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I’m an Agilist, a former software engineer, a gamer, an improviser, a podcaster emeritus, and a wine lover. Learn more.

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Paul Tevis

Entries in things you can help me out with (12)

Thursday
Dec222011

It Affects "Corpus Omne"

Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus illud a viribus impressis cogitur statum suum mutare.

—Isaaco Newtono, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica

Or, more familiarly: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless an outside force acts upon them.

Right now it’s the staying at rest part that’s bothering me. Starting can be surprisingly hard. I told Gwen the other day that running when it’s cold out doesn’t bother me that that much. I run hot anyway, so after the first mile or so, I don’t really notice that it’s cold. It’s starting to run when it’s cold out that bothers me (as I reaffirmed yesterday at 6:15 AM when it was 44 degrees out). If I can just get out the door and get moving, I’m fine. The trick is getting out the door (which I didn’t yesterday).

Revising the current draft of the novel is another thing I’ve had trouble getting going. I’ve had two or three false starts at it, and I’ve had to accept that I won’t get it done by the end of the year. That doesn’t sit well with me, and I want to break the hold inertia has over that project.

There are no end to the sayings about the importance of beginnings:

“The beginning is a very delicate time.” —Princess, Irulan, Dune

“Well begun is half done.” —Mary Poppins (and Aristotle) (and Horace)

“What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — John Anster, in his “very free” translation of Goethe’s Faust

I know these things, but there’s always a gap between theory and practice. The challenge is to close it. I’m trying to do that with regards to getting started on things, and I’m curious: How do you push yourself over those thresholds? What do you do to overcome whatever mental or emotional hurdles you have to pass in order to get started on something? What tricks do you use?

Wednesday
Nov232011

Wine Wednesday Wequest

Back in July, I started writing about wine every Wednesday. Since then, I’ve covered the basics of wine and an overview of the major wine grape varietals. The question now is: What next? Are there wine-related topics you’d like me to write about? Or should I discontinue this feature and move on?

Monday
Nov142011

Come On Down

If you’ve ever thought about coming to see me do improv, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is the right day to do it.

Instant Karma, the long-form team I’ve been working with since May, will be having our first public performance at 8 PM on Saturday, November 26th, at the Ventura Improv Company. The five of us are excited to do this “for real,” and I’m hoping you’ll be able to be a part of it. Our workout tonight — which included a food critic conspiring with two chefs whose restaurant he was reviewing to keep his multiple girlfriends from meeting each other, a man who decided togas should be worn everywhere, and yours truly as a secretly pregnant Miss America contestant — reinforced in my mind that we’re ready to do this.

Saturday
Jul092011

Noir Meets Magic

I’m looking for touchstones of a genre, and I’m hoping you can help me find them.

A rough description of the novel I’m working on is “a private investigator in a fantasy world.”1 This is such a simple concept that it occurs to me that there must be other examples of this kind of book out there. And yet, I’ve been having trouble finding them. The Dresden Files aren’t quite what I’m going for, since their fantasy world is our own. The closest thing I’ve seen is Glen Cook’s Garrett, P.I. novels. Are there are other books I should be taking a look at?




1 My high concept pitch is Raymond Chandler meets Polaris.




Update

Fitness: Ran 2.5 miles
Sun, Moon, and Stars: 335 words, 231 seven-day average, 253 average, 25600 total, 400 to go for the week
Sunday
Jul032011

Writing To Help Writers

I’m hesitant to claim that the privilege of reading my rough drafts is worth paying money for, but I might as well give it a shot.

I’m participating in the Clarion UCSD Write-A-Thon, raising money to support the Clarion Foundation, one of the preeminent incubators of sci-fi and fantasy writers in the world. From now until August 6th, I’ll be posting my daily word counts, as I have been for the last several months. The twist is this: For every dollar that’s donated through my Write-A-Thon writer page, I’ll post 10 words from my current draft of Sun, Moon, and Stars.

I’ve got 24K words right now. How much of it will I be forced to reveal?



Update

Fitness: Rest day (race tomorrow!)
Sun, Moon, and Stars: 260 words, 253 seven-day average, 255 average, 24242 total