Before a road trip a, by now, a couple of months ago, I installed a copy of nginx on my laptop on the hope of doing some web development and working on other projects when I was in the car. For the uninitiated (you mean you don't all write technical documentation for web developers and systems administrators?!?) nginx is an incredibly powerful web server. As of June 11th, foucualt the server that hosts the Cyborg Institute and tychoish.
This is, almost always, I think, a loosing proposition.
I never get any sort of substantial (or insubstantial) work done during my road trips up-and-down the north east corridor. Not that that's a bad thing, but I also expect that there'll be more awake-time when I'm not driving or gossiping.
And there never is.
So the web server sat unused for a long time on my laptop, but recently I've been playing with it a bit and I've finally gotten a number of cool things set up. I have a local "git web" instance which makes it easier to track progress on local and private projects that are stored in git. Perhaps more importantly, I have set up quick local ikiwiki instances for a number of projects. They're easy to configure, quick to setup, and while I suppose I could hack something together in nifty for myself, there's something nifty about being able to take an alternate view of some content and also being able to really preview changes to you work before publishing them.
Also, and the real reason for this post, is that by virtue of this development, I have revisited a few projects that had been lingering in the home directory of my computer for far too long. Which has been a powerful and useful exercise.
By which I mean, it's been painful.
Besides "the novel," which has been the lingering and dragging front burner project for a year, there are a number of quasi-serial stories that have lingered in some state of incompleteness for a couple of years now. I'm kind of amazed both at how foreign these stories seem to me both in terms of the style (good to know that I'm a better writer than I was a few years ago,) and also how quickly I can fall right back into the story and tell you every little thing about the world, situation, and moment where I left off.
The mind is, indeed, an amazing thing.
Where my strategy for the past year has been to "plow through and finish the novel," I think my tactic this summer will be to move all of my projects forward in some way. Small daily writing goals for the novel, combined with somewhat less regular (but more specific) goals with regards to other projects. In the next two months I want to have a fairly active and varied writing schedule worked out that isn't based around the monthly (or so) weekend binges that I've been using for most of the last year.
That's the plan at any rate.