Which Fork to Take? Left or Right?

How about both?

Since my programming abilities are climbing, it’s been past time for me to start building other skills. Mainly the soft skills, like communication through writing.

You’d think that’d be an easy one for me, but no. I’ve found that while I might understand or know how to put something together doesn’t mean I know how to explain it to someone else. So since you were standing off in the forest, doing a bad job of hiding, you’ve been tagged to be my test bunnies!

As previously mentioned somewhere on this blog, I’ve been doing FreeCodeCamp. I’ve adjusted my timeline on that as I needed/still need to veer off to do deeper learning on certain concepts instead of stopping in the middle of a project to learn them.

I’ve completed the API projects for the back end portion and have moved to the data visualization part to learn Angular before moving into the full stack projects.

I started in the web dev cohort of CoderGirl (FYI they have an information session coming up on May 6th) back in January. It’s awesome! Although I’ve been able to go through some of the beginning lessons easier because I’ve been learning the last year, it’s still very beneficial.

Having mentors to answer questions, having teammates to bounce questions, ideas and resources off of, and the fact that I’m not coding alone in my house all the time have made a difference. We’ve started 3 projects so far in the learning track and I can’t wait for the project track that’s coming up!

Third, I’m in a Chingu Cohort, started by Chance via the FCC forums. Px1t, who is bad ass and very helpful and forthcoming with information, did a speedrun last month. So we’re doing one in the cohort starting this week. I was on the fence but signed up because even if I only get one project done, it’ll be more than what I have done now.

I’ve decided to go with the MEAN (Mongodb, Express, Angular, & Node) stack because even though I was leaning toward using Vue.js as my frontend framework for this, I’d like to continue to tackle and continue to put the hurt on Angular.

As you can see, the amount of interests/projects are piling up, and that’s just within the tech lane. Good thing I’m a great plate-spinner!

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Suprise

Cup inscribed with

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

 

“Holy shit, Klau! I thought we’d gotten over that little disagreement months ago.”

Donald Klau failed at keeping the surprise and disgust off his face. “Little? You killed my boyfriend and his girlfriend. I’m going to need more than a few months to come to terms with that.”

“That really wasn’t my fault. They were on the list. I just happened to be the one given the job.” The shrugged shoulders pissed Klau off even more. “I thought that’s why you asked me over early. You know, water under the bridge? Especially since you died too.”

“But you had the power to give them more time. I begged you to let them live. It was just me you wanted!” Klau’s grip on the table tightened. He really wanted to jump over it and wail on the monster that smirked back at him. But he knew that wouldn’t do any good.

“Then I wouldn’t have any leverage to keep you here. And this job is all about leverage. What people will promise to do to save the ones they love.”

He slumped in his chair, defeated. That concoction he put in the tea should have worked by now. He’d already tried it on himself with no effect, so giving it to his boss was just wishful thinking. He just wanted to be free from this new ‘job’.

“You should know you can’t kill me. Now stop this foolishness. If you’re a good boy, eventually I’ll let your people go to heaven.”

Death stood, gesturing for Klau to follow him. And he had no choice but to follow. Eventually his humanity would wilt away and he’d be in Death’s shoes, reaping and training new souls.

Whirlwind

There is no picture this time and you’ll see why soon! 😀

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

 

She finally got her chair to settle down so that she could sit and begin to write. It had the tendency to roll around the room, while the desk was stubborn and stationary. She didn’t care where they were located as long as they moved together. Any awkward movements by one always threw her off. Now that the chair was playing along, she didn’t appreciated that the mouse and keyboard had wandered to the other side of the room and were giggling at her. The whispering and staring was just aggravating. It wasn’t funny anymore! She had a deadline and nothing was going to prevent her from making it. And since the computer refused to be woken from its nap, she had to try a different route.

Snatching up a pad of paper, she went in search of her pen.

“Be careful there, would ya’? Whiplash, honey. Whiplash! Unhand me woman before I call my lawyer!”

She didn’t know if she could roll her eyes hard enough to convey her annoyance. All he did was lay around, since the computer did most of the work. He could take being manhandled for a while.

Tripping over carpet tassels into the kitchen, she felt her spirits rise as she laid eyes on her pen. But taking in the state of said pen, dismay quickly replaced happiness.

“Write drunk, they said. I can hardly stand, much less dance across miles of paper.” The hiccupping was cute, but couldn’t distract her from the growing panic.

“We can always change places. You can lay down and I can stomp all over you. You heavy footed clod.”

Paper and pen were usually always ready to go. They worked so well together she never had problems using them. But now she’d have to see if she could find that old typewriter. It was always wandering off and shredding the ink ribbon. Said it made its insides taste funny. Between having to wrestle a new ribbon in and forcing it to hold onto paper while she typed, it was always a nightmare.

A new thought crossed her mind. Maybe today was just not the day for any of this. Maybe she should sit down and read that new book she got. Wondering if any other writers had the same struggles she did, she took off down the hall after her cell phone. She’d call her editor and just get the deadline pushed back. If the phone let her.

Another Time

a-writing-exercise

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

 

Standing on the little dirt road, Sally stared at the column of light. It was beautiful with the rainbow of colors swirling around it. She’d pinkie promised all three of her dads that she wouldn’t wander outside alone, especially not by the ‘danger zone’ as they were now calling it. But time was running out. And the voices wouldn’t leave her alone. The light had been calling her name since it showed up the week before.

The adults were all in a tizzy, wondering why it and the other ones around the world were not moving. They looked like pretty tornados, but they didn’t disturb any of the area around them. It didn’t get bigger or smaller. It just stood, reaching into the clouds that now covered all of Earth. And it called her name.

When the light first touched down, everyone thought that bombs were exploding, except no one died. Then people started silently walking into the lights never to return. Sally knew why the lights were there. And where they lead to. And why only certain people ‘went crazy’ and walked into them. Because she wanted to go too. But that would mean leaving her dads behind and she didn’t want them to be sad that she left. So right now, while they were sleep, she was going to try to talk to the light. Her daddies were good, so they should be able to go too. Determined, she started past the hay roll toward the tall being that stepped out. Toward what she knew was a new and better beginning.

At The Top

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

The instructions said to meet her here at noon. That was ten minutes ago. Cold wind blew through the windows and I could no longer ignore my trembling. I could however pretend all of the trembling was from the cold. Not from the rumors that sent everyone else running. Not from the fear that I was just waiting for my death. But here I would stand just a little longer. I would go to the ends of the earth for her.

“Janine…” My name, almost lost in the sound of the wind, floated down from the top of the steps. I froze, hope lighting inside of me. My name came again, in singsong. I didn’t care that it wasn’t possible. The rumors were true, yet I rushed toward the sound of that lovely voice. Towards Rachel. Towards…

Love on the Line

Knight kneeling with a sword

© 2015 Jennifer Currie

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

I swung my sword, getting lucky and drawing blood from the lord. I was clumsy compared to my opponent, who had been training since birth. It wasn’t the weight of the sword that’s was the problem. It was the fact that I was a farmer and not used to it. I’d only wielded my tools to nurture and grow food, never to harm or cut down another person. So throwing it around like a hoe or shovel was not going to help.

The blacksmith had graciously offered me a sword for my life or death battle. He had plenty lying around and I’m not sure if he wanted me to succeed or just to see some entertainment. From what little I noticed before the fight started, it was a beautiful weapon. Again, that little detail wouldn’t help. I was more worried about whether I’d be able to stomach taking a life, and believe me, I am trying my damnedest to take this one. There’s more than just my future at stake. The life of my lover, Edwin, is also forfeit if I die.

Blocking is the easy part. Really, the only goal there is to not get stabbed. It’s the striking my opponent I’m struggling with. Seems that every time I go to move in, I unwittingly leave myself open, forcing me to once again defend my vital parts. For a moment I thought about giving up. Maybe we shouldn’t want to live in a world where we are harassed due to who we love. But then, the world turning on without Edwin in it would be a tragedy of its own. With that thought, I surged forward, determined to see that Edwin live a long, happy life.

A New Beginning

Drawing of car driving down a road

© 2015 Jennifer Currie

*Disclaimer: Please remember, this fictional story is still a work in progress and has not been edited. Please forgive any mistakes or mistypes…hopefully they’re minor.

 

Pulling up in a new town was always a risk. Just because laws had changed didn’t mean that people’s attitudes had changed with them. Most times, Amari could tell the mindset of a town by who was hanging around the gas station and how the attendant reacted. The last town was a hotbed of bigotry and had ended up in the taillights as soon as the gas was done pumping. But Amari was tired of town hopping, and Haviner seemed nice and safe enough for now.

The rinky dink hotel had a bed, hot shower and surprisingly, internet access which were all the requirements Amari had until able to find an apartment. It was a good thing web design could be done remotely or else looking for a job would be in the plans also. Not wanting to draw attention with a greater sense of fashion than most could appreciate, Amari pulled on a pair of loose jeans and graphic tee with a hoodie over it. The outfit was neutral enough and the cooling weather justified the hood if Amari felt the need to hide the odd hair color. It would have been easier to just crash in the bed for the day, but Amari figured it better to get a look around town than waste time if it wasn’t going to be a good fit. Continue reading

API’s Are Helpfully Evil

I’ve been slowly moving forward with FreeCodeCamp. I’ve got a few back solutions to post after they’re prettified and de-Jennifered to make them universally understandable. I’m learning a large amount of information, even if I can’t immediately see how it will be helpful, or even understand it at first. Which brings me to my arch nemesis: API *dun dun dunnnnn*

 

Let me tell you a little story about how we met and didn’t fall in love at first sight:
I was young and naive when I walked into the room. There was a party for all the programmers and I figured I was old enough to attend. All the nice people in the Gitter chat were gushing over how nice API was and how they were a great friend to have. Even though their name, application program interface, suggested otherwise. I figured, I’m nice. I like to meet new people. I bet we could become fast friends. Famous last words if there were ever any.

API Party Love

I swear the party looked just like this when I walked in.

So, there I am, propping up the wall, trying to figure out how to approach API without coming across as too ignorant. Lo and behold, they make the first move. Over comes CodeAcademy to give me tips on what API likes and doesn’t like. CA waves over his friends “Get”, “Post”, “Put”, and “Delete”. They hold my hand while breaking some things down for me. “Get” likes to learn and is always requesting information, while “Post” likes to create new information. “Put” walks around updating and tidying up small things. The three warned me to beware of “Delete” though. His names says it all. I just think he’s misunderstood.

So after our little intro and a little liquid courage, I’m feeling confident and stroll over to meet API for myself. I swear it was like trying to find a ninja that was wearing all black on the night of the new moon in a freaking dense as hell forest. I had no clue where to start. I started to get antsy, but figured before I had a full blown panic attack, I’d ask around.

One person told me that API was wearing a green shirt and liked to walk everywhere backwards. The next said they were wearing a pink tutu and hanging upside down from the rafters. The next person said API was just a myth and I didn’t have high enough security clearance to hear any more.

jQuery saw I was floundering and tried to boost me up, but it was like I’d suddenly forgotten English with as much as I understood him. I politely wandered off. As I was trying to sneak out AJAX bulldozed over me. She bought me a drink, or three, and at that point, I felt I could take on the world.

I boldly stepped to the middle of the room, shouting over everyone, and demanded that API showed their face. Well, remember how they’re a ninja? I saw a foot right before I hit the floor. Node.js sauntered by with a muttered “You asked for that.” I thanked Node for his unsolicited and unhelpful comment before peeling myself, my pride and my migraine up off the floor.

I didn’t officially meet API until 3 days later. Thankfully, their feet stayed on the floor that time. They told me they overreacted, thinking I was another hard-core fan, coming to kidnap and alter their genes again. I gladly accepted an invitation for coffee and a promised explanation of their past and how to make things easier.

We’ve still got a long way to go with getting to know each other, but the Gitter base was right. API is a swell person once you get past that mean round house kick.

Flash Fiction – Flyover

 

We were flying low now getting closer to the castle. Over the horizon the sun was setting in an array of purple, red, orange and yellow brilliance. The waterfall looked dangerous, but it didn’t take away from the magnificence of the castle before me, the shape of the archways and the way the land called out to me. I’d never felt like this before, always knowing something was missing. I was home.