From Bullet Journal and female authors, to Anthem and Hugo.

At the end of last year, I experimented with Bullet Journal, and jumped in more fully this year. It has been a resounding success. (This may see a follow-up post in future.)


Been reading lots of female authors lately. Marilynne Robinson – Lila, and then re-read Gilead. Finished an exciting romp through N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy (beginning with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms). Now working through Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles, though I’ll have to interrupt it to race through The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which is in such demand from the library that I won’t get to renew my borrowed copy, and who knows when I’ll get to re-borrow it?

Let’s see if I can’t fill the rest of the year with female authors.


I’ve been playing a lot of Bioware’s Anthem, amongst other games. Anthem is my first multiplayer game, and naturally, I’ve been sucked into the community, and found some friendly servers on Discord to game and chat with. Which has been a kind of blessing: amongst other things, it revived my writing spirit (which flagged for a while) and got me writing fan fiction.

It has occurred to me that I’m still on social media — except I engage in “topical”, focused, and (semi-)private spaces. I quit Facebook years ago, barely check Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram (the latter two remain on death row limbo), and am apathetic about Micro.blog. A re-subscription offer prompted me to log in to Micro.blog for a look-see; I think the last time I dropped by was in February. It’s thriving, and nice to watch. But it’s already become too noisy and amorphous for my tastes, just as Twitter et al have become.

But Discord? Discord is my jam. The first servers I joined were writing groups; the gaming groups came much later.

Discord communities tend to revolve around a primary topic, with detours into generalized chat, and are always private groups (sometimes large, but still gated). It suits the way I organize my online life: focused on specific ideas.## I think I will stop trying to fit myself into a generalized social-media shape. It has never worked for me anyway.

##This paragraph was originally longer, but turned into an idea I should explore some more. This may see a follow-up post in future. UPDATE: The post is here.


My novels are still at the back of my mind. Between Anthem fan fiction and my currently-active novel, A Dirge for the Amphiptere, I have to find a balance to progress in both. I missed April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, but July is still coming up. Best use that to resume novelling.

Also, never underestimate the power of a deadline. I’m part of a writer’s workshop, and they give me enough kick in the pants (and encouragement and feedback) to keep moving forward. Many thanks, fellow writers.


I recently switched from Resilio Sync to Syncthing, and from Microsoft OneNote to Standard Notes. Continuing the march towards open-source and private, one program at a time. Standard Notes, in particular, was the ace-in-the-hole. It has everything I want. Something worth subscribing to!

Google remains the biggest obstacle in this march. I’m about 75% decoupled from it, with the remaining 25% being Google Play Store for my Android phone. Flashing a custom ROM is somewhat beyond me right now.


The best way to learn a skill is to have problems that require that skill to fix. I (finally) have stuff to put on my website, so I’m taking another stab at producing a website through Hugo.

Projects in order of importance: A repository for my Anthem fanfic, proper landing pages for Hierofalco.net. If those go well, porting my Tumblr to a static site on my domain (and finally, administer the death sentence to another social media account).

The hope is to create a “set-and-forget” website production pipeline. Sweat over the infrastructure now, so I can leave it running on its own in perpetuity, just pop in to feed it more content. For someone who has a love/hate relationship with webdesign and coding (building infrastructure is exponentially less fun than creating content for it), this is going to be torture. But I want to do things my way, Indieweb-style.

If I can get these projects and pipelines in place, I may even be able to leave WordPress (which I’m growing to abhor more and more) and close this blog, perhaps transform it. This blog has always been a miscellaneous catch-all. Too generalized. I’ve never been satisfied with it. Disseminating it into specific projects would be the ultimate goal. Then, perhaps, Hierofalco.net would start looking like what I’ve always envisioned it to be: a village of my thoughts.

On this day.

Books borrowed: The Brilliance of the Moon, Lian Hearn (halfway read). Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo.

TBR pile: So Brave, Young and Handsome, Leif Enger. Virgil Wander, Leif Enger.

Finished playing: Hyper Light Drifter.

Now playing: Dishonored. realMYST (Masterpiece Edition), on replay through MYST series.

Now writing: Crush the Serpent ‘neath Her Heel, NaNoWriMo 2018 novel. At ~160 pages / ~56k words / ~70% of plot. Deadline for finishing: end 2018.

Music: Soundtracks from Hyper Light Drifter and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. PBS 106.7fm.

Now testing: Bullet Journal for diary-keeping in 2019. Bible Reading Challenge.

Next thing to test: Zettelkasten – world-building first, digital life archival if successful. Wonderdraft. Anthem during February 2019 beta.

Recently looked up: minesweeping, bomb disposal, Koppen climate classification, Chinese provinces.

To research: African agriculture, tropical savanna climate, steam power during Roman times, intersection of language, culture and geography (re-listen to History of English Ep. 15-18).

Podcast feed is filled with: The History of English, By Faith, What Have You.

To cook: Sorbet. Soba noodles, other things from Just Hungry.

Wishlist: Fountain pen. Robert Oster inks. The two Leif Enger novels I haven’t read.

Thinking about: Finishing Crush the Serpent. How to pray for M. Monsoon-level rains and the city in flood. Carols in the hospital. The absence of the bird, a sort of minuscule grief. Writing/self-publishing short course next year?
The perennial question about what to do with this blog, this apparently aimless, useless thing that has no place anymore in my mental landscape and workflow, but seems to persist and follow me around like a starved, stray dog begging for scraps of self.

Weird Indieweb idea of the day: guestbooks.

If the Indieweb is reviving “Web 1.0” artifacts that foster a sense of community, such as site directories and webrings, I’d like to see a comeback of guestbooks. I remember how you could sign up with a guestbook host — they did all the scripting/hosting, and you pasted a link on your webpages to “sign guestbook” and “view guestbook”, and watched as visitors signed in over time. In the days of static websites, those were delightful methods of public, mutual discovery, through leaving a mark on someone’s website while also including a link to your own. At least, they were delightful before the spammers and big commerce arrived.

I suppose it’s still possible to make a “guestbook” by pinning a static page on your blog that people can comment on. Comments on a blog’s post seem to be the present-day equivalent to guestbook signings on a static, mute website. That doesn’t have the same feel as “sign guestbook” and “view guestbook”, though.

Something to try out one day when the site has gotten off the ground. But I’m a little doubtful that guestbooks will catch on. For one, the Internet is a very different place, and when the manual act of signing guestbooks has been replaced by automated metrics and anonymous trackers, this “neighbourly” practice has been lost. But it’s worth a go to see what kind of people might bother to sign a guestbook.

Codex, interrupted.

I wonder how I wrote the Codex in the past. Definitely meandered much and used too many words. I have less desire for unnecessary verbosity these days — but hang it, spending half an hour trying to write a three-sentence paragraph is ludicrous and frustrating. Even if I once knew how to do it, I don’t anymore.

Stuck on describing how probability theory feeds into the energy and information matrices at time X, and where the first law of thermodynamics factor in transformations. I can visualize how it works, and it makes complete sense. But how can you describe a moving image in one-dimensional, linear word? Can’t you just see what I mean? it’s self-evident!

Will keep trying.

+++

I’ve drawn the Homeworld universe from numerous sources of inspiration, but the bones of the Codex are built from a single source: The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck, a novella by this virtually unknown author named Hilbert Schenck.

I first read it as a teen in the short story anthology Imaginary Numbers (I don’t know if it’s found anywhere else). I don’t use the statement “changed my life” lightly, but that novella single-handedly transformed the entire landscape of my imagination. My world-building was never the same since, and the Codex is my poor attempt to build a theory of the universe upon the concepts that Schenck introduced so masterfully in his story.

I haven’t read the story for some years, but last night I finally sat down and digitized my scans from the anthology, and will hopefully have it on my e-book reader soon. Re-reading it now, I’m seeing major concepts that I’d not noticed before, and new areas to consider. I also think my grasp of the math is much greater than it used to be, and some concepts are now clear when hitherto they were quite beyond me (but beautiful nonetheless). I guess now’s a good time to rethink things, see if those new concepts can be worked into the Codex. –And get me out of this current writing block.