Bending Phones and Unwanted Music

Something not worth complaining about.I damn near deleted this blog this evening. It came really close.

I was frustrated by all the people out in Internetville spending an amazing amount of time and energy arguing and worrying about expensive phones bending if you’re dumb enough to sit on them, or complaining that a company spent millions of dollars to give them music they don’t want. People, we have a whole lot more important things to focus our brainpower on.

I came out to this humble little blog of mine to vent about this, and then realized how much time and energy I’ve spent here basically doing the same thing. So, in frustration, I thought … this blog is going bye bye.

But I was taking one last look down through the articles still left here (I’ve culled this blog several times, and it needs it again) and realized there’s actually some things worth keeping. I’ve shared some good things from time to time. And while traffic to this blog is only a fraction of what it used to be, there are still people trickling in to read it. And, so…

I didn’t hit the delete button.

If nothing else, it serves as a good reminder of how much I change from year to year.

And, just for the record, Consumer Reports completely debunked this iPhone “bendgate” bullshit.

Also, when someone gives you a gift, the proper thing to do (if you were raised correctly) is to thank the giver whether you like the gift or not.

Promotion & Relocation

Progress on the current manuscript is stalled because I’ve been promoted and am being relocated. I’m now a digital marketing manager at one of the top 50 “most innovative companies” as listed by Forbes (for the forth year in a row). So now my day job is filled with creativity and fun, and when I get home … I lack the energy to work on my fiction.

I’m okay with that, at least for the time being. My day job is rewarding enough. If someone offered a deal where I could give up my day job and write on my novels full time, I’d turn them down. Fiction writing is fun and all, but it’s not really that rewarding, and it’s a lonely process. There’s seldom if any immediate gratification to be had.

Day job: daily gratification. Constantly. And it pays really well.

I’ll continue plodding away on my current book, and I have two more I want to complete sometime within the next few years, and then… I’m good. I’m done.

At least that’s how I feel right now.

Heighten and Transform

Great, beautiful thing I heard on Nerdist podcast during an interview with writer / actor / director / comedian Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man): in a scene, aim for truth, and you’ll hit funny on the way.

Heighten and explore the “game” of a scene until it transforms.

Listen here: Nerdist Podcasst with Jon Favreau »

No Mercy

Working on A Wild and Untamed Thing

I’m well into the last quarter of this manuscript and it’s now time to mercilessly beat up on my main characters. It has to seem like there’s no way for the bad guy to lose.

No pain, no payoff.

Multi-Novel Plotting

I do have to say … writing three interconnected novels all at the same time is rather fun. In the later novels you get an inspiration that affects the other books, and since you haven’t published them yet, you can go in and make the appropriate changes … leaving all sorts of fun clues and foreshadowing that readers will scratch their heads at until they read the next book … and get that wonderful “Aha!” moment.

I also have to say that doing it without using something like Scrivener would have been rather difficult. Not impossible, but not as easy. You’d have to resort to the old fashion method of an entire wall of your abode used as a giant post-it note gallery, with yarn and pushpins to tie the various points together.

Come to think of it, that sounds like fun too.

I doubt my landlord would appreciate 10,000 push-pin holes in one of the main walls of my apartment, though.

Sasquatch Village

It’s just after 9 PM and I’m staring at my manuscript while listening to rain pattering on some metal part of my chimney. It tinkles, clinks, and clunks.

I’ve reached a stopping point, and need to ponder something.

In this part of the story I need to figure out exactly what a Sasquatch village would be like. The problem is in my minds eye, I keep seeing the Ewok village from Star Wars.

That is not what I want.

These creatures — at least, in my story — have long ago learned to live in such harmony with nature that the need for developing any kind of technology was unnecessary. They are the true shaman of the forest. I’m thinking that they don’t even need fire.

Would they build shelters? Or would they would live in giant burrows? I don’t see them living in trees because they share a common ancestor with bears, not apes. But does that mean they would live like bears? Not necessarily — we don’t live like monkeys.

This is where I need to simply go to bed and let my brain process it overnight. Tomorrow morning I hope I’ll know exactly how a Sasquatch village needs to be.

You can’t use Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium for professional use?

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Supposedly, according to Ed Bott’s ZDNet article (linked here), this wording is included in the license for Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium:

The service/software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities.

Does that mean that if you’re a professional writer, and you sell the things that you write, you can’t use this version of Microsoft Word?

Remember, this includes the license for Microsoft’s nifty new iPad version of Word that everyone is so excited about. I know many writers who want to use their iPads for novel writing, or editing (especially editing – it’s brilliant for proofreading a manuscript)

In the real world, Microsoft is not going to know or care if you’ve written or edited your novel on their “not for revenue-generating activities” version of Word, so this is a non-issue. It just makes you kind of scratch your head and wonder at the convoluted nonsense that Microsoft lawyers jam into their licensing agreements.

If you’re paranoid about it, then use the perfectly good Pages word processor that comes free with your iPad.

Personally, I’m still waiting eagerly for Scrivener to come out on iPad.