On Methods and Madness (or: Why I blog)

Blog Cascade

Blogs-That-Were

(It’s still Day 4 of the Intentional Blogging Challenge right? *hides calendar*)

It’s been fun reading the posted responses to this– A lot of folks out there have deep and meaningful reasons for why they started blogging. In fact quite a lot of them have blogs specifically meant to inspire and improve the lives of their readers.

So why did I start (and keep) blogging?

My online life started in 1994, back when my website was an archive for my writings and my art. Then I stumbled into LiveJournal in 2005 and got into the habit of chatting to my readers and friends about the day-to-day craziness that is my life. Once I found self-hosted WordPress the transition back to my own site was a natural– although it took me several years to finally combine all my my different hobby blogs into one Megablog.

I love taking notes and organizing things (as my coworkers can attest) so this blog is basically just the notes of my life. I blog about what I’m doing, what I’ve done, what I plan to do– a running commentary that’s hopefully fun to read and fun to look back on years down the road.

As for what I hope to accomplish…I guess I aim to make you go commit art? (Or write stories, or build a treadmill computer, or play with code, or run a microbusiness, or– heck, I guess that all counts as art moreorless?)

To Sum-up

I blog to entertain and to spark other folk’s Muses.
I blog to bring some theoretical structure and implied coherence to my life.
But mostly I blog because otherwise there are too many stories in my head…

Saturday Story Prompts

Saturday Story Prompts

1. The water defines the horizon with deep blue scars against the green.

2. “I don’t want to go home again,” she snapped, “I can miss the pass without having to wallow in it.”

3. They’d reached the peak, but the dogs were spent. The hounds had sprawled out across the cool rocks panting and only giving a halfhearted wag as their handlers walked by.

4. Being paid to play games all day really isn’t as much fun as it seems. My job is to test the bug fixes, which means following a checklist of scripted actions instead of playing for fun. Except this time the game’s fighting back…

5. The only birds that pass over the tiny island are the long distance gliders, none of which bother to land unless there’s a storm rolling in.

McLaughlin’s Midnight Dancer

McLaughlin's Midnight Dancer

McLaughlin’s Midnight Dancer

Once upon a time there was a lonely G1 Stablemate Morgan Stallion who wandered eBay in search of a home. He was mint his owner said, he was in excellent shape! And lo, he was sold to the highest bidder and trotted off his new home.

Only he wasn’t mint, and he wasn’t in good condition, and his new owner was bummed.

And lo, he was bummed, for he had thought himself a most handsome horse.

But all was not lost, because scratches and black marks and slightly warping are still not enough to turn this old gentleman into a dud. So his owner shipped him off to me for a bit of sprucing up!

Thus follows the story of Dancer, who was a ‘simple’ black custom the drove me happily nuts with his seams and his refusal to take good photos… Continue reading

Saturday Story Prompts

Saturday Story Prompts

1. Photographs burn and fade in the sunlight, losing forever those pieces of time.

2. “I thought you retired.”

“I tried– ran away as far as I could get, searching for a place where I was just a nobody again– and you know what? I hate being a nobody.”

3. They created the paint as a joke– it started as black and worked its way up the spectrum, the faster you went the brighter it got. One kid even got a motorcycle just into the white before a cop finally brought him down.

4. It’s an odd culture, the word for every animal is just another variation of ‘not-us’. She has a feeling the translators are being polite when it comes to humanity’s description.

5. Fishing boats flock back to the bay at midday, only slightly quieter than the raucous seagulls that follow in their wake.

Bundling Prompts for NaNoWriMo

Prompts by Any Other Name

Prompts by Any Other Name…

On top of the Custom Prompt eBooks, I’m also looking at offering some theme-bundled prompts before NaNoWriMo starts up again. There’s nothing quite as much fun as getting other folk’s PlotBunnies hopping and with the forum reset delay I’m itching to get to work!

As you can tell from the checklist, I’m still pre-prompting my way through the 2015 calendar year, so I’m not at a point where I can easily stop and write new prompts. Thus it’s time to dig into the 1200+ prompts I already have… and try to suss out repeating themes.

Right now I’m going with: Death, Cats, and Sarcastic Banter. *sighs*

But assuming I can find enough prompts, I’m still waffling over the size and final price point. Long ago (and far away?) I did math on how much I should be charging per word and a $0.99 collection should thus run 20,000 words.

Yeeeah, no. There are only 7,000 words in a yearly collection and that’s 250+ prompts. eBook vendors really don’t want to see anything below the $0.99 price point, so I’m going to have to find an equilibrium that works. Right now I’m looking at ‘101 Prompts of BLAH’ just because it’s a fun number, but I’m not sure I’ll have that many unless I go with really broad topics.

But I won’t know if I don’t try, so into the mines! :D (Anyone have themes they’d like to see? If so drop me a comment and I’ll see if I can’t make it happen!)

De-Categorizing the Blog

The Editing Chainsaw

The Editing Chainsaw

The first day of the Intentional Blogging Challenge was today and our assignment was to write (or rewrite) our About Me pages.

The last time I touched mine was back in 2010, so the old version definitely needed some tweaking. It still mentioned the Mega-blog that I created when I rolled everything back into the Martha.net domain and the ongoing construction (that to be honest is always ongoing).

I’ve been meaning to do away with the Subblogs for a while now and rewriting the About Page (aka Mission Statement) was a good way to sort out my priorities. At least beyond the basic: See Horses, Read Stories, Learn Things mantra. Continue reading

Phooey on Fresh Starts!

Half-imagined Never Afters

Half-imagined Never Afters

NaNoWriMo starts in 25 days, Jeff Goins Intentional Blogging Challenge starts wednesday… and I want nothing more than to break open a fresh new set of notebooks!

I want to throw out all the old blog content and start over, redo the theme, rebuild the archives, start fresh and clean and find that impossible little pocket universe where that is a valid approach. I have almost ten years of posts here and countless stories and artwork that still haven’t made it online, I have half-finished projects that well outnumber the ones still stuck in the ‘would that be a nifty idea!’ stage.

But fresh starts are cleaner. Neater. Easier.

Well phooey on that!

I’m going to keep everything I have: the same content, the same custom theme, the same notebook and I’m not going to start from scratch.

I put a lot of work into getting where I am, it’s time to commit to what I’ve already done. This time I’m not going to knock down the building just because it needs a new coat of paint. *rolls up sleeves*

Bring it on Jeff and NaNo, I’m ready for ya!

Small Horse Head Magnets : Costs, How-to’s, etc.

Mix and Match Equines!

Mix and Match Equines!

I’m finally getting ready to start posting magnets to Etsy, so I figured what better time to do a How-to on how I make them, how much they cost to make (and sell).

This will cover all the supplies used, the time and methods for each step, and the accounting bits that go alongside. To be honest I made these just to learn how to cast in plaster, but then I got addicted to all the color possibilities and the fun of rearranging them. Figured it couldn’t hurt to share them in case another office out there was in dire need of a small crazy colored herd of whimsy.

The process of making these really isn’t that hard, but it does take time to learn how to make the silicone molds and to learn how to cast with the Plaster of Paris and wood glue mixture. While it’s still obviously cheaper to buy the magnets from me than to make them, it’s certainly more fun to grow your own! :D Continue reading

Saturday Story Prompts

Saturday Story Prompts

1. Dogs are patient; they’ll wait forever for you to love them back.

2. On foot it looks like the whole world has been paved over, but by plane you can see the vast forests that lurk just beyond the concrete and steel horizons.

3. Queens hold all the power here; their courts are human versions of lion prides where Kings are merely figureheads that care only for other Kings and little else.

4. “Life happens too quickly to process in the moment,” the elder chided as he moved slowly through the food presentation rituals. “So you will humor me, and sit, and eat, and then you will tell me about your day.”

5. The world ends just outside his window, a roiling void of nothingness that sucks at the house, eating it away atom by atom.

The Inn Between Worlds (NaNoWriMo 2014)

NaNoWriMo!

I’ve decided to embrace the silly this year, it’s been a long time since I’ve thrown the story out the window and chased wild tangents on purpose. The best results I’ve ever gotten out of NaNo have come when I stopped being serious and embraced the absurdity of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

So instead of a plot, I’m going with a setting: The Inn Between Worlds (Although technically it’s more of a bed and breakfast tucked away in a pocket universe.)

My epic quest is to include at least one character from every one of my own ‘verses and then (if I run out) start inventing more!

If all goes well by the end of November I’ll have a book that’s basically a giant love letter to all the characters from all the ‘verses that I dreamed up and then got sidetracked from. Hopefully next month with be the spark that wakes my writing Muses back up from their slumber… it’s been a long time since I’ve put new words to paper beyond the Saturday Story Prompts. *crosses fingers*

(On top of this, I’m also participating in Jeff Goins’ Intentional Blogging Challenge, so more changes afoot!)