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.

Villain Grandstanding

The villain in my current manuscript is grandstanding.

I am hesitant about this, but in the case of this story, I think it works. Plus we’re all conditioned to evildoers grandstanding during times when they think they’ve won – it’s in every single Bond movie, every single Star Wars movie, and I could make the argument you see it in Indiana Jones as well.

I’ve never done it before, so it feels like cheating. It feels like the villain is going, “Here, I’m going to dump some plot points on you.” But … if the character is truly an egomaniac (hell bent on taking over the world) and he thinks he’s in the right – to him, he’s not the evil one – his twisted sense of self righteousness is going to make him gloat over his win. In this case, though, instead of grandstanding before throwing the hero into a pool of laser-guided sharks, he is explaining that he’s won, and why he’s won, and why he’s going to let the hero live, and what exactly he’ll do to the hero if the villain ever sets eyes on him again. It all fits perfectly with the character, and so…

I’m going to let him do it.

Do you ever let your villains grandstand?

Music I Listen To While Writing

iTunes Radio - Ambient Radio

Ever since Apple came out with iTunes Radio, I’ve gravitated to this particular station to listen to while I write: iTunes Radio – Ambient Radio

Everyone has their own process. I know when I was younger I used to listen to Pink Floyd, Yes, ELP, the Beatles, etc. while I worked.

This music though, I find it doesn’t get in the way. It helps my creative process in the background. Also, since usually writing is such a lonely process, having this ambient background going keeps me company.

What music do you listen to while creating?

Winter can be really pretty…

I felt the need to share this photo. I think it’s one of the prettiest ones I’ve ever taken.

Taking advantage of the recent snowstorm, my day job had me go take some pictures of various job sites in the snow for a campaign. On my way back to the office I stopped by this park in north Naperville … and am glad I did.

Two Inches of Snow

A national weather alert went off, waking me up at 4:00 AM, to warn me that it’s snowing outside. So I take a look at the alert, and it goes on to say we can expect a whole 2 inches.

Snow

Really? It had to wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me that? For 2 inches of snow? Oh my god call out the national guard!

Whatever. But lying here I did notice a trip to the bathroom might be a good idea, so I go, and by the time I’m back here in bed my mind has started up for the day … and now I can’t go back to sleep.

Last night I was alternating between watching “Game Grumps” with my younger daughter on YouTube, working on my current manuscript, and working on my niece’s new and improved website. Now I’m itching to work more on the website, but I know I really should try and get back to sleep.

But I can’t, at least not until 5 minutes before the alarm goes off. 

It’s going to be one of those unhealthy, highly caffeinated days, I can already tell. Espresso shots with my vanilla almond milk, then coffee, and a Rockstar energy drink in the afternoon. I don’t need a crystal ball to see this future.

Thank you so much National Weather Service for alerting me to this hazardous 2 inches of snow.

It Was One Of Those Days

So my daughter and I drove to Costco, which is not a small distance, and we get there only to find that I had forgotten my Costco card. No worries, I think — we’ll come back tomorrow.

So we drive to the optometrist place where the big sign always says something about walk-ins welcome and no appointment necessary. Well it turns out that an appointment was necessary, because they’re completely booked up until this evening. No worries, we’ll just walk around the mall for a while and then go do something else.

Then we go to get my car’s oil changed, and arrive to find the place closed five minutes before we got there. Whatever. I’ll do it this coming week.

Dragonball Z CharacterWe then go to the hairstylist, so my daughter can get her haircut. No problems there, except that it ended up costing twice as much as I’d expected.

Then we go to the store so I can get vegetables and lemon pepper.

Vegetables, and lemon pepper.

That’s all I was going there for.

By the time we go through check out and are heading to the car with the basket full of stuff, it was $120.

Vegetables, and lemon pepper.

It’s been one of those days.

What does this have to do with the picture of the Dragonball Z character? Absolutely nothing. It’s just the picture I took while I was wandering around the mall.

I’ve actually made an appointment to go back to the optometrist at 7:15 PM, but of course it’s snowing like crazy right now, and I almost got run over by a white SUV that I didn’t see coming because it so perfectly blended in with the snow.

I took that as an omen. Time to go home and stay there. I called the optometrists and canceled the appointment.