Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Universe is NOT against me after all!! Whoo Hoo

At 3:33 AM, my Muse woke me from a pleasant dream and smacked me soundly on my thick noggin. "You putz," she said, "what did you do a month ago with 'Etchings'? Well?"

She was referring to my last post, where I reported the sad fact that I'd lost the ending chapters for my short story 'Etchings'. I could not understand how it happened since I'm a paranoid 'Save'/'Backup' writer.

"Well, dummy? Don't you remember deciding to switch to WordPad from NotePad to get better formatting?"

Well slap my face and call me Sally; that's it!

So, at 3:33 in the morning, I grabbed my ASUS notebook computer and opened the story in WordPad. Sure enough, I had left the default settings for 'Save' and the entire story was still there in my \Documents folder.

A quick copy/paste from that document into my new Word document and voila! I'm back on track with a full first draft! Yes!

Bear in mind that I've been writing software since 1980. A genuine software developer who knows how applications usually work. I just totally spaced out the default save locations for WordPad or any other Microsoft application.


And yes, I backed it up! ;-)

Have a great week, my friends.

Be cool
Be happy
Be the Bee

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Aaarrggghhhh! Where did it go????

I finally had one of those 'it will never happen to me' moments in my writing career. I lost the last chapters in a short story I thought I had finished!

I'm having my in-house editor trash my latest short story 'Etchings'. She's been brutal and honest. Damn. ;-) Hopefully, I'll learn how apostrophes work some day. Nah, probably not.

Anyway, we're at the end of the story and it's gone! The climax I worked on for days, while chomping on a salad at my favorite Gazebo Burger in Frisco, is GONE! What the hell!

It's my fault of course. I should have been backing up my work to a thumb drive. I have one my key chain just for this sort of thing. But hey, I hit 'Save' every few minutes while I'm working so why bother? Right.

I don't know what I did wrong. Maybe I hit the wrong buttons while I thought I was saving. Maybe I shut the lid on my new notebook Win8 and ran the battery down. I just don't know. It doesn't really matter, somehow I messed up.

The lesson here is to backup your work often. NOT 'save' often, you should do that of course. BACKUP often. To a thumb drive. To the cloud. To a CD. To a USB drive. Print it out. Whatever works for you. Just do it.

Now I have to hope I can recreate the excitement I had in that original finish. I think I can remember most of it, but frankly I'm not sure.


Don't let this happen to you.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Goodbye my friend...

The passing of Robin Williams has tilted my world. It caught me completely off guard, though I knew he had depression problems for years.

I miss you already, Robin.

It's not my place to judge you, I have no idea what life was like for you. I can only say I truly miss you.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

'The Shoe Box' The first collection of short stories from UK based author James Smith.

The Shoe Box: A Collection of Short Stories

The Shoe Box is the first collection of short stories from UK based author James Smith. Five
contemporary stories examining the human ability to deal with adversity, maintain that special
spark and our obsession with competition and celebrity.

Filled with richly developed characters and punchy humour (ah the brits ;-), this collection of stories is ideal for the commute or the coffee break.

Available on here.  And Amazon UK here. Also available to borrow through the Amazon Prime scheme.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Am I a serious writer now???

I splurged on a notebook computer to do my writing. I wanted to be able to write in the park areas where I work, at the local burger joints, in the break rooms, wherever. And I wanted a large touch screen system to write and test mobile games.

So I splurged and bought an ASUS X200M at Best Buy. When I bought it, it was on sale for $279! So far I love it; it's perfect for writing and learning all about touch screens and 8.1. It's small enough ( 12" X 8") to carry around in a soft case.

So now I have no excuses for not writing, anytime of day. For about a month, I've been taking it to a local burger joint, grabbing a salad and plinking away for 45 minutes. I've been very pleased with how much work I can get done in 45 minutes, when there are no other distractions.

I'm up to 27,000 words in book #3 of Arlo and Jake, and I've almost finished a short story/novelette that has been bugging me for months. I don't normally split my time between stories, but the characters in this one kept barging into my stream of consciousness, so I decided to breath life into them. Hopefully, they will leave me alone when I wrap up the story. ;-)

It's interesting to use both the keyboard and the touch screen to write. I find myself scanning up and down with a swipe to find that last passage or character name that I've already forgotten. Otherwise, I use the keyboard and built in mouse as always.

Anyone else out there use a notebook or laptop to write?

Let me know how it's going for you.

I am very interested to know if anyone is using 'cloud services' to keep their manuscripts. I'm 'this close' to trying it, I'm just paranoid I'll lose something in the ether. ;-)

Be cool
Keep writing!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Check out my interview with I.B. Nosey!

The ever wacky I.B. Nosey, winner of the coveted Pukelitzer Award and other highly questionable honors, interviews me on his site.

Follow along as I beam him aboard the ship and explain the plight of Arlo and Jake in my humorous SciFi adventure series.

Just click the following blurb from Mr. Nosey's site and follow the fun!

'Follow along with I.B. Nosey, your favorite intrepid internet reporter, as he interviews compelling guests, uncovers important truths, and embarks on harrowing, suspenseful adventures.'

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On a roll, Arlo and Jake 'Lost Partner' just passed 24000 words!

I know some (a lot?) of you can knock out whole books in a couple of months. I envy you. I just can't do that.

If I ever become a full time writer (hello literary agents looking for an up and comer... here I am! ;0), then I can dedicate most of the day to spilling my imaginary guts.

For those of us who have day jobs and family commitments that can't be pushed aside, it's a chore just to push our stories forward a few pages every night. And that's what I do. I sit my butt on the couch and try to write a couple of pages every day.

This 4th of July weekend was busy. Gardening, honey do stuff, guitar lessons and a granddaughter that will NOT be ignored (I wouldn't anyway). These last three days seemed to flash by. Here I am, late at night, trying to update my writing blog and do the social media bit.

But. I got several chances to focus on book 3 and damn if I didn't crank out some cool stuff. It's over 24,000 words now!

Arlo and Tia are trying to stay alive on the swamp planet. Jake and Pixie are trying to stay alive on the Triumph, in the middle of an interstellar battle. And I get to orchestrate it all!

Writing is a blast!

Sure I'd like to do it full time. But until then, I'm celebrating days like this.

You need to celebrate too. Any time you write, you are celebrating being alive.

Be happy for today. WRITE!