where I'm going. I wonder if I'm going to one day delete this ramble because it sears my soul with the piquant sauce of bittersweetened angst to read it!
Speaking of the bittersweetness of angst... long ago, I started to have my head turned towards the allure of professional writing. Over the next few years, my mind began to perform a little call and answer that went something like this...
Mind: Hey, creativity?
Mind: What'cha workin' on?
Creativity: An idea!
Mind: Is it... salable?
Creativity: Most likely not in the billion years following the end of the universe as we know it, and I believe in the Steady State theorem!
Mind: Just oh.
Creativity: That's not all you mean, is it?
Mind: I'm just wondering... if this is a really effective use of your time.
And so it went. And I fell into the trap of feeling that everything I was working on had to be for a Purpose. For Sale. For Publication. Well... screw this. And glue the horse it rode in on. I have, in the past month, essentially sworn off the mindstate that I need my fiction published. I write fiction for the sake of my audience and I write fiction for me. I will write what I farkin' want to write, and if some of it turns out to be salable, all the better. I've been stalling myself too long on this bugbear and enough is farkin' enough. I will never reach self-fulfillment and satisfaction if I keep worrying about where my fiction will go when it's old enough to drive.
Of course, it would help if I could find my audience again. Having an audience in Superguy helped inspire my writing a good deal. Now that it's somewhat dried up (though I'm not giving up my work there), I'm not really sure where to go. I also have the drive to produce role-playing games galore, and spread them freely unto the 'net. The problem there being, how exactly do I do it? Sigh. We'll see. I'm smart. I can come up with ways to do this.
I have also, in light of the total destruction of Be, Inc (or its impending dissolution), questioned my OS Faith and tried to place where precisely I stand on it. I've got to admit, BeOS will forever be the only OS other than AmigaDOS that fully captured my heart. However, my new computer (a very, very nice machine named Trinity bought to replace the ailing Prism) is incapable of running BeOS, as it has (sadly) an excess of Wang (good hardware stuff) that BeOS simply can't handle.
So, I'm converting to agnosticism. OS agnosticism, that is. I now have access to three computers in this house: Ur-Grue (my Windows 98 laptop), Trinity (a Windows XP machine) and Avril (a Macintosh TiBook loaded with the scrummy Mac OS X). I have a Linksys router to serve all three of them. I'm in a position where each computer can fill a specific need that the others can't. In a move that will shock those who know me, I'm not going to load Linux onto Trinity, as I'd originally planned.
I hear my friends... and many, many Linux advocates, looking up from sharpening their disemboweling disk-notchers... asking why? Why not dive into Linux? Make it your desktop OS? Make it into the next BeOS? Enjoy a light, fluffy pastry at our coffee bar?
Because, dudes and dudettes, I've tried Linux. I like Linux. I'd let Linux marry my daughter in a heartbeat. Linux is good people. But it's simply not what I want in my home arena. Oh I use Linux, daily in fact, at work... I have two boxen that have Linux and nothing but Linux plastered inside of them. So I am keeping the faith. It's just...
I fight computers all day. I hack code, I recompile apps, I make things run by sweat of my brow. BeOS let me come home and then Play with it. Be was infinitely customizable, but not once did its Play turn into Work (not even the night when a couple of friends helped me to debug a Perl mail filter I'd worked on). Linux is a great OS, but it makes you work really hard to get the most out of it. I just don't want that in my life at this point.
So, what I'm fixing to do is to let Trinity be my Media machine. She'll sit pretty on my desk and serve out all my writing files, all my MP3s and all my little scraps of virtual paper on which I've dropped notes to myself. Trinity will also have the responsibility of playing AVIs and other movie formats. She will burn CDs, play DVD-Roms and finally, let me play all the many games that I own and want to play. In short, Trinity will do everything that Windows is good at, and only that.
Avril, on the other hand, will be my Internet machine. She will let me browse my nifty little web sites, connect to chats, MU**s, IRC, AOL, ICQ (XY and Z!) and so on. She'll let me write in BBEdit (just like I used to, before I moved away from Macintosh) and sometimes, even play Escape Velocity. And she'll do it with a Macintosh's flair for the beautiful and the wonderfulness of OS X's BSD core
Lastly, Ur-Grue will sit in my bedroom and let me connect to the net on those nights when I want to be in my bedroom to compute. Which is occasional enough that I don't have to worry about him being a slow, Windows 98 box.
So, we'll see how this goes.
Well, enough rambling. I've rambled enough to choke a whale! Twice! So let me just say to all of you, have a great night and a grated cheese sammich.Back to ramblings
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