The Open-Source Writing Movement

Generating ~500 words of new content every single day isn’t exactly difficult.  But after three months of doing it, I can definitively say that, for me at least, writing nonfiction is a trillion times easier than writing my fiction story.  When I write nonfiction, I can just plumb the depths of my brain and pluck any topic under the sun to write about which interests me.  I can write about entities, events, or people.  Or emotions, memories, or experiences.  All of it is fair game.  So easy!

But when I work on my fiction story, whatever entry I write next needs to connect to whatever I’d written for the story’s previous entry.  And while this constraint may sound trivial, I’ve genuinely found it to be a real challenge.  It’s tougher than one might think!

Take my entry yesterday, for example:  Interstice 2.2— I’m unhappy with it.  It captures the general feeling of what I wish to convey (world leaders have gathered in Davos and are struggling to make Big Decisions) but the passage’s placement is jarring and doesn’t connect smoothly from Interstice 2.1.  I went from writing general exposition in Int-2.1 (always among the easiest material to write– exposition!  General worldbuilding!) to jumping directly into a specific scene featuring two new characters, Johann and Beck, never before introduced.  Again, I’m unpleased with it but the daily story train rolls inexorably on! There’s no stopping it!  Also, starting with Interstice 2, I’ve upped my daily entry word count minimum to 500– this way, if I continue wanting 4,000-word chapters, it’ll cut down the writing time from ten days to eight days per chapter, a pace I’m happier with.

With this first draft, which I’m hoping to finish by April 2021, my aim is to simply get some semblance of the characters, setting, and general plot down on paper.  Then I imagine in the rewrite (which there will be several, I’m sure), I’ll slowly go through and iron out all of the kinks, inconsistencies, and rough transitions.  Since I’m organizing everything in WordPress, once I begin revising, I plan to create entirely new posts for every passage I rewrite– this way I’ll have a neat “timeline” of all of the revisions and ways that my fiction story evolved over time.  This is an idea borrowed directly from the software dev world where we using Version Control Systems (like GitHub) to audit every single code change we make to a project over time.  I’ve always wondered why established authors don’t use VCS for their written works.  (Or if they do, why they don’t release them to the public.)  I would love to see first drafts of Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code to see how Rowling or Brown slowly put those books together.  In fact, I bet people would even pay money to see that!  That would be such a treat!

Anyway, like Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  I’m going to do it! Someone’s gotta start the open-source writing movement. Might as well be me!  ✊😄❤️‍🔥

Nonfiction Summary – October 2020

October over!  Third full iteration through TAG complete!  😀🤗😁

For October, I wrote thirty-one “story” entries (one every single day!) and eighteen “nonfiction” entries.  I’m pleased!  I really enjoy writing nonfiction entries (and contributing towards my corpus for Wobble2) but on some days if I only had enough gas in the tank to knock one out, I prioritized working on my story.  I don’t know where it’s all going, but if I manage to keep this pace up, I’ll have accumulated ~80,000 words in roughly seven months, by about May 2021.  Of course, it’d only be my first draft but that’d honestly be such an accomplishment, a real dream come true!  So I’m giving it the ol’ college try! ✊🔥🚀

As for the month that was, here are my favorite nonfiction entries I wrote these past four weeks.

🍂 Highlights in October 🎃

Meanwhile, on the writing-front, here are some first among equals too:

And finally, for housekeeping, I at long last updated my very stale “Begin Here” welcome page on my blog and also added a “Worldbuilding” cheat sheet that helps me keep track of everything going on in my story.  After four chapters and ~16k words, things had considerably sprawled to where it was beginning to overflow my brain! 🤯🧠💥

Alrighty, onwards into November!  Wohoo! Let’s do this!  🍁🦃🥔🥕🌽

Week One

Tuesday – Oct 6Anonymous & PublicAstronomia – Peter BenceThe Adjustment Bureau (2010)
Wednesday – Oct 7Bruce Wayne: The Batman –
The Epitome of the Human Struggle
Big Enough – Kirin J CallinanBatman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice (2016)
Thursday – Oct 8Calvin and HobbesClimb Higher – Pinkzebra feat. Benji JacksonThe Core (2003)
Friday – Oct 9Donald J. TrumpDiamonds in the Rough –
Christel Alsos
Driven (2001)
Saturday – Oct 10Exporting American Culture is the New ImperialismEchoes – 2WEIEver After (1998)

Week Two

Sunday – Oct 11The Fast and the FuriousFight Song – Rachel PlattenFurious 7 (2015)
Monday – Oct 12Growing OlderGreater Lights – Advent RisingGladiator (2000)
Tuesday – Oct 13Heaven and HellHow Far I’ll Go – Auli’i CravalhoHotel Artemis (2018)
Wednesday – Oct 14Write a NovelIt’s Time – Imagine DragonsThe Incredibles (2004)
Thursday – Oct 15Journaling Every Single DayJump – Van HalenJingle All the Way (1996)
Friday – Oct 16Supreme Court ShenanigansKether – ArkanaKill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Saturday – Oct 17Life: The Mortal Coil – SeasonsLouder – ChariceLimitless (2011)

Week Three

Sunday – Oct 18The Dewey Decimal
Classification System
Moon and Back –
Alice Kristiansen
Master of None (2015)
Monday – Oct 19Classic Tetris World ChampionshipsNiënna – OonaghNo Time to Die (2021)
Tuesday – Oct 20OrganizationOcean of Dreams – Ian MulderOver the Top (1987)
Friday – Oct 23The Great Robert Bork: “It Would Be an Intellectual Feast.”Rollercoaster – Fanny AndersenRi¢hie Ri¢h (1994)
Saturday – Oct 24Scaffolding, Structuring, and RestructuringSweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd SkynyrdSpace Jam (1996)

Week Four

Friday – Oct 30Welcome!Your Reckless Heart –
Joel Hirsch & Sara Skinner 
Yes Man (2008)


Y’hallo!  Welcome to the Wobbleverse!  😀🤗👋

Salutations! This is my humble little corner of the web.  This blog, more than anything else, reflects my personal growth and interests over the years gone by.  It’s been a long and winding road!  Over the past decade, I’ve dabbled in data science and day-trading, but starting August 2020, this blog has most recently morphed into a container for The Alphabet Game (TAG) and a fiction story. TAG, in its present form, is a daily writing exercise where I’ve been putting ~400 words to paper each day, every single day.  I’m happy to report that for three months running now, I’ve kept up the streak! 😁

Originally, TAG started with standalone non-fiction entries and for about two months I tried to build a corpus of material for a data science project called Wobble2. The rules are simple: Write ~400 words about any topic under the sun as long as the first word of the entry corresponds with “that day’s letter”– so, for example, today’s letter (Fri, 10/30) is “Y.” Over the past few months, I’ve written about Calvin and Hobbes, great directors, GPS, The Dewey Decimal System, The Fast and Furious, spirituality, fate & destiny, and public figures whom I really appreciate and admire.

At the beginning of October though, my interests slightly shifted and I embarked on writing a novel!  I’ve tried in the past and have never made it very far but this time, things are different; I’d posted about TAG on Reddit and found a new writing friend so together we’ve been writing and posting ~400 words every single day.  (And it was following her lead that I decided to switch over from writing daily non-fiction entries to fiction passages.  Inspired! ✊🔥🚀)

This is the first time I’ve ever tried publicly writing a story like this though.  Writing and posting serial installments every single day honestly makes me feel a bit old-school, like Charles Dickens.  But a month in, I’ve gotta say:  I like it!  Having a writing friend to share daily progress with and get comments/feedback from certainly makes a difference.  But also– I’m honestly really liking WordPress and its entire system of tagging and organization.  (Tools I never had when I wrote longhand in spiral notebooks before.)

Anyway, if you’re newly arrived, welcome!  Upon alighting, good places to start for my non-fiction entries would be The Alphabetical Index or The Mind Map if you like visualizations.  And there’s also the TAG subreddit where /u/munchmallowqueen and I give each other comments and feedback.  Finally, if you’re interested in my nascent story, I’m currently in the middle of writing Chapter 4; but here’s where you’d go to start from the beginning.

Enjoy!  😊

PS.  Full disclosure, by the way:  When it comes to my non-fiction entries, in order to (try) to keep my identity a secret, I’ve changed the names of people and other minor details (like location names, geography, or dates and times) in an attempt to preserve the anonymity of all parties involved.  I write under pseudonym because sometimes I write about sensitive subjects and if I’m ever job hunting, I don’t want a potential recruiter to Google my name, find this blog, and then immediately jump to any conclusions about me based solely on my writings. That’d be muy no bueno! ☹️😦😓


Organization is paramount as the content on this blog begins to grow.  I’m now on average adding about 800-1,000 words a day.  Assuming I can sustain this pace for a year, I’m looking at annually adding 292,000 – 365,000 words.  Put in perspective, Tolstoy’s War and Peace was “only” ~587,000 words.  At this rate, I could write that in less than two years!

Haha, just kidding.

Obviously, not all words are created equal.  And my writing, like anyone else’s, will be more “quality” on some days versus others.  And that’s okay!  I listen to several “writerly” author podcasts and a quote that always stuck with me (but I can’t remember who said it ☹️) that I heard years ago was, “Writing is like carving an ice sculpture.  But first you need the block of ice.”

I generally think of fiction writing using the “Joe-Abercrombie-Layering-Paradigm.”  Abercrombie describes his writing as a series of methodical steps, similar to painting a Photoshop composition.  First, you draw a basic pencil outline.  And then you ink it.  Then comes the base colors.  Then shadows.  And finally, the highlights.  Now, to be sure, not all initial pencil outlines are necessarily good.  Some are most definitely superior to others and you can’t just dump garbage on the page and expect it to somehow miraculously evolve into a Rembrandt.  But, another writerly piece of advice that numerous authors have repeatedly raised which I think is useful:  “Don’t expect too much from your first draft.”  You’d never look at pencil sketch and be upset that it’s not the Mona Lisa.  Thus, in that same way, for me at least, the first phase of fiction writing is just getting the basic plot and characters down. Abercrombie himself has remarked that it’s often not until he’s finished his first draft of a novel that he actually realizes what it’s about!  Imagine that! Writing tens of thousands of words without initially knowing where you’re going!  It’s a thing!  And it works!  You just need to persevere and have a little faith.

Anyway, with WordPress, I have something this time around that I previously never had in my spiralbound notebooks when I wrote longhand:  Extensive organizational tools!  By far, the most useful which I’ve poured hours into, is WP’s tagging system.  As I’d mentioned earlier, the surface area of this blog is growing at a rapid clip.  Thus, as I pour out the words, I’ve attempted to organize all of it with some high-level schemas:

And on my fledgling story front, all that is accessible via:

Honestly, part of me really enjoys organizing my writing.  Almost as much, if not more, than the actual writing.  Weird OCD trait, I guess. So little time; so much to write and organize! 😊😀😁

Summary – September 2020

Incredibly, September is in the bag!  Today concludes my second full iteration through the alphabet.  Needless to say, since beginning TAG back on Aug 3, two months ago, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how things have gone. Looking back on the month that was, I’m really happy with what I wrote. Honestly, I never imagined I had all of these words inside of me. But somehow, every morning, I just sit down and ~400 words pretty much spontaneously fall out. It’s very strange. Of course, I love all of my children equally, but if I were forced to choose a “personal top three” (other than those mentioned in the below highlights, which don’t count), then I’d probably say:

🥧 Highlights in September

  • On Sep 25, I shared TAG on Reddit!  And since then, u/munchmallowqueen has joined this great adventure!  So far, we’ve posted ~400 words a day for nine consecutive days now tallying a total of over 3,600 words to date!  War and Peace, here we come! 🙂😀
  • I’ve begun writing a fiction story!  I felt it was time.  For years, I’ve daydreamed about writing a book but my efforts have always previously fizzled and gone nowhere.  I have a good feeling about this time though!  First, this is the first time I’m writing and publicly posting each day’s progress. So, there’s a newfound sense of purpose and accountability that I’ve never before felt.  Second, it’s also the first time I’ve had a writing buddy on the journey!  (Thanks, u/munchmallowqueen! Let’s both write books! 🙏🙏🙏)

Onwards into October! 🍂🎃🍁

Week One

Monday – 9/72016: A Harbinger of 2020?One More Time – R. Armando Morabito10 Things I Hate About You
Tuesday – 9/8Adventure in the Great Wide SomewhereAlways On My Mind –
Elvis Presley
Armageddon (1998)
Wednesday – 9/9Ben AffleckBaby – Glee Batman Begins (2005)
Thursday – 9/10Coding & Writing: Twins – Part ICrazy – Gnarls Barkley Chasing Amy (1997) 
Friday – 9/11The Highest GearDrone Shot Of My Yacht –
John Mayer 
Deadpool (2016) 
Saturday – 9/12Escape VelocityEveryday World – Oregairu Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 

Week Two

Sunday – 9/13Understand Your Own Flow StatesFlieger – Helene Fischer Friday Night Lights (2004)  
Monday – 9/14With Great PowerThe Grinch – Will Prime The Great Gatsby (2012) 
Tuesday – 9/15Harry PotterHemiplegia – HAERTS Home Alone (1990)
Wednesday – 9/16Building a TownI Need a Hero – Jennifer Saunders (Shrek 2)Independence Day (1996) 
Thursday – 9/17Joker“Jaja Ding Dong” Song –  Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Joker (2019) 
Friday – 9/18Kitsch Kal El – Gareth Emery & Ashley Wallbridge feat. NASH The Karate Kid (2010) 
Saturday – 9/19Lev Grossman: A Beacon of Light and Hope for Aspiring Writers EverywhereLion of Love – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga The Lake House (2006)

Week Three

Sunday – 9/20When Mental Models Go Stale + Levels of CertaintyMother’s Heart – Stefanie Heinzmann  Man on Fire (2004)  
Monday – 9/21NoveltyNothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You – George BensonNo Country for Old Men (2007)
Tuesday – 9/22Can Originality Be Replicated?OK – Robin SchultzOcean’s Eleven (2001)
Wednesday – 9/23ParenthoodPrayer In C – Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin SchulzPitch Perfect (2012)
Thursday – 9/24Quitting the Rat Race is the American DreamQuicker Than She Came –
Katy McAllister 
The Quintessential Quintuplets (2019)
Friday – 9/25Mulan (2020): AtrociousRoller Coaster – Luke BryanThe Rocketeer (1991) 
Saturday – 9/26SynchronicitiesSomething I Need – OneRepublicSin City (2005) 

Week Four

Sunday – 9/27TikTok: The Beginning of the End of American Tech SupremacyThis is Me – The Greatest ShowmanTerminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 
Monday – 9/28The Unfulfilled Promise of the Internet – Part IUmbrella – Tom HollandUnfaithful (2002) 
Tuesday – 9/29Fulfilling the Promise of the Internet – Part IIVolcano Man – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Vertical Limit (2000) 
Wednesday – 9/30Coding & Writing: Twins – Part IIWith You Til The End –
Tommee Profitt
World War Z (2013) 
Thursday – 10/1The Selfish Ledger
(Google X ~2016)
XO – BeyoncéX-Men (2000) 
Friday – 10/2Landing in ShanghaiN/AN/A
Saturday – 10/3“Zoomies” – The Wonders of Chinese Public Transportation InfrastructureZadok the Priestess Zootopia (2016) 
Sunday – 10/4Summary – September 2020N/AN/A

Chapter Six

Chapter Six

Thursday – 11/19The Silver DragonChapter 6.1
Friday – 11/20Coleman and Blackness in ChinaChapter 6.2
Saturday – 11/21“It’s All Connected.”Chapter 6.3
Sunday – 11/22Cai Xia: Banished Political ExileChapter 6.4
Monday – 11/23“It’s All True.”Chapter 6.5
Tuesday – 11/24“Welcome to Xi’an.”Chapter 6.6

Chapter Five

Chapter Five

Tuesday – 11/10“The Tall Grass First Gets the Scythe.”Chapter 5.1
Wednesday – 11/11Anyone Can Be William WallaceChapter 5.2
Thursday – 11/12SheepleChapter 5.3
Friday – 11/13KoiChapter 5.4
Saturday – 11/14The Chinese Dream and Leaving AmericaChapter 5.5
Sunday – 11/15Quelling Dissent Quietly is a PuzzleChapter 5.6
Monday – 11/16Religion as a Means of State ControlChapter 5.7
Tuesday – 11/17Undercover BrotherChapter 5.8
Thursday – 11/19Planning a Field TripChapter 5.9

Chapter Four

Chapter Four

Monday – Oct 26Under Normal Circumstances4
Tuesday – Oct 27The Reveal4
Wednesday – Oct 28The Eye4
Thursday – Oct 29“Xinjiang is a Powder Keg Waiting to Explode.”4
Friday – Oct 30You’ve Gotta Give Them Credit4
Saturday – Oct 31“Zero Tolerance” and “Maximal Force”4
Monday – Nov 2One Small Flaw4
Tuesday – Nov 3Addressing a Systemic and Perpetual Racism4
Wednesday – Nov 4“Listen.”4
Thursday – Nov 5Grinding Gears, Humanity, Privilege, and WMDs4

Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Monday – Oct 19Jinshui Future Laboratory3
Tuesday – Oct 20The First Meeting: “Freedom-Loving People Within Our Borders Must Be Stopped.”3
Wednesday – Oct 21A Meeting of the Minds & Intellectual Discourse3
Thursday – Oct 22Quelling Unrest in China’s Autonomous Regions3
Friday – Oct 23Reaching a Decision3
Saturday – Oct 24Shu Qi: “Great Artists Steal.”3
Sunday – Oct 25The Thing You Should Consider3

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Saturday – Oct 10Electronics Avenue2
Sunday – Oct 11Riding the Bus & Meeting Erin – Part I2
Monday – Oct 12Meeting Erin – Part II2
Tuesday – Oct 13New Construction Everywhere2
Wednesday – Oct 14Jinshui Technology Park2
Thursday – Oct 15Jinshui Technology Park’s Cafeteria2
Friday – Oct 16Phone Bumping: Dumbest Thing Ever2

Chapter One

Chapter One

Friday – Oct 2Landing in Shanghai1
Saturday – Oct 3“Zoomies” – The Wonders of Chinese Public Transportation Infrastructure1
Monday – Oct 5You Can Never Go Home1
Tuesday – Oct 6Total Surveillance State1
Wednesday – Oct 7Breakfast the Next Morning1
Thursday – Oct 8Crimes Against Humanity1
Friday – Oct 9Disposing My Old Mobile Phone1

Story – Introduction + Changelog

NOTE: This is an ongoing original fiction story that I’m currently writing. I started writing this fictional story back on October 2, 2020 and contribute ~1,000 words to it every day on this blog. I didn’t outline the story at all going into it but it’s slowly evolved into a tale about a data scientist in his mid-thirties from America who finds himself summoned to China where’s he’s been offered a job to work for the Chinese Communist Party on a project monitoring the Uyghurs in the Chinese “autonomous region” of Xinjiang. In China, the story’s protagonist, Dexter Fletcher, meets other professionals who’ve also been brought in from abroad to help consult on the project. My story takes place several decades in the future and explores human rights, privacy in an age of ever-increasing state-surveillance, and differences between competing dichotomies: democracy vs communism, eastern vs western political philosophies, and individual liberties vs collective security. If this sounds interesting and you’d like to read more, my fiction story starts here.

Continue reading “Story – Introduction + Changelog”

Summary – August 2020

Week One

Monday – Aug 3A Commitment to Write Every DayN/AN/A
Tuesday – Aug 4Ode to the DishwasherN/AN/A
Wednesday – Aug 5MistakesN/AN/A
Thursday – Aug 6Why Negativity is GoodN/AN/A
Friday – Aug 7CommunityN/AN/A
Saturday – Aug 8Rick and MortyN/AN/A

Week Two

Sunday – Aug 9United States of Smash!N/AN/A
Monday – Aug 10Frida Kahlo & Diego RiveraN/AN/A
Tuesday – Aug 11A Special Circle of Heaven for ArtistsN/AN/A
Wednesday – Aug 12Wesley MorrisN/AN/A
Thursday – Aug 13Trump’s Master PlanN/AN/A
Friday – Aug 14Fear & DisciplineN/AN/A
Saturday – Aug 15The Difference Between Dreamers & DoersN/AN/A

Week Three

Sunday – Aug 16Truly an Age of WonderEver Ever After –
Carrie Underwood
Election (1999)
Monday – Aug 17FeelingsFür Immer Bleibt – BENNEFantastic Four (2005)
Tuesday – Aug 18The Global Positioning SystemGood Time –
Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
Gattaca (1997)
Wednesday – Aug 19Fate & DestinyHusavik – My Home Town – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire SagaHellboy (2004)
Thursday – Aug 20
Friday – Aug 21
Saturday – Aug 22

Week Four

Sunday – Aug 23
Monday – Aug 24
Tuesday – Aug 25
Wednesday – Aug 26
Thursday – Aug 27
Friday – Aug 28
Saturday – Aug 29