Spend less. Be Happy.

Last year, I wrote this:

This year, I'm making an effort to give more than I receive, to make more than I buy, and to recycle more than I throw away. It isn't just a gift for now, this year, but a gift to our children, and their future.

This year, T is spending Christmas with her Dad, so we will be child free here. I decided to take the opportunity to do a big chunk of volunteering, including Christmas Day itself.

I started by calling as many people as I could find. It was amazing ... organisations either aren't doing anything for Christmas, didn't know what needed to be done or who to contact, or just couldn't think of something I might be able to help with. Or, worse, they'd be uncertain. They would promise to call back (sometimes multiple times), and then just never would. Anyone would think that we didn't have homeless or hungry or unfortunate in Canberra.

There was one thing that made me happy though. While looking for something, I put a message on Twitter asking if anybody knew of organisations looking for help. I didn't get any organisations popping up asking for volunteers, but I did get four or five people all say, "I don't know of anything, but if you find something let me know, and I'll come too." The upshot is that now I have a small band of Christmas Elves willing to spread cheer and goodwill, and nowhere to send them to do so.

Thankfully, we have found one place that needs our help, Communities@Work have asked us to help with hamper packing in the week before Christmas, which is bound to be a whole lot of fun. But at the moment, it seems I'll be hanging around at home twiddling my thumbs on Christmas Day. Because I absolutely refuse to give in to the consumerist version of Christmas, and I'm agnostic and won't be partaking in the religious model of the day, I guess I'll get some housework done.

If you know of anyone who does need some volunteer help (in Canberra preferably, but I'll consider Sydney too), send me an email won't you?

And they all lived happily ever after


I did it! Three days ahead of schedule too.

Where's the fiction gone?

In order to protect my own sanity, and in light of the increased traffic to my site, I've decided to move my fiction offshore. I'm just moving the current NaNoWriMo off for now, but I'll be moving the rest (NaNo of past years and short fiction of all varieties) off as soon as I find two seconds.

The best part is that in the process, I'm organising them a little better, so it should be easier for you to find where you're up to, and then continue on from where you left off with a minimum of fuss.

The worst part is that - for November at least - I'm locking the site down. It's easy to get a password though, just send me an email or DM and let me know who you are, then I can grant you access. During November, I'm more or less glued to my computer anyway, so you should be more or less straight in to the good stuff once you've sent me an email.

The new site is http://lanabrindley-fiction.blogspot.com

Apologies again for the continuing interruptions to the novelling. Hopefully this will help to alleviate that problem.

Enjoy! And please remember to let me know what you think about the fiction. I'm a writer, so a little positive reinforcement is a great way to get me to write more :)

Why Thank You!

To all my new wonderful visitors - hello and welcome! Thanks for dropping by! As you can see, the blog is a little crazy right now, due to a little thing that I participate in every year called NaNoWriMo. Be assured that it's not always like this.

To everyone else who is just looking for the next installment in the story - I'll return you to your regular November scheduling madness shortly. Please bear with me!

Yesterday, a co-worker alerted me to the fact that my name had been listed as one of the Top Open Source Technical Writers on the web. I was blown away! I am seriously over the moon about it all, and wanted to sincerely thank both Aaron Davis and Scott Nesbitt of DMN Communications for the vote of confidence.

Technical writing is a funny kind of industry to be in. The people who are in it are for the most part seriously excited about where tech writing is going, and what we can do along the way. Of course, combined with the type of people who are involved in open source generally, it means you end up working with crazy-smart people who are really seriously passionate about what they do, and how what they do can make the technical world a better place.

I'm very privileged to be able to write free/libre and open source technical documentation for a living. Not many get to have that experience. The things that the open source community has taught me, and the experiences I've been able to have doing so, are something that working anywhere else just wouldn't offer you.

My passion is creating the best technical documentation I possibly can, and making it available to as many people as possible. More often than not in open source, the deadlines are tight, the scope is big, and the resources limited. The challenge that situation creates is, as expected, pretty huge. Being given the opportunity to attempt to create documentation that shines within that environment is one of the biggest challenges I've ever encountered. It's a challenge that I wake up every morning to, and while there are days that I think I can't do it, there are many more days where all I want to do is inch a little closer to that goal. Having people like Aaron and Scott publically recognise that effort is what makes the hard work all worth it.

To follow on from Aaron and Scott's list, I'd like to shout out to all those people who write, contribute, edit, review, and use open source technical documentation - even if it's only spotting typos and raising a bug. You are the ones who deserve the recognition, because without you, I wouldn't have the opportunity to do what I love. I hope you all enjoy creating and using open source technical documentation as much as I do.

Cross-posted to Foss Docs