I’ve been bitten by the literary bug recently. Badly. As you probably already know I try and write on Protagonize, a cool online writing community. I’m currently collaborating on a really amazing story with some fantastic authors, namely Eloosive, Archi Teuthis and Bill Hartzia (not forgetting to mention the brief but awesome accompaniment of Cheshiregrin!) called Tagged which I’m sad to say I haven’t put as much work into as I would have liked, though this is something I am working on changing.
I also recently started up another story called This Polaroid Truth, you can read more about in on the site. So far I’ve posted a new chapter every day I think, as well as also adding some more to some stories I’ve left dormant, such as Her Ladyship’s Wife. I’ve got a real hunger for writing at the moment but not only that, reading too.
I read a lot of books as my spare bedroom can attest (it’s stacked full of them!) but sadly I’ve never read very much on Protagonize. Yes, I read the odd thing that pops up on the front page but generally I find the site hard to engage in when looking for things to read. I’m not sure what it is about it but I find browsing through it looking for things to read quite arduous. However, I’ve been putting in a special effort recently and have pledged to myself to try and comment on everything I read. Often I find I have nothing to say because I’m not really interested in the story or it’s good, but doesn’t really give me anything in particular to comment upon. I’m forcing myself to write at least something, even if it’s just ‘That was okay’, just to get me into the habit. I’ve said many times before on the site that commenting is something that’s extremely valuable and I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Short meaningless comments don’t help others much but getting myself into the habit of commenting at least will make me more likely to make decent comments in the future.
Apart from writing and reading, I’ve been making use of Spotify a lot. Spotify is a cool relatively new service similar to last.fm. It’s a streaming music service with a certain social aspect (shareable, communal playlists) but unlike last.fm you can choose exactly what tracks/albums/artists you want to listen to. Unlike last.fm, the radio stream has adverts injected into it for free accounts, but they aren’t too bad, essentially just like listening to the radio over the airwaves. It also integrates with last.fm to scrobble your plays so you can benefit from both. Their client software doesn’t exist for windows yet but I’ve found it very easy to setup using WINE. I typically use last.fm to find new bands to listen to and now spotify fills the gap with the ability to actually listen to them without needing to commit to buying an album without knowing whether I’ll like them or not. Great stuff.
My talk for the next BUNIX meetup is coming up soon. I’ve been writing some software for it but need to sit down and bulk out my slides a bit. There are a couple of extra things regarding DSLs I want to talk about now, such as the awesome Cucumber and how it uses ‘treetop’ to make it’s DSL with a parser rather than interpreting actual ruby code. I’m not the greatest public speaker but I guess I need to get over it some time or another and now is as good as any. Besides, I’m trying to get more into the Bournemouth geek community and going to Barcamp Bournemouth, even though I didn’t actually speak there has given me the confidence boost I needed to make me at least attempt that.