• Peyote Lake
  • Bighorns
  • Grizzly
  • White Anemone
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Purple Anemone
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Waterton
  • Foothills
  • Iceland
  • Red Sunset
  • White Tiger
  • Red Panda
  • Lightbeams
  • Orange Fungi
  • Grapes
  • Daenan
  • Arlayn
  • Stream
  • Alindar

Category: Book of Days

Book of Days is my blog. Website updates will appear here as well as other random ramblings.


Quality of Life Improvements – Incyanity Updates

One of the things I love about WordPress is its flexibility. Since moving Incyanity off Joomla in October of 2015 I’ve continued to tweak the site here and there as the need arose, and in the meantime have been able to add new content on a fairly regular (for me) basis. The other thing I really love about WordPress over Joomla is its built-in RSS functionality: whereas Joomla very annoyingly did not have a combined RSS feed for all content regardless of its category, WordPress provides that by default (along with the ability to follow only specific categories or tags if a person so desires), making it very easy for readers to subscribe to the site. WordPress also makes it easy to update existing content and “republish” it simply by updating the published date of the article. I’ve done this a few times since posting the various Heart of the Empire compendium articles, as the creative process is ongoing and several updates have been made to them—and what better way to let readers know there is new content than to simply republish it?

One of the things I hate about RSS reader apps is, depending on the app in question, the updated article isn’t always fetched. Said article appears at the top of the RSS feed on the site based on its updated publish date, but some reader apps remain blind to that change…meaning certain people who follow my content will never know it’s been changed no matter how many times they check their app, unless they come to the site itself and see those updated articles on the landing page. This was aggravating to discover: I tried a few so-called “popular” RSS apps and a few of the highest-recommended ones didn’t show my republished content even after clearing the app cache or deleting and re-adding the feed. Other apps had no issues but weren’t as widely used, probably because they are poorly designed or don’t have as many features. Rawr.

One of the few things I miss about Joomla is its built-in ability to display the date an article was last modified. WordPress has the function but doesn’t seem to integrate it by default and none of the WordPress themes I’ve ever considered bothered to use it either. Bummer. Originally I didn’t care so much because I could just republish…until I discovered that some RSS apps are stupid about that. Full circle arg. What to do?


Temperature Blanket

What’s a temperature blanket? Is it a blanket you plug into the wall, or is it something less likely to short out and burn down your house? I had never heard of temperature blankets until a few weeks ago when @LionBrandYarn tweeted this:

Discovering temperature blankets for the first time!

Discovering temperature blankets for the first time!

When I looked into what a temperature blanket was, it seemed to be a nifty and fun idea, especially since Calgary can have some pretty wild weather at any time of the year!


The Growing Stash: Becoming a Yarn Snob?

In my entry called Beginner Crochet: Ten Tips I Wish Tutorials Had Taught Me, I said:

Make it a rule for yourself that you’re not allowed to get more yarn if the basket is full.

At the time, I’d just purchased a fairly large wicker basket to stash my yarn in. I had more yarn than I expected and when I was done putting it all in, the basket was full. I wrote that quote above with the best of intentions and figured it’d be reasonably easy for me to keep to that rule, mostly because I’m primarily interested in crocheting amigurumi and one does not really need a lot of yarn for that.

In that entry, I also said:

Fact is, unless you are remarkably strong-willed (but just assume you aren’t, it’ll be easier in the long run), your stash won’t be confined to that small space for very long. There are just too many pretty yarns out there…

Pretty yarns indeed. I now have direct evidence to support that, like many other people, I am definitely not strong-willed. I have succumbed to the lure of pretty yarn! I am not ashamed of this! But now my stash doesn’t fit in the basket, not even close. It got to the point where the basket was an overflowing mess that was taking over the living room. While organizing it, I started to wonder if I’m becoming something of a yarn snob.


On the Go

As I start writing this entry I’m sitting on my balcony, rocking gently on my deck swing. It’s mid-morning on a Sunday and it will be a beautiful spring day, even though for the moment I have a blanket wrapped around me because the sun hasn’t quite come around the building far enough to warm up my deck. My neighborhood is quiet; other than a distant lawn mower and few cars going by there’s nothing to listen to except for chickadees, swallows, red wing blackbirds, and some other songbirds I don’t know the names of. It’s a clear day and I can see the Rockies stretching away to the south all the way to the Chain Lakes and then some. They still have quite a lot of snow on them. There’s a May tree growing off to the side just below my balcony that in a few years will be almost tall enough to touch. I like May trees; like lilacs and crab apples, the gentle fragrance of the flowers is one of the best parts of spring in Calgary.

This year I’ve taken to sitting on my balcony quite a lot on weekends when the weather is good (and even when it’s tolerably miserable). Life has been busy…maybe a little too busy…and these moments offer some peace and quiet that I feel I desperately need.


HOTE Worldbuilding: Getting Organized

Heart of the Empire: Worldbuilding

If you follow Incyanity via RSS, your reader app may have exploded yesterday with fourteen new posts. Sorry, not sorry! They are all for Heart of the Empire. I decided, rather spur of the moment, to post various notes and other tidbits to the HOTE Compendium in an effort to help myself get organized and continue worldbuilding for this story. For this reason, all of the posts are for members only and they all have spoiler warnings attached to them. I’m open to feedback, discussion, and suggestions from members on this content, but please do take the spoiler warnings seriously. :)


Camping Trips of Doom

Camping at a secret freebie place!

Camping is something my parents introduced me to when I was a child. We had a pickup truck with a slide-on camper (Mom and tents are NOPE), and during my school breaks we’d go to places like Two Jack, Waterton, Elkwater, or to secret places along the Old Man River and elsewhere. I’d go fishing with Dad, or hunt for pretty rocks (I should have been a geologist), and otherwise romp around in the wilderness. When we weren’t camping, I would sometimes sleep overnight in the camper while it was parked in the driveway, and later on when I started using a tent, I’d occasionally pitch that in the backyard and sleep there, because camping out is fun no matter where you do it. These days, I still go camping now and then, though not as often as I might like.

I have a lot of fond and amusing memories of past trips, like how it always seemed that the radio station out of Pincher Creek would play Wheel in the Sky, without exception, every time we turned along that last long stretch before arriving in Waterton. Or the time we camped on Crown land but I was too tired to get up to go fishing so Dad went without me, and I woke up later to find the camper surrounded by cows—I was maybe seven years old and freaked because a cow was blocking the door—so I blasted the radio and when I looked again, it was like the cows had evaporated. Totally gone, couldn’t find them anywhere. Didn’t imagine it though… Dad and I had to muck out the campsite when he came back, and we had a good laugh when I said the cows had been looking in the windows. Then there was the time I woke up in the back of the hatchback to find a horse’s butt resting against the window a few inches from my face, because apparently cars are great resting places for weary trail pony bums. (Couldn’t get out that time either.)

Not all trips have gone according to plan though.


Photostream: Best of 2004 – 2007

Photography is one of my hobbies, though I don’t dabble in it as often as some of my other pastimes. Actually, because of life and other things, my camera sat neglected for a few years (but because of said life and other things, I thankfully didn’t miss out on any significant photo opportunities) and I also fell behind on putting together any new photostreams. Recently, after becoming painfully aware of just how long a hiatus it had become, I spent time organizing my archives and creating collections of my best photos. “Best of” collections are easy as a theme, so I’m hoping this will be a good way to get back into the swing of things.

Here is the first fruit of that labor: Best of 2004 – 2007. Enjoy!

More of my photostreams can be viewed by visiting the Gallery.


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day Five


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


At long last, I return to Riven to finish my playthrough. This is the final post for this particular installment of the Myst series. I’m tickled pink that I was able to get through the entire story of the Fifth Age in five parts! Next I’ll move on to Myst III: Exile.

A rich tapestry of the D’ni number five.

When I left off last time, the prison book had been returned to me by the Black Moiety and I had picked up enough information to allow me to finally solve the puzzle of the golden domes. All I have left to do is confront (and hopefully trap) Gehn, free Catherine, and help save the Rivenese.

Riven, like Myst before it, has multiple endings depending on choices made by the player. Come with me to find out how I finished my journey!

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


The Slow Writer

Source: facebook.com/fromthewriteangle

When I was in school (roughly twenty years ago now, yikes), I was always carrying around a notebook and generally scribbling something down any chance I got: diary entries, letters, stories, fanfic. I wrote a ridiculous amount of words back then (most of them not very good).

Then what happened? I graduated high school and things changed. The world said I had become an “adult”. The fanfic I was writing at the time turned into a drama-filled burden, so I quit that and decided to put my effort into other written work instead. But I also got a “real” job (then another, and finally another), bought my first house, and started to have “life things” going on, many of them not good. I wrote less. Then a lot less. Projects stagnated, then were shelved. Some of those not good “life things” actually got pretty bad and for several years straight I basically wrote absolutely nothing worth mentioning.

2010 was the turning point, sort of. I was still a godawful mess that year, but I was also getting more involved with EVE OnlineSolitary Pilot became a thing, and between 2010 and the fall of 2012 I wrote 225,000 words on that website. I’ve since added more, but that was the bulk of it.

Holy shit. 225,000 words! Gimme a minute here, mind is blown.


Practice Makes Perfect. Sort Of.

In February I was still really new to crochet. One of the projects I did back then was a Star Wars stormtrooper. I was reasonably happy with how it came out, but I also knew I could do better. In August, having completed a few other projects in the meantime, I tried the stormtrooper again. The second one came out much better, though in looking at it today I can still see places where further improvement could be done. Here is a comparison of the two, to show how practice makes perfect (sort of) and how quickly it’s possible to improve in crochet over a short period of time. :)