April 3rd, 2015


Moving Things Here and There

Wow, where did a week go? And I am behind several blog entries -- Insurgent review and a Game Night from two weeks ago, a lovely lecture on General Relativity this week. Despite staying up a good chunk of the night, there's never enough time.

Well, that's not true. It's really what one budgets the time to do. In addition to a very productive Wednesday Office Hours (DW), my main push this week was editing Book 1 Part A.

For me, at this level the word counts only go up. I am filling in blanks that had been left in the story, connecting scenes which have to be written, descriptions broadened, etc. In the last week, Book 1 expanded by 8%. But that's not the whole story. As the novel evolved and worked on the timeline, some things have changed or expanded since I first wrote them. The result is that a couple of locations and people are now mentioned earlier than they used to be. So descriptions and introductions have to be moved. But this primarily has meant moving them from Book 1 Part B into Book 1 Part A (with a few from Book 2). With the inevitable result that while the total Book 1 word count is still on track, the once pretty even split between Parts A and B is now heavily tilted towards Part A -- 100,505 words to 51,918 words. Ouch. There goes the attempt to keep each book/part to 80,000 words.

There currently is a natural break between Book 1 Part A and Part B. I could move the division earlier, but I'm not happy with that. Also, I have to get to the edits for Book 1 Part B to see how long that ultimately becomes. The next obvious thing to do is hack 20% off of Book 1 Part A, but it's story! It's words! It's my precious! (grin)

Yeah, I'm sure I'll have to be merciless later, when the Beta readers finally get it and start carping about parts which bore them, drag on or aren't necessary. But I'm the kind of writer who often when I move to cut words, ends up with a longer word count. Happened to several of my published short stories -- and the editors in those cases agreed with me that my edited down, i.e. longer, version was better. (evil-grin) A couple of my writing acquaintances, Ferrett Steinmetz and Martin Shoemaker, have been talking on Facebook about these massive cuts they've been inflicting on their stories, and I'm like -- how do you do that? I just can't find enough justs, haves, hads and thats to cut anything by 10%, let alone 20%. (that-grin)

So no hacking back with a machete just yet. Not until the whole first draft is done.

I'll tell you, though, it felt like I'd never get past file page 269. Spent days with the page counter stuck there, but this was because I was moving things around and changing scenes. Adding chapters. Yesterday I burst past page 272 and out to 339. Go me.

Still too many characters named Xxx. And one character had been named Stassen in some places and Stesson in others. The one with bigger numbers ended up winning. Another scene had been written in summer, but was now like April 3rd weather here in West Michigan -- sun, snows gone but nothing growing yet.

New Researches: Umanori hakama and andon hakama, worn over a kimono. Kamishimo worn by samurai and courtiers during the Edo period, the outfit included a formal kimono, hakama, and a sleeveless jacket with exaggerated shoulders called a kataginu. 2000 BMW E38 750iL Armored, with a 5.4L V12 engine also used in the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. Berlingske is the oldest Danish newspaper still published and among the oldest newspapers in the world. Selkirk is a Scottish name meaning manor church. King Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands are going to visit West Michigan in June 2015. (PERFECT!) Omaha is 500 miles from Chicago -- about the same as Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Denver is 1000 miles. Holland and Denmark have no common border. Whoops! There are no trams in Copenhagen anymore (1863-1972), they were thrown away. Thirty years later, a light-rail Metro system opened, the M1/M2. M3/M4 ring routes to open in 2019. Three-car trains have no one at the controls. Apparently the report that suggested getting rid of the trams was off and Copenhagen wishes they had efficient and frequent trams in the streets again. Sporvejen Byens Burger Bar is built to look like the inside of an antique tram car. Danish Modern furniture came out of the 1920s Bauhaus movement, hugely popular from after WW II to the 60s. And it turns out to be Totino's Pizza Rolls, not Tostino Pizza Rolls. Huh, who knew? (This is why you do Research, kids. Hey, I never bought 'em.) Also, they are not generally available in Canada, though I did find some people in 2011 who claimed that Wal-Mart sometimes had them. So, strike the ignorant "Tostino Pizza Rolls from Canada" mention. The Danish Long John cargo bicycle.

Less research needed this week because I'm editing and not writing as much new stuff. Naturally.

The shiny counters are up to:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 1)

The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.10 (04-03-15 Fr, 1188 pages)

UPDATE: Note that we have smashed through the 300,000 word barrier and I had hardly noticed. (grin)

Book 1 Part A (100,505 words, starts page 42) / Part B (51,918 words, starts page 368)

Book 2 Part A (73,090. words, starts page 40) / Part B (46,653 words, starts page 303)

Book 3 (starts page 40)

There are times when it seems hopeless, especially when you run across old clunky parts or heavy handed writing or a whole lot of characters named Xxx. But... the end of Book 1 Part A (1st pass) is in sight, and that's pretty exciting. Pass 2 will all be about the names and then Pass 3 should produce a completed First Draft. That's The Plan, anyway. It's the beginning of April. End of the month? Sure... why not? What could possibly go wrong?

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

I Crack Myself Up

Regarding my last post on this week's writing progress (DW) (LJ), comment on Facebook:
Progress, darling, comes on little cat feet like the fog I noticed outside my windows last night. Keep it up. (Amy Ranger)
To which I simply could not resist commenting:
Progress comes on big CAT front end loaders backing up going BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...
Somewhere in that rock is the dinosaur. Sometimes it takes a palette knife and a soft brush, sometimes it takes explosives and drills.

That's all.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
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A Minor Policy Change

As I've said before, this blog is as much for my own journal as it is to inform and have fun and rant with y'all. So this entry is definitely in the You May Not Notice Or Care About This.

Back in December 2011 I added a Dreamwidth blog to my LiveJournal blog. They're the same, actually. But I write in Dreamwidth and crosspost to LiveJournal, because DW is easier and doesn't burden me with crap. I then put a link to Facebook. Originally, I kept linking to LJ and not DW, because Facebook/Dreamwidth was very irregular about including either icons or pictures with the link. But then I realized that if you don't have a LiveJournal account and you're not logged in or have a cookie set, then LJ is rather nutty about putting up pop-ups begging you to join LJ. And since I hate having to deal with crap like that myself -- I didn't see it normally because I have a permanent LJ account -- I switched to putting the Facebook link with Dreamwidth.


Bottom line, I had changed my links because it was nicer to you guys.

You may also have noticed that at the bottom of posts for a while, there has been the following block -- this one taken from the previous post:
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

This serves three purposes: (1) It's consistent with a lot of other blogs, which list WordPress or LiveJournal or Dreamwidth or their own blog. And identifies the original source. (2) If you came to the entry on say Dreamwidth and wanted to make a comment where you have an account on LiveJournal, it's easy. (3) It means I have both LJ and DW links available to me ***, for when I want to link to...

Say the previous post (DW).


Effective with the previous post (DW) (LJ), I have now officially reversed the order and specifically label both links as DW and LJ respectively.

On the first of April LiveJournal suggested that you Invite your friends back to LiveJournal!. That this attempt to regain some of their eyeballs they've lost over a number of bonehead moves and updates, especially since LiveJournal Release 88 (see icon above), ON THE FIRST OF APRIL, tells you why I choose to help my three readers by directing them first to the Dreamwidth post, but still give them the LiveJournal option.

For those of you on LiveJournal, most of my (very few) comments I get on posts come on LJ. Or Facebook. Only a few on DW. So I am on LiveJournal checking Recent Comments and Friends Page daily. Rest assured, that's not going to change.

Whichever is convenient for you, the dear reader. But I did want to mention the change.

That is all.

Dr. Phil

*** NOTE: There is a small window of time where I have to post a new entry to DW and the following fields don't have the link addresses in them yet, because the post number isn't assigned until it's posted... And then I have to update it. Got it? (grin)
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Limited Time? Changes? Changes? Changes?

Two months ago we got our Amazon Echo (DW) (LJ). Can it really be just two months? I suspect that between Kindle Fires for a couple of years, Prime, and months of heavy use of Amazon Music Library before getting Echo, it's hard to quite divide the time. But we have certainly gotten a lot of use out of the unit.

Perfect? No. Being cloud based, it's dependent on the WiFi/DSL connection. And Tune-In, which provides the radio over the Internet service, is sensitive to the streaming getting interrupted. Unlike a podcast or movie, or Amazon Music, it can't buffer ahead. So I don't know if the connection has more flakies that we know. But... the radio function works great most of the time. And they just added Pandora.

I hadn't even realized it was the two month date. Instead, yesterday I had been offered a link to an Amazon Kindle ebook, which seemed to be some guy's guide to Echo, in lieu of the manual, which doesn't exist. I was amused that it suggested it might be good to learn what Echo could do, while waiting for your Echo to come. And that some might have been given a six month wait. Huh? What?

Curious as to whether demand has jumped so much, or whether they're retooling for coming out of the Beta program, I went to Amazon. Unfortunately, I got a mixed message. The search screen said Echo had a one or two month wait, but when I clicked on the link to the Echo page, Amazon knew I had an Echo, and since you can only buy one right now, there was no sales information. Just product and set up stuff. I had to go to another browser which never had logged into Amazon -- the Linux desktop on my Kindle from Always On PC -- to see the info.

You still need to request an invite. The price is still $199 -- $99 if you have Prime. But if you want that Prime deal, you have to order by Tuesday 7 April 2015.

And that's why I am posting this. Because it's a steal at $99. We had rebate bucks from Discover, so it was free for us.

Anyway, thought some of you would like to know.

Dr. Phil