Post-it Notes in nth Space

There’s a new technology coming to mobile phones — the GPS. Once $100,000 per unit, it’s now the size of a quarter and costs about 100 bucks a pop… the next generation of mobile phones in the U.S. will incorporate them by law.
What this means — the current GPS system can figure out where you are to within a 3 to 6 meter range, and scientists are working on a way to create text messages attached to the space you are currently occupying — these messages would then pop up for any other similarly equipped phone/PDA that passes through the same space (presumably if you scan for it, or if it passes your ‘approved users’ screen).
Think about this — every point on the planet has it’s own personal pop-up web page. Read reviews of restaurants from previous customers who stood in the same line that you did. It is the internet envisioned in David Brin’s Earth (one of the more realistic-but-optimistic near-future fictions I’ve ever read).

Man, the hide-and-seek game you could play with something like this. Can you imagine?
The high-tech treasure hunts.

Thing’s gonna make Majestic look like Pong.

(via Dave)

Brust on Writing, via Brust on Painting

Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars isn’t about writing. It’s also one of the best books about writing, written by a writer, that I’ve read. A couple of the bits that I read before and liked have been banging around in my head, and I dug out the book and found them today.
When I get this far into a project, it always starts to drag, no matter how excited I am. The important thing is to keep going, and, no matter how much it hurts, to take care that each stroke is applied correctly. A lot of my worst work has been done during the middle stage of a project, when I feel that, if I’m sloppy here I can make up for it later — but you can only repaint something a certain number of times before you’re going to lose some of the luster, or, if you keep wiping things off with turpentine, before you hurt the canvas itself.
I took frequent breaks here; to sit back and rest. I read for a bit, painted for a bit, and read some more. The important thing at this point was to keep going, and not let myself get burned out.

and

I do know artists who say, “I can’t look at other people’s work while I’m painting because their style creeps in.” The first time I heard that, I did a cartoon of Gauguin’s style creeping into Cezanne’s work, and I called it “Such tragedy.” I thought it was pretty obvious, but the people who ought to get it never do.
I can’t understand that attitude. So, someone’s style has an influence on you. So what? Is his ghost going to come and push your brush around? […] Whoever else you’re looking at, you are the one doing the painting, and that’s that.

Zelazny

I’ve been thinking about an interview with Roger Zelazny that I read a few years ago. I remember very distinctly a few of the things he wrote:

“I try to write every day, four times a day… It doesn’t sound like much but it’s kinda like the hare and the tortoise. If you try that several times a day you’re going to do more than three sentences, one of them is going to catch on. You’re going to say “Oh boy!” and then you just write. You fill up the page and the next page. But you have a certain minimum so that at the end of the day, you can say “Hey […] at least I didn’t goof off completely today.” I don’t get writer’s block. I’ve slowed down sometimes. I can always write and that’s the thing with three sentences at a time, even if you’re feeling sluggish you can always get three sentences out.”

I’ve always found Zelazny’s attitude towards writing very inspiring — there’s no mystique about it — in his opinion, someone with one short story to their name is as much a ‘professional’ as someone with umpteen Hugo’s and 50 books in print.
Just a thought.
[update: finally found the interview over here]

Tools

I discovered a neat little freeware (!) program called Rough Draft, a light word processor specifically designed to help one write a book or screenplay. There are a variety of features included in the program to make writing in these formats easier, and it seems pretty useful. Also interesting since it’s more robust than, say Notepad or Metapad, without getting into the bloat that is M$ software
The Roughdraft homepage is here.

Journals

I think I’m going to start carrying my old journal with me. It’s not a big bulky item, and I’d always promised myself that I would eventually fill in all the pages in one of those blasted things, sometime during my life.
I made it pretty far into the journal on my first go-round before things started getting intermittent. Starting the website was the death-knell for the poor little book, but I might be able to fill in a few more pages.
Why? We’ll, I’d like to keep it and a pen handy for those (few) times when I think of something to write down for this book and I don’t have a computer at hand (when I wake up from a dream, or when I’m in the car or at a Con or someone’s house. Something.
On the other hand, a little ‘reporter’s notepad’ is 1.38 at any local gas station, and even smaller than the journal (though it doesn’t have the cool cover.
Thoughts?