All posts for February 2020

Xtaloid: My New Game

I guess this means I can add "game developer" to the rack of hats I wear?

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/20 13:00

Sorry I've been silent for a few days, but I got sucked into a rabbit hole. And out with me came something new.

I dabble in programming, and one of the projects I follow is a graphics/gaming library for Python called Pyglet. They just released a new version, and in the run-up to the new release I started playing with it for the first time in quite a while. And out came the beginnings of a video game:

I've hosted it on and will be posting regular updates about its development there. If you have an account, follow me and the project to keep posted.

I guess this means I can add "game developer" to the rack of hats I wear?

Tags: Conway's Game Of Life  future projects  games  programming  projects  video games 

Former And Continuing Student Of High Weirdness Confesses All!

The true weirdoes, god love them, can't help themselves. I wasn't one of those folks, and I knew it.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/13 08:00

Some people called it "avant-garde", "underground", or "alternative". The term that stuck in my head was "High Weirdness". It was Einstürzende Neubauten, William S. Burroughs, Bob Cobbing, Peter Brötzmann, John Cage, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Kurt Schwitters (and Merzbow), the Gerogerigegege, and on and on.

When I grew up, I told myself, I was going to be all of those things and more. Or at least one of them. Or some random gene-splice of them. Ha, ha, ha.

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Tags: avant-garde  bohemia  culture 

Power Tools

On Scrivener, Granthika, TiddlyWiki, and now my project for helping writers organize their work.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/10 08:00

I'm currently developing an organization tool for writers and other creative folks, a Python-based replacement for TiddlyWiki. Someone who didn't really understand the project asked me if it was like Scrivener or Granthika. I knew of the first but not the second, so I had to go look it up (by way of a WIRED article about its creator). The short answer is no, and so now I wonder if what I'm coming up with is going to be that useful. I believe it is, so long as people know what they are getting.

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Tags: Granthika  Python  Scrivener  TiddlyWiki  software  tools  writing 

When Weighing In Got Outweighed

Why I no longer write reviews of stuff for my own site.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/04 17:00

While cleaning up some other things on this site, I browsed some of my older movie reviews, like The Hurt Locker, and noted to myself how bad it is to do things out of cloudy motives.

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Tags: criticism  writing 

Big Z, Little Z

Why I don't mention Zen much in "mixed company".

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/02 13:00

This blog, and a few people close to me, are about the only places in my life where I talk openly about Zen or Buddhism. Everywhere else, I don't mention it unless people ask specifically about it. Trying to push the subject on others never works. Most people have warped ideas about what the whole thing consists of, thanks to popular culture, and are generally not serious about correcting any misconceptions they might have about it. If they demonstrate that they're curious, genuinely curious and not just making conversation, that's different.

But what most people know about this stuff is somewhere between the Dalai Lama (another figure people think they know more than they actually do about) and hippies taking LSD. As it turns out, not talking about this stuff much with other people caused me to have a profoundly different relationship with it than I might have.

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Tags: Buddhism  Zen 

Readiness And Other Lies

It's not about being ready; it's about being willing to fail.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/02 08:00

I once had a would-be collaborator who wanted to work on a really sprawling, ambitious story with me. He had it mapped out in considerable detail, but could never actually put the key in the ignition and turn it and start driving. Something always came up. I finally decided this person wanted more to talk about the work than actually bring it into being — a work you never finished is always perfect in your head, right? — and gave up. We lost touch entirely not long after that.

"I'm not ready" is such a creative buzzkill. After having confronted it a few times, both in myself and in others, I think I know now that it's got nothing to do with being ready or prepared or any other such red herring. It's about not being willing to accept failure of any kind as the cost of creative work. It's about perfect or nothing, which is Not How Any Of This Works. And you probably know that, but how many of you ignore it when it comes up and just do stuff anyway?

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Tags: creativity  creators 

May Your Playlists Never Run Dry

Most every story I've written has a soundtrack.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/02/01 08:00

Most every story I've written has a soundtrack. I don't listen to the music itself while writing, though; it's hard to concentrate otherwise (I have a dedicated playlist for that, mostly Brian Eno and such). Still, every story has its own playlist, scored scene by scene as if it were a movie. It helps me visualize the goings-on and establish the mood. But with The Fall Of The Hammer, my current novel-in-progress, I feared I was running out of music.

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Tags: music  soundtracks  writing 

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