Maui 2013

I’m fresh off the first vacation away from home we’ve taken in a while.

This year Christina and I went to Hawaii, Maui specifically. No need to be more specific than that since 80% of the island is less far away than my daily commute to work, so effectively just down the road.

We stayed north of Lahaina, one of the larger towns on Maui, which sits on the western coast of Maui. If the goal is less clouds, it seems it’s best to stay on the western coast or the southern coast as the mountains seems to play cloud catcher and provide some protection from the weather on the lee side of the mountains.

The weather was wonderful, high 70s to low 80s every day. Usually some high clouds in the sky, often just passing through. We did have a couple of days that were cloud free blue skies from dawn to dusk and those days were spectacular!

Typical garb through the week was a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and sandals. I brought a jacket and pair of jeans just in case and they stayed in the baggage for the entire week. From my perspective, that’s a vacation!

One of the fun parts of my vacation planning with Christina is trying to find a good deal for our lodgings. We’ve stayed at little condos in the past, often rented by owners. We’ve stayed on smaller resorts, sometimes a fair distance from their last remodel. The last one we stayed at didn’t have air conditioning and I learned that I really like air conditioning for a good nights sleep when it’s warm. So, that was a priority for me this trip. Christina likes a pool handy. Beach access is a nice to have but not a requirement. We both like a place that has a little kitchen so we can choose to eat breakfast or a lunch there and not go out to eat every meal. Having said that, we both enjoy going out and Maui has some nice food so there was a fair bit of going out.

The place we found and settled on was a recently remodeled condo north of Lahaina in Kapalua about 20 minutes to the north of Lahaina. It was larger than we needed but the extra space was a nice bonus. It did face out to the ocean so while we were about 10 minutes walk away from the beach, we did have a spectacular view off the deck towards the west and the setting sun. For all that we only caught the sunset from there a couple times. Through a combination of bad timing, being busy elsewhere or sheer forgetfulness, we had to settle for those couple times. It was still very nice.

For most of our trips we try to balance the go-go spirit with some more laid back time so we don’t come back more tired than we left.

Last time we made a trip up Haleakala, the volcano in the center of the island. That was a spectacular and spectacularly windy experience.

This year I wanted to take the famed Road to Hana. If you’ve never been, the road to Hana is a generally two-lane road that goes from the airport along the northern coast of Maui to the small town of Hana on the Eastern coast. I say a generally two-lane road because there are 59 bridges and 46 of those are only a single lane wide. That means you have to take turns! That also means if two cars try to take the bridge simultaneously it can lead to confused honking, hands waving and cranky folks and backing up. Because the roads is traveled fairly slowly this also means cars can get backed up behind each other when someone fails to take the hint and pull over and let faster drivers pass. As you can imagine, this can lead to some tension if folks are in a hurry.

But, that’s kind of the point: The road to Hana, as the guidebooks will tell you repeatedly, is not about Hana, it’s about the trip. And that trip is best taken leisurely and with a willingness to take one’s time.

The road itself is only 52 miles from the airport but that trip can easily take 2.5 hours because of the all the curves, the lack of straightaways, lack of passing. If you take the opportunity to stop at the many interesting viewpoints, small towns, waterfalls, arboretums (arboreta?), swimming holes, parks, overlooks and beaches your 2.5 hours drive can easily become 4-6 hours without trying hard at all. So, if you’re starting the trip with the goal to get to Hana, your’re kind of missing the point.

There are folks who will leave early in the morning (by 8am) and make the trip, hit Hana and then turn around and go back but that is a very rushed trip. Instead, on this trip, I booked a small place just south of Hana, a tiny one-room studio with small attached bathroom for us to stay at in Hana.

Because most folks are leaving around that 8am time, we chose to leave a bit later to avoid the bulk of the traffic. So, we headed out from Lahaina around 11am, and hit the Road to Hana around noon. Our 2.5 hour trip took us till 5pm, but we had a great time!

We split the driving on the way there so each of us would have time to look around and just be a passenger. Also, if one were prone to being motion sick, the Road to Hana would likely bring that out, so to speak, in spades. One of the tricks, I guess, is to that the driver is less prone to being motion sick than the passenger. According to the Wikipedia page on the Hana Highway, there are 620 curves on the road, so more than 10 per mile. Neither of us had a problem, but I can imagine it would not be fun if one were prone to motion sickness!

Most of the road passes through the rain forests that make up the northern shore of Maui. If I recall the data correctly that we heard on our trip, that rain forest will receive 120 inches of rain per year. Yup, an average rainfall of a foot per month! This compares very favorably with the 37 inches per year we have in Portland. On a very positive note, we had none of that rain while we were there. It was just consistently beautiful weather. One of the locals told us that January is one of the nicest months to visit because it’s post Holidays, there are fewer tourists, airfare is cheaper and the weather if great! I can’t disagree from what we saw. Oh, and it’s whale watching season. More on that later.

So we took our time on the Hana Highway and wandered in to and through Hana before we really even noticed it. It’s a small town. No fast food, pretty much no restaurants. As was mentioned earlier, you don’t go for the Hana part, you go for the Road to Hana.

When we reached where we were staying our host pointed out to us that we were staying almost across the street from a very cool place he recommended we check out called the Venus Pool or Waioka. It’s a large pool just south of Hana. It’s fed by a combination of fresh and salt water. I guess it used to be largely fresh water and was protected by a bar from the ocean. In the last few years a large storm came through and destroyed the bar and now it’s more a mix of fresh and salt. The pool is surrounded roughly halfway by lava formations. It’s a bit of a scramble to get down there but it’s beautiful!

We had the pleasure of heading over there first thing in the morning and we were there probably an hour and had the entire thing to ourselves!

The pool itself is roughly 30′ deep and surrounded by formations that can be climbed so you can jump in anywhere from 3 to 30′ above the water. I opted for a moderate dive in from probably 15′. Since there are no pictures (that you will see) I’ll tell you that the dive was flawless and executed with little splash.

This pool was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was hard to imagine having something so beautiful to ourselves. If you ever get out to Hana, I highly recommend the Venus pool.

The other favorite activity we did while on this trip was to go whale watching. Twice, actually. We had so much fun and saw so many whales and the cost was reasonable so the first trip we took on a large boat and the second on a large zodiac. The second trip was on a boat that was roughly 45 feet long and 15 feet across. Coincidentally, this is roughly the length and breadth of the whales we were watching!

They made a point of telling us that they could approach no closer than 100 yards but that didn’t mean the whales had the same limitation. There were a couple fairly close passes, more like 100 feet and yes, these are very large animals!

On each trip they stopped and dropped a hydrophone so we could hear the whales making noises. Mostly just chatter but it is still wonderful to hear them making noises like that.

Eventually, as with all good thing, our trip came to an end and we had to travel back home and back to our normal lives, which are not bad by any stretch, but made more difficult only in comparison to a wonderful trip and a wonderful vacation.

There are many reasons this is our third or fourth trip to Hawaii. It’s beautiful and warm. The people are nice and welcoming. The food is good and tasty. And, in the middle of a dark and grey winter, it’s wonderful respite and opportunity to recharge and relax!

My First Computer

There is no question my life would have been very different if I hadn’t discovered personal computers.

My first interaction was in 1978 when a kid in my Social Studies class (the amazing Mr. Fries – pronounced Freeze) brought in his Dad’s computer.  It rolled in on a large AV cart.  It had a black and white ASCII monitor and 8″ floppies.  I don’t recall the brand.  My vague recollection is that it ran Spacewar which would have been would have been roughly 18 years after it was first released in 1962.

My second interaction with personal computers was in 1979, in the ninth grade.  My friend Ken, who I’ve known since Junior High, had one of the first personal computers, a TRS-80.  He was the first person I knew who owned a home computer.  Perhaps the first one in our school, but certainly the first in my circles.

I think I stalked him a bit and we became friends.  I’d feel guilty but we’re friends still, after 35 years or so, so hopefully he knows I wasn’t just using him for his computer.

The TRS-80 had graphics (of a sort) as well as an ASCII (text) screen in black and white.  Actually more of a black-ish and green-ish, but you get the idea.  Two colors.  That time coincided with the advent of some of the first Infocom text adventures.  Those games typically kicked my butt.  I could not figure out how to get the Babel Fish in to my ear in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  When Ken was playing Deadline I recall him exploring a room and finding a pad of paper and me suggesting that he rub it with a pencil (like you see in the movies) and sure enough, there was a clue on it!  That sense of discovery that came with a bit more information, a bit more description from the game was heady.

The next year, in tenth grade, our High School had a computer lab that was getting ready to bring in new computers to replace the teletype computers they had as well as a used Commodore PET.  They were replacing those with Apple II computers, I think.  Whatever happened to those guys…

The Commodore Pet was an incredible machine to my eyes.  It was an integrated computer with the monitor mounted in a hard steel case above the CPU and integrated keyboard which had keys on a grid using little square keys that placed the Q directly above the A and below that the Z.  Not offset and pretty closely positioned together.  It messed up my typing on a regular keyboard for years.  The chassis even opened up so you could access the board housing the CPU, memory and other parts.  It had a bar to hold it open like the hood of a car.  This thing even had it’s own tape drive on which I could store programs!  It was contained It had 8K of memory, which meant roughly 8192 characters worth of information at one time.  That’s not much more than the length of this article.  So, not much in retrospect, but, it seemed like a world of opportunities was contained in that metal box.

I heard that they were getting rid of a perfectly good computer.  Unfortunately for me, they wanted the unheard of amount of $300 for the computer.  I was still 15 and not working yet, so I had no money and no real means to make money quickly and at that scale.  Historically, my Dad had made a deal with me: If I wanted something really badly, I had to come up with half of it and he’d match the other half.  He very reasonably wanted me to have some skin in the game.  It’s a policy I’d continue with my own kids.

But, in this case I didn’t have $150.  I think I had maybe $50.

I went home knowing I was going to ask but knowing the odds of the conversation going well were very low.  We never had a lot of extra money and me asking for $250 for a computer, which was not something my Dad needed or wanted or, probably, saw any value in, seemed like a really poor plan.

But, I asked.  I pitched that computer as the best deal possible.  I would care for it, learn from it and, of course, pay him back for all of my half if he could just, PLEASE, get me this computer.  And the time pressure!  It was only on sale for a couple of weeks as I recall.

Unsurprisingly, the answer was No.

In his defense, this was a pretty unreasonable request given our previous understanding of me having half the money.  Add on top of that I just showed up one day out of the blue asking for it with no warning and no planning and I should not have been, could not have been, surprised at the answer.  But, of course, I was devastated.

Days passed and I tried to scheme ways I could make the money.  I asked my Dad if there were jobs or chores I could do to make money.  But, there was nothing that I could come up with.

As the final day approached and I was getting ready to go to school, I made my last ditch plea.  I begged, asking if there was ANY way he could help me with this, I would appreciate it so much.

My Dad is not and was not perfect.  None of us are.  And he didn’t know a computer from a cash register.  But, he knew that this was important to me and he probably didn’t even know why it was important to me.

He wrote me a check for that computer.  I’d be willing to bet a bit of money that there was not even money in the account to back that check when he wrote it, but when the check was deposited, it cleared.  I got my computer!  It was MY computer.

It came with a few tapes from a monthly computer-based magazine called Cursor.  On these tapes came games and demos and applications.  Importantly to me, most were written in BASIC, the language that came with the Commodore PET.  By running those programs and looking at listings of the programs, I could learn programming.  And I did learn programming!  I absorbed every issue with the intensity that only an obsessed teenager is capable.

I certainly didn’t know how to talk with girls, but I knew how to talk to that computer!

And, the best part for a 15-year old looking for *something* that he could control in his life, that computer would do EXACTLY what I told it to do, whether it was right or wrong, it did it.

Now, that computer did have issues.  I mentioned the chassis that lifted so you could access the board inside.  Dropping from the underside of the monitor was a large bundle of wires that socketed on the board for the video.  Turns out the Commodore PET was a bit notorious for having a flakey connection to the video.  This occasionally necessitated me lifting the hood and re-seating the video connector solidly to improve the connection and then having to reboot (turn it off and on again).

Looking back, I wish I had been able to hold on to that computer.  I spent most of the next three years with it, learning its ins and outs.  But, in the end, I was swayed by the latest home computer from Commodore, the VIC-20 because it had COLOR!

I ended up selling the Commodore PET for the same $300 I was able to buy it for (with my Dad’s help – Thanks Dad!).

In all likelihood I would have ended up on this career path anyway, but there’s no question that having access to my own computer at home to obsess over started me on the path that I remain on to this day.

It goes without saying that my Dad believing in me and taking a chance on me and loosening our agreement and helping me get that computer made an immense impression on me.  I appreciate it to this day!

Storm Affront

It wasn’t clear how it happened. Looking back at the records, we know that there was a large electrical storm that took place over our town and, at the same time, somewhere in southern California. After things returned to normal, scientists proposed a variety of explanations. Those explanations went far over my head but I recall a few phrases like “quantum entanglement”, “harmonic vibrations” and “sympathetic resonating frequencies”. But, at the end of the day, all I can tell you is this: My dog became possessed by a Kardashian!

Things are getting a bit fuzzy now that all the uproar has passed. The reporters have stopped bothering us, the scientists have gone back to their labs, the government vans have, so far as we can tell, stopped keeping an eye on us. But, here’s what I recall about what happened.

It was, literally, a dark and stormy night. I know that sounds trite, but it’s true and it’s relevant so it’s hard to not include that detail.

Where we live, we don’t get a great deal of thunder and lightning. Call it less than ten storms a year. But, this was a BIG one! Because of the geography in our area, we typically get twenty minutes of some nice flashes, some throaty rumbling in the distance and buckets of rain. We live in the Northwest United States, so rain comes with the territory.

This storm was different. It seemed to hover over the area like it was holding a grudge. On a regular basis there was a flash followed pretty quickly by a *crack* and rumble from the nearby lightning. My wife and I were watching from inside the house because of the rain. The power would occasionally flicker but the development we live in is only a few years old and the electrical infrastructure has been largely sound through these kinds of storms. But, as I said, this storm was different.

At this point I should mention the dog. Or the dogs.

We have two. They are sisters and they are labradoodles, a cross between a barrel-chested chocolate lab with a great disposition and miniature poodle that was not, shall we say, present at the act of conception. Though, had he been, he would have been feeling pretty full of himself for the accomplishment. We have labradoodles because my wife has allergies and this breed seems to trigger those allergies much less than the average breed.

They’re not big dogs, only 30 to 35 pounds each as adults. We have two because, the rationale went, one would be lonely as my wife and I both work and one dog by itself would just get in to trouble. So, we have two sisters from the same litter.

One of them is a yellow blonde and looks very much like a down-sized yellow lab. Same face and happy demeanor as a yellow lab. That one is fairly smart, albeit a bit sneaky, but always has a smiling face and a wagging tail. That’s Gabby. The other is mostly black with a few patches of white fur. She got the long legs and dark brown eyes and she’s pretty. That’s Zena. Her name starts with a ‘Z’ because my wife likes Z names. Her sister is named Gabby because I was able to sneak in a Xena Warrior Princess connection without getting caught.

Zena is the one that everyone else seems to like. She’s a bit neurotic and acts as though she’s a ten pound lapdog in her head. She will place her head under anything that could be a hand in hopes of being touched. She is demanding as she uses her wet nose to make clear that, to her, any unoccupied hand would really better be used to touch her.

As a result of all this, and don’t tell the dogs, but Gabby is my favorite. Zena strikes me as sort of pretty but vacuous. She’s interested in attention at all costs and doesn’t do much to earn it.

All this background may or may not be relevant. Who can say in retrospect?

Back to the storm.

As my wife and I were chatting about our day, having completed our chores and cleaned up after dinner. Gabby was nearby gnawing on a bone and Zena was under hand trying for attention. Suddenly there was a mighty flash followed almost immediately by an even more mighty *CRACK* of thunder and the lights went out. Well, mostly out. As our eyes began to adjust to the darkness, there was an eerie glow coming from Zena. That might have been my imagination, though, because it quickly seemed to subside.

Then, out of the darkness came a voice I didn’t recognize.

“Who the hell turned out the lights! Where’s the music! Someone get the lights back on right now!”

Obviously we were surprised because there was no one in the house besides my wife and me. And the dogs. The power was out so it wasn’t coming from a radio, computer or television. And, most strange, it was coming from very nearby my feet! Actually, it was coming from Zena.

At that point the lights came back on. My wife was sitting on the couch at the other end from me. I could see Gabby lying on the floor where she’d been gnawing her bone prior to the outage. At my feet was Zena and she was staring up at me with the same big, brown eyes and (to me) vacuous expression. But, she opened her mouth and spoke!

Please don’t get me started on the physics or the physical inability of a dog to speak. Even my high school Biology tells me that can’t happen. All I am going to do is wave my hands and say “quantum entanglement” or “sympathetic vibrations” and tell you that, yes, a voice came out of my dog’s mouth and it spoke. It spoke English. And it was a female voice. I’m just going to tell you what happened, not why. I’ll leave that to others with far more interest and education than I.

“You!” the voice said. “Where am I? Why am I on this floor? And where is my drink!”

I looked at the dog. I looked at my wife. I looked back at the dog and responded appropriately with “Huh-wha?”

The dog looked over at my wife. “Is he stupid? Answer my questions! I was at a party. This is, like, someone’s house or something. Where is the party? I was dancing with this really hot guy. The lights went out and suddenly I’m on the floor in a house with you people. Do I need to call the cops? Is this a kidnapping? I have money!”

The dog looked around a bit more. On a nearby wall was a floor length mirror which was resting against the wall because I hadn’t got around to hanging it yet. The dog looked over and saw the mirror. She walked over to the mirror. They say a baby can recognize itself in a mirror sometime in the first year or so. Some elephants can do the same. Our now talking dog looked at herself in the mirror, turned about, raised and lowered her head and then one paw. She sat and then she got back up on her feet. Then our dog turned to us and said, “Why is that dog in the mirror doing what I’m doing? What kind of sick joke is this? Do you know who I am?!”

I was still in shock and not particularly capable of reasoning. My wife who is far more level-headed in a crisis than I responded, “Who are you?”

And she told us. My dog was apparently possessed by a Kardashian.

At this point my brain re-engaged. I grabbed the video camera from my office and started filming. This seemed to please the dog who, consistent with her original personality, seemed to crave attention and the camera seemed to focus her.

My wife proceeded to talk to the dog, asking her questions, answering a few posed by the dog.

Meanwhile, it occurred to me that this experience was far, far out of my realm of expertise. I got out my phone and called my friend who is an adjunct professor in Psychology at the local university. He lives nearby, no more than a few minutes away.

He showed and I quickly caught him up on events. He, of course, wanted to know if the lightning had hit me but I assured him that he just needed to come in to the living room and see for himself.

He stepped in and came upon the strangest conversation between my wife and our now talking dog.

“I need someone to give me some answers right now! I’m going to call the cops as soon as I find a phone. This is kidnapping!”

At that point the dog spotted us coming back in the room, me filming again with the video camera. The dog seemed quite taken with the camera, looking directly in to the lens, seeming to pose in a flattering manner, turning to face the camera at an angle and, I swear, smiling.

I explained that my friend was here to meet her and that attention seemed to calm down our still talking dog.

After a few minutes my friend understood that this was not an elaborate prank, having established for himself that the dog was talking and responding to questions and seemed to have an identity and, more or less, a personality.

Soon after and following a flurry of calls, our house began to fill with additional scientists called in by my friend. Very soon our living room took on the look and feel of a press event. There were lights, cameras, microphones all around pointed at our dog. The dog, sorry for the pun, lapped it up.

Meanwhile, the storm which had seemed to abate for a while after the immense strike nearby, had continued to build again.

In the middle of a long, drawn out and rambling answer to a very simple question, there was, again, a mighty flash and *CRACK* of thunder and, once again, the lights went out. This time, however, it was far shorter, probably less than 10 seconds.

When the lights came back on, all eyes returned to my dog. She looked around, blinked and approached the nearest hand and began sticking her head under it in hopes of being pet.

The assemblage of scientists asked more questions, prodded the dog (which the dog liked as she took it for the attention she wanted) but quickly reached the conclusion that whatever had happened appeared to have come to an end.

There was talk of taking the dog and giving her more examinations. There was even talk of brain scans and even removal for dissection and study, but my wife stopped that line immediately. In the end, all the examinations and scans could not find any evidence that she was any different than the dog that she was the day before.

Whatever had happened had come to an end.

I don’t think there’s any moral to this story. Something odd happened and then things eventually went back to normal.

But, I’ll end with this: During the couple of hours that our dog was possessed by a Kardashian, it turns out there was a party in California attended by the same Kardashian. And during that entire time that my dog claimed to be that person, party-goers didn’t think it was odd that she spent two hours socializing, saying nothing, rubbing herself all over people for attention and occasionally drinking directly from a punch bowl until she passed out. No one at the party seemed to notice that their Kardashian didn’t have anything to say the entire time.

 

 

[box type=”shadow”] Note: Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/qualsiasi/ and licensed via Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). For more info, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/[/box]

Getting Started


Well, I’m already late on getting started with this, but at least now it’s started…

Sometimes, as the years comes to an end, I get sucked in to the notion of reflection and resolutions.

Usually I’m pretty rational. I know that most resolutions fail. I know that most of us will continue to make the same mistakes we made in past years.

Reflection can be a nice way to step back and away from our year and see if there’s anything we can take from it and hopefully learn from it so we don’t keep making the same mistakes year after year.

That all having been said, I find myself looking for an interesting challenge in the coming year and it’s one that has me equal parts nervous and a bit scared, so maybe that’s a good indicator that it’s worth thinking about and, maybe, committing to.

I’ve always wanted to write more and haven’t taken the time. I just don’t. Now, whether that’s out of fear of the results not being worth reading or just because that’s not where I’ve chosen to invest my time, I just don’t know.

I think there’s some credence in Malcolm Gladwell’s notion, from his book Outliers: The Story of Success, of the “10,000-Hour Rule” which posits that the key to success in whatever you want to do rides in large part in practicing that craft for something around 10,000 hours. Whether the actual number is 4000 or 20,000, the fact remains that you’re not going to become good at something without a large number of hours of practice.

Back to writing. I wish I did it more. I lack the practice in the craft. I’ve lacked the discipline to do it regularly. I’ve lacked the opportunity for feedback that comes from sharing what I would write, even if I did write, if I don’t put that writing out there.

So my thinking has revolved around that idea, that goal. Given 10,000 hours at even 10 hours a week (assuming that I have to work for a living) comes to roughly 1000 weeks or, for the sake of round numbers, call it 20 years. I’ll be old at that point. Okay, old(er).

But, whether I put in 10,000 hours or 1000 hours, I’ll be that much more practiced in the craft after that time than where I am now. And given that I do take pride in my ability to communicate, I will get better with time and practice and study. Because I do have to study.

I’m as old as I am (which is old) and I still don’t have a good grasp on the rules of how to write dialogue. Where do the quotation marks go relative to the punctuation? I’ve been reading for more than 40 years and I haven’t internalized those rules yet. Yes, that’s mechanical, but you have to understand the mechanics and those mechanics need to stop being something you have to think constantly on before you can use that same energy to think about all the other parts that make up writing.

Sinclair Lewis said “It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”

Using that definition, I’m clearly not a writer. I’ve discouraged myself for most of my life.

To be fair to myself, I do enjoy writing. Friends and family will tell you that I won’t say in one sentence what could probably be said in a paragraph. Ask me a one-line question and you’re more likely to get a paragraph or two back than a one-liner. When I was courting my wife, I absolutely loved writing back and forth with her and still do. She writes well and interestingly and I try, too.

But, my writing is to a small audience. Usually one or two folks or a small group. It’s typically business related or about day-to-day personal things.

In thinking about a goal and how to keep working towards it, I decided that it had to include some tangible goals. In my field there is an acronym that’s (over-)used to help with making goals and that’s that they should be: SMART. The original attribution of this goes back to an article in Management Review by George T. Doran. For a goal to be SMART, it has to be: Specific, Meaningful/Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Timely/Time-bound. (Note: There are lots of variations on what each letter could stand for, but we’ll go with these for now.)

Here’s what I’ve come up with.

  • A minimum of 1000 words per week
  • Vacations are allowed but I will not break the schedule – which means pre-writing is allowed
  • Published to my blog at http://www.mossor.org/blog weekly by end of day Sunday
  • The first will be this one on January 6th and end with December 29th
  • The subject will vary from week to week from stories to anecdotes to, probably, random ramblings
  • After the posts are up on the blog I will post a brief note on Facebook and Twitter
  • Comments will be on but I will not commit to publishing all of them

That would seem to satisfy all the requirements of a SMART goal.

What I want to get out of this is some practice at writing, some discipline of doing it on a somewhat regular basis (besides furiously late on Sunday) and at least the opportunity for some feedback which seems like a must if someone is going to improve. I could write for 10,000 hours but if I don’t share it and get feedback, odds are it’ll be nearly as atrocious at the end as at the beginning.

I’ll need to give some thought to other opportunities for feedback. I could take a Creative Writing class at the Community College and try and use that as a venue for feedback. I know there are opportunities for online groups. Scribophile is one that nets you feedback from a community of writers in exchange for providing feedback yourself. So, there are a variety of opportunities to expand the pool of readers and the amount of feedback, should I choose to make that a priority.

To start with, I’ll shoot for doing this for a week or two. That seems like a commitment I can keep. It certainly feels less daunting than the notion of doing this for a year.

So, for now, I’ll start thinking about material for next week!

Thanks.