The Inkwell

Bearing grease for the modern writing dynamo — thoughts on writing and publishing, particularly in the age of podcasting, print-on-demand, and electronic ink.

Before We Start the Episode

When I was podcasting, one of the design choices I pondered was the time in an episode devoted to what I called front-matter and back-matter — the times before and after the episode main subject, where what’s being conveyed is no longer the show but is rather about the show: thanking the contributors, sponsor reads, giving out website address and social media handles, etc.

Patching Text

Sources and thoughts on errors and corrections in text, and how layers of revision and correction actually make any writing more interesting.

Machines For Making Books

I’ve long been interested in automating the creation of books in multiple formats. I like to dream about a kind of black box, where you put your plain text book in one end, and out the other end comes a web version, a PDF, a Kindle or ePub version, or even a physical paperback edition — all from a single source text or data store.

Oxford Comma, Oxford Don

· 1 Notes

The Oxford comma, is not a rule; it is merely a thing — and I have a most ingenious and undeniable proof of this.

The Next Web Will Have Coins

· 1 Notes

We're going to need a new protocol -- a replacement for HTTP, actually. HTTP has words for "Give me the thing" and "Yes here's your thing" and "No your thing isn't here, it's been moved" but it doesn't have words for "Sure you can have it, that'll be ≥ $0.05 USD please". If subcompact publishing, which was all the rage at the end of 2012, is ever going to really get anywhere, then the common language of the web needs a way to send and receive pocket-change.

Long-Term Notes

I take another stab at describing my pet alternative model for online writing and commenting.


· 1 Notes

Two good arguments both for and against the practice of two-spacing, which is not an exciting topic.

Be Strange

· 1 Notes

I tend to be more like Mr. Norrell; some nagging instinct tells me I ought to be more like Jonathan Strange.

For the Hand-Wrung Writer

In which I break a few self-imposed rules and give out advice to writers.

Harnessed to a Star

My thoughts on a letter Jack London sent to a young writer, and what it says about how, exactly, to make a beginning.


· 2 Notes

Wherein I draw conclusions about the role of the backlit screen in our cognitive style, and paint a vision of life without it (the backlit screen I mean).

How to Write a Good Site

· 1 Notes

Have you ever wanted your site to be the one with the polka dots on the graph-paper diagram?


· 1 Notes

Screech is the worst conceivable quality of Caribbean rum, bottled by the Newfoundland government under the Screech label. This has something to do with writing, and it’s not what you think.