Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Moving my blog to

August 25, 2007

I am going to start blogging at .

I just uploaded a lot of my Clarion West blog entries about working on my novel, now called Hel’s Bet.

I am starting to work on ChipWits again.

Hope to see you there. – Doug


I’m going to finish Channel Zilch

May 18, 2007

I’ve just joined the Clarion West 2007 write-a-thon. It’s a fundraiser for the great speculative writing workshop I attended in 2002. The write-a-thon will run June 17 – July 27th during the course of this year’s workshop.

They ask you to set a goal and I decided to finish my novel Channel Zilch .  I’ve written just over 100,000 words of the book and feel that I’ve got about 25k to go, so it’s doable. I’ve already started working on it daily.

The first thing I did was to read through and write a summary of the final 20 chapters 40-58. The book is pretty much finished up to chapter 40 and there is a bunch of good stuff that I’ll be able to keep in those final chapters.

I ‘ve got a bit of re-plotting to do as some of the motivation for the plot has changed. Not going to go into detail about that until I’ve re-outlined the final chapters.

The past couple days I have been listening to voice notes I’ve made about the book over the past few years while I’ve been too ill to write. I was damned pleased with some of the ideas in the notes. Looks like I already have more than enough ideas to flesh out the end of the book.

The write-a-thon organizers have lined up some really sweet mentors for the program. Paul Park  was an inspiring instructor for my 2002 CW class. He is a kickass artist and I love his books. And Michael Swanwick will be onboard. I have loved his books for decades – In the Drift, The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Vacuum Flowers – great stuff. I will get to meet some new authors:  Hugo-winning Eileen Gunn, Vylar Kaftan, Louise Marley, and Cat Rambo.

The write-a-thon will be a real kick in the butt to me to get Channel Zilch out the door.

I have always been most productive when I am working on a few very different projects at the same time. I plan to get ChipWits out the door in June and Channel Zilch finished in July.


Leaving The Pad

May 18, 2007

I will be selling my beloved cabin this Summer. My best friend has had a change in her medical condition and that focused my mind on 3 goals – To spend as much time as possible with her. To enjoy life as much as possible. To do the best art I can do.

So if you want to own a piece of heaven, let me know. Own your own island on a beautiful lake, a simple cabin, 11 acres of remote woods.

I’ll cry the day I leave it behind, but it’s time for the next chapter in my life.

Pining for open water and a paddle

February 8, 2007

I love Winter. I wouldn’t have bought a cabin in Northern Wisconsin if I hadn’t been a winter camper and a cross-country skier.

February freezes that love to the shattering point. I miss my canoe. I miss my daily hours out on the lake drifting in the breeze, mind chock full of nada. Paddling the dogs to the island. Fish-watching (not fishing). Touring the beaver lodges. Paddling hard into the wind and then drifting back tired and sweaty.  Playing tag with the loons.

The woodstove is glowing. Time to snuff bugs in ChipWits.

Margaret’s Got Pneumonia – Doing Well

February 7, 2007

Margaret is resting while the antibiotics ZAP her pneumo-germs. We got her to the doc early so it was only in one lung.

I have ordered her to goof off bigtime. She’s in great spirits and resting well.

We are keeping the cabin extra-toasty with our woodstove.

Tomorrow I’ll post a ChipWit Challenge – not a contest but a theme to goad IBOLheads to show off their creative chops.

Testable Build Dropped on

January 29, 2007

What a relief!

And I’m not badly fried by stress. That’s a first. I’m learning.

ChipWits Store Now Open.

January 17, 2007

Please, help support the ChipWits project.

Olive shirtBlack hoodie


Margaret returns to The Pad for Beta Release Week

January 13, 2007

Margaret flew back from her frolic in Bellevue WA to the icy wilds of Wisconsin. We are finally having a taste of Winter – it was 1 degree F on a bank sign. It’s cold.

We walked on water for our afternoon outing with Travis and Mika – the lake ice is now trustworthy.

The Pad rests between two 40 acre lakes. My lake has 7 cabins on it, only 4 of which are occupied year-round. The lake behind me has no cabins on it – almost completely wild. It is a shallow beaver lake that is a collection of long bays. There is one main beaver lodge on it – where I fell through the ice last Winter – and what I call the Beaver Condos – a collection of small lodges in a marsh flat. The beaver and otter haven’t reopened their ice holes since this cold snap locked everything up.

Not much snow, but luckily we had big winds last week when the ice melted and refroze so the ice surface is textured in big gusty whorls. Mika is always on a leash because she loves to wander. She is 40 pounds of pure husky pulling power and her feet stick to this ice like velcro. It’s a lot of exercise to walk with her and it’s tricky on the ice. Lots of fun, really.

Margaret and I talked about the future of ChipWits, which we agreed is golden. Then we made a list of tasks for each of us to complete this week. When the list is all ticked off we will launch the beta shareware version of ChipWits – over 2 decades after Mike and I released the original.

Beta release week tasks:


  • Remember last ChipWit and mission
  • Mission series
  • 8 missions
    • Greedville
    • Doom Rooms
    • Boom Town
    • Mystery Matrix
    • Octopus Gardens
    • Peace Paths
    • ChipWit caves
  • IFSMELL bug
  • Baddie behavior:
    • Electrocrabs
    • Bombs
    • Bouncers
  • Animation timing
  • IBOL panel shrinks when zooming
  • About page


  • Spreadshirt – 12 products
  • Intro Missions
  • website – Simple 2 or 3 pages
  • Mission graphics
  • Playtest

Uploading a build

January 2, 2007

It’s been over 9 years since other people have tested my software. I am uploading a build of the ChipWits alpha and it feels great.

Wrote this last night and saved but didn’t publish.

I’ve spent the day alerting friends that ChipWits playtesting kicks off today. Feels great.

I spent some quality time with the flying squirrels tonight. I put some pecans out in the fresh snow and they came down from the tree to within 3 feet of me to gather them. By the end of January I will be feeding them from my hand.

About to drop a testable build of ChipWits.

January 1, 2007

ChipWits is about to go out to a small circle of friends for playtesting. I’ve spent the evening putting together a little site  for our playtesters.

I haven’t been able to playtest a single one of the missions and don’t even know if scoring works properly. I’ll always wish I’d accomplished more.

But then I spend a few minutes playing the game, really appreciating what is there, and I know people are going to have fun with it. That’s what counts in spades.

It’s snowing after a miserable melty blustery day. Haven’t seen the flying squirrels yet this evening.