Rolling up the Weekend

Every time I “finish” a project, such as last week getting Journals of Fedran to a stopping point, I spent a week or two working on the little things that had to be done. Some of these are just items that accumulated while I obsessed about a writing project or the detail-oriented items that have to be done in the project.

It is amazing how little items add up. I've only been working on Journals for two months and I had over a hundred items on my to do list (written in Markdown, of course).

But, I've been plucking at it for a week and managed to get it down to 73 items. As they were little things, it feels like I haven't gotten anything done.

Journals website

Because Journals is going to be Creative Commons licensed, I needed to figure out how to create the website for it. This is something that would have to be done by the time I was completely done, but I ended up doing it this week.

Redoing the website also meant I revisited the style of the Fedran sites and trying to get something a bit more cohesive across all of them (including Sand and Blood. That might take longer, but the results are pretty good so far. I'm using a common Git repository for the shared style, so updating the other sites will be easier.

I know I probably shouldn't post Journal at this point, but I wanted to ask for alpha readers and it was easier to post the link to them when they are on a website.

To work on that, I created two Github projects to help support it:

Critique partners

I think I'm getting to the point I need a critique partner or two. On the first, Maggie Stiefvater posted a critique partner hookup. I found two people who might be in the same genre/area as me. We'll see if they'll work.

Part of this comes from the success of the writing group. There are a lot more people there, which means more people asking to submit their entries. Because of my writing output speed, I have set myself as a “if no one else wants it, I'll take it” so others get a chance, but it also means I'll go long periods without being able to submit.

Finding someone willing to alpha read is important to me. And I think I'm at the point where it has become something I need if I want to keep going.

As part of this process, I ended up doing a longer critique. It was fun seeing another person's writing, everyone finds a different ways to say things and that is one thing that makes writing fun.

Tarsan calendar

One of the little things that had to be resolved with Journals was creating a calendar for the non-desert culture. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but this week ended up being a good one for doing that. I like the results, though I'm definitely getting a world-building fatigue when I do too much of it in a single shot.

More work on Miwāfu

Another part of the world is Miwāfu, the first conlang for the desert folk. I got a little work on that done this week, but the website isn't ready either.

Fedran wiki

Because Journals is licensed under by-nc-sa as is the Fedran site, I decided to move the wiki over to Github also. I don't really expect anyone to jump in and start documenting what I wrote. I wanted to support Creative Commons in some way and this is a way of being more public about it.

In a different byline, I've had fan art and fiction before. It's a great feeling seeing it out there. I'm hoping the same thing will happen with Fedran, though I'm hoping it doesn't take fifteen years like before.

I think Creative Commons is a better way of indicating acceptance toward fans than something like Amazon's shared worlds does. I know there is a “gray area” when it comes to fan art, but I'd rather be explicitly open to it instead of saying “no” to start with.

Heavy metal lyrics

A Russian friend asked me to come up with “more English” lyrics for their metal band. I said yes and wrote five song lyrics. I'll find out in a few weeks if I got the right feel for it, but it was fun coming up with fantasy metal lyrics.

Ebook library

I learned the hard way that ownCloud doesn't play well with Calibre as well as Dropbox. I learned this when my main ebook library corrupted right as I was reformatting my machine. Since I wanted to pick up Adam j. Whitlatch's new book, I had to get it up and running again.

Interestingly, when I pulled the Calibre library to my Linux machine, it managed to recover most of the files for me. Adding in the last of the books, I migrated everything to a Windows 7 machine and got it hooked back up to serving OPDS file.

The main reason I like OPDS is that I can have a server at home that let's me download books. Calibre's server also lets you sort by date entered (something that most places don't seem to add), so I can see what's new to pull on my phone. Overall, it's nice for having books on demand.

Created a dictionary file

Since I decided to put my conlang, Miwāfu, on Github, I went with a wiktionary-style Markdown files. This is good for individual pages, but less so when I'm trying to find a word while doing translations. So, one lunch, I wrote a Perl program to take the individual files and create a dictionary. This is a pretty generic process, which means I might be able to provide it as a library for other conlang tools.

Formatting ebooks

I did format two ebooks and posted one. Fun things, but they didn't take too much time to figure out and finish.

Beyond that

Beyond that, there are little things that worthy of a to do list. Things that need to get done that sometimes are just a chore. But, I got a lot done.

And for this week

This next week is going to be a scattered one. Maybe I'll knock a few more items off my to do list before I jump into the next project. Since I have two outstanding writing projects, I'll probably switch to the Markdown library and see if I can get that to a finished state.