This month’s IWSG question asks: How has your creativity evolved since you began writing?
In my previous career, I was a programmer. I dwelled in a company cubicle Monday through Friday, 40-60 hours/week. And often on weekends because that’s when programmers break stuff make system changes. That sort of job, which I held for longer than I choose to reveal, shaped my approach to all work, including writing.
Basically, the approach goes like this: show up. Ideas happen on their own. Work does not. Guess which one of those outcomes is no good without the other.
Parties and umbrella drinks are great on their own. But together, they make a celebration.
Greetings from the Northern Hemisphere where it’s Summertime, and the wattage is fine. Have I mentioned, the Grehan stronghold is powered by the Sun? But of course!Last May I kicked off this website’s monthly solar report feature. Here’s the inaugural post. This month, I’ll provide a tiny bit of spec about our solar setup.
The term PV system refers to all of the components required to turn sunshine into margaritas in my blender. PV stands for photovoltaic. Components vary depending on the system. Here’s an illustration to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. I found the pic, where else? On Wiki.
If you were to gaze fondly upward at the Grehan’s roof, you’d see our PV System’s solar array. Twenty-five shiny blue panels manufactured by Canadian Solar. The panels can withstand wind speeds up to 90 mph, and snow loads of 25 psf. Underneath (attached to) each panel, is an Enphase micro inverter. Twenty-five inverters in total, each rated for 260 watts. This setup gives us panel-level converting. A single shady panel won’t impact the entire array. The micro inverters also enable panel-level monitoring through the Enphase Enlighten app. I used the Enlighten app to create the monthly production report you’ll find below. The app also provides realtime monitoring.
Realtime! Holy Sunshine!
In case you’re wondering, our system is tied to the grid. In my locale, you can’t live off grid. You heard right, my prepper friends. Off grid is not permitted around here. You’ll be relieved to know that, if the grid fails, my computer will pull power from a bank of solar-charged batteries. Lack of public utility power won’t disrupt the posting of my doodles.
Perhaps in a later post I’ll describe all the other wires and cables and boxes that comprise the totality of the Grehan’s PV System. For now, let’s get to the stats:
Grehan here. I’m proud of myself. Three consecutive months I’ve shown up for IWSG blog hop. June’s prompt goes something like this:
What’s harder to come up with: story titles, or character names?
This’ll be quick.
I don’t sweat over this stuff.
These aren’t dogs we’re talking about. Stories don’t have to come when they’re called. The title is a digital placeholder, a pointer that directs you to the genius tale you’re focused on creating.
Characters? Unless you’re writing biography, character names are meaningful only to you. I’ll bet my cap feathers nobody ever read the final page of a novel, and then sighed and said, “What great names.”
On the final edit, and the really final edit, and the edit that might genuinely be the last final edit, I’m still open to suggestion. If you’re planning to involve other people in your publishing journey, don’t grow attached.
Pitch, premise, synopsis, and story. Those are your bread and butter.
Not coincidentally, this month’s IWSG prompt is about Spring.
The IWSG asks: Does Spring inspire you to write more than other seasons?
My answer is no.
I’m a writer. It’s my job. And not a seasonal job. Hey, if I waited for inspiration to strike, I wouldn’t jot so much as a store note. Imagine calling the plumber and they say, “Sorry about your rusty pipes, but I’m not feeling the muse.”
Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. I show up. Writing happens.
That’s not to say that Spring isn’t a special time of year. I live in the northeastern US. In these parts, we claw out of Winter like Uma escaping the grave.
My writing habit won’t change with the arrival of Spring, but–but–I will generate more. More energy.
You see, the Grehans are friendly with the sun.
That’s right, we’re solar.
In the spirit of the IWSG prompt, my solar panels have found their muse and, man, they are churning out the juice. In Springtime, the sun climbs higher and the days begin to stretch. These are happy times for those of us who dwell beneath the bright blue tiles.
In my part of the US, solar is still rare, though I’m lately seeing more shiny roofs. Because I’m often asked about my experience with solar power, I’ll use the IWSG prompt to launch a solar report feature.
Our panels were installed in 2016 to take advantage of a federal tax incentive, called the Investment Tax Credit, that was due to expire at the end of that year.* The ITC allowed taxpayers to deduct thirty-percent of their installation costs, with no cap. That was a decent incentive.
Beginning today and until I lose interest, I’ll post sporadic regular updates about our energy production. To make sense of the stats, it might help to know that The Grehans enjoy living small. We occupy a meager 1200 sq ft. We own one television, no cable, dish or fios, so most of the time the TV is dark. On the other hand, we’re tech heads so computers abound, as well as other smart toys. Even though we love gadgets we’re not big consumers of anything (save whiskey) and our solar is sized accordingly.
In other words, your results may vary.
Solar generation, 2018 April
I’m saving trees, baby! Except for the ten I chopped down cause they gave too much shade — just kidding! Am I?
My alter ego, The Fool, pictured on the right, has taken to the road for today’s challenge letter. If you’re thinking I took an easy path, by drawing another doodle, I’ll have you know I was at the task for most of the afternoon. I’m calling the result a mock memoir title. I haven’t decided what nonsense should be visible through the rear van window. Any ideas?