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Choosing Not to Write · 27 October 2018





I am choosing not to write today. Which a bit ironic because here I am writing about not writing.


It is bizarre really. Writing about not writing should take all of one sentence. That first one, in fact. Which is really what I was going to do. I was going to write that I was not going to write. Period. Then, I was just going to close up the word processor and shut down the computer. That was going to be it for the day. Seven words. “I am choosing not to write today.” Now look how far I have come. Over one hundred words so far about choosing not to write.


Ah well. Such is the life of a writer. Even one trying to live up to his mediocre name. You try to do something right and it ends up all wrong. Or is that all write?


Anyway.


I sometimes wonder if those people who say that you make a choice and then the choice makes you are correct. I chose to be a writer a long time ago. Long before I became a blogger even. (Hard to believe I started this weekly writing thing in 2006 and this MediocreMan.com thing in 2007.) But here I am over a decade later still writing and posting weekly. I even decided somewhere in there to write six days a week so I could get other projects done and maybe even put out a decent product here on MediocreMan.com. Well, I have gotten some of those other projects done. I have over a dozen digital books out there on Amazon.com and I always have something on the back burner. (And the side burner and the front burner and the charcoal grill.) Like I said, maybe those people are right. You make the choice, and then the choice makes you. I made the choice to be a writer, and now I cannot stop writing. Even when I am choosing not to write.


There is something about writing though. I am compelled to do it. Whether I really want to or not. Usually, I do want to write. I really do. But there are some days when I just want to sit and veg in front of the TV or read or do something other than write. Yet it seems that no matter how hard I try to do something else, I cannot seem to write less than a few hundred words a day. Oh sometimes I do not get to write that much. There are days when I am looking for or making a picture for my blog and time runs out. Those are the days when I want to write, but I can only write a sentence or two about not having the time to write. Those days are much different than the ones when I do not want to write.


It is strange. I used to have lots of days when I did not want to write. Way back when, I would write a sentence or two about not feeling in the mood for writing. Or not having the time for writing. Or not having any ideas to write. Those were days when I would just write a sentence and be happy that I was in the habit of writing.


See, I wrote some words today.
I must be on the road to becoming a writer.
I am writing every day.


Yeah, right.


Stuff like that seems silly today. But those days are long gone. I always have something to say. Even when I have nothing to say. And it seems that hundreds of words must come out of my brain before my fingers are satisfied. (Six-hundred and fifteen before this, for those who are curious.)


It is a bizarre and ironic thing. I wrote over six-hundred words about choosing not to write today.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Making Animated .gif Files · 20 October 2018





I know they are out of vogue, but making animated GIFs is fun.


There was a time when animated GIFs were all the rage. Everybody wanted to make them. And if you had a blog or some other place to put them (like Twitter now), all the more fun. People would ooh and aah at the wonder of it all. Animation! Cool!


Now, if you make an animated GIF, people just laugh and say, “That is so last century.” Then, they post them on Twitter.


Personally, I like animated GIFs. Or at least I like using them on occasion. I made one for a time lapse photo when I put in cabinets in our pantry. And I have done others on occasion. Most recently for a family trip to the Olympic National Park. (That one is just a simple picture of the park entrance sign and me sitting on one of the logs. I pop in and out of the scene. Now you see me, now you don’t.)


For the most part I stay away from animated GIFs, but they are quite easy to make.


(I also stay away from any debate on how to pronounce the file extension. After all, some people pronounce GIF with a hard g and soft i (gĭf). Like the peanut butter with a g sound. Others actually pronounce it like the peanut butter. Cheesy animators choose GIF (jĭf). And at least one person I know pronounces it like the name Geoff (Jĕff). Why anybody chooses to pronounce any words differently is not a debate I like to take part in. It is the whole potāto potăto song. But really, Geoff? Oops, sorry. That just slipped out.)


There are lots of tutorials out there on the internet about how to make GIF files, but I figured I would remind myself how to do it here. (By the way, I use Photoshop Elements.) It is simple. Just put each image on its own layer. Make sure the layers are showing (that eyeball next to the layer needs to be showing). Then save for web. Choose the .GIF type you want, check the animate box and voilà, a GIF in as many seconds as you took to make new layers and paste in the images. Oh, and the seconds it took you to be choosy and choose GIF. Oh, and the seconds you took to decide how many seconds (or fractions of a second) each image should show. Still. Quite simple regardless of how many seconds (or even minutes) it takes to do.


If you are like me, you forget one other part. You cannot make a GIF from huge pictures. Most cameras (and phones) these days take gargantuan photos. Or at least they would be gargantuan GIFs. So you need to scale the picture down before saving the GIF.


That is it.


Now, I have a way to remind myself how to make GIFs when I need them. The problem, of course, is that I will just do what most people do and search the web because I make GIFs so seldom. And I may or may not find my own memory device. Ah well. Making GIF files is out of vogue anyway. But they are still fun to make.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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I Have Proof · 13 October 2018


Grandmaster Vlastimil Hort
giving a simultaneous exhibition

by Stefan64
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


I have proof that people actually read my blog. Okay. I have proof that at least one person reads my blog. And that proof is too funny not to share.


My friend Mike reads my blog every week. And I know he does because he gives me little digs here and there to make fun of me. I even occasionally write about him and my other friend Marc, who also reads my blog. They love to make fun of me. It is their love language. At least toward me.


At any rate, Mike decided to take the plunge after reading my blog one week. He joined an online chess tournament. And as of this writing, he has ten simultaneous games going. Ten. He says he can barely handle one. But ten!? What in the world is going on?


I had to laugh when he told me that. I laughed out loud even though he told me over the chat in our chess game. And I laugh every time he gives me an update about how things are going. Which is not well. He always says, “I can barely handle one chess game… Let alone, ten!” He always gives me something to laugh about.


It is nice to know that I have such influence on my readers. Or at least half of my readers. The other one just likes to use my writing as ammunition for ridiculing me. Which is great because they both give me things to write about from time to time. I would daresay that next to God and family, I write about Mike and Marc more than any other subject (beside, of course, my own ramblings, rather musings). M&M (Mike is the green one) are my favorite foils. They are my friends and surely my most consistent and longstanding readers. I thank them for reading all my drivel for all these years. And I thank them for keeping me humble with their offhanded comments and forthright critiques of my silly little blog.


Actually, I am sure I have more than two readers. There are at least a few more. (Not including the imaginary ones.) And I thank them for reading too. The strange thing about writing though is that it does not really matter whether people read my blog or my books or anything else I write. Yes, I would surely love it if everybody read my blog. Yes, I would love to sell a couple more books. Yes, I would like people to comment on my writing. But in the end, I just write because it is what I am supposed to do. I am a writer. Period.


Which means that the answer to the question of whether a writer is a writer even if he has no readers is yes. At least in his own mind. Still, I am glad that I have some proof people read my writing. Especially, when that proof is so funny.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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