Round Two: So it begins

Those of you who read my musings via this site’s RSS feed (you are using the Feedburner one, aren’t you?) will not see the new graphic at the top of the right-side column on the main page. Yes, I will again be taking part in the annual self-flagellation event known as “NaNoWriMo“, or National Novel Writing Month.
The insanity will commence shortly, at 12:00 AM, Wednesday, November 1st. Writers will have thirty days to write 50,000 words. The goal is to suppress your inner editor and just write, going for quantity over quality. An average of 1,667 words a day is what you’re shooting for. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? You try it.
Last year, I flamed out some where around 18,000 words, not even making the halfway point. I’ve been doing some brainstorming the past week or so, and I think I’ve got a story I can take the distance this year. (No, Rich, it’s not the one we’ve been talking about; that’s on the back burner for now, but still something I’d like to pursue.) I’ve been fleshing out the main character, even made a few notes. I’ve set up the PowerBook as the primary writing machine.
For those of you in and around Lewisville, Texas, there’s a write-in scheduled at the Lewisville Public Library this Saturday, November 4th, from 2:00-4:00 PM. Bring your laptop, they have wifi. Our church has the Roads Coffee House, open on Sundays from 10:15 AM-12:45 PM, and Thursdays from 5:30-9:00 PM, and I’m going to try to organize a write-in for a Thursday night. (Hey, Brent, you want in on this? This could be a kick start to getting some writing done.)
NaNoWriMo participant “ShatteredByRain” has posted some encouraging–or maybe sado-masochistic?–calendar wallpapers for the NaNoWriMo crowd. I’m using the one titled “Shore”. Hopefully it will inspire more than depress. “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon.” Let’s hope so!

All good things must come to an end

With St. Louis’s victory in the World Series Friday night, the perfect sports month comes to a close, even with three days left on the calendar. This was a less than perfect sports weekend for yours truly, given that the Tigers didn’t play yesterday, and in three weekend nights, the Stars only played once. They made the most of it, however, beating the Kings last night, 3-2, giving rookie netminder Mike Smith his second win in as many starts, and equalling the team’s best start ever at 9-2.
Oh well, I suppose I can always root for Carolina against Dallas tonight…

Winning hearts and minds

From Jack on the World_SIG list, who said, “You’ll never see this in the MSM.”
Winning hearts and minds The text accompanying the photo reads:

“Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl’s entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.”
CMS Gebhardt will never be singled out by the American or Arabic press for his compassion. He will not receive an award for the love and affection he has shown a little girl in such desperate need of both. His action may not resonate with anyone on this blue marble except the little one on the receiving end.
A couple of nights ago, I caught a M.A.S.H. re-run. It was the one where a Korean-American baby is left outside The Swamp, with a note attached telling the camp the baby’s father was an American GI. Like Japan, Korea is a very homogenous culture, and children of mixed heritage were (are?) looked down upon. This little girl would not have a happy childhood, and would likely even be killed before she reached adulthood. The staff of the 4077 try in vain to get her transferred to the U.S., and finally resort to leaving her at a nearby monastery, where the monks will keep her cloistered and safe from those would harm her.
As they’re saying their goodbyes outside the monastery, Hawkeye tells the baby, and forgive me for my paraphrasing, “You brought a little light in to a world filled with darkness.”
Thank you, CMS Gebhardt, for bringing light in to a little one’s world of darkness. I know you are likely not concerned with receiving it, but I pray she is able to thank you some day, too.

Today’s shuffle first ten

Hit the shuffle button in iTunes this morning, and here are the first ten songs to play. Podcasts and audiobook chapters were ignored with help from the forward button. Song links go to the iTunes Store, album links go to Amazon.
1. “Soldiers Under Command” – Stryper, Soldiers Under Command
2. “Heaven Is a 4 Letter Word” – Bad English, Bad English
3. “Already Gone” – The Eagles, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
4. “Party” – Boston, Don’t Look Back
5. “Come, Now Is The Time to Worship” – Noel Richards, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
6. “Do You Hear What I Hear” – Out of Eden, City On a Hill: It’s Christmas Time (When you shuffle your entire iTunes library, invariably you’ll get a Christmas tune or two.)
7. “Weather the Storm” – Michael James, Closer to the Fire
8. “Partita No. 3 For Violin: Menuets 1 And 2” – Baby Needs Baroque
9. “Bring the Rain” – MercyMe, Coming Up to Breathe
10. “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” – Glady Knight & The Pips, Forrest Gump: The Soundtrack
So what are you listening to today?

Introducing EagleFiler

Once again, I’ve had the pleasure of being “present at the creation” of one of Michael’s software endeavors. EagleFiler is an information collection and management application that’s super easy to use. Dump whatever you want to in to this thing: plain text, rich text, PDFs, web archives, emails, images; pretty much any digital document you can create.
EagleFiler icon EagleFiler differs from a lot of its competition in that it stores its library in Finder format, so your documents are not locked in to a database or someone’s proprietary storage system. Did you dump a rich text file in to EagleFiler, but you want to do some heavy editing to it? No problem: you can open it in Word, TextEdit, or the word processor of your choice, make your changes, save it, and you’ll see the changes in EagleFiler.
As has been the case with pretty much all of Michael’s software initiatives, this one was born out of his own desire for an app to do something that no other app was currently doing. He and I have talked about an application like EagleFiler for a few years now, mostly because nothing out there satisfied us when it came to email archiving. (Here’s a secret about both Michael and myself: we’re digital pack rats, and he’s worse than I am. He saves every email he sends and receives. Every one.) We’re both Mailsmith users, but the larger the app’s database gets, the more of a performance drag it incurs. Offloading either individual emails, or entire mail boxes, helps, and EagleFiler is the first application I’ve felt safe with to do just that.
I’ve been using EagleFiler full time since mid-August, when the first alpha version was released to the merry little band of testers of which I’m honored to be a part. It’s been rock-solid for me every step of the way, even as the testers suggested, and Michael added, new features through the app’s development. Go download EagleFiler and try it for thirty days, gratis. Then, show your appreciation for Michael’s hard work by registering the app, and support a developer of quality Mac software.