October 20, 2016

boss-fight-stock-images-photos-free-photography-coffee-mug-calendar
Todos in the calendar

I’ve been playing around with putting todos in the calendar lately. Not as actual calendar events, that would be a potential mess, but blocking out time when I’ll work with a dedicated project or company, and then add tasks to that particular time period. It’s not a new way of doing things, I’m by no means the first here, but it has helped me to take better control of my days.

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September 9, 2016

iPhone novel blast from the past

I’m a big fan of Day One, the journaling app for iOS and macOS. One thing it does is highlighting past updates, and today I got this one from my iPhone novel writing journal:

Today’s #MobNov tally: 360 words in 12 mins, written outdoors with a monstrous dog gnawing on me.

Attached photo:

Paazu the monstrous dog
Paazu the monstrous dog

Seems fitting, since I wrote about the iPhone novel writing project just the other day.

September 7, 2016

iphoneSE
The iPhone novel

One of the more read, and possibly most searched for, pieces on this site is the one where I declare that I’m writing a novel on my iPhone. Years later, this post still generates a decent amount of views, tweets, and emails from curious readers. In other words, this follow up is long overdue.

First of all, I did indeed write a novel on my iPhone. I set a reasonable word count target per day, at a mere 300 words, to avoid getting too fatigued or end up straining my thumbs for longer sessions. Most days, I’d write more than 300 words, but rarely over 500, which means that the sessions were limited enough. Never once did I experience any discomfort from all that thumb-typing, which was reassuring.

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  • Ashen Sky - A Novella

    Life is hard for Dirk, who’s stumbling through the wasteland. Out here, far from his family, Dirk makes acquaintances that lead him upon a path he didn’t know he yearned for.

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August 24, 2016

Beware the billionaire

Tom Scocca wraps up his death of Gawker post with the most harrowing thing about this whole mess:

Gawker always said it was in the business of publishing true stories. Here is one last true story: You live in a country where a billionaire can put a publication out of business. A billionaire can pick off an individual writer and leave that person penniless and without legal protection.

If you want to write stories that might anger a billionaire, you need to work for another billionaire yourself, or for a billion-dollar corporation. The law will not protect you. There is no freedom in this world but power and money.

August 15, 2016

Typewriter keys
On word counts

I’m one of those obnoxious people who like to tweet my daily word counts when I’m writing. Not all the time, I forget, but when I’m really into it, I do. It’s a way to connect with other writers out there, often under the #amwriting hashtag. It’s not about letting other people know how great I am or anything like that.

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August 10, 2016

#firstsevenjobs

There’s a thing right now where you post your first seven jobs. I find that interesting, because it shows that you can start out in one place, just to end up in another. This is probably more true than ever, now.

So here it is, without further ado, my first seven jobs.

  1. Apple picker (no, not computers, actual apples).

  2. Odd jobs at a gas station, cleaning windshields and the like.

  3. Started my first company, where I obviously did everything, but mostly I was the editor in chief for various publications and imprints.

  4. Sales clerk at a toy store chain, the most soul-crushing gig I’ve ever had.

  5. Freelance writer, later editor, for various publications blogs in the US, owned by a startup. I kept some of these on the side for a time.

  6. Merged my company with another one, with my focus moving to web design and development.

  7. CEO of digital agency. Not as bad as it sounds.

All this lead to other things, which then led to writing books part-time, doing more freelance writing, and the like. My story isn’t as interesting as, say, Warren Ellis’s, because I just couldn’t stand working for someone else. Not that they were bad people or anything, it’s just that I can’t get up in the morning. Which, incidentally, was why I started my first company at 18.

June 26, 2016

Bingo wheel to productivity

Viviane Schwarz is using a bingo wheel to get stuff done. Throw in the projects, spin, and pick a winner. Set a timer and work on it for that amount of time. Rinse and repeat. I like it, it’s chaotic and just a little bit insane. She explains further in her The Setup piece:

It sounds quite ridiculous but it beats every other system I’ve ever tried for productivity; you just have to make sure the right balls are in the cage, throw in more if a deadline is approaching or take some out if something gets less urgent. Statistically, as long as it all gets done on time, who cares what order it happened in?

May 22, 2016

April 19, 2016

Mobile
Mobile internet is changing the web

1 in 5 American households now rely on purely mobile internet connections, study says. That’s twice as much as in 2013, which of course is one hell of an incline.

I think two things drive this:

  1. Mobile devices are so much better these days, thanks in part to the faster mobile networks. Why even bother having a connection that isn’t always available on your primary device(s)? That is, on your smartphone and tablet, which have no ties to your home other than if you happen to be there. Non-traditional primary devices aren’t tied to traditional internet access solutions.
  2. Users are already paying premium for internet access on their primary devices, and if they need secondary devices (aka computers) to have internet access for some reason or other, they can just share the connection. Why pay for internet access again? Better to just rely, and crank up, the primary subscription, right?

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Fake fingers

Fascinating story about a Yukako Fukushima, who make prosthetic fingers to help former Yakuza to get back into society:

But for those who have transgressed – by mishandling money, failing to repay a debt, or simply offending their boss – there is a striking physical obstacle to re-entering mainstream society: the painful, and glaringly obvious, self-amputation of their little finger.

That is where Fukushima comes in. For the past two decades, the 44-year-old has hand crafted hundreds of pinkie fingers for former gangsters – a minor cosmetic accoutrement that has helped them find jobs and marriage partners, and a semblance of normal life.