That was a good, lazy, and mostly offline holiday break. I spent most of the week between Christmas and the New Year in new pajama pants with The Girl, playing video games, visiting family and friends, and mostly regenerating frazzled neurons. But now, I've been back to work for most of a week and I'm just now slowly reconnecting to things. Hopefully the time off did me some good and you'll see some more regular activity from me. Let's see, how's the new year looks from here...

The Book

Yes, The Book. One of the things that came out of the tail end of 2004 for me is that I've signed a contract with Wiley to write a book in their ExtremeTech series about some advanced hands-on hacking with RSS and Atom feeds. Not sure how much I should let slip about what I've got planned, but I will be stuffing in a big chunk of everything I know about syndication feeds in working code and tinkering.

Now, I've got a long way to go, and a lot of work ahead, but this is something I've been wanting to do since I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. Granted, I know this won't be any grand classic, but it will be a book written by me, and that's pretty damn nifty. I suppose I could've always just gotten myself together and written a book on my own like Mark Pilgrim did, but I think I need someone tapping a foot and pointing at a watch in order to get me sorted out and really moving. I can be pretty self-starting and self-motivating, but there's nothing like a deadline to make me hustle.

So, yeah: My first book. Here's hoping I survive and make it out with my interest in the topic still intact; that I'll still want to write many more when I'm done with this one; and that it pulls in some very healthy sales so I'll be asked to write more.

The Blog

So, now that I'll be pouring tons of my writing energy into a book, what does that mean for this place? Well, oddly enough I'm guessing that it will make me write more here. I haven't been precisely prolific here in awhile, but I think once I've gotten something like a critical mass of writer-class thinking going in my head, I'll have spill-over on other topics to spew here. I've got a few mini-project / tutorial ideas I'd like to pursue, not to mention finishing what I started before the new year.

That, and this place is getting pretty close to its third birthday, so I've been thinking again about how I might revamp it. Granted, my idea output over the last year has been lighter than in the past, and I haven't been using the wiki side of this site all that much. The few idea-lets I have had have been finding their way into Tinderbox notes instead, but I have yet to play much with exporting and publishing from Tinderbox. So, I've been musing a bit about how I might capture and publish a bit more of my random ideas that don't quite fit as full blog posts, links, or longer-term wiki page growths.

Although I love the idea of wiki, my use of wiki here is more or less as a glorified low-friction micro-CMS for my ideas. I do welcome comments and contributions, but I don't particularly care for or go out of my way to encourage full-on wiki collaboration here. So, I've been wondering if maybe what I really want is not a wiki, but a web of published Tinderbox notes with comments and trackbacks enabled?

Anyway, that's enough rambling for the moment. I'll be back soon, maybe after lunch.