Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more

Visually Speaking

As I continue working on Red Ice, I realized I needed to come up with some sort of map of everything, because, since its a fictional land and not based on our world, trying to keep track of locations in an unknown land just in my head is rather complicated. So I decided to sit down and make a map.

I generated a continent layout for the entire planet, but the novel takes place only on one of the continents so I'll worry about detailing the others later. It's not incredibly detailed, I haven't come up with the names of most of the current referenced locations, and I'm really not sure about the distance scale. I'll probably rearrange some things later as I figure them out better, but for now there's a good general idea at least.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 15:00:00 -0600

It Is Alive!

One of the primary things I have to do as staff of NotebookForums is watch for spam and remove it. When we're doing it right, the normal users will never see it because we Do It Live and get it as it happens. But sometimes some gets through our eyes and has to be caught later.

From the years I've done this, I've seen all sorts of types of spam, from spam bots and otherwise. There are some interesting trends that happen in spam, too. Sometimes, some particular topic can be targeted over and over again. One particular thread thats been around since 2005 has had had 65 spams deleted in it, the earliest from September of 2008. I haven't figured out why yet this particular thread is targeted so often, but it is nonetheless.

The latest of these spam posts is what caught my eye, though, when another staff member caught two accounts on both NotebookForums and the sister site DesktopForums, both registered at the same time and with consecutive account numbers (the member database is shared between the two sites), which both posted spam in threads consisting of the line "This forum is alive? If yes, please remove this topic and my account." A quick Google search shows a bunch of other forums hit by this in the last couple few days, most of them deleted on the actual sites now and the Google cache not updated, but oddly enough all the other times I saw it occur it was starting a new thread with that also the title, instead of posting that in another thread like what happened on NBF/DTF.

The DTF bot also posted a second post, saying it was testing the forum again, and a random sequence of characters. Another Google search for that line as well brought up another batch of results, but like the first one those all started new threads, as opposed to what it did on DTF, posting in another thread. Its kind of an interesting bot, I'm curious as to what it would try to do from there. My guess about it is that its a sort of testing thing, human monitored possibly, gathering information about forums to enter into new fully automatic spam bots later.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:00:00 -0600


At the hospital currently, as my father has had an appendectomy. They were able to do it fine, but it was apparently in a pretty bad state then so its a good thing he didn't wait until longer. 

So in the mean time, I find myself working on The Pocketwatch some more, and once again spending much more time trying to research period clothing then our narrator is taking to describe it. Whatever, the character isn't much for small details anyway, and it gets the low end writing out of my system so whenever I work on the novelization of Spiral Island I have a higher quality of writing to work with.

But aside from that, I had been thinking about wanting to do more with the stuff I was making for this storyline, the various Objects and such I had been coming up with but really wasn't planning on using. I had thought of maybe doing a Metroidvania type game (platform-adventure to use a more generic term), using those objects and various characters from my storylines in a complete parody game, which I might do for fun anyway once Spiral Island is done, but I wanted something more substantial. The problem with that though was how I could do it, preserving all the details I already had, and without breaking the semblance of 'canon' in relation to Spiral Island without messing stuff up. Why I even try, I'm not sure, but probably because it makes things easier to remember, but as such it leaves me with the need to not convolute.

I added another entry the other day to the Object list, after having another dream which gave me something to use. And that dream also made me realize that I had actually had set up the provision to basically do whatever I please here in the modern time, completely ignore having any other effect on the storyline, and have it all fit neatly into canon. Plus, as a bonus, it even gives me provision to solve another gap in the main story.

I dunno, I probably make way too much of a big deal of this. But I think about things WAY too much anyway, so might as well get something useful out of it, and it makes things easier to remember if I don't have to remember simultaneous contradicting points. One day everything will be entered into the wiki so I don't have to keep it all up inside.

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 18:00:00 -0600

Filled Gaps

Interesting, there were no archive pages for the last like six months. Well, that is resolved now.

I finally put up another piece of The Pocketwatch. I actually pretty much have had the entire overall story figured out for a few weeks now, but I wasn't quite sure how to write this one because I don't want to jump right in to what I have planned so early. I'll probably just get it over with on the next part, though, because there's really not a lot I can do there in the end of the 1500s to delay what is going to happen. The whole of their normal occupation is "go to Object, retrieve Object, store away Object", and without wasting a lot of extra time to make up Objects that won't have any other bearing on the storyline beyond a few I am planning is really just dragging on unnecessarily.

I have a page in my private wiki just detailing various generic Object's (generic named objects, as opposed to things that would have specific names such as signature weapons and such) I've created for Phobia, Spiral Island, and this storyline, made up of some things I joke about, are just part of my distinct look, weird things I've dreamed about, specific things I've written for storyline, and things that just spontaneously popped into my head. As of right now it sits at 34, a small collection compared to say the Holders or The Lost Room sets, but as I've made these in relation to what is going to happen later in The Pocketwatch, I've found myself liking these characters more and more, and furthermore finding their interesting characterizations and associated objects easily slotting in to fill in some big gaps I had in the storyline that will follow the Spiral Island Trilogy. I swear I don't do this on purpose, it just happens naturally, but it continues to surprise me when I end up solving my plot gaps without even noticing.

Mon, 04 Jan 2010 17:00:00 -0600