Nov. 27th, 2011

shaydchara: dirty black keyboard with the F1 key missing (F1)
This year, as in a couple of previous years, I challenged myself to do a miniWriMo - 10k words instead of 50k for NaNoWriMo. I know I can't do 50k, so the thought with the 10k is to set up one of those, you know, habits of writing daily.

Last year I tried the same thing, and was done in on day 1 by the corruption of 1600 words on my flash drive. And when you lose your entire first day's writing. Well. It makes one paranoid about the rest of the month.

In 2009, I made 75% of my (then unofficial) target of 10k.

This year? Well. 58%. And I came to a couple of realizations, at least, if not 10k words.

1 - I'm still not convinced that this dedicated "write every day!" business is for me. And that's okay. I do not have to fit the "writer" mould. Whatever that is.

2 - When we're in the middle of ramp-up to product release at work, I'm actually writing quite a lot and, in this case, doing a lot of structure work to reorganize existing content. This is tiring and requires parts of my brain that would otherwise be plotting fiction. So it just happened to be bad timing this month that I exhausted all my writing brain on work. That's okay.

3 - I still need to get used to writing on a laptop (that is not my dead MacBook, or the over-heating netbook) at home. :p
shaydchara: an orange tabby cat sitting beside a t-shirt that says "pen > sword" (pen > sword + Rufus)
(Consider this an intro to a series of posts that won't get written (because I'm not a blogger): Needs a Fucking Plaque!)


Last weekend, while walking to #SFContario, I counted historical plaques. There were five that I could see from the street: two English and one French in front of Jarvis Collegiate, one on the pillar of Blake House, and another on St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Jarvis and Carlton. (I always expect there to be one at the National Ballet School, but I haven't spotted it yet.)

Ten minute walk; five historical plaques.

And they were all rather boring.

But this is the problem with historical plaques, right? They commemorate something in the briefest of notes, and thus lose all the really meaty interesting bits.

Toronto is not a boring city, as the Toronto Dreams Project Historical Ephemera Blog and Torontoist's Historicist posts prove, but these are the stories that are not the ones you find even in plaque-size bites.

Take, for instance, this story about bears (er, the animals, that is, not the kind you find over at Church & Welly): it reveals that Bay Street was originally called Bear Street, and:

A little bit west of Bay Street, a bear found its way into a horse pasture. The two badass horses inside, Bonaparte and Jefferson, killed it with their bare hooves.

Those horse? Need a fucking plaque. Seriously. Just think about it - you're strolling around the financial district and you happen to spot a plaque that tells you how two badass horses killed a bear on this very site. Wouldn't you tell your friends? I'm betting you would, because it's that kind of quirky, easy to remember story.

Or how about this one, about the Circus Riot in 1855 (excerpt from a larger post):

A few weeks later came the Circus Riot—the most ridiculous riot in the history of the city. It was the firefighters, again, who started the trouble when they—get this—burned down a visiting circus after some clowns cut in line at a King Street brothel. The police watched it all happen, did nothing, and again found their memories to be mysteriously unreliable when the time came to testify in court.

Needs a fucking plaque, right?

I could go on, but I would mostly just be cribbing the cool bits from the Toronto Dreams Project blog, so you might as well just go over there and read through the archives.

(Posters, with QR codes on them, would be the perfect way to do citizen-commemoration of events that need a fucking plaque, I think. But I don't think I'm likely to make it happen.)

So. What's happened in your city that needs a fucking plaque?

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shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
Shay D.

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