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nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

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Hamming it up
nanowrimo 2010
Dear Friends,

Today has been defined by coffee and lucidity. I woke early this morning.

... Forgive me a brief digression. "Early" to me used to mean "before 5:30 am". Now it means "before 8:00 am". How strange to lose a habit of sleep — waking at 5:30 — after 30 years or more.
In any event, I woke early this morning, around 6:00 am. I started the day with a double shot of espresso in my hazelnut creme coffee. That's a good thing. It's now after 18:00 and I've finished the pot. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

While drinking coffee I've updated my Poetry Journal and my Prose forum. I'm not particularly proud of either effort, but at least it is an effort. I feel like writing for the first time in a long time. Correction: I feel as though my impulse to write may be practicable for the first time in a long time. Now that is most definitely a good thing.

I find it difficult to finish anything and that has been a deterrent to even beginning creating. I find myself thinking "What's the point?" or some equivalent when I decide to write (or draw or whatever) something. I am sensible that such negativity has long infused my thinking and my actions but my awareness of such is only now impinging on my more organized thought processes. I've long been aware that my thoughts are fragmented, my memory unreliable. Today I'm experiencing a lucidity that lets me know this and its extent.

I wish I had near to hand someone who knew me in the '60s. I'd like to compare notes and see if they see the same changes in me that I perceive. Now I'll grant you 40 years would change anyone, but the acuity I have lost since those days seems to me to be appalling. My memory of favorite books was so extensive that I could quote "chapter and verse" from Lord of the Rings and (Oh, for pity's sake!) In Cold Blood. Mother Earth News was high on my list of "authoritative sources" and I was enthusiastically Athiest.

I'll have to cut this reminiscence short. My sister has returned from a distant grocery with hams for Kim and Mario's upcoming wedding. Fool that I am I went down to help carry them upstairs. I've thrown my back out … again.

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I'm not a "morning person" and I think if someone had told me before I went to Vanuatu that the working day started at 7:30am, I would have thought very carefully about whether I really wanted to work there. However, I wouldn't have had it any other way once I was settled in to it. I suppose that's why it is like that.

Subject change

Why do so many people mis-spell "atheist"? You've put "athiest", which presumably means that you, or your typing finger, is a slave to the old adage I before E.

Subject change

What your screen reader makes of it is anybody's guess. No, I'm not going to type garbage to baffle a screen-reader. Come to think of it, do you still use a screen-reader?

Until I developed the habit of sleeplessness through my work as a programmer, I would have denied being a morning person. I trained myself, through a lengthy succession of all-nighters and early-morning arisings necessitated by a Floridian penchant for first-thing-in-the-morning meetings to be a morning person.

It was beastly hard, just now, to type <b>be</b> instead of <be>be</be>

My misspelling of atheist was quite accidental. My list of usual typos does not, generally speaking, include many ie/ei transpositions. My spelling checker typically catches such things but I turn off the screen reader when replying because I can't defeat its one-letter-at-a-time mode. I find that mode extremely irritating as I type much faster than the screen reader can handle. My usual efforts at post-entry spell-checking were defeated this time by simple laziness. I don't always check unless I "feel" a typo was likely. *sigh* so much for my psychic spell checking techniques.

On re-reading this post and your reply, the screen reader (JAWS by Henter-Joyce) misread the following:

"Kasa de Karlos" was pronounced kay-suh deh karl-o when I hear it in my head as kah-sah day karlos.

Following 5:30 and 6:00 the am was pronounced as "am" not "a" "m". JAWS does this correctly when I type it as 5:30am but I was taught not to run those together. I understand that "a.m." and "AM" in small caps are the "correct" usages according to the Chicago Manual of Style. I grew up with Strunk and White and am sad that it is now considered a dinosaur of its type of document.

Practicable was pronounced with the emphasis on "tic". My American ear hears that with emphasis on "Prac".

I'll plead "extenuating circumstances" in my laxness as regards spell-checking the document — I had just hurt my back hauling hams …

While you were spell-checking, as it were, did you note my correct spelling of perceive (a much more common transposition of ie/ei in my experience) or my inexplicable capitalization of the "a" in atheist?

As a postscript, much of my writing reflects German habits of capitalization (pretty much all nouns) and some other obscure tendencies inspired by my native tongue. As a further postscript I'll note my increasing tendency to misspell words that have never in the past been a problem for me because I now have little visual reinforcement for what I type. The spellings "of" and "ov" sound the same through my screen reader as do all variations on "to". Only years of habit keep me correcting myself and the habits fade...

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