“Irregular Webcomic”:http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1769.html has a funny strip up today that’s doubly amusing for writers. I’ve always known that using ‘they’ or ‘them’ as a pronoun to refer back to an (indeterminate) individual is _technically_ bad grammar, but as is pointed out in the notes that follow the strip, doing so is the best of the options available to the English language and, as such, is becoming more and more accepted in the common vernacular. The only other ‘best’ option is to coin a new term to refer back to an individual of unknown gender, but that route leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve actually read a couple of fantasy short stories where someone used _zie_ in this manner, and I ended up having to re-read sections two and three times until I figured out what they were trying to accomplish. I originally thought they were creating a new set of words exclusively for their story’s setting and only later learned of the movement to coin a gender-indefinite pronoun. It’s just always made more sense to me use ‘they’ or ‘them’ for this purpose, particularly because culture itself has driven the change. It’s effective and concise and everyone knows immediately what you mean.
Gotta love that head of a multiverse-spanning supernatural organisation.
I’m really enjoying getting caught up on J.C. Hutchins’ 7th Son podcast novel trilogy. I’m about a third of the way through listening to his second book now and really loving every minute of the show.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with _7th Son_, the trilogy follows the story of seven clones as they attempt to track and capture their predecessor. John Smith Alpha, the original, is a nefarious villain with devious plans. It’s up to the John Smith Betas to stop Alpha before he can wreak havoc across the globe.
J.C. has written a powerful trilogy of books and has graciously recorded them for consumption by the masses. One of the things that I love about J.C.’s writing is that literally no one is safe. I don’t generally like predictable fiction, so it’s always a pleasure to come across an author who isn’t afraid to mix things up and take chances that keep the reader guessing about what’s going to happen next. J.C. does this consistently with _7th Son_. It’s speculative fiction at its finest, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here. I still have a ways to go before I’m completely caught up, but I’m looking forward to the ride.
A little Reclaimer fun I’ve had in Photoshop today:
I’ve been toying with the idea of taking advantage of the new Facebook feature of pages, and I whipped up this little screenshot with title and URL for that purpose.
A smaller version of the above, with the URL moved, for use as either linkto button or a forum signature image. I’m using it currently as my sig image on the “TTL forums”:http://forum.tiedtheleader.com.
Yeah, I love playing with Photoshop, and I don’t even tap into _half_ of that program’s power.
My commute to and from work every day runs somewhere between 25 and 45 minutes one way, depending on traffic, weather, and trains. The thing I’m loving about that now is that I’m able to listen to audiobooks while I drive. I now have this marvelous 160GB iPod Classic (in black), and I have several podiobooks loaded onto it. Currently, I’m working my way through J.C. Hutchins’ fantastic trilogy _7th Son_. I’ve actually been downloading it almost from the very start but haven’t been able to listen to it until now. I don’t listen to podiobooks while I’m working on the computer – too many distractions – and my previous 2GB iPod wasn’t big enough to hold my music plus an audiobook. So I waited. I knew I’d eventually get a larger iPod that could store everything, and my Transpod allows me to plug in and play while driving. It’s really quite nice.
I’ve downloaded a couple of Scott Sigler’s books, _Singularity_ by Bill Shmedt, and a couple of others. I’ll work my way through them in random order, and I’ve got plenty of books to keep me occupied on my daily commute for several weeks to come.
What podiobooks are on _your_ iPod?
You know what I wish for? A way to make Photoshop portable, aside from buying a laptop and installing the software on there.
On a day when everything is a bit on the rough side, “a ray of sunshine”:http://comic.shamuswrites.com/2007/11/14/reclaimer-chapter-one-part-eight-more-than-genetics/#comment-22 appears. There’s nothing a writer loves to hear more than a comment like this, and it certainly pushes the clouds aside a little bit.
I love doing the _Reclaimer_ comic. At the moment I enjoy even more than writing a short story or a piece of flash fiction. _Reclaimer_ is letting me tap into several of my interests and hobbies at the same time – writing, graphical manipulation, Halo 3, web design, and more. It’s kind of like the best of all worlds bundled up in this little nutshell of yummy goodness.
I was worried initially that I wouldn’t be able to produce a comic that would grab the interest of veteran comic book readers. I’ve never really been into comics all that much, never had much access to them as a kid, other than the ones that appeared in the Sunday paper. I’ve read a comic book here and there over the years, and I do subscribe to several online comics now, but relatively speaking, I’m pretty new to the comic book genre. So you can probably imagine that it’s intensely gratifying to be producing a comic series that continues to generate positive comments. I look forward to every writing session and to setting up the scenes in Halo 3, capturing the necessary screenshots, and then manipulating them in Photoshop to produce each page. It’s a relaxing process for me, and one that I enjoy more and more every time I do it.
Have any of my readers here tuned in to the comic? I’m curious to know if the comic has been able to break the barrier past the gaming community.
Ok, this is a first – I just received an email from a company that was interested in purchasing advertising on my website. I didn’t realize I was generating enough traffic to catch the attention of an advertising company. Best guess is that my Reclaimer comic is the thing doing it, between 900 and 1500 hits three times a week.
For those of you who might be worried that I sold out – don’t. I like keeping my little corner of the web ad-free.
I “just discovered”:http://dvzine.org/ a “new” keyboard layout that’s actually been around for several decades called Dvorak. I feel like I’m learning how to type all over again, which I kind of am – but the layout _is_ more logical. It’s just a matter of retraining my muscle memory to a new system after all these years of using the Qwerty system (the standard one that everyone is used to). Go check out the link and see what you think. I’m still a brand new convert, but already I love it, even if it is a bit maddening to have one’s typing speed drop to a snail’s pace in the meanwhile.
I’ve been using Twitter for a couple of months now, but I admit that I hadn’t really gotten into much until a friend of mine (thanks, Dweezle) pointed me at a nice little Firefox addon called TwitterFox. It basically lets you read and write twitters right from your Firefox statusbar. It makes it extremely convenient and fun to use. I still don’t use it as aggressively as some of the folks I’m subscribed to but I definitely use it a lot more now.
I’m curious – does anyone else use Twitter? If so, what are your usernames? Feel free to add me to your own list; my username is stitzelj.
“I love this”:http://halo.bungie.org/news.html?item=20941, because it’s exactly the right question to ask here.
My Halo-based comic “Reclaimer” continues today with more expatiation from Ferial. He is continuing to fill the Reclaimer in on the Viper Project. The question asked in the link above, just “[w]hat does Ferial know?” is one of the best questions that can be asked at this point. It is certain that he is telling less than he knows and that he knows less than he implies. But just how much _does_ he know, and what implications does that knowledge have?
As the writer some of this I know; some of it- well, some of it even _I’m_ going to have to wait and feel out and see what happens. Should be a nice adventure for all.