The Zen of SILVER BROWN

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I spontaneously and unwittingly wrote a two-word profundity (indicated below) while debugging a module the other day. It was probably just the leftover THC running through my veins, but my mind was blown clean off when it dawned on me that this is a syntactically correct complete statement that actually means something in the contemporary JavaScript dialects. I could’ve written this countless other ways, but I decided to leave the statement in, just because it’s inspirational as fuck.


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The Zen of SILVER BROWN

What I Learned Under Lockdown

Awe is a necessary ingredient for a healthy human psyche, methinks. Without that boundless childlike fascination with at least one thing, one tends to lose their beginner’s mind and become more susceptible to descent into general awfulness. My current thing is something they tell me is called React, which in a nutshell is the electronic equivalent of Lego…


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Gonna build a castle on this thing. It probably won’t be a big castle, but it’ll be a castle.

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

“Interesting”

The earliest drafts of what would eventually become SILVER BROWN came into being solely because I needed an outlet for my creativity. An outlet I wasn’t getting from my job. I went to college to train in the field of digital media. A line of work normally associated with creating things. But I was seldom allowed to actually create anything. The corporate culture of the firm I ended up working for was extremely hostile towards any semblance of creativity on my part. Particularly during those last few years, when my boss’ mental health had deteriorated to a point where she started engaging in unlawful things. There was only room for one creative genius at that firm, and it wasn’t me. My job was just to follow her orders.

Prior to entering such a suffocating work environment, I loved building websites. Then that love was kindly shown into a black sedan somewhere and garroted from behind like Luca Brasi. So I found a completely different craft to put my passions into – writing. I have no regrets about taking up this noble and ancient art, a craft I’ll continue to practice for as long as the Fates will allow me to. Writing is good for the soul, without question. Seeing your own words right in front of your face has a way of illuminating certain truths in ways that Enlightenment philosophers and pleasant conversations with friends simply don’t.

Even so, one cannot live on writing alone. Every writer needs fuel for their creative motors. With no experiences outside of writing, what will the writer write about? So after some hesitation, I dived into the Hudson to find Luca Brasi and pull him out to shore, reanimating his skeletal remains by immersing myself in the Old Craft, with a focus on learning about this fancy newfangled middleware and how to use it.

Node.js is definitely not your grandpa’s JavaScript. In ancient times, JavaScript was an interpreted client-side language, running locally on a web browser. It was equipped with a number of tools to enable communication between a web page and a server, but willing an actual server into existence using only JavaScript was the stuff of science fiction. Yet science fiction tends to become science fact with the passage of time. In some ways, that’s a good thing. As recently as six weeks ago, I was pretty convinced building some kind of web application would be problematic for me, on account of lack of access to the appropriate resources. Namely, a working server on which I could run scripts. But now I have such a server, having acquired the knowledge to build one myself. Here’s a mini-Twitter I built from scratch that runs on said server…


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It’s not much to look at and there aren’t many bells and whistles yet. I mostly built this to get my feet wet playing with this shit.

This is just the tip of the iceberg; I am fully intent on furthering my education in this technology in the coming months (I tend to catch onto these new technologies in short order – hell, even my psychopath former boss once described me to a few of her contemporaries as a “quick study”). But the grand adventure on the side that is SILVER BROWN is and never was a waste of time. I know it doesn’t go unappreciated, hence the reason why I continue to write. A more detailed report of the progress of the book will come at a later date.

In the meantime, I should mention that I connected with a writer over the holidays who has published over sixty books and is a Master Mason to boot (if I ever get the itch to join that ancient brotherhood, I know who to call). In the first week of the new year he presented me with a printout of the first chapter of SILVER BROWN I had emailed him on New Year’s Eve, which was augmented with his editing suggestions and commentary. His only real complaint was that there was too much jargon used in the text which might get in the way of audience comprehension of the story. But his overall impression was favourable. To use his exact words, he found it “interesting”.


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At least as interesting as this.