Stochastic Life



This is a blog by a Western Buddhist.

I also talk about digital culture and it's relationship to modern spirituality, specifically (but not limited to) modern Western Buddhism. I post about music too, I can't help it. I favor hasitly written original content. I always accept questions and comments.


I am also a writer of no consequence, and I co-founded a company to pursue creative interests. We have a lot of projects going on, I'll try to make it easy to check on those specific projects..

Formatted to be iPad/etc friendly, just in case you needed something enlightening to read while your on the can.



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As they made their way up the valley’s precarious hill, John realized that he had spent the majority of his time in the past two days sodden, damp, or simply drenched. He squinted, casting an eye brimming with the irksome ichor of a prolonged discomfort.

“Does it always rain?” The once languid drizzle had swollen into a formal cascade. His poncho was now stuck to himself like a thick skin of carpeting. He questioned the utility of wearing an outer garment so absorbent in inclement weather; but he conceded to himself, internally as he imagined the debate, he did feel warmer for it. To that end, he had to presume that it was working as intended, as quickly discovered in the heat of his imaginative debate, he knew astonishingly little about nature of pre-modern clothing, particularly as it pertained to appropriateness of specific garments to a variety of weather conditions.

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I haven’t been very active with this blog for a long time, and for good reason: I haven’t been writing.

As a writer, I tend to be highly ritualistic. I frequently claim this is due to an underlying sense of perfectionism, but in all honesty it is simply a justification for not writing. Assuming I am dependent on these nebulous factors or circumstances feels like it absolves me of fault.

This is obviously a lie.

At times I absolutely love the process of writing, but often it feels like a relentless, infuriating chore. I have discovered that the trait most strongly correlated to enjoyment is freedom; a freedom from distraction, tasks, chores, timetables, etc.

Starting tomorrow, at noon, I’ll be hermiting myself in a rural cabin for 48 hours. My ideal goal would be 50,000 words, but I’ll consider anything over 30,000 a success. The project I’ve elected to work on during this time (I’me notworking on several) is at about 20,000 words currently.

I use to take small, intense, ‘writing retreats’ all the time, but this was years ago. My life has become much more complicated, which is an undeniable part of modern adulthood. My emphasis on ritualizing writing developed, in part, because simply dropping everything to go write in the woods by myself for several days didn’t seem like a convenient option.

But for me, it’s what works.

I may, in fact, be a lunatic. I am the one that recommends burning your first novel[1] Failure, as I have defined above by expected word counts, is in fact a very real possibility- but only by that definition. The truth is, I’m shaking myself from my inertia and getting my head back in the game, so in that sense, I can’t really fail.

I do not recommend that everyone, or even anyone, seal themselves away in a remote cabin to engage in a writing frenzy. My point instead is: Find out what, specifically, ‘works’ for you; and I don’t mean what gets you word counts- I mean what gets you enthusiastic about the process. If you don’t love the process, then you are probably more interested in being a writer than actually writing.

As for my hermitage, I had considered live-streaming1 my experiment on Twitch but I figured that watching someone write for 48 hours is quite possibly the most boring thing you could possibly stream; it really isn’t much of a spectacle. I will be tweeting[2] updates, on occasion, as to my progress in my experiment, and one can reasonably expect a follow up post later this week regarding any lessons learned. I may even post some of the material composed, if there is any interest in seeing what 48 hour rough draft looks like.

Suggestions, comments (constructive or otherwise), advice, recommendations, amusing anecdotes?

1 While I won’t have cellular signal at the cabin in question, I will have WIFI access, which I find both irritating and oddly comforting at the same time.

I will be breaking my prolonged ‘social media’ radio silence this week. 

Details to follow 

Triceratops!

Had an excellent afternoon with friends and family to observe Vesak.

I haven’t been in the habit of posting regularly for quiet some time now. My personal life has experienced some setbacks, but I am doing my utmost to utlizie that time was well as I can.

My radio silence has largely resulted in a dramatic increase in productivity. I am currently working on two novels, and I hope to have one of them released by August of this year. Please note that the following titles are working title designations only and are by no means indicative of the work’s eventual title. 

  • Project Clockwork: A new fantasy IP (The Black Sand Sagas) that involves drugs that give you magical powers and a murder mystery with political overtones. 
  • Project Denial (also tagged as ‘GfbD’: Ostensibly a fantasy piece, but more akin to a modern fairy tale than swords and sorcery (more Gaiman than DnD). The piece is a critic  and reflection of the mythic cycle, specifically the hero’s journey from a quasi-realism perspective. It has a cowboy, a dog that is a demigod, and a talking baboon. Trust me, it works better than it sounds. 

I intend to return to more regularity in posting in the coming weeks, including samples from the aforementioned works. 

Other projects, including Delphi and Damascus have been shelved. I’m outlining a third novel, Project Dream as we speak and may actually shop that around before the two above (Denial is…odd, I don’t have a lot of faith in finding a receptive publisher on that and intend to self-publish that later). 

We are also plan to begin work on a new table-top game set in the Black Sand saga IP as well, but serious work won’t begin on that project for several months. 

John could here the distant sound of shouting and fighting begin as they settled the plank into position, barring the door. Guilt washed through John’s emotions eroding the edifices of resolve that had been carved from his character by adrenaline over the course of the evening. He felt the somber weight of uncertainty settle into the gullies after the culpability for his place in the men’s sacrificed flowed through him and resigned himself to a dubious and inexplicable fate regarding his role in a pilgrimage he neither understood nor feel adequate to undertake.

The game is $1.99 today on Steam.

Buy this game, seriously. It’s one of the most unique video games I’ve ever experienced. It’s Cyberpunk mixed with Kabbalah. Utterly fascinating. 

Also, it has multi-player. 

Oki Dub Ainu band, performing Utari*. 

This is amazing. This is my favorite musical discovery in a long time.

*Utari means ‘fellow man in the Ainu language

I am literally typing this by fire light. 

Our power has gone out. Utterly and completely. If I had to guess, I’d say that I would expect the power to be out for quite awhile. There’s a transformer(?) on a pole in our backyard (because, to me, this house is in such a rural area we don’t have alleyways) that has, quite literally exploded.

I saw the sparks. 

From behind me.

I, a digital wretch, am marooned; coasting on the meager resources of power left in my laptop batteries. Thankfully, I bought a Sony. The chemistry in their batteries tends to be far better than the competitions. However, I did splurge for the 15” touchscreen with the backlit keyboard.

Is this what it felt like to be a pioneer?

Anyway, my backyard exploded, or at least something in it, and now I find myself, sitting here, in the actual dark, typing this. 

I happened upon an interesting anecdote by random chance today too. You see my health drove me to seek medical services. My physician is still based in the town my mother now lives. So, I stop in as it is in fact in the way of my drive through town. As if in passing, she mentions, at the end of our conversation that my grandmother may have cancer; in her face. 

The actuality of that suddenly stuck me here, in the dark. It’s not unreasonable, seeing as how I’ve tripped over the same toy aircraft carrier no less than 3 times in the past 20 minutes.

It is fucking dark. Like 19th Century dark. 

I actually live inside Indianapolis and I feel like I live, instead, in some kind of Tolkien fantasy world ruled over by inexplicably relevant Elves. 

Needless to say, street lighting isn’t doing a whole lot. 

Existentially,  digitally, I am quiet inextricably lost. 

*My first title had fun random words in it. My track pad causes my cursor to wander.

White Sea (@WhiteSeaMusic)’s latest They Don’t Know

Video includes info on free download for the single. It’s Morgan Kibby (also known for The Romanov’s, and M83), so you should put this in your ear hole. 

Nerd is no longer a four letter word; now it’s a six figure number.

Lean Six Sigma prioritizes specialization; specifically process-flow specialization because those are the individuals best suited to make decisions that immediately impact process flow and efficiency. Lean Six Sigma, as a conceptual business model, is very much in vogue now and for one very important reason: it makes sense.

It can also back-up it’s claims with actual numbers. This establishes a base-line as now we can see that the approach is valid and logical. When it comes to business management frameworks, measurable results are the most valuable currencies in the buisness management framework exchanges.

Subject matter experts are critical to the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma. There is a direct correlation to the efficiency improvements your business can expect from the implementation of Lean Six Sigma and your business or leadership’s ability to identify subject matter experts.

Your processes will not improve if you can’t asses the person best suited to that task.

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Nerd is no longer a four letter word. 

Instead, it is now a six figure number; a label, a distinction; a job description.

The 21st century has seen the re-appropriation of the term ‘nerd’. It is no longer a derisive moniker; instead it has risen in profile beyond it’s original usage as a singular insult into a relatively new cultural phenomena. 

Nerd is ultimately a culture of choice.

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If you want the world to be a better place, make it one. Today. Right now. Even just a little bit.