After spending a couple months struggling to maintain my daily writing habits, I’m suddenly back to wanting to write every second I can. Not even anything particular, really. Just…write. Stuff.

There’s one very important incident that reignited my ambition: A friend sat down with me and critiqued a 120-word flash fiction piece I wrote recently. It had nothing to do with the novel I’m editing, nor is it something I plan to use in the future. But we talked about it, and that was the greatest thing ever.

Writing is a conversation, despite how much it seems like a solitary activity. I rarely get to hold these conversations, whether about my writing or someone else’s, and I would love to change that. So here’s my proposal:
A once-a-week get-together to review a single piece (or portion of a piece)

The idea is to have a real-time one-on-one conversation about the piece in question. One week dedicated to one person, the following week dedicated to the other. That means you’d have a full two weeks to decide what to focus on, whether it’s something new, old, or not even fully-formed yet.

I’m absolutely serious about this. As much as I adore and respect everyone in Write Club, I unfortunately can’t go to them for this sort of thing. So if you’re even slightly interested, please let me know, whether in comment or in mail.

Out with the new, bring back the old!

Click for bigger image

As with any design overhaul, the typical backlash abounds. People don’t like change, even if it’s better for them (::cough::metric system::cough::). But this is one case in which I agree–new sucks!

Grooveshark is like Spotify, but web-based, of questionable legality (I’ll talk about that later… in some other post), and with a hell of a lot more of the music I’m looking for. I use it pretty much constantly, and was looking forward to the new design. Yeah. About that. Read the rest of this entry

Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo, v2!

My opinion has changed slightly from last year, so I’ve updated this to reflect that. You can see last year’s post here.


It’s October! Which means NaNoWriMo is right around the corner! NaNoWriMo, for those who don’t know, is National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words of a novel throughout the month of November, urged along by a plethora of activities both online and in person.

If you’re unsure about participating, I’m here to help. Below are some (hopefully) unbiased pros and cons of participating in the event, so you can make the decision to join for yourself. Below that is my opinion, as well as why I will not be participating this year.

Pros:

  • You can meet other writers in your area.
  • You can make friends with people you never would have met otherwise.
  • You can get tons of advice on writing.
  • If you’re ever stuck on something, you have plenty of people to ask.
  • You will never be short of encouragement.
  • Writing with a deadline is a great kick-start if you lack ambition.
  • The focus on quantity not quality can clear away writer’s block.
  • You can use NaNoWriMo for any style of writing — short stories, novels, or non-fic.
  • Even though 50k words is your ultimate goal, people applaud you no matter how much (or little) you write.
  • You can learn a lot about yourself, your writing style, and the writing process.
  • You can make a habit out of writing every day.
  • Read the rest of this entry

Guild Wars 2: Botters and Hackers

Today marks one month since the official release of Guild Wars 2. There are still several bugs — broken dynamic events, renown hearts, and skill points being the primary ones — but each patch fixes more of them. As they should.

On top of the bugs, there are also “hacked” accounts. No, there hasn’t (to my knowledge) been a security breach. People using repeat account information, falling for phishing attempts, or buying gold and/or power-leveling services comprise most, if not all, of these “hacking” cases.

These accounts turn into botters, for either power-leveling or gold-selling purposes. Just like with anti-virus, as soon as ANet tightens their watch on botters and spammers, the violators will find new ways around it. However! This is not as widespread and apocalyptic as some players would have you believe. Certain zones will have numerous bots, but most days, I get by without seeing a single one.

Though I do not doubt, given time, ANet will get a good handle on the situation, to truly eliminate bots requires the work of both sides, the company AND the players. This means no macros, no buying gold, no caving into power-leveling services, and giving due diligence to protecting your account. If the botters make no sales in the game, or presumably few enough, they will leave — GW won’t be profitable for them anymore. Read the rest of this entry