Tip of the Quill: A Journal
What’s going down.

I figured since things have been quiet as a tomb around here lately, I’d let you all in on what I’ve been up to. In addition to my usual client work, I’ve been hammering on a bunch of things – some of which are big, some are small, and others are totally irrelevant.
World of WarCrack
To start with the last category first, I have to say that World of WarCraft from Blizzard Entertainment is an infinitely worse time-sucker than I’d ever imagined. After I finished up a big project in January, which I don’t want to discuss too much here, I had a bunch of free time open up which WoW happily gobbled up, and then it demanded more. Ugh. ‘Habit-forming’ doesn’t begin to describe it. On the upside, I think I’ve now experienced the majority of the general ‘feel’ of the game, so I think my playing will drop off by quite a bit. Or at least I hope it will. I have a ton of other things I really need to get done, and some fun things I really want to do.
Inkblots 10-Year Anniversary
The very first issue of Inkblots was the Winter 1995 edition. It blows my mind to think that I’ve been doing this for a decade (albeit with occasionally very long breaks). I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for our big 10-year anniversary, and the efforts of Derek and Heather in the production of JPG Magazine are inspiring. The trouble is, I don’t want such a hefty price tag on whatever we produce. The research is being done, and some phone calls are being made, but just like everything else around here, it’s taking longer than I expect.
In February, Warner Brothers is unleashing a vile, evil bastardization of the classic Hellblazer comics – a tacky, cheesy-looking Keanu Reeves (!) vehicle called Constantine. This is one of the worst examples of film people not “getting it” that I’ve ever seen, but on the bright side it’s allowed DC Comics to produce a whole bunch of Hellblazer projects. The best of these was the original graphic novel, Hellblazer: All His Engines, which came out a few weeks ago. For those of you who don’t read comics, an original graphic novel (OGN) is essentially the same as a trade paperback, only without the messy step of publishing each chapter as an individual issue. When I got my hands on a copy, I marvelled at how great it was to have a completely self-contained long story in my hands, and how much I’d appreciate the same thing happening again the next month. Which, of course, got me thinking – if a ton of people can successfully pull off 50,000 words in 30 days, would it be possible to write 12 novellas in one year, all starring approximately the same cast? This idea has been bouncing around the back of my head ever since, and if I can figure out how to make the time work out, I might give it a shot – although I suspect the best I’d be able to do would be somewhere between 3 and 6 ‘issues’. And then there’s the question of how to distribute them, and how (and if) they would pay for themselves. All excellent questions.
Tip of the Quill 2.0
One thing I was planning to do today before I got distracted by World of WarCrack was modifying this here weblog to incorporate a bunch of features I’ve been kicking around in my head. The biggest trouble is space – this design uses a bunch of negative space, and I don’t want to surrender that, but there are also definitely things I want to include. I’m not sure exactly how to pull this off, but some kind of Flash widget might be in order. The top 3 things I definitely want to integrate:

  1. Better photo integration
  2. Return of comments
  3. Miniblog for recently-consumed media

I’ve recently found tools to do some of these things, but they still need work. In addition, I’ve also been futzing around with sIFR, which feels like it could have some amazing potential. We’ll see.
Anyway, that’s where I’ve been and what I’m fiddling with right now. I’ve got to get some of my long-running projects wrapped up and out the door – once I can clear these out of the queue, I can start working on new stuff again, such as the novel-of-the-month idea. As always, it’s a matter of time. And not starting up WarCraft.