Hey Genius!

You forgot to wear pants!
Ha ha! Made you look!

November 29, 2005


11/29/2005 09:07:00 p.m.

I "won" Nano!

I've got good ol' Rob in the CD player right now, and here's the lyrics that were playing as my Winner icon came up:
knock it nice
and smooth
step back and
watch it flow yeah

never gonna stop me
never gonna stop
never gonna stop me
never gonna stop

scream if you want it
'cause I want more

—Rob Zombie, "Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)"

And I didn't even have to put in a "Screw Flanders", as per my Simpsons-addicted buddy, the B-man.

Now that I've crossed the 50,000-word mark (!), I guess I'd better finish the story itself. I'm probably 1,000 to 2,000 words from the ending.

It's called Salyx, if you wants to read it.

November 27, 2005

More Nano text

11/27/2005 09:17:00 p.m.

47,700 words now. In the home stretch, word-count-wise. Story-wise, too, I think.

du-Razh was a pale circle, swelling even as he watched. Igraine was snoozing in her chair. Part of him wondered if she wanted to be wakened for this pass; the rest didn't care. Let her sleep.

The display shifted a little, automatic corrections to their trajectory. He'd puzzled out enough of the drifted Englisch to be able to toy with certain aspects of the display. du-Razh's moons were labeled now, all of them tagged with numeric identifiers; the Earth ship didn't have the names built into its database. They'd passed by IX-4 and VIII-4 already, and VII-4, known locally as Shiva, largest of du-Razh's satellites, was approaching. They would pass below its tilted orbit, no closer than one hundred thousand kilometers to the moon at any point.

And now the gas giant was near enough to make out the bands of atmosphere, the murky swirls of hydrogen and methane, nitrogen and oxygen. Storms larger than worlds crawled across its surface, some of them older than human settlement in this system. A thin band of rings orbited its equator, tilted thirty degrees to the ecliptic, made up, it was theorized, of a shattered moon, or perhaps a comet that had long ago strayed too near the giant world's gravity well.

A world three-quarters the size of Jupiter, in the Home System. A world whose gravity could tear apart lesser worlds.

They dove toward it, the little navette making corrections as they fell.

Shiva fell behind them, and then scarred, stony Višnu, Laxmi with its sulfur-dioxide volcanoes. They crossed the orbit of retrograde Prana, a little wisp of captured comet, and still they fell, still du-Razh swelled.

The bands swirled, yellow and brown, ochre and tan. The world was huge now in the display, taking up nearly half the landscape the display had to offer. A minor course correction swung the gas giant to the left, a little bit.

He was struck with wonder and awe. Never had he seen images like this. Even in textbooks, the photos of du-Razh and Persephone were grainy blowups of images from ground-based telescopes. There wasn't a lot of money for an exploration program; they'd become a largely ground-based society, the cities on King Moon notwithstanding.

And now it was spread across three-quarters of the display, the whorls of its storms sharp and clear, the blackness behind it absolute. It was bright enough to blot out the stars.

Another correction, and another. II-4 swept behind them, named Brahmin by the local standards. The last moon, Narasinha, another captured comet, orbited pole-to-pole, once every ten hours.


So close now that the display was filled with a roiling yellow-brown plain, the limb at the edge of the world almost a straight line, and every second there was a minute correction. The stacked displays showed countdown timers, hull-stress indicators, monitors on electrical permittivity and gaseous heating, none of which meant a damn thing to Yakoub. He watched, eyes wide, as the world grew larger and larger still.


And around, accelerating, stealing momentum from the vast world. It swelled so large that for a moment all there was on the display was a slab of yellow cloud, and Yakoub could see fine detail within it, minute variations in color and shade that were invisible in his textbooks. Igraine turned on the sniffer, and the navette was filled with the hiss and pop of du-Razh's electrical fields. A bright strike of lightning arced between two clouds, a trillion volts bridging a gap two hundred kilometers wide, and the sniffer howled and keened with the interference. It went on and on, the lightning lasting for almost twenty seconds, continuous and sustained.

And then they were around, receding, and the sun set on the limb of du-Razh, leaving the flickers of lightning as the only light in a plain, a disc, a dot, a tiny spot of darkness, receding...

November 24, 2005


11/24/2005 10:21:00 p.m.

So I haven't been posting here much lately. Nano has kind of taken over.

Here's a sample, if you're interested:
In the slice of time between heartbeats, civilizations were born, flourished, grew corrupt, collapsed into warring nation-states. Continents crawled across oceans, met, rose heavenward in himalayan mountain-building.

He could see the slug, could see the eye-searing brilliance of the expanding gases. Sir Edouard was coming to his feet, moving slow, as slow as if he were embedded in honey. Tiny sunlets of flame and smoke puffed from the anti-recoil holes along the pistol's barrel, swelling in excruciating slow motion.

He was embedded in a block of plastic, unable to draw a breath. Nothing would move for him. He wanted to scream but he might as well not have had a mouth.

Sir Edouard had unfolded himself from his seiza position. He was almost to his feet. His eyes were flat mirrors, reflecting the flame of his pistol's muzzle. His mouth was set in a narrow, lipless line. His halo of snow had burst from him like a starburst, a white cloud enveloping his head. It might have been comical but for the expression on his face.

As Yakoub watched, his paralysis complete, the knight took a step, impossibly slow, then another and another. Slowly, inexorably, he closed the gap between them.

The snowflakes remained where they were as he approached, slow as a glacier. One step, and another, and another. He stopped, heels together, two paces away from Yakoub, and reached up with an arm.

With the speed of a continent, he plucked the slug from the air. A chill smile spread across his face. His eyes glittered with reflected flame.

Want more? Here's the whole thing: Salyx. 38,000 words so far, by the word counter in OpenOffice.org 2.0.

How's your November?

November 19, 2005

On the downhill slope

11/19/2005 11:02:00 a.m.

28,000 words so far in my NaNo novel. I'm hoping to get about 5,000 this afternoon, too, if all goes well.

November 09, 2005

More Radio-Call-In Genius

11/09/2005 05:17:00 p.m.

I've already documented my odd ability to request songs. Today I used my superpower to help a co-worker score tickets to a concert.

Some background: I have a co-worker--let's call him Greg--who is the biggest fan of the band Queens of the Stone Age. He's going to the upcoming Nine Inch Nails show, not to see NIN so much but to catch QOTSA, who are opening.

So last week, a radio station said that the Queens were going to do an acoustic concert before the show, and the only way to get tickets was to win 'em from the station. Greg's been streaming the radio station at work since then, trying to get in and win the tickets. I was helping out 'cause, hey, why not?

Today he points at me and says "Go", so I start dialing. Busy signal, redial. Busy, redial. Ring ring ring, DJ voice: "You're caller six, I'm looking for nine," click. Well crap, so close and yet so far. But I keep trying. Busy, redial; busy, redial; ring ring ring, DJ: "Hi, what's your name?" I pass the phone to Greg and he starts doing a goofy little Snoopy dance.

Yeah, he won the tickets. Yeah, he owes me lunch sometime.

Nice to know I've still got the touch...

Nano: moving along. Behind, but who isn't? (Okay, I know there are people who are already done...)

November 03, 2005

All right, here's the scoop

11/03/2005 10:33:00 p.m.

Doug has convinced me to try Nano* again this year. I'm starting three and a half days late, but that's ok, because I'm not sure I'm shooting for 50k this year. The story I'll be working on—"Salyx"—has a novella feel to it, so I will be happy if I hit 20k words. Still. If I can make 50k, I won't complain. We'll see how it develops.

Anyways. Starting... now, don't expect much blogging out of me. Just so's you know.

And the judo tournament pictures are here. Enjoy!