The Life of Mike Shea

by Mike Shea on 21 April 2004

Time for a real life blog entry.

I hate to say it but it appears that LiquidTheater is all but dead. I'll keep the site around as long as possible, resorting to static HTML if I need to, but for now it is one of five sites I'm paying for and doesn't cost me more than about $7 a month. Its always bothered me that Liquid Theater is the only site I have that doesn't ride on MovableType, but some of my original Philip Greenspun designs - comments, add a link, ratings, and sortings - don't move easily to Movabletype.

The real reason for the death of Liquidtheater is my lack of writing. I've started doing a lot more fictional writing and I'm now writing for Mobhunter weekly. I keep this blog up to date, I still write fiction for LoralCiriclight.com, and I write my own hardcopy fantasy fiction. That leaves little time to write DVD reviews. The technological state of Home Theater also hasn't changed much, or when it does it doesn't interest me much. I keep an eye on the prices at Best Buy, but I don't keep too much on top of the technology and I don't have the first-hand knowledge of newer products to say much. So the site will stay online but I wouldn't expect to see a lot of movement on it.

I wrote a short article for Moleskinerie about my Writing Tips PDF sheet. I modified EQWire.com to display the latest developer postings to the official Everquest forums. I look at EQWire and I see the best web application I've ever built. Its fast, powerful, simple, practical, easy to maintain, and very useful. It encompasses everything about the web I've ever learned including web standards, scripting, caching, accessibility, and syndication. About twelve hours after adding the developer tracker I got a note from the Everquest community relations manager with only one word..."cool!". My thoughts exactly.

I want to read more. I want to write more. I want to lose weight. I want to do better at my job. I have all of the same desires as everyone else in the world, or at least this floating cloud American world full of coffees with five names, off-road vehicles that move groceries 400 yards over concrete, a magical oracle called Google that answers any question we have, and a government that crushes freedom in order to protect individual ignorance. Given that last sentence, its obvious that I need to work on my writing skills.

I have three short stories in the works. One, The Fall of the Knives, is written, edited, and for all practical purposes, finished. It runs about 3500 words. I have another in the hands of my editor that is a lot longer, about 8500 words. A third is currently in first draft and being transferred from one word processor to another. A fourth is started and a fifth is rolling around in my head. I do a lot of surfing through writing tips and comments from other authors, but I know that the only way I will get better is to read a lot and write a lot.

I play Everquest more than any other computer or video game. As much as computers suck, I must admit that for the type of game I play the most, Everquest, it is the only platform that does it justice. The more I read about Everquest 2 the more scared I get. I am frightened by how much I like what I read. Sony based their design around casual gamers. It has encounters tuned for two hours of play with raids no larger than 24 people. This is a big improvement over the 72 person raids that can go on for eight hours straight in Everquest.

I love Everquest. I still enjoy every moment I log in. Five years have passed since I started playing and at no time have I felt like I've wasted my time. I keep looking ahead to new games and new platforms including pen-and-paper D&D but I keep falling back to Everquest. Its the most amazing game I've ever played.

So how is that for a traditional blog entry?

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