Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-03-27

It’s broken record time! Yep. That means I’m still editing Warmistress. I’m on page 272 out of 335. Nearing the end. With a little luck and some hard work, I’ll get the red-lines done today. Then I can delve into taking my fixes and changes and put them into the electronic version. I figure that’ll take me a week to translate my caffeine-laden scribbles and turn them into fixed prose.

We’ll see how it goes….

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-03-20

In my last update I mentioned the martial arts program, so I wanted to follow-up on that. After a hard workout last Tuesday, I was left barely able to move my right arm and I had limited motion in my left arm. Fortunately, I was able to get into my chiropractor on Thursday evening and he put me on the road to a fairly quick recovery. It still took a few days for me to get back up to speed, though.

As as a result of me being very out of shape and pushing myself too hard on the first workout, I lost some editing time. Not much, though. I’m on page 90, and I had hoped to have been done by now. That’s okay. I’ve found some great places to really improve upon the work.

I’m hoping that the weekend will bring me loads of time to get through the remaining pages.

I Almost Stopped Listening To Podcasts

A little over a month ago, I wrecked my car. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either. I came out a little sore in the neck/shoulder area, but the car was a mess (and in the shop) for a little over a month. When I finally got my own car back, I plugged my handy (yet ancient) Nokia N800 into the aux port in my VW Jetta. I got decent sound for about 10 minutes, and then I took a hard left turn and all sound cut out.

Ugh.

I checked everything. The N800 was still playing properly. I rebooted it in case it had a weird software glitch, but that didn’t fix the problem. I replaced the audio cable with no luck. I unplugged and replugged the new audio cable a few times while the N800 played an mp3. That’s when I realized I had sound with my holding the cable at an angle, but not when I released it. Since the aux port is in the glove box (who the F’k decided on that design?) I couldn’t exactly drive while leaning way over to hold the cable at the right angle to listen to podcasts.

Ugh.

With the car in this condition, I couldn’t listen to my beloved podcasts. The only time I have to listen to them is in the car on my massive commute to and from work. Yeah. The N800 has built-in speakers, but they’re so tiny and weak, I couldn’t hear the podcasts over the road noise. I was really concerned about having to give up on my podcasts until I could figure something out.

Ugh.

This led me to dismantle my dashboard on the passenger side to get the glove box out. The female plug for the aux port in the glove box was built into a tiny little PCB (printed circuit board) that was about 0.5 inches by 1 inch. That had come loose from its moorings (probably due to the wreck). There were three leads sticking out the side that another cable plugged into it. That cable was also loose from the extruding prongs. It took me come weird yoga-style contortions to get my hands, arms, the PCB, the cable, the aux port mount points, my flashlight in my mouth and  my eyes to all line up just right. Once I got everything aligned, the PCB, cable and mountings snapped back together quite well. Before I reassembled everything, I tested the connections with the audio cable and such. Crystal clear sound poured from my speakers.

I was ecstatic! I had my podcasts back!

Now I get to cruise down the road and listen to my favorite people talk about my favorite topics.

J.T. is a happy podcast fan again.

PS: I reached out to Twitter a while back asking for podcast suggestions. I want to thank everyone that suggested something new for me to listen to. I’ll be posting a new “What I’m Listening To” post near the end of the week in case other folks out there are looking for podcast suggestions and share tastes similar to my own.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-03-13

I haven’t done much writing this past week, but I’ve done tons of editing. I’m walking my way through my print-out of Warmistress doing red-line edits. Marking places to improve, places to cut and places to expand upon. I’m on page 64 out of 335. I usually do edits faster than this, but I’ve added a new regiment to my already packed schedule.

I’ve been hovering around the 205 pound mark, and I’ve got a 175 pound frame. Yep. I’m 30 pounds overweight, and I’ve been this way for about two years. It’s time to do something about it. I’ve been sedentary for way too long.

To do something about this, I’ve started back into mixed martial arts practice. Nope. I’m not getting into the cage. That’s a young man’s sport, and I’m turning 40 this year. I’m doing it for the fantastic exercise, the self-confidence boost, and to learn how to defend myself in today’s world. I’m having a blast with it even though my aging body complains the next day. I just get back to it and push through the pain and discomfort to get through the next class.

Don’t worry. This isn’t turning into a martial arts blog, but I may mention things from time-to-time.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-03-06

Wow. It’s been almost a month since I last gave an update on my writing.

In that time, I’ve finished the first round of edits on Warmistress. I’ve taken a break from the book and done quite a bit of “busy work” since then:

  • Created a short story template for Scrivener that I’m finally happy with.
  • Converted my various formats (plain text, Word, LibreOffice) to a unified format within Scrivener.
  • Organized my stories into flash, short stories and novels.
  • Editing a handful of short stories to have something to submit to the new critique group.

In addition to the busy work, I’ve been working really hard on an urban fantasy story:

  • Started a short story and ended up with a novella. That’s okay. It’s a great story that I had a blast putting down.
  • Sat back and thought about the 14,000+ words I put down in the novella. Can I actually turn it into a full-blown novel? I’m not sure yet, but I’m considering it. If so, I’m about 15% the way to completion, so that’s something. However, I’d need to think on it more, generate an outline and probably chop up and expand the novella in many different places. At least I have words down!

My project for today will be to duplex print Warmistress, three-hole punch it and get it into a binder I’ve already prepped with a notepad and two red pens. Time to get to work on the second round of edits on the novel! Can’t wait to see what improvements I can make on the novel!