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nifty & christmas

The track changes comment functionality in MS Word is awesome.

Would be more awesome if the comments carried through when the doc was saved to google docs....

In other news... Am getting a writing desk for Christmas :D !!!!

See, when we moved, the desk I was using (a lovely corner desk with plenty of places for writing-related stuff was left behind because it belonged to the boy's ex. 

Thus, I have been relegated to:

1) Writing on the couch.  Which is fine and dandy save for the fact that my laptop gets hot, my legs cramp up, and my back and neck start bothering me. Plus, there's the TV, which is never not on in my house.

2) Leaving such things as my dictionary and thesaurus and all other writing-related books in our regular bookshelf.  These are rather large books and they take up space that we cannot afford as we have but one bookshelf and a million and one books (anyone want a college marketing textbook?  I have yet to find someone who is just dying to take it off my hands and I want to make sure it goes to a good home :P)

3) Leaving other writing-related things, including index cards, red pens (must edit in red... ingrained in my soul), etc. in boxes where they are not easily accessible since we have no place to put them

4) Leaving printer unplugged and buried in a closet, as we have no place to put it

5) Trying to revise an old manuscript sitting on couch and floor.  I have three cats.  'Nuff said.

I'm sure there are other issues.  Writing desk shall resolve them. YAY!

Now I just need to find one that I like and which isn't a thousand dollars.


I'm seeing a lot of stuff on various agent blogs about the future of publishing moving in the direction of the Kindle, ebooks, downloads, all that jazz.

The thought disturbs me.

I have no problem reading things online.  However, the computer or a Kindle are not, IMO, substitutes for being able to curl up with a book.  I want to be able to take my book to the beach and not worry about the sand damaging it.  I want to just curl up on the couch without having to balance a laptop on my legs or scroll through microns of pages.  I like curling up with a book.  Who curls up with a cup of hot chocolate, a blanket, and an electronic device?

Certainly, ebooks are convenient and I wouldn't object to getting a Kindle.  But I like my books.  I like my hardbacks, paperbacks... I like having them on my shelves and looking at them and deciding what I want to read.  I work on a computer.  I write on a computer.  I don't want to eventually be forced to read on a computer because my favorite author's new book is electronic only.

Dec. 3rd, 2008

Useful if you want to know how unique - or commonplace - your character's name is :)

LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.
How many have your name?
There is one (or fewer, which I guess translates to zero) person named Krista Taggert in the US, my YA female protag
There are five Jason Taggerts in the US

And there are 29 Chloe Martins, my new MC, in the US

environmentalists vs. publishing?

So the green movement is apparently trying to submarine the publishing industry.

Just saw an ad that says "Instead of buying books, go to the library."

Now, I have nothing against the library, and the librarians who watched me take out a dozen books at a time all through school will attest to that.  And I know of a lot of writers who utilize their libraries to the fullest.

But "don't buy books because they're bad for the environment?"

Oy vey.

in absentia

So, yeah, this blog kind of got lost in the move and new job and new state and ... yeah, I have no excuse for ignoring it for six months.  But I'm hoping that I can actually stick with it from here on.  I kind of feel a little bit like I shouldn't even bother posting here until I'm at least finished with the draft and starting revisions, but maybe I can use this as motivation to keep going even once NaNoWriMo dies out.

At any rate...

I've posted on Crit Partner Match in hopes of finding a critique partner I can stick with this time, since the last time I tried it, it fell through.  And I figure I'll make a post here as well, asking if there's anyone working on their own draft novel looking for a partner.  I'm working on a new Taggert Twins book, having set the last one aside as irredeemably terrible.  It's sort of a Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew meets Charmed, and is currently at 73k lousy words, though not irreparably bad.  It'll take a lot of work but right now I'm just really looking for someone to read it through and ask the questions I might not be noticing myself.  I can give a summary/excerpt (I'd offer up the first ten pages but I'm pretty sure they're going to be deleted in revision because I started the book off way too slowly) if anyone's marginally interested but not sure.  No committment, either; if you want to read and decide it's not your thing, feel free to say "no, thanks."  I promise not to burn my manuscript in devastation.

I'll go back to trying to nail this down while trying to ignore the new character for another book that's talking to me in my head right now.

Have a great Thanksgiving, all!

so, moving...

Today is May 14.
My final day of work with my firm is May 22.
My first day of work with my new company is May 27.

Good thing I gave myself plenty of time to, y'know, move six states and adjust.

Things I still have to do:

- Identify computer-related paraphernalia hanging around my house that must be returned to the Company
- Stop capitalizing Company because the real world doesn't
- Identify items that need to be brought to the office for shredding (no, not documents identifying fraud. rather the items that we inevitably end up with fifty five copies of the same thing)
- Ensure that the workpapers I need to return are all returned
- Archive one audit file
- Archive quarterly review
- Fill out exit paperwork
- Locate boxes in which to pack belongings
- Pack said belongings
- Find a place to live

Yeah, really, that last one should probably be a bit closer to the top of the list...

are you kidding?

If you have not watched tonight's episode DO NOT CLICK. Also DO NOT watch any trailers for next week's episode because you will be totally spoiled.

house SPOILERSCollapse )


circular time travel

The time travel & its effects in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban break my brain.  Most instances of time travel (that I've seen) take this approach:
Event A happens.
Characters are unhappy and go back in time to change things.
Event B happens instead.

Prisoner of Azkaban goes like this:
Event A happens.
Characters are unhappy and go back in time to change things.
Event A happens again because what had already happened was actually what the characters wanted to happen but they didn't know it yet.

I seriously struggle to process it.

In other news, if I'm not around after today it's because my ceiling collapsed.  The people upstairs are running around enough that the ceiling is shaking and the lights are flickering.  *sigh*

just an FYI

If you ever have Firefox deleted from your computer, and thus lose bookmarks, redownload firefox.

It brings everything back.  Ahhh. 


how quickly do you write?

Well, this is partly inspired by 

san_valentine's reply to my last entry and partly inspired by blackaire's (Caitlin Kittredge) entry on writing speed, which was inspired by another entry I haven't read.  Caitlin's argument is that while some working writers have the luxury of writing at their leisure, the majority, especially of those writing for a living, must write quickly.

I've found I write my first drafts of my originals far more quickly than I ever wrote fic.  I attribute this to the fact that while I certainly am concerned for my characters and the book's plot and all that jazz, I'm not worried about making it perfect.  I'm worried about getting words down on the page to shape the story and guide it.  If something comes into my mind I write it and I move on and it's during the editing stage that I'll strike the things that don't work and add things that work better.

When I write fanfic, I write a chapter and usually post as soon as it was done.  There was no letting it sit and very little editing.  I generally don't use betas unless I'm writing in an unfamiliar fandom or if I've done something differently that I'm not sure about.

But when I'm working on originals that I know that, once I'm finished with the first draft, I will just shove in a drawer to sit for a month or so, I just write.  And I try to write every day, at least a little; that's the advice I've seen on many author and agent blogs.  On the days that I can, I try to put down between 1000-2000 words.  Sometimes I get more; sometimes I struggle to make that and sometimes it's just not gonna happen.

But I write pretty quickly.  I type quickly and my brain has a bad habit of racing ahead of my fingers until occasionally I forget the ideas I just had in my head because I couldn't keep up with my thoughts.  And since I'm not given to editing the rough draft while I'm writing, save for the occasional re-read if I've been away from it for a couple days, the time I spend in front of my computer working on my manuscript involves getting words out of my head and down on the page.

I actually find writing this way freeing.  I don't hit writing block nearly as often on original works as I do on fanfic because I know, intellectually, that this is nowhere near perfect and the opportunity will be better later to fix it.  Things change in the process of writing a book -- I've run into that a thousand times in fanfic -- so why worry about making scenes perfect when they're going to shift massively, or be deleted altogether, because you're going to change something drastically ten thousand words from where you currently are?

But this isn't everybody.  So, how quickly do you write?  Do you write very rough drafts or edit along the way?  I know of one author who has on occasion changed characters' genders halfway through and just written from the new perspective going forward, only changing what she'd already written when the time came for revision.

That said, the deadline I set for myself really wasn't realistic, especially given the circumstances, so I'm revising and setting it at June 21.  That's averaging a little over a thousand words a day but I think that's doable given my normal pace.  But I refuse to stress over it; I have enough going on right now to stress over.


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