Recent blog posts in the category Uncategorized / General:

A Brief Respite

The pause that refreshes.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/19 18:00

I'm involved in some stuff for work which is keeping me busy until through the coming weekend, so don't expect much from me until then. I should have some more detailed work-in-progress reports by then, though. (Short version: If we're insanely lucky, I could have TWO new books to debut by the middle of next year.)

Tags: real life 

No Masters Here

There is no such thing as "mastery" of one's art, just improvement in whatever form is possible.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/16 17:00

Among the most shocking revelations that comes to an artist at some point in their career is the understanding that there is no such thing as "mastery" of one's art.

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Tags: Buddhism  Zen  art  artists  creativity  creators  expertise 

Uncomfortable Vs. Annoying

Or, challenging vs. merely irritating.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/13 08:00

A quick one: A friend of mine asked, what's the difference between uncomfortable and annoying? The way I saw it, uncomfortable is actually good for you; it forces you to challenge assumptions about yourself and your worldview. Annoying is just, well, annoying. Not challenging, not conducive to insight. Just irritating. Not every gadfly serves a valid social function; sometimes they're just wolves in jerks' clothing.

Tags: philosophy  sociology 

Regular Service And All That

Post-Irma, picking up the pieces.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/12 21:42

I made it through Irma with minimal damage. (I was one of the lucky ones; a lot of other people down here lost a lot. Some lost everything and then some.)

Work and a few other things are conspiring to keep me busy through the next couple of weeks, so I might not be posting here as much for a few.

Tags: real life 

A Quick One While He's Away

My post-Irma cleanup.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/11 11:33

Storm conditions have receded in my area (Cape Canaveral-ish), and while I have power, I'm currently without water service due to a mains break. But I'm OK, if also grimy.

Not much damage from what I can see; mostly just windblown branches, some shrubs tilted over and the like.

Regular service will resume as soon as regular service resumes.

UPDATE 1:30 PM: Water's back!

Tags: real life 

Stormy Weather

On Irma and I.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/10 12:00

I'm currently hunkered inside my bunker waiting out Irma, but it isn't all that bad. We're on the east coast, so we're not getting anything remotely like the full force of the storm, and the house and neighborhood I'm in were built to take hurricane weather. It's mostly reminiscent of one of a particularly blustery and rainy New York autumns, although that would be about twenty degrees cooler.

I don't think the storm is going to disrupt too much on my end. There's a business trip I have to take next week, and the sudden flood of people leaving the islands or fleeing the coasts is likely to disrupt that, but I could hardly complain too much in such a case.

Assuming power holds out, I'll be working on a bunch of different things, including the one-piece cover for the print edition of Welcome To The FoldThe first version I did turned out to have been done entirely to the wrong dimensions, so I had to scrap it and start over, but I got a nice education into the quirks of the free desktop publishing app Scribus. (Highly recommended, BTW, but it takes some work to use well.)

Tags: real life 

The Deep End Of The Pool

How to work with all those ideas swimming around in your head.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017/09/09 08:00

"It's not that I'm so smart. It's that I stay with problems longer," Albert Einstein was reputed to have once said.

Likewise, there's the Richard Feynman method of problem solving, where you simply keep the same batch of problems in mind and test them constantly against whatever comes up. Eventually, you get a hit.

Artists benefit from practicing this sort of thing. My own case is similar to Feynman's, since at any one time I'll have ideas for a story, characters that don't yet have a home, settings that remain unpopulated, concepts that deserve a treatment, etc. all floating around in a kind of freeform bouillabaisse. Over time, and enough stewing, they link up with each other. Hirofumi Gō of Summerworld and Henré Sim of Flight Of The Vajra were like this -- characters without a country, so to speak, until eventually they found a setting that welcomed them in and gave them something to do.

The whole way that people juggle these things around in their heads is hard for me to talk about, because I only have direct experience with one person's version of this: my own.

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Tags: creativity  ideas  inspiration 

See more entries in this category from September 2017.

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