They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

46 / 30 / 4

Every quarter since 30 June 2002 I have managed to get in a story to Writers of the Future. I have some twenty published stories, but only two at pro rates. Yes, I had a story published in the WOTF Volume XXIV, but it was as a Published Finalist, so I still have some eligibility left.

This year it's been hard. End of June I wasn't really ready for writing anything new, but I had a good story in my Invenstory which I could send. But the last two months, I've been in so much better shape. Except that early on I could only tolerate sitting up in the wheelchair for maybe two hours at a time.

Time In Chair has definitely been a problem for writing.

While stuck here, I picked up a Kindle Fire HD, which has kept me up to date on the Internet. But sitting at a PC/laptop/netbook hasn't been a good option. So I investigated writing on the Kindle. First I upgraded the included OfficePro 7 to OfficePro 7 Professional -- now I had a reasonable Microsoft Word compatible word processor.

I started writing a new story on 12 September and shipped it a few hours ago. The whole first draft was written with the stylus on the Kindle. One big problem -- the embedded screen keyboard doesn't have a TAB key, so I had to put blank lines to separate paragraphs. I used Gmail to copy files and make backups every night. Then used Word 2003 on the Asus Eee Flare netbook to reformat the document, put in page numbers, etc., but no writing.

I sent Mrs. Dr. Phil a file Thursday, which was printed out and I got it on Friday. Red pen corrections and some writing for new sections. Input all that using the stylus.

I was on checking to see about a new stylus someday, and I got a link to an Amazon Basics Bluetooth keyboard which works with Android and the Kindle Fire HD. And it has a TAB key. Hell, it has Ctrl and Alt keys. And arrow keys. I have been impressed with some of the Amazon Basics items and packaging. The keyboard came swiftly via Brown -- and a much lighter package for our UPS driver than the five heavy boxes with last weekend's raised oak futon bedframe which Mrs. Dr. Phil assembled (grin) -- and I had it on Sunday. So last night I read the story on the Kindle and put in all the tabs and removed the extra lines.

Today I read the story aloud -- did I mention the keyboard came with a simple folding unit to hold up the Kindle? -- and propped up the Kindle on the bed table and keyboard in hand. Cleaned the story by dinner.

This evening, pushing eleven hours of being up in the wheelchair, I used the Asus netbook and created the submission file and sent it on its way. Well, one glitch on the Asus as the screen driver tried to reset and crashed the computer right before I uploaded the RTF file. Geesh.

82 pages of new story in Standard Manuscript Format (Courier New 12, double-spaced, 1" margins all around). Yes, I know that if you take 82 pages times 250 Words/page you get over 20,000 words, which sounds like it exceeds the 17,000 word limit. But I write dialog intensive stories, so I don't get 250 Words per page, so it's legal.

And I'm chuffed.

Someday I'll write a novel on the Kindle. But not in a hospital bed or wheelchair.

And I have a story entered for Q4 of the 30th anniversary contest.

Dr. Phil

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