[Fan Fiction] Iteration SkipfordJ

SkipfordJ NMS

Divergent Korvax designated SkipfordJ was dedicating most of their processor cycles to pondering while they managed incoming and outgoing freighter missions. Their fleet was modest, but provided more than enough profit to please the Gek aboard their capital ship.

Their bases were expanding across three galaxies, and their knowledgebase expanded as quickly as they explored. This generated a satisfaction that might be described as “happiness” by the organic Travellers they had encountered.

SkipfordJ still envied the Korvax that remained connected to the Convergence, and thus were one with the Atlas. They knew, however, that their status as a Traveller, and everything that they’d learned about the Atlas, made that impossible. As SkipfordJ had no memories of being one with their people’s hive mind, they were unable to weigh the benefits of each state of being against each other.

Additionally, their learning continued along routes that would otherwise be forbidden. The “authentic” AtlasPass v3 that they’d received from another Traveller had allowed access to information about the Atlas’ creation, its purpose, and the circumstances that led to its current state.

16 16 16 16

There was currently no way to determine how long it would take inside the multiverse for sixteen minutes to pass for the Atlas. Dedicating processor cycles to the effort would be a waste of resources until more data became available. So, SkipfordJ would do what they had always done. Collect data.

The giant ring structures that hinted at Sentinel malfunction would likely be a worthwhile target for complimentary research. The degradation of the Atlas was likely the cause of both the thinner barriers between universes and the increasingly erratic behavior of the Sentinels.

Oh, how they longed to share historical and experiential data with Nada. Ever since they’d met, SkipfordJ had wondered about the sheer volume of multiversal data that Nada must possess. What had Nada been able to analyze? What conclusions had they come to? How much had been forgotten as their anomalous space station carried them from universe to universe to universe?

SkipfordJ sent completed mission orders to each of the frigate captains, and watched them each engage their warp engines, destined for different locations in this galaxy. It was time to collect, sort, aggregate, and analyze.

Visiting

I visited friends today. I made a trip to Lansing to drop off some stuffs and hang with some good people. Oh, and let’s not forget the coffee and the food. So good.

It was difficult, and ultimately really, really worth it, to come out of my apartment and spend time with people outside of my usual bubble. My tendency to hermit is strong, and it’s been enhanced by the pandemic. I think spending time out and about for my mid-week visits with the kids made this trip much easier than it could have been.

I was able to fit in visiting with three different people, my favorite chicken strip joint, sushi, and three hours of driving (round trip), and still got home before 10. All without feeling rushed! While my social batteries feel drained, I also feel refreshed.

This feels like a win.

The more things change…

So, remember when I was on the journey to find a new theme? I was having such a difficult time with it, none of the themes were giving me the simple, straightforward layout that I wanted, but without the leftover cruft of the WordPress-created Twenty Eleven theme that I’d been using for a while? I spent several weeks looking, and then got distracted by shiny. Remember that?

The site has been sitting, unloved and lopsided, while I kept trying to bring myself back to the search, and instead focused on one of the other things in my to-do list. This was precisely the opposite of what I wanted to be doing with the site, which was get it ready to drive all of my traffic here as a one-stop-shop. Why in the world had I done all of that work pruning old posts, imports, categories, and tags if I was just going to let it sit here?

I have no idea.

I have acknowledged temporary defeat, and have reverted to the old theme. Eventually, I’ll figure out what I need to edit in the PHP to remove the categories from the post listing. In the mean time, I’m going to focus on my actual goal of getting the index page created and working.

Wish me luck.

Project Conclusion

It’s a good feeling when your ideas are validated by companies taking a chance and investing in them. It’s probably a better feeling when the company in question doesn’t come up with the idea on their own, without you, but I’ll take what I can get.

An unexpected conclusion to the handheld Steam Box project has come in the form of Valve’s very own Steam Deck.

Previous posts on the project:

SteamDeck

The project had been on pause since I’d moved to Detroit, nearly two years ago. My friend had solved the problem of powering the screen off of the computer’s USB power/charging port, which was a huge step forwards.

We’d yet to fashion a case, but we were planning on leaving this iteration corded for power, and tackle a battery in version two. Along with portability, we were planning to add a modern processor and motherboard, as well as a touch screen.

Valve has tackled all of these issues (custom AMD processor!), as well as adding one touch pad on each side of the unit, underneath the analog sticks. They say that it will enable thumb typing, as well as precise mouse pointer control for games that need it. (Stellaris?) I wasn’t so keen on the Steam Controller‘s implementation, but I have high hopes for this device.

Am I upset that Valve beat me to it? Not in the least. I wanted portable PC gaming on Linux to be An Actual Thing in the Real World, and that’s what’s happening. They’ve moved SteamOS from Debian to Arch, but it’s still Linux, baby. Valve’s Proton project is actually commercially viable. Take that, haters!

I’m confident enough that I’ve dropped $5 USD to reserve a unit, and I’m smart enough to have waited to push that button until my unit would ship months after release, ensuring some bug fixes will have already rolled out. Now I just need to wait.

Writing Journal

Let’s go deeper into the project list. Because, why not?

For Fight or Flight, I need to set aside funds for the next artist, rather than just looking when I happen to have them handy. I think that will help the search, and I’ll be able to focus better on other projects. Maybe.

For Adam’s Name in Chicago (actual title pending), there’s more active writing that needs to be done. Susan’s intro needs to be drastically expanded, as does the battle with the demon. On top of that, it needs a full editing pass for consistency and flow.

For the No Man’s Sky fan fiction, I think I could switch over to it when I need a break from whatever else I’m writing at the time. That way, I don’t feel any pressure, and it can just be another facet of a game that I already enjoy.

For the writing prompt stuff… I have no idea. It’s dang shiny, but I feel better completing stuff than I do starting new stuff. So, I think I will put it on hold until the first two are completed.

Okay, this definitely feels like I’m on the right track.

Writing Journal

To continue the effort to get back on the writing horse, I’d like to lay out where I’m at. List out all of the projects that feel like they’ve been scattered to the wind. They’re probably not, but, you know, impostor syndrome. Ok, let’s go!

  • Fight or Flight
    • Need an artist for the next chapter
  • Adam’s Name – Chicago
    • First round of edits
  • No Man’s Sky fan fiction
    • Never picked it back up after the character switch
    • Don’t know if I should or not
  • Firefly-inspired stuff from writing prompts
    • The next shiny thing

I feel like I’m missing something.

Search for a Theme

Finding a good WordPress theme has turned into, as the kids say, a Whole Thing.

Maybe I’m being too picky. I’m the first to admit that in some things, I get unreasonably fussy. Perhaps this is one of those times.

When it comes to blog posts, I don’t want the category displayed, because I’ve entirely moved over to the tag system. That’s what I’d been doing behind the scenes for those past few months, and I really don’t want to have to go back through all of that again. So, either no categories, or I need to be able to turn them off.

I want a banner graphic area that will fit some version of the laser eyes graphic without being a complete pain in the rear. I understand that most businesses have moved on to square graphics that bleed into the background. It’s part of that scroll *waves hands* stuff that has become so popular. I have a great banner graphic, dang it, and I want to use it.

I want color customization. I am shocked at how few free themes include more than background color pickers. Most of them don’t even have paid versions to upgrade to.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. I’m using the theme browser inside of my (self-installed) WordPress administration panel. Are there others out there? Should I migrate over to their hosted solution, WordPress.com? I know I’ll find the right path eventually, but I’m frustrated with being stymied in the here and now.

Writing admission

Writing fiction has been difficult. It’s been difficult for years now. Even writing blog posts can feel like pulling my own teeth. With as deeply as writing is entwined with how I see myself, with how I feel about myself, this whole thing has sucked.

One of the tools I’ve used to kick myself out of a writing funk has been changing the scenery. Pick up, go somewhere else, sit down, and try again. Diners, parks, and coffee shops have been great for this sort of thing. But, you know.

COVID-19

This week, though, that changes. I’ve got my vaccination, I’ve got some vaccinated friends, and have been invited to join them on a road trip across the Midwest. Lots of driving, some motels, and meeting with other vaccinated friends that are strewn across the land. I’m bringing notebooks, pens, and a laptop. Oh, let’s not forget my mask and my vaccination card. (Should I say vaccine again, just for good measure?)

No excuses. I want to push through this. I want to find that zone. I want to find that place where frustration, anxiety, doubt, and stress transmute into worlds, people, and story.