Creuset of Ideas
A collection of various ideas

Archives of "Project"


November progress

2007-11-22 @ 12:59

November is not the best of months for me. November holds a dark anniversary. And November, in Montréal, tends to be depressing: cold and without snow (except these days), with the days getting shorter (at least in February – the other depressing month for most people – the days get longer).

But I think this year the NaNoWriMo challenge helps. Helps me focus my energy on something creative; helps refresh my ideas; helps put more wonderful into the month. Writing has always been comforting for me.

This novel I’m pining on sometimes includes, unsurprisingly enough, excerpts from my own life. So, the other day, I found myself describing how I came into possession of my favourite pen (a classic black and silver Parker), with which I happened to be writing that description. I probably said this before, by I like to write by hand. Even at work – it actually affords me the opportunity for a first revision as I type. I like the feel of it, the music of the pen on the paper, the swoosh of the hand.

So where have I gotten to so far? Well, I made up the one-day lag I had been stuck with for two weeks, and even got ever so slightly ahead. And yesterday I reached the 35K mark. I just need to keep this pace for another 9 days (including today). I also notice a quaint pattern in what I write. It’s the tale of a youngish guy who lives with two roommates. Now, I write both at home and during my breaks at work. Well, I noticed that, depending on the venue, what I write will centre more on the apartment and the roommates (at work), or on the main character (at home). Strange.


Progress Report

2007-11-15 @ 11:39

I know, I know, I haven’t been very active in the blogosphere in recent months. Actually, 2007 hasn’t been a very bloggy year for me. But let’s talk about something else: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The challenge: to write, in one month (from November 1 to 30), a 50,000-word novel.

I tried last year but didn’t get pass the first page. On the first day, the ink ran dry; I probably had chosen the wrong topic. This year, I planned it a bit more: I thought up the main lines of the story and divided it into some 30 parts, roughly one per day. Some are longer, some shorter. Not that it’s all good, but the point is to write. That’s the exercise. So what if the novel is not that good, if the writing doesn’t flow, if the scenes aren’t hilarious or the dialogue witty. At least, it’s moving forward. As the organizers and pep-talkers always say: no editing. Editing is for December. The scenes you’re writing is going nowhere? Put is aside. Your main character is in a pickle you don’t know how to fix? Skip ahead.

What I’m writing isn’t chronologically sound. They’re little scenes, anecdotes often told in the manner of Abraham J. Simpson: with a lot of tangents and digressions. I’m working a bit like some movie directors: telling myself everything will be fixed and figured out in the editing room.

So, midway through this trek, where am I? Well, I reached the 20,000-word mark, but not the halfway point. Not bad, but still late. At 1,667 words a day, about a day late. (You can actually follow my progression with the icon in the lefthand menu.) And contrary to what some might expect of a nine-to-fiver, weekends are worst than weekdays. Guess it’s a question of having more structure on those days. Will I have to structure my weekends? We’ll see.

Update, November 17, 2007:
wouhou! Reached the 25,000-word mark (one day late).


Let’s Do Eight (or so)

2007-08-1 @ 18:39

Well, it’s the second time I’ve been tagged for the 8 things meme, so I should be doing it. The first time was by Thinking Girl; this time it’s fellow new contributor to the Self Portrait Challenge blog, Rachel (the Metaphorical Magpie) [notice how I slipped in that I’m now one of the SPC authors]. So, without further Apu ado, here are my eight things about me.

  1. I’m sometimes a bit lazy. No, that’s not what I mean; not lazy. It’s more a question of using shortcuts (like the first five items on the list). It’s got to the point that I can spend more time inventing something to same me time, than doing the thing itself. A matter of interest, I guess; creating the shortcut is often more fun than doing the repetition.
  2. Many people think I’m weird. To me, that’s not an insult; more of a statement of fact. By most standards, I am. (Okay, I work in an office, in an insurance company; t’s not hard to stand out…) Sometimes I’ll say strange things (like “Don’t put down Topher Grace, he’s played in movies with Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, Andy Garcia, Kirsten Dunst, George Clooney, Carl Reiner, Matt Damon, Elliott Gould”), or quote, without any introduction, from The Simpsons or some song.
  3. I’ve always thought I was a city guy. I love having everything around and not having to drive to go anywhere. Then I discovered that I don’t do much in the city and often want to get out of there. One thing’s for sure tho, I might have been born in the suburbs, that’s not a place for me. Still, just beat my record for the longest time lived in the same city: 12 years and one month. Half of that time at the same address (not bad for someone who used to move every two years).

That being said, stay tuned for my Sunday Story segment on Self Portrait Challenge!


spc as a moon

2006-07-24 @ 15:54

La Lune

Okay, I admit it, I’m kind of in a Tarot phase. Guess it’s a way to channel my creativity and find subjects for the “as a” challenge. I’ve always had a fascination for the Tarot. Not as something to tell the future, but as an instrument to tell of the present; to clear up one’s ideas.

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World eBook Fair

2006-07-14 @ 10:18

In celebration of Project Gutenberg’s 35th birthday, eBook offers free access to the public to 330,000 books, until August 4.


self portrait challenge - monkey

2006-05-29 @ 7:57

I know, the June challenge, Pop Art, has been announced, but since we’re still in May, here is one last introduction to me:

Mab the Monkey Continue reading »


Multilingual Chat

2006-02-1 @ 13:56

Some time ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a multilingual chatroom project he was working on. It was for him a way to tinker with some aspects of machine translation (MT), and also of networks – using linked translators on the fly when MT proved too much of a problem. The goal of the project itself wasn’t the creation of a viable application as such, but rather exploration and investigation.

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