On this day.

Books borrowed: The Brilliance of the Moon, Lian Hearn (halfway read). Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo.

TBR pile: So Brave, Young and Handsome, Leif Enger. Virgil Wander, Leif Enger.

Finished playing: Hyper Light Drifter.

Now playing: Dishonored. realMYST (Masterpiece Edition), on replay through MYST series.

Now writing: Crush the Serpent ‘neath Her Heel, NaNoWriMo 2018 novel. At ~160 pages / ~56k words / ~70% of plot. Deadline for finishing: end 2018.

Music: Soundtracks from Hyper Light Drifter and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. PBS 106.7fm.

Now testing: Bullet Journal for diary-keeping in 2019. Bible Reading Challenge.

Next thing to test: Zettelkasten – world-building first, digital life archival if successful. Wonderdraft. Anthem during February 2019 beta.

Recently looked up: minesweeping, bomb disposal, Koppen climate classification, Chinese provinces.

To research: African agriculture, tropical savanna climate, steam power during Roman times, intersection of language, culture and geography (re-listen to History of English Ep. 15-18).

Podcast feed is filled with: The History of English, By Faith, What Have You.

To cook: Sorbet. Soba noodles, other things from Just Hungry.

Wishlist: Fountain pen. Robert Oster inks. The two Leif Enger novels I haven’t read.

Thinking about: Finishing Crush the Serpent. How to pray for M. Monsoon-level rains and the city in flood. Carols in the hospital. The absence of the bird, a sort of minuscule grief. Writing/self-publishing short course next year?
The perennial question about what to do with this blog, this apparently aimless, useless thing that has no place anymore in my mental landscape and workflow, but seems to persist and follow me around like a starved, stray dog begging for scraps of self.

Weird Indieweb idea of the day: guestbooks.

If the Indieweb is reviving “Web 1.0” artifacts that foster a sense of community, such as site directories and webrings, I’d like to see a comeback of guestbooks. I remember how you could sign up with a guestbook host — they did all the scripting/hosting, and you pasted a link on your webpages to “sign guestbook” and “view guestbook”, and watched as visitors signed in over time. In the days of static websites, those were delightful methods of public, mutual discovery, through leaving a mark on someone’s website while also including a link to your own. At least, they were delightful before the spammers and big commerce arrived.

I suppose it’s still possible to make a “guestbook” by pinning a static page on your blog that people can comment on. Comments on a blog’s post seem to be the present-day equivalent to guestbook signings on a static, mute website. That doesn’t have the same feel as “sign guestbook” and “view guestbook”, though.

Something to try out one day when the site has gotten off the ground. But I’m a little doubtful that guestbooks will catch on. For one, the Internet is a very different place, and when the manual act of signing guestbooks has been replaced by automated metrics and anonymous trackers, this “neighbourly” practice has been lost. But it’s worth a go to see what kind of people might bother to sign a guestbook.

Codex, interrupted.

I wonder how I wrote the Codex in the past. Definitely meandered much and used too many words. I have less desire for unnecessary verbosity these days — but hang it, spending half an hour trying to write a three-sentence paragraph is ludicrous and frustrating. Even if I once knew how to do it, I don’t anymore.

Stuck on describing how probability theory feeds into the energy and information matrices at time X, and where the first law of thermodynamics factor in transformations. I can visualize how it works, and it makes complete sense. But how can you describe a moving image in one-dimensional, linear word? Can’t you just see what I mean? it’s self-evident!

Will keep trying.

+++

I’ve drawn the Homeworld universe from numerous sources of inspiration, but the bones of the Codex are built from a single source: The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck, a novella by this virtually unknown author named Hilbert Schenck.

I first read it as a teen in the short story anthology Imaginary Numbers (I don’t know if it’s found anywhere else). I don’t use the statement “changed my life” lightly, but that novella single-handedly transformed the entire landscape of my imagination. My world-building was never the same since, and the Codex is my poor attempt to build a theory of the universe upon the concepts that Schenck introduced so masterfully in his story.

I haven’t read the story for some years, but last night I finally sat down and digitized my scans from the anthology, and will hopefully have it on my e-book reader soon. Re-reading it now, I’m seeing major concepts that I’d not noticed before, and new areas to consider. I also think my grasp of the math is much greater than it used to be, and some concepts are now clear when hitherto they were quite beyond me (but beautiful nonetheless). I guess now’s a good time to rethink things, see if those new concepts can be worked into the Codex. –And get me out of this current writing block.