Thought Expounding

anti procrastinator
by alan on Tue 1st Sep 2015 8:30PM

Via The Wall Street Journal

Tips from research led by Timothy Pychyl, Piers Steel and Alexander Rozental.

  • Break a long-term project down into specific sub-goals. State the exact start time and how long (not just “tomorrow”) you plan to work on the task.
  • Just get started. It isn’t necessary to write a long list of tasks, or each intermediate step.
  • Remind yourself that finishing the task now helps you in the future. Putting off the task won’t make it more enjoyable.
  • >
  • Implement “microcosts,” or mini-delays, that require you to make a small effort to procrastinate, such as having to log on to a separate computer account for games.
  • Reward yourself not only for completing the entire project but also the sub-goals.

That was in the side bar.

by alan on Sun 30th Aug 2015 6:32PM

Would you believe that I've had life catch me?

Eight and a half months of non stop only 6 hours of sleep (on a good day and rarely all in one shot). Might be coming out of it now, but I should probably think about catching up some on sleep.

The thought of working on editing the work that I did last October is a bit over whelming. I was going to just pick up, but anyone reading here would be confused as to why I just jumped ahead in the story, and be missing some important parts. What to do.

Well, I'm going to not write tonight. I'm going to do something else.

"Novel" coming along
by alan on Mon 17th Nov 2014 3:00PM

I've gotten up to 22200 words typed in for my novel so far (as of last night). That's almost 3 days behind the 26666 words needed to be on par for the 50000 word challenge of National Novel Writing Month. That means I'm doing okay as far as keeping up. But will have to push harder to finish on time. And of course, Marchan is put on hold while I write this month. We'll see how things go for the next two weeks to the end of the month.

by alan on Thu 6th Nov 2014 4:52PM

I was working on Marchan a bunch last month, in preparation of National Novel Writing Month, more as prep on learning how to write fast. One thing about writing fast is that I don't really follow spelling or grammar rules. I need to clean it up a bit before I can post here.

As for what I'm writing this month, well, it's "An academic joins an expedition to free a mining station in the Trojan Asteroids."

An oldie
by alan on Sun 11th Nov 2012 10:18PM

Saw Skyfall last night. It was pretty standard James Bond fare. The new Q reminded me of Dr. Crane from the recent Batman movies. A bit creepy.

Dana and Richard were away from the capital for almost 6 months. It was a good time, but Dana missed Marchan through it all. She often wondered where he had gone, whether he and his companion were still alive.


Inside the cave everything was dark, damp, and dank. Nothing spoke of habitation in recent days. Nothing moved. They continued walking, Marchan in the lead, pointing out the rubble in their road. Canod and Trevor were unable to see anything, but they continued walking, trusting Marchan's eyes. The road was mostly even, but for the rubble in the roadway.

Marchan walked confidently forward. He could not see well, but could see enough to avoid problems. He had no idea where their road led. He assumed they would have to leave it eventually, but nothing on either side caught his interest. Most of what he say looked like guard chambers or blocked stairways to places unknown. Many of these had names above eye level. Marchan mentioned it to his companions, but they did not know what it meant.

Canod suggested they might be the names of the side passages, or the names of people who lived there, but if so, they were long gone.

After an hour, Marchan noticed that the air was changing. He looked farther ahead, but saw only darkness, but the changing air told him that they were approaching a larger chamber. He slowed their movement and they quietly stole to the larger chamber. Marchan could not see the other side in the faint glow from their bodies. He could hear sounds like a brook passing through the room and could feel the openness around him. They continued moving forward and found that the road abruptly ended at the edge of a cliff, the sounds of the brook emanating from below. Marchan thought he could faintly see that there was another cliff a few meters ahead. The road might continue there. He quietly told his companions what he could see.

Trevor and Canod considered what they heard. It did not sound like they would be able to cross without a bridge. The space was too vast to think of jumping.

Marchan looked around the chamber, but was unable to find anything that looked like it might be usable for a bridge. They had reached the end of the road.

Trevor suggested that they criss-cross the room until they were sure they could not find anything, so they did, but nothing suggested itself to them. The space was large and other than bits of rubble, nothing was was in it.

They decided to set up camp in one corner. They did not know whether anyone was around, but they left themselves to sleep without posting a guard.

Some hours later, Marchan woke to Canod and Trevor talking in semi-light. He looked around and asked, 'What's going on?'

'I woke to this semi-light,' said Canod. 'We were just discussing if we should find out where the light is coming from.'

The semi-light revealed that the chamber they were in was indeed large with a purpleish hue. The other side of the brook was much larger than their side. The sounds of the brook suddenly made Marchan realize that he was extremely thirsty. He looked at the others and noticed they had the same realization. They went over to the cliff side and looked below to the water passing from pool to pool below them. Marchan looked around and could not see any way for them to bring water up to themselves. He pulled off his jacket and fashioned it into a rude bag, then motioned to the other two to use their jackets as a rope.

The two jackets were not long enough. They tied all their shirts together and tried, and Marchan's jacket was just skimming the surface of the highest pool of water. They let it soak up some water and pulled it back up. They twisted it so they could get the dampness into their mouths.

This was a slow way to drink, but they repeated it a several more times until they had had sufficient to take the edge off their thirst. In the dim light, they found a long pole that Marchan had missed the night before. They carried it to the cliff side and putting one end down near them, tipped it over to let the other end land on the far side. By careful work, they walked slowly over the makeshift bridge. Canod and Marchan were able to cross without issue, but Trevor almost slipped a few times and at one point was too scared to move for a while.

They continued to follow the road that they had been following, the light seemed to be coming from something ahead.

We will eventually get to the end of this story. Maybe, with great luck, and patience.

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