Tuesday, November 14, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Day 14

The jolly folks over at  mozilla insisted on giving me a new, improved, faster version of FireFox, and as a result everything on blogger hangs and takes five minutes to load.  As a result, I'm switching to brave, which actually does run everything faster than mozilla and blocks all third party advertisements as a normal, built-in feature.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Day 7

I voted today.  I believe it's my civic duty to stay informed, and to vote each election.  I voted against all tax increases.  We're overtaxed as it is.  We don't need to pay more.

Progress is slow.  I've reached a point in the story where I'm not sure what should happen next, and each time I write something it seems wrong.  Probably because it is.

I think I may have to give up my goal of mediocrity, and settle for something that's good enough for government work.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Day 3

The word count today stands at 12,473.  I'm not particularly happy with this, but it's the best I could manage.  I'm writing a difficult section, and I think I may have gone a bit overboard in developing a really evil mean and nasty villain.  Well, what can I say?  Hello Kitty is not in the running for villain of the year.

On a different subject, if you have to deal with MS Word you'll eventually run into formatting problems.  Word starts distorting the document and refuses to format correctly.  The only real cure is to strip out the formatting and start over with the plain text.  In the advice of another author who has to deal with this, 'Nuke it 'till it glows'.  That means selecting all the text, copying it to the clipboard, then pasting it into a line editor that doesn't recognize all the herky-jerky HTML Word uses to format a document.  From there, paste it back into Word and allow Word to do its thing - correctly this time.

I use two text editors.  My primary text editor is ME, from Multi Edit Software.  I've used ME for years and never been disappointed with it; its only downside being that it isn't free.  My other text editor is PSPad Freeware Editor, also a good choice.  PSPad tends to handle special characters a little better, and it's freeware, which is nice.

Tomorrow, it's back to the salt mines.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Work continues on The Making of Magic, although I believe a fossilized snail would overtake me on the first turn.  I've finished the scenes and dialogue that explain Otheldo's home during his childhood, and set up the first series of obstacles which Our Hero must overcome somehow. 

My word count thus far is 11,881, according to Micro$oft Word 2002 SP 3.  I originally wrote using LibreOffice, which claims to produce Word documents in exactly the same format as MS Word — except it doesn't.  I discovered this little white lie when I tried to feed my completed anthology from a LibreOffice DOC file into the Amazon translator, which if everything went correctly would return a file compatible with the Kindle e-reader.  The translator coughed, appeared to lock up, then produced a host of cryptic error messages having to do with the fact that it expected an MS DOC file and instead got gibberish.

Motivated by frustration and curiosity,  I created an identical three page file in Word and LibreOffice, then opened both in a file compare utility.  There were a few similarities, but you had to hunt for them.  In particular, the Word file featured a header that could only be interpreted by someone who was an HTML guru with 20 years of hard experience under his hands.  Suffice to say, it was three miles above my pay grade.

So I set my sights on an antique copy of Word, got it for a bargain, and continue using it to this day.  Eventually I expect Amazon to demand a DOCX file format, but until then I'm getting along just fine, thanks.

Back to work I go.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

NaNoWriMo is a somewhat imperfect acronym for National November Writing Month.

Starting on November 1st, victims participants start work on a 50,000 word novel, the goal being to complete said novel on or before 11:59 PM EST on November 30th of the same year.  I have a small head start, which I will desperately need if I actually hit the target date for completion.  Use of a pocket calculator will reveal that the minimum word count per day is 1,666; but that's the minimum.  If I'm actually going to make this, I have to produce around 2000.  This is not an easy task, but it's possible.

My novel is entitled The Making of Magic, and is a prequel to the anthology Magic for Hire.  If you haven't read the anthology, you can buy Magic for Hire on Amazon.  Splurge a little, and know that for every copy you buy, you're supporting a starving artist living in an unheated garret with a leaky roof and bad lighting.

And so, to work.