Tuesday, 27 September 2016

X is for Planet X - worldbuilding and the great database disaster

I was dreading coming up with a topic for today, but as I have not yet named my planet, I'm still calling it Planet X, which comes in handy now.

Image used under creative commons licence
Today I plan to spend the whole day, or substantially at least, working on my worldbuild. I've been reading and making notes - lots of notes - and a few more hours should finish me with the wolves. Then it will be on to our own Koori people - I hope to take some social features from their incredibly old, successful society. As my Planet X people are hunter/gatherers concerned with land management, I think the Kooris have a lot to contribute.

So I settle onto our bed, which is my preferred reading spot because, well, cats. And Emily.

The team is assembled!
It's heavy going reading this book, and most of the relevant gear was in the first few chapters. It's many chapters now since I've used the pencil. Still I slog on with it, because you never know what gems may be buried in there. It's also heavy going because these scientific types aren't very good writers, in terms of grabbing one's interest and keeping the pages turning. They rely solely on the content, which, of course, they are entitled to do. But when the content is irrelevant, that makes it hard to stick with the read. At eleven I decide I need a break, and my breakout activity is going to be the next day's activity in the Bad Redhead Challenge.

We're still on Twitter, which is unfortunate, because I'm already bored with Twitter. But must press on - I have committed myself to do this thing. Onwards and upwards!

Today's lesson is about what content to post on Twitter. I note with surprise, relief and delight that the author of this book is of my own mind about constant 'buy my book' postings, which can amount to spam. 

The assignment for today is to set up Google Alerts on three topics of interest. This is to bring in content that can be tweeted about, so as to engage with one's audience. I can do this. I choose the following keywords: writing, dogs and values. Dogs because I am in the dog world myself and I have connected with many fellow hound people around the world, and so I'm naturally interested myself in news about dogs. I chose the word 'values' because I'm hoping it will net items about morality, politics, environmental issues and so on, with a wide focus.

Next I am to create a free Flipboard or Scoop.it account, whatever these things are. They are free, so what the hell, Archie! Toujours gai, Archie, and always a lady.

I start with Flipboard. What a fantastic site! I generate my personal magazine, I'm in love with this site, but I mustn't stop to read all the articles now. I'm on a mission. Flipboard was so great I decide to go ahead and do Scoop.it as well. But it demands management access to my Facebook or Twitter account. I don't think so. Tant pis. I've more than done the tasks required, for I have done two of the four optional things. It's only taken half an hour, a good length for a break, and I'm quite refreshed. On with the wolf book!

Another hour and I'm ready for another break. Emily wants a walk, but it's just started raining, so instead we will watch a little television. Our programming of the moment is Remington Steele, which is appropriately mindless for the purpose. It's almost stopped raining when that finishes, so out we go for walkies. Then I finish the wolf book and it's back to Amazon where I buy a copy of The Biggest Estate on Earth, by Bill Gammage. It's about our own First Peoples and their land management.

Mr Goyal saved the day!
The awful thing happens right after I download it; I discover my Calibre database has become corrupted, and the restore doesn't work. Not to worry though - I receive prompt and definitive assistance from Kovid Goyal himself! Now I must confess to a little fangirl moment.

By the time I get my database fixed I am feeling so overwrought that I believe it is time to stop work for the day. We artistic, creative types are sensitive, you know.

Tomorrow will be brought to you by the letter 'Y'. I will be having another excellent adventure, attempting to accede to every request that anyone makes of me that day.

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