Winding Back Up
It’s a little hard to believe that I stopped blogging more than three years ago. I was sure, at the time, that I was tired, that I was done, and that my blogging era was behind me. I exported my blog as static HTML pages, turned off my aging blog engine, and walked away.
Funny, how “permanence” can be so impermanent.
A lot has happened since then. Heck, a lot has happened in the last nine months. 2014 was a particularly eventful year for me, and for my family.
In April, I left Basecamp, where I had worked for nine years, and stepped out into the unknown. That was a really difficult decision, but Jason and David were both incredibly supportive and helpful. I owe a lot to them, and their faith in me.
Since then, I’ve been busy trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I took some ideas I had while on-call at Basecamp, and fleshed them out into a quirky little novella about a wizard and his manservant, and how algorithms saved the day. I even illustrated it myself—which, perhaps, you could have figured out simply by looking—but I learned a lot through that entire process. Most significantly, I learned that consistent, regular effort pays off. I also learned that almost everything looks like garbage while you’re writing it, and the most powerful thing you can do is to just get something down on paper. You can’t edit what you haven’t written yet.
Armed with those lessons, I set out for something bigger. I recalled my maze algorithm posts and remembered the comments of those who encouraged me to write a book about them. And I wondered…maybe…
So I went out on a limb, spent a couple of weeks putting together the best book proposal I could manage, sent it off to The Pragmatic Bookshelf, and hey presto! They accepted it!
They accepted my book proposal!
So it is that I’ve been writing like crazy for the last four months, working to get this book out there. It’s more than half done, and I’m really pleased with how it is turning out. With a bit of luck and a whole lot more hard work, it should be on bookshelves by the middle of the year.
I’ll be posting here with news as the book progresses, so if maze algorithms are your thing, watch this space! I also hope to take some time each week to post some of what I’ve learned, or am learning, or hope to learn. I expect the blog will retain its technical slant, but who can say? If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about, drop me a line and tell me about it. No promises, but I’ll certainly consider it!
I’ve not yet figured out what to do about comments, since this is all Jekyll-powered now. I’ve used Disqus before, and it works, but it seems kind of…unsubtle. For now, if you want to say something, I’m @jamis on Twitter, and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, yeah. The Buckblog is back, and maybe next time I’ll be a bit more careful when I declare the end of an era. Especially when I might, someday, have to parse a bunch of static HTML files to reconstruct a blog I was sure I would never use again…