Updates MWF

Reading List

tackling one book at a time

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Pile of Books
So many books, so little time.

I have an innumerable number of books that I've placed in the backburner of my reading list. SC once told me, 'You cant read everything'. Why not? We have phones, audiobooks, kindles, nooks, tv, laptops, text-to-speech programs, libraries... We have so many tools at our disposal. What's stopping someone from constantly and consistently reading a few books. It's more than possible.

Partially, the reason why I am posting the reading list is because I want to be held accountable for reading all the books I intend to read. While, there is no particular order to which books I desire to read, I do want to have a balanced reading diet. I tend to heavily lean towards Science Fiction and Fantasy because that is what I am most comfortable with. But, I see the need to read other types of books including technical manuals, philosophy books, and biographies.

I also have a bad habit of not finishing books I've started. As a countermeasure, I've made it a habit of breaking the book down into small measurable chunks (usually by chapters). This especially hope is helpful when I'm reading multiple books concurrently.

Lastly, I enjoy rereading books. Usually my second time round is much more enjoyable than my first read because I focus more on the prose, wordplay, character development and storyline.

Book list:

Note: This is not written in any specific order. I will add more books as I continue to find books I am interested in reading.

Book Title Author Status Percentage
A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki Reading 32%
WoT Series Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson On Hiatus N/A
Mistborn Trilogy Brandon Sanderson On Hiatus N/A
Hardwire Excellence Quint Studer On Hiatus 0%
A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox Anthony Weston On Hiatus 0%
How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie On Hiatus 0%
This Boy's Life: A Memoir Tobias Wolff On Hiatus 0%
From Frontier to Suburb Alan Hynding On Hiatus 0%
Pacifica Chris Hunter, Bill Drake, and the Pacifica Historical Society On Hiatus 0%

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Appendix

a list of lists, manuals, and additional resources

Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential. Winston Churchill

xevscreenshot
I frequently need to reference long lists of boring information to be productive like interpreting the 'xev' command above.

As I continue to write in this blog and do research, I'll store my tutorials, notes, and resources in this section of the blog.

Blog Standards Manual

In this blog, I want to have a sort of consistency in style. Most of the blog is already formatted using CSS, but there are still some aspects that I still need to consider when organizing the blog including tags, update scheduling, image formatting, etc...

Tutorials

Tutorials made by yours truly.

Lists and Rubrics

Lists and Rubrics made by yours truly.

Resources

Here are some resources that I blatently copied and pasted from other websites. These are usually readily available material, and I ALWAYS credit or link to the original article where I got it from. Most of the information that is stored here are long lists of information (like ASCII codes, keyboard shortcuts, and colors).

Notes

Water Color Palette
A color palette of my current watercolors. It's useful to me but might not be for you.

I always have a habit of losing my notes or at least never using them because they are innaccessible. While this section is open for anyone to read, it is not really meant for anybody but myself.

The Notes section is a little bit different from the rest of the blog. Mainly, notes are not added to the blog role. Therefore, as I add information to this notes page, new posts will not be added to the homepage.

Types of Notes

Notes may not be understandable to the reader. This resource is not really meant for you. It is more or less meant for me.

Many notes be added and deleted as the blog continues. Many of my notes will be turned into actual fully fleshed blog posts. Once, that happens, it doesn't make sense to keep them in my notes page.

Types of Notes:

  • Lecture Notes
  • Book Notes
  • Resource Notes
  • Sermon Notes
  • Appendix Rough Drafts

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essay overview

Essays

joining the larger narrative through writing

"You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, and discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about... You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defensel another aligns himself against you... The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress. Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form.

Introduction

Essay Draft
I prefer to write with pen and paper when drafting an essay.

I decided to separate my journal posts with my essay posts.

The definition of an essay in this blog is quite specific because it contains the following

  • Has a clear underlining philosophical idea
  • Has a clear purpose and goal
  • Essays are a part of a larger narrative, and I am here to "put in [my] oar."

There's also another reason why I've placed my essays into a seperate subsection of this blog. Working in an academic field, I know that I'll continue to write hundreds of essays before I die. I don't want to write them for the sake of getting a good grade. I truly want the world to change for the better, and I've put my voice out there to argue, pursuade, and enlighten the world with my writing. So, I'm keeping my essays open to the public, and I take the risk of standing by my essays. If I am wrong, tell me. Let's keep the discussion going. I am always open to listen and to learn.

Essays

Here's a list of all my essays to date:

  • Currently empty.

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overview project

Projects

where ideas take flight

Big ideas, big ambitious projects need to be embedded within culture at a level deeper than the political winds. It needs to be deeper than the economic fluctuations that could turn people against an expensive project because they're on an unemployment line and can't feed their families. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Brother Making Cheese
Here was one of my older projects of making cheese.

When I was younger, I wanted to do everything. Realizing that this was an impossible task as I got older, I dropped many of these passions in pursuit of a single vocation. I regret that decision. I'm behind where I wanted to be, but it's never too late to start right? I have a million projects I want to do and all accomplish every single one! (This is an exaggeration of course. I have, at most, a dozen projects running at the same time.)

Yet, if experience has taught me anything, I can't pursue all these projects have haphazardly and expect them all to magically to get done. So I'll list, organize, and categorize every step until all my projects are finished with completion and with excellence.

Current and Future Projects

Here is a running list of all my projects and a short description. To look at the entire project, please click on the headers below.

Often Zhan Blog (Appendix)

Technically, this blog is one of my main projects. However, since this entire site is the blog and not a subcategory of it, I've decided to place the updates and changelog in Appendix rather than in Projects.

Book Design

I've always been interested in quality book binding, especially since it plays a big role in the enjoyment of a journal or book. Personally, I like softcover sewn binding (like Smyth Sewn Binding and Coptic Binding) and Stapled Saddlestitch Binding (like those commonly found in booklets). I've always WANTED to be a fan of hardcover books, but alas, I'm not. Trust me, I've tried. The bookbinding project is divided into multiple categories/tags.

  • Notebooks (Blank Journals)
  • Booklets (Saddle Stitch Style Books of less than 100 pages.)
  • Book Printing (Adding Different Color Ink and Dyes on Paper .)
  • Graphic Design (Aesthetic look of the printed material inside the notebook/booklet/book.)

Health

I've never liked using the word "Healthy" because the word is so ambiguous. Anything can be healthy, and projects can be both healthy and unhealty at the same time. Everything I do is meant to improve my well-being. Writing this blog can be used to help my mental well-being.

So when I mean health, what I mean are the projects specifically meant to prolong my life and prevent my early death.

Fitness

Physical fitness is the first thing that everyone thinks about when they imagine health. I'm trying to improve myself on many aspects within fitness including:

  • Lifting Weights - Lifting weights should be a staple form of exercise for most (if not all) people.
  • Running a Mile - Cardio exercise is important and relaxing.
  • Prevention of Family Related Diseases - Both sides of my family has had issues with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and I would like to prevent these issues as much as possible by taking them into consideration now.

Cooking

I want to eat healthy and lose weight. I'm getting chubby.

Minimalism

Blame CL for getting me into this topic. I don't care for perfection, but I want my room to be just enough orderly to not lose anything and to be just enough chaotic to be creative. It's a fine line to walk, but it's possible. I don't have time to wait for my muse to come before I can start a project, so I have to find another way to get my creative juices flowing. For the sake of this blog and its projects, minimalism is defined as

Getting rid of anything that gets in the way of my interests, goals, passions, and projects.

This section is my attempt to remove all the unneccessities. That's it. Not Buddism. Not aesthetics. Not enviromentalism. Yes, they may play a role in minimalism but only as an indirect role. In other words, minimalism is the physical and design aspects of productivity.

Family History

I am also interested in recording family history. It's important, and the next generation is starting to die. I can learn about medieval history whenever I want, but once my dad, mom, uncles, and aunties are gone, their story is gone forever unless someone writes them down. They are important to me and what they find important is important to me too.

This is my attempt to record their memories and to keep their vision alive in us.

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series overview

Series

web serials and novels

"You can make anything by writing. C.S. Lewis

Introduction

A sample worldbuilding map I am working on.
A rough drawing of the Three Crown Kingdom from <i>Crown of Solstice</i>.

Over the course of my life, I've saved the world from ultimate destruction, travelled across unknown lands, rescued princesses, slain monsters, and travelled across unknown regions of space. I've loved and lost. Wept and laughed. Lived and died. Of course, I'm not talking about the slow crawl and humdrum of real life, but through the worlds of literature.

One day, I was neck-deep in a book when I had an idea. It was a simple thought: "I love reading so much. I love the culture of books. I don't want to just be an outsider looking in, I want to be a part of it!"

At first, this thought was a pinprick of an idea, but it soon grew into a tempest. It fractured, recombined, and solidified over the years, but this idea—now turned into a full blown passion—never lost it's original innocence, spirit, and purpose.

Serials

This section of the blog is my fumbling about in making stories from beginning to end. I'll write a lot of my short stories here. Some of them will be good. Some of them will be bad.

Of these, a choice few—those that have potential—will be fleshed out chapter-by-chapter and made into full length novels.

The current status of a particular story will be the following:

Status Description
One Shot No subsequent installments intended.
Completed Entire storyline is finished.
On Hiatus Temporarily 'put on hold' but will be continued.
Discontinued Terminated with no intention of completion.
On Going Currently being being updated on a consistent basis.

Sometimes, a tentative continuation date will be placed next to the status symbol. For Example: On Hiatus [12/15/19]. Also, if a storyline has completed a major milestone—like completing a book or major story arc—it will be automatically labelled as On Hiatus until the next installment has begun.

List of all Stories

Here is a list of all my current stories to date:

Serial Status Chapters Description
Crown of Solstice Pending N/A A baker, a princess, a revolutionary, and a soldier are swept by fate to save the world.
Rogues of Fortune Pending N/A Loosely based on my D&D group sessions from 2014 – 2017.

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