Archive for November, 2009

A Tip for Writers

Posted in Writing on November 14, 2009 by Patrick

I learned something useful recently that I’d thought I’d share for those who wish to be writers.

A few weeks ago, during a storm of deadlines and work stress, my usual writing computer died.  It’s also a fairly high powered gaming computer, and it does this occasionally and I have to reinstall Windows.  The tech support for this particular company seems to regard that as both normal and desirable.  What they seem to forget is that it takes an entire day to install Windows.

In frustration, I went and bought a Macbook.  I will resist the urge to proselytize, but here’s what I learned:

Keep your gaming computer and your writing computer separate, and you will triple your productivity.



Posted in Writing on November 8, 2009 by Patrick

I’m doing Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, despite not realizing it until about four days in.  I’m already way behind, but I’m not giving up.  Even if I don’t finish it in November, I hope to at least get a detailed outline done.  I’d really like to write a novel.  I’ve resisted it by thinking, “well, I could write a book on magic and get some money,” but no matter what those don’t bring in that much.  So why not amuse myself, do something for the intrinsic reward, and not worry about cash?  Of course, I did write my books on magic for the intrinsic reward; I’ve never had an illusion about how much money a writer makes.  But writing a novel is a crazy, kind of irresponsible thing for an academic to do.  So — I’m doing it.


Posted in Food on November 1, 2009 by Patrick

So for Samhain my partner and I had a dinner party.  It started with “we should have some people over” and ended with the moving of furniture and the building of a trestle table in the living room while I translated the menu into my poor French.  Things have a way of growing in my house — all but my houseplants.

We had a “dumb” course (potage de pomme de terre) and then we passed a cup and poured a bit of our drinks into it and remembered a person important to us.  Even though relatively few of us were pagan, we all kind of got into it and I at least found it moving.  Many of us spoke of old teachers (that’s what happens when the host goes first, and the host is a professor).  It was really wonderful to hear how people who have passed live in, in a real and physical sense, among the living.

I haven’t been to a circle or thysia in — oh my, almost a decade.  But it’s kind of cool that I could still get spiritual nourishment out of a meal with my Christian, Jain, and even atheist friends.  And I think they enjoyed it too, even though I did finally give up on trying to find a French equivalent for “Mattar Paneer.”