January 31, 2009

My iPod Playlist

Filed under: General,Music,playlist — crcb @ 10:46 pm
Tags: , , ,
Artist Name
ABBA Money, Money, Money
Asylum Street Spankers Sidekick
Björk Aeroplane
The Anchor Song
Big Time Sensuality
Cover Me
Human Behaviour
It’s Oh So Quiet
Like Someone In Love
The Modern Things
My Spine
Öll Birtan
One Day
Sonnets / Unrealities XI
There’s More To Life Than This
Violently Happy
Blood, Sweat & Tears Spinning Wheel
David Bowie Space Oddity
Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Petula Clark Downtown
Chicago Soundtrack Cell Block Tango
Funny Honey
I Can’t Do It Alone
I Move On
Love Is A Crime
Nowadays (Roxie)
Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag
Overture/And All That Jazz
We Both Reached For The Gun
When You’re Good To Mama
Patsy Cline Back In Baby’s Arms
Leonard Cohen The Future
Waiting For The Miracle
The Dresden Dolls Coin-Operated Boy
Bob Dylan You Belong To Me
Duane Eddy The Trembler
Hollywood Persuaders Drums A Go-Go
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying! (New Broadway Cast Recording) How to Succeed
Coffee Break
The Company Way
Been a Long Day
Been a Long Day (reprise)
Janis Joplin Me and Bobby McGee
Scott Joplin (John Arpin) Cleopha
Elite Syncopations
The Entertainer
Magnetic Rag
Maple Leaf Rag
Weeping Willow
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Party & Diamanda Gallas Allah, Mohammed, Char, Yaar
The Kinks Lola
Kris Kristofferson Help Me Make It Through the Night
L7 S**tlist
Lard Forkboy
Cyndi Lauper She Bop
Time After Time
Lyle Lovett Church
Here I Am
If I Had A Boat
You Can’t Resist It
Nena 99 Luftballons
No Doubt Hey Baby
Joan Osborne Let’s Just Get Naked
Man In The Long Black Coat
One Of Us
St. Teresa
Pippin: Original Cast Recording Extraordinary
Kind of Woman
No Time at All
Simple Joys
Spread a Little Sunshine
War Is a Science
The Pogues The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Billy’s Bones
Dirty Old Town
The Gentleman Soldier
I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day
The Old Main Drag
A Pair Of Brown Eyes
A Pistol For Paddy Garcia
Sally MacLennane
The Sick Bed Of Cuchuliann
Wild Cats Of Kilkenny
Prince History Repeats Itself
Sinéad O’Connor Black Boys On Mopeds
You Cause As Much Sorrow
R.E.M. Losing My Religion
Lou Reed Walk On the Wild Side
The Rolling Stones 19th Nervous Breakdown
Mother’s Little Helper
Bruce Springsteen & The Sessions Band Blinded By the Light
Squirrel Nut Zippers Evening At Lafitte’s
Fat Cat Keeps Getting Fatter
Ghost Of Stephen Foster
It’s Over
The Kraken
Low Down Man
My Drag
Pallin’ With Al
Suits Are Picking Up The Bill
That Fascinating Thing
Trou Macacq
Talking Heads Creatures of Love
Road to Nowhere
Thompson Twins Hold Me Now
Van Morrison Moondance
Violent Femmes Blister in the Sun
X Under the Big Black Sun

January 18, 2009

Software for Writers Review: StorYBook

StorYBook is free, open-source software for novelists. (Other writers too, supposedly, but I think that’s a stretch.)

There are novelists who outline their plots, write biographies of all their major characters, and create many maps, diagrams and charts before typing, “Chapter 1. Scubby Malone rubbed his unshaven chin…” StorYBook is for them. It is not for me.

If you want to write fiction in a more structured way than I do, this might be just what you’re looking for. It looks like it would be very good at organizing chronology, characters, settings and subplots (“strands”). I’m a geek, and I’ve created spreadsheets and templated documents to do that for me. Even so, it sometimes takes me a few minutes to find out how old the main character would be in 1977, for instance, or whether his mother was in rehab when he got beaten up after school. (Is it obvious I write comedies?)

StorYBook constrains narrative thought into a modular format, which could be good or bad, depending on the novel and the novelist. From my limited tinkering, it seems rigid. For instance, when creating a new scene, you have to specify a date. Even the requirement to specify a character’s gender might be an annoyance if you’re writing speculative fiction. Male/Female could be too many choices for the Aeeoia (who are sapient ameboids), too few for the Khekhlee (who need seven), and too fixed for the Aglogline (who switch genders every few years).

The pros and cons below are based on about forty-five minutes of testing, and when I say there’s no way to do X or Y in StorYBook, it could mean only that I didn’t find the way.


  • Open Source and free (GPL license)
  • Cross-platform: works on Windows, Mac or Linux
  • Interface is relatively uncluttered
  • Organizes chronology, characters, locations and plot strands
  • Provides a variety of reports and views
  • Reports can be exported to various formats
  • Scenes can be imported from text files
  • Drag-and-drop to move scenes, add a character to a scene, etc.


  • Many parts of the interface are not immediately clear: the button icons are often enigmatic, and it’s not obvious up front how Projects, Parts, Strands, Chapters and Scenes all fit together
  • No local help: must be connected to the internet
  • No way to export a manuscript (only reports)
  • No way to import larger components than scenes
  • Too rigidly structured for some writing styles

January 12, 2009

What I’m reading, 1-12-2009

Recently started:

  • Yoga for Dummies, by Georg Feuerstein & Larry Payne; I started reading this once before, then abandoned it, and now I’m starting again. Learning yoga is one of my goals for 2009.

Recently finished:

January 2, 2009

What I’m reading, 1-2-2009

Filed under: reading — crcb @ 11:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Recently finished:

Recently started:

I believe in a long-ago post, I referred to the “Ouroboros trilogy” of Eddison, confusing The Worm Ouroboros with the Zimiavia trilogy.

I have the Dell edition of Ouroboros, with an introduction and endnotes by Paul Edmund Thomas. Writers might be interested in Thomas’s comments. In the introduction, for instance, he points out — at some length, with examples — that Eddison differentiates his characters by making them behave differently. I might add to this my own discovery, that Eddison also gives them different names. I’m going to try both of these techniques in my own fiction.

Snarkiness aside, the endnotes are often useful in defining some of Eddison’s archaicisms. However, they are often just silly, in a scholarly sort of way.

The story itself is gripping, and I’ll have more to say about it when I’ve finished the book.

My goals for 2009 – Update

Filed under: 2009 Goals — crcb @ 9:53 pm

I can mark off the first item on my list. I start my new job on Wednesday, January 7th.

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