outdoors Photography

Blue skies and lost trails

Today was beautiful weather so I took off to explore another new trail. This time, though, I had my roommate with me, which was a real treat. I usually hike alone, but sometimes it’s nice to have company.

The trail wasn’t that long and only a level three. Unfortunately, though, we zigged when we should have zagged and ended up in level four territory. Since neither of us was equipped for this type of hiking we backtracked for safer ground. Later, after the end of the hike, we found out the trail we had accidentally followed was red flagged as dangerous to both the forest and the hiker (fragile, rare mosses under foot). Somehow the marking got lost when the trail forked. However, no harm done to hiker or moss.

It was good to get away from the TV, more specifically the news on TV, but I need to work tonight. I want to finish adding existing stories to Paths so that I can begin adding the new stories. Oooo. Lucky yous.

I also need to finish final edits for Practical RDF, get these to Simon by Monday. I didn’t work on the book yesterday, because I wasn’t particularly happy with O’Reilly. I originally included the reason why with this posting, but then decided this may not be politic of me. Normally that wouldn’t stop me — you know me, write first, think later — but I find lately that I can’t sustain much of a burn. Such is life.

I did have a nice note from a professor in Singapore complimenting me on my Giant Squid article. Clyde Roper from the Smithsonian — the expert on the Giant Squid — is going to be speaking at the National University of Singapore and the gentleman who wrote me was looking for resources on the subject to pass on to his students. I enjoy getting these emails, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

And now, the photo. I know you’re probably tired of pictures from hikes in Missouri and elsewhere, but it’s become kind of a trademark thing for me — hike/pic, hike/pic. The world is unsettled enough nowadays without me changing my weblogging formula.

(Was this a traditional weblog posting? Seemed like a traditional weblog posting? Did I mention my cat? No? Well, darn.)


Burningbird Writing

Paths: The Book of Colors

Sometimes when I write, I’m trying to communicate – to start a conversation between you and me. Hopefully when I write these types of postings I build in ‘hooks’ that you, the reader, can respond to. Sometimes this works. Sometimes this doesn’t. Such is the life of a writer online.

Other times, though, I write something else. Something that is both more intimate and more personal. This writing might generate conversation, but that’s not the intent. This type of writing I do for me, though I enjoy sharing it with you, curious reader.

I started an online book for these writings, which I hesitate to call ‘postings’ because they’re stories, really. Stories, essays, journal entries, what have you. The book is called “Paths: The Book of Colors”, and it’s not really a book as you might know ‘book’; there is no true beginning, and no true end, other than those stories that describe beginnings and endings.

The book is really nothing more than simple stories about simple things, but it’s important to me.

Work on Paths is an ongoing effort, and currently contains some stories you’ve had a chance to read here at Burningbird. Well, ‘you’ is relative because some of these stories are older, and you may be newly come to this particularly neighborhood. Or you might have skipped these particular stories the day I published them. You might have been in a mood, and the story may not have met your mood. Or perhaps there were too many words and you were rushed. I hope you didn’t skip it because the writing wasn’t included within an RSS form.

Regardless, I hope you take a moment and glance through the book, even if it’s to tell me if you like the design.

I will be adding new stories from time to time until all the colors have been filled in and the book is complete. I’ll let you know when I add a new story. You’ll know when it’s complete.

The stories are unedited, though I have tried to spellcheck them. They’ll be full of flaws and fractures and broken and scratched grammar. But then, I’m writing about life, which can also be full of flaws and fractures, breaks and scratches. This is my gentle way of saying, yes, I am aware that the writing may be ‘bad’ and no, I’m not interested in editorial advice. I have worked on 14 technical books since 1996, all of which passed through a period of editorial advice – Paths is mine, good writing, bad writing, and all.

I hope you enjoy the book, and that you find the pages to be pretty. Most of all, I hope the stories included give you a moment’s peace in these difficult times. I know that writing them has helped me.

Paths: The Book of Colors