Recently PezWitch and I have been discussing professional writing. What has been working for me over the last year is I make a concerted effort to sit down and write a minimum of 250 words per day. Some days I write more, some days I go back and edit a previous days work and add another 250 words to it. The whole idea behind forcing myself to write 250 words per day was just to get into the habit of writing. Even on days I didn’t feel like it or had nothing to write about, I still sat down and wrote. The sole exception has been when I was really sick, but if I could get out of bed and sit at a computer for about 30 minutes, I wrote my 250 words. Most of the output is this blog. You will probably notice I don’t publish 250 words a day here, that is because often I trash what I have written or I spent a couple of days writing a bigger post.
My new writing exercise is to write a short story of about 10,000 words. I am chopping it into 5 chapters of 2000 words each, I figure that is a comfortable output for 1 week. I am further breaking each chapter into 4 scenes, approximately 500 words each, which I should be able to do easily in an hour or two. Chapter one is done, hopefully in another 4 weeks I will have a first draft. If this works and I try again, I may try cutting the story into 3 acts and each act has 3 scenes, similar to how plays are written.
If you don’t know, Virtualbox is a program distributed for free by Oracle that lets you install other operating systems into a virtual computer within your host system. Most people I know use it to run Windows under Linux for those irritating programs that will never get ported to Linux like iTunes. I do have one Windows program I run which I use once a month, but it runs fine under WINE, so beyond that I have not needed Windows in a long time.
What I use Virtualbox for is testing different distributions of Linux. It use to be I waited 3-4 weeks to install the new version of Ubuntu, because usually something is broken and needs to be fixed and it usually takes Canonical a couple of weeks to work out all the little issues. Since I started using Virtualbox, I have started installing the beta release a couple months before the official release just so I can see what is being done and if the major issues can be worked around. For instance, I know the next release is going to contain Firefox 4, I need to know if the extensions I use are going to work immediately or if I will need to give the extensions programmers a couple of weeks to catch up. I also need to know if Dropbox, HuluDesktop, Citrix Reciever and Truecrypt are going to work or not.
It also gives me the opportunity to screw around with alternate ways of doing things without totally screwing up my main operating system. My primary Window Manager is Gnome, but KDE just did a complete rewrite of their code base, so I am interested in how that is coming along. Ubuntu is also experimenting with the Unity Desktop which they say will be the default choice of Window Manager in future versions of Ubuntu, it is good to have a preview of that, so I can decide whether or not I want to switch to it or install Gnome and continue to use it. As a side note, at this time I am not impressed with Unity.
I really have a serious problem with the recent political attacks on teachers. It seems to me, whatever we pay teachers, is probably not enough. I know this because my friends and I were a bunch of little bastards and sometimes our parents were not all that great to get along with either.
PezWitch picked up a copy of the original LP for Star Wars off of ebay for like $10, which included this poster, now hanging in her grrl cave.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the computer virus. On March 15th 1971 a clever computer programmer released a proof of concept virus called “Creeper” which successfully replicated itself across his internal network. I wonder if at any point while he was doing this, his lab partner ever stopped and said “There is no way this ends well !”.