the unfortunate side-effects of being me

The column (ha, column!) goes up earlier today, due to the fact that I’m sure I won’t be able to sneak it in without a bunch of people looking over my shoulder with the worst words you can ask a writer, which are: “What’cha writing?”

Yes, friends have decided to drop by. Another friend wants to come over and do unknown things to me.

I use the word friends very cautiously, because they’re more like Dada’s friends, and they sort of have a passing interest in me.

The only friends I have except for my brother are either dead or in another continent. The latter I have never even physically met.

Didn’t do much yesterday. Stayed up late watching Star Trek, then followed it up with a dose of culture, which, in this case, was that kooky Taiwanese channel.

They were cooking Tiramisu. I never want to eat Tiawanese Tiramisu. Not that it looked bad, it looked pretty much like normal Tiramisu, it’s just that it was made in such a wholly impractical manner (like most things Taiwanese) that I’d rather have something more traditionally Taiwanese.

Meanwhile the Arab chef was cooking something involving large chunks of meat. The show’s hostess looked on in feigned admiration. Everything is normal on Arabian TV.

I sincerely hope nobody’s going to kiss me today. Both friends have a habit of doing so. Geh.

Hmmm… coffee breath… maybe I shouldn’t brush my teeth.

On the other hand, God may fling me a present in the form of the much awaited Blonde Back-scrubber or one of her equally welcome associates. Or Rani Mukherjee.

Hell, I’ll settle for anything right now. Who says birthdays are about what you want?


Nil. So Far.

Formulating devious plans about how to get out of kisses and other social stuff.

Star Trek, TOS, The Enemy Within (All in all, Shatner is nowhere as bad an actor as people say he is. Tom Cruise acts exactly the same way and people fawn all over him.)

Prayer of the Day:
Lord, give us this day our finished flash portfolio (again)… and no kisses!!

nil day

This is how it starts. Today is a Nil day, which means that since I woke up until now (7 p.m.) I have done nothing worthwhile. I actually logged more sleeping hours during this day than anything else.

Still, the night is young, and though it will technically encroach on tomorrow I still mark days as the times between long sleeps.

Sent out two versions of the letterhead Dolly wanted. Haven’t heard from her yet, but she usually calls right about now. The rest of the night will be spent completing her portfolio. It’s the eleventh hour, but by my track record that’s the perfect time to do things. I really need to change this eleventh hour stuff. It’s getting to be a habit.

Actually read a newspaper today. Nothing much changed since the last time I read a newspaper over a year ago. Same stuff, really. Shame I’ve been reared on comic books wherein every headline was either an earthshattering discovery of alien life or a picture of a flying guy in spandex doing something violent to the side of a building.

…you know, that last line came out kinkier than I thought. I’m improving.

And I’m just totally blank-expressioned about tomorrow. What a way to enter a new decade of your life, huh?



Nil, unless you count consistently posting to a blog for two days in a row an actual achievement.

Star Trek, TOS, Mudd’s Women (For rich lithium miners, these people sure live like slobs)

Prayer of the Day:
Lord, give us this day our finished flash portfolio… and cheese!


[This is the first post of the Restart Twice Blog]

Odd, it is, that I start this blog on April fool’s day. Rather fitting, I suppose.

You would suppose that, with a war on just a few hundred miles away, I’d have something to say about it, but I don’t. It seems even less interesting than the last one; at least back then I had little plastic toy soldiers. Back then I could pretend that, GI Joe style, all the good men with the red lasers were going to go in and do that thing they did with all the evil men with blue lasers, the thing where they shoot but don’t kill anyone.

Nobody dies in GI Joe. Well, unless the plot expressly demands it, and even then it’s usually due to some horribly vague internal disease.

Not sure which world I prefer…

This blog was started expressly because I didn’t like the last one; it was full of long gaps, lots of unfinished things I’d rather not be reminded of, and in general made me sound pretty inept.

I need a restart. Again. Hence the title. This will serve as the (hopefully) daily repository of my thoughts, my deeds, my renowned sex-life. You know.

I’ll editorialise. A lot. I won’t use profanity, not the regular variety at least, because regular profanity is tedious.

And I will end every column with one of these, to summarise what I did in the day that I consider soemthing worthwhile. If I don’t do anything, the following will say “nil” and I’ll feel very bad about myself for being a lazy petri-dish swilling yak herder and bingo impressario.

There, I told you; profanity, but not the usual stuff. And that’s it for today.

Thumbnailed a few letterhead things for Dolly’s Portfolio
Character Sketches for the way overdue Spyder Birthday Present (I’m still not sure what to do)

Put together a pizza.
Made a fine desert of cake, banana, peaches and vanilla ice-cream. In retrospect, it weighed more than the pizza.

Star Trek, TOS, The Corbomite Maneuver (Clint Howard!!!)
Sandman comics (something about cats; pretty good)
Diamonds Are Forever (“Hi, I’m Plenty.” “But of course you are”)

Conundrum of the Day:
What on earth am I going to cook for lunch tomorrow?

one last word from the edge

Two hours to go. Like last time, I have the barest sense of what I want to to, a beginning that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot (i.e. I don’t really know what to do in the beginning of the plot). Like last time, I have half my mind on another thing, in this case a rather long story on Vampire Rose for Fantasybits.

Last year… seems both like I was at this point in time just a week ago, and then like it was a hundred years ago. Last time I was in it for the fun, the sheer insanity of it all. This year I think I have something to prove. Prove to myself that I can actually write a semi-serious novel.

Prove to myself that this novel can be about Savant (something which I have carefully avoided until now — Tale of a Thousand Savants is, at best, an action/ comedy side-story that got carried away with itself).

Prove to myself that, for once in my ever lazy existence, I can actually finish something I start, and at least do so to my satisfaction.

Prove to myself that there isn’t some greater divine conspiracy subtly chipping away at me, putting little obstacel after little obstacle, one more excuse to stop and never start again.

I’m going for speed.

Current Projects:
Undecided at the Moment – 0 words


november, again

You’d think that’s I’d at least learnt my lesson by now. But now, even with one unfinished novel still at the halfway mark, the new moth just a week away, I’ve taken the plunge and signed up for NaNoWriMo 2002.

Meanwhile Tale of a Thousand Savants has had some work put into it — okay, so just one chapter — but it’s now broken 40K. Whee! And it only took me a year! I’ll plug some more words into it by November 1st — maybe even finish the Eule arc by then if I’m lucky — and then move onto the NaNo2K2 novel.

Which, at this point, is called Undecided at the Moment. I get to write about a bar this time. This in itself is a strange thing, as I don’t drink, I’ve never been to a bar, I think Whiskey is a lame joke that’s gone on for far too long, and in general I don’t quite know what to do with a bar.

Oh sure, I’ll put in a few characters, a sub-plot, a contingency plot, a villain or two, a damsel or ten; but on the whole it’s going to be a very different novel. About the only major plot point now is that the whole medievel/fantasy city where this bar is located comes under siege from a huge army at some point. I’m still debating about whether or not they actually do take over the town. But that’s sure to get itself sorted out by the time it happens.

My current writing peak (overall, I mean, not recent) is 11K words a day, which is what happened last year at November’s end on ToaTS — mind you this was with ample rest, slacking off and ten hours of sleep. I’m trying to jazz myself up to at least do more than 2K a day. That way I can reclaim some sense of self-worth. It’s not like any other thing I do is giving me that.

It’s been three months since my mother died. I went to India, met the folks and the other folks; nothing much seems to have changed. Except now, older that I am, and sans mother, every uncle I have is even more annoying. I’ll tell you more about the trip whenever I feel the need to vent about stuff; since that happens every other day you may not have to wait long.

Right now, however, I have to go negotiate a scene involving a priest and a commander dancing to the accordian of a serial killer while they wait for a mysterious young woman who seems to be a messiah.

…how do I ever get myself into these things?

Current Projects:
The Tale of a Thousand Savants – Somewhere over 40K words, about half done.


the sign that led to nowhere

Mother dead. 20 July 2002.

I think that sums it up quite nicely…

Current Projects:
None at the moment.


ghost of the past

You thought I was dead.

You thought I was just lazy.

Okay, so you were right on the second one.

Two and a half months. A lot has happened. So let’s just run the checklist, ‘kay?

No, I didn’t finish the nanovel in time. Mom went to the hospital on the 11th (Nov 2K1), so things were on hold and I — almost — decided to shelve it until the 28th, when I thought I might go out in a blaze of glory. By Zero Hour I had gone up to 35K.

Not bad. Then I decided to take the day off…

…which has extended until today. Today is the day I start chapter 16 which — by my rough estimate — is a third of the way through the story. It’s changed a lot since I last wrote. I have much better characters now, thanks to a chapter which took place during a dinner (I needed some good conversation and the characters were born to suit that banter). Now the centre has shifted slightly away from Savant’s special squad — though they are important — to the higher level with Savant’s equals (in rank).

People seem to love it so far. It helped me get to 35K. Hopefully people will still like it after two and a half months. Mind you, none of the stuff I posted to Fantasybits wasn’t even spellchecked or proofread — I have yet to read the damn thing again, fully at least, and promise not to until the words ‘The End’ flash by.

All other projects — writing in general, in fact — is on hold. The Intangibles have been dormant since December. Maybe that’ll get active again, at least I hope so.

Oh, in December my father fractured his femur. He’s been at home for the past month. College is okay, been doing some work in Flash, and we started 3D today. I have the distinct feeling that I have no skill for any sort of visual medium, nor ever will.


Current Projects:
The Tale of a Thousand Savants(NaNovel) – 34,483 words



We started doing GIF animations today. Did one of a stick-figure scratching his head. Pretty nice. I think I’ve found my True Calling.


Nanovel’s first ‘episode’ has ended with chapter three — I’m quite happy with it, turned out different from what I thought it would. Savant says some semikewl things, it’s nice to see he can still do that. For a few months there I thought he’d gone soft and reverted to Goofy-Sav mode — nice to see that he too can surprise me.

Progress on the nanovel is going slower than I would want (okay, so what I’d like is 10K words a day…), but that might just have been the total uncertainty with the first part. Now that the main plot is beginning I might plunge in head-first and come up with a lot of words. Rambling about everything I’ve already covered in short stories — but in different ways — (M-Storage, the Sword, Mars bars, etc) is much more fun than I thought it would be, plus I can pad the novel quite easily if it suddenly screams, “Finish me now!” at 50,002 words.

I wouldn’t like to end it at 50K, more like 55K just to be safe. That’s why the first part served as both an introduction to the characters (the so-called James Bond opening) and as a Contingency Plot.

Contingency plots are great: you just introduce one and resolve it within 3 chapters, but keep one part open (side-villain gets away?) and then, when you need a Deus Ex Machina to pull your guys out of the fire you can have your contingency plot characters show up and save the day without your readers thinking it was a Deus Ex Machina. Okay, so if you write it bad anything can seem like Deus Ex Machina.

But things are looking up. I’ve written stuff I’m satisfied with, I’ve found my True Calling again.

Now if only I could get the girl.

Current Projects:
Bender – 6739 words
The Tale of a Thousand Savants(NaNovel) – 6,214 words
The Intangibles – 51 posts (unedited), 7647 words (edited)


dance dance revolution

Chapter one is ready. I’m happy with it, as I usually am with things I never plan out. It was going to be a long conversation ending with a ship looming out of the clouds and breaking the mood between Savant and Esfi, but suddenly I was stuck at Savant saying, “Pretty,” when Efpi, completely out of the blue, said:

“I don’t charge for sex.”

And Savant replied: “Neither do I.”

From there the story just found its way to the chapter cliffhanger. I might go back in next month and add details, but right now it — though rushed, sucky crap — is pretty okay.

I’m even hyped for writing chapter 2 now, and I probably will, after this. Damn, this is going to be a fun, hectic, crazy month.

Current Projects:
Bender – 6739 words
The Tale of a Thousand Savants(NaNovel) – 1,685 words
The Intangibles – 51 posts (unedited), 7647 words (edited)

standing on the edge of november

It’s about half an hour to go. November. I’m trying to pass the time away with Bender, but that isn’t working. In fact, instead of writing, I edited some stuff out. Muse permitting I might write the entire pre-harem and harem scenes tomorrow. Of course, she might want me to go straight to The Tale of a Thousand Savants, Bender might have to be put on hold for a few days, at least to burn up the pent-up pre-nano energy.

ToaTS looks nice with its 48pt bold Trajan title. I put my name under it, as well as “01 November 2001 ~ 31 November 2001” — I don’t know whether to consider that as a sign of smugness or just wishful thinking. Even Bender looks nice with a 48 bold Trajan title. Heck, everything looks good with a Trajan Title.

Trajan needs to be big. It’s alright as a small font, but you really need to see it huge and up-close, I feel.

E-commerce was a mixed bag today. Okay, so it wasn’t fun at all. In addition to the already albatross-like Kaboom Project I have to do another 15 minute presentation next week on the role of graphics in e-commerce. Never mind that nobody from my group showed up today. Geh. I think it’s about that time to point a big finger at the rest of ’em and do thing the good old Vishal Bharadwaj way — Solo.

Well, 30 minutes to kill. Might listen to some ‘mood music’ — Tank! from Cowboy Bebop most probably. Tale of a Thousand Savants, though I don’t even know how it starts, seems to strike me as something that would start loud and cool and very stylish.

The Intangibles is still going though its initial gestation period. Have to get it ready tomorrow and let the punters in.

Current Projects:
Bender – 6,757 words
The Tale of a Thousand Savants(NaNovel) – 0 words (unless the title is counted ^_^)
The Intangibles – 51 posts (unedited), 7,647 words (edited)


11th hour

This sucks. Bender isn’t even halfway done. Tomorrow’s the last free day before the NaNoWriMo starts. Tomorrow is E-Commerce. Tomorrow I have to shave. Tomorrow I have to write the juicy bits of the business proposal.

This sucks.

Oh well, at least I got the Intangibles group set up. Not ready to accept people yet, but more on that tomorrow. ^_^

Current Projects:
Bender – 6739 words
The Tale of a Thousand Savants (NaNovel) – 0 words
The Intangibles – 51 posts (unedited), 7647 words (edited)


an unstuck bender

As the title says, Bender is back and flowing, though an edit will be needed — once it’s done, once it’s done. Swimming along at 5350 words, not even halfway done, maybe as little as a quarter — and I’m loving it. Sansaarika will be starring in a lot of future things, methinks. Now if only I could draw…

…speaking of drawing, the Cube-i-fying work continues at an okay pace — not doing a lot, but it’s better than nothing. I’ll probably refine single figures and stuff for the next month, then move onto cubed scenes (Roman Senates in Cubes seems like a nice thing to try).

Dreamweaver is surprisingly fun, and I did some sketches for the project website today — looks good, something I’d be proud of. The e-commerce project is stuck in neutral, I might do something tonight, maybe even some graphical work. Not that that’s the first thing on my mind… I’m a little sick of deciding what not to put into the final draft. I need to cut my emotions from this and think of it as — shudder — homework. That may help

People seemed to like Mote and The Old One on Fantasybits— wonder what they’ll think of later bits when Val gets a-twining. I may be dangerously close to fulfilling my “origins may kill characters” viewpoint.