Personal Notes, Uncategorized

I’ve got no idea, but a house on the beach sounds nice

For the last couple of days, I’ve been playing around with some new software called Jekyll. It’s an alternative website compiler that just delivers static files, rather than being database-driven.

It’s pretty slick.

And it has been itching the tech geek bone a bit. I didn’t realize how much I missed noodling around with some of these things until I was eyeballs deep in getting my Linode server configured to run Jekyll and Ruby and all of the other pieces.

I also managed to break my Linode server, then fixed it on my own without the almighty Google. I feel fairly proud of that, as usually I know how to run the commands, just not what commands I need.

I’ve also managed to somehow break the DNS for my main URL. I think it’s a matter of propagation with DNSSEC, which I turned on for a bit yesterday. So we’ll wait and see how that turns out.

Personal Notes, Uncategorized

Today’s Progress & Some Light On My Process

As of today, I’ve written a second outline for my fantasy story. I’ve now tentatively titled it The Sapphire Sword, though that’s bound to change over time. Stats:

  • Title: The Sapphire Sword
  • Word Count: 1000 fiction / 3400 (over two outlines)
  • Total Words: 4400
  • Deadline: March 30, 2016
  • Genre: Fantasy

On other fronts, I’m discovering two things that I need:

  1. a “clean” app to write in. So far, the only one I’ve found that works on iOS and Mac without a lot of extra fiddling is Microsoft Office. I can just open the app, find where I left off, and start typing. I’ve tried Scrivener, but I get lost in the details: stop this scene, open a new page, write next scene, go fiddle with outline cards, go change compile settings, etc. Vastly too many ways to get lost in the app rather than the writing (a lot like WordPress, that).
  2. an outline to write from. For the last several months, I’ve been trying to write and get a few pages or scenes in and hit a brick wall. Most of the time, I’ve discovered that it’s because I don’t know where the characters are going, or where the story is trying to go. Now, I don’t want to bend the story or characters to my will, but I need to know something of an arc from beginning to middle to end before I get moving. That way, I can let my skills as a parent out to play to shepherd the story along when it starts wandering off to play in the toy bin.
Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

Writing Project, Title Unknown

I’ve started a new writing project. I’ve got three different names for it currently and I’m not sure which one suits it best. Here are some stats on it:

  • Title: Unknown
  • Word Count: 0 fiction / 1700 outline
  • Total Words: 1700
  • Deadline: March 30, 2016
  • Genre: Fantasy

I’m going to try writing daily and posting about my progress at least weekly.

Uncategorized

A New Year, A New Start

I’ve been seeing a lot of year-in-review posts and, since I’ve been thinking about restarting this blog, I figured I’d do one of my own (not that I’ve kept very good track of anything…).

2014 was a very stressful year for me. My PTSD and depression brought me to an all-time low, which greatly effected my work. I started the year in a leadership position at work and gradually worked my way out of that, back to a standard code monkey, and now, to medical leave.

It isn’t easy trying to reconcile a version of yourself that got buried twenty years ago with the different self that you are today. It’s a long, hard road (one I’m still on and will be for the foreseeable future), but I’m thankful that I have finally got a solid support system built up around me.

Between the PTSD and depression, I’ve been working with my doctors and therapists to find a good medication to help. PTSD isn’t necessarily treatable with medication (cognitive-behavioral therapy is best), but the deep dives into depression that I’ve had are. The hard part of this is that it takes thee to five weeks per medication before it’s effective. So, when I need to change meds (which I’ve done half a dozen times now) I have to deal with the initial I-want-to-sleep-all-the-time side effects. And if it isn’t effective, that feels like five weeks down the tubes.

2014 was like many other years for me, in that I didn’t focus much on myself or the things I am passionate about. During November and December, while on medical leave, I finally started writing again (not with any regularity, but it’s something!). In 2015, I hope to get the habit down of writing at least once per day, if not more often, and eventually have a set word count per day towards specific projects.

One small step at a time.10890560_422470817901739_1592996253_n

Aside from a gout inflammation during the holidays, I had a good time this year. Thanksgiving was just us and Caroline’s parents. Christmas featured an appearance by Uncle J. The girls were both very happy, which goes a long way towards repairing my view of this time of year.

(Oh, and I got a quadcopter!)

 

Personal Notes, Tech, Uncategorized, WordPress, Writing

Stress Relief

I’m working my way through some tough depression, stress, and anxiety. Right now, I have a lot of triggers: my career choice (thanks to my father), some OCD-type things, and a number of PTSD-related issues.

Usually, I get so wound up after getting triggered that I can’t do anything. I sit staring at a wall, not doing a thing. And that’s all I’m capable of.

To try to get past that, I’m focusing small, working on one thing at a time. The first thing I’m trying is to work on my career issues. The root of the issue is huge, but can be summed up as: my father wanted me in a technical career, which is where I am. While I enjoy what I do now, I had always planned on being a writer (novelist, journalist, etc.) and an editor.

One thing I’ve realized recently is that I’ve spent too long listening to that voice of my father saying, “Writing isn’t good enough.” And waiting for someone else to come along and tell me that it is good enough. Others have told me that writing is good, that I’m a good writer, but none of it has made a difference.

So I need to change myself. I can’t rely on others to do it for me.

Today, I spent some time getting my computers situated. Rather than going with a “simple” set up of having everything on one computer, I’ve now separated things out: I have one computer that is dedicated to my WordPress development work, and another that is devoted to writing and editing. My personal computer doesn’t have any of the data or apps I’d need for work, so it eliminates the usual temptation I have when I sit down to write to, instead, do something for work.

Now I can truly take a computer, with the tools I need, and sit down to write. I’ve dropped my social networking profiles, which has saved me a lot of time already. With this additional change, I feel good. I feel like I’ll get more writing done.

Hell, I’ve already written an almost 400-word blog post, which I normally don’t do.

Uncategorized

A Change of Pace

To go along with the new month and the changing season and leaves, I’m changing my focus at Automattic for the fourth time. I started out in the social tools arena, then moved on to Jetpack, from Jetpack to support engineer support, and now I’ll be going back to focus on the WordPress project itself! 🙂

It’s been over three years since I’ve had time, beyond minor patches, to focus any great amount of time on the project. When I first started with WordPress, I dove into the Multi Site project (pre-3.0), then worked on building out a customized Multi Site environment for the university I worked for.

Now, I’ll be working closely with a new team at Automattic and the WordPress community to develop feature plugins, fix bugs, and whatever else needs to get done in the WordPress 4.1 and 4.1.1 release cycle. I’m pretty excited to work with the community like this again.