As promised (and expected), a comparatively peaceful week.
- I read eight or nine more novels in the pre-NaNo rush. Five of them were The Long Earth and its sequels, a collaborative effort by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. They were… fine, I guess? The setting was neat, but none of the books really had a plot, per se, other than the fourth. Mostly they were picaresques. Easy reads, though. Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net was much more interesting, a pretty obvious reaction to the typical cyberpunk stories that the man had popularized with his Mirrorshades compilation. I’m currently in the third (of four) “Okie” novels by James Blish. The compilation sorts them chronologically rather than in publication order, and it shows; this third one was the first written, and feels a lot rougher than the others, in the weird sort of way ’50s sf often does: absolutely crazy stuff happens (like sending a planet out of the galactic plane as if it’s no big deal), and the book treats it as a fait accompli. It’s weird, but a nice change from the headier modern stuff I’ve been reading otherwise, so I’ll finish it up in the next day or two.
- That said, I’m still going to have a ton of books left on my sofa at the start of NaNoWriMo, only four days away now, which means I’ll have to keep reading throughout the month. It’ll be less of a problem than usual, I guess, since I don’t also have a job sucking up the oxygen (and time), but it’s going to be something of a first for me.
- Speaking of NaNo, I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about my upcoming novel, including thoughts about how it’s likely to end. I think I have a pretty workable (if very rough) outline of the main body in my head. That sort of thing often changes with the writing, and I’ll definitely let it if it needs to, but it’s a good start.
- As part of the prep work for said upcoming novel, I had to look into the modern state-of-the-art for Google Web Fonts. (You’ll see why… hopefully.) I think I’ll be able to do what I need to do with a minimum of pain, although I’ll have to write a custom text-to-HTML translator for this novel so it’ll look right. I’m… actually kinda looking forward to that?
- Still watching a bit of TV. I manage an episode of Last Man on Earth and Brooklyn Nine-Nine most days, and Luke Cage and Orange is the New Black every other day or so. I’m looking forward to finishing both of the latter shows, mainly because I want to bump The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina up on the queue for timeliness/thematic reasons.
- Other than my usual free-to-play gaming, I’ve put quite a bit of time into video pinball in the last week or two. Pinball FX3 has the Williams licenses now, and those tables have been fun to mess around on, but I’ve mainly been grinding Sorcerer’s Lair, which I still think is the best table Zen’s ever made. I find it really strange that it’s their free-to-play table, particularly given how many hundreds of dollars I’ve sunk into all the other ones… but that’s fine. It was interesting watching a Twitch streamer play the table for the first time, having the same dawning sense that I did many years ago of “oh, there is actually something to this whole pinball thing!” Yes. Yes, there is.
- The diet’s been pretty much derailed for the last couple of weeks, at first due to the visit and then later because it’s always easier to say “tomorrow” than it is to actually buckle down and do the right thing. I’m typing this up as a bit of public self-shaming to, you know, buckle down and do the right thing.
- On a meta note, the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress is horribly buggy; it tends to eat anything after italics in a bullet point unless you do some stupid shenanigans, as one example that I had to deal with several times while writing this update. I may go back to the classic editor for a while until they fix more of the bugs.
In the middle of next week begins the month-long adventure of NaNoWriMo, which will be… interesting, for sure. I look forward to it with no small amount of trepidation every year (and wrote about it earlier this week), but I do look forward to it. I don’t know how it’ll mess with my posting schedule here, though. We’ll find out together, I guess!
(Also, Gutenberg ate the last couple of sentences of this post three times because of that stupid italics bug. Ugh. Back to the classic editor I go.)