Monthly Archives: December 2008

Going on the Account: Sing Out if Ye Seen This…

I know I’m not the first online novel out there, but I had no idea that a preceding project was done by a rock god!

 

While looking up something else, the Lovely and Talented Susan came across reference to the online novel “The Boy Who Heard Music” by Pete Townshend.  We tried following every link we could find to it, but we ended up with nada.  The fact that descriptions of the work now refer to it as a staged musical makes me think the original version is like William Gibson’s “Agrippa,” now a piece of vaporware that left impressions like a one night performance that you just had to be there for if you wanted to experience it.

 

So I open the floor to the readers: If anyone knows where to find the original version of “The Boy Who Heard Music,” the wife and I would be greatly indebted to you.  Any links, reposts, anything, please sing out; like swashbucklers of old, I be willing to engage in a little smuggling…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred First

Part the One Hundred First is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Red Skies in Morning for Ye?

Just the thing any writer wants to have brought up before Christmas:  Salon.com’s article about Black Wednesday.  My sympathies to anyone affected by the mass layoffs this month all over Publisher’s Row

 

Then again, the part about electronic books that could be considered mid-list is interesting from a personal view.  Not to sound horrible, but the more I read that, the more I felt like a small mammal feeding off a dinosaur egg…

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Going on the Account: Part the Ninety Ninth

Part the Ninety Ninth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundredth

Part the One Hundredth is scheduled to go up at the usual time (early Friday the 26th), but for those following through the blog roll (especially the subscribers), you can get an early peek at the next chapter here, as a holiday present.

 

One hundred part so far.  I have to thank you all for reading the piece and staying with me on this, and for your comments along the way.  And for those of you who thought I’d never get this far and/or should have stopped long before here…  Aw hell, it’s the holidays, so hey!

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Going on the Account: Adjusting the Trim

Well, I went with a new theme.  Something that means a lot less time spent on coding for the sake of presentation, and more time to concentrate on the writing.

My hope is that things can run a bit smoother, with less energy needing to be expended on presentation twice a week.  With some of the work becoming a ‘file and forget’ function, there should be less disruption in presenting the work.

 

I’m trying to imagine Laurence Sterne having to consider what font he’d need to e-publish TRISTRAM SHANDY.  Funny how much we now live in Marshall McLuhan’s media landscape…

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Going on the Account: Running the Colors Up, Revisited

For those who read what I posted last night(and I hope that includes someone, he laughed nervously), the coding issues got some resolution.  This morning, WordPress accepted my font and color commands, and those two parts are back to normal.

 

Somewhat.  The font size is a bit small and could stand to be upped, which means more adventures in coding to come.

 

Which I’m getting a bit tired of; my search for ways to fix or replace the theme to give me a better template to work with and automate some of the appearance coding continues.  I’m open to all comments and suggestions on how to get around having to manually adjust font and color every time.  And I may still come up with a new theme, if just to spruce things up.

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Going on the Account: Not a False Flag

OK, my apologies to everyone with how Part 97 and the About page currently look. I went in to do some edits (change links in posts for ease of navigation), and my formatting went awry; it’s no longer the font or color I had when I originally posted them. And try as I might, every time I insert what should be the right codes to give me the appearce and color I want, with every update I post the codes disappear. It’s a full-fledged mutiny here!

Truth to tell, ever since WordPress went to 2.7, I have been having the Devil’s time trying to deal with it. Having to re-learn the interface has been a task in and of itself, but now that I can’t get the page to look the way I want it to, I’m losing faith in my platform. The last thing I need is a set of technical issues that take up time that should be spent on the work itself; it’s like worrying about how the book is bound by the printer instead of how it’s written.

I’m calling for help from anyone who either has technical knowledge about how to now make WordPress behave, or knows someone who has that knowledge. I’m not wedded to the theme I’m using and may re-launch with a new one if I have to, but just getting this one to do as I say will work as well. I don’t want to have to chuck WordPress and sent change-of-address notices about the URL, unless absolutely necessary; let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

SOS…

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Going on the Account: Part the Ninety Eighth

Part the Ninety Eighth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: The Latest Facing the Pirates

Three recent developments of note:

 

* The Security Council has green-lit the plan to go ashore to bring the fight to the pirates.  This could be a turning point in the conflict, if handled properly; denying pirates bases on land will make them unable to operate out on the waters.  Of course, the key phrase is ‘if handled properly’here; if going ashore makes Somalia a worse mess then we could see further action beyond what we have so far.  Who was it who said one man’s pirate is another’s revenge tool-cum-blunt instrument…?

 

* Kenya is starting to hear cases against any pirates picked up, according to WIRED.  It’s interesting to see this mag write about pirates and not use “download” in the same sentence…  But seriously, they have a number of links to stories they have done on the situation that go beyond trying to tie a failed nation-state’s demise to fleeting references of Jack Sparrow, giving readers a better sense of what is happening there.

 

* A more troubling development involves the possibility of China expanding its operations into the theater to take on pirates.  The last time it showed up with this many ships in the Indian Ocean, Zheng He was gathering tribute from eastern Africa.  I’m trying not to sound Sinophobic, but the idea of China trying to exert itself on station many, many miles from any of its bases has lots of scary implications beyond just whether pirates are plying these waters:

 – China goes from being primarilly a regional military power to a global one, redefining their role on the world stage; why this is a problem is that it adds too much uncertainty and instability, especially if China feels it needs to settle any disagreements by force (a common rookie mistake for powers that are just getting started on the world stage)

 – The Chinese need for oil, already expanding at a fast pace thanks to rising domestic needs, suddenly balloons if they need to keep a far-flung naval presence on station; considering the area of engagement in the Arabian Sea borders both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, it makes their involvement there more crucial for their national policy

 – The Chinese potentially become more directly involved in Middle East affairs militarilly following through on the above; consider the Chinese facing a situation similar to the USS Cole incident, and how that could go horribly awry…

     For those looking for reasons not to panic, the failed boarding of the Zhehhua 4 could be a bright spot.  If all Chinese-owned vessels end up having similar experiences, then the reasons to worry above may not have merit.  We could hope, at least.

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Going on the Account: Part the Ninety Seventh

Part the Ninety Seventh is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: A Rudder for These Seas

The folks at Resource Shelf have a page collecting available resources to track modern pirates.  One-stop shopping for anyone wanting to do a report on the Sweet Trade in the here and now.

 

As for the latest on the situation, the US may want to relive Operation Restore Hope after all.  With both the Faina and Sirius Star still sitting offshore as of now, and little sign of the situation on the waves turning around anytime soon, there’s every chance we’ll be back there again.  And this time, we probably won’t be met on the beach by just CNN crews…

 

(Special thanks to Kit O’Toole for the Resource Shelf recommendation)

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