Ben Crowder / Blog

Weeknotes #6

  • After a week or two of wearing wrist guards, I’m pleased to report that the tendinitis has faded a bit. I still have to be careful whenever I’m working or holding my rock of a phone (which I can’t wait to replace with a lighter phone at the next opportunity).
  • I’ve implemented the BVH on my ray tracer for class, though there are still a couple of elusive bugs. (Roughly a third of my time on it so far has been me vs. the Rust borrow checker. And yet my level of frustration with it remains mild. My subconscious remembers that memory leaks are worse, I guess?)
  • Lately I’ve realized I’ve been letting myself get distracted by other projects and need to put school first more often.
  • Art’s on hold for now. I fully realize I may renege on that by next week’s post, but I’m hoping I don’t. This week brought the epiphany that making this kind of minimalist art has been changing my brain, and I’m not sure I like the change. I think the pieces themselves are good, sure. But always thinking about how to reducing gospel principles and events to minimal geometric shapes still ends up being a reduction. I feel it as a well-worn groove in my brain, one I’d like to escape for a long while — to be able to think about the gospel without my brain automatically attempting to geometrize the heck out of it.
  • Almost time to start editing the novel! Further mulling on the method has me sandwiched in the middle: not intensive, but also more than just a lightweight pass for typos. Now that I’m distanced a bit from the first draft, I can see the story more clearly — threads that need to be tied together, supernumerary characters to be eliminated, several ways to tighten the story and bring in more meaning. Exciting. Still, since I hope to get this book out this year, my goal is to find the minimal set of structural changes that get it to a level where I won’t be embarrassed to publish it.
  • Haven’t started writing any of the stories, but I continue to water the ideas each day. I wish I’d started doing this years ago. Depending on how long the novel editing takes, this also may end up being the semester where I just cultivate ideas and don’t actually write any new stories. (I’d still very much like to fit that in, though.)
  • Our area is starting weekly church meetings again, with sacrament meeting both in-person and virtual, and a virtual second-hour meeting to boot. The Covid numbers in Utah seem to be sprinting uphill again, though, so we’ll see how long the in-person part lasts.
  • Should I include what I’ve been reading? Sure, let’s try it, though weekly may be too short of a window to be interesting (since several books will show up week to week). I’m reading The Dream Machine (early computing history), which is so long but so good. This week I began Arthur’s Britain, an exploration of the historical evidence for King Arthur. Old Latin and Welsh and loads of early British history and I’m in heaven. I’m also trudging through Plato’s The Last Days of Socrates, which is a little less engaging than I’d hoped, but I’m not giving up on it because a) I probably just need to spend more time in it rather than a page or two here and there, and b) I’m trying to build up my knowledge of the Greco-Roman classics (and older books in general).
  • Fiction-wise, I’m reading The Poppy War and adore it so far. I’m also a third of the way through Pact and will likely continue to report that for several weeks hence because it is so very long (four thousand pages). Still enjoying it, though.
  • Post mortem: I don’t know whether these reading paragraphs were boring for y’all, but I like talking about books and this was fun, so I’m going to keep doing it. Reader beware!