Autosurfer by Erich Schneider
Mon Sep 5 04:15:02 PDT 2016
I've been attempting National
Novel Writing Month every year since 2002. The goal is to
write 50000 words of fiction during the calendar month of November. I
failed in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2012, and won in 2005, 2006, 2007,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and
2021. Every year (except for 2016, where I took a break and wrote
pastiche in someone else's universe) I work on the same "novel," writing
additional chapters which I will later concatenate, although this is
technically forbidden by the Nanowrimo rules. So if you're a stickler,
I've never won and you can go to hell.
- Titles of yearly efforts:
- Flowers Become Screams 2002: The Heresiarchs
- Flowers Become Screams 2003: Auto-da-fe
- Flowers Become Screams 2004: Litany for the Eldest Battle-Queen
- Flowers Become Screams 2005: The Ibex and the Aurochs
- Flowers Become Screams 2006: The Country of the Stars Falling
- Flowers Become Screams 2007: Till the Moon Burns us Away
- Flowers Become Screams 2008: The Garden of Grieving Memory
- Flowers Become Screams 2009: Feynman Diagram Over a Fleshpit
- Flowers Become Screams 2010: The Sea is Cold and the Sky is
- Flowers Become Screams 2011: Of or Pertaining to the Seething
- Flowers Become Screams 2012: The Dance that Ends the World
- Flowers Become Screams 2013: Cocaine and Sweetmeats, lama
- Flowers Become Screams 2014: Chooser of the Slain
- Flowers Become Screams 2015: The Law of Milk and Horn
- Break, 2016: To Sleep in Turpentine
- Flowers Become Screams 2017: The Vault of Faith
- Flowers Become Screams 2018: The Forlorn Mother and the Cult of
- Flowers Become Screams 2019: The Courtship of the Jaguar and the
- Flowers Become Screams 2020: Grief of the Jaguar/Temple of the
- Flowers Become Screams 2021: Eclosion
I tried and failed Script
Frenzy in 2007 -- it's the screenplay equivalent of
Nanowrimo: write a 20000-word screenplay during the calendar month
of June. I got about halfway through, but I lost momentum when my
cat died on the 7th, and I never got all the way back in the game.
It didn't help that the story sucked.
- Scriptfrenzy 2007: The Apparatus War
- Collecting my brother's thoughts on
Columbo, 1970s tv detective.
a web-based gale client.
Some of it in product
I went to a
school in Mexico
experience I would recommend to others.
Ongoing mysterious notes to myself.
Feeding myself, September, 2000, and the
demo programs, a summer research project in 1998.
a mesh editing tool that incorporates mesh subdivision and
linear time Taubin smoothing to allow real-time smooth deformations,
for CS 174c, 1997.
editor for parallel programs written in mcc, for CS 139c, 1997.
game I wrote for CS174a, 1996.
synthesis, project for
It has been suggested that every home page should have a blurb
describing the author's life so that when people run into each other
they won't have to cover the boring basics every single time because
they've checked the home page. So pay attention.
Quick Life Statement, June 2022
The most recent installment was a lifetime ago.
Since then, democracy has gone into a recession, plague ravages the land,
and a long-dormant moral impulse awoke inside me and gradually became
less and less comfortable being part of the machine that is Google. I left
in February 2021, and started a job at Robinhood, the (in my mind,
unfairly) controversial brokerage and financial services app, working to
build a world-class SRE organization. I believe deeply in SRE, in a way
that feels almost like a social justice passion -- it seems to me the
industry builds and runs shitty software, all of which, in today's world,
are large-scale distributed systems, largely due to a deeply engrained
disrespect for the very specialists that make it possible to run
large-scale distributed systems at all. But quality comes from ownership,
and ownership is what transmuted the first software engineers into SREs.
As I write this, I am on vacation in Bruges, having taken the train over
for a long weekend from where I've been working, in London, building the
company's engineering presence in Europe. I'm in London on a six-month
extended business trip.
This is my second six-month extended business trip to London; the former
was in 2015, and my cat Oliver Cromwell, mentioned in the last installment,
came with me, but also developed cancer and died here, laid to his final
rest in the same city as his namesake. I have two new cats, Leto and
Ghanima, not so new in that they were born in late 2015, and they have come
with me to London. I have no reason to believe the same fate would befall
them, and I couldn't handle the idea of missing six months, which could be
as much as 6% of their lives.
I am in better physical shape than I've ever been in my life, which may
not be saying much in absolute terms, but it is surprising how much it has
changed in my attitude about the world. I learned to make cocktails during
the pandemic. I'm dating a woman about whom I'm very excited.
Every year, I take off most of November to focus on writing. My hope is,
after achieving my goals at what I hope will be my last job, I will
retire into becoming an author -- which is not a retirement, in the sense
that I will still be working, but will be a retirement in the sense that I
never expect to make any money ever again. Although the truth is I think I
have the potential to be a very good writer.
Twice as clear as heaven. Twice as loud as reason.