It’s a new year, shining with promise. One promise I see floating around the intertoobes is that many people want to “do” NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month. This involves writing a novel in a month, which is entirely possible but sort of against the point, in my opinion.

I hereby suggest taking a year to write the thing. Splurge. Spread it out. Write a draft in a month if you must, but don’t forget that REAL novels involve many drafts, lots of editing, and sometimes entire rewrites. Promise instead to spend a certain amount of time each week, and actually set that time aside from your normal hectic routine. At the end, if you decide to try publication (or even if you don’t) the product will be improved greatly through the use of an editor (here’s my favorite one). At the very least, you will learn a lot about your own personal writing process, your work processes, project planning, and ability to stick to a long-term project. At the most you’ll end up with work you are proud of.

So there’s my advice for the new year. 🙂


Link to National Geographic chart showing relative cost of health care per person in several countries, contrasted with average life expectancy, care of the National Geographic blog.   I am reading Tufte right now so I find this fascinating.   I am also living in the US as we pass “sweeping” health care reform, so I find it a bit scary as well.  The data are not perfect—in fact they are quite reviled by some—but I think the point is made well, which is the point of any graphic element.

Happy Holidays

I’m taking some time off from work, blogging, and pretty much everything except breathing, eating, and gathering firewood.  I’ll be back to my regular irregular posting schedule in January.  Happy holidays to all 4 of my readers, and to everyone else.

Who reads this blog?

I just have to know whether it is worth continuing to write.  If you are reading this, and the content here is more interesting to you than what I write in my professional blog, please let me know in the comments section below.   Feel free to comment anonymously, I won’t tell.

Thanks to Wired for this historically significant article about Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm and their unbelievable journey from California to Australia by air in 1928.

Look at the photo at the top of my blog, and picture heading out to sea—without the Golden Gate bridge, as it was not yet even begun—at less than 100mph.  That takes a serious leap of faith.

Cake Wrecks

Fantastic.  http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/

Another geek joke

This page is excellent:  Strangest comments to appear in source code

Found while messing around with FriendFeed.