Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My CPU needs an upgrade

Once upon a time, in the days when most home computers required a soldering iron and hours of patience to assemble, a fresh-faced and hairy-headed Botanist reported for duty at his first job as a programmer.

In those days, we shared three terminals between the whole department and you had to book time to use them. And you soon learned which times of the week were good to get work done, and which were not. During the latter times, the mainframe had regular batch jobs to process and the CPU's time was split many ways. You could sit at the terminal, type a command and go make a cup of tea before you got a response.

The machine hadn't died, it just had very little time to devote to any one task and it took a long time to make any progress.

That's a bit how I feel.

When I added the "Words and pictures" page to the blog (link above), Jean Davis observed that I had several projects to keep me busy. True, I have several novels in various states of completion, but I have to come clean here. They are mostly gathering electronic dust waiting for a slice of my time.

The only writing project active right now is Ghosts of Innocence, and even then work on the novel itself is limited while I try to keep up with critiques. I have at least managed to knock out a few critiques over the holidays, and I hope to post more chapters soon.

Another long-neglected project vying for attention is the pirate ship. I took advantage of a dry and bright day today to get back to some of the finishing touches before I can put that to rest.

Finishing touches include: Finishing off and painting the windows at the stern; adding and painting gun port hatches; planking out the rest of the hull at the stern; adding lanterns to the tops of the stern posts; finishing off the rigging (waiting for the builders store to have the right rope back in stock); adding halyards for flags; adding a rope ladder over the bow; and finding or making a wheel.


Just to complicate matters, my visual arts neurons have been twitching lately. Putting that "Words and pictures" page together, and adding some of my old paintings to the mix, got me thinking about taking up painting again.

Oh no! I remember all too clearly just how time-consuming that used to be! If I pick up a paintbrush again I am sure that will put paid to any prospect of revising Ghosts by the end of 2011.

I think I need an upgrade...


  1. ...so much to do, yet so little time.

    All of your activities sound so creative. It also sounds like the painting feeds the writing and vice versa... perhaps it doesn't matter which you do at any given time... maybe you come out the same at the end of 2011... it's just what feeds your soul the most at any given time that counts.

    Happy New Year to you...

  2. You said it, Saloma! So much to do...and I do enjoy a variety of media for my creative outlets, but I need more hours in the day and more energy to make full use of them. That is why I set painting aside these last few years, so I could pay attention to writing without my time getting too diluted. But maybe you are right, maybe one can feed the other. We'll see.

    And Happy New Year to you and your family too.

  3. I really like your paintings. :)

    I did some painting years ago too, along with endulging far too many other of my creative outlets. Perhaps we are all just hosts for swirling clouds of creativity that endlessly look for ways to seep from us.

    If it makes you feel any better, many of my novels are also just sitting there waiting for a scrap of my time.

  4. I might take one of those archaic terminals for my dying laptop right now! Happy New Years!

  5. Thanks Jean! Yeah, I keep surprising myself with the range of activities that I'm happy to call "creative". Yes, that includes carpentry too :D

    Well, I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one with dusty novel syndrome, but what with your Superwoman cape that keeps entangling you I have to say that doesn't surprise me ;)

    Hello Chris, it is sobering to think that my wife's iPhone has more computing power than that old mainframe - and probably more than NASA used to put men on the moon.

  6. BTW Jean - any chance of you posting some of your artwork? I'm always interested in seeing what fellow artists are up to.

  7. Your paintings put my artwork to shame. We'll see. I'd have to dig something out. My painting and drawing endeavors have been packed away for many years--where they can't taunt me.


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