Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday - 2010-06-30

Wednesday, June 30

When writing, I find myself focusing on a section of the story and that section only. I might keep a few other facts rotating around in my head, but mainly, I focus on the story at hand.

There are times I find myself trying to see the novel as a whole and find that there are too many facts to keep up with. If I try to keep them in my mind, I feel overwhelmed and all progress on the story stops.

So, if an idea or thought appears that belongs in another part of my story, I will type it into the computer as a note. Then I can clear the thought from my mind and continue working on the story section.

What form does this note take in my work? I use several methods to let me know that this is a note and not part of the manuscript. I either capitalize it, change the text color, highlight the text and/or separate it from the other text with multiple line breaks. At the beginning of the note, I type the word “NOTE:”.

I say “and/or” in the above paragraph because, on occasion, I will use multiple techniques so that it draws my attention to the material. My most used methods are the highlight feature and separate the note from other text with blank spaces.

Now, I can't say how I treat the notes when I finish the manuscript. This is because I have not finished a manuscript before. But I plan to go through my manuscript and copy the notes over to a separate file. Then I will determine what area(s) of my manuscript the note affects and adjust them accordingly. I will let you know how that works out.

Some programs have the ability to add hidden notes that appear when the cursor is placed over the indicating mark. This would keep the manuscript a bit cleaner but it could be easily missed at times. How do you note your changes?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest Blogging

Monday, June 28

Today will be short in that I am guest blogging at Attacking the Page blog. I talk about the martial arts style I belong to. Come on over and check it out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Report Card - 2010-06-27

Sunday, June 27

This week flew by like last week. As for my goals for the month and week, I am not getting too far too fast on them.

Number six of my June monthly goals is partially complete. I finished cleaning out the closet and have repaired the floor. As for the shelves, I have one side of the closet partially assembled. You see, I plan to assemble parts of it outside where I have much more space. Then I will assemble the parts together in the closet where space is cramped. I guess I need to draw a diagram but I will do that in a later post.

Number 13 is now complete since I have gotten my laptop back and now am able to work on my blog and other materials using the Internet.

As for this week’s goals, I managed to complete number 6 (Write a bio for my appearance as a Guest Blogger.) and send it off to the appropriate person. I should appear in tomorrow’s Attacking the Page blog.

I completed goal number 7 on repairing the floor. Still working on goal number 8. As for the rest, I have no excuse but did not get around to them like I should have.

This week’s goals are
  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Build 8 scrapbook pages for Nola Stars
  3. Catalog 70 articles I have collected
  4. Update my personal telephone directory (confirm or add 10 numbers)
  5. Build at least two humorous fictitious news stories for Friday
  6. Build shelves in Closet
  7. Catalog items in the boxes
  8. Repack everything into closet.
  9. Build the Nola Stars newsletter.
  10. Make adjustments to Web Pages
  11. Finish reading second book of June
  12. Start reading the third book.

So, this ends my ranting of the day. I hope you are getting some of your goals completed. I know I said I hope to have part of the shelves completed a couple days ago. I discovered a calculation error that caused me to re-evaluate my design. If I had continued with my current design layout, I think I would have blew a gasket. This means I did waste part of the time I worked on my shelves but not all of it.

Well, have a nice day. And, smile. It’s good for you.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Repairing a Gopher

Saturday, June 26

You know those Gopher Pickup Tool devices that has two suction cups at the end. It comes in handy when picking things up off the floor and the ground. I use it to pick up small twigs to help start the fire in my grill to cook things.

The first one I had belonged to my father. He bought it but promptly forgot about it. I found the Gopher in its original box and started using it. For a lazy person, it is a great device. (*Me can be lazy! Big Grin) It also comes in handy when the muscles in your back seem to rebel.

My problem is that one of the suction cups popped off. The screw would not hold it in place. I tried gluing plastic pieces in the hole to make the aperture smaller so the screw would dig into and hold the suction cup in place. The plastic pieces kept falling out.

Then I finally broke down and bought a second Gopher from a local store. After a couple months, I made the same mistake and a section cup popped off. So, I took the good suction cup from one Gopher and put it on the other one.

Something about taking the screw out of the suction cup caused some damage. The screw kept vibrating out and would not tighten up. Getting tired of having to reattach the suction cup, I went to Wal-Mart and bought some JB Weld.

After mixing that up yesterday afternoon, I filled the hole with the mixture and then screwed the suction cup onto the end of the Gopher device. Allowing the binary glue to dry overnight, I have a strong bond and the suction cup is no longer loose. Not only is the screw glued into the suction cup, the cup is glued to the gopher device. I do not think it will come loose now.

Can’t you hear me beating my chest and yelling like Tarzan. Big Grin. Now, I have to find the other two broken suction cups and see about fixing my other Gopher. Though, one in each hand would look a bit ridiculous.

*For those who are English purist, I know this phrase is supposed to read, “I can be lazy!” A Bigger Grin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Laptop is Back Home

Friday, June 25

Normally, today would be Fiction Friday but I got my laptop back. Due to my playing around on my ‘Baby,’ I find myself not prepared for today’s posts. I hope to correct this before next Friday.

On Tuesday, my ‘Baby’ made its way home from the Toshiba Repair Center in Kentucky with a complete makeover. Though it worked when I sent it off, some items on the computer did not work the way they were supposed to. Toshiba replaced the ailing parts along with a few others. When I opened the box, I found myself looking at seemed to be a new computer. Yet, my programs came up and ran the way they would before I sent it off.

Now, the UPS deliveryman found his way on my “s--- list” by the way he delivered the box containing my laptop. The box was a long and wide box that would hold a laptop with a 17-inch screen. But it was thin. Instead of bringing it 15 feet closer and placing it on my front porch, he places it on the thin edge across the top of my mom’s truck bed. A strong wind could have sent the box tumbling a good 4 feet to the ground. So happens that I heard his truck and got to my computer before the wind had a chance at it.

Work on my closet is going slow. I discovered that I did not purchase enough lumber for my needs. I will need to go for more next week. I found some corner brackets and flat brackets at my local Wally World. (AKA Wal-Mart). The closet floor is covered with a piece of 3/4-inch plywood. I hope to have the shelves on one side of the closet completed today or tomorrow.

If I get them complete, I shall start looking through my boxes to part with material I no longer need. Some things I found in my stuff were three Southwestern Bell Houston Phone Books, computer magazines from 1989 to 1993 (DOS based books), my old calculus textbook along with several electronic textbooks from around 1980. Do not really want to part with the textbooks but the others I can.

So, that is my week so far. How is your week going?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly Report Card - 2010-06-20

Sunday, June 20

Time sure flies doesn’t it. Seems like I just did this yesterday. It also seems like I did not get much done toward my June monthly goals.

Since my baby - Toshiba laptop - has gone in for repairs, I am working on an older computer that has the Windows ME operating system on it. This quelled my ability to communicate effectively. Due to some of its idiosyncrasies, I still unable to stay online for more than five minutes.

Yet, that is no excuse for not working on my novel - my number one goal for the week and month. I built four scenes that are screaming to be edited. My total word count for all writing projects this week is around 6000 words.

Monthly goal number 4, I finished one book and am over half way through a second book. This will be one goal I believe I will make this month. Yet, I have to complete both parts of the goal which is to write a review for each book read.

I managed to catalog 10 articles in my collection. Need to work harder in this area. But cleaning out the closet got into the way. I can see the floor to the closet and will be measuring its dimensions sometime today. Tomorrow, we will be getting the lumber that will allow me to fix up the closet the way I want to.

My next step would be to catalog and organize the material I want to put back into the closet. I believe I will have a stack of material that will be destined to be disposed of. Old books I no longer need will be donated to the library. I may do the same with some of the old magazines. Otherwise, the magazines may end up being fuel for a wood burning stove this coming winter.

June goal 10 and this week’s goal 5 pertain to my fictitious news stories. I created three but posted two of them on my Friday’s blog. I hope I can keep this up without becoming disenchanted.

Last week, I began completion of monthly goal 13 when I sent off my laptop for repair. Toshiba called yesterday afternoon to tell me that my baby is one its way home and should arrive in two business days.

This week’s goals are
  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Build 8 scrapbook pages for Nola Stars
  3. Catalog 70 articles I have collected
  4. Update my personal telephone directory
  5. Build at least two humorous fictitious news stories for Friday
  6. Write a bio for myself – Guest Blogger Bio.
  7. Repair closet floor
  8. Build shelves in Closet
  9. Catalog items in the boxes
  10. Repack everything into closet.
Well, I guess that is it for this week. I hope your week turned out to be more productive than mine. See ya throughout the week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fiction Friday

Friday, June 18

Welcome to Fiction Friday and another day in my mind. Today, I start my fictitious news stories. I hope they will be humorous but after rereading them, I cannot guarantee they will be. Here is one. I hope to do more in the future.

News for the Date
Friday, June 15, 2040

Buffalo Wings

Somewhere in Colorado – History was made today when entrepreneurs Mark Flapsalot and Jack McMoos unveiled their genetically modified buffaloes. Their third experiment met with success and they have created a herd of 25 buffaloes with wings.

“It all started as a challenge years ago when Jack wondered how a real buffalo wing would taste like.” Flapsalot said.

Flapsalot owns Flappin’ Feathers Chicken Farm and Laboratory. and McMoos owns the Buffalo Paddies Farm. He and McMoos, owner of the Bull Pucky Ranch, brought together the genetic material from their animals to produce this heard.

Immediately upon the announcement, the Buffalo Savers filed a partition to declare the animals as endangered species. They claim that they need protecting. As of this report, unconfirmed reports of a tanker truck containing barbecue sauce heading toward the area have flooded.

McMoos said, “This is just B.S. - they will try anything to stop us.”

“Unless we step in some a big pile of B.S., we plan to bring the whole heard out for the public to look at.” Flapsalot said. “As for them flying off, they have not shown any inclination to flying. We believe they weigh to much and their wings are too small to carry that load.”

The White House has confirmed that the President will come to the unveiling. Mack Mouthpiece, Presidential Press Secretary, said, “the President encourages any and all entrepreneurs to push the envelop. Especially the envelopes that have money going to his reelection campaign fund. Ha, Ha!” He then proceeded to deny the reports put out by Buffalo Savers that a barbecue will be part of the festivities. “Just more B.S. rumors.” Mouthpiece said.

Spaced Out Vandalized

Space Protectorate and Astrological Center for the EnhanceD Outer Underdeveloped Territory (SPACED OUT) - Located on the International Space Station, Earth’s lower orbit -
The International Department of Investigative Officers and Tacticians report the theft of hydraulic equipment and 40 gallons of black paint. They disappeared from the space station’s Astronomical Storage Systems Holding and Observation Locker.

All ships in the area will be searched but the IDIOT spokesman believes that the outlaw group Mars Activists for the Reclamation of Real Estate is responsible. The IDIOT officer, Ima Nutjob said, “The chaotic symbol of Marre had been painted on several spots around ASSHOL. After searching the cavernous locker has left a foul stench in our nostrils.”

When asked when they will catch the perpetrators, Nutjob said, “We will sniff them out and flush them from space.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday – 2010-06-16

Wednesday, June 16

I really do not have anything for writing today. May have to rehash ideas from the past. I am looking into writing fictitious news stories just to entertain myself and others who may have the same warped sense of humor.

I really like to laugh but my problem is that if I tell a joke, and it makes everyone laugh, then I screwed up somewhere because that rarely happens. The same way with other pieces of humor especially written. I have a few ideas that I plan to put together and hope to have a news story for you on Friday.

In the mean time, I hope you are having fun with your writing. I plan to enjoy my time writing. Life’s joys are too few and far between not to enjoy the time while you have it.

Until later, have a nice day. Clark Stone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Everyday Stuff

Tuesday, June 15

Today is another hot day in Natchitoches. The area has been under a Heat Advisory from the National Weather Service for having Heat Indices between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind feels like someone opened the oven.

The air conditioner is set so that we get some cool air but our electric bill will not be outrageous. Fans provide the much needed cooling effect. The thing is that I prefer the warm than I do the cold. Cold weather brings on aches and pains that I prefer not to mess with.

To keep busy, I continue working on my book and other projects including cleaning my room. I get up every 45 minutes and do some cleaning of some type. I hope to have my closet cleaned out by the end of the week. The fun part is stacking the material in a place that does not block entering and leaving the room.

I might be called a borderline hoarder. I keep some things that I believe I will need and some that I may not even use again. But I will get rid of things. Items like my writing magazines, I would love to keep but I doubt that I will ever use them too much. When I get them all placed in one location, I will catalog them and then take them to my university library.

When I get the floor in the closet rebuilt, then I will build shelves at both ends leaving the middle to hold my clothes. Before I start putting my stuff back into the closet, I will go through each box and get rid of what is no longer useful to me. I know I should get someone else to help me but I am stubborn in that way.

Well, have to go. Need to move another three boxes out of the way. The timer I set up for my 45 minutes is about to go off. I will have to get up and move around for at least five minutes. Actually, I will be heading out to the grill to cook some pork chops. While they cook, I will clean up on the yard some. That will be my next project. See ya later.

Goals: 3000 words written so far, started 2 fictitious news stories, cataloged 10 articles.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekly Report Card - 2010-06-04

Monday, June 14

It’s that time of the week. I have some good and some bad marks on this report card. Since I like to only accentuate the good, that is what I will cover. Big Grin.

Toward the June monthly goals, I added two and a half scenes to my book. Spent too much time backing up all of my data. I needed to send off my laptop for repairs.

I spent part of one day last week going through and cataloging the software I purchased and downloaded off of the Internet. I still need to look up some of the key codes so I can reinstall if I choose to reinstall my operating system. (Goal 12)

This past Friday, my baby left Natchitoches on its way to Kentucky for repairs. The computer remained functional but the lines across the screen began to cause trouble with reading certain sections of my manuscript. (Goal 13)

That’s it for my monthly goals. Now for last week’s goals, I got over 2200 words toward my novel last week. Plan to do better this week. Actually, I have gotten almost that much now.

I managed to complete the Nola News Extra – a few days late. It has been sent to the Nola Stars members. Sorry that I can’t share this with others but this is one of those items that is specific to this writing group.

The third item on this week’s goal list was my computer. It has been taken care of. Now for item six, that wheel alignment on my car cost over $270. $69 for the alignment, $200 for some type of wheel assembly that needed to be replaced. At least it is safer to drive now. Also, the rotated my tires and did not tell me. That made it awkward when I took the car in to get a new tire to match one I purchased last month. Had to find where they put the new tire.

My fun goal was the last one for the week. I always learn something new at the Nola Stars meeting. Then there is the book signing that came afterward. The Chapter president’s first book came out this month and it was her first book signing. She signed her books with two fellow members Lenora Worth and Winnie Griggs.

This week’s goals are
  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Clean out my closet
  3. Build 8 scrapbook pages for Nola Stars
  4. Catalog 140 articles I have collected
  5. Update my personal telephone directory
  6. Build three humorous fictitious news stories for Friday’s Blog Entry

If you do not hear from me promptly, it is because of the older computer system I am running on. It will allow me about 10 minutes of Internet before locking up. In order to get this post onto my site, I had to type it up, save it to a file, and reboot the computer so I can get back on the Internet.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Laptop Blues

Friday, June 11

I had intended to start off with my Fiction Friday series today but I chose to change the subject. He UPS guy just picked up my baby (a Toshiba Laptop). It wasn’t totally broke but it was feeling ill. I chose to send it in for repair while I still had the extended warranty on the thing.

My hope is that I will be reunited with it sometime next week but I am not sure. Now, my computer in my room is happy to be used for something other than printing out documents.

The last two days have been spent backing up data onto multiple sources. It has forced me to go online to visit my email accounts. I really do not want to download my emails and then have them on two separate computers.

I will continue to write on my novel and other stories. This may help in that I am not that accessible for other to ask questions. Also, the call from the apples, celery, carrots and pecan pie can be ignored easier. (Well, maybe not the pecan pie. That sucker has a voice on it that carries through multiple rooms and down the driveway. Big Grin).

When I get my baby back, I plan to reinstall the operating system to factory specifications and then install only the basic software I want on the machine. Lately, my machine began to drag a bit and I am quite sure that the registry needs to be cleaned out.

There are many cleaners advertised on the net that say run me. Several claimed to found many errors in my operating system registry. But in order to fix these errors, I have to send in something else I do not have much of – money.

So, this next week, I will have to go back to a computer that has a Millennium operating system and a slower CPU. But, then again, I doubt very seriously that I can out type the word processor.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 2010 Goals

Sunday, June 06

Oh well, it is that time once again. It seems that I am working on everything except for the goals I set up for myself. Now, I did manage to make it closer to the end of my book by writing over 8000 words on it this past week.

As for reading the books last month, I did not pick up one. Yet, I have already shot through one earlier this week. That makes four reviews I need to work on. I still plan to read through at least two more books this month.

As for repairing my closet, bathroom and bedroom floors, I have gathered a few bits of material that will allow me to work on it.

And for the articles, I have worked on one unnamed article. I plan to push it out this month and post it on my website. Speaking of my website, I intend to work on it as well.

Now, my list this month will look like last month’s but I think I will add a few items that I know I need to take care of. One of them is due this week. One item is due at the end of this month.

My goals for this month are
  1. Finish the first draft of my current sci-fi novel
  2. Go through manuscript for questions and make sure they are answered
  3. Plan out and write five short stories
  4. Read three books and write reviews for them
  5. Determine three areas on my web page that needs adjusting and adjust them
  6. Repair the floor to my closet and add shelves – have to clean out closet first
  7. Clean up room – throw away unneeded material and store other material
  8. Repair floor in bathroom
  9. Repair floor in my room
  10. To start a fictitious news reports for my Friday Blog post
  11. Prepare my writing magazines (including RWR) for donation to Northwestern State University
  12. Build list of my software and collect all the codes for them. – Possible reinstallation of operating system
  13. Get laptop repaired - Multiple problems
  14. Catch up and maintain my ‘The Weekend Novelist’ project
  15. To complete the Nola News newsletter for July/August before the end of the month
  16. Write four articles
* 1) Two on backups
* 2) One about index cards
* 3) Finish one on Expendable Character Names

My goals for this week are
  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Complete the Nola News Extra Edition for May/June (due out last week)
  3. Call Warranty Repair on my Toshiba Laptop
  4. Build 8 scrapbook pages for Nola Stars
  5. Catalog 140 articles I have collected
  6. Get car’s front end aligned
  7. Update my personal telephone directory
  8. Build three humorous fictitious news stories for Friday’s Blog Entry
  9. Go to Nola Stars meeting

I have other goals but these are some of my most important ones for this week. This feels like my yearly resolutions except that they are for the month and the week. I wonder how many of them I will achieve and how many I will break. I can tell you that I know I will succeed in doing at least two of them. Big Grin. Until later, have a nice day, week, & month – Clark Stone

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Writing We Will Go

Saturday, June 05

Yesterday, I had a great day of writing though it did not start off to well. The day got better as I got into my groove. I managed to type up 3,452 words yesterday.

If I had one, my wish would be to be able to hit my maximum speed of 1,000 or more words an hour for several hours. Yesterday, I got close at 814 words in 50 minutes. That comes out to 976.8 words an hour. But, I did that only once.

I plan to go to the store today and get some duct tape so I can tape up and dispose of temporarily the one thing that interferes with my writing: My Internal Editor. I might even try turning the music up a little to drown out its voice.

Yet, I am satisfied with my accomplishment. My goal for today is to get at least 2000 words. I have other things that need my attention but I plan to work on my writing.

I hope you have a fun weekend.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blog Day

Thursday, June 03

I don’t have much to say today. One thing I did accomplish was to make it through a gaggle of blogs, or should that be babble of blogs. You choose. I wished I could keep up with other people’s blogs a bit more frequently but I find myself checking them once or twice a week.

Most offer a great deal of information along with some entertainment. I search through most for tidbits of information that I may be able to use. Whether it is advice about one’s writing career or information about a ghostly haunt, I can find a place to put the information until I need it.

Have you read a good entry today?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday 2010-06-02

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Today, I want to talk about the ‘leftovers.’ I do not know if what I am referring to actually has a technical name or not. But, to me, a “leftover” is a tidbit of information that I pulled from my story. It can be a paragraph, a sentence or a scene.

Whether I no longer need the material in the story or I have too much and need to cut back, this material ends up left over and I place it in a separate file. A file to hold all of tidbits of story that I cull out of my book for one reason or another. In this file, I try to catalog the ‘leftover’ so I can index it later.

Why not throw it away and not be bothered with it? It is not because I love the prose so much that I just can’t part with it. The truth be said, chances are that I will not get back to it.

Yet, I have two or three items that I could not use in my book because it is already complicated enough as it is. There is not enough material for me to build another book but I can build independent short stories with them.

When I pull it from my book and place it in the Unused File, I usually write a few notes about the piece and why I want to keep it. If it is for a story idea, then I write the basics about the story idea with it.

Since I am planning to write a series of books based on my current work, I can also place a note in my series bible and it can be used as a reference. In a way, I might be called a hoarder of my old story bits or ‘leftovers.’ But, I just can’t let them go. Right now, they only occupy a spot on my hard drive and backup drives.

I will look through the file once I complete the book and determine if any of it can be salvaged for future use. What do you do with your deleted sections? Do they go the way of the dodo or does it find a spot in a temporary file?