Tag Archives: writing

When you don’t want to write about the only thing you can write about

Yep, I’m hitting the wall on the Sprint-T. I have a ton more content to write about, but just writing and not building is starting to get to me, as in frustration that nothing is getting done. This is a familiar scenario for me: planning for something for years and then having to drop it when it becomes inescapable my finances are not going to stretch far enough to allow completion of the project. I thought this time was going to be different, because I had a large reservoir of money to draw from when I bought the body. Then my parent’s house sold for about 1/3 of the appraised value and I lost $125K instantly from the budget, which was about 4 times what I had budgeted for the project. Projects don’t go very far when your budget goes more than $90K in the hole before you even get started. Then it looked like we were going to get a chunk of the money back, not all, but enough that I could finish the car, and I bought a few more parts like the axle and steering arms, and things beyond my control tanked it again. Now if I’m lucky I’ll have enough money to keep paying the taxes and insurance on my house until I’m no longer able to live here.

So, I don’t want to write about the car, because I’ll never even get a decent start on the car, much less drive it. Which makes writing about it rather pointless, don’t you think? Until I get enough money to finish it writing about it is a work of fiction. Low fantasy fiction, a fabrication of words instead of steel, aluminum, fiberglass and other stuff. It’s at this point that if I was sane I would be tearing out my hair in frustration, but since I’m already crazy I’m past going crazy from frustration. I’m so tired emotionally I just can’t muster the energy to pitch the fit I need to pitch to clear this from my system. Yay depression, saving the world from my anger. 😛

Considering the length of time I have been wanting this, and the cumulative time I have been planning this (this is the fourth go-round for planning this build since 1987) experiencing frustration should be considered normal. I have a sketch of what I was planning at work in 1998 back when I was working as much as 20 hours a week overtime and hauling down some big bucks working for TI making logic chips. but that job went bye-bye. Then I had the MiniMax ultralight airplane project to distract me for a while, plus I was a spoken word poet (Opus the Poet was my stage name for years) for several years, and I built and sold custom bicycles for about 4 years until that dried up in the recession of 2006. So I had some creative outlets to distract me. And as the saying goes, want in one hand and poop in the other and see which hand gets filled first. So wanting is not enough, learning fabrication skills is not enough, writing incessantly about the project for years is not enough, none of it is enough if you don’t have the money. It all comes down to money, which is something I have only a passing relationship with. As in I wave as it passes by.

So, what long-term subject should I write about now? Covering bicycle wrecks almost pushed me over the edge sanity-wise, can’t go back to that. Brain damage killed my ability to rhyme and use scansion, so poetry is out. And in spite of how depressed I am I’m not going to commit suicide. There’s a really good reason why my character in Shadowrun is nearly immortal. And getting killed really hurts as I know from experience. I can’t seem to get a coherent narrative going for writing fiction that isn’t about building an imaginary hot rod, but I do seem to have a decent ability to world-build and outline. I just can’t write dialog to save my life. So, gentle reader I implore you, what’s next? What should the Witch on a Bicycle who can’t ride a bicycle anymore write about? Anything but politics. 😛

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Still working on the design

I can’t leave the house with the rain and thunderstorms and the flood watches, so I have been reading superhero books on my Kindle app and moving boxes representing assemblies around in my CAD program.

OK my current design method is to assign things a box that describes the space they occupy, rather than the actual object itself, and then move the boxes around until there’s no overlap. Some boxes are fixed, like the engine/transmission box and the body box, while some are not even fixed in size, like the radiator box that changes width depending on the radiator I’m trying to fit. I think there is a possibility the smallest radiator in the catalog will be enough to cool the Pentastar after seeing the stock radiator for one of the vehicles it is installed in by FCA. That simplifies packaging considerably, because I can figuratively put that radiator beside the steering box and have room left over for a bowling alley. The joker in the deck is the OEM radiator is double-row but the catalog radiator is double-double-row with  1/3  less frontal area but a 2.25X thicker core with more fins, and I lack the data to make a direct comparison. The “double-double” refers to the tubes in the core of the catalog radiator having more than twice the heat rejecting capacity of a round tube, making the double row core the equivalent of a 4-row. There is a simple formula for comparing radiators of different designs, but catalog descriptions rarely have enough information to allow its use. And that goes double in this case, with different chunks of the equation missing from the 2 catalog descriptions. But it is my SWAG that the 22″ catalog radiator will be roughly equal to the OEM radiator, especially after I learned the replacement OEM radiator was also used for much larger engines and is just sold as a replacement for the Pentastar because it fits the hole. Ima just hafta put a huge electric fan on the catalog radiator to make sure there’s enough airflow to remove the heat, which is what I would have had to do anyway, just maybe not as huge as I’m thinking about using now.

The radiator box combined with the steering box are the same width as the engine box, which is the same width as the firewall but extends a touch to the right because of offset to balance out my “big bones” sitting behind the steering wheel on the left. Which is a very roundabout way to say the radiator and steering box are together the same width as the firewall. And that I could install a wider radiator without increasing the frontal area of the car. This also means that there will be a large hole to the left of the engine that could be use as an escape path for cooling air, or a place to install an oil cooler facing sideways. Looking at the picture right now there are several places to install a small oil cooler, above the steering box there is a 5″ wide by 18″ tall space, there’s a 7″ tall space under the radiator that could run the width of the front end if the hoses would fit under the steering box. But as I don’t see any oil coolers near those sizes in the catalog…the question is moot.

And I just found a picture online of the engine in side view, with a tape measure in clear view to use to scale from and all the driven bits hanging off the front with the belt and pulleys exposed to measure. Something to make the engine box more accurate in the for and aft dimension, might mean a bigger box, might mean a smaller box, but either way it’s a more accurate box.

And writing note, when I get on a roll writing it’s pretty much stream of consciousness, but I still “feel” the punctuation and capitalization. What I don’t have a feel for is when I need a paragraph break. And my proofreader program knows fvck-all about paragraph breaks so I don’t get a blurb about needing a paragraph like I do about passive voice or homonyms. What I’m trying to say is I know I need more paragraph breaks in my writing, I just don’t always know where to put them.

Happy Day to my fellow vets

Today is Veteran’s Day (observed), so I’m wishing a happy Veteran’s Day to all my green-blooded brothers out there (in joke).

It was cold last night but warmed up this morning enough that I wore my normal next-to-nothing today, which annoyed Mrs. the Poet as she was wearing long pants, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt over it with fuzzy socks on her feet and complaining about the cold. We have vastly different temperature tolerances all year long as I go out and walk or ride my bike in both the summer and winter in weather that has Mrs. the Poet staying indoors or kvetching about the heat/cold as appropriate for the season. I think it’s kinda funny, but that’s because I’m not the one complaining about the cold or heat. My nose does get cold when Mrs. the Poet is complaining about the cold while I’m in a pair of shorts and nothing else, and when I get cold enough to put a shirt on my ears are also getting a bit chilly while Mrs. the Poet is busy putting on everything in the closet and dresser. And I’m not as cold-tolerant as I used to be back when I wore shorts and t-shirt in freezing weather, scaring the rubes when I walked home from work. I saw people tossing liquor bottles out of car windows after seeing me walk home in shorts and T-shirt with heavy frost on the ground. This was back when I was in my 30s, long before I got hit with the truck. I can’t quite do that these days, one of the downsides of years of conditioning myself to be able to ride in ridiculously hot and humid weather.

I’m still stymied at trying to get something moving on the TGS2 build, beyond getting the spindles installed on the axle, which also hasn’t happened yet. I mean I don’t even actually have the donor vehicle in my hands yet, just a car cover for it when I get it so it doesn’t get towed for not having registration since it can’t pass inspection. Since the registration sticker is on the inside of the windshield if you park under a car cover they can’t check to see if your vehicle has current tags. I guess I should be doing something with the parts I have to work with just to be doing something that moves the car build forward, but it is very hard to become inspired for building when you will still have next to nothing to show for it when you get finished except a few more parts not in separate piles. I guess this is another symptom of my depression, the inability to inspire myself to do things. Writing I don’t consider “doing something”, it’s more of a way to avoid doing things. It’s much easier to write about doing something than to actually drag myself into a situation where things are getting done. Also I write when I’m depressed, the “the Poet” in my name came from writing free verse during depressive episodes. I even got some song lyrics down from some of my depressive episodes. Some were good, others were scary bad. Bad as song lyrics, but passable as free verse.

Having contrary thoughts here

I just read an author’s use of the Bechdel Test as a bare minimum qualifier for equity in a story. This got me thinking of a story that had no on-camera men, all the speaking characters would be women. And the only thing they would talk about would be men, and other women. Set it in a nursing home and call it “Gossip Grannies”. None of the speaking characters would talk about themselves or any of the other speaking characters, and each weekly arc would be about a particular combination, guy-girl, guy-girl-girl, guy-guy, girl-girl, whatever. For all my comic artist/writer friends here’s a free setup, just put Based on a Concept by Opus The Poet in the credits.