Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Great American Eclipse - My Take

I was excited for Great American Eclipse of 2017, especially since the path of totality went very near my house.

Unfortunately, I didn't buy my eclipse glasses when I had the chance, and by the time I got serious about finding a pair, they were gone.

I figured I could probably find a pair at one of the many eclipse viewing events, but I didn't want to take that chance. So I poked a hole in a piece of foil and made an eclipse viewing box.

The morning of the eclipse dawned gray and foreboding. It was not a promising start.

Undeterred, I climbed in the car and drove to the Amelia Earhart airport in Atchison, Kansas. I figured even if I couldn't see the eclipse, I could see some airplanes.

I also found some friends, and one of them had an extra pair of eclipse glasses. Sweet! Now I just needed the sky to clear.

It didn't.

Fortunately, my eclipse viewing box was big enough to keep me dry.

The weather radar implied that the rain might stop in time for the eclipse, so I took refuge in my car and tried to do some work while I waited.

Oh, the irony.

I also had some fun with Heihei, my pocket chicken writing muse.

It was hot and steamy waiting out the rain, alone in the back seat of the car. And more than a bit disappointing. 

But then a couple of minutes before totality, the rain stopped, the sky lightened, and I ventured out of the car.

Through a high, thin cloud cover, I was able to see a sliver of the sun! The crowd parked around me cheered as the moon slowly, eased its way in front of the sun. The sky darkened once again, but this time it wasn't rain. It was a total eclipse! I could even see the sun's corona through the haze.

I was so excited, I didn't take any pictures. (Bad blogger!) So I stole one from the internet and digitally altered it to show what it looked like. 

Then totality passed, and the traffic jam began. But for that brief moment, I was able to see something that is truly rare and amazing, and I'm excited for the chance to watch another eclipse in just seven short years.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beta Draft built and released with Agile/Scrum

My experiment with applying Agile/Scrum methodologies to my writing has been a huge success. I credit the planning and organization this framework provides with moving a stalled draft to a releasable beta in just 10 weeks.

Both the story and the methodology are still works-in-progress, but I am confident I'll have a submission-worthy draft when I pitch next month at the ANWA conference.

While the draft is out with beta readers, my sprints have focused on creating synopses for the 2nd and 3rd book in the series. I realize this is probably over-optimistic, but I'm using this as an opportunity to explore different plotting methods. And I have more than enough delusion to allow myself a little optimism.