ROW80-3 28/07/2019 Not Too Hot, Really

I'm in Toronto at my girlfriend's place for a week. It has occasionally got up to '26 feels like 32' in the day, but she has a small AC, and we open windows overnight to catch the cool breeze up from the lake. So, not really that bad when I look at some of the weather reports from Europe. Where I understand air conditioners are not that common. Sounds really brutal. So I've been spending my mornings out on her front porch, with a coffee and laptop. And sometimes the landlady's dog for company - she's pretty quiet.

I did get some writing done, for my latest FF. Plus some editing. And some people-watching at the local coffee cafe.

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3310 words today, NaBloPoMo, and Halloween

I got my NaNoWriMo outline finished last night, and started writing about 9:30 this morning. I slept in. Hunt and pecked until after 12, had about 2000 words by then. I added some this afternoon, then went to a write-in and a downtown dessert cafe. Was very quiet, several people at tables - most on their own - all sitting very very quietly and typing. I felt like tip=toeing and whispering. I did get another 100 words done in a couple of hours, but was a little weird, Needs a conversation corner too I think.

I talked with a couple of my sources today too - one is former RCMP, the other is Ojibwe. I'm OK on the basic outline and plot, but their help will add more details, more reality.

A link via twitter also pointed me to National Blog Posting Month. Same sort of thing  can be any month though. More of a challenge this month though, if you're cranking out a novel too.

I thought I'd add a note about Halloween and candies too. For the past few years, while living in S'Norleans, I would play a little game on Halloween. When kids showed up at my door, I'd smile, hold out a big bowl of assorted treats, and say "Help yourself". Almost all the kids reacted the same, they would look confused and then cautiously take one or two - some would ask if they could have another - fine with me. I'd often hear parents coaching them in stage whispers to only take one. If the kid looked at me again I would repeat to help themselves. Some of the big kids, that usually show up at the end of the evening, would grab a handful - by then I was glad to get the bowl empty.

This year I'm in the Parkdale area, near Holland and Scott. Same age range of young kids, same selection of candy, first group of young kids showed up and I gave them my line. Their eyes lit up and they grabbed candy by the hand-full some several hand-fulls, Next group was the same - that's the norm here I guess. The odd one too 1-3 candies, usually with a parent prompting, but by and large the local kids pigged out. Cleaned me out pretty quick too, I was hoping for some tiny chocolate bars of Smarties to fuel my writing - nope!



Google alerts

I thought everyone knew of these, but after talking with some friends - maybe not. In Google's words, 

 Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Pretty simple - here's a link to the page. Using alerts you can have Google periodically search for whatever you want to follow, and you restrict the search to just web or just video, or ask for everything. You'll get a list of links and summaries sent to you as an email,  as it happens, daily, weekly - whatever you choose. I know, seems like yet another way to get more things piled up to read, but it can help to focus on some areas. 

I want to look for positive online coverage of graffiti, of graffiti murals, and of graffiti legal walls, so I have set those three searches up as alerts. Then in my Gmail  I have a filter that tells it to skip the Inbox with these messages and label all with "graff alerts". That way they don't clutter my Inbox and I can check whenever I want to pick the ones I'd like to share with others. And being online, check from wherever I have access.

Here's the web page where I share the links and summaries of the ones I like, maybe add a few words, using categories graffiti articles, legal wall, or mural.

Tweet Timesuck

A good article from Lisan Jutras in her new G&M column. This one is on how it's the links that will kill your day. Us tweeters don't all just post what we had for lunch or that there's a pretty moon out tonight - some also post links to interesting articles or videos or photos we have come across. Much of it fascinating to follow, but where - and how - does one stop. Too many people with too many sparkely things.

I do follow a much smaller group on Twitter than on Facebook. My Facebook friends are a large group I connect to mainly for links to arts and culture in Ottawa, not just status but events and issues and some messaging back and forth. And I check in there maybe daily. On Twitter, it's a smaller group, that I check with several times a day, a group that consistently comment on things that interest me. And they are ones that do that more than once a week, but not every 5 minutes. If it's that often an update, they can bury the other tweets. And, as I'd said, since that comment is limited by the 140 characters on there, usually there is also a link to elsewhere that expands on the idea, that in turn links to other articles and sites - a siren call that often sucks me into a hypnotic vortex.

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