First off, I'd like to point out that the deadline for the Potlatch 15 Taste of Clarion West Writers' Workshop, which I am coordinating, is January 15. That is, manuscripts must be received by then. If you've been thinking about participating, now's the time to take action.
With that out of the way... one of the two radio stations I listen to with any regularity is KINK, whose slogan is "True to the Music" (the other is KOPB, the public radio station). I really like KINK's playlist, which is a mix of old and new stuff unlike any other station in town. But I don't always catch the names of the artists and songs, which means that there are a lot of songs I enjoy but couldn't pick out of a line-up (or, more to the point, out of the rack at a used CD store). So today I had a brainstorm. KINK makes its playlist available online. I wrote a shellscript to read the playlist and output a web page that searches for a song, artist, or album in the iTunes Music Store with a single click. Now I can start with an alphabetized list of KINK songs and easily hear a 30-second snippet that tells me which one is which. I hope to find out soon who my favorite artists are. Kate's also excited by this tool.
The 337 words above is a bit of a cheat, since I brought in a couple of paragraphs from the previous draft of the story (so much for a from-the-ground-up rewrite). But they're good paragraphs, and I see no reason to leave perfectly good words just lying around unused. I suspect I'm not going to be able to reuse a lot of verbiage, though, because the world of the story is a lot grittier in this draft and the main character's much more of a hot-headed punk.
A snippet: "A few hours and a lot of kif later we were both scratching equations on the table top with an emergency rescue tool, shouting back and forth and grinning like idiots. When we ran out of table we started in on the wall."