Seriously, Im an addict

I just made my first visit of the year to the Nanowrimo forums.  The minute I read about people planning their novel and outlining a plot and creating characters, I just can’t help myself.

There are certainly worse things to be addicted to.  Crack.  Sex.  World of Warcraft.  I just have Nano.  And complaining.  Always complaining.

I need to start my planning.  When I plan more, my novels turn out better.  I think.  I have the first two or three chapters vaguely in my head, but I need a lot more than that.  And I need some names.  And that’s where you, dear readers, come in.  I know it’s hard to name people you know nothing about, so as I do more planning, I’ll try and bring you some character descriptions, and you can suggest names.  I hate naming characters, and I’m generally not all that happy with the names I end up with (Although Polly the Duck from Nano 2005 was nice).

So, stay tuned for your chance to name my characters.

AbeBooks rules

I found AbeBooks a few months ago.  I don’t remember how, but I’m glad I did.  They’re a book search service for new and used books at small booksellers all over the country.  I just bought Charles Stross‘ latest, Halting State, for less than Amazon (Well, barely less, but still less), and I feel smug because I’m supporting some local bookstore in Georgia rather than a gigantic corporation like Amazon.

Used books are even better – I’ve bought a couple books for $1 + $3 shipping.  If it costs less than five dollars, it might as well be free.  Sort of.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the book.

I’m currently reading Terrorist, by John Updike.  I read one of his early books, Rabbit, Run, written in 1960.  This one is from 2006.  So far I like it, although I’m only 80 pages in or so.  I wonder if I’m on some sort of watch list because I’m reading a book called “Terrorist” on the Metro right past the Pentagon.  I hope so.

AT&T wants to censor your complaints

AT&T Legal Policy Via Boing Boing, Gizmodo, and others.

So, AT&T has decided that they can terminate your service if your conduct ” tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.” I’m not exactly sure what “tends to damage” means, but it sounds ominous.

That being said, I do not use AT&T as a web host or ISP. If you have any grievances against AT&T, or its parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries, feel free to contact me. I will happily provide a soapbox for you to stand on and voice your complaints.

You can do it here, or, if you have something particularly poignant, well-written, and not slanderous or libelous, I would probably be willing to allow a guest post to the main site. Email Jon at complaint hub dot com.  I will be your voice, because AT&T has no power over me, and I believe in every human being’s right to complain.

I said I wasnt going to do this

But Nanowrimo sign-ups start tonight. For those who don’t know and are too lazy to click the link, Nano is National Novel Writing Month, which happens every November. It started in maybe 2001 with about 20 people in San Fransisco deciding to each write a 50,000 word novel (For reference, this is approximately the length of Brave New World, among others, but shorter than the average novel) in 30 days. Last year, something like 75,000 people all over the world did it.

If I do it this year, it will be my sixth attempt. I finished in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. After last year, I had decided to quit because it wasn’t that much fun. But that may be because my 2006 story was stupid. This year I have a better idea, so I’m thinking it will be better. Also, I now have a portable laptop (As opposed to the giant brick I had before), so I can go to writing meetings at local coffee shops and whatnot, something I pledge to do every year and never do.

This also begins my yearly quixotic recruitment drive.  I’ve managed to get a few people over the years to commit to trying, but none have ever finished.  A friend did it last year, and she finished, but she was planning to do it before she knew I was a veteran, so I can only take credit for a few encouraging words here and there.

Anyway, you should do it.  It’s fun.  It’s a huge rush when you finish.