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