Update for March 2021

Inspire by Hundred Rabbits I’ve decided to post a monthly update on the things I’ve been working on and things I’ve been enjoying.

Most of my thoughts this month have been absorbed with starting a new screenwriting job — I’ve been hired to write a feature based on an existing treatment. This is the first time I’ve been paid to write a feature screenplay so I’m quite excited. The producers and I are still waiting on the lawyers to finalise the contract before I can start writing, so the month has been punctuated with Zoom meetings with the team, who are spread between Belgium and the east-coast US, and I’ve been writing character backgrounds and rewriting the treatment. I’ve managed to convince everyone of a different ending, which feels like a great victory. I’m confident with this new end sequence I can hit it out of the park.

Part of what has prompted me to add more writing to this website is that I’ve now added both a blog-style index of dated entries and an RSS (Atom) feed to the build process. To do this, I wrote a single-file static site generator in POSIX shell: build.sh. Its only dependencies are m4(1) and the C-based Markdown translator lowdown(1). I’m quite happy with the simplicity of build.sh. If I compare the ULOC with GitHub’s popular static site generator Jekyll:

$ find -X jekyll-4.2.0 -type f -exec file {} + |
    awk -F: '/ASCII/ { print $1 }' | xargs cat | sort -u | wc -l
$ cat build.sh index.html.in feed.xml.in | sort -u | wc -l

A bit of a difference. The code is under the ISC license, but I’ll have a think about releasing it as its own project.

With help from Kohl Sudduth I’ve added some updates to the Fountain Mode documentation site. I don’t yet consider the documentation complete enough to distribute with the program, but this is a near-term goal.

Also, that site now features a gallery of screenshots, created with a simple script I wrote: make_gallery. The script takes a list of images, a THUMB_WIDTH environment variable and uses GraphicsMagick (gm(1)) to generate a sub-directory of thumbnails in THUMB_DIR:

$ THUMB_WIDTH=320 THUMB_DIR=thumbs make_gallery *.{jpg,png} > index.html

Here’s another gallery of some 35mm photos.

I’d previously had a server running Alpine Linux, which I can’t say a bad word about, but inspired by Derek Sivers and yielding to my curiosity, this month I migrated to OpenBSD. I must say, even with OpenBSD’s reputation as an OS of the highest quality, I was still impressed. It is an incredible OS; with every interaction it’s clear how much thought and care has gone into every piece. I’d always considered a VPS as “disposable” but my starbeastie server feels like a secondary computer where I’m happy to store things for longevity.

Somewhat inspired by my experience with OpenBSD, I’ve taken some baby steps in learning C. I have the intention to one day write a C program for converting Fountain files to PDF. My goal is to have the program account for page changes by comparing the input with a specified previous draft. I’ve found a very nice embedded PDFGen library and managed to create a “hello world” program to generate PDF output.

I’ve returned to making my own granola, the recipe for which is as easy as mixing:

Then spread on a tray and bake at 175°C for 20 minutes. Serve with sultanas, dried apricots, yogurt, almond milk. (This makes about four bowls of granola.)

For a long time I had an alarm set on my phone to remind me to stop and appreciate the sunset, which is in turn encouragement to appreciate the finite nature of days. But I found I would frequently silence/ignore the alarm. Now I’ve started relying instead on the changing of the light as this reminder, which has worked well. It is the time of year when the sun’s path toward the horizon falls between my apartment building and the building opposite. Today the sunset gave way to a gentle rain that swept over the twilight.

Memorable Cinema

On High Rotation

Currently Reading