Recently, my mate Calyo and I were discussing my Allomera universe, when I brought up the fact that none of the fire suppression systems in this version of the Pokémon universe use chemicals, only pure water. He argued that it just wouldn’t fly, and gave several reasons why we use chemical sprinklers here on Earth. He also cited several other things, and in general, was trying to rationalize it beyond my explanation of “no one focused on going that route.”( Read more... )
So, admittedly, I’ve been keeping to myself lately. The main reason is that…there’s a lot going on right now. I’m extremely stressed, and as much as people say “Come talk to me if you’re feeling down,” that just doesn’t work for me. Talking about things to people just leaves me feeling even more guilty.
( Read more... )
Who would’ve thought I’d be talking about this yet again?
A while back, on one of my old blogs, I mentioned my desire to use semi-formal third person speech online. I dropped that idea because it really is difficult to do that without making things like blog posts virtually unreadable. The main reason is due to the reliance on pronouns in English—something that’s becoming even more clear with more people creating new pronouns for various gender identities.
This is what trips me up, of course. I’m a writer, and I like writing, but in order for third person speech to work for me, I need to be in a mentality that allows me to really get into that type of writing/speech. Personally, if it were up to me, I’d use very simple third person speech in my daily life, but with English being a language where context is always required—as implied context never works with English in my experience—it’s damned near impossible to use so few words unless you want people yelling at you for not being clear enough.
Part of this is the fault of English-speaking society in general. A large portion of people are taught to make assumptions, rather that to ask questions. Even I do it, and I constantly fight that mentality. It's a bad habit that's ingrained into English language studies, which is the worst place to put it.
So…What am I going to do? Honestly, I’m not sure. Part of me keeps wanting to follow social norms, but that part of me I keep listening to is saying to “fuck social norms, do what what you want!” That second side of me is slowly winning…slowly.
For now, I’m going to continue considering it. It’s all I really want to do right now as I once again ponder whether I really want to stay on Twitter/Facebook—especially since I haven’t stopped telling myself it was a mistake to return to those services. I was honestly happier without them.
In fact, I have three posts to write, but until the install finishes, I don't have a great way to do it.
Why am I posting this? Because I want to mention: expect a few Windows Vista posts soon. I'm not dead, just...tired.
I’ve been considering this for a while, but I think that I’m going to start posting any non-sexual stories and art I make to DeviantArt and SoFurry, with my primary mirror being my OneDrive folder. Sexual stories and art will be focused solely on SoFurry and OneDrive, with FA being more of an afterthought than anything. I’ll likely start posting both to Pixiv at some point, though I’m not entirely sure when.
I’m not a fan of Inkbunny, and something about Weasyl has irked me for the longest time—mostly the bloody community there. I see some people say it’s “DeviantArt 2.0”, but I still consider DeviantArt to be somewhat okay in comparison, so I plan on continuing to use DA. However, I’m not using either Weasyl or Inkbunny.
Tumblr is also gone from my list now, as the community there seems to be rather adverse to text. It’s all about images and music, and little else. It really isn’t worth my time to post my stories on such a site, and my art isn’t my focus.
Admittedly, the only reason I’ll be posting to FA is due to the views my stories would get there. The site has gone to shit, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be getting better. So, for now, that’s going to be an afterthought at best, and dumped if it gets worse.
My primary locations will always my own personal website (PDN | PrismDragon.Net) and my OneDrive (where I upload everything to anyway). That’ll never change…unless I somehow can’t maintain them, of course.
So, something that's been bothering me lately is this weird concepts I keep seeing creeping up on various forums and such.
"You shouldn't have x in your story more than y times. It reduces the readability index of the story. You shouldn't use z punctuation more than a times, either."
I don't understand this. I get the idea of not repeating certain words too often in a certain amount of words, but this arbitrary idea of readability is what gets me.
I can tell you right now, different people find different styles of writing readable. Some see the repetition as more favorable, others prefer mixing it up so much that it pushes the limits of the fucked-up language we know as English. Others yet don't really give a fuck, so long as the point of the story or article is made. And in a growing trend, many others prefer stories so short that they would typically be considered snippets of a larger story.
This is where my mind is tripped up. People prefer different styles of writing when it comes to fiction. Why does anyone rely on these arbitrary scoring systems to aid them in writing a story?
In fact, when I did a bit of light research, all of the sources I found said that such tests were barely accurate at all. It's frustrating to see that, like many fads, people start relying on such tools as a gauge of how well-edited a work actually is. Sometimes, it feels like they're making something akin to an e-sport out of it. I even commented that much of the "used x more than y times" idea is a lot like clicks per minutes (cpm), where it's a completely unnecessary statistic that makes no difference whatsoever other than how fast someone can click a bloody button.
Yeah, I'm ranting at this point, but seeing this crop up so often is getting annoying. If I have any beta readers who insist that I follow such a stupid thing, I'll try to be nice about it, and not simply tell them to sod off.
1) Patreon just doesn't suit my flow. It would put much more restrictive deadlines on me than I'm comfortable with right now, and as such, I don't think it'd be a good idea at the moment.2) Too many people are abusing Patreon right now, and I don't say that lightly. Right now, quite a few artists are using the idea of "see the real thing at Patreon" far too much, and sometimes to the point of effectively making old-school 90s teaser adverts instead of an actual art gallery. It's shameful, and it causes people to dislike the idea of supporting artists and writers on Patreon. There's just too much of that going on right now.I'm going to continue working on my stories, and maybe even a book before long. Right now, I've mostly focused my energy on the two Pokémon-based Arcejai series—Book of Arcejai and Book of Myūjin—and my Another Day at SLaVE series that I've been doing as random stories. I eventually want to branch out even more, but that's later.For now, I'm going to work on getting myself set up with writing in general. I need to start out small and work my way up again. Hopefully, without all of the sheer insanity that keeps pulling me away from this…my chosen career.
I’ve been thinking deeply about the idea of doing a Patreon campaign, and it’s very tempting. However, my mind keeps trying to route me towards other solutions, and one of those is rather interesting.
Essentially, one of the ideas is to set up my own store for my stories and books, and charge something like 99¢–$2.99 USD for select stories while offering others for free. I could also go through sites like Smashwords, but they pay quarterly, not monthly like I would need. I wish they would change that, but…meh.
If I go with Patreon, I plan on only having four tiers of pledges: $1, $5, $10, and $30 USD. The $30 tier would start out with only four slots, though I might add more slots and/or tiers later on—I’m considering a $50 tier as well. Here’s what I’ve got for rewards:
- $1 Pledge: Early access to stories (2 weeks minimum).
- $5 Pledge: Early access, 1 Raffle Entry for the monthly Patreon story, 1 raffle entry for a monthly icon.
- $10 Pledge: Early access, 2 Raffle Entries for the monthly story/icon, option to be included as a cameo in random stories.
- $30 Pledge (4 Max): Early Access, access to WIPs, one monthly story of 3,000–4,000 words. (Possibly add art to this later.)
- $50 Pledge (1 Max): Early Access, access to WIPs, one monthly story of 5,000–6,000 words, option to be included as a cameo in stories. (Possibly add art to this later.)
Of course, my milestones are somewhat…far-fetched at the moment, but this is what I’m looking at:
- $100 Monthly: I can transfer my Office 365 subscription to my own name, and buy Manga Studio or Paint Tool SAI. More art!
- $250 Monthly: I can begin looking into buying a tablet for self-illustrated art to go with my stories. Will prioritize getting an actual tablet PC for this task.
- $500 Monthly: If I haven’t already gotten one, I’ll buy a tablet PC to use for art. If I do have a tablet, I’ll look into getting an all-in-one desktop PC for art and story writing. Full month of book writing, with WIP access to everyone!
- $1000 Monthly: I can work full-time on my stories and art without need for relying on others. Helps to pay bills and other things. Some patrons will be thanked in the special thanks section of my books, while high-tier patrons would have the option to make cameos in certain books.
So…What am I going to use the money for? Well, here’s my list so far:
- Office 365 subscription ($10/mo)
- Manga Studio or Paint Tool SAI ($60 USD for the former, $50 USD for the latter, one time)
- Tablet PC for art (???)
- All-in-one desktop PC for art and writing (???)
- Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 ($70 USD + tax)
And that’s what I have right now. That’s all I have going through my mind at the moment, too. I’ll post another update if I figure out anything else.
So, my mantes and I came to a decision, and we're going to stay in Austin for at least another year. As such, I need to make a decision on what I want to do about my writing.
I currently have two options: Rely on book sales, or go with a Patreon. I plan on doing art as well, and a Patreon would help me get the money for tools a lot easier than relying on book sales would.
Right now, I need the following things for my art and writing:
- A copy of Manga Studio or Paint Tool SAI.
- A Surface Pro (pen tablet) or decent 2-in-1 laptop.
- A way to take over the monthly bill for my Office 365 subscription.
- Funding to make sure I keep my domain name.
As it is, I'm relying on others for these things, but I want to do this on my own. However, Patreon will have drawbacks, such as needing to think of rewards for large-pledge patrons, and having hard coded deadlines.
I want to go with Patreon, but if I do, it'll have to wait until my stress levels fall once again. I can’t work well when I’m stressed out, and these last few weeks…couple of months of worrying about a potential move accumulated to a bit of an outburst yesterday. I need to calm myself down a bit.
I need to make this decision soon, for my own sake. Once I make that decision, I can figure out my next step, and move on from there.
- Aero and Glass
- An aesthetically pleasing UI with customizations
- Desktop apps as the norm
- Un-cluttered Start Menu
- The Flair design language (Windows Vista Only)
- The Windows Live design language (Windows 7 Only)
- Plenty of speed without needing to dial back the looks
- The Quick Start menu (Windows Vista Only)
- Sidebar/Gadgets (Sadly considered defunct)
- Internet Explorer 11
- Windows Mail (Live Mail in Windows 7)
- How easy it is to connect to a bloody WiFi hotspot
- The plethora of software choices, free and non-free (See Note 0)
- How easy it is to install the OS (See Note 1)
- Not having to rely solely on a package manager to handle software installation (See Note 2)
- Being able to run software off of a bloody USB key!
- Not having to worry about needing a specific distro or OS version for a package (See Note 2)
Note 0: I've learned that Free and Open Source software isn't always the best option. Sometimes, the better options are the closed ones. Also, a massive fuck you to the FOSS zealots who pretty much tortured me during my time with Linux.
Note 1: I've heard so many people in the Linux world say that Windows is a pain to install. Windows is an absolute breeze—even as far back as Windows 98—in comparison to Linux. I say this from experience, as I've installed both Linux and Windows environments.
Note 2: This is probably the thing that angers me the most about Linux. The sheer reliance on a package manager—a single point of failure—to install software is a major pain in the ass to me. I much prefer installers, as if something fails to install properly, I don't have to do twenty commands in a terminal just to fix the damned thing. Gentoo gets this right, at least.
For those who don’t know me all that well, I can’t withstand most normal jobs. Not only does my scoliosis prevent me from lifting heavy object (25 lbs. carry limit, 50 lbs. dead lift limit) but my body isn’t able to tolerate stressful jobs like call centers. The last time I tried—thanks to other factors adding onto the problem that I won’t mention due to the circumstances surrounding it—I had a major breakdown that led to a blood pressure in the 170/x range. Unfortunately, when I’m pushed to my limits like that, my body really starts to break down.
I need something to drive me to write, and I have half of that fulfilled: I need to help my family pay bills. The incentive of money is helping me write to a slight degree. However, I’m constantly distracted by other things, especially when my mates are wanting to do things with me or pinging me on IM.
I was actually supposed to have put myself on hiatus until I find out if my mates and I are going to move or not, but I’ve been trying to write regardless. In fact, the only reason I’m not writing at this very moment is because I’m having to do an OS reinstall on my main work machine, and my social machine doesn’t have enough memory to run both my social apps and FocusWriter (which I’ve been using).
All that said, I am seriously considering starting a monthly Patreon again if this keeps up. Then, I can honestly say, “This is my job, and I need to get my tail to work on my stories.” I won’t make the decision until after I know what’s going to happen, and if we do move, it won’t be until after the move is done in a couple of months. All of that depends on whether one of my mates has a job lined up when we get to where we want to move to.So yeah, there’s that. Just thought I’d get it out there, and perhaps get some feedback about it.
“…Let’s say you’re in Format and you want to get to something 5 tabs away. Five swipes is an unacceptable series of interactions. The carousel model has been disproven repeatedly, every single decade, for several decades. We have the data. It’s a dumb interaction model, full stop … But more objectively, when you ask 100 people to try iOS versus WP versus Android, some clear trends emerge. And the swiping worked against WP more than it helped, based on the data I saw.“ - ‘jragon’, former Microsoft designer (Original in a Reddit AMA, This quote is from a story from Paul Thurrott)
I heat to say it, but this obviously intelligent designer made a very big mistake. Using the ideology of “When you ask 100 people to try iOS versus WP versus Android…” isn’t a good way to prove anything in design. That sort of data proves very little outside of a very specific subset that may or may not have a bias against your product‘s design because of common usage.
In fact, they even go on to say,
“We're talking world-class, professional design researchers. This was wide data, not just a few jackasses with a steno notebook. Variables like that are controlled for.“
You can’t make good design choices with such a small pool of people, especially in this day and age. Many people are used to the hamburger menu, whether or not it’s the best option for the UX (user experience).
I’d be more willing to believe some of his comments if he hadn’t revealed this, but he made a very bad statistical fallacy in this case.
Doesn't matter, though. He's no longer with the company, but still…
I'm also much more open about things like kinks, both in real life and in fantasy settings, and more open about myself sexually. It feels like a major relief to just be myself, and not hiding behind the whole "separate my x life and y life" mentality so many people try to push on others.
Professional? If I'm a professional, I'm not going to hide behind lies and stupidity. I'm going to be myself, and I'm going to treat you with respect so long as you do the same for me. I'm a writer and IT-in-training, not some worthless politician who pretends their job has a purpose.
I'm not going to be some tool for society to throw into a box. I'm myself, and I'm proud of that.
I apparently come off better, or more appropriate, as a gryphon to some of my online acquaintances. …Um, what? This is not something I was expecting.
Granted, ever since I stopped holding back the changes of my evolved personality, I have become prouder of myself and my accomplishments, though that is a stereotype I see only sporadically among gryphons. I have also become much wiser in many ways, albeit still lacking knowledge and experience in others, but again, that is a stereotype and not one I see often.
I have to wonder. Of those who know me well enough to gauge my personality, how many would say that a gryphon form fits me better? More of a curiosity than anything, but one that is holding my interest.
Early this morning, I was in a conversation in a private chat room, and the topic commissioned art came up. One of the other authors in the chat pointed out that I have never commissioned art before, and in fact, all of the art I have was either gifted to me, or commissioned for me).
It is true, I do not commission art. I prefer to make my own, mostly for personal reasons, and more specifically, so others who may be involved do not attempt simply steamroll over anything I say with their own views. I enjoyed working with JaiJai to receive the artwork I have from them, and I am grateful for the art I have received from my master Achiga and friend Tensu, but it is just not something that I would do myself.
As a result of this, two others pressed me to say why I do not commission artwork–or anything for that matter–from other creators. Another brought up the fact that I had mentioned wanting to build my own fursuit, and even eventually make my own clothes, rather than commissioning people for them.
I will say now what I said to them: It is a matter of ownership, and a matter of personal preference. When you commission artwork from a majority artists within the furry fandom, the artist retains majority rights to the work (unless otherwise specified), and therefore, anything regarding the work itself is subject to their decisions. Unlike work-for-hire, you are not buying a good or service from the artist or writer, but instead paying them for the ability to have artistic direction in a work which they create.
I do not want to pay an artist to make something I want. I would rather see them make personal art that would make them happy, even if I were to pay for it.
If I do pay an artist to make something for me, I would rather make it a work-for-hire project where, despite paying far more for that piece, I would retain majority rights. I would also make sure that the terms of the sale would include the irrevocable right for the artist to post the piece anywhere and use it for their portfolio. That should be ingrained in the morals of such a purchase, in my opinion.
Additionally, I am very much a do-it-yourself type of person. If I need something, and I have the ability to do so, I would rather take care of that need myself, whether it involves building something, buying something, or otherwise. This is something that actually seems to outright annoy one of my mates, and my master seems to become annoyed if I do not come to him when I need art.
It is why I am trying hard to write stories to sell, as I would like to take over my part of the bills (especially the Office365 subscription). It is just rather difficult when I have little chance to write without distractions…or feeling guilt because it seems like I am ignoring everyone. That sort of guilt actually halts my desire to write, as do the distractions.
(Aside: Admittedly, other issues are also weighing on my mind right now, and it is making it difficult for me to write as a result.)
I apologize for the venting, but I want to get this out there, for future reference.
I type just as you see here, with a semi-formal tone and absolutely no contractions. They almost constantly shortened words, using "u" and "ur" in place of "you" and "your", and so on. Their tone was so casual that it was like they cared very little how they looked to others.
Despite the fact that I was not chatting with them, or even mentioning them (it was IRC-based, so mentions often trigger alerts), they constantly interrupted the conversation I was having with someone else in the chatroom regarding fantasy writing. Every few messages I typed out would result in their mentioning that they was "unsettled" with how I write. That progressed to their being "completely put off", and eventually they outright said that I "needed to be kicked for not chatting right"--a feat that I seriously believe may have been beyond their capabilities at that point. Finally, the chatroom admin appeared and kicked me for "nt chtn rgt" [sic], but I was not angry at all.
The fact that someone is "put off" by how I type is simply amusing to me. Words in general are useless amalgamations of symbols and sounds on their own, requiring context, tone and definitions to be capable of conveying any sort meaningful communication. Because I was using plain English--a language which I often criticize for various reason--and they were clearly English-speakers, I can assume there was no language barrier.
I am honestly not sure why they were unable to tolerate my tone, though. Perhaps it is because I use much more formal writing than they do, as they used chatspeak heavily the entire time I was there. I did not bother then, and mentioned the one who was unsettled only once to say that I was not chatting with them.
I just thought I would share this amusing story.