Like many of the rest of you, the last few days for me have been one long whirlwind of holidaze [sic]. Now that the wave has crested and broken, a few bits and pieces of what's behind and in front of me.
- My big technical project this year was MeTal, the blogging system/CMS I'm devising to replace Movable Type (and to give me, and others, an alternative to WordPress). I've been blogging about my progress with the project, using the software itself to run that blog, and while there's still a ways to go, most of the really important and difficult stuff appears to be out of the way. I'm hoping to deliver an end-user beta product by May or so of next year, possibly sooner if my luck holds out. The big sticking point remains the installer and MySQL compatibility, although those lingering question marks are mostly a matter of lack of testing than anything else.
- Ganriki.org remains my main outlet for talking about anime & manga, and may eventually blossom into a full-blown Japanese pop culture discussion venue if time and effort warrant it. It and this blog will eventually be MeTal-driven. I'll have a major post on Monday at Ganriki describing what I'll be covering there in the coming year (it's a lot).
- My previous novel, Welcome to the Fold will go out to agents and editors starting in January. The hard part is working up the pitch for it; my good friend Steven Savage has been extraordinarily helpful in allowing me to distill the book down to its most basic components.
- My current novel, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, is still in the outlining/construction stages, but I may pause that to start work on a provisional first draft to nail down the "voice" of the story and some other vital things about it. It's time to move it from being an abstraction to something concrete, even if only in the form of something I write to throw out.
- Another fun thing I've been doing on the side is a recreation of the classic arcade game Robotron: 2084, in Python. This remains easily my favorite classic 8-bit game, and reconstructing it has been at least as much about creating something I would enjoy playing as it has been about learning game programming and some of the more esoteric corners of Python. Scott Tunstall has been performing an incredibly detailed disassembly of the original game's ROM, and between that and Sean Riddle's other resources on the game (thank you, Sean and Scott), I've been able to recreate a fair amount of the gameplay with what I think is a startling degree of fidelity. I don't plan on distributing this — it's just for my own amusement right now — but if I can find out how to contact the copyright holders and strike a deal, I may be able to make it a bigger thing than just my own learning toy.
- I'd like to see about getting back into the saddle with movie, music, and book reviews — writing about that stuff is always fun — but there is only so much time in the course of the day, and only so much brainpower. I hope bringing at least one of the above projects to a plateau will help.