Some Project Status

23:06 Sun 20 Jan 2008
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Since I started this incarnation of my blog (either about two or about one-and-a-third years ago depending on your criteria) I’ve mentioned quite a few projects, and thought it would be worthwhile to look back at them and check their status.

I might have missed some, but these are the 17 I could remember/find, in no particular order:

Blogging: the project of blogging itself, starting with a plan for one month’s daily posting in August 2006. That project went smoothly, and I extended it into a year’s full daily blogging, and since then I’ve stuck to my five days per week schedule. Looking back, the first month of doing this was incredibly important as proof yo myself that I could stick to such a project, and the blogging has done wonders for my ability to let go of my work enough to let it be seen in public. This one counts as both finished and ongoing.

Microfiction version of my science fiction novel: Another section-every-day project, I did this on time and without many hiccups, and it was also rather important as a demonstration that I could do creative work every day. Finished.

The Annotated Fantasy Bedtime Hour: Although I achieved in 35 days exactly what I intended, there have been more episodes since that time, so this project is no longer complete (and hasn’t been for a while). Due to the rather significant amount of time it takes to annotate and analyze an episode, this project was extremely time-consuming on a daily basis, and was the most challenging ‘do every day’ project until I tried to finally edit the second draft of my novel in a month. Unfinished, stalled at 35/40 episodes.

The second draft of my science fiction novel: Although I still owe the PDF to people, I did complete this, nine days past the deadline I set for myself, and with some serious struggles and stalls in the middle. This was the hardest project so far—and that’s just referring to the effort to edit in November, not to the overall project of the novel itself. Finished.

sfmagic.org rewrite: The first coding-oriented ‘do every day’ project I’ve tried (although the original creation of the site was in that vein, it was before this blog). It was quite successful, and got me a lot of the way there. The data entry side is still undone, and is quite a lot of work in itself, but in any case the project of working on it every day helped a great deal. Unfinished, ongoing.

The second novel: Not the second draft, but the second novel, this one in a fantasy setting. Sadly, I haven’t yet managed to plan this one out as I had intended, meaning that in a sense I’m already behind schedule… Not started.

Subversion migration: I started moving my files into Subversion early last year, and have moved almost everything, but many of the files are still a mess, and the duplicates haven’t been removed, and there’s still a lot of work to be done there. On the other hand, it’s allowed me to move all new projects into subversion immediately, and that’s been fantastic. Unfinished, ongoing.

Metadata overhaul for old files: Related to the project of cleaning up my Subersion repository, this is the plan to make sure that all my old files have good metadata and are in a clean format (most likely HTML). I did a lot on this at the time but stalled while working through essays from my undergrad days. Unfinished, stalled.

Regular backups: Also related to the Subversion project, I want to have regular on-site and off-site backups of more or less everything, particularly my Subversion repositories but also my databases. I made some significant progress here (Subversion on its own helps a great deal) but stalled out on this also, probably due to dependencies on upgrading my server… Unfinished, stalled.

Server upgrade: This has gone nowhere at all. I haven’t even started it, which is rather disgraceful. It just gets more and more urgent, this one. Not started.

Writing fiction every two days for about a month: I don’t think I announced this one as a project per se, but I certainly had it as a goal. It started out with ‘Wishes’ and went on from there. Near the end it was extremely tough creatively, but I was very happy with it overall, and am still extremely happy with some of the stories I wrote during it. Finished.

Book-tracking project: I can’t find the link, but I’m sure I’ve mentioned at some point my intent to build a web application for tracking my reading, including ISBN lookups to various sources, and a variety of database tables to track just about everything regarding the reading I’ve been doing. The current plan is to do this in Python/Pylons (of course) and to try using SQLAlchemy’s ORM layer for it. Not started.

Writing up my reading for each year: I made it from 1996 to 2000, but since then haven’t touched that particular area—in fact it’s been more than a year since my last post on that subject. I’m not sure why, especially since I read very little in 2001, just 39 books, which I think is my lowest yearly total since I started keeping track. That should mean an overview wouldn’t take long. Unfinished, stalled.

A film script: In Some Medium-Term Plans I mentioned this plan, scheduled to start after the next novel. I haven’t started it, obviously, and I’m not lpanning to for a while… I guess that means it’s not started, on schedule.

Bookmarking project: I’ve had a working version of this in place for quite some time, with the backend mostly working (in PHP) and the JavaScript side working in the browser, but somehow I didn’t bring it all the way to completion. It needs something else, I’m not sure what, to encourage me to actually use it. Statistics, graphs, and targets, probably. Unfinished, stalled.

Thematic photography: I had planned to try taking photos based on specific themes, but this hasn’t gone anywhere, partly because I haven’t been taking any photos at all, something I really need to work on. Not started.

Writing ‘Coup’: This story was in my head for more than a decade, having come to me in a dream, and it was way past time to get it done. It wasn’t as large a monkey to get off my back as the second draft of the science fiction novel, but it was an older and sneakier monkey. Finished.

That’s not a terrible showing. More unfinished stuff than I would like, of course, but I made a lot of progress last year in terms of finishing projects. I need to keep that trend going this year, and try to finish every unfinished project on this list. It’s only January, so it’s easy to look at them and conclude that this is definitely possible…

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