Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Technology Anyone?

I think I was late with all of my posts last week, and obviously this one is no exception. Ironically, I’m off to a better start this week because my Monday post on my other blog was up on time. And I have every expectation of being on time with the rest of them. *knock on wood*

I mentioned in my quotes post that when I started writing I used a pen and paper and typed out my stories when I was done. For some reason I found it almost impossible to compose on the typewriter, despite the fact it was electric and therefore a lot faster than writing by hand.

The problem with a typewriter is if you make a mistake or change your mind you have to retype the whole page. And unless that correction takes the same amount of space as what you corrected, you could get to the bottom of the page and find you’re left in mid-sentence or you’re a line too many or too short. And that means you have to retype the rest of the pages too.

Now with a computer, of course, you didn’t have that problem. Everything was done on the screen - if you made a mistake or didn’t like the way something was worded, it just took a click of a button or two - no harm, no foul. But even when I got my first computer and my typing speed doubled, I still wrote by hand. At least for the first couple of years. There was just something about the computer that seemed to inhibit my creativity.

I did eventually get over my fear of technology and learned to love the speed with which I could compose on the computer. In the early days I fully embraced the computer age, but technology began moving faster than I was able to keep up with. I’d just get the hang of a program and the newer version would appear. It just kind of snow balled from there.

That was one of the things that led me to buy my Alphasmart Neo. It’s better than a typewriter but not as complicated as a computer. But I digress ...

In an effort to try and do a little technological catching up, I decided to treat myself to the electronic device even children are using these days - a tablet.

This is actually a good time of year for this kind of purchase, there’s all kinds of tablets on sale for Back to School. After more internal debate than research, I finally settled on the Samsung Galaxy Tab E. I’ve only had it for a few hours and already I’m feeling the stirrings of intimidation. During the set up I enabled the password thingie for the screen, not realizing that the screen does dark after just a few seconds of inactivity, necessitating using the password every time you wake it up again. I need to figure out how to go back and change this because it’s getting really old, really fast.

It would be really easy at this point to just return it and just resign myself to being a luddite, but I’m not ready to give up quite yet. After all, these things are so easy a child could use them. Maybe I just need a child to show me how. ;-)

Wordage Report

Blog Posts (not counting this one)
3,159 words total
Down by about 200 words from last week. Not only fewer words, but as I mentioned at the beginning, my posts were later too. I really have to start writing these things earlier.

0 words total
No progress on the Lord of the Flies but I did start reading Andrew Lang’s Grey Fairy Stories. I also read a couple of books on my Kindle, but I haven’t reviewed them yet. And when the battery runs out on the Kindle when I’m riding the exercise bike, I’ve been reading Inkspell, the second one in that series.

0 hours total
Wow. I have no idea what’s going on with me here, but I didn’t even give the editing a second thought last week. Okay, maybe I gave it a thought, but not enough of one to actually do anything about it.

New Words
500 words total
Yup, you read that right. Just a measly 500 words and they weren’t even all during the same session. What the heck did I do with all my time last week? I don’t even have any epically long letters to use as an excuse.

Weekly Goals:

Last week: No editing, therefore Earth was not sent out to the Betas.
No point in searching for another Beta when the book’s not done.
2,500 words short on my goal for Wandering Wizards.
This week:
Finish edits on Earth.
Minimum of 2,000 words on Wandering Wizards.
Start An Elemental Spirit.

I guess there’s no law that says I have to use an excerpt from a current WIP, so this week I’m giving you the beginning of a story I finished a while back and have no idea what to do with. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory:

“And then, he kissed her passionately into submission and they sank down into the embrace of the feather bed.”

Amber Keyes closed the book amid thunderous applause from the group gathered at the Likely Stories Book Store.

“Well done. I think several of those old biddies wet themselves,” a deep, masculine voice whispered in her ear.

Amber made no sign she heard, though the sound made every nerve ending in her body tingle. Theo usually avoided her readings/book signings. She stepped down off the podium and made her way over to the book signing table where a line was already forming.

“I hope you brought extra Sharpies,” Theo’s voice continued. “Your latest book is so hot it’ll dry those pens up as fast as you can sign with them.”

Studiously ignoring him, Amber seated herself on the hard wooden chair. Why was it always a hard wooden chair?

“The way these women worship you, you’d think the store would spring for a throne. Or at the very least a cushion.”

“Theo, would you shut up!” Amber hissed.

“Pardon me?” Janice, her publicist, asked, pausing in the act of unsealing an extra carton of books.

“I said, I can’t believe this line-up,” Amber said smoothly.

“No kidding! I hope we don’t run out of books - that would be a disaster.”

“Only for her, she’s the one that under-ordered,” Theo said wryly.

For the life of her, Amber couldn’t hold back the faint twitching of her lips at that all too accurate assessment, turning it into a full blown smile as she greeted her first fan.

Two hours later, her smile was starting to turn a little brittle around the edges and she had the beginnings of a migraine. Doing a reading was one thing, all she had to do was stand up there and read from one of her books, but the book signings afterwards were always draining. Even Theo’s running commentary, sometimes very amusing, sometimes totally inappropriate, failed to buoy her spirits this time.

“I wish I could do that for you,” he said with sympathy as she massaged the back of her neck.

“So do I,” she said with a sigh. There were a great many things she wished he could do, but his powers as a Muse were limited. She should be grateful that she was able to see and hear him, even if no one else could, but sometimes she couldn’t help wanting more.

Five years ago, Wilhelmina Jamison, aka Amber Keyes, was an aspiring writer. Today she had three books on the bestseller list and a loyal following of thousands of readers. And she owed it all to a wish made with an allegedly magical coin . . .

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