Monday, December 13, 2010

Whats the deal with Hemingway?

Every once in a while I pick up something completely different in a bid to broaden my literary horizons. I step out of my comfort zone, away from the safe shores of epic fantasy. I wade past the shallows of sword and sorcery and science fiction. Sometimes I stop on the shoals of romance, sometimes I go further. Occasionally I am astonished by the oceans wonders.

Most times I end up half drowned and washed up on the shore.

I picked up a collected works of Ernest Hemingway for a few bucks at a fundraiser. I was left disappointed and confused. What on earth am I supposed to be taking from his writing? I couldn't find a plot. There were no grand comments on the state of humanity. No memorable characters. The dialogue was unusual and somewhat clever, it was also mundane to the point of boredom. To put it simply the writing wasn't.

So today I'm taking the unusual step of asking for a guide. Is there anyone who knows these waters and is willing to point out what I was supposed to find?

Otherwise I'll just sit on the shore and wait for the next epic.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another job interview, another physiometric test (psychometric)

Thank you for being shortlisted for the position. To help us with our selection process please answer the following question.

Are you a person who:

A) is on time for work
B) likes spending time with friends
C) is physically active
D) likes cats

Please choose the response that is most like you and the one that is least like you.

Now answer a hundred more similar questions.

Your brain should now be completely exhausted. Please complete the following timed reading comprehension test.

That was wonderful. Could you now do this numerical reasoning test. Its timed too, which will make it more demanding then any exam you sat at university. Don't make any mistakes, we won't let you go back and correct your answers.

In three days a psychologist will call you to discuss your results. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Star Wars Battle Front II

Um, yeah, novel got sidelined by a new Xbox game. This is an atempt to produce something useful out of it.

The original battle front was innovative. Instead of being the ultimate hero you were just an ordianary soldier. You join with hundereds of other stormtroopers, clones ect to decide the fate of the universe. Its surprising how much one soldier can do.

Battle Front II remains true to the original game, just adds lots of extras. The coolest new feature is the Jedi. You get to weild lightsabers and the force in deadly combinations. Some maps let you play as other heros, including Bobba Fett and Hans Solo. The Jedi life concept is new, instead of picking up health you gain life by making kills.

Space combat is another great feature. You can't participate in the attack on the death star, or run the blockade of Naboo. But you can get involved in a number of smaller battles. The space combat is initially fun, but quickly gets old. The AI is pretty weak, in all my hours of space combat they never once landed inside my hanger. There are only so many ways to win, once you've done it a couple of times you've done it all.

The single player campain is weak. Battle Front I allowed numerous ways to win each battle, leaving the stratagey up to the player. Battle Front II dictates which command post to take, and in what order. Some great moments as Darth Vader attacking the Jedi temple, and later hunting down Pricess Leia. So while fun the campain loses the versatility that is the games biggest strength.

Conquest mode takes on a whole new level. Originally an after thought in the first game, its now worth playing for its own sake. Strategic placement of fleets can block the enemy progress. Credits won after each battle can be used to unlock other units or bonuses for future battles. Because of the AI weakness in space its an easy win, but great play.

Multiplayer has a cool new 'single flag' mode. Both teams try to move the flag into the middle of the opponents base. Trouble is there is to much 'helpful' text popping up on the screen, every time the flag changes hands. Makes it difficult to actually focus on the battle.

Overall I give it four stars.
BM out

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lessons from NaNoWriMo

I'm about 7000 words in, way behind target. I still hope to catch up in time to finish. Either way the lessons I've learnt so far are well worth it.

1) Writing 1,667 words a day is no picnic. I have a new admiration for everyone that completes the challenge.
2) Planning is not essential. In fact not planning ahead can add an extra layer of spontaneity. The story is doing things and taking directions that I didn't expect, and its working out well.
3) World building is not essential. At least not to the sword and sorcery I'm writing. I'm not convinced one could pull off an epic without extensive world building. Maybe I'll try that next year.

To top it all off my wife is actually enjoying this novel, going to the point of askign when I'll have another chapter ready for her. Who knows, maybe this could be the one thats worth sending to a publisher. Then I'd really be eating my words.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not as easy as it sounded

My 300 words on day one was slightly short. Today I've got to write a lot to catch up. But I'm enjoying the experience. It’s an odd feeling to say 'that sentence doesn't work at all, but who cares'. Nothing is polished or pretty. But it’s there.

In the spirit of NaNaWriMo I decided to do everything this month, including all of the planning and plot. It’s exciting, I literally have no idea what is going to happen next. Normally I know the 'end from the beginning'. Yesterday Zeek and his pals were fighting off hordes of soldiers and a sorcerer. Mouse was trying to pick the lock on a door so they could escape. Today I'll find out what’s behind the door. And tomorrow, who knows?

How is everybody else going?

Good luck
BM out

Friday, October 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo starts Monday

For those who have never heard of it the goal is to write an entire novel in a month. Sounds big doesn't it? But the rules mean it’s not quite as challenging as it sounds.

First up the word count is only 50,000. That’s equivalent to the smallest a novel can get. About the size of the cheap paper backs one might buy for a plane trip or weekend. An 'ordinary' novel weighs in at over 100,000. Many fantasy epics come in much higher, Lord of the Rings topped 450,000 words.

Second the novel doesn't have to be good. In fact downright awful novels are encouraged. It’s all about pumping out the words, and worrying about the corrections later.

It’s still an accomplishment, but a doable one. This year will be my first time participating. I'm not convinced that the novel will be worth much of anything once it’s done. But I won't knock anything until I've tried it.

Look forward to seeing updates letting you know how its going.
BM out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Engineering Design Day 2010

Hi everybody

If it looked like I disappeared for a little while you're right. Tuesday and Wednesday this week were engineering design day. The first day consisted of fifteen minute presentations on our research, the second interviews and posters about our design work. All up the two days were worth about twenty percent of our honours grade. So I was a little busy in the build up.

It was an amazing success, both the event as a whole and for me. Designs presented ranged from floating eco houses to closed circuit dryers to bio plastics (ours). Electric cars to spaghetti makers to fixing the hydro dams. The electronics guys did a whole bunch of weird stuff with lasers. On the research side there was also a huge range. Continuous chromatography (mine) to fat free 'ice cream'. Titanium alloys to meat proteins in bread. And the electronics students with their lasers.

The best thing about design day is that now it’s over. I have one journal article to format and submit. One exam. Then I'm a free man. Till I find a job at least. Anybody looking to hire a graduate biochemical engineer?

BM out

Monday, October 11, 2010

Challange based writing

Its blogging week. As forums go its pretty small. But its got some pretty awesome resourses for writing in godzone. Being small means don't loose track of everything if you don't log in every fifteen minutes. In fact its easy to catch up on several weeks at a time.

My favorite feature of KiwiWriters is the challanges. I'd seen the idea before, but KiwiWriters elavtes the challange to an art form. There is always something happening. Currently its Blogg week. Last month was all sorts of speculative fiction.

I first stumbled across KiwiWriters from the NaNoWriMo forum. At the time they were just about to start the New Year Novella. The target was 20,000 words. I gave it a go. Its amazing how much motivation seeing everybody elses numbers gives. I was no longer writing to tell the story, I was writing to post a higher number then cowgirlhat and wolfmotaki. Eight Stones came in at just over 18,000. It still needs lots of editing, but stands as my longest completed work.

Next month I'm going to try NaNo. The goal is 50,000. Wish me luck.
BM out

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blogger of the month

So I log on to one of my regular forums (great places for giving one the feeling of acomplishing things without actually doing anything). I just happen to read the homepage. I never read homepages. But today I did. And guess what, I'm the first ever Kiwi Writer Blogger of the Month.

And if my head wasn't big enough from that I received feedback from a personality test I did for one of my job applications. I hate personality tests. Over a thousand questions on the most random things. And it was all American stuff too. How should I know weather I prefer Washington or Lincoln? I know about them is Washington killed English and Lincoln killed southerners. I don't have any beef with either group, so how am I supposed to choose?

But back to the results:

"You are very bright, intellectually efficient and should make good judgements in decision-making. Your IQ is in the superior range against your peers. You should be quick to learn and are intelligent."

It went on in the same vein for about two pages. Apparently I'm the man. There were a few negatives though:

"You may become a little impatient with others"
"...sometimes you ... get pedantic about things"
" could be a little argumentative"

But on the whole I'm an awesome, well rounded person. Aren't I just amazing?

Now’s about the time you point out all my spelling and grammar mistakes, just to bring me back down to earth.

BM out

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Off to Wellington

In about ten minutes I jump on a flight down to Wellington for a job interview. Spent the last couple of days on a case study optimising a ceramics factory for them. Wish me luck, will let everybody know how it went later in the day.


So the interveiw went well. Will be getting a call back next week. Also got to spend a couple of hours wandering aound wellington. Its a very pretty city, if a little cold.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's in a name?

I've been asked a couple of times why the name BoredMormon.

The story starts a long time ago. Before the days of face book, when only computer nerds had usb sticks and dialup still made you cool. It happened pretty much where I'm sitting now, maybe even the same chair. I'd just started uni, and was very proud of my degree. I went by the screen name of biochemengine, very creative. This is his story.

biochemengine spent his time wandering around gaming sites, chatrooms and forums. Essentially anything that promised to kill some time. Google provided lots of interesting diversions. But googling 'mormon' is not for the faint hearted. Hundreds of websites exist solely to attack church doctrine and practice.

For a while biochemengine just listened to what was being said. Occasionally he would participate in discussions. Then someone started a new thread about the Mormon church. 'This is my chance,' he thought and jumped in feet first. There was lots of work to do, correcting misinterpretations, explaining church doctrine and exposing blatant lies. People were learning. He was being a missionary.

'Which ward and stake are you in?'

The question cut biochemengine to the core. What sort of missionary was he, hiding his identity to convert people? Ultimately it was dishonesty, and Mormons don't do dishonest. From that moment biochemengine disappeared. In his place came BoredMormon, vowing never again to hide his true identity. And the work to convert the internet continued.


Since then I've served a mission, and came back older and wiser. Now I realise I was wasting my time trying to convert strangers over the internet. But the name remains as a reminder never to hide who I am.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Waters of Sebus

Its been a long time since I've worked on any of my writing. Between university and Jade I've been kept pretty busy.

To help me get remotivated I've posted the beginning of Waters of Sebus. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to comment on it as well.

BM out

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave passed away last night at about ten O'clock. The funeral is being planned for thursday. Family are all doing okay. It was expected, he has been battling cancer for some months now. When he went into hospital about a week ago they told his family he wasn't coming out. We weren't close, but I feel for his family.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book of mormon for toddlers

One of the guys in our ward has written this set of books for children. We've got the first one for Jade. She loves them. Great for church.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Was going to be about acrobatics

Don't get me wrong, watching Mercurio and Aaron try and out do each other with back flips was awesome. Tranquilo gave me some good one-on-one training. Even picked up some good tips for balance and strength from the girls.

But on the way home I got a text from my wife asking if Poppa could come stay with us for a little while. We spent the night helping him to the bathroom and back. Listening to his breathing was scary.

Yesturday Mum took him in to hospital. Today we found out he has pneumonia in one of his lungs. He's still in hospital, but looks like he will be okay for now.

Unfortunately at ninety years old its just a matter of time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life on the cutting edge.

I originally decided to study science to be working on the cutting edge. To play with the latest gadgets and technology. To always be working with something new.

Today I'm living that dream.

My final project to complete my degree is the CRFC. I'm not going to bore you with the details of how it works. Lets just say its job is to purify proteins. My supervisors job is to sell the technology for lots of money. My job is to make it work. Easier said then done.

For the last six weeks I've been playing with various combinations of pumps, valves and flowmeters. First it was to high. Then to low. Then one of the pumps decided to run backwards. I've had so many leaks that the wet floor sign is a permanant fixture next to my chair.

Today I finally started looking at the CRFC itself. Its now been running for four hours. Last time I left it on its own it burst a hose. There is no eating in the lab, so I'm hungry. And there is still no protein.

Next time I'll choose a career that involves gadgets that work.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To my dedicated fans...

Hello everybody.

A little about me...

I'm a lot of different things for different people. First off I'm a husband to a beautiful wife. Not sure what I'd do without her. Then I am a father to a delightful eleven month old girl.

I'm a mormon (If your a stickler for details then a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). My current calling is part of the stake clerical team.

In my professional life (who am I kidding, I'm still a poor uni student) I'm a biochemical engineer. Sounds cool, doesn't it? It means I get to play with blood and milk and chicken feathers and other smelly stuff.

I'm a writer. I alternate between high fantasy and mormon fiction. Currently Ammon is stuck in a prision awaiting sentance for killing King Lamoni. I'm looking forward to figuring out his escape.

I also kid myself into believing I'm a capoeirista. Got the bruises to prove it. Who knows, maybe I'll post a video.

Be good
BM out