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Showing posts from December, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #40: No More Resolutions

Back in January, I resolved to try to average at least one New Year's Resolution for every week of this year. I fell short of my goal. However, I did get three quarters of the way there. I figure that's reasonably respectable and something I can extract some pride from. Now that my Year of Many Resolutions is coming to a close, I am going to make one final resolution that should carry me through 02010:

I resolve to make no New Year's Resolutions in the coming year.

I've enjoyed making all these resolutions. It's been good to have real goals to try to meet. And I've been pleasantly surprised at just how successful I've managed to be. But I've had enough for now. From now on, instead of making straightforward resolutions, I'm just going to try doing those things that make sense. I'll try to behave well, to do as little harm as possible, to improve where I see that it would be good to do so. That's generally been my approach to life all along, a…

02009 New Year's Resolution #39: Backwards Progress is Progress

Our lovely town (Newport, NH) has one of the largest town commons in the state. So the promotional material says. It does not specify whether that's one of the five largest, one of the ten largest, or one of the fifty largest. Anyway, I guess the implication is that it's pretty big and that should be a point of civic pride.

What's more interesting to me is what the town does with this asset. Specifically, the northern end, and specifically during winter: Every year, after some snow has fallen, they bring in a plow and push back the snow so that there is a cleared area surrounded by a low containing wall of snow. Then they turn a hose on and flood the cleared area with water. The water then freezes to become a public outdoor ice skating rink. At the northwestern corner of the rink, they bring in a wooden shed with lots of ice skates. These skates are available for the public to "rent", free of charge.

This is our fifth winter living in Newport. While I had always …

The Latest Evidence (It's All in My Head)

I present here argument number 5,279 (approx.) in favor of having a solipsistic worldview. What follows is, of course, a completely true story. I promise, plus I can't make this stuff up (unless I am making everything up).

A few nights ago, I decided to watch Love Actually on DVD. A fine motion picture. I highly recommend it, in case you haven't seen it. Anyway, I've watched it a bunch of times and I don't get tired of it.

However, I do get tired, and so I did not make it all the way through this viewing on Thursday night. I fell asleep.

On Friday night, I resumed my viewing when I went to bed. Again, I fell asleep.

Yesterday, I watched a bit more while I was hanging laundry in the early afternoon. Again, I didn't get all the way through to the end of the movie, as I stopped watching when the laundry was all hung.

At some point a little later in the afternoon, Beth was watching the teevee and a commercial for Aciphex came on. Without really paying attention to what the …

02009 New Year's Resolution #38: Learn Something

After making my last New Year's Resolution, I decided to get to work on formatting for the printed version of my novella. I figured the most reliable way to ensure that it ends up looking like I want it to is to make a PDF to upload to Lulu. I figured I might as well try doing it in InDesign. A good idea, in theory. In practice, I was unable to get anywhere in my first half hour (or thereabouts) of trying. It turns out that my desktop publishing skills have really deteriorated in the last couple of years. Either that or InDesign (which, truth be told, is an application that I never really did use very much) is much less intuitive than I expected.

I'm fine with defining and applying styles. I'm not really quite as impressed with how Adobe has set up their styles as I would like to be, but it's a tolerable system and overall I think the software is terrific. But I can't figure out what should be the most basic and completely intuitive part of the process: making new …

02009 New Year's Resolution #37: Swallow the Self-Publishing Pill

I spent some time today doing a bit of research on various tools for self-publishing. The reason: My thirty-seventh New Year's Resolution of 02009:

I resolve to get around to formatting and self-publishing my 02005 novella, in hopes that it might find an audience.

I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 02005. I was not a "winner" because instead of ending up with a 50,000 word "short novel", I only managed to write a 40,000 word novella.

I suppose it's fair to say that I didn't really fully embrace the "reckless abandon" aspect of the activity. Instead of throwing in a random plot line to continue my story (and thus increase my word count) beyond what felt like a reasonable stopping point, I stopped typing. The result was a cohesive piece of fiction that I am proud to have written. Had I gone the other route, I might've gotten a certain satisfaction from "winning" NaNoWriMo, but I am sure that it would not hav…