Rob’s New Podcast- The Department of Nerdly Affairs

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Hi All!

It’s been a while since I posted to my blog, some of which is because of the usual Fall craziness of being a teacher, but now I have another excuse! I’ve been working on a brand new podcast called The Department of Nerdly Affairs with one of my oldest and best friends, Don Chisholm. The podcast is a bi-weekly talk podcast (new episodes every second Friday) where Don and I discuss different aspects of “nerd” arts and culture from a Gen-X’er point of view.

What does that mean? Well, we’re not a “this week in geek” podcast where we discuss the latest news or anything like that, preferring instead to take an in-depth focus on a mix of arts, culture and history with a nerdly bent. Expect a lot of talk about writing, comics, role playing games, books, film, anime, TV, video games, tokusatsu, miniatures, audio drama, action figures, and pretty much anything else that can fit under the category of “nerdly”. While the first few episodes are just Don and I, we hope to bring in some knowledgeable guests to help us chat about some of the topics as well.

If this sounds like the type of show you’d be interested in, come check us out at obeythedna.com! The first three episodes, on Writing Sci-Fi, Audience Expectations, and Nerdly Speculators are up as a starter pack for people to check out! We’ve got an episode about Satanism and D&D coming up, as well as a Star Wars themed episode in honor of the new movie. (We’re not a current events show, but this is Star Wars, after all!) You can also find our show on iTunes and many of the other podcasting directories.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting here from time to time, this is my home base. But if you’re looking for an extra helping of Rob’s take on things, then head on over to the podcast page and join in on the fun!

Rob

 

Everyday Augmented Reality

Futuristic smart glasses

One of the issues with running a general blog like this is that is has no real focus. It serves as a catch-all for whatever I feel like writing about or talking about, but it has no real direction to it. That’s one of the things that’s made it hard to write for on a regular basis- when you can write about anything, you tend to write about nothing.

However, something I’ve always been fascinated by is the power of Augmented Reality, and with the recent release of Microsoft’s new Hololens system, I’ve come to believe that we’re on the cusp of seeing this technology literally transform our lives and the world around us. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this:

As a result, I’ve decided to start a new blog centered around Augmented Reality and how it’s both developing and transforming people’s lives. If you ask any of my media studies students, AR is something I won’t shut up about, and have been talking about for years, so I thought “why should just my students suffer?”

Everyday Augmented Reality will basically be me collecting news about Augmented Reality and things related to it and occasionally commenting and sharing my own thoughts and ideas on this next stage of media evolution. Everything the Smartphone did to society will be nothing compared to what AR will do, and Everyday AR will be where I watch it all happen.

Come join me and watch the show. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, and we’ll definitely wonder why!

Rob

P.S. This blog isn’t going anywhere, and will still be updated from time to time. I need to talk about non-AR things sometimes too!

Story Editing Services for Hire!

EditingGlasses682My brand new editing website is now live and I’m accepting clients for story editing, proofreading and general editing services. I’ve decided to take my 17 years as a writer, editor and teacher and put them to good use helping other people make their fiction the best it can be. I love telling stories, and I love helping other people tell stories too, so it’s a great new direction.

If you or someone you know is in need of an editor, please send them my way. My rates are reasonable, my fingers are fast, and my red pen is always sharp!

Rob

 

June 2014 Writing Report

A month ago I wrote a post entitled How Much Should You Write a Day, where I talked about a minimalist approach to writing where you aim for a small daily writing goal instead of a larger one to keep word count from becoming a barrier to writing. Saying you want to write 2000/words a day is nice, but it can easily become an obstacle if you start to think it isn’t worth writing unless you have time to achieve that number. So, instead I opted for the smaller 250/words a day as my goal for June.

How did I do?

Well, my total word count for June ended up being 21,478 words of fiction. (Almost all of it on a Young Adult fantasy novel I started at the beginning of June.)

My average word count a day was 704/words a day, with only Seven days have a word count of zero out of the month. (This was mostly due to my dog Penny being spayed and needing constant care for a few days.)

Overall, it turned out to be one of my most productive writing months in almost two years, and the “it’s just 250 words” strategy ended up working perfectly because not only did I feel I could always pull off 250 words, but I never once wrote less than that. Once I was 250 words in, I was always warmed up and wanted to write more, and it tended to be life that made me stop rather than not wanting to write more. The 250/day word count was not only do-able, it was inspiring.

Of course, I should comment that there were a few more factors involved. During June I learned to finally just let myself go, and dump the words on the page whether they were perfect or not. Also, I had an outline to work from, so I never really had to worry about where the story was going so much as what I wanted to do with a particular scene. If I wasn’t sure about a scene, I wrote down something that roughly worked and will go back to fix/replace it during editing and revision. This improved my productivity during the first draft stage immensely, and let me really just tell myself the story.

I also became a Spreadsheet user, after years of resisting tracking my productivity I gave in, and it actually helped a lot more than I expected it to. Seeing those numbers line up for my daily word-counts was a real motivator, and wanting to go as long as I could without a dreaded 0 appearing on the spreadsheet was also a big factor. I took every 0 personally, and it made me really want to write harder to make up for them.

Now, since I’m a masochist, in July I have an even bigger challenge! I’ve signed up to write another book (a mystery) for Camp Nanowrimo, and that will require approximately 1667/words a day for July to complete. Not only that, I still plan to continue my 250/day on my YA novel to keep it from going stale in my head.

Can I pull this off? Well, check back in a month to find out!

By the way, if I don’t post to the blog as much during July, you’ll have to forgive me. I’ll be buried in Camp Nano writing. Gomen!

Rob

Feeling Social Again

Hi All,

It seems that when I updated WordPress at the end of December, there was a glitch and the tiny little “allow comments” checkbox under each post was now unchecked by default instead of checked, so my last few posts couldn’t have comments. I’ve re-installed WordPress and got back and rechecked those previous posts, so the issue seems to have been fixed. Sorry about any inconvenience!

Thanks to Jack Ward for pointing it out, or I might have just assumed I freaked everyone out with that Opilions post and everyone was too creeped out to comment!

Rob

Year in Review- Most Popular Posts of 2013

So, what did people read on my blog in 2013? Here’s the list of the twenty most read posts. (my own thoughts follow)

Keys to Writing a Good Story 841
Naruto creator has gay ending planned? 834
Korean Period Dramas I Love 581
Neil deGrasse Tyson and Lawrence Krauss Have a Throwdown about Manned vs Unmanned Space Exploration 435
Thoughts on Narration 411
How To Use A Samurai Sword Properly ~ www.popgive.com 353
New Three Kingdoms e-Book 331
Novelty – Visual novel maker 315
Facial Reconstriction 272
Samurai Horses 266
Korean Drama: Ghost (aka Phantom) 232
Urban Sprawl- Mexico City Style 223
Writing for Audio Drama 218
In Defense of the Male Miniskirt- Thoughts on the First Season of Star Trek:TNG 183
A Neat Trick for Finding and Getting Rid of Passive Verbs in MS Word 181
Stop Certifying New Teachers in Ontario 171
The Save the Cat 10 (STC10) Story Writing Challenge! 165
The (Hunger) Shaky-Cam Games- A Spoiler Lite Review 155
Superman vs. Tony Stark 146

Naturally, since the blog is often focussed on writing, my Keys to Writing a Good Story was the top read post. What was more surprising was that Naruto’s possible homosexual ending also got a lot of attention, although given that this has truly been the year when gay culture reached new levels of acceptance in North America maybe that shouldn’t be such a shock. (Although in truth, I think Kishimoto is just playing the crowd with statements like that to keep his numbers up as he rockets toward the manga’s finale in 2014.)

Korean dramas are also very popular online right now, so people are always looking for good ones to watch and so they checked out my selections. Neil Degresse Tyson’s throwdown was also great watching, so it doesn’t surprise me that people found their way to it through my site.

As for the rest, it’s heartening to see so many people interested in Writing Audio Drama and the Three Kingdoms eBooks, since neither usually get much attention in popular culture. I’m also happy to see so many people found my “In Defense of the Male Miniskirt” essay interesting, although it didn’t garner much commentary.

I mostly do this blog for fun as the whim strikes me, but I’m glad to see some people find it interesting enough to visit and read about what goes through my head. (You poor, poor folk!) Seeing that people do read it inspires me, and I’ll try to post more interesting articles in 2014!

Happy New Year!

Robyn Paterson

TeaNoWriMo Update

Well, it’s been a week, so I thought I should report on how Teachers Novel Writing Month is progressing. I think I can sum the week up in one short video-

I had an idea in mind for a novel about a sleeper colony ship arriving at a new world and the problems that entailed, but apparently I was no where near as ready to write it as I thought I was. This turned into a lesson in the need for more pre-writing and less pantsing on my part. Sigh. I basically got started, hit a snag, and then spent the week trying to overcome the suddenly bout of writer’s block.

So, I think writing a new novel from scratch is out. However, as I have a few other projects that need finishing, I’ll just work on them instead and toss those onto the word-count meter to see how many words I can push out this month instead.

And next time, I won’t try something like this without a solid game plan. :-/

Rob

Creative Experiments- KFAT Historical Flash Fiction

Hi All,

Last week over on the KFAT site, my first weekly webfiction story The Inuyama Rebellion posted its final chapter. It’s been a fun run, and I have to say I’ve enjoyed the experiment of writing a weekly piece of fiction in addition to my other writing projects. Of course, I also got a huge kick out of it, since my friend Brushmen was doing great fan art to go with each weekly chapter. (If you haven’t checked them out, then definitely do so.)

Having enjoyed the process, I’ve decided to continue my little experiment, but to get even more…experimental.

For the next nine Mondays (the first one went up already) I will be posting a single flash fiction (1000 words or less) story each week on the KFAT site. These are a little series I call “The Fox Cycle”, and are me doing a little challenge with myself. Each story will be different, and self-contained, but each story will also connect up with all the others to tell a larger story. All of them are historical fiction, take place around the year 1700, and are what you could call an exercise in both character and world building.

What characters and world? Ah, Mes Amis! That would be telling!

I’ve rarely written flash fiction before, so this will be a real challenge in keep my writing tight and using different styles and techniques to bring across a story in the best possible ways. There’s also an additional level to the experiment, but I’ll explain that once the whole story cycle is finished.

Enjoy!
Rob

KFAT Updated!

Status

UltraRob

The look of Kung Fu Action Theatre has just been updated! I’ve also combined the fiction section and D-ranger section back into the main site. I will re-integrate the other parts in the coming weeks as well. Check it out, but watch out for wet paint!

Rob

KFAT Restored!

Status

UltraRob

KFAT is now back up again, albeit having lost a few of the improvements and tweaks I put into it last week. Hopefully this won’t happen again. I’m still not happy with the site though, so I’ll probably be rebuilding it in the near future. Since I want to focus more on writing now, I need the site to have a more professional image than the default WordPress template provides. Also, I’d like to integrate most of the content back into one site for simplicity.