Monthly Archives: August 2014

bCourses = be curses

UCB’s bCourses continues to whup my ass. I see the benefit of having a content management system, but it doesn’t seem to be able to do what I want it to do — simple things, like print the online syllabus in larger font rather than make me create two versions, one online and one offline for printing. Having two versions just increases the possibility of error. And what happens when bCourses is down or slow? Or when students can’t access the internet?

So far, prep that usually takes three hours has taken three days . . . and I haven’t even started on the argument course.


What’s the Word For . . .

parcheesi-markers-optWhat’s the word when you make the wrong move that saves the day?

Yesterday in parcheesi, I made a totally unnecessary and by the numbers risky move that didn’t even set up anything useful, and it accidentally allowed me to blot my opponent and zoom ahead to win the game. There was nothing calculated, no percentage being played. The move was entirely without reason, and in fact exposed me to a high-percentage likelihood of being blotted myself.

This must happen in higher stakes environments: relationships, war.  It seems like there should be a word for it.

I don’t mean lucky, or stupid. I’m not even sure I’m looking for an adjective.

Is there a word for that theoretically wrong and actually pointless (and probably unintentional) but ultimately situation-saving action?

Huh.  Maybe just life.

Progrep 62: Part Three Thunk

Huzzah!  I see a way to tighten the beginning of part two (taking a tip from Joss Whedon, I’m going to concentrate on the “Maggie of it”).  Rather than tighten it and the rest of part two now, I’ll move on to part three . . . or, at least, move on to thinking about part three, because there’s no time to do much more than think as I prep for the impending fall semester.

In thinking about part three, I’ve realized that Trish is going to be extremely angry with Maggie when Maggie refuses to rid herself of the Mysterious Object.

Auditioning Fabrics

I’ve hung several fabrics on the design wall, thinking about a Halloween quilt.  Gives me something to look at besides the computer screen.




Drat bCourses

Preparing for the upcoming semester is taking much more time than usual because I have to figure out how to use bCourses instead of bSpace to build the course websites. I have lots of material in html format, designed to display online, and none of it seems to work in bCourses. Changing all that is a monumental headache.

Teaching is a joy, but this slog prepwork is joyless.

Progrep 61: Part Two Problems

photoPart two moves too slowly AND too quickly, intercutting among several POV characters (all in third person), sometimes spending too much time with a character, and sometimes spending too little time, and at this point, I don’t know if any of that time is interesting.

To fix the problem with part two, I should either change the structure, or prune, prune, prune the text.  I’ll probably start by pruning, because the structural changes would be massive; I’d have to import sections from part three, which would add even more characters and POVs to the already crowded cast of part two.  If I could, I’d let Maggie carry the entire POV for part two, but I’d like the readers to care about the other part-two characters, an effect that would be undermined if I omit their POVs.

The world in part two has to be appealing.  If it isn’t, a sequel to Eyes on the Mountain will be less enticing.

Of course, no one has read part two except for me.  Maybe it’s better than I think.  But probably not.  🙂

(That sticky note on the page says, “Pestle interference @ ends seems irrelevant . . . “, which isn’t the sort of note I want to be leaving myself.)

Progrep 60: Doubt

I’ve gone over the first draft of part two, and I don’t like it nearly as much as part one, mainly because it’s quite different . . . which is a problem, because it is supposed to be quite different.  Gotta find a way to make it not quite so “quite” in its difference.  Drat.

Progrep 59: Reading

Reading the first two parts and wondering if I should post a scene that I’ll probably delete from the manuscript.

What say you?

Progrep 58: Heading Home

I finished the first draft of part two a few moments ago. Maggie has thrown the white paint and sung the colors.

Progrep 57: And . . .

The storm is here.