NaNoWriMo

Yes, that’s right.  I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.  For those of you who didn’t click on the link, it stands for the National Novel Writing Month.  Each year in November, writers both professional and aspiring sign up and set themselves a goal – to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. If that seems like a lot to you, it’s because it is.  That works out to 1,667 words each day.  Since one page with 12 point,...

Read More

Playing Games to Change the World

Another TED talk has caught my eye.  I was alive when Pong was invented, and I clearly remember the transition of computer games from stand-up arcades to the home area (I’m giving away my age here, aren’t I?).  I’ve played games for years, though never with the sort of dedication that Jane McGonigal talks about in this talk.  However, I have always been a proponent of using games for educational purposes, and saddened and/or...

Read More

Writer does not necessarily equal Wordsmith

I’m a writer who doesn’t play scrabble… never been good at plucking words out of letters given to me.  (Thin air is a different story.  pun intended.)  SO anyway I’ve never played these online scrabble games.  I think I know why.  The computer scientist in me says I can generate a list of words, create a file, and search it with simple regular expressions… bam, pow, I’d rock the casbah. Except that’s...

Read More

Writing in the Rainforest

I just got back from the Rainforest Writer’s Retreat, and after a couple of days of decompression I’d like to share with you some of the things I experienced. First of all, for those of you who aren’t familiar with where I was or what I was doing, a brief description.  The Rainforest Writer’s Retreat is a five day session of intensive writing.  Nearly 40 writers gather together on the shores of Lake Quinault in western...

Read More

Joining the 21st Century

So I made the plunge this weekend and joined the Twitterverse. I know, I know… where the hell have I been? (Somewhere in the back mountains of Patagonia, apparently.)  Of course, of the first 8 people who followed me (actually, as I write this, 14 hours or so after writing, there are only 6) two were immediately recognizable as spam.  I’m 90% sure that four of the remaining are, as well. But that’s sort of the way of the...

Read More

Happy New Year!

Well, you sweaties, it’s Christmas Eve Eve.  The year has, as it does every year at this time, come to a conclusion.  Though there are ways in which this year has not lived up to its full potential, in many ways – dare I say most ways – it is a very satisfying conclusion to a good year.  If you’ll be so kind as to indulge me, I’d like to point out some of the memorable points that made this year special to me....

Read More

Learning without teachers

I was poking around on the TED website, randomly watching videos – seriously, it’s a great way to spend 20 minutes or so when you have some free time – and I came across a really interesting video about teaching children advanced topics – without teachers. Professor Sugata Mitra has been experimenting with allowing children the freedom to discover the answers to questions he poses without the benefit of a teacher...

Read More