Archive for the ‘meta’ Category

Go see my new blog

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Kids, now that we’ve said goodbye to this blog (for the time being) please help me say Hello to the next stage of my writing: Better Geeking. This is my attempt to put all sorts of real life things into writing, to embrace the turn in events that has put me down the path to another horizon…and all those other cliches I won’t bother to skewer here.

I’m not promising it will be insightful or great or anything else like that. It’s really only intended for myself to get some things out there and express what’s going on in our life. And it’s intended to have a little fun with it, too. Geeking is what it’s all about. I hope you like it.

See you back here before long!

Categories: meta

Where am I?

September 17, 2010 1 comment

Well, it’s been a long, long time since I actually wrote anything here. Right now I’m doing some productive procrastinating, but this blog has been on my mind for a while. I keep thinking I should be writing, Mur, but it just doesn’t happen.

A lot has been going on. You–my faithful readers–are aware that I’ve been laid off of work. I’m still laid off, and it’s been 4 months already. It seems that even though there are companies out there that want chemists they don’t want me. That’s fine. I’m going in another direction now, anyhow. And I think I’ll be better at this new thing.

Starting at the end of last August, I started classes at MATC to get an Associates degree in Programming. Yes, computer programming! For those who know me, that isn’t much of a surprise. I’ve loved computers almost as long as I’ve loved reading, and that’s a long time. I should have taken this course years ago. No, I’m not regretting the decisions I’ve made in the past. From them I got my wife and my son, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything this world has to offer. What I’m saying now is that, because my current employment status has been decided for me I think now it’s time for a change. Call it a mid-life crisis come early, because I can’t see myself getting a red Mustang when I’m 50.

What does this mean for my writing? Right now it’s taking a back seat to my schooling. It’s still there, and it’s also a love I’ve had since I understood I could also make stories instead of just read them. I think it’s the creative part of me that wants to get out. Programming computers, believe it or not, is very creative. In a way it’s beautiful and elegant, just like a good story that’s well told. It comes from the same love for expression that writing comes from.

Right now I’m taking a short break from writing. Writing fiction, that is. As for freelancing, maybe I’ll tell that story some other time. I’ve tried it, and maybe I haven’t given it the chance it deserves, but for me it’s not a path I want to go down. All the stories in my head are still there. Some day, hopefully a ┬ánot too distant day, I’ll get them out into the wild.

No, right now I want to be a programmer. I want to be a computer ubergeek. I want to get into the whole thing. So, I’ll be all about that now. I think I’ll start a blog about the journey to geekdom in the near future, and how life is going on around it. When it’s up and running, and if I really have anything worth saying, I’ll post the link here.

Until then, keep cranking and happy storytelling!

Categories: article, meta, progreport

Writing a novel

June 30, 2010 1 comment

Writing a novel is so much easier when you’ve been laid off.

– Guy Wade

May you quote me? Yes, yes you may.

Categories: meta, writing

Now do something

May 19, 2010 1 comment

So, a week ago today I got laid off from work. There is one fewer chemist in the world! If that makes you feel a little less secure when you go to sleep tonight, think about how I feel. Fortunately, I’m not too worried.

Now my new job is finding a new job. I started as soon as I got laid off. I’m extra glad now that I updated my resume last month. If any of the teeming millions who read this blog know of a chemist position in the Milwaukee area, please let me know.

I’m also putting more effort into writing. Hopefully I can pay more attention to this blog. But I’m also trying to establish myself as a freelance writer. Something good will come of this time away from the drive-to-work-and-clock-in day.

Categories: meta

What do I do with a year-old blog?

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Not so recently, the last post ago, I announced the end of this blog’s first year. I’ve had a little time to reflect on everything that has happened over that year, and I’ve come to several conclusions about this blog and blogging in general. I’ve really loved having Cranking Plot as a little project, a way of getting my blogging feet wet, but it’s clear that more has to be done to make it everything I think a blog about writing should be.

Actually, I am pretty proud of this blog and myself. I read somewhere that most blogs get started in a whirlwind of enthusiasm and hope, only to end prematurely as the blog writer loses steam. I’ve had at least one post every month for a whole year, and though some of the steam has come out of the pipes, as it were, there is still a lot of momentum left in the old thing.

I’d like this blog to be more than just the place I post a semi-coherent article now and again. I read blogs on writing such as Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing (which is more podcast than blog, but you get the point) or Whatever by John Scalzi, or any number of blogs by authors, nationally known or no, who want to connect with their craft and their readers. That’s the kind of powerhouse blog I want this to be. And I know it’s possible. Especially now that I’m in my current position (which I’ll announce soon to all the teeming millions of readers here) very soon. I’ll have some more time to do just that.

Here’s what I think is going to happen in the next year:

  • Posting more regularly. Some people believe that writing for a blog that doesn’t make them any money is a waste of time. I don’t buy into that philosophy. I think the Cranking Plot has a lot of potential even if I don’t choose to monetize it. For starters, you are reading it, aren’t you? There, I have a reader. Or two. That’s great!
  • Planning out what I’m going to post. Having a plan for the content here will only make Cranking Plot more readable. I started out with a plan, but it was obviously short-sighted. Most professional bloggers will tell you that you have to plan and write ahead of time if you want to make the blog successful.
  • Have genuine, honest-to-goodness author interviews. Maybe even as a podcast! Either way, talking with other writers about How They Crank is what I envisioned for this site ever since I started it.
  • Move off the server & get my own domain. That is a big move, but one the experts say is necessary to get some recognition as a professional.
  • Expand my subjects to freelance writing. Not just fiction writing, but also to web content, articles, whatever kind of writing makes good business. Yes, you heard it here right now: Guy wants to become a freelance writer! If my hopes and dreams take off, I will have to create another website just for freelance discussions and leave this one strictly for fiction.

Let’s see how this year goes.!

Categories: meta, progreport

Do you remember what you were doing a year ago today?

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I know what I was doing. A year ago today I put up my first post here at Cranking Plot. One year already! So much has happened in that year it’s hard to sort out. But I have some thoughts I’d like to share before the week’s out.

Categories: meta

I’m writing for!

April 19, 2010 2 comments

It’s been a crazy interesting week and a half, let me tell you. Yours truly is now the Kettle Moraine New Dads Examiner at

Here’s what this means: is a website that specializes in providing local content. When you go to their site, they immediately ask you where you live, and then lists content for your area. They openly recruits writers to supply this content, so one day recently (and I forget how I got there) I browsed their list of available Examiner columns in the Milwaukee area. The one that jumped out at me was the New Dads Examiner, and so I applied. They accepted my application! But, they also thought that I was too far away from Milwaukee to write for that area. Fair enough. I suggested the Kettle Moraine area, since I both live there and work there, and they agreed. The rest is recent history, and soon-to-be future history.

Here is the link. Do me a favor and

  1. Read it.
  2. Subscribe to it.
  3. Comment on it.
  4. Give me ideas.
  5. If my success inspires you to write for Examiner, please let me be your referral, as Examiner treats their writers well if they refer someone to become a writer.

Now I don’t think I can quit my day job just yet, it’s not that kind of gig. No, but writing for does help me out by giving me some more opportunity to write articles (thus improving my writing), and more exposure so that I can bring in more freelance jobs.

I haven’t left off fiction writing. That is still near and dear to my heart. But I am very excited to finally have even a small writing job!

Categories: Examiner, meta