August 2017 Updates, Goals

The eclipse wasn’t terribly dramatic in Pittsburgh. Even with 81% coverage, it just looked like heavy cloud cover (the Sun is kinda bright, who’da thunk it?). Still, the weather was great, and it was really nice how many people came outside to see it, passing around glasses and using telescopes and whatnot.

However, 2024 ought to be even more exciting for us! I might be persuaded to drive to a location with full totality. I just have to get over my utter loathing of traffic and crowds!

I’ve been incorporating ideas from a failed short story idea to use at the end of Book 3. Some time ago, I found out the hard way that a short story in the Sword and Starship universe just isn’t feasible; there’s too much that has to be explained. Even with cutting things to the bone, my attempts have been more novella-length. At that point, it’s time to throw in the towel and write a whole book. (Oh hey, I did! Two of them, even! ::shamelessly plugs Blood’s Force and Harbingers::)

While my outline isn’t 100% rock-solid, I’ve pulled together enough ideas by this point to “pitch” them to Remy. He’s really good at taking ideas and adding twists, suggesting edits, and elevating premises to something really interesting. He’ll have 2 weeks off in September, during which he’ll work with me on those things. It’s very much appreciated!

Current Goals:
– Learning Italian. I’m just starting on Italian pronunciation and simple words! I have a feeling it will color my Latin, but that seems appropriate. Speaking of …

Learning Latin. This is still a lot of fun, especially with all the Latin still in common use that I now completely get (post hoc ergō propter hoc, in vitrō, etc.). There’s just a few frustrating aspects (aside from all the declension lol): first, there are no classical Latin words for modern things. Laptop? Microwave? Coffee? It makes coming up with simple sentences, or writing about your day, harder. Second, you can’t exactly chat with native speakers and study their pronunciation, inflection, and so on. We have some idea of how things were pronounced, but it’s by no means perfect, and there’s plenty of room for disagreement. You’re left to do your own thing, basically. But I wanna do it right! Argh. :)

Updating website. Still slow going, but mostly because I lack the motivation to do it. For one thing, web development can be incredibly frustrating; when Sisyphus finally got his boulder up that hill, the gods put him to work fixing broken CSS. Besides, I get what, maybe 100 visitors a year? LOL I will really try to buckle down and get this off my to-do list.

Plan/schedule trip to Rome in 2018. I checked into recommended immunizations for travel to Italy. I’m mostly in good shape, except I never got vaccinated for Hepatitis A. There’s not much need for it in the US, but abroad can be different. So I got one shot this month, and I’ll need a booster in February. Turns out it’s fully covered by my insurance. Thanks, Obama! :)

Later Goals:
– Ramp up selling/promotion
[[Not sure what else yet! Should start thinking about it.]]

That’s all for now. Let me know how you’re doing, if so inclined! :)