Things I’m Up To, 2nd Edition

Six years later…


What am I up to right now? Well, let’s take a look…

Writing:

The collaborative writing project I mentioned before has …. stalled. I haven’t actually heard from my collab partner in a couple of years, so … no idea what’s up, there. Which leaves me just my own projects to focus on.

I’ve had ideas for more novels and stories to write, and accomplished essentially nothing on any of them aside from writing the ideas down for later exploration. So, sadly, not much to report, here.

Programming:

I’m not doing the clients thing anymore, at least not really. I have full time work for a company doing some pretty amazing things in the field of application infrastructure creation and management, so not really much time for freelance work. It’s enjoyable stuff, so no complaints from me.

IDLX has taken a break for a while in favor of other projects I’ve come up with since. Top of that list is Calends, a library for handling arbitrary calendar systems and converting between them. It can handle dates 140-billion-some years into the future or past, at resolutions smaller than Planck Time (which is, by definition, the smallest unit of time with any actual meaning). It’s mostly working already, but I’m having a small issue with the PHP extension that gives access to the shared library itself (DLL or Shared Object file), so that’s holding things up a bit. Once that’s ironed out, the next project is a mobile-first offline-friendly web app for managing story elements relative to moments in time. I need Calends complete, first, so that StoryLines can properly handle date/time inputs across the various real-world and constructed calendars it will be presented with.

There are a handful of other projects, too, that I’ll start working on at various points, but I’ll come back to those later, when they start to actually happen.

Miscellania:

GoodReads has been neglected a lot, but is currently up to date for the most part. Most of the other stuff I’m reading takes the form of web comics. You can check what web comics I’m currently reading here, if you like.

In the world of roleplaying, I don’t really have anything to report other than I would love to assemble a team, and I’m currently commissioning artists to do a piece for me that’s related to a setting I created, with some idea bouncing among friends, and some fleshing out via playtest. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, hit me up!

I did not re-enlist. My hair appreciates this decision. There are some drawbacks, but I’m ok with them.

Non-projects:

My marriage is still in the slow process of coming to a close. I have two wonderful children whom I adore to pieces, and I spend weekends with them as often as I can without depriving their mother of weekends with them entirely. It’s not an easy path we’re on, but things are better in all the ways that matter.


To Be Continued…


Things I’m Up To, 1st Edition

For those curious, here’s a brief overview of the Things I’m Up To at the moment.  I’ll try to make these kinds of posts fairly frequently.

Writing:

My main focus with writing, at the moment, is with a project I actually can’t say much about, yet.  It’s simply not ready for public knowledge.  I can say that I’ll be working with my great friend and colleague Ian Mayes on this project, but that’s about it.

I’m also very excited about James A. Owen’s Drawing out the Dragons ebook giveaway, which was extended to a full week from the single day he originally had planned.  I urge you to take advantage of this offer, if you haven’t already – more information can be found in my previous two posts here on my blog.  And to anyone who thinks this is a marketing ploy – well, you haven’t read the book or heard him speak.

I do have a couple of novels outlined, though one will probably never see the light of day – it’s truly awful.  As the project I can’t say much about reaches the point where I can focus elsewhere, I’ll start to work on turning the other outline into something worthwhile.

Programming:

I’m very nearly ready to start taking on other clients.  I’ve already approached one group, but still need to present a quote and mockup to them before things progress any further.  Should they accept, my client search will be placed on hold for a while as I push forward on their project; otherwise I’ll start actively searching elsewhere.  Either way, when I open my doors to more clients, I’ll be looking to do any sort of programming project you can think up.  Of course, faster delivery will come from projects I’m already familiar with, but I’m still always up for a challenge.  I’ll provide more details on this as soon as I open up my client search.

My current projects include migrating a client web site to a new server, and finishing a development framework I designed so I could develop an information management database for my Navy Reserve unit.  The migration has top priority, of course, and is finished with the exception of selecting and acquiring an SSL certificate, and getting the server moved from my basement to the data center where it will be permanently housed.  I can’t do the latter without first doing the former, of course, but this should be taken care of by Monday, I hope.

As far as the framework is concerned, it’s actually open source.  I need to update it with current information, but the official home for the project is SourceForge, project name IDLX.  The current version would be on SF hosting if their PHP installation supported the HTML Tidy module.  The basic premise is that the framework itself does any heavy lifting, through module extensibility, and your framework-based project simply defines the user interface and connects that to the underlying framework capabilities.  My goal is to make the framework operate on the web or on the desktop with equal ease, with modules translating your interface design code (written in one flavor or another of XML) into whatever format is needed for the current platform.  It promises to be a lot of work, but it’s been fun so far.

Miscellania:

I have recently created a GoodReads account, and am using that to keep track of my progress with reading things.  I didn’t realize I was reading six things at once until I started using this!  I think there’s actually a seventh that I need to go back and add, but I think I’ll have to restart that one anyway, so I’m not too worried about it at the moment.  You can see what I’m currently reading just by looking at the bottom of this page.

A friend of mine has run a website with an extensive White Wolf RPG section for several years.  Indeed, that’s actually how we met.  I have been working on a PDF version of his content, which is difficult to do between all the other projects I’ve been working on, and the updates he’s been making between the time I started and the present day.  Still, I promised a PDF, so I shall deliver.  Eventually.

Normally I’d have other role-playing news to report, but I’m currently in a gaming-free period.

I’m on the wire with re-enlisting or not.  My original contract, a standard eight year deal, expires in a month, and I need to either sign a new one or never return.  There are some things happening that might even prevent me from being able to re-enlist, but we’ll see.  More on that if it turns out to be a huge problem.

Non-projects:

And finally, a small section for things happening that aren’t really projects, even in the loosest sense.

I’ve been married for two years and almost four months.  My wife and I had a son two days before our second anniversary – so he, too, is almost four months.  He was born exactly on time, but was fairly small – a mere 3 lbs 14 oz.  He’s strong, though, and has already reached, if not surpassed, ten pounds.  I made the joke in the delivery room, but stand by it to this day, that our little guy just couldn’t resist showing off his smarts by making his first act into a math joke.  I also suspect he’ll like pie.