Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nor'Easters and More...

Considering what the majority of Canadians have been getting over the last while, getting a rainy nor'easter is nothing, even with a leaky roof and the power holding on by a wing and a prayer. I can't complain, it is NOT snow and that's the main thing.
If the amount of rain we got overnight last night had been snow, we would have been buried under half a meter (50 cm or 20 inches in American) of the white garbage. The ditches along the side of the road were full, as was the yard across the road from us... A lot of rain came down in one heck of a short time. I'm glad it wasn't overly cold and the temperature did not drop until it was close to afternoon bus time. Otherwise, the roads would have been treacherous for the buses.

WRITING NEWS

There is progress to report on Twelve, in the same area I was working on last week. The first draft of that area is almost finished and it looks like it's going to cover an entire chapter. It is choppy in spots but where it's a first draft, that's okay for now. I can fix it later, right? :)

I have also started rewriting the last scene in chapter five, because I was stuck and realized I was doing a huge information dump in that spot. It's better if I have the information scattered throughout the entire manuscript instead of one area, less painful for the readers.

That's if this one ever sees the light of day...

OTHER NEWS

Gang, the "Creed" part of my blog title doesn't just refer to music. Creed is my favorite band of all time, and to me, they represent the best of my favorite bands.

Yes, I have heard the news, and watched most of the statements released by Creed's frontman.

Here's the thing. I'm CANADIAN. Up here, we generally don't pay attention to stuff like this, and any celebrities living and working in our music, film, television, etc industries are generally left alone.

This means I don't believe most of the rumors flying around about any celebrity out there, and I tend to be skeptical even if someone ultra close to the celebrity shares "something". Even someone as honest and frank with his fans like a certain band's frontman has backstabbers hiding amongst the "friends" after all.

I ask, out of respect for him, his family and those who remain loyal to him, that no one posts anything derogatory about him on my personal and my public areas. This includes my personal and author profiles in various spots, my Facebook page, and of course, comments on this blog.

Saying you don't like his music is one thing - that's your opinion after all - but getting on a soap box and calling him everything but a male isn't being polite or civil.

This is my first, last and only public statement on the matter.

I leave you with a photo taken at his November 20, 2010 concert in the Schooner Showroom of Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax, and the official video of his song, "Slow Suicide" off his 2013 album "Proof of Life".




#helpScottStapp

Friday, November 21, 2014

Burning Along...

This week was interesting, writing wise.

First of all, I discovered that Word 2013 allows a person to produce a PDF offline, for publishing purposes or to allow you to email the file to someone else.

It's a great feature and one I put to the test when I sent the most recently edited copy of Away to Me to G and the other members of my reading team.

When it comes to Twelve, the current WIP, Wednesday saw me at another crossroads on what to do with the story itself. I find I move faster if I do things a certain way and try not to let myself fall into the "ultra wordy" pattern I land into sometimes.

I also see a possible rewrite of a lot of the scenes in the first five chapters. They are too wordy and too much like something I'm trying to avoid.

That said, there are a few things that are working wonderfully in those first few chapters and those are staying for now.

Since I wasn't sure how to continue in the main file, I decided working on something that's been bugging me for a few days wouldn't hurt. It's a scene that happens much later in the story and I thought it was best to write it up before I lost it.

Wednesday morning and all day today was spent writing up the first and middle parts of it. It looks good so far... Even the "naughty" scene in the middle part is close to what I was hoping to get in its rough draft.

It isn't done yet but it will be sometime soon, ready to be spliced into the main file when the time is right. It will probably encompass an entire chapter, even with compressions and edits by the time it's done. It covers most of one subject so yeah, it's best I have it all in one chapter, or as less than one.

D has a copy of what's in it so far, just as an example of what's going to be highlighted in the parts near the end and to show off its heat level. I'm thinking there may be a few more sex scenes in this one than there was in "Away to Me"... Or the same amount. I'm not sure yet, we'll have to see how things go with this one I guess. lol

I know I've grown and changed as a writer, even since finishing draft one of "Away to Me" six months ago.

I just hope all of those changes are for the better.

Anyway, I have only four or five writing days at most before the holidays are upon me... Hopefully I can make a lot more progress in Twelve before I have to take two whole weeks off from writing.

Now taking bets on how long it'll be before I start gnawing on the monitor while Son's home on winter vacation..................................................................

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Geek'd Out!

"Away to Me" went into Draft 4 mode last week... I'm hoping this is the LAST time it moves up a notch draft wise before I start sending it out for rejections in the new year. G has mentioned a few suggestions for edits and yes, I am doing those now, in between different things and having fun with something.

The "something" I'm having fun with is new software.

A couple of weeks ago, my computer decided it was "time" to "upgrade" to Windows 8.1... This resulted in a HUGE download - over 2 gigs worth - and the computer telling me I "had" to restart it and it would be another hour or so because it had to set things up for me in the new OS.

Okay, I can deal with that. I decided that I may as well do some housework while the computer was going through its rigmarole.

I had to redo a few things - like redo some of my settings - and set up some things in the start menu but for the most part, I'm liking 8.1, a lot better than I liked 8.

Something I had to get used to again was having the Start Menu button on the task bar. I haven't seen that since the last time I used Vista, over a year ago, and I was so used to putting the mouse pointer into the right hand corners that it took me a while to start remembering I don't have to do that all the time now.

I do love how you can shrink the start menu buttons down to ultra small... It saves a lot of room. I also love some of the new applications like the Alarms are able to be implemented on certain days only. I have four set up, all for bus times as of right now, but that may change. School gets out at 12:15 every other Wednesday so I'm now trying to figure out how to get it to go like that.... Meh, I'll get it sometime. lol

Another thing that came with 8.1 - and 8 - was MS Office 2013... Since I have XP Pro - which includes Access AND Photo Editor as well as Front Page - I decided that activating the new one wasn't worth the expense or the effort. It was working fine for me as a writer - Word is my favorite word processor after all, and I'd prefer not to mess with something I'm used to and love already - so updating things never occurred to me.

Until recently... A few authors I know mentioned something - Pro Writing Aid - and it got me thinking... It is NOT compatible with Word XP Pro, XP Pro is too darn old to work with it.

So this past Monday, I finally got around to activating Office 2013. I've played in Excel a couple of times, but have been having a lot of fun trying to figure out things in Word. I've been playing with Twelve in it and although it takes a LOT of getting used to after using something like XP Pro for years, it's not bad. I see the PW protection is STILL there, thank heavens - can't have the little guy getting into things he should NOT be seeing! - and a lot of other features I loved from XP Pro.

One problem: NO blue background, white font feature on this one. DRAT!!!! So I'm going to have to take it really easy sometimes with the eye strain and whatnot. At least I can turn down the contrast and brightness on the monitor.

The zoom is easier to access, huge help. So is the "word count" feature in the bottom frame, near the left hand side of the taskbar. THAT is a feature I am going to really appreciate in time... I will still keep track of word count in Excel like I normally do, BUT it will be so much easier for me to just glance at the number, minus the "Chapter X" breaks and have a word count within seconds instead of it taking a few minutes by doing it the old fashioned way.

According to Word 2013, Twelve has 17 389 words but ten of those are chapter breaks and there are about 200 words at the start which are my notes on it. So technically it has about 17K words right now.

Including the synopsis, "Away to Me" is about 73250.

Cool.

Both "Away to Me" and Twelve's main file are now converted over to Word 2013... I'm going to be slowly converting things over to the new software as needed, with all stuff related to those two stories' current drafts first, and everything else on a "need to convert" basis.

Any new stories or new documents will be in 2013 from the get go.

I hate to say it but it is finally time to retire XP Pro. It was great software for its time, but it no longer owes me anything and it is time to let the newer versions of it have their time on my computer too. Besides, 2013 is better for 8.1 anyway... XP Pro is for XP or Vista, neither of which I no longer have.

I have been working on Twelve on and off between things... And managed to get a very intense area written up last week, one short and one long scene. It turned out a lot better than I expected... Although I'm expecting the beta readers to tell me to COMPRESS THE DAMN THING a lot when they finally see it.

I will if I have to... Hell, I'll keep rewriting this one until I get it perfected.

Or as perfect as I can get it.

Have a great Wednesday everyone. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Dark Matter"

Halloween/Samhain has come and gone and our little ghoul made out like a bandit again this year. Unfortunately his costume from previous years no longer fit him but with a little ingenuity, some quick thinking and some creativity on his father's part, he wound up getting a great costume, one that a lot of people loved this year. Thank the heavens Son's father and I are like minded a lot of the time!

I'm also on Day 109 of my quit smoking journey... Half the time I don't even think about cigarettes nowadays.

I guess that's a good thing, right? LOL

It is now the dark half of the year, post harvest and pre planting time. This is the time when I get ideas for my work but I generally do not write until things start turning toward the warmer months of the year.

It is official: I do have another story in the works. I am at the start of Chapter 5 of its main file and I am starting to get that "daffy doodle" feeling I normally get when I'm deep into a story. I admit I am daffy as a rule but I get worse when I'm deep into writing a story.

I've hit a few speed-bumps but it's coming along, better than I had hoped. Before anyone asks, yes, this is the one I have been working on since late September, with the character bios and other things. Its designation is "Twelve" right now.

I do have the title for it, and everything else including a list of key scenes in order. I find I'm getting more and more organized with prep work and other things before I'm deep into a story with each new manuscript I attempt or start.

Okay, that is VERY scary... Me, organized? Wow. That rarely happens!

(I can hear my two best pals, my brother and sister, and my sister in law laughing now...)

Today I was at a crossroads with the writing so I took a day off to do a reread of "Away to Me", something I've been putting off for the last couple of weeks. I've been too damn busy getting this new one off the ground that I keep forgetting to do checks on the old ones.

To me, it looks almost pristine, but my editing skills are horrid at best. I'm going to see what my sister in law, Bestie, G and A have to say before I do anything wonky, like send it out before it's ready!

I'll get back to Twelve later this week. I figured out where to go with the start of Chapter 5 so it should be smoother sailing from this point on in the story.

I don't know about anyone else, but man, this time change back to Standard time over daylight savings time has me knocked out of whack....

Have a great week everyone!