The next day, Travis left for the station twenty minutes early, partly to account for the additional time his walk would take, but mainly to enjoy the morning air.
He liked walking the clean morning air, before the traffic of the day started to pollute it. Previously, he used to walk to the station, but had started taking the bus a couple of months back when maintenance workers had dug up the sidewalks to install the new fibre cable. That work was almost nearing completion now, and if the crew stuck to their schedule, would be over by next Tuesday. Just in time too, he thought.
The walk to the station took him almost fifteen minutes if he walked at his normal walking speed, and twenty minutes if he proceeded at a more leisurely pace. He chose the second option now, as we wanted to enjoy the early morning atmosphere.
As soon as he started walking, he started thinking about the first order of business, which was deciding on a story for his novel. What genre should he select? Should he write a mystery novel featuring the exploits of a Sherlock Holmes like detective? Or should he write that horror story about ghosts and demons which he always wanted to write, but never got around to? Maybe he could try his hand at fan-fiction, which also seemed to be a popular genre among amateur authors? Or maybe a futuristic science fiction story set in, well, the future (where else)? Or should he go in the opposite direction, and choose the genre of historical fiction as his playing field? Or was it better to just escape these worldly connections and embark on a fantastic adventure? Or should he focus on the lighter side of things and make an attempt at a lighthearted comedy? Or maybe see the glass as half empty, and write a serious drama instead?
And that was not all. There were again sub-genres within these well established genres. For instance, if he decided to write a mystery novel, should it be one long mystery? Or should they be a collection of short mysteries? Or should they be short stories which appear to be separate but are later revealed to be bits and pieces of a much bigger mystery? Similarly, if he were to consider science fiction, should he fast forward to earth in the future? Or should he send his protagonist on a mission in space? Or maybe do it the other way round, and have someone (or something, or maybe both) from 'out there' come to visit Earth?
Travis was still thinking along these lines as he stood in the small queue in front of the ticket counter. It was only when his turn came that his reverie broke and he realised that he had a pass and did not need a ticket. He mumbled his apologies (along with a few vague excuses thrown in for safe measure, to justify his apparent absent mindedness), to the person behind the ticket window and to the two people that were behind him, and made his way towards the platform. A couple of minutes later, the train arrived. Luckily for Travis, his walk had taken lesser time than he had expected, and so he had the good fortune to catch the last train preceding the morning rush of commuters. After securing a seat by the window, his thoughts again returned to NaNoWriMo.
He decided to continue his earlier train of thought and began a mental review of other possible genres and their sub-genres which he could use for the story of his novel. Horror seemed to be another good candidate, as he could write about ghosts, or demonic possessions, or just plain old evil spirits finding a portal to come to earth and wreak havoc. Fantasy was another genre which appealed to him, as there was ample scope for including magic and wizards and evil sorcerers and all sorts of creatures in his story. And if he were to write a humorous story, how would he go about it? Would it be better to have a goofy character who ended up doing wrong things, or should it be more of a situational nature, where the ways in which the characters go about finding their way out of a tricky situation leads to hilarious results.
Travis would have continued this further had not the train reached his station. Once out of the station, a short walk brought him to the building where his office was located. Once inside, he replaced his thoughts about NaNoWriMo with those of work (Travis was one of those people who could just stop thinking about something at one time, and resume thinking from the same point at some later point in time).
There was some work which had to be attended to. There were some bugs identified during testing in one of the applications he was involved in. These he identified to be due to change in one of the third party libraries they were using. The working of a particular piece of functionality had changed in the most recent version while their application code was written keeping the older functionality in mind. The next couple of hours were spent in reading the library's documentation to understand what had changed, going through his code to identify places where the logic needed to be updated, followed by carrying out the actual changes. Once done, Travis carried out some basic sanity checks to ensure that the recent changes did not break any functionality. When he was satisfied that the application was working as expected, he committed his changes in the version control system, briefly describing the changes done in the comments, ran a rebuild, and released the updated application to the testing team.
After lunch, he applied finishing touches to his work on the map viewer library which he had started a few days back. This library was originally written by Travis and his colleagues in an earlier project. It would have been forgotten after the project was over had some of their other clients not requested the same feature, that of seeing a map with a location marker next to the address at all places where an address was to be displayed on the screen. Once he was done, he sought one of the junior developers assigned to him, and after explaining the general working of the library, asked her to try using the library in a few sample use cases, so that its re-usability could be assessed. Then he was engrossed in examining possible optimisations in a set of database queries that were causing a performance bottleneck in another of their applications.
By the time he was done with this task, it was almost time to leave for home. But as luck would have it, his boss, Jim, gave him a last minute assignment. They had to prepare a proposal for one of their clients and Travis was to fill in the technical details. This was somewhat urgent, as the proposal had to be sent on Monday.
"Who is the client?", asked Travis.
"The gear manufacturer we visited last week.", came the reply.
"Yes. You were there during our meeting last week. So you know what is it they are looking for. Stick to the approach we had proposed, but make sure to include a technical overview of some of the newer features we will be providing."
"Will do. I'll be able to finish it over the weekend, so that we can review it on Monday morning. We should be in a position to send it across before end of day."
"Fine by me.", said Jim, "Say, have you seen Frank by any chance? I have to discuss some client feedback for the prototypes we sent last week."
Frank was one of their User Experience (often abbreviated as UX) designers, Fortunately for Jim, Travis was aware of his whereabouts.
"I think he and his team are in meeting room one, discussing findings from yesterday's visit."
"Ah, yes. I almost forgot about that. Thanks for the info."
Once Jim was gone, Travis's thoughts returned to his present assignment. He could easily finish it after reaching home, as there was not much that needed to be done. NaNoWriMo would have to wait a little, he thought.
However, that did not in any stop him from thinking about the possible subject matter for his novel on the journey back. He once again quickly ran through all the ideas which had come to his mind in the morning. That did not serve to diminish his indecision in any way. So, he decided to see whether a technique he and his colleagues used while developing software could be applied to solve this problem. But that would have to wait until later.1111Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1e5Rd0d1DR