May 30, 2012

Writing Tools

I'm working on alter ego's book #2.  That sounds like progress, doesn't it?  That I'm working on another book.   What I should really be telling you is that I'm trying to work on book #2.  It would certainly be a more accurate assessment of the situation because there is little progress being made.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this recently or not, but I sat down and started writing the first chapter of the new book and within four paragraphs realized I couldn't go any further.  Despite having spent years working on book #1, I couldn't remember small-but-important details.  I was bringing one of the secondary characters into the new book's opening chapter and couldn't for the life of me remember her hair and eye color.  A minor detail, to be sure, but one that must remain a constant for continuity's sake. 

So, I opened my OneNote file for book #1 and started poking around.  This was the file where I supposedly wrote down these small-but-important details.  I'm sure you've already guessed it..I didn't have the necessary information written down on this particular secondary character.  I had her name, her husband and children's names, and their relation to the protagonist. That's it. Nothing else.  

Okay, fine.  I had the Word document and the Kindle version of the book.  I could do a quick search and find what I needed, right?  Of course not.  Not easily, at any rate.  After flipping through the book, I decided I was going to need to reread the entire novel and create a functional story bible.  

No problem. 

Only, I really wasn't happy when I couldn't figure out how to get the OneNote file opened on a different computer.  At that point I started to think about the Cloud.  Accessing the story bible from any computer without having to remap the darn file location would be, well, awesome.  

The thing is I like OneNote's organizational setup and love the clipper option. I wanted something similar that could function in the Cloud.  That's when I discovered Evernote.  While it's not exactly like OneNote, it seems very promising.  It allows me to create folders and comes with a clipping tool.  

While researching how to use it, I found this video: 




After watching the video, I decided to give it a try.  I clipped a few images from the web - for inspiration, of course.  I also created a folder with a couple of notes.  Even better, I've already accessed the test files I've created from my iPhone, my laptop, and my desktop.  Just as I had hoped, there were no navigational challenges.

This means it's time to get busy on creating that story bible.  




May 23, 2012

Camping Season Has Officially Started

I love the fact that we were camping by mid-May.  Our first weekend getaway wasn't too far from home, which was a true blessing because we had a funeral to attend. As the funeral was in the next town over from where we live, we had to make the hour and a half drive four times.  Ah, well.  You do what you've got to do, right?  When a friend loses a parent, you can't blithely say, "oh, sorry, we're too busy lounging in lawn chairs to come console you during your time of need." Nope. You can't say that. Instead, you pack a nice skirt and blouse and a pair of heels and you drive the distance necessary.

Strangely enough, my packing for the our second weekend of camping will also involve a dress and matching shoes.   Only this time, we'll need to leave the campground for a few hours in order to attend a co-worker's wedding.  Thank goodness our camper is equipped with running water and electricity because a ponytail won't cut it!  

I'm not sure the kids will enjoy our next destination as much as they enjoyed this one, though.  Our first trip of the year will be hard to beat.  The campground was beautiful and equipped with things like heated pools and hot tubs. What really made it something special for the kids, though,was the river.  I don't know if you can see it or not, but if you look beyond the picnic table, the puppy's playpen, and the nearest trees, you can see the river.  Our site, as well as my Dad's and Ronnie and Troy's sites, were right on the river.  



Before we even had the camper set up, the kids had poles in the water.  This sucker was the first catch, but definitely not the last.


As the weekend heated up, temperatures soaring into the high 80s, the kids decided that wading into the water to look for crayfish would be just as much fun as fishing from the banks. Despite how swift the current appeared to be from shore, the water never went much above their knees.



Fishing, prowling for crayfish, swimming in the pool, and playing basketball against their Dad and Uncle Troy kept the kids well entertained. My spare time was spent with this adorable little fellow...

Meet Dexter.  He was just a little over 9 weeks old at the time this picture was taken.  His mild and meek mannerisms didn't last very long.  Within a day or two, he was showing his true colors...if stubborn is a color.  If it isn't, it should be.


Exactly one week after we had picked him up, we were introducing him to our favorite summertime recreation.  Trying to honor the breeder's wishes to keep him collar free, I thought the doggy play pen would be sufficient.  I was wrong.  Less than 24 hours into our weekend found me in a Super K-Mart looking at harness systems.  This little fella needed to be on the move and that darn playpen was just not going to cut it for an entire weekend!



May 8, 2012

Momental Book Meme


Copy and paste into your blog and change comments to your own answers. Use the title of this meme in your subject line or create your own. Feel free to tag your friends or not. A link back to this lens would be appreciated.


Write about five books that left a lasting impression from five different times of your life (or more if you've lived longer). Don't limit yourself to the "best books ever". Books can leave an impression for other reasons. This meme was inspired by A Diary of a Mad Mammy.

First Book Read to Me - A Little Golden Book
I can't give you a title.  I'm not sure my mom could give you a title, either, and she was the one who used to read these to me.  To this day, though, when I see that golden binding on a book shelf, I feel warm and fuzzy inside.  I had such a collection!  I'm sure they were eventually handed down to my younger brothers and sisters and, as happens in houses where children grow up, they were likely donated to those who could use them.  

First Book I Coveted - They Thirst by Robert McCammon
Oh, this book.  I first read it when I was a teenager.  It rocked my world.  Here were vampires that were monstrous.  Evil.  Terrifying.  There were no whiny or whimpering vampires here. No conflicted soul in need of love and understanding.  No, these were hell's own creatures in need of a stake and some holy water.

I lost track of the book.  Yet, I never forgot it.  It was the one book I wanted on my bookshelf, not only because I was delighted to discover an author who didn't bother to romanticize the vampire, but perhaps because it reminded me of those years at home with my dad and step-mom.  I didn't read many books aloud, but I read the prologue of this book to my step-mom and one of her good friends.  I remember sitting on the edge of the bed telling them to "listen to this".  I wonder if they remember that all?  I hope so.  Those were kinder and simpler days, days when I never expected her to leave, to always be my number one reading buddy.  


I think that memory, that love of her, is part of the reason I had to add this book to my keeper shelf.  It only took me fifteen years or so to make it happen, but the book sits on my shelf and I have no intention of losing it again.  


The Teen Years - Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsey
Despite my faulty and fickle memory, I'm positive I was thirteen the first time I read this book.  My step-mom  gave it to me when the children's books just weren't doing it for me any more.  That or I had read everything else in the house and she was desperate to get me out of her hair.  Whatever the reason, she handed me this book when I was a young and impressionable young lady.  I'm so glad she did!  While some people may find her decision scandalous, I think it was a genius move.  Call it a bodice ripper if you want, but I learned that innocence should be protected and that I had a mind and voice and they were mine to use as I saw fit. 
Now I want to go read this one again...or maybe one of Johanna's Malory books.  Oh, I love those, too. 

The Roaring Twenties -  Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
There are so many wonderful books I could have listed for this time in my life.  Because I needed something more than historical romances and Stephen King novels to read, I really started pushing myself into unexplored genres.  Science fiction was interesting, but fantasy novels were a delightful discovery.  Those fairytales I remembered from childhood?  These were all that and so much more.  I devoured anything with a dragon on its cover.  When I stumbled on Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, I was instantly and completely hooked.  I couldn't get enough.  To an extent this is still true.  If I'm missing any of her books, I don't know which ones they are.  When she handed the series over to her son, I was nervous but my love of the Pern dragons overrode my concern. 


The Thirties - School Assignments as Recorded on Goodreads
As a reader of many genres, I wasn't sure which book I should pick for this particular decade.  My shelves are full of science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, and suspense.  Those books, though, have been recently designated as my "fun" reads and sometimes go neglected for long weeks or even months.  I blame this on school, which is why I decided to link to my Goodread's School Assignment bookshelf.   Fun stuff there!