Thursday, April 19, 2018

A life in one box.


I am flying to Canada, leaving Korea. Maybe I will return to visit.
I am taking my dog. There goes one piece of luggage.
Judging from what I have packed, my life revolved around clothes.
Not much else in that one suitcase.
Life Facebook, my suitcase does not accurately reflect who I am.
I hope it doesn't.

Monday, April 16, 2018

TWIC: Scrivener, writing, comics,money

Possibly the most important thing I have posted here. A discussion of (US) taxes for creatives.

Follow the link to read the thread.
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5 steps to making compelling characters
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Traditional vs self-publishing
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Scrivener 3.0 (a feature rich word processor for writers)  is out. Should you get it?
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two kinds of real estate in comics making.

I sometimes have difficulty in embedding tweets the way I want to in my blog. Above is a chunk of the advice - if the full Tweet didn't embed, follow the link.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TWIC: procrastination, writing, music, desks, sewing, emotions and language

On fighting procrastination.
  1. The dream to have a great body, but never being motivated to go workout.
  2. The dream to succeed in college, but not having the willpower to study.
  3. The dream to be wealthy, but not having the discipline to build it.
  4. The dream to get married, but never being brave enough to commit.
  5. The dream to have a loving family, but never taking time off work.
Numbering is different in the original.
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An interview with PC Hodgell (Youtube link but interview is exclusively audio).
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Harsh truths from famous writers.
16. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk
17. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
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Thousands of out of print sewing patterns.
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Crib Sheet for journalists (ESL edition).
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Tiny Desk Contest (maybe for hedgehogs but also for American musicians)
From the rules:
Videos must:
  • feature a desk (there must be a desk—any desk—in the Video);
  • contain a song that is the Entrant’s original work (covers will not be accepted);
  • be created specifically for the Contest (videos that were submitted to previous NPR Music Tiny Desk contests or to any other contest or competition will not be accepted);
  • be a maximum of ten (10) minutes in length;
  • be uploaded to YouTube in any format acceptable to YouTube; and
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Maggie Stiefvater discusses College or Not?
Nowadays that means that my past novels are paying my mortgage while my current project is paying future bills. But back then, it meant I was happier having another job while I worked out getting published.

And, I mean, biologist sounds like a good job.
This has gotten very long and it’s all saying essentially the same thing: don’t let WRITER be your identity, even if WRITING is your ultimate job. Don’t conflate FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS with IGNORE COMMON SENSE. Don’t believe that somehow putting aside your writing to get a degree in Zebra Husbandry means you have abandoned your true self. Don’t think about a ticking clock, think only about forward movement. Pursue whatever degree will give you that balance of identity, security, and vivid creative material. Only you can answer which degree fills in that blank.
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The subject for your next book. You use the letters of your name to fill in the blanks:
A/an A B about a/an C D E to F his/her/their G.
A Keenly Observed Trilogy about a Young Man's Quest to Understand his Sexless Marriage.
Seems quite the melodrama - and this subject would be somewhat easy to write in that I am shy about writing about sex.
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Plutchik's wheel of emotions.

Image cropped. Follow the above link for the whole thing. Via eqjosh.
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A young artist on Instagram commented elsewhere asking for comment on his/her artwork. I don't consider myself as having discriminatory taste in artwork but it seems pleasant.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TWI (Surprises') Creativity:D&D, victorian novels,

I taught what was probably my last ESL class in Korea last week. It was a presentations skills class for a multinational technology company. The recruiter, a third party that hired me to teach, might have another class in the next three weeks. Otherwise, I am basically done as an ESL educator. Or at least done in Korea.

I am conflicted and confused about what I will actually do in Canada. I will be there for a few months and then my wife and son will join me. This is the time for me to make a living being creative! This is the time for me to write that story to completion and revise it til it glows and get it out there. This is the time I need to work for myself and make things happen.

But it seems I am not a good boss. I have written the full 50,000 words toward a complete novel four times now with Nanowrimo but I have not completed any of those novels in the eleven months between Nanowrimo festival. I completed a lot of paperwork for my wife's immigration to Canada so that is one thing out of the way. I really do have the time. The next three weeks, even if I do teach another Presentations in English class, have lots of free time to write. This next period is crucial to seeing if I really can be creative professionally.

A few years ago I took an online class in creativity, run by Tina Seelig at Stanford University. In the course she strongly evangelized for brainstorming and I felt (and feel) that the effectiveness of brainstorming is uncertain, maybe even controversial. And yet, when I took the class, I decided to dive in and be as enthusiastic as I could be. Positivity all the way. I needed to make this decision because I knew at the start that the theme was music and that music would be a forced connection to other ideas. I am not a musical person and I knew I had to try, to involve myself. It worked. I had a great time and learned a lot, even that brainstorming has several rules I was unaware of and, as a case study, appeared to be more effective than I had imagined.

I need that positivity now. I am scared of what what will happen in May and I need to be excited about May. Fighting! (A Korean/ Konglish word used as a cheer)
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Alright, on to some links of creative work to inspire you in This Week In Creativity.

A neural network has made some D&D stuff. The link goes to new animals the program put together, but the programmer or computer or software (I really gotta catch up on terminology) has also made spells and more.
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I have had difficulty embedding Tweets so here is the image (again?):
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

TWIC: a job in arts, paleoart, cliche, Johnny Cash, telling stories

Considering a job in the arts field? Ryan North has some words for you:
This is half the comic. Follow this link for the rest.
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The scientific Paleoart of Dr Mark Witton. A screen shot (click to embiggen):
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Greeting cards and cliche.
Greeting cards serve as a reminder that it is often with the clichéd and the ordinary that the fabric of language starts to unravel, and the pulse of life – that which will always remain beyond words – begins to bubble up from beneath
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I have long been shy about my voice. When speaking something I think important, I deliberately deepen it. I very much suspect it sounds silly but it seems less silly than my normal reedy tones. Here is an article about Johnny Cash's voice just appeared.
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Ani Alexander interviews Dr Tom Curran about telling stories.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Humble bundle has a Bob Ross painting bundle available

Humble Bundle has monthly book and game bundles; you pay what you want to get a set of ebooks on a theme or mobile games or computer games and the theme changes each month or so (it might be every two weeks).

I have bought many bundles of ebooks and one of phone games and one of computer games and been satisfied.

They currently have a pretty cool bundle of books and software to help you paint. I am not sure but I think the programs are Windows specific. In addition to Bob Ross ebooks on how to paint, there are a few programs -Corel Painter Essentials 6 and some addition stand out - and even some art-themed games. I will buy this bundle. The minimum price is $15 (US) so it seems like a good entry point if you are interested in learning or playing around.

Bob Ross is more popular now as a meme than he was as a late-night weirdo drawing his 'happy trees' that no one watched. Now he is cool.