Weeknotes 2023 W24:
Shut Up & Write

What are these? These week­notes are a reflection on the past week. I write about anything from hobby projects and work to creativity and mental health. I publish my week­notes every Sunday morning. Consider subscribing via email or using the web feed!

Happy Sunday!

Quick bits:

In Nanoc news, nanoc-dart-sass has a new release that adds support for importing Sass files using relative paths. It’s a good release. You should upgrade.

Also, in Nanoc issue #1646, after apologizing for taking a while to finalize some work, I received possibly the nicest message I’ve ever received from anyone while working in open source:

No problem. You owe me nothing as this is open source software that you are developing on your spare time. So this normal to be patient and that you perform such action when you have time.
Keep up this great piece of software.

😭 🧡

In an effort to automate my habits, I’ve set up a schedule for my RGB lights that go as follows:

At 9:00 PM, the lights in my apartment turn purple, which is the cue for me to get the kitchen clean. It forced me into the habit of cleaning the kitchen before bedtime, something I used to skip often, which sucks because waking up with a dirty kitchen makes me grumpy. (The kitchen lights remain white, so I can clean properly.)

At 9:15 PM, the lights turn back to normal, and I turn off electronics and sit down with a book. It’s a good way to wind down before bedtime: nothing too energetic, just relaxation.

I’ve been reading quite a lot lately, but now I have too many books and not enough library space.

In my apartment, I have three shelves with books. The shelves aren’t big enough to hold all the books, so I’ve got books lying on top of other books on those shelves because I can’t find proper space for them.

I also have a few stacks of books in various places in my apartment. Those are the books I’m actively reading at the moment. I’ve got no clue where I’ll stick them once I’m done reading them.

As I see it, I have a few options:

So, I’ve ordered the Kobo Libra 2. It’ll arrive next week. I’m excited. I’ll keep y’all posted.

In my acting course, we started looking at a play: Doubt by John Patrick Shanley. It’s an excellent play, with particularly interesting characters in a particularly interesting setting.

We had our introduction to scene analysis, which led me down a research rabbit hole. I had dozens of relevant Wikipedia pages open just to get to a fundamental understanding of this play. It’s important work: to properly embody a character, you need to know what drives them and why.

There are only four more classes left in this course, and I’m already feeling anxious about finding ways to continue learning and to keep up the momentum.

Having a fixed time every week is fantastic for keeping the momentum. You show up every week; there are no decisions to be made.

After spending a good time outlining a short story, as I talked about in Week­notes 2023 W23: Decay, I finally started writing the draft. It’s not very good, but at least I have started writing. The page is no longer blank.

The part I fear the most is writing the dialogue. I’m terrible at dialogue. I probably need to either just do it and/or spend some time finding and reading good dialogue out there. Perhaps read more theatre plays?

Related: I attended the local Shut Up & Write group, for the first time, on Saturday.

I really like the Shut Up & Write approach. There are two blocks of 45 minutes for focus where nobody speaks, and this works really well for me. Before the focus sessions, in between, and after, there is opportunity for conversation. A bunch of us went for lunch afterwards, and I’m so happy to be included in a group of people I did not know at all two hours earlier.

In the first session of 45 minutes, I started a second draft for a story I had put on hold at the end of 2022. I’m happy to have picked up this story again, because I think it has potential and it has been on my mind for months. I did not continue on the short story from last week, so I suppose I now have two drafts in flight — not sure whether that is a good thing. I’m not getting close to finishing up any drafts, though, let alone getting something close to ready for publication. But maybe that’s just fine?

In the second session of 45 minutes, I wrote my week­notes. That is considerably more time than I usually put into them. This is why the week­notes a bit longer than usual — close to 1700 words!

In any case, I think the Shut Up & Write sessions on Saturdays might end up being a regular thing in my calendar.

I bought a water flosser because I need to (and want to) take better care of my teeth. First impression: Oof, this thing is uncomfortable.

A bigger problem with the particular water flosser I bought (a Waterpik Cordless Express) is that the battery compartment seems to be manufactured incorrectly: despite following the instructions in the manual to the letter, the batteries just… fall out when I use the device. It’s frankly unacceptably bad design/engineering. I considered returning the thing, but I’d rather just keep it and use it, so I duct-taped the thing shut. There is a good chance this is going to bite me sooner or later, isn’t there?

Anyway, don’t buy a Waterpik Cordless Express. Or do, and make sure you’ve stocked up on superglue or whatever.

In case you’re wondering: dropping batteries into a sink filled with water is fine, actually. At least that’s what the Internet tells me — my sink didn’t have any water in it, so I did not get first-hand experience. The Internet tells me that the conductivity of water is low enough that the batteries don’t end up, erm, exploding, you know. I’m relieved, but also annoyed that I felt the need to look this up.

The macOS Photos app continues to be hot garbage:

What the heck does that even mean?!

I need an alternative. Darktable and digiKam are both terrible. For now, I’m using phockup to organize photos by date, but it’s really not the best solution.

It seems like the only decent photo management apps come at a €100+/year subscription. Am I missing something?



Week­notes for June 12 to 18, 2023. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these week­notes via email or subscribe to the web feed.