Uncle Josh is a Geek

A quick follow up to the LiveJournal reminiscing during an otherwise busy Holy Week (two down, five to go!). I found my GeekCode block and have updated it: —–BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK—– Version: 3.1 GM/ED/MU d- s-:++ a+ C++ !U P— L ?E W++(+) N++ ?K w M+(+) PS++ PE– Y PGP t+@ 5+++ X+@ R+++ tv+ b+++ DI++ D+ G e+++ h— r+++ z? ——END GEEK CODE BLOCK—— Sadly, the Geek Code page is blank. The Internet Archive does it’s thing. I have long wanted to build version 4, especially as our understanding of Geekery has expanded enough to call football fans wearing jersey in public “cosplay”. Maybe that’s just me. There is no room in the 3.1 Geek Code for the Geek of Sports, or the Geek of Athletics. The Geek Code is also biased towards Unix and Perl, instead of modern (or my preferred) language: Python. It also Continue reading Uncle Josh is a Geek

Uncle Josh Bids LiveJournal Adieu

Apparently LiveJournal has gone bad. I haven’t read my friends feed over there in a long time, and added nothing to the journal there that wasn’t cross-posted here. So, like many others, it’s time to leave. Of course, that means a retrospective, which is a good time to catch up with myself, look at the great patterns of my life, and come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much the same person I was when I started on Jan 4, 2006. I left Blogger for LiveJournal. I had several Blogger blogs (I think they still exists, so abandoned they don’t even get porn-spam comments) because Blogger didn’t handle tagging back then, and I wanted to separate the different thought streams. Because I thought it mattered. 2006 I was writing and submitting a lot back then, and discovering new literary loves. I wrote of finding Raymond Chandler that month, the perils Continue reading Uncle Josh Bids LiveJournal Adieu

Uncle Josh Tries to Plot His Way Out of a Paper Bag

Once again I turn my hand to writing and trying to do something with the stockpile of stories I have unsold and unfinished. Once again I turn to structure templates and books on writing to solve the perennial problem of “what happens next?” Once again I map out plot points and realize I still don’t have enough scenes to make it work. My latest attempt at re-writing my 2004 NaNoWriMo entry involved reading a couple of books by James Scott Bell that Dale Ivan Smith recommended. His books list 14 structural checkpoints, 5 in Act I, 4 in Act II, and 5 in Act III. I struggle with pacing in all my stories. To have 4 checkpoints in 50-55% of the book and 10 for the remaining 45-50% is frustrating. This is where I fall apart. I need to find other ways to fill this narrative space. I need scenes. I Continue reading Uncle Josh Tries to Plot His Way Out of a Paper Bag

Scatalogical Utterance v 1.0: Role Playing Rules for Pessimists

Scatological Utterance version 1.0 A Role Playing Game for Pessimists SU is a paper and pencil RPG, designed for campaigns that could last anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. A play session longer than that could be very bad for your soul, unless you have a truly twisted sense of humor, in which case: Game On! SU is not restricted to any genre of game. In any game session the DM (DeMotivator) and the Players could be in high fantasy, gothic romance, science fiction, weird west, bustlepunk, horror, you name it. As long as the genre is agreed upon: Game On! Character Generation Characters in normal RPGs have attributes like strength and dexterity and durability. This is SU. Players have the following attributes: Oafishness. The chance that the character will unintentionally break something. Butterfingers. The inability to hold onto weapons or tools in dramatic moments. Jinx. Despite the character’s Continue reading Scatalogical Utterance v 1.0: Role Playing Rules for Pessimists

Uncle Josh Reviews Logan

First, anyone thinking of taking a child to see this “comic book” movie should take the R rating seriously. I think I heard the MPAA ratings board has a threshold of the number of times a script can have “fuck” or “shit” and stay in PG land. Logan jumps that shark in the first five minutes. It felt like a lot of lazy writing. I found the first hour or so very difficult and slow. It wasn’t the swearing and the violence, although I hit action fatigue early on. It was the Hero’s Journey Rejection of the Challenge phase took for frikken ever. I think it spent too long justifying why this movie doesn’t follow from the previous ones. (Disclaimer: Uncle Josh watched X-Men, maybe X-Men 2, maybe 3. I stopped watching them when Scott Summers was killed off screen for no reason other than they didn’t know what do Continue reading Uncle Josh Reviews Logan

Giving Days

I wrote this for a writing group holiday reading party. now it is yours. Giving Days by Joshua R. English On one hand, Raina was larger than the average woman, not overweight so much as oversized. Her boyfriend had rekeyed their condo and kept the dog. No note, no voicemail, not even a text. She had no car or housing, only a glimmer of Christmas. She could do the job. She needed the job. On the other hand, no one had heard of a woman playing Santa at the mall. Mrs. Claus was just standing around serving warmed-over brownies and watered down eggnog. That wasn’t what she wanted. Her life was out of control and she needed to control just this little bit. She needed to play Santa. “Our beards aren’t the best,” the Rent-a-Santa man said. “And the voice. Kids can tell.” “Ho ho ho,” she said. “How the Continue reading Giving Days

Uncle Josh thinks about John the Baptist

Today’s Gospel is Matthew 11:2-11. This is the story of John in prison sending his disciples to Jesus to ask “are you, like, the Dude, or what?” [Obvious paraphrase from The Bible for the Laid Back]. Jesus says a lot of things about the blind seeing and the deaf hearing and lame walking and the poor having good news for a change, but in paraphrase: Jesus waved his arms to those around him and said, “dudes…” But the second time I heard this story, I kept thinking that this was a really dumb question for John to ask in the first place. He was Jesus’ cousin. He knew who Jesus was (Matthew 3:14-15). He knew who Jesus was in the womb (The BLB skims the birth narratives, but more reliable translations do not). So why would John question this? It is possible that he heard the stories of a new prophet Continue reading Uncle Josh thinks about John the Baptist

Uncle Josh Limps to the End of NaNoWriMo

This experiment has not been a successful one, but I know the external factors that led up to this failure: The election took a lot of wind out my sails. OryCon slowed me down, but no more than the other days. The internal failures were consistency: I scheduled a 6-7 am writing hour every day and didn’t follow the schedule for a whole week in despair; and I often didn’t get up on the weekends to write. I didn’t make up that writing time, either. The other internal failure was tracking my progress. I decided to write this one non-linearly. I had a rough outline of what I needed to write and let my mood for each day dictate which scene I worked on. This made for some good writing sessions and for some good drafts. When I knew what I needed to write and let myself go, I wrote Continue reading Uncle Josh Limps to the End of NaNoWriMo

Uncle Josh Metawrites

At OryCon and getting some good practical stuff on writing and process, and some silly stuff that involved losing a rhyming challenge. Ah well. I have fallen into the trap on not writing fiction, which seems to be a constant in my life but it always has that extra special sting during NaNoWriMo. This year I am finding inspiration in my simple desire to be a panelist. I have to check myself from kibitzing through panel after panel after panel. It’s worse when I know the real panelists personally. I like to teach and help other people that’s what I think I’m doing when I’m just being that guy who’s going to help you fill out or ConBingo card. So to mollify my need to pontificate, and to help myself get a framework of my own process for writing and editing, I’m going to work on a series of essays Continue reading Uncle Josh Metawrites

Uncle Josh does the NaNoWriMo thing again

This morning the plan was to get up at 6, make a cup of coffee, and start writing for NaNoWriMo. My body decided that I needed to be up at 5:30, but I wasn’t aware of the time and after failing to fall asleep, got up about ten till six and made my coffee and managed to start writing by 6:08. Not bad. One hour later I heard Stephanie up and about and so I called it a day and checked my word count: 1,714. That had to be wrong. I don’t write that fast. Yes, I’m a fast typist but I average 1,000 wph when drafting. I have a new computer. It’s possible the program I’m using (Focus Writer, damn fine tool) wasn’t calculating it correctly. It’s possible something went wrong with the file. I opened it LibreOffice and it confirmed the count. On the way to work, Stephanie Continue reading Uncle Josh does the NaNoWriMo thing again