“The way we experience story will evolve, but as storytelling animals, we will no more give it up than start walking on all fours.”
— Jonathan Gottschall
I’m becoming progressively more obsessed with exploring different forms of storytelling. I’m admittedly a bit of an outcast in the literary fiction community since I am so intrigued by these unconventional models. I’m curious about the potential of things like interactive storytelling and the model of serialized fiction.
To culminate on a semester’s worth of coding study, I want to write a piece of flash fiction that would be advanced by the user taking on certain poses and motions. …
Part of me still expects something to go catastrophically wrong each time I pick up my Arduino. But so far, luckily, I haven’t shocked myself or caused any fires, even when I dangled the poor thing over boiling water. I did manage to fry an Arduino, but that’s a story for another day.
All the productivity gurus will tell you to do the most important thing first.
I did not. I picked pretty wires first.
On the plus side, I’m getting a good sense of the basic necessities of writing up buttons and LEDs, so this part wasn’t too time-consuming. I did get a little tripped up and confused about which resistor I needed to use to make the button work, but I realized my mistake without blowing anything up—always a victory. …
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve downloaded an app that sounded cool or helpful, only to get slapped with a demand for money before I’ve even gotten to properly use it. Before I’m able to even see if I like it, they’re dangling a subscription in my face.
Sure, there’s usually a free trial. But how many free trials can a person possibly have going at once before they slip up and forget one? This initial problem is one of marketing and a lack of giving consumers the chance to try something out before they buy it. …
In general, I’m not the biggest fan of Amazon. As much as their convenience is delightful, I try to avoid buying from them when I can. There’s no denying that Jeff Bezos forces his warehouse workers into terrible conditions. I’ve had friends who work in one of his warehouses in Florida and even the ones that aren’t completely horrible are still pretty unpleasant.
Regardless, while I try not to fatten Bezos’ pockets with my small purchases, I sometimes find myself turning to Amazon if I need something that I can’t buy locally really fast.
For example, Arduino components. And when I started to panic that I have a grade on the line if I don’t get things done in time, I gave in to the diabolic lure of Amazon two-day shipping and a bunch of components to follow an Arduino love-o-meter tutorial. Since I didn’t feel like I understood the components well enough to make anything without very clear instructions, I felt like following a tutorial from the Arduino Project Hub was my only option. …
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
I often end up feeling drained from the simplest activities in life. I feel tired from writing, from taking care of myself, just from getting through ordinary days. But when I feel that fatigue creeping in, I have two thoughts.
My first thought was that I shouldn’t be getting so tired of such ordinary things. I’d start to beat myself up and tell myself I was being pathetic for not handling things well that should be easy. Then the second was that thinking like that isn’t productive or good for my mental wellbeing. …
“The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”
I went for a run out of pure frustration the day we decided to leave our very old but decently sized apartment. It was supposed to be our last apartment before we got a condo or small house. We started building our own furniture, started outdoor projects like composting. We added to our various collections of things very carelessly.
But in the course of just a few weeks, the apartment became uninhabitable due to severe safety and sanitary concerns related to our neighbors. I was so upset about the situation that was forcing me out that I couldn’t think, process, or be productive — I just needed to move my body until I calmed down again. …
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”
As crazy as it may sound, I’m setting out on the journey to build something. I’ve rallied the most talented writers, editors, and designers that I know to come together and collaborate on this idea. We want to build a symbiotic community for writers and readers alike.
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
People are reading less often with each passing year. In 2004, roughly 28% of people in the US read in their leisure time. But in 2017, leisure reading in the US reached an all-time low, with only an average of 19% of adults reading. This is a sharp decline and an alarming one. Abandoning reading as a hobby is incredibly damaging for people and for writers. There are plenty of voracious readers out there, but we’re a dwindling community. …
“But Leigh, you could buy a motion-activated nightlight for less than $12 on Amazon!” you might say.
Yes, I could, but why do something sensible like that when I could DIY it for 9 times the cost?
This might be the most clickbait title I’ve ever written, but sadly, every last word of it is true. Jokes about DIY projects aside, as a part of the Creative Coding course I’m taking this semester, I’m learning about physical computing with Arduinos. …
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
— Maya Angelou
Looking back on the worst chapters of my life, I’m able to realize now that a lot of what made those times horrible was me. When I was in college, the idea of self-care was the absolute last thing on my mind. Even in the first few years after college when I was moving a lot and skipping between jobs, I wasn’t doing anything to support my physical and mental health. …
I wish I could say that I wrote this story from a happier state of mind. The ridiculously warm weather in the last week was enjoyable on the surface, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how wrong it was for there to be 70 degree days in November in northern New Jersey. An occasional mild day wouldn’t be bizarre, but an entire week of such warm weather was more alarming than it was pleasant.
Business Insider reports how we’ve been seeing some of the warmest years on record and stand to see many feet of oceans rising. …