Tami Parker

Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

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Lean UX – Applied to Writing

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Finished a new work-related book called Lean UX.

A trimmed-down version of the Amazon description is as follows:

Lean UX has become the preferred approach to interaction design, tailor-made for today’s agile teams. […] how product teams can easily incorporate design, experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning from real users into their Agile process.

A bit dry, I know. And some of you may be thinking, “Okay, Tami. Just because YOU work on a Scrum team using Agile developmental principles that is striving to incorporate a more lean user experience methodology, that doesn’t mean -I- need to care about this book.”

Right you are, my bizarrely-buzzword-knowing friend. However … if you’re a writer, you may find some of these very problems, principles, and solutions to be eerily similar.

Diving right in …. (more…)

Writing Development – The Scrum Method

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Teaching

Hello and welcome again to Tami’s Teachery!

Tami’s Too-Long Tangential Teachery.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

When last we met, I regaled you with the definition of the Waterfall method of project planning. In this style of planning, most (if not all) of the requirements and details of a project are determined up-front before being handed off to actual development.

I likened this to the Plotting method of writing, wherein an entire novel (for example) is exhaustively planned before writing begins. The theory is that this will help the writer stay on task, minimize revision time, and work out plot bugs before they happen.

To be fair, they aren’t 100% similar. I would say most of the Waterfall projects I’ve been on have gone WAY beyond a basic outline when it comes to pre-planning projects. It would be more akin to handing a writer a heavy outline, character sheets, world building notes, conflict details for every scene, and …

Okay, nevermind. They’re pretty gosh-darned similar.

MOVING ON. (more…)

Writing Development – The Waterfall Method

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What do software development principles have to do with writing?

Rather a lot, actually! I’m finding the parallels fascinating, and I thought I’d bring you along on this learning journey.

(Bear with me here. I started a different post about how Lean UX principles and ideas can be applied to writing … and then I went off on a TamiTangent and my very first vocabulary word is long enough for its own blog post.) (more…)

To “Read More” or not to “Read More”

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I’ve been waffling about adding “read more” breakpoints in my longer blog posts.

When I’m READING a blog post, I hate them. They require another click to finish the content and they’re not always user-friendly.

However, when I’m scanning a blog to try and find a previous blog post, these super long ramble-fests of mine get REALLY tedious.

Do YOU, oh-readers, have opinions on them? Do you care, do you not care, and why?

If I don’t get a “please do not do this thing” from at least one person, I’ll be adding them, so … fair warning. 😉

Emergency Freezer Burrito Follow-Up

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I promised a follow up to my Emergency Freezer Burrito post, and you shall have it forthwith!

I’m a fan.

(temptation to hit the publish button rising. riiiisssiiiinngg….)

In all seriousness, I tried two sizes of tortillas. The larger “burrito” size, and the one-size smaller family-pack that I got from Costco. (Sorry I can’t give a more useful size description than that — costco’s website doesn’t list them and apparently tortillas come in a lot more sizes than I expected).

The “burrito” size was the recommended size and although I can see why (it was MUCH easier to roll a full burrito with the extra inch or so around the edges) the convenience of buying a crapton of inexpensive tortillas outweighs that in my mind.

Because I am incapable of creating a burrito with the recommended amount of stuffing, you guys. (more…)

A New Kind of Plotting

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I just saw this on tumblr and I need to share it with you.

It’s an infographic someone developed to help you plot. And it’s absolutely, mind-bogglingly amazing.

Thing is? I’m not going to show it to you here because the original creator deserves the credit and blog traffic.

So please. Click through to see this wonderful graphic. It is absolutely well-worth your time.

CLICK HERE FOR THE PLOTTING GRAPHIC

Starbound

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So I recently picked up Starbound.

I’m playing it via steam on my little mac laptop (not … really recommended because of the keyboard and mouse situation, but beggars and choosers and all that) though I know it’s available via a variety of different gaming platforms.

Like Minecraft, Only Not

Starbound is Yet-Another-Minecraft-Clone-Only-Different. It’s a pixel-based art style and you break up blocks of different materials in order to build things.

That’s where it departs from Minecraft, though. The art in Starbound is a bright, professional-looking 2D side-scrolling style. It has an innate storyline, sending you off into the cosmos on your ship just as earth is demolished by some sort of tentacle monster.

And, of course, you get to create and customize your character. (more…)

Emergency Freezer Burrito – The EFB

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I think I’m going to try making some freezer burritos this weekend during my weekly leftover generation session.

Emergency Freezer Burritos (or EFBs, as they are affectionately called) are something one of my coworkers does regularly, and something that came up during a recap from this year’s THAT Conference attendees.

Looks like they’re good even as breakfast burritos, too!

And you know me, I do love food wrapped in a tortilla. So clean. So tidy.

The general idea is that you make a large batch of various fillings (beans, rice, eggs, meats or tofu, squash, peppers ….) and create a boatload of burritos all in one go. Wrap them in tinfoil, label them, and freeze them.

Then you can grab one from the freezer for lunches (microwave in a napkin to reheat) and have a variety of healthy, inexpensive homemade delights.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you’ve already tried these, hit me up in the comments with how it went for you or any tips and tricks!

Potterverse Query

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To my Potterhead friends (read that twice to make sure you got the right connotation /wink) please answer me this question:
 
For each Hogwarts house, please tell me the sorts of things you would expect to find on a desk in their room.
 
For example:
  • Ravenclaws: tidy stacked books, a full inkwell and feather quill, a muggle rubix cube.
  • Hufflepuff: messy stacked books with random bookmarks, snacks, a plant
How do YOU envision each stereotypical house desk? Who has a broom care kit? Who is tidy? Who has art supplies?
 
… asking for a friend. /wink
 
If you’re felling frisky, I’d love to know YOUR Hogwarts house, too.
Tami Parker Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

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