A stranger to the His Dark Materials world. In my tradition, the “subtle realm” can’t be seen or directly experienced, but is there to make the model work. Like dark energy, I suppose. That sort of thing.

Anyway, we were taught a whole lot of things that had to be done. Done right, done on time. Dawn meditation, for example. I feel comfortable if my world is mapped out and numbered. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s my upbringing, but I hate chaos.

I’m now invested so heavily into the Apple ecosystem that there’s no incentive to leave it. What possible advantage could I get from having to trudge up another learning curve? I’ve looked at Androids and Surfaces and they aren’t elegant or powerful or cheap enough to make me cross over again.

I have a Microsoft Office Online account. I just checked. No Access. Excel works, and I just exported my Numbers spreadsheet and it works fine in Excel — what a surprise — and maybe I can do something with that. Linking it to Microsoft Flow, which looks like a cool program, might be useful.

Or there’s something from Oracle called APEX, which is also free online, but appears possibly too much database than I can really handle.

There’s a Mac product, — FileMaker Pro — but that begins at an insane price.

I really just want something simple. A couple of forms to enter/show/edit data, and some reports.

At the moment, I’m entering data manually as I publish each story. It’s pretty clunky. One line per story, with a few chunks of data. Link, reads, earnings, date published, curated, publication. One column per member, so the intersection is the interaction of a person with a story. Totals in both directions.

It works, but it’s not elegant, and if I have anything like a runaway success it will be more trouble than I can handle. Maybe Flow can link notifications with updating the table. I’ll have to look at that, but it looks kind of daunting.

My spreadsheet gives me a map of my Medium network, and I can click on the profiles of those who pay me most attention to return a bit of the love, which is what I’m looking for right now.

Not fully implemented. Another dozen stories and their associated interactions to go, and then it will be maintenance work, which I can possibly automate.

I’m also looking into the Zettelkasten system of making notes. Recording ideas and linking them together and it should result in stories once I put enough material into it.

This is all probably more trouble than I really need for something which makes me a bare profit and takes a couple of hours per day — do I want to work for 50c an hour, really? — but I get the feeling that if I find a sweet spot or crack the code or something, there’s a payoff in it.

But what the hey. I like writing and blogging, and at the moment Medium is a fun game to play.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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