Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Off the Beaten Track

Man, I have been busy. One day after I wrote Warehouse 88, I had to pack my bags and drive to New South Wales to pick up my Nanna. See, my cousin's getting hitched and she brought her fiance to Australia to show him off to the family, so folks and family were all coming up to our house to see him.
My father and I had the task of collecting my grandmother, so we spent two days driving down then back up on the Friday and Saturday. Then, not two minutes after getting out of the car, we all got wrangled into the kitchen to get to cooking for the barbeque lunch. We were then cooking for the next four hours, and every time a new member of the family arrived we roped them in and got them to cooking as well.
Once it was all cooked, we cracked open the grog and started drinking and eating, just as my cousin and her fella came around.

It was a lot of fun, but it's all quite busy. I've been here for the last two days taking care of Nanna while she's up visiting for the week or so, and tomorrow I expect I'll be running off to a picnic with the family since Wednesday is the public holiday for brisbane's Ekka.
That's the officially "unofficial" name for the Brisbane Exhibition, also known as the Royal Queensland Show by people who have no friends. It's supposed to be all about showing off Queensland's contents and culture to those that wish to see it, but in truth it's about sucking people dry by offering them fairground food, low quality theme park rides and showbags full of candy - all priced to be as expensive as they can get away with. So our family never bothers with it, instead we do our own thing with the public holiday and a picnic seemed like a good idea.

Sorry if I'm rambling on a bit today. I didn't originally have a Word of the Day or anything like that, since I didn't have the time to find one. I'm really just here to tell you what's up, and why I can't do too many more blog posts for the time being, since I'm busy with family stuff. It's only after writing it that I looked up the word, and realized how fascinating it was. So, the Word of the Day is: 'RAMBLE':

Ramble /'rambəl/ v.i. 1. To wander about in a leisurely manner. 2. (of a stream or path) to have a wandering or twisting course. 3. (of a house) to grow or be built in a haphazard way. 4. To talk or write in an aimless way without a consistent train of thought. ♦n. 5. A walk without a definite route, taken for pleasure.

I guess today's post will be self-demonstrating, like Drunk Responsibly or When the Lights go Out, since the word is "Ramble", and I'm just rambling on myself. I know that I usually ramble on a bit, but today I will even moreso since I don't have much order to this post.
Most of all, I want to mention that I'm too busy to write blog posts for a short while. Things will sort out again when I take Nanna back to New South Wales in about a week and hopefully I can fix up my damn schedule so that I can get on to regular posting, but for now I'm otherwise occupied. But beyond mentioning that, I don't have a plan for this post.

Oh, but speaking of things I wanted to mention. For Duke Forever, you may have noticed a little feature I included, but I want to bring it to your attention properly.
I don't title the posts "Duke Forever" or "Chapter 3" or anything like that, I name them for the title of each individual chapter. I thought it looked nicer this way, but it also makes it harder to find. I recently added a label, so you can find it by seeking out the label duke forever on the page, so you can click that and it'll show all of the chapters, but that's just one measure. See, from the beginning, I knew that navigating the blog would be a little odd with serialized fiction dropped throughout, since it would make it hard to find earlier chapters, so I devised a system of hyperlinks to navigate back and forth through the story.

On each chapter for Duke Forever, there's the illustration at the top of the page, then below that I write the chapter number. Either side of the written out chapter number are some "less than" and "greater than" symbols that look like brackets, something like this:

<< < Chapter # > >>

These aren't just decoration or marginalia, they're an easy way of navigating the story. I designed it similar to the navigation for webcomics, like this one. It's mostly self-explanatory, clicking "<<" returns to the very start of the story and clicking "<" goes back one chapter. From chapter 2, at the moment, these two buttons do the same thing, since "the start" and "one chapter ago" are the same thing, but in time, they will come to be more useful, especially for new readers of the blog, or old readers that want a recap.
As for ">", that goes forward one chapter, similar to its partner symbol, but the last button is what really excites me. Because, for now, when you click ">>" it goes to the latest chapter, since that makes the most sense. That's what people will want to navigate to while we're still in Volume 1 of Duke Forever.
However, I plan on doing this for a while. Duke Forever won't go away, not like Hypotheticals did. Not only is this more popular, but I'm also having a lot of fun writing them. In time, I will continue to write more chapters and fill out the first volume of this story, and when that time comes the ">>" buttons will navigate to the latest Volume of Duke Forever.

I know, I've only written two chapters so far, so perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, but I've got high hopes for this BlogSerial thing.
The only issue here is that I don't have a computer or program to do this, I'll have to go through and change the ">>" links every time I write a new chapter, and as they say "to err is human", so I may miss a link somewhere. If you find one, please let me know through message, e-mail, comments or what have you, and I'll fix it as soon as I can; as they also say, "many hands make light work".

Other than that, I'm working on some other side projects for the blog. I still have the GameBlog interactive fiction idea and other kinds of BlogFiction that I'm working on [by working on I really mean thinking about starting to work on]. I'm not sure when I'll get around to either of those, but time will tell . . .
One day I will try to do a few more Hypotheticals, since there are some questions I collected that I really like and I would like to make a few more, but I wouldn't make many more than five or ten, since there aren't many good hypothetical questions.
I didn't realize how hard it would be to find appropriate questions, and there are a lot that I just can't write about. Most of the time, the answer to a question is: "Nothing would change, except that I would do the obvious thing." or "I don't know what would happen, because I cannot predict how the world will react to me." It's a problem that I recognized originally, but I didn't realize it would be so constraining! Sure, some of these issues could be solved with research and in-depth study, but the original concept of Hypotheticals was for them to be easy, and putting that much work into it defeats the point.
Perhaps I could do something similar, but more akin to actual self-insert fiction . . . just a thought.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. I probably won't get another post done any time soon, but I assure you that I'll get back to writing as soon as I'm able.

Until then, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and in the meantime I'm going to see if I can find the time for my next blog post!

1 comment:

  1. Rambling is all right and meant to happen when we're writing. Besides, it's always fun to hear what you're up to regarding the Duke. I hope you have him comment on space sports, perhaps even outshine the real commentator when it comes to snark.


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