Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fantasy gardens

As a child I played many imagination games. My sister and I stole flowers from the garden at our house and took foil pie tins from the kitchen. Then we would layer the flowers in the pie tins. We always saved the prettiest ones for the top. There was a greenhouse where we would leave our pies to dry. Eventually all the flowers would rot together and we would end up with a crispy cake. I do not think there was any logic behind it. We liked flowers and making things.

I loved huge gardens. I still do, although I am more critical of them now. In one particular instance in which I got it into my head to design a maze garden. The walls were thickened with grape vines and at the centre there was a little pond, if I am correct in remembering. I drew diagrams and sketches of this garden. I picked out the sort of plants I wanted for it. Of course, such things take a huge amount of money and I settled for the little bit of dirt in my mothers garden. I grew radishes and little roses.

We moved and there was nowhere to have a garden. My mother made due with the deck and managed wonderful things with pots but we never grew vegetables, which disappointed me. When I moved out on my own I decided to have a garden. I finally got up the courage to ask the landlord and he gave me permission. So last year I had my first garden. I live in fairy land so almost everything grew without much addition to the soil or my having any idea how to deal with pests or what each plant needed.

I am moving halfway through the summer this year, which causes a bit of trouble. But already I am collecting pots. Two of my roommates have never gardened before, but one plans to build a cold frame and the other is incredibly excited about doing the day to day gardening with me. My boyfriend and I are starting to plan our spring gardens now. The given reason is that we will get terribly busy, but really it is an addiction to mini world building.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Boxing day in the mall

Why would you go into the mall on boxing day? I don't know. Maybe it is masochism. Maybe the more obvious greed. For me it was neither. Seven of us met at the north entrance to the mall and went over the rules. Tagging is progressive so in the end one person will be left. We weren't allowed in any gender specific places. We were not to do anything that drew attention such as running or shouting. We were to behave exactly like the other shoppers. No getting in trouble, no getting kicked out. We still stood out so much, even when we made an effort. You could pick out the seven of us from different floors and we kept meeting each other to compare information on who had been caught. Instead of shopping on boxing day I played mall tag.

Escalators are death traps, as are elevators. The first game we played I was going up the escalator and saw another player. I couldn't tell if he was tagged or not but they started walking away. I figured I was probably okay but I should have walked in the opposite. I followed him for a bit and then decided that it was a bad idea and turned around. Another guy came up the escalator as I turned around. I suddenly had a strong desire to purchase a pink sweater from a guys clothing shop.

I went in and stared at the sweater but I knew it was useless. I turned around and he was come into the shop. I tried to move around to get out but realized I could not leave without drawing attention to us. So I gave up.

"Hey, I haven't seen you in so long!" I said and shook hands with him.

"Yah, how are you?"

"Oh, I'm good." We hugged and he said, "Yah, you are so tagged."

"Guessed as much." I follow him off to hunt other people.

If you are in victoria come check it out. Our facebook group is

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Christmas Eve


It is appropriate to be happy on Christmas, and as such everyone should do so if possible. So I hope you have a fantastic Christmas!

Student life

I feel that there is a lack of literature surrounding student culture. There are a few mentions here and there, and there are bits of advice but nothing like the stories and art that surround the upper middle class woman or the high school. Therefore I was very excited to discover Wasted Talent. Wasted Talent is a comic by a very talented engineer in Vancouver, who used to be a student at UBC. Before I get anymore details wrong I'll just say, it is fantastic and you should read it.

A further comment is that I will be attempting to do more on the student life section of my blog, as I think it is being rather ignored.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Society of Individuals

My moral philosophy professors seem confident that we can make the right decisions. In fact we can do better than formerly believed because we are not hindered by an idea of guilt or original sin. We are burdened by something we cannot change, but we are incredibly responsible (I still can't believe my philosophy professor is a real Utilitarian! I thought those didn't exist.)

But that has to do with action. I want to know about being. The reason that being is done away with, I suppose, is that it was associated with sin and guilt and egoism. Either we give up the self or live for it alone. False dichotomy! I just want to be my best. I don't think that means hurting others or forgetting myself. I do not see why it needs to mean these things. I gather that there is a break in my education. Something about the world wars and the modern view of the world means that the way I think is not permissible. I do not know what it is. The best I can guess is we thougth we were gods, but that's egoism so that just means we were wrong. It doesn't mean that all philosophy to do with what I am is wrong.

Our solution is no better then what we are trying to avoid. It is not healthy to raise people to think of themselves in the way that we do. On one hand we are telling them that they are special and unique. On the other hand we are telling them to conform to a system they do not understand. Doing the latter only is slavery, the former the sort of evil we no longer permit. Together it just makes a mess. Is everyone reallly so special as we tell them they are? No. Special is the wrong word. We can be unique in that we are ourselves and no one else, like a unique point in a chart. But that does not mean that we are unique. In order to be we have to separate ourselves off from everyone else. Is that really something that each of us ought to do? I'm not sure. But I believe that in order to be properly interdependent there ought to be a separation. Once each of us understands that we are a separate entity, that being the period of solipsism that many youth suffer from, we can re-enter an interdependent concept of identity well maintaining ourselves as a part of that whole. Then we will understand both specialness and the need for a system. But unless we can do that we are not special and we should not follow the system, because we will be following it improperly and entertaining a lie.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Being authentic

E.M. Forster is a supurb author. I have reread each of his books since I discovered him two years ago. Tonight I rewatched 'Room with a View' on Youtube. The movie does not quite capture the book but only because with it's limited capacity it cannot do so.

I love George Emerson. He seems to push against all the boundaries of the human mind. He romantices atheism as a clean version of being human. Reset all attributes. Back to default before we messed people up with the idea of sin and god and society. He is not muddled. His vision is clear. I love him for it, and I wish to be like him. I cannot bring myself to deny the existence of gods, but I wish to have vision that is clear and a mind that abhors muddles.

I decided to search 'being authentic' on google after watching the movie. Hey, I'm a student during Christmas break. What would you have me do?
"When you live an authentic life, you are living the life that resonates with your inner being. You will not bind yourself with destructive habits, relationships or lifestyles. You will gain inner strength and let go of manipulation, power plays, cruelty and hatred."
But this is all wrong! Being authentic isn't about what is inside you. You aren't special. This is the problem with most self-help work. It is all about the self! Or maybe that is just me thinking self-help is idiotic. But seriously!
Being authentic will not necessarily help you. It will give you moments where you feel better about yourself. But it does not help you because your life will be harder. Being honest doesn't make life easier, it makes you more alive. Being more alive is sometimes painful. Sometimes you will succeed but there are other times when
you will suffer, and suffer all the more that you understand your suffering.

Why follow a path that will lead to pain? Because I want to know! It is like the choice between living a life plugged into the experience machine or living in reality. I don't care if reality isn't as enjoyable, I want what is true. I shall start exploring the borders now. Hopefully there will be no raids on the city well I'm gone. The roads will probably be improved in the process.

I would like to draw the metaphor back, to see that I wish to secure the pathways of knowledge and understanding within my own mind. Not build up a wall and say 'this is where I can no longer understand' but improve the areas in which I feel secure in order to make raids on the ones I do not and to return with the rewards.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No one in the world today is ever really happy

A Rulebook for Arguments (fourth edition) informs me that it is important to start from well-supported premises. For example the premise, 'no one in the world today is really happy' is not a very good premise because even when well defended it is quite unlikely.

Sometimes, on certain rainy afternoons or in certain moods, this may almost seem true. But ask yourself if this premise really is plausible. Is nobody in the world today really happy? Ever? At the very least, this premise needs some serious defense, and is very likely not true.
You can tell that this writer realizes they are writing to philosophers and philosophy students. The conclusion is only that this premise would need very good support, not that it is useless. Because knowing the sort of person an undergraduate is nothing is more tempting then that which they tell us is impossible. Of course we can argue from that premise.

Watch me!

Happiness as defined philosophically is different from the emotion. It isn't an instant of pleasure no matter how powerful. It is not passion because passion includes pain. Taken the Greek it might amount to being human.

Here is my theory: early societies form such that each member can understand the purpose of their society and the role that they play within that society. These societies are organic and as such will shift according to needs, such as oral story telling changes through generations. Once a society becomes larger and more complex it ceases to be a group of humans and becomes a system. Members of this society will have difficulty understanding the purpose of their society and their role in it. Philosophy becomes prevalent. Philosophy tries to explain why people should continue to behave in a human manner even though they are now within a system.

If being happy is the equivalent to being human qua human, then very few if any of us will be considered really happy. For the modern world is not an extremely human invention. We are surrounded by things which trascend being human, such as computers and cars and global warming and frozen pizza. In using technology in our every day lives we cease to be human and become something else. As such we are not happy.

This seems almost plausible. But I shall admit it: defending this premise is quite near to impossible. If we accept the idea that humans are a tool-making creature then our use of technology is part of what we are, and using it to the best of our abilities will lead us to be more complete. I view my computer as an extension of myself. It's that part of myself that eats electricity. Furthermore, there are many ways that we can be human apart from our use of technology. But if we accept consider the world 'really' we will see that the bar can be raised to any height as to what 'really' happy is, as such the premise requires something that is impossible in a finite world and is useless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why do newlyweds put flowers on Kant's grave?

Kant is buried in Kaliningrad, Russia. Recently I learned that Newlyweds place flowers at Kants grave. It is a superstitiuous act done in hopes of a long and happy life. I searched every article I could find and I cannot figure out why.

My roommates suggested it might be that they like the travel distination and need an excuse to go there and a reason to cross the border. But that still means the tradition is being used as an excuse, and that it already existed.

My theory is that some people read a little bit of Kant and mixed philosophy up with spirits. Thinking he was a saint they proceeded to make offerings to him, and because he is not there was no trouble with them continuing. But that this theory is still somewhat unfulfilling, more then not because I have absolutely no evidence to back it up.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why create the illusion of height?

I haven't been bothered by fashion culture stuff since middle school, but I had a sudden curiosity. I like the idea of wearing white pants and grooming oneself meticulously. If I had time I swear I would do it! But that isn't what fashion is about. It's not about paying attention to your appearance so people can tell the energy put into it and admire that. It is about following rules and matching up to one idea, even if you don't find that idea attractive or interesting. This has been said, but not by me until now.

I am 5'4. I am not that short, but from time to time people comment. If I wanted to I could create the illusion of height. But I don't want to. Why not? Because it is fake. It says something false about your facticticy (those facts about your self). It's inauthentic. In other words to consider my appearance I go existential. But the existentialists were all about appearance and essence, and about adopting appearances. Nietszche adopting Socrates. Kierkegaard made up many pseudonoms.

So, if you are short, be short. Here are some suggestions I derived from idiotic ways to pretend yourself into something you are not:

1. Wear big bright belts or sashes. If you cut the figure in half it draws attention to proportions.

2. Long, baggy skirts that cover the ankles.

3. Don't let your pants cover your shoes.

4. Mix colours and patterns.

5. Wear flat, simple shoes.

6. Wear short skirts and dresses that draw attention to the length of your legs.

Or just don't bother. But don't try to trick people. It's dishonest. I have no idea what is wrong with being a small person. I think it is especially suitable for the trickster role and by connection being a philosophy student.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Modern Emanation

Emanation is...
Emanation is the streaming of existence from some single source. It is the sun lighting the moon, and the moon flooding the earth and reflecting in the sea water of the bay. That water must be our soul, fluid and always moving.

In the moonlit water I watch myself until we get far enough from shore to use the motor. Then the boat tips up, and the air fills with the faint smell of gasoline. We leave the harbour. I lose sight of the moonlit beach as we go out into the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

During the Christianization of the Western world and the collapse of the Roman empire, there was a philosopher named Plotinus. He studied Plato and Aristotle, and taught them to his pupils. Plotinus wanted a certainty separate from the crumbling ideals of the crumbling empire in which he lived. So he fixed his sight on the Philosophers ideal, the immutable one. This is Plato's Good, Heraclitus' logos, Parmenides Being, and the water of Thales.

Plotinus says that the One is the well-spring of all things, and that all things are part of the One. Think of the Universe, then the galaxy, then our solar-system, then the place you are right now. These are different levels of particularization but it is all the Universe. The One is like the Universe. Plotinus says that the One thinks of itself and from that gives rise to particularization in the form of the Active intellect. The Active intellect contemplates it's existence and as such gives rise to Anima Mundi, the world soul. The world soul at each particular point is one of us. The souls of creatures are just the world soul experienced from particular points of view. Now the souls of creatures thinking themselves give rise to the material world, but the material world cannot give rise to anything because it is too particularized to contemplate itself.

Plotinus wrote the Enneads. His manner of thinking and writing is highly esoteric so although I gather that exploring them is worthwhile it is also nearly impossible. Even his students, after having spent years studying under him, could not always figure out what he was going on about.

Apparently emanation comes into conflict with evolution. This is obviously false: Emanation is a non-temporal process. We can deny it on the ground that it is bizarre, and on the ground that souls do not exist, but we cannot deny it on the ground that things evolve. The issue is that of causal process. Evolution requires causality. But the material emanation obviously displays change, which we can observe and categorize. The fact that scientific knowledge is not on this view considered as real philosophical or religious knowledge is a ground for irritation but it does not necessitate conflict.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Carrot Juice Constitutes Murder

This song was my introduction to The Arrogant Worms. I love them. This is brilliant.

I like to argue. I like to argue things that do not have ethical implications, because that way you can enjoy the argument without getting the opposing party upset. If I say, eating meat is wrong I cross into the ethical. If I say, eating vegetables is wrong I cross into the absurd. As a young philosophy student I love nothing more then the absurd. It is our version of humour.

Now you must understand, the fact that everything is alive is not an argument against being vegetarian. The fact that some vegetarians eat fish is not an argument against being vegetarian. Just because people are hypocrits doesn't make them wrong. Let us assume Aristotles definition of the soul. Aristotle defined the soul as the propensity for motion.

When you eat a vegetable you are eating something which has a soul. A carrot planted in the ground will still grow, as will a potato. Beans are little sleeping plants and hold within them the essence of life. It isn't even safe to eat dirt because dirt contains tiny microbes. So you are left with water. But wait! Don't you know that tiny life forms have been killed to make your tap water safe for consumption. All food was once alive, and anything that wasn't isn't really food. I'm eating living things. I'm monstrous. Living is wrong! Anyone have a rope?

The solution is, as my medieval philosophy teacher says, 'completely obvious to the meanest intellect on the briefest reflection.' Aristotle is Greek. Greece didn't have vegetarians. Greece had Pythagoreans. Pythagoreans were against 'feeding flesh with flesh.' It is a simple and beautiful definition of what I wish to embrace.

A mess of misinformation

I am rather new to this whole vegetarian thing. The people close to me are vegetarian, but it is apparently rather the same as watching someone else ride a bicycle. According to the International Vegeturian Union "[f]or the purpose of membership of IVU, vegetarianism includes veganism and is defined as the practice of not eating meat, poultry or fish or their by-products, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs." But I had a hard search to get this little answer. It is what I need in order that I can define myself and my choices in relation to the world. Along the way I discovered that being a vegetarian is a very messy subject. I will be taking up a few issues I have discovered on my adventure.

i. Whatever you do, do not go to yahoo for answers!

A commentator on Yahoo Answers says,
"Your correct, it is hypocritical [to eat fish. At least I agree with him there!]. Most things Vegetarians say and do are hypocritical [Most things everyone say are hypocritical]. Some believe they can eat chicken and fish. I never new fish was a vegetable. A lot of Vegetarians are PETA supporters. [A lot of vegetarians don't support PETA because it is inhumane and disgusts us.]

P.S. The reason your getting a lot of harsh answers is because most Vegetarians are angry and mean [False cause. Most people on the internet in ethics debates are angry and mean.] As we know, [we do?] when it needs food, our body indicates this to us with the feeling of hunger. But there are also other signals if specific nutrients are deficient. Meat is the best source of several of these nutrients. When our bodies are deficient in these, we become irritable and aggressive. [I'm both sides and believing neither. Some people are saying that Vegetarians are peace loving because they don't support killing. Now this guy is saying they are violent because they are nutrient deficient. Lots of people are nutrient deficient. It comes from only eating meat. It comes from not eating. It comes from thinking all you need is protein powder.]This is why strict vegetarians tend to be so vociferous. Look at Hitler and Charles Manson (both Vegetarians)."

Beware of appeal to emotion. People know you are angry and take advantage of this fact. When you are angry you will not ask for rational argument but only to have your beliefs affirmed. Always demand facts! Always demand arguments! Even if you cannot understand them it requires the person you are talking to to make an effort and use their brain instead of taking advantage of your willingness to listen.

ii. Vegetarians are malnurished.

Even my mother advised me not to become malnurished. I thought she knew me better. Anyone who goes vegetarian without first learning how to live without meat is stupid. I am not stupid. I did not do that. But you must understand that there are many people in this world who do not have the same advantages I do. There are many people even here in Canada who have no idea how food works. Make it a project to educate them, not damn their choices. Being vegetarian is cheaper and requires you to think more. Those are both good things for the malnurished. My only stumbling block so far has been cheese. I am now on a quest to find rennet-less cheese.

iii. There is an ethical divide.

Hey, guys. I want to be on your team, okay? Nope, you're on the other side of the line now miss vegetarian. I had no idea! I had no idea that in becoming a vegetarian I would become a walking ethical challenge. I don't want to be labelled. I don't want to challenge peoples beliefs with my existence. I just wanted to make a good decision for once. Why is it such a mess?

iiii. Farming animals is monstrous.

Appeal to emotion! Look how dreadful it is. Nasty little pen. You know what? I don't care. What don't I care about? Well, I'm not sure because I never bothered to find out because I know that when faced with those images I won't be able to think logically. I don't want scare tactics to change my way of life. That's stupid.

See the trouble is that if I am a vegetarian due to the monstrousness of animal farms then if I go out and kill the cow myself it is okay. So 'happy meat' is better. Yep, it's better. But I don't want to consume flesh. I thought that was what it meant to be vegetarian.

Monday, December 7, 2009

House of the Future.

I've never been to Disneyland. Maybe it's better that way. This does have it's appeal. It's weird, and in some ways idiotic. It is deliciously archaic. But the kitchen is pretty darn awesome, ignoring the fact that eating in it would make you dead. But imagine how oily it would get after a few years!

Interpreting Greek spirit/soul distinction

I've just discovered that the daimon I was refer to is actually a guardian spirit and separate from others conceptions. I was wrong, never mind.

So we have the Breath, which is the capacity for life within a body. That is the person. The person exists in the world and can act upon it. Then there are the ghosts. Let us take a story because it is easiest. It is necessary to carry the story within us, so this concept works better in an oral culture, but there are a few stories all of us can tell. I know the story of Cinderalla, for example. I can get all the points down, and some of the magic and beauty. That story exists apart from me but it needs me. It needs my Breath (this is why the word is so suitable) to actualize it. I make it part of myself and as such make it a living thing.

Although fascinating it is also very irratating to muddle through such a mess, and keep in my that this is my interpretation only. Partly I note this because it's true, but also because this concepts are so bloody hard to deal with I am probably making more of a mess.
Firstly, in every language I have explored there is a word for something like spirit and it translates to breath. The Greek definition calls it the propensity for movement and life. Under this definition Aristotle declared that potatoes had souls becuase they have the ability to grow upwards.

Secondly, I must define the spirit. I would prefer to use the word daemon, as in the Aristotilian Eudaemonia or 'happy spirit.' That word, however, has peculiar connotations in our language. To avoid confusion I will use 'ghost'. In this context I will expand the definition of ghost to: that which lingers apart from a body. Ghost could be concept, story, supernatural being, idea or anything else of that sort.. Anything that has potential but needs a living body to actualize it. So there is a ghost of an oak tree in an acorn. It would be better to use 'form' but I don't feel comfortable with Aristotilian terminology.

I take the inner editor as my ghost. As soon as I start to write I will attract one because of my mental state. If I do not I will be taught to through the criticism of others. This means that not everyone will have that voice. In order to acquire it, and allow it to live through you you must be in a certain state of readiness equivalent to Aristotle's Ah-hah! moment.

But what does your inner editor do? Bother you all the time. So you tell it to behave according to it's element. Instead of looking down it acts as a way to draw you up towards the place where other ghosts exist. It does much better bringing in new material and solving the issues in your story then mourning it's mutability and imperfection. So it's a gateway ghost. Having it allows you to access the rest of the a priori. Just watch out for God, I hear it has tentacles.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The spirit and the inner editor

National novel writing month is over. Where is your inner editor?

My wordcount calendar advised me to kill mine and bury it in the greenhouse. I know that Chris Baty advises the somewhat less violent method of sending it on an all expenses paid cruise for the month of November

First I would like to note that my inner editor is not buried in the greenhouse. Why not? Well, when I write creatively (essays are another matter) my inner editor becomes quite friendly. Sometimes I worry it goes too easy on me; my inner editor gets very excited when I write. I feed it all the little bits of twisted up plotline, all the nasty plotholes, and all the unrealistic characters. It stalks around for a few hours, and then comes back with a fully digested version of my story. I've found that the happiest parts of my life are when I have that little voice talking in the back of my head, working out the problems, and finding solutions. I like being happy, so I decided to see how I could apply that to other parts of my life.

I find my inner editor is great when it has a story to work on, but whenever I try to study or write an essay things fall rather to pieces. What goes wrong? I'm sitting there with the voice in the back up my head saying, why didn't you get up earlier? You are procrastinating. You are so lazy. You will fail and then life will be pointless and why don't you just go off and kill yourself. That is abusive, and the sort of behaviour one finds in disturbed and unhealthy relationships. So why do I let this happen? Because I've always believed the darn thing. If I know I am messing up maybe I will get better. Maybe, but no. It does not work that way.

Henceforth I have a project. I want my inner editor to behave the same in all areas of my life. I want it to be that little voice in my head workings things out. So my project is to turn it away from my personal failings, and toward what I love. I love writing and philosophy and living properly. The last being a big issue for someone who has only lived on her own for a year and a half. So instead of it telling me how much my essay sucks I want it to be preocupied with the ideas I am working with. Instead of being cross that I am not studying I want it to be thinking about Plato's conception of the spirit and how that applies to his metaphyics. Much more useful and I am keeping myself interested in the task at hand instead of thinking about myself all the time. The best way to improve any skill is to put it to use. Seems like it should work, right?

Yes, it should. But I gave it a funny purpose. I now understand Plato's conception of the spirit. Plato says the spirit should look upwards towards what is unchanging instead down towards the material. I've always thought that to be rather silly, slightly disturbed anti-materialism. But that's what I am trying to do with my inner editor! That's the way I am happiest. My inner editor is my spirit! So I believe in spirits. What interesting things I learn when I don't focus on getting up in the morning and sitting down to do my readings at exactly half past eight.

Watch for my next post, where I will discuss the difference between the Christian and the Socratic Spirit and show why the latter fits my definition and not the former.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm a vegetarian. Now What?

I've always been bothered by the way we eat meat. People have often mistaken me for a vegetarian before. I eat meat once or twice a week, instead of with every meal. So it wasn't a challenge of what to eat or what options were available for proper nutrition. But people have also often mistaken me for an English Major and that doesn't mean I'm going to wake up one day and switch out of Philosophy.

I love philosophy, so I would not give it up. But I also love eating meat, which is why it frightens me that I made this choice. It means my character is less permanent then I thought. It means that I can change major things about who I am without the world turning on it's head. That worries me because it could mean I could stop wanting to be a good person, or that I could give up my religion and become Christian. It also means I can do good things, like become a good friend.

I went through this before when I set my mind to being tidy, and also when I gave up a few of my more prudish beliefs. But that was over a period of time. This is an on/off. Either I am or I am not. It does actually feel like my world is turned on it's head a bit. The way I look at the world and the way people interact with me has changed in the course of a few days. People look at me differently then they did before.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blog post post

Every time my one roommate does something melodramatic my other yells, 'why don't you post about it on your blog.'

I gather that is is an example of a general rule. Furthermore, in the pretentious circles one is to use a selection from a philosopher to prove a point. As such I shall now attempt to be emo.

Plato says that there are certain natures that readily accept philosophy, and those ought to be philosophers and not any other. He also says that to avoid being corrupted even if one does have such a nature requires intervention from the divine.

I do rather believe in a spirit world, and that there are things beyond here. Unfortunetely I somehow made the mistake of believing in such things without believing that I was special enough to be granted them, because that's just egotistical. So if I have a philosophical nature I still need divine intervention to get me to any useful sort of knowledge.

Obviously I should be a writer and not a philosopher. Then all I need is the second! It isn't necessary to know the form of the Good to write a good story after all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Click 'next blog' without fear.

Blogspot has just announced that we will now be able to click next without fear! I often wished that this were possible but every time I click that darn bottom I end up with something about breast enlargement or various other blogs that only exist to advertise. I am extremely happy now that I can click next and find a blog that actually exists as the writing of a real person, and more then that a blog related to what I like. No more sports blogs for me!

Check out the article here: Coming up next.

On into the future.

Well, I finished National Novel Writing Month. I also finished my story. Somehow all nanonovels end up being exactly the length they are required to be, which makes me wonder if National Novel Writing Month cripples one's story.

I have a good sane plan for this year. I will be putting my novel away at least until I am done exams. When I look at it I will for once force myself to read through it. That's the hard part. It seems so very overwhelming. I'm considering recommending to other nanoing friends that we have a reading party. Then on to editing! I plan to build a skeletal structure out of what I wrote and what I should have written. I'll save the pieces that I love or seem useful and find homes for them in the edited story, and toss the rest. I once read a recommendation to use an 'odds and ends' folder. Anything that's good but doesn't fit elsewhere ends up there. Then when you need inspiration you choose a fragment and fit it. That might be where most of this novel ends up, but I love the characters so much that even if the text doesn't come out alive they will. This is a new experience. I have never loved my characters before.

Until that point I will try to keep to the three day a week posting schedule. I will probably talk a good amount about philosophy because that is the only thing I think about, but this also might turn into a blog about student culture. I feel like I ought to do some writing on that before I cease to be a student.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I win nanowrimo!

I wrote 12,000 words today and 6000 yesterday. I think I would not recommend this to anyone who has any ounce of sense. But it can be done.

It wasn't a happy ending, which was my goal because beginner novels tend to turn depressing for effect. But everything came together quite well at the end and I was very happy with that.

The one thing I am disapointed about is that this celebratory icon isn't very awesome. The participant badge was lovely and steampunk and I don't think the Winner badge lives up to it at all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11 minutes to midnight

I have finally caught up for my nanowrimo novel. That means from now on I only have to write under two thousand words a day. It also means that I just wrote around eighteen th0usand nine hundred words in a span of two days. That is far too many words. Possibly more then I ever needed to write in my place, or will ever need to write. Oh, except that I will be doing my thesis. Hopefully that will be on something worth writing about.

5500 words behind

Well, a little less then that. Hopefully I can take care of that tonight without losing all my plot line to the all-consuming monster that is Write Or Die. Somehow I always start to run out of ideas when I try and write large portions at once. The story seems to burn up faster then it should. Probably because I'm not taking time to get new material in between.

Unfortunately the nice folks at Write or Die still haven't got elecritc Shock mode set up. A shame. I think it would be a real motivational tool. They have published a desk top version though so maybe it is somewhere in the future.

But that is beside the point. What I would like to say is watch The Guild. It's an awesome web series with Felicia Day in it, who you might know from Doctor Horrible.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7000 words behind!

Hello, my name on this blog is Liosis and I am 7000 words behind on my Nanowrimo novel.

I was three days ahead and then a few things happened.

1. My plot morphed into something else and I had to put a bit of time into figuring out how I could keep writing when the story in my head was so much cooler then the current story on the paper. No editing, which created big problems. In consideration it might have been better for my story to go back and add some stuff to allow me to continue, but rules is rules and I think that would be breaking them.

2. I decided to learn how to use imovie for mac and make a teaser, as seen below.

3. I went to Vancouver for my boyfriend's birthday. Sky trains are very cool but somehow did not inspire me to write my novel. In part this was because I forgot the power cord for my computer and didn't want it to die.

4. Also the course readings and the midterm.

Yep, so there's my reasons. Now all I need to do is catchup. Either I write 350 extra words every day or I try to write 7000 all at once in the next few days. 350 doesn't seem like that much, so maybe this isn't so bad.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Coming this Novem--

what? It's too late to make a teaser for my novel? But what if I want to trick people into reading it? Or get really behind in my readings for class?

I'm going to assume that that argument convinces you, and offer without further rhetoric my attempt at one of those funky teasers people were playing around with a month ago.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Novel cover generator

Lots of people on the NanoWrimo forum want covers. I would like one too, of course, but I can hardly justify the money that will leave my account in the form of a donation, much less something so insubstantial as a cover for a book that will likely never be published.

Happily there are generators for my sort. I give you Glass Giants Romance Novel Cover Generator. If your story actually is a romance you are in a bit of lack. If not it's still rather cute and something to put up on your blog and profile if you do not have the time or expertise to make or own, or the money to buy one.

Nanowrimo has gone Steampunk!

You know what I adore? Steampunk.

Apparently so does the rest of the world, because even a site catering to such a numerous fan base as NanoWrimo has gone steampunk. I direct you to the steam coming out of the novel machine in this participant badge.

For anyone who does not know what Steampunk is I suppose I can tell you. It is a sub genre of fantasy. The setting is a fairytale Victorian era. For those who don't realize this the Victorian era was the industrial revolution. The dates coincide. All the absurd creations of the Great Exhibition is from, historically speaking, the second half of the industrial revolution. Steampunk manages to look at the horrors of industrialization with the awe and wonder usually reserved for hurricane. It grew out of Cyberpunk, as it's fantastical sister. The results are giant machines powered by steam infested with goblins. Really you cannot go wrong.

Fairy tales

I've got two down and hundreds more to go. For some reason my story seems to be turning into fairy tales. Now I've heard of stories turning into smut without proper outlining, but fairy tales? Apparently that's just where my mind goes to when I'm confused. What a failure of a dirty minded creature I am.

So far I accidentally started little red riding hood and had a minor character as a cursed equivalent of Rapunzel's lover.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We feel fine

I was looking for an applet I used to have when I came across We feel Fine. It is an incredibly entertaining program, which promises hours of procrastination. Okay, well maybe a few minutes. Everyday it searches for recently updated blogs with the words 'I feel...' or 'I am feeling...' or some similar thing and takes your age and locality and such if possible as well.

It's cool, but somewhat creepy. It is also somewhat depressing. Maybe it was just today but everyone sounded unhappy.

Midnght kick-off!

There is nothing scarier then writing a novel in a month. Okay, that's a total lie. But it is rather scary an hour before you want to start writing, trying to cook pumpkin to make into pie and staring at the clock every few minutes to make sure an hours hasn't passed well you are looking away. There is something of suspense in there. And the realization that it is finally midnight and now it is November and you have to write starting now is rather scary, especially when there is the enforced deadline of 'go to sleep now or be very tired at work tomorrow.'

Well, it's 1:15 and I've written over todays quota. My characters so far introduced are brighter and more alive then I could have hoped. November looks good.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009

For anyone who hasn't heard of Nanowrimo it is a month long novel writing competition. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month and anyone who does so wins. Oddly enough there are prizes this year apart from self-esteem. You can get a free copy of your book if you win.

I plan to revive this blog for the month of November to keep track of my success and failure, because good luck posting it on the forums.