As you may have noticed, I’ve added a new category to the site: Average Length Short Stories. Now, given that the focus of the site is clearly “Damn Short Stories”, you may be wondering why in the heck I would do this. The answer is actually very simple and obvious: Sometimes a story just can’t be made to fit into the space of a single page. Some topics, some events, need more room to really be what they can be. Or as I have been thinking of it in reference to the first story in the new category, it needs more space in order for a proper respect to be paid to the subject matter.
So today I became acquainted with the idea of mind mapping in a web based application. Now of course, I’ve known about mind mapping itself for ages, but I am so scatterbrained that when I draw them out on paper I tend to lose them, which entirely invalidates the point of the exercise. Today, though, I learned that there are some pretty decent free web-based apps that you can sign up for, and these can really help you organize your thoughts. For me this is very important because I’ll tell you, some days I think I have alzheimers disease way too damn soon.
In any case, I stumbled across a few very interesting free apps today and thought I’d share. The first one I found is Bubbl (really, there’s no e, it’s not just me going ditzy), which is pretty entry level, but it’s extremely fast and easy to use. I played with it for a couple of hours and it really helped me get acquainted with Mind Mapping again. In fact it was so good at getting me excited about the technique that it compelled me to go looking for more full-featured mind mappers (which lead me to question whether Bubbl might in fact be more effective than it should be at this point in its development, but that’s another story). That lead me to find MindMeister, Mind42 and Mindomo (Creative names, huh?), all of which I tested for an hour or more today. For myself, I have settled on MindMeister because it allows you to upload files to supplement your mind maps, and to me that is important. All 4 of the apps are good, solid programs that you should certainly try out if you’re interested in the idea of Mind Mapping. If you’re as disorganized as I tend to be, this is a technique that can really help you get yourself together.
If you decide to try any of these out, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
Anyone who’s a creator of anything has a Creative Process that works for them. It makes no difference whether you’re a writer, a painter or a furniture maker, you have a process. How developed that process is can be directly attributed to how much practice you’ve put into your craft; put simply, the more you work on it the better you’ll be and the clearer your steps to success will be in your own mind. Pretty much, anyway.
So I haven’t actually blogged in a whole week, but there have been stories, bad poems and general malaise in a semi-abundant quantity, to say nothing of the imbeciles in our Government preparing to hand over nearly a Trillion dollars of our tax money to a couple of private corporations who made some really stupid choices. However, this isn’t a political blog so I don’t intend to wax too far in that direction except to say this: Democrat and Republican parties, you are idiots and tools, and you’ve made it abundantly clear–again–that you are the best of friends, united against the American People. Let those moronic corporations sink and die as they deserve to. They made their choices!
So back on topic, I haven’t had much time for blogging this week for several reasons. First and foremost, I feel that stories are the most essential part of this site, so when I have time to only write one piece, it’s going to be a story. Second, I’ve spent a fair amount of time working on the new face for the site, which I’ve finally had some breakthroughs on, so you should be seeing it soon. I am very tempted to show you a screenshot or sample in advance, but I’m determined to maintain self control and debut it when it’s ready to be debuted and not a moment before.
I want to say thanks to those who’ve either commented or emailed me directly. I appreciate the effort it takes to read and review one of my short stories. I already am able to see an improvement in my work between the first story posted and the most recent couple, so that’s good news and progress that will help me to maintain my optimism and enthusiasm for continuing onward. See you next story or–with any luck–with the new UI this weekend!