My final decision for National Novel Writing Month 2023

I will not be participating. I (and you) will have to imagine the terrible novel I probably would have half-finished.

Instead, I asked ChatGPT to describe a scenario where my imaginary NaNoWriMo novel lead to great success. Here is what it said:

In a whirlwind of creativity and determination, I penned a captivating tale during this year’s National Novel Writing Month that took readers on an unforgettable journey. The story was woven with intricate plotlines, compelling characters, and a touch of magic that resonated with readers on a profound level. With every page turned, readers found themselves immersed in a world that felt both familiar and fantastical, a place where dreams and reality collided in the most enchanting way. The novel struck a chord with people from all walks of life, drawing them in with its rich imagery and emotional depth. Word of mouth spread like wildfire, and soon the book became a topic of discussion in literary circles and book clubs. Social media buzzed with excitement, and the novel’s fan base grew exponentially. Rave reviews poured in, praising the story’s originality, eloquence, and ability to touch the hearts of readers. Publishers vied for the opportunity to bring this literary masterpiece to a wider audience. Ultimately, the novel became a major success, topping bestseller lists and garnering awards, turning its humble origins in National Novel Writing Month into a literary sensation that captured the hearts of readers worldwide.

ChatGPT on what could have been

This is nothing short of amazing – Me

This one great trick for writing a novel super fast

white and gray floral ceramic cup and saucer near black typewriter and book
Stock photo sort of related to the article. Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

With National Novel Writing Month approaching in a few weeks and the prospect of having to write at least 50,000 words in a mere 30 days, many anxious writers may be wondering how to write a large volume of words and how to do it fast.

It’s easy, and this one simple trick will do it. Click below to find out!

(imagine you need to click somewhere below, past 5-7 ads, several of which repeat)

One Guaranteed Way to Write a Novel Almost Instantly1The slightly reworked title is to give you a sense of unease, like “Is this the same article? Maybe I should scroll through more ads to be sure.”

(at this point, one of the next three things occurs)

  • The article fails to load, coincidentally forcing you to reload the page and see all the ads again
  • You get to the bottom and to what seems like a story (or is it an ad?) about using AI to churn out reams of text automagically. It’s never clear if this is the article or not.
  • Sandwiched between two busy ads is this single line of text: “Learn to type 500 words per minute.”

Later: Ads about learning to write fast (probably by using AI) follow you everywhere online for the next 6–12 months.

Short stories about running as suggested by AI

I asked ChatGPT to give me the winning lottery numbers, and it didn’t, so instead, I asked for five short story titles about running. They were pretty dull, so I asked for five more that were funny and then another five that were weird.

The answers it gave were generally like ones you’d come up with while trying to brainstorm when you’re very tired and your brain’s most insistent thought is “Go to bed, for the love of all that is holy, go to bed.”

Here are a few I liked:

  • “Run Like the Wind, Trip Like the Clumsy”. I feel like ChatGPT scraped this blog to come up with this one.
  • “The Secret Society of Running Gnomes: Small Feet, Big Adventures”. This is a case where the title would probably be better than the actual story.
  • “The Quantum Run: When Every Step Leads to Parallel Universes”. I like the trippy potential of this. The title stinks, but the concept is good.

Will I take one of these ideas and turn it into a short story that might make one’s socks roll up and down in delight? Probably not, but I will say it’s more likely than me winning the lottery, so there’s that.

Addressing concerns of my blog being scraped by AI

It’s 2023 and that means the big thing is AI (that’s Artificial Intelligence, not some guy named Al). If you are reading this in some other year, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about from your tiny, climate-ravaged hovel. Or you may be wondering the same as a gleaming machine built on AI yourself! Who can say what the future holds?

As for the present, it started in 2022 when AI-generated art became a thing. That’s still ongoing (see the controversy over Marvel using AI-generated art for its opening credits to Secret Invasion), but things kicked into high gear right near the end of the year when OpenAI unveiled its ChatGPT website to the public, allowing you to query an AI built on all kinds of data scraped from the internet through 2021. You could ask for recipes, have it write haikus, or generate code, or just write your crappy books and list them on Amazon for you. There are concerns, as you might imagine.

Given the recent implosion over at Twitter over what Elon “Galaxy Brain” Musk has called “extreme levels of data scraping”, I wondered, might my own humble blog be subjected to the same? It is, after all, a treasure trove of my collected thoughts and wisdom, stretching back 18 years! In internet time, that’s like going back to the dinosaurs. Or at least mastodons (not to be confused with the social media platform). What can I do to protect my sacred words from evil, exploiting AI? How could I stop some young lad from going down the wrong path by using text from to, in some small way, help write his homework, leaving him bereft of critical thinking and writing skills, and therefore destined to a life of petty crime and indolence?

I have the answer.

I’ll fill every post with words I’ve made up. Eventually, Nedlish will become the universal language Esperanto could only ever dream of becoming. This is a perfect plan. Let’s get started.

  • narnar
  • flembock
  • poddle
  • wistern
  • lugpuppy
  • droofus
  • edumatainmentification
  • yubbo

More to come. Get to work, AI, on the glorious Nedlish future!

Letting AI name your cat

I asked ChatGPT to come up with ten cat names. Here they are:

  1. Whiskers
  2. Luna
  3. Oliver
  4. Bella
  5. Simba
  6. Lily
  7. Charlie
  8. Chloe
  9. Max
  10. Lucy

I mean, Whiskers is probably the most obvious cat name, sort of the cat equivalent of Fido or Rover. The others are all just human names that don’t seem very cat-like to me, except for Simba, which is a little too on-the-nose.

I asked for ten more names, but didn’t apply any new conditions:

  1. Leo
  2. Cleo
  3. Shadow
  4. Ginger
  5. Molly
  6. Jasper
  7. Willow
  8. Felix
  9. Nala
  10. Oscar

Some of these are more cat-sounding, like Shadow and Ginger. Overall, the names are pretty unimaginative. Since ChatGPT is drawing answers from what it finds on the internet, you can draw your own conclusion on how clever most people are with naming their cats.

Finally, I asked for unconventional cat names:

  1. Moxie
  2. Ziggy
  3. Nimbus
  4. Pixel
  5. Pippin
  6. Sprinkles
  7. Quirk
  8. Whiskerdo
  9. Zephyr
  10. Glimmer

Whiskerdo just makes me laugh. Well done, ChatGPT. Ziggy is cute, and Sprinkles is about perfect for some kind of weird Calico.

Anyway, I’ll keep these in mind if we ever get a cat, and we decide not to go with Fuzzy McPurrPants.

Also, here is a cat I’ve posted before and continues to make me laugh every time I see it:

Three line bedtime story

It’s late and I need to get to bed, but wanted to post something, so, being 2023, I asked AI to do it for me!

Here’s ChatGPT’s three-line bedtime story:

Once upon a time, in a far-off land,
Lived a tiny snail with a shell so grand,
Every night, she would dream of being a butterfly, soaring over the sand.

It’s more a poem than a story, but what does it know? Thanks, AI!

In which AI gets sued by Disney

silhouette of person standing near a doorway with bright light
This is apparently a parallel dimension. OK! Photo by Mo Eid on

Years ago, I wrote an (unfinished) novel for National Novel Writing Month that involved a parallel dimension. I never had a good title for it, and used the clunky working title “Start of the World”, which sounds a bit like a bad translation. Then I thought, why use my brain to come up with a title when I can ask an AI chat program to do the mental lifting for me?

It turns out the answer is because it comes up with incredibly banal titles. Or maybe my prompts suck. In any case, I asked ChatGPT for 10 titles and #10 would likely to result in a call from Disney’s legal department1Actually, tittles can’t be trademarked, but try telling that to Disney less than a year after the second Dr. Strange movie..

Give me 10 titles for horror novels that involve alternate dimensions

  1. “The Shadow Realm”
  2. “Parallel Terrors”
  3. “Through the Void”
  4. “Twisted Realities”
  5. “The Other Side”
  6. “Gateway to Horror”
  7. “The Fourth Dimension of Fear”
  8. “Infinite Nightmares”
  9. “Beyond the Veil”
  10. “The Multiverse of Madness”

These are all so bland, I wouldn’t use any of them. Yes, even the one Disney actually used. Undaunted, I asked ChatGPT to give me 10 more:

  1. “Dimensional Descent”
  2. “The Darker Side”
  3. “Alternate Realms of Horror”
  4. “The Otherworldly Terror”
  5. “Twilight Dimensions”
  6. “The Doppelgänger Effect”
  7. “The Abyssal Gate”
  8. “The Haunted Multiverse”
  9. “The Sinister Parallel”
  10. “Terror from Beyond”

A few of these are not horrible, but they’re all still incredibly generic. I especially like the on-the-nose “Alternate Realms of Horror.” That’s a novel name that is very much “what it says on the tin.” Maybe the prompt itself was too generic. I tweaked it a little. Probably too little.

Give me 10 titles for a modern horror novel featuring parallel dimensions

  1. “Interdimensional Nightmare”
  2. “The Multiverse Horror”
  3. “Parallel Panic”
  4. “Beyond Our World”
  5. “The Alternate Abyss”
  6. “Dread Dimensions”
  7. “The Parallel Paradox”
  8. “The Multidimensional Menace”
  9. “The Terrifying Twinverse”
  10. “Portals of Horror”

These are also pretty uninspired, but I like the alliteration it leaned into, especially for “Parallel Panic” and “Dread Dimensions”. “The Terrifying Twinverse” made me laugh, so there’s that.

I’ll try this again at some point when I can think of a prompt that will at least produce bizarre results, if nothing else.

10 light blog post topics

Once again, I consulted my favourite AI after the Master Control Program in TRON, ChatGPT, for 10 light blog topic ideas.

Rather than spread them out over 10 separate posts, I’m going to include all of them conveniently right here!

First, the topics suggested by ChatGPT:

  1. “5 easy DIY home decor ideas”
  2. “10 fun outdoor activities for families”
  3. “Healthy meal prep ideas for the week”
  4. “7 ways to boost your productivity at work”
  5. “A beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation”
  6. “The benefits of practising gratitude daily”
  7. “How to create a successful morning routine”
  8. “The best books to read for personal growth”
  9. “Budget-friendly date night ideas”
  10. “The importance of self-care and ways to do it”.

And all 10 topics covered below, squashed into this one entry for your convenience and/or reading pleasure:

5 Easy DIY Home Decor Ideas

  1. Don’t just put your kids’ “interesting” drawings on the fridge, paper all the walls of your house with them. You may need more productive kids or many more kids to really make this idea shine.
  2. Take the plastic off your furniture. It’s time.
  3. Get rid of your pets. They shed all over everything. Fish are OK.
  4. Win the lottery and hire a professional interior decorator because let’s face it, you probably don’t know what you’re doing.
  5. Paint the walls with optical illusions that make it look like each room of your home is actually just a shabby corner of some grand palace.

10 Fun Outdoor Activities For Families

  1. Try to get the dog in the car
  2. Try to get the dog out of the car
  3. Lawn darts (note: I think this might be illegal now, so maybe check first to avoid getting arrested and/or having your kids taken away by the child welfare people)
  4. Jumping in puddles in the rain. Works best if you are under six years old.
  5. Count the ants at your picnic in the park
  6. Run away from the bees
  7. Go hiking around a lake, with trees and shit*
  8. Abuse nature with your off-road vehicle
  9. Visit exotic sand dunes, then relive the experience for the next week while you try to get the sand out of everything
  10. Crash your neighbour’s backyard barbecue. You’re pretty sure they like you.

* stolen from McSweeney’s

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for the Week

  • Salad
  • A plate of raw vegetables
  • More salad
  • Tofu Surprise
  • Probably some more vegetables, maybe in soup this time. But no salt. Sodium is bad.
  • This feels like the right time for more salad
  • Eat out at that vegan place that curiously has no reviews after being open for four months

7 Ways to Boost Your Productivity at Work

  1. Hire someone better than you to do your work
  2. Put in long, grinding, soul-destroying hours
  3. Sharpen pencils on your own time
  4. Rig up one of those little dipping bird things to peck at your keyboard
  5. Get ChatGPT to do all of your programming, writing or email. Basically, anything that you would type out as part of your job.
  6. Encourage management to hire lousy slobs to make you look better in comparison
  7. Redefine your role to best suit your limited skill set

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation

  • Remember to breathe, or you might pass out or maybe even die
  • Ignore the neighbours screaming and throwing things upstairs–it’s all part of finding inner peace
  • If your yoga position is causing excruciating pain, just remember: The pain is all in your mind

The Benefits of Practising Gratitude Daily

Gosh, this one is tough. I mean, I guess if you’re grateful for something, your life doesn’t totally suck, so that’s good! And being grateful usually means you’re happy about something, so you’re not thinking about how that rat you thought was your friend still owes you a hundred bucks. What’s their deal, anyway? Also, if you’re grateful, maybe you’ll enter an elevated state of mind where you come up with some super genius idea like cold fusion that works, or how to lick climate change. I mean, it’s theoretically possible.

How To Create a Successful Morning Routine

  1. Get up while it’s still morning.
  2. Do the things you need to do.
  3. Repeat every day until the day you die.
  4. You probably don’t need to do this as a ghost or whatever.

The Best Book to Read For Personal Growth

  • Any book with “growth” in the title that is not referring to fungal growth
  • Any book with “habit” in the title that is not about nuns. Or maybe a book about nuns is exactly what you need, sister!
  • “How to Influence People Through Hypnosis and Trickery”
  • Oh wait, I was only supposed to mention one book.
  • Fine, read The Handbook of Etiquette. Sure, it was written in 1860, but that probably means it’s free now, so you save money to put toward your personal growth. And it’s bound to have some decent advice in it. What’s really changed in 163 years?

Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas

  • Have your date pay for everything.
  • Stimulating conversation at the kitchen table
  • $10 bottle of wine and a $15 tent bought from Walmart, in the backyard. Make sure the dog is inside. The house, not the tent.
  • Watching the stars from a grassy hill. You may need to move to the Australian outback for this to really work now.
  • Charades. I’m kidding, you probably want a second date. Or to finish the first one.
  • Troll people on your favourite social media site. Make it a game you play together. See who garners the most angry responses or blocks!

The Importance of Self Care and Ways to Do It

First, if you don’t brush your teeth, it’s highly unlikely someone else will do it for you. So it’s important to do stuff like that unless you have extremely close and generous friends.

Taking care of yourself is best learned through watching endless hours of self-improvement videos on YouTube. There’s too many to list, but you’ll find them. Just watch them all for a few weeks. By the end you’ll be self caring like a mofo, as the kids say.

Also, avoid donuts. I know they are delicious, but they are bad for your teeth–which you have to brush yourself–and they probably contain chemicals that cause cancer.

If you find my advice useful, please support me through my Patreon.

Exciting blog topics: Too exciting

a vintage typewriter
I love stock photos. Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

I asked ChatGPT to generate ten exciting blog topics because I didn’t even write anything yesterday and felt bad. It came up with a list that’s way too ambitious compared to the kind of mindless frippery I usually post here. So I’m just going to paste its list instead and call this a success.

10 Exciting Blog Topics

  1. “Exploring the Future of Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Society”
  2. “The Rise of Remote Work and its Effect on Productivity”
  3. “Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: How Brands are Making a Difference”
  4. “The Science of Sleep: Understanding the Importance of a Good Night’s Rest”
  5. “The Evolution of Virtual Reality: How it is Changing the Way We Experience the World”
  6. “The Future of Transportation: Electric Cars, Hyperloops, and More”
  7. “The Mental Health Benefits of Gardening and How to Get Started”
  8. “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”
  9. “The Future of Food: How Technology is Changing the Way We Grow and Eat”
  10. “Exploring the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and How to Get Started”