This page last updated: Monday February 22, 2010 11:14 PM

Notes to this page:
The "Book-Case Conundrum Dates," below may not make much sense to you.  I am sticking them on here in case you might want to know the process I am going through in writing "The Book-Case Conundrum". (I was writing up the "Dates" document "anyway" for my own benefit.  I just decided to stick a slightly edited version on here for fun.) This section in the box is here to explain some terms you may run across below. January 30, 2009 Eventually I do start to write things in a less "cryptic" style.  In my opinion, this page eventually becomes more understandable to someone other than myself.

I'm using a notebook to take handwritten notes. I bought it November 10, 2007.  It's a "Blank A5 Hard Wiro Book" from "Paperchase" found at "Border's". (8770923) It looks like the "book journal" on the Paperchase website, only it doesn't have "Book Journal" in gold on the cover.  The book I have has plain lined paper inside it.  The "Book Journal" is probably printed much differently. It took some doing to find this particular notebook.  I wanted to find something with a generic urban scene on it.  I used to see them all the time.  When I wanted one could I find one?  No!  When I saw this notebook with shelves of old books on it, I had to have that one.  The lines on the pages are too far apart.  You can't put too much text on each page.  I write large, so I guess it works out ok.  It's just that you don't get much bang for the buck with this notebook.  I prefer to use generic stenographer's notebooks. (I need something that lays flat so that you can type from it.  I also need it to be "portable".)  BUT I wanted one with a picture on it so I could have some "inspiration". I have now bought two books on bookbinding, I will have to learn how to make my own notebooks.  I have some images of this notebook on here. (see below) You can tell that I take it everywhere I go.

As I think of things to write about I write them in the notebook. After a while things got very chaotic.  I couldn't piece everything together from the scattered notes in the book.  I needed to take the various subjects in the notebook and stick them together. That way I could find all that I wrote about each subject easier. As I got a bunch of notes in the notebook, I went and typed them into the computer.  I typed up three documents and organized them according to subject.  I made them a sort of map or list [kind of an outline] of the story. When I get enough "new" stuff scribbled into the notebook, I type that into the document.

"Schedule" = the general "outline" and the titles of the chapters and sections.  This tells me what order to stick stuff. This is just a simple outline so I can see at a glance what goes where.

"Plan of Attack" = the chapter titles, section titles, along with the details of what goes in there (If I know it.)  Things will be filled out more as I actually type it up.  This is similar to the "Schedule" only that it has more details, paragraphs of the stuff from the notes in the notebook.  I just take the notes in the notebook and add them to the proper section of the document. 

"Notes" = all the ephemera, title names, and other things that get incorporated into the "Plan of Attack" as I figure out where to stick stuff.  There's things I want to say, but don't always know where or when.  I also stick on here stuff I don't want to forget.  This is all the stuff that doesn't fit in the documents above.  Some of the stuff in this document is duplicated, if I need to try and keep it in mind through out the journey.

"Plan of Attack name of chapter" = an outline for each chapter.  I do up a detailed outline for each chapter now.  I do them up as I go along rather than do them ahead.  I never know what comes next until I get there. (If that makes sense.)

As I write the story, I will print out the the newly written stuff.  Then I read it over with a red pen in my hand.  I make all sorts of scribbles, cross outs, and changes.  Then I make changes to the computer version.  Eventually I have my husband read it over.  If he sees any glaring mistakes he makes changes.  I am having the lady who lives with my father in law read it.  She doesn't normally notice anything that needs changing too much.  She just wants to read more---she wants me to finish the story.

You can click on the images below and see larger versions

Front of the notebook


First page of notebook

One page of "Notes" in notebook

Loose page of "Running Notes"

Original version of the first page of the "Plan of Attack"

Second version of the first page of the "Plan of Attack"

If you want to know some of the music I listen to as I write this page and "The Book-Case Conundrum" click here.

January 30, 2009   I lately write a great deal to this present page. If I am not writing here, I am writing on the, "Writing About Books" page.  If you do not see any new or recent posts to this page, AND you do not find any other evidence that I've been working on "The Book-Case Conundrum" then see the, "Writing About Books" page. Look for "recent" posts on there.  You will notice as you read both pages, that I have links from posts on one page to another post on the other page.  That is, in posts on this page, I reference posts on the, "Writing About Books" page. I put links to them.  I also do basically the same thing on the, "Writing About Books" page only the links are to posts on this page.


Book-Case Conundrum Dates
Started: November 11, 2007

Story started, October 29, 2007 and October 30, 2007.

Story stuck on website October 29 and 30, 2007 as I started it. Last modifications made to page November 8, 2007. Last edits to story "so far" made November 3, 2007. Story "so far" prints out to five pages.

Sent out announcements to, "fan" E-mail list, sister and cousins, almost as soon as I had a good bit of story on there. (October 30, 2007)

Story "so far" given out to Walter and Tony November 4, 2007.

Feedback Form on website done up, November 04, 2007 (tweaked until November 8, 2007.)

"WhyFore?" written up possibly November 3, 2007. Stuck on website, November 04, 2007.

Received feedback form reply from Australia and England. November 6, 2007. It was the form as I had it done up at the time.

Replies were sent out November 7, 2007.

Copied story "so far" over to BBC novel writing template, November 11, 2007.

Amendments made out to "WhyFore?" page November 12, 2007.

Changed, "Jack Russell" to "little dog" in story, November 12, 2007.

Have been reading, "This Year You Write Your Novel" by Walter Mosley. In earnest since November 17, 2007. I bought it for Norman my father in law. I was reading it some before that. Didn't want to get too interested in it as I was going to give it away. I said that if he didn't want it, I wanted it back. I know it wasn't, but it seems as if this book were written to me specifically.

Changed some more text to story "so far" on website and template version. Hope to start next section about "Rumback" hotel now or during the day. Will write "new" stuff to template version for now, and leave the "so far" version on the website. November 22, 2007 AM.

I did get a start to the next section. November 22, 2007.

I got a reply from S. to my reply of her feedback form. I sent her a reply as well. November 26, 2007.

Have been working on Hotel Rumback "personality" section. Am stuck on rewriting the one paragraph on page 17. As usual found more changes here and there. Since S. wrote me, she is going to get a copy of all that I have so far from the template. I need to read it from head to toe and make changes as needed. I haven't read it all in days, so fresh eyes will be helpful. November 26, 2007.

Massive typing in of notes, started, ("plan of attack" etc.) December 12, 2007.

No real writing done since I finished working on template last. Put in all the edits to the website version. Will continue with the template version and leave website at it's 5 pages or so. (which is a different amount than what the template comes to at that point.) December 14, 2007.

December 27, 2007 Started work on the end of the Rumback Hotel "Suite Variants" section. Started the "next" section, "The Careful Reader". In process of sending a copy to S. as I write this.

December 28 and 29, 2007 worked on the end of chapter one. Finished off the sections "The Empire of Waste" and "The Careful Reader". Divided this into two sections, called the first section, "The Empire of Waste". Took the original title, "The Careful Reader" and used that for the second section. Did the last of the edits [so far] for "The Careful Reader" December 31, 2007. Printed a copy to photocopy and pass around.

January 27, 2008 Have had "final" chapter 1 on website since January 2, 2008. Sometime after that I made some minor edits to it. As it sits on the website is the final draft for now. Won't make any changes really to website version "unless". Will work on template version. Took text from website and stuck it onto template. Took out the sentences mentioning English title for book, "KEEPING THIS A SECRETE FOR NOW" when I did the minor editing. Should start on chapter two today or tomorrow. Need to save all this stuff to the portable hard drive one of these days.


January 27, 2008 Made updates and changes to "Plan of Attack"; "Notes"; and "Schedule" documents [print outs of notes that I work from]. Put this document onto the website. Preparing to type up chapter 2 on template version. Have to take out italics in template version and underline the text instead. I probably need to take out ( ) where the text picture would be on website. When I copy it over, it transfers the text, which includes the ( ) but does not transfer any pictures that would be inside the ( ). Don't need picture in template version anyway. Will go through print out and highlight all the italics. That way I can look for them easier in the template version. Will put this current entry onto website and then get going. Been waiting about a week to open the Dr. Pepper in the fridge. Been doing good at limiting my soda pop intake lately.

January 31, 2008 I started working on Chapter Two. Am just a few paragraphs into it. Will try to work on it again later. Drank the Dr. Pepper a few days ago.


March 25, 2008  It's been a long time, but got to working again.  Started work, March 24.  Read over the notes and started thinking of the plan of attack for Chapter Two.  Wrote a brief-ish outline of Chapter Two, "Plan of Attack: The Ghost Edition".  Hope to work more later on during the day (25th).  Douglas needs the computer to do his tax work.  It's tax season again. He likes helping people.  Until April 14 or whatever it is, will have to work around his need to be on the computer.  It means I have to work hard while I have a free computer.  I also have to learn to use the frustration emotions constructively.  I have to take notes on paper or whatever---INSTEAD of getting upset that he has to use the computer.  Another difficulty will be getting off it right when he needs it.  If I am in the middle of a train of thought, that might be difficult.  He can't have any, "Wait a minute!s" which last an hour or more.  It shouldn't be too difficult to get a great deal of work done when I have the computer available.  I have so many notes and outlines, that all I have to do is flesh out the story.  The difficulty will be in stopping once I get going.  It is very difficult to stop in the middle of things.  I will have to figure out a way of stopping in such a way that I can remember what I intended to say next.  I guess this pad of "post it notes" next to me will come in handy. Ok, I'm off to upload this and get some sleep. You know, if you happen to read this journal, you can always let me know.  I would like to hear from any readers of this.
March 25, 2008 Amendment---
The reason for the delay was "psychology" and "life". I was busy with a few things in life. Someone from my birth family struck up E-mail conversations with me.  This is my first positive contact.  But I allowed that and other things to take precedence.  That was the "psychology".  Chapter Two is like "house keeping".  It is "have to stuff".  It is what I need to write in order to advance the story.  Some of it will be fun to write.  Some of it won't be.  I guess because I look at it as "have to" and not "fun", it isn't so easy to dive into it.  It is the next chapters that I keep finding titles for; and finding stuff to write about.  I do have some spots in Chapter Two that will be "fun" to write.  I have thought of those a great deal.  There were some things I wanted to do before I worked on the story again.  I messed around and didn't get those done quickly.  I can't look at these things as drudgery and they will go much easier.  Anyway...


April 22, 2008 It's been a while I know.  I was hoping to get some work done on chapter 2 today.  Maybe I will do it in a bit. As far as I know Douglas is finished with his tax work. He tells me that for this year he is done.  Here's an article from the BBC where they interview writers about their work habits.  "'Writuals' - scribes reveal daily routines" Here are my answers--- which aren't always "daily":
I'm in my house; in Douglas' grandfather's old bedroom.  I write with the PC (computer).  Currently "addicted" to Windows. Wish I wasn't. I'd rather have "Doors" on my computer. The larger format might be easier to read and use?  I take notes with an old-fashioned human powered pen.  I would probably prefer to upgrade to an electric one as it might be easier to push around on the paper.  But I haven't found a model that suits me.  Ha!  The one object before me that is the oddest--- all of them probably.  Dusty teapots; beer bottles; beer cans; soda pop bottles; tobacciana etc. are pretty odd for an office.  But the oddest would probably be the English poison bottle.  It is a nice green color. (That should be colour I guess.) "NOT TO BE TAKEN," is embossed on the front.  One of my favorites even though it is chipped.  I'm listening to CBC Radio 2 as per usual.  But I took a break and listened to some Elvis Costello with Douglas.  I was letting him hear a couple of songs.  If it is well after dark, I pick up 650 WSM out of Nashville, Tennessee on AM (Medium Wave). No one else is in the room here.  Dubhghall (the cat and website name sake) will sleep in here. But if anyone else comes in here it is a horrible distraction.  Right now as I write this sentence it is 5:39 PM local time.  I write anywhere from the afternoon to 5:00 in the morning.  Don't like being up that late (going to bed that early) though.  As I put it, "it gets late before it gets early".  It gets late for going to bed, before it gets early in the morning.  I get inspiration from all over.  Photographs and pictures of some sort can do it.  Music can do it.  In a way, I got inspiration for this story from characters in this radio drama I wrote. I imagined what would happen if I wrote a book with someone.  Then I figured I would want to write an adventure story.  And I went from there.  Having people try to talk to me will remove my concentration.  When the cat wants something it will do it as well.  Plus having the phone ring with a telephone solicitor on the other end, is one of the worst things.  It's too difficult to try and read the caller ID.  So, I just pick the phone up, thinking it might be something important.  Nope! It is usually a recorded message saying that the warranty on our car has expired.  It hasn't but, they want us to get a new one.  I didn't want to get on the "do not call list" because I didn't want to put someone out of a job.  I never expect the phone to ring and sometimes I'm so deep in thought, it makes me jump. 
Ok, I'm off to get some dinner.  Douglas made a Tuna Helper.  After I eat, I hope to start fresh work on chapter two.  Will let you know what happens. It's all mapped out, I just have to fill in the rest.
I've been reading, "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel" edited by Carol Hoover.  It seems like a really great book as well.  It seems to have really great information in it.  So far it looks like it just gives advice on how to improve a novel.  It doesn't seem to tell how to write it from scratch really.  "Now get out some paper.  Write down what you want to write about.  Here's how to plot.  Here's how to build characters...".
Didn't get much done even though Douglas wasn't on the computer all that much.  I got a plan of attack done for chapter 2 and then got heavily distracted.  eBay has been an awful distraction in the past few months.  (year or two)  The $300.00 credit card bills prove it.  Of course then there's iTunes.  If I listen to the CBC I end up putting a lot of things on the list.  Some of the music is good inspiration for this present story.  I wanted to put a CD together to listen to the music while I worked. That is one thing that really got me distracted.  I started work on that around the time I put that last post on here. (the one before this one) 
Just wrote up a _____  _____ train schedule.   ________ takes a train to _____ eventually.  Don't have a name for the place yet. 
Ok I have to wrap it up for now, especially since I want to be up in time to get a lot of work done on this tomorrow.  I start a Tai Chi class on Thursday morning.  I need to have more "normal" hours for that.  More tomorrow.


April 26, 2008  Got some new work done on chapter 2 yesterday.  Had about two pages done on it already.  Went and fixed all the "red marks" that I did on those.  Then I wrote some new.  I read it over and fixed the red marks in the new stuff.  (I mark up the draft with red pencil or pen.  It lets me know where I want to fix things.) I got past Osbert eating breakfast on his important Thursday.

I had Douglas read over two sections from Chapter two of "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel".  I was having him help me with the narrator thing.  We figured that I am writing this in the "third person".  But am I violating a rule of that?  He didn't mind helping me.  But he isn't a writer.  There's a reason why they say not to have your spouse be your editor.
Am thinking about joining a Yahoo! list for Christian writers of fiction. 
I did up an index to these "Book-Case Conundrum" pages the other day (April 22).  I worked on the post above this one; the index; and some other minor things to this site.  [January 30, 2009 I am not violating anything.]


June 22, 2008  Trying to get some stuff done for a trip to Texas.  Maybe we will find more "how to write" books in Archer City? Ha! There's a "Synonym Finder" on eBay.  I hope I win the auction.  I really need a "critter" such as this!!  Will have to try and bid while we are away.  Did up some edits to what I have so far.  (chapter 1 and the beginnings of chapter 2)  Douglas is going to the photocopy place (Staples probably) in order to make copies of some writing to give to relatives who don't have access to computers; or they don't read this website if they do have access.  Will hopefully write more to chapter two in a notebook, and put it down on the computer when we get back.  Taking bookmark making supplies too.  It is very difficult to do anything that uses much deep thinking while I am on the road.  Bookmarks will probably get made, and the scribbling won't.  But who knows.  Hope to be inspired and scribble notes for the story with "Josephine" too.  Won't do anything too detailed on that, as not much is mapped out.  Am going to pass around my start of it.  Tai Chi class went well.  Can't remember how it goes though.  Will upload this and then print out some of the stuff on here for the photocopying then I'm off for now.  A storm might be coming.  Listening to Spain vs. Italy in the UEFA soccer.  It's on television in English, but I'm listening via Radio Exterior de España in Spanish via short-wave.  I don't know much Spanish, but it sounds more interesting this way.  I hope Spain wins.  They haven't won against Italy since, the 1920 Olympics. Adios!


September 02, 2008 (Tuesday) Spain did win the tournament.  It was incredible.  Some day I hope to get onto this site, a Bible teaching I did about that. I used Spain's victory as an example of the "Law of Believing".

There's a lot of reasons why I haven't been working on chapter two...  I know this is a long posting, but I feel like I have a lot of explaining to do.

Ok. We went to Texas for about 10 days or so.  (June 23- July 3, 2008)  When we got back we had to unpack and so on.  Then we went to Ohio in early August. We went for the "Family Reunion in the Word".
I was reading, "The Forest for the Trees" (An Editor's Advice to Writers) by Betsy Lerner.  It's an interesting book.  I learned a lot about publishing which I had no clue of before. It is from 2000 so I don't know how much has changed in publishing since then. It was great to get some idea of how publishing works. I finally finished it in the night.  I read a whole book!  When I finished that book, I started reading, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Christian Fiction" by Ron Benrey.  "Inside advice on crafting compelling, faith-based stories".
I would like to clear some space in this room, so I can think properly.  I want to keep the living areas in some sort of decent shape so we can actually live in them.  Then I need to clear out the bedroom across the hall.  More than likely my father-in-law's cousin will come for Christmas again.  It would be great to have the room clean long before December 24th arrives.  It usually gets left 'till the last moment.  Then my back hurts for a week or so.  Not good!  So, I have important duties besides working on Chapter 2.  Then the Tai Chi class starts again on Thursday.  If I don't stay limber or try to loose a little weight, it won't be good either.  I need to start moving and hopefully less things will hurt chronically.  I hope to get a bicycle in October.  Schwinn sold out of the ones I wanted, and then they stopped making them. So I am waiting on the new Schwinn catalogue to come out.  I won't have much time to ride it depending upon when I get it in October.
Another thing, I want to have someone who knows what they are doing, read chapter 1 so I can learn if it is ok.  I don't want to get too far along if I have to some major rewriting.  If I have to change the point of view, then I will feel overwhelmed in the extreme, if I have to change it for the whole book, or even a few chapters. I could do it I guess, but it would be very difficult, mentally. That is the main block on my working on chapter 2.  I want to clear some things off my "to do" list so I am free mentally to deal with "sending chapter 1 off" to see what is what with it.

Right now, my back is not what it should be. To sit here and type this is difficult.  I went and hurt it walking across the room to grab something.  Don't know if I hurt it in the process of grabbing the object, or what. It was probably, "or what".  Ha!  I have been horribly distracted from my goal of Chapter two. I have gotten lost on LibraryThing the last week or so.  It is really great.  I bought one of their "cuecat" bar code scanners.  It is a place where you can catalogue your library.  You can see my profile here,  If you want to view my library, you can do it here,  I don't have every book on there yet.  I only have 257 books on there now.  My back was doing ok, on Thursday or Friday last week. Then I went to get a stack of books to catalogue.  I picked up a nice heavy stack. I reasoned wrongly, that it would be better to lift the whole stack rather than bend up and down to get the books a few at a time.  Wrong!
It is interesting to see how many people have the same books I do.  One person has 18 books I do.  Most of the books I have in common with others are the writing books.  (Mostly the Writer's Digest Writing Murder Mystery books).
Anyway, I want to curl up on the sofa with the hot water bottle at my back; a late lunch; and read "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Christian Fiction".  It looks like a great book.  I found out last night that I didn't violate a "core tenet" by having Osbert Pickle drink a "snort of Harding's".  I want to get my back healed enough before Thursday. I am trying to get to bed at a decent hour to. That way I can get the Tai Chi will stick in the brain this time.  I am trying not to take too many "headache powders". (aspirin) I know it isn't good to take tons of that stuff.  Mail arrived!  I got a copy of "Fever Pitch The Screenplay" by Nick Hornby. I bought it because I thought it would have some photos of my favorite actor in it. It only had ONE and I already had that one from another source naturally. It is supposed to be signed by the author.  I have no reason to doubt that, there is a signature on the inside.  It came from England of course.  The packaging seemed unique a little bit.  It was a great way to package a book.  I have to go and leave feedback on eBay now. 


October 27, 2008   Sorry this is such a long post.  My goal is to write less to this and write more to the novel.  It isn't working out that way today. Just had a lot I needed to say...

"It always seems to happen this time of year"... Probably won't get much more done until after Christmas.  Got lost on Library Thing.  My suspected biological cousin, aunt and then sister responded to my adoption stuff on this site. That has been "rather emotional".  I have some important correspondence I need to reply to either by postal mail or E-mail.  I have been putting some things off.  I also have to get the house/room ready for Douglas father's cousin who comes every Christmas.  We assume he is coming this year.  Don't forget the "Christmas shopping".  We'll have a little bit to do again this year.

I know it seems like I am making every excuse.  I'm really not doing that this time.  I will admit there has been some d---ing around lately.  I really, really, need to do a few things around here.  They are necessary for domestic harmony and also my mental well being.  If I have a cluttered work space/house then I have a cluttered mind.  If I have a cluttered mind, it is very difficult to work on novels.

*It's not like I am 100% not working.  As always, I have been taking lots of notes. I am still reading, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction".  I'm getting near the end.  I got to the chapter, "The Well-Crafted Christian Fiction Proposal" and the section, "Those All-Important Sample Chapters". I am not ready to apply this chapter obviously. Yet, I was struck by the fact that my Chapter 1 is awfully "quiet".  I don't want to "overwrite" what I have.  I have suspected from the beginning that I need to fix a few things. For example, Osbert finds the book he is hunting, much too early, and way too easily.  Reading this section of "The Idiot's Guide," solidified that in my mind for some reason. I am going to have to add a bunch of stuff to Chapter 1.  Hopefully I can just splice in the new stuff and rearrange the order of some of the old stuff to "fit" the new stuff.  Hopefully I won't have to re-write too much of the old stuff--- other than just changing a word here or there.  When I get Chapter 1 fixed I will re-stick it on here.

I took some notes early this morning dealing with a point in Chapter 2.  I end up thinking about, "things" and come up with some interesting notes to scribble in the notebook. Before I get going on "fixing" Chapter 1 in January, I will have to re-work all the notes I have.  I will have quite a bit of stuff to add to the outlines.  I thought I had done up a "final" draft and could just scribble new notes onto what I had printed.  I have made so many new notes, it won't work that way now.  It is a case of, "if ____ happens, then ____ would surely happen, then _____.  So that means I have to change ______."  etc. 

Another point from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction"...  I am not sure I agree with all the points on the "No, no list".  Douglas and I were discussing the list in the book.

I can agree with most of the language rules. No, "Blimey!" which as I understand things, comes from "Gor blimey" which is a contraction of "God blind me". I can see that prohibition. I can see a prohibition on words like "gosh", "geez" (euphemisms for God and Jesus) and the strong ones, "F__" etc.. But I don't get the prohibition on using words like, "shucks", "priest", words for undergarments, butt, crap, and breasts. I wouldn't use some of those words often, but there is a time and a place for them. And "priest" that is ridiculous!

I can sort of see a reason for prohibiting some of those. The big ones Douglas and I disagree with are the prohibitions on drinking, dancing, and playing cards. Which aren't sins Biblically. Playing cards isn't necessarily gambling. Gambling is only a game until a person relies on that instead of God for their sustenance. The Bible prohibits drunkenness not drinking. Ecclesiastes says there is a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;...  Psalm 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.)

I would never write a story where adultery (sex outside of marriage) is shown in a positive light. I would never want to write a story where it is heroic when a person leaves a "loveless" marriage for their new found "true love".  I believe the heroic thing is to work it out before it gets to the point it is "loveless".  Yet I can't say I will never write a story where adultery happens.  My characters if they are at all human will know someone, or know someone who knows someone, that is touched by this.  Adultery probably won't be the story line, but it might be in the story some how.  I can't rule it out.  The same goes for divorce, homosexuality and other such things.  I really don't want to write stories about these things.  But we all know someone who has been touched by them in some way.  We live in "the world" but we are not to be of "the world".  I don't see how I can write about Christians living in "the world" without having them at least be witness to such things.  One of my goals is to contrast the Christian life with the "ways of the world"!

As far as plot lines with other "moral" issues such as homosexuality...  If you wonder why I leave this bit of "reality" out of my stories...  I've been thinking of this one lately.  I don't want to write a story about this.  Suppose, I write the story with a character who takes drugs to stay awake, takes drugs to sleep, and engages in risky behavior.  I would "stereotypically" have to show how God delivered them from this life.  I might have to show the character getting married and having children.  Maybe they would go on speaking tours telling people how God healed them. In the end, every "rights" group in the country would criticize my story. Even though the outcome of the character would be called, "good" by most Christians, this kind of story sounds very depressing in a way.  I don't want to write anything too depressing*. If I write the characters in any sort of a positive light, I would be seen as, "promoting" the lifestyle. BUT... I don't see how a person living in this world can exist for long without running across someone living this kind of life.  I do not want to write a homosexual story.  Most, if not all, my characters would know someone, a relative, a person in their community, living this way.  I'm not saying I have to put these people in my stories.  I'm just saying that in life they are there. If I did write about such characters I would probably have to portray them in a "neutral" light, if that is possible.  The characters could be written as two people living together yet living asexually.  I probably wouldn't be able to bring up any hint that they might be a "couple" living under the same roof. Personally, I just don't want to get into it. (*DISCLAIMER: I have been thinking about and taking notes for a story to write later on. It has some very sad almost gruesome things in it.  I am not positive I want to write it. To put it mildly, it's a story where this man goes through a really rough time and how God gets him out of the "soup" he is in.)

I want to write about Christian characters or characters that become Christians (for the most part).  But not everyone a Christian meets and has dealings with is a Christian.  These non Christian people do not always adhere to Christian principles.  I do not see how it is available to completely populate my stories with Christian people.  I am human and I won't be able to write characters who are perfect Christians anyway.  That is not available!

If you happen to be reading this journal let me know

I bought a copy of, "A Writer's Time, Making the Time to Write" by Kenneth Atchity. I also bought a copy of, "Writer Wellness" by Joy E. Held.  "A Writer's Path to Health and Creativity".  (I think that one might be a bit "new agey".) I thought those would help with some of the blocks that are in my path to finishing this novel.  Douglas thought that, buying "A Writer's Time" would be the book buying equivalent of an "oxymoron".  It isn't like giving a drowning man a glass of water--- it is giving someone with too many books AND a problem managing time, another book which could possibly cause the person to waste more time. There is also this "opportunity to believe God" that I have, of clocks not always making sense; of my not having a "sense of time"; and generally being, "time challenged". My buying a book on time management, is like buying a book on how to dance, for a person to whom music makes no sense, that has two left feet and no rhythm.

If you can't tell, I will never run out of the desire to write and things to write about.  I bought a book about that too, "The Midnight Disease" by Alice W. Flaherty.  "The Drive to Write, Writer's Block and the Creative Brain". 

Ok, Douglas is back from his friend's. King George V's admirals (Douglas) were planning their next turn with the French admirals.  They are at war with Italy, Japan and Prussia. This is turn 26.  It's quite a game.  I need to get, a snack (rest of dinner); a shower and to bed at a decent hour hopefully.  It's not good to go to bed as Douglas heads off to work! 

By the way, I didn't win the synonym finder auction above. I did find a Synonym dictionary at Booked Up in Archer City. 


November 26, 2008

Been re-reading what I read of "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel" edited by Carol Hoover.  I had stopped at pages 32 and 33. 

Because of the reading I have done lately I have been inspired to re-do the notes.  I did up couple documents with notes for changing chapter 1.  It needs to be re-written. [Jan. 30, 2009 -- That is, Chapter 1 needs to be re-done a bit.]  It needs some heavy revising--improving.  It won't change the basics of the story really, just improve it a great deal.  I am sure I will have more notes scribbled down as I keep reading this book.   

It has been fun coming up with some things to make the Rumback Hotel and the city in Mosdubia more eccentric.  It is good to be able to take notes so I can work on things when the time comes.  I still have some correspondence to work on and things to mail off.  My stepfather is getting married in early January.  That is a "responsibility" that needs to be dealt with as well.  Don't know when I will get back to the actual writing again.  At least I am accomplishing something on the story.

Will write more as warranted. 


December 18, 2008

Just been writing about my re-reading of "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel".  You can read it on the, "Writing About Old Books" page. I am past the re-reading and I am stuck on the chapter, "Shadow the Reader". 


January 30, 2009  The 10,000th hiccough... (Just so you know why I'm not "working" this time.)

By the way, I have determined that I am writing this story in I think it is, "second person"?  I am not "violating" anything.  I forget what I determined exactly.  I figured it out during my re-reading of "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel".  I need to re-look at the section I was reading in order to refresh my memory.  I never did figure out that one chapter I was having such difficulty with.  Perhaps I will re-read it some day.  I'm pretty far along in that book now. I'm on page 151 of 186.

On January 7, 2009 I bought a MacBook at Best Buy.  (On January 17, 2009 I bought a B.L.U.E. "Snowball" microphone.  It is for use with GarageBand. The MacBook was instantly a distraction because --- setting it up and playing with it etc. is more fun than the work I "have" to do in order to be able to work on Osbert Pickle's story.)  It is a fun and sometimes difficult machine to learn.  Mac calls some things by different names.  Then there is no "right click" on a Mac.  And because the MacBook is portable, it doesn't have the keys, "Home," and "End," which I use more often than one would think.  There is a way to set it up to have other keys do the same thing, but it is a pain to use it that way.  (I tried it out.) At least, I think that is what I set it up to do.  It was very difficult to get it to work the way I understood it should work after reading the "Help" menu.

I bought the MacBook so I could make the writing portable.  I was told by the sales person at Best Buy that the template I use for writing "The Book-Case Conundrum" should work with Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.  He said he had a MacBook.  He also assured me (paraphrasing) that the "legendary" compatibility problems with a Mac were not as great as the legends would have you believe.  I felt "buoyed" when I saw a documentary on our local PBS station. As I said on the "Testing Sound Files" page, "...I was recently watching a documentary about the Helvetica font. In the shots where they were interviewing eminent graphic designers, I kept seeing the Apple logo on all the computers seen in the background.  Before I saw this, I was thinking that to be "compatible" with the wider world, I had to do things in Windows.  When I saw those Apple computers, I was very happy to think, 'Wow! I have one too.'. " The reasons I was thinking of the "compatibility" of computers was because of my own long yet limited experience with computers, and because of what I read in, "The Forest for the Trees" by Betsy Lerner.

I bought the MS Office 2008 when I bought the computer.  I got the MacBook home and installed the MS Office.  I went to this PC and pulled off the Word templates I downloaded.  I tried to install them onto the MacBook and all I got was computer language.  I eventually hit on the idea of opening the templates on here and saving them as a document or template.  This time the MacBook recognized them as Word files.  But it gave me an error message that this version of Word didn't support something called, "macros".  I went and looked that up online.  Sure enough there is a problem with Word and the template I use.  Urgh!  Now I have... (I am listening to a CD with headphones as I write this. I heard this odd voice in one of the songs.  It was a speaking voice of one word which I didn't remember ever hearing on that song before. I was very startled, my body jumped.  I nearly screamed. I thought Douglas was still up asleep for a few minutes. I could have "sworn" that I heard him rolling over in bed.  I rewound the CD to hear if that voice was on the CD or what.  I eventually realized that the odd voice was indeed Douglas. He was saying "hello". The CD I was listening to was, "'Romantic' Sounding" listed here.)
Now I have to get with a friend to set up the MacBook the way I want it.  He knows of a computer program called an "emulator" which will allow Windows to "run in a window of the MacBook".  Don't ask me to explain how it works.  My friend does things that way on his Mac at home. I can't fathom (get a mind picture of) how it works.  I have seen his machine before. It has been a while.  I know it works well for him. 

Ok, so this means I need (WANT!) to find some computer disks that I have here in this room somewhere.  I found one of them.  I need to find the other one.  I should have the other one. I think that if I find the booklet that came with this computer--- the one I remember coming with this computer--- I should find the disk.  Of course both items might be a figment of my mis-remembered memory.  The process of finding the disk I think I have, entails my cleaning this room some.  It needs cleaning anyway.  I can't work well with such a cluttered room.  Maybe I can consolidate some of the boxes behind me. 

Anyway, anyway, I still have the correspondence to do that I wanted to get done before Christmas.  (see above)  Then there's some boxes I want to get mailed off.  There's other things I need to work on.  Hopefully I get back to Osbert Pickle in the Spring.  I hope to work outside when it gets warm. 

Warm weather...  It would be great to experience that for a while!!  There is a bunch of snow out now.  It has been on the ground for many weeks now.  (It seems like many weeks.)  The lights were flickering a few minutes ago.  I should get off this computer soon in case the electricity fails.  Don't want to loose anything.  I want this uploaded.  And yes, I do back things up. 

Oh! I am continuing to take notes as I think of things.  I have taken lots of notes over these weeks since I started writing here again before Christmas.  As I read things in the books I am inspired to scribble things in the notes.  Some of it is new story to add; some of it is how to arrange the "story" that's there already. 

More soon...

February 04, 2008 Actual "work" this time (sort of)... [more notes]

Question...    Can you start a novel from one person's perspective, and then in the next chapter change to another character's perspective?  I guess you can.  I have to re-look in the book, "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel". 

I skipped finishing the one chapter about legal (court) proceedings for lay people.  It is for people writing "police procedural" type murder mysteries.  It would have been interesting if I had any intentions of writing that type of book. But since the book is from 1990 and was more than likely, written before "Law and Order" and most definitely before "CSI" and the "CSI effect", some of the early facts of that chapter seem strange.  I lost interest part way through it. And then there's the fact that I have no desire to write a "police procedural".

I don't know if you ever saw them, there were these television ads for "Visa Check Card".  They were heavily choreographed.  All the people in the ads were moving like a "well oiled machine".  In one ad they were in a cafeteria, one was a toy store.  The "machine" ground to a halt when someone went to pay for their items with cash.  There is a story running in the background to Osbert's story. On January 31, I was beginning to read, "Fiction: What Is It?" the next to last chapter of, "How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel".  There is a sentence, "This kind of reflection may even jump-start our unconscious into a whole new approach toward saying what we want to say.".  For some reason my mind was "reminded" of the background characters in Osbert's story. 

I have long "instinctively known" that Osbert's story needs more suspense. I keep thinking I need to add story along the lines of, a thing a character needs to accomplish by a certain time so that they prevent some dreadful event from happening.  I didn't know how to insert something like that into the story.  Then on the 31st, I got to thinking about the background characters.   The actions of these characters are seemingly "choreographed" similar to the ads for "Visa Check Card". I wondered if I couldn't write the whole story from their point of view.  They are sort of orchestrating certain events which cause Osbert to do what he does.  (I'm trying to write about this without giving any plot away.) They aren't like puppet masters really, where they are like "gods" or "goddesses" with "super powers".  These characters don't do the super human.  It's similar to American football.  (which I know very little about.) When someone from a team throws the ball there should be another team member down the field who will catch it.  After they catch the ball, they generally run with it.  (I would assume.)  What I envision is a sort of someone who is "in the know" (the choreographer I guess) who says things to his team like, "If Osbert does X, you go and do Y".  Or maybe, "You make sure Y gets accomplished".  The actions of these characters remind me of the preparations for the big sting operation in the movie, "The Sting". 

So my question is, "Would this work:  Chapter 1 from Osbert's point of view;  and then in chapter 2 switch and show the same story from the point of view of the "choreographed characters"?  I guess I'll have to try it out and see how it works.  These characters would be the "sub plot".  They could be written as the main plot.  But I have Osbert's story all mapped out, and there are so many things I wanted to "say" during the telling of that story.   

Ok, it is much later than I wanted it to be. (Naturally!)  I already woke Douglas up briefly.  I accidentally left the stove gas on. (without a flame)  I was making sure he was alive.  I turned on the kitchen fan.  It isn't a modern exhaust fan-- the ones that are above the stove.  It seems better than that.  I hope it works better than that. 

I will write more later.  I'll let you know what happens.


February 14, 2009  Written on a Mac (for the most part)...  [This is one long post starting February 14 and ending February 17.]

I am typing this posting on the MacBook. “We” basically have it set up so that I can use it for the writing. There are some glitches. I don’t know how to resolve them. (see below)

I will save this to a USB drive. We shall see how well it works to stick it on the PC. I’ll then just cut and past this text onto the website.

I have had a cold this week. Douglas gave it to me. I haven’t read in the writing book at all. Couldn’t read anything I wanted to retain. The brain seemed to be coated with a thicker non stick coating this week. I am finally starting to feel like I am getting over the cold. Prayer works!! It is a real blessing to feel better!! [I wish Douglas had given me a "warm" instead of a cold.  Ha!]

I was thinking that I would write this up. It gives me a chance to get used to the keyboard on the MacBook. It also gives me a chance to think about what I want to do as far as telling the story form a different perspective.

February 15, 2009

As far as getting the templates to work on this MacBook. My friend helped me put some software on here. Oh! I bought a wireless mouse for it too. I have to remember to use it instead of the “touch pad”. I have to stop now and go get the taller chair, hang on…

It is such a blessing to feel better!!!! Another blessing is that it is after the “Super Bowl”. I don’t even pay attention to who is playing in it. I just know that after this mega game, the television program “60 Minutes” won’t be delayed because of a stupid “football” (“American” football) game. It starts on time now until the fall (autumn). Yea!!

“How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel”… I stopped reading at page 174 and picked up again at page 181 the first page of the last chapter, “How to Get Your Novel Rejected”. Ok, enough for now. Will have to finish this tomorrow. Off to play a game for a few minutes.

February 17, 2009  Part A...

Here is the deal on the templates…

This is from an E-mail that I sent to Douglas and my computer friend.

I was having difficulty getting the templates to work at all. I was thinking that they wouldn’t work period.  [rather, I was thinking that no part of the templates were working.] Evidently they were working, but not completely. Text in [ ] = additions made today. (Text in ( ) made at the time I wrote the E-mail.)

I got it to work (to a point). I was inspired to make a print screen of what the template looked like up and running on the PC. It is basically the same on the MacBook. It was working after all. It isn't perfect though.

[After I type some text using the template,] It wants to save the document as a template. If I'm not careful to ‘save as’, it will save it as the template. It won't let you save what you are working on as a Word Document.  [On the PC it saves the document as a Word Document.]

I don't always get the help for it either. [The button with the help menu for the template doesn’t always show up.] (There is a way to access that if I need it.) I don't think all the functions will be automatic. It needs to go from titles to text by itself, that sort of thing. I will experiment with it and see how frustrating it is. So far it isn't too frustrating. I just have to do some things manually rather than they happening automatically.

[I think I might get it to work passably by starting the document on the PC and working on a copy via the MacBook.  I tried that once already.  It was a version of chapter 1 that I saved to the MacBook earlier.  I had to hit the "shift" and the "enter" button, in order to put blank spaces between lines of text. (which is how you start a new paragraph)  If I just clicked on the "enter" button, nothing happened.]

I did do up a short document as a test of how it works… [I just did a couple pages of a test story.]

…There is also this error message on the document. [an error message on the test story] ‘Error! Reference source not found.’ That is put on there as a "header". [instead of the header that one would normally find on there] That [header] will print out eventually. I can't have that on the final document.

There are three files to each template. One of the files is the ‘help’ menu. I can't get it to treat the files as one unit for some reason. I get it to work fairly perfectly on this machine. [the PC] I have no problems really when I use it on the PC. It isn't a perfect template. [I think] It has issues because it was just put together as a free thing.

Ok, I should, stick this onto the drive, put it on the PC and then upload it onto the website. I can edit it much better on there if needed. I’m still not used to typing on the MacBook. I keep hitting the wrong keys. And then I need to find a proper fitting table to stick it on. I either have ones too high or too short. I should have something in the house that will work.

End… (for now)   Nope! (see below)

February 17, 2009  Part B...

I finished the book, “How To Write an uncommonly Good Novel”.  I must have finished it on the 15th.  I am going to keep the book by the computer.  There's a couple of spots I have marked with "Post-it" notes.  They are things I will probably be referring to over time.

I should be going.  This is taking longer than I wanted it to. (got distracted with television for a bit) 

Done with this posting.

March 4, 2009  Computer Updates...  [Right now I'm a PC and I am refusing to tell you my age. Ha! Hopefully soon I will be a Mac!]

My friend got the templates to work properly this past Sunday. (March 1, 2009)  That was extremely wonderful!!  I even monkeyed [Is that how it is spelled?] around with the first chapter and got it to work properly in the appropriate template.  That was great as well.  Thanks God!!!!  I discovered that I don't have the templates working properly on the PC.  That's why things don't work right when I try editing Chapter 1 on the MacBook, via a document which I originally typed on the PC.  The templates were in the correct folder but they needed to be in the one for "Administrator" and not the one they automatically went to.  I need to figure out how to get them in the correct folder on the PC and they will work properly.

As I kept doing things over the weekend I wondered why my left wrist was hurting.  I can understand my right one hurting.  It does that.  The left wrist was feeling like it was sprained or had some injury.  It hurt to lift anything, it hurt to grasp my drinking water bottle. It really hurt to wrest my chin in the palm of my left hand, which is a natural thing to do. Then I remembered the typing I did on Saturday. Wresting my head in my hand puts pressure on the hand in the direction it was being held while I was typing.  I was finishing a letter to my brother in law on Saturday.  I was typing as fast as I could on the Mac as it sat on the dining room table.  That's probably the source of the pain.  1. the table is too high when I sit in the chair that came with the table.  2. the MacBook really needs a way for me to stick a wrist wrest (not a tongue twister) onto it.  I looked up wrist wrests for MacBook online.  All I found were these thin sleeve like things that attach to the places where the palms of the hands would wrest.  They are to keep jewelry from scratching the MacBook.  They are to keep the MacBook from getting discolored by hands.  I need an actual thing to prop up my wrists so my hands are flatter as they type.  I need to elevate the palms of my hands.  The combination of the lack of wrist (hand) support and the fact that the table is too high for typing = very painful wrist.  Oh! Then there was the post (above) which I did on the MacBook.  I may have typed the above post on another table which is a little bit better for typing, but not much.

Right now I am trying to wrest my wrist as best as I can.  I have a wrist brace which I got for my right hand.  I was very grateful to find out that the wrist brace is for either hand.  Douglas is working on some stiff foam that will work great as wrist wrests. I am still working on that famous "To Do" list (correspondence) that I keep writing about.  I got some stuff mailed off on Saturday when I mailed off the letter to my brother in law. 

When I get a table set up that is appropriate for the chair I want to sit in; and when I get the wrist healed up; when I get proper wrist wrests fixed so I am comfortable; and the "To Do" list is further along; I hope begin re-writing Chapter 1.  I want to write it in present tense and add some elements to make it less quiet.  My goal is to be able to work on it when the weather gets warm.  I want to work outside under the garage door.  I have really been craving warm weather lately.  I'm really thinking of getting a wireless keyboard.  I think that will work out best.  That way I don't have to strain my neck to view the screen of the MacBook as I am typing.  It's good to keep the head up.

I really need to finish this posting.  The wrist is not going to heal at this rate.  Even with the wrist brace, the wrist feels like it is getting a workout.  I can't type with this wrist brace on as it interferes with the keys.  It also gets in the way of the "trackpad" on the MacBook.  Hopefully the wrist wrests foam that Douglas is working on, will keep my hands from hitting the "trackpad" as well. 

Need to leave feedback for a Radio Drama book I got on eBay.

Round two... As usual I stick this on the website and re-read a sentence only to find I left a word out, so the whole thing needs re-reading etc...

More later....

March 5, 2009 This one is being typed on a Mac. (Part A(March 5-14 posts are from one doc. done on the MacBook.)

My wrist is quite a bit better. I bought a wireless keyboard. I am trying it out. It seems to be working fairly well. I bought a foam wrist pad too. "Memory foam wrist wrest". I still didn't get the "home" and other keys with this keyboard. To get those keys I would have had to get a wired keyboard. I just hope the wireless doesn't impact on the health of the user. Right now I have the keyboard on a lapboard sitting on my lap.

We did our telephone hookup tonight. Our Bible fellowship is doing a telephone conference call on every other Thursday. An hour will go by really quickly. We picked a New Testament Greek word. We all studied it during the week. We contributed what we studied to a Google document and also to the conversation.

As I type this I feel very little discomfort. I will have to wait and see what it feels like later on to be sure. I think my wrist is pretty much healed from its earlier injury. I don't want to re-injure it.

Ok, I want to go get a snack so I don't get a headache. The news is talking about the Detroit city council… "Elect a crazy council…". Ha! We knew that.

This setup should really do the trick. I'm glad Douglas brought me some corrugated plastic. I used it for waterproof pads to set the teapot on. (to protect furniture) I had some left over from when Douglas cut those. What I had was this one strip. It is great folded in half and stuck under this keyboard. I originally used it under the MacBook itself. I have this fold up "laundry table" that I bought at a thrift store back in the 1980's. It is a portable slanted table that is for folding laundry on. It is early-ish 20th century vintage. It was made of cheap wood. Because of the angle of the table top, the MacBook screen was at an odd angle for looking at. It put a strain on the neck. So, if I put the folded strip of corrugated plastic under the MacBook, it leveled it out so you could see it easier.

March 7, 2009 Part B

The little typing I did on Part A didn't seem to hurt my wrist too much. I shouldn't sit on the sofa with my back twisted like this. I'll have to move in a second. Be right back.

I have really been itching to get back to writing on Osbert Pickle's story. I am also having to teach this computer all the words that aren't in its spelling dictionary. I keep wondering why it says words like Osbert aren't spelled correctly. Then I remember I had to teach the PC those words too.

This set up is so good, I guess I don't need Douglas to make up those wrist wrests.

It's funny how the human body works sometimes. I have an index finger with a "hang nail" sore on it. I the next finger I burned on the oven shelf last night as I went to retrieve some pizza. (I didn't have the pot holder gripped well enough and my finger gripped the shelf directly instead of through the pot holder.) The finger next to that has a nice paper cut from the plastic package with the wrist wrest in it. The paper cut is some what sore when it gets touched. The burned finger doesn't hurt really. I feel a sort of phantom pain in that finger. When it is not being touched I feel a sting in it. If I feel of the burned part of the finger, it doesn't hurt at all. Yet the end of the forefinger stings as if it was the finger which was burned. It's very weird.

March 8, 2009 Part C
I meant to have this done and posted already. I "didn't did it" yet.

The wireless keyboard setup seems to be a great way to do the writing. I just don't know what having a wireless device in my lap will do. I have it on a lapboard my sister gave me quite some years ago. I know they can't seem to prove any health problems related to cell (mobile) phones. Experts warn people to limit a child's use of them. They thought that police radar guns were safe until the policemen who kept them in their laps or had them pointed at their heads developed cancers. I took an amateur radio course. The FCC has set Radio Frequency exposure limits. If someone is transmitting via an amateur radio, there are limits to the amount of time they can be on the air. There are rules about allowing children to play near the antenna while someone is transmitting. It is well known that someone should never transmit while someone is working on the antenna. A person will suffer burns from the inside out if they are working on a transmitting antenna while someone is using it for transmitting. A cell phone, and a wireless whatever it may be these things are radio transmitters. It is not good to take things lightly. I venture to guess (although I do NOT know for sure) that the RF radiation from the wireless keyboard and mouse is very low. Should I set the keyboard on a lead wrapped lapboard? Or should I believe God to keep me well and safe? I will believe God to keep the radiation from bothering me as I learn the safety of such devices.

It is very late again. I will write more during the day Sunday. I want to knock out some more correspondence from the "To Do" list while I am at it.

More soon… (hopefully with news of actual work)… I really do like typing on this little keyboard. It is a really great thing. I don't like to turn it off. Ok. I'm gone.

March 8, 2009 Part D

Here I am again. I had Douglas get the wooden box I put my feet on when I sit at the PC. Now I don't have to sit here on my "tip toes". It is much kinder on my knees this way. I am doing this document in order to work out the kinks in my system. I think we got it all sorted.

I can't wait for warm weather. I want to work outside. Not much has been happening lately. We are watching Law and Order on Bravo. It's quite a story. Cat wants out but she has to meow before I'll let her out. Douglas changed it to the news on Ch. 2 our Fox affiliate. We are trying to encourage the cat to meow. She sits and stares at us when she wants something. She won't let us know what she wants. (not that we understand meow any better than stares) The old cat (Coal) w --- she meowed so I had to let her out. Yea! Coal was very vocal. She would meow too much at times. But she really let you know what she wanted.

March 14, 2009

I thought of something the other day. I need to have the "multi language support" set up for this software on the MacBook. I forgot I had some Latvian words in my story. That takes a special alphabet. I need my friend to supply the disk for it. I set up the Mac software and Office 2008 for Mac to have the languages. But I need the software I use with the templates to have the languages. When I get that done I will be all set. Yea!

I got some of the stuff done on my "to do" list. I just have a few other things to do on it. Still waiting for warm weather. It is like waiting on very cold molasses to pour out of a jar.

I am using the new typing set up with the wrist brace. I have been sitting on my hands lately, so my wrist was bothering me. I'm watching an old episode of the Canadian Antiques Roadshow.

Ok, I am off to get to bed. I want to take a quick look and remember where to set up the languages. Now they are airing a Steven and Chris. I'm watching the CBC if you hadn't noticed.

See you later.

Part B
Here I am again. I managed to be able to put the languages on here without the software disk. I couldn't do Chinese, but I don't normally need that. I have that elsewhere on the computer. I now have Latvian, German, English---British English, Canadian English etc. The British English allows me to type the £ symbol. I use that most of all. I'll have to go onto the PC tomorrow and write down which language I set up on there.

This should be it for now! Yea! I don't need any help from my friend. Well I need help with the games. I can't get all the games to work on here.

March 23, 2009  playing ketch-up-- (catch up)  (Typed on the PC.)

 I added to the 2009 "Fan Calendar".  For that matter, I added to the "2008 Fan Calendar".  While I was at it, I decided to put the post above on here.  And then I decided to add this post. Might as well upload everything at once. Right?  I just hope the hours of work on the 2009 Fan Calendar is still there. This program was closed down by the computer a while ago.  I saved things, but didn't back up the page yet.

Don't have all the games working yet.  I really miss playing "Pipe Dream".  I don't know why.  I can play it on this PC. For some reason it is "funner" to play them on the MacBook.  And no, I didn't sleep with the MacBook the first night we bought it. (As if I were a kid with a new toy.  "Can I sleep with it?")

The wireless keyboard set up is very good.  Don't know how it will work outside.  The black-ish chairs from the basement will be too tall to sit in.  I've tried one of those. I need the box I set my feet on to work at he PC.  My legs are too short.  I either have to sit "on my tip toes" as it were, which kills my knees and isn't good for the ankle muscles and tendons.  (does what high heals do)  If I don't do that, my lap goes at an angle and the items on the lap board slide off.  This isn't good.  I've already dropped the Mighty Mouse a few times that way.  It fell on carpet thank God!  I can't afford to do that on concrete.  Douglas will be working four day weeks for the "duration".  Or at least for "the foreseeable". 

Anyway, for now in the living room it works great.  I will try using the chair we got last? summer when someone threw it away.  It has a wood seat.  Might be a little hard on the rear.  If the chair works, I'll find a pillow for it.  I have the one I made for Kitty (Coal) some years ago.  It should work fine, as it never got "smushed" enough for her to lay on. (I over-stuffed it heavily.)  I know I'll figure something out.  I am very resourceful.  Who knows, I might use that metal typewriter stand in the basement.  Wish I could find another little wooden and metal one like I used to "construct" this PC desk.  If only I could reconstruct this room outside under the garage door...  I know, I'll just "copy and paste" one outside.  Ha! 

(By the way... "the box I set my feet on" = this wooden box that jars of hot sauce came in.  My stepmother gave us the hot sauce and I use the box to set my feet on.  I stuck some wall paper onto the bottom of the box so I wouldn't get splinters in my feet.)

Nearly done with the "to do" list. At least that is my memory now.  I got some of it done this week.  I'm working now on a letter to my nephew.  Have been promising myself that I'd write him since he moved to Fla.  He's been there two or three years maybe more. 

By the way, I am not, "not working" exactly.  I did scribble a note on the "plan of attack" I think it was, only last night.  I thought of a title to use as a chapter or section heading.  I didn't want to forget it.  I would have forgotten it. 

As "new" happens, I'll write about it obviously.

June 13, 2009

[July 31, 2009  I know it's been a horribly long time.  I'm sticking on here a post I started writing on the MacBook June 13, 2009.  I'm editing this page via the MacBook.  If there's any changes or updates to the June 13 posting, I'll edit it as I go along.  It has been so long since I wrote the posting, there's bound to be things that need updating.  Got a wireless router July 19, 2009. Have been using the MacBook almost exclusively.  I forgot the earlier problem with left wrist.  Been using dining room table and keyboard without the wrist supports and the "shims" under the keyboard.  Now wrist is bothering me.  Go figure!  I was well and thought I was all healed up from the earlier injury.  I guess I can re-do it if I don't watch out!  Since it is working out to add to the website via the MacBook--- I can set up a journal page and add to it if we are on a trip somewhere.  Text below in [ ] = updates written today.]

June 13, 2009...

I haven't written to this in a while. No writing on the story either. Haven't felt like doing much of anything actually. Had a kind of tiredness lately.

I hope that some day I will feel like my "old" self again... but wait, [if I am supposed to be young yet,] wouldn't my "old" self be a future self rather than a past one? Ha! If it is a past self I would like to feel like, then which past self shall it be? The 1985 one perhaps? That's before I met Douglas. Not sure I want to be that person again.

I was watching the end of a movie. I find it a very interesting movie. I don't identify with any of the characters at all. I don't feel like I "know" these people. I like watching it because it makes me thankful that I have the life I have. I wouldn't want a life like that.

Listening to the SW radio now. Picking up a famous "conspiracy theory" program at the moment, via WWCR. (It's the repeat of the programme.) Earlier in the evening I was picking up CFRX (CFRB 1010) from Toronto on 6070. It is the first time in years that I have picked that up. The Redwings lost the game. They didn't win the Stanley Cup. It was kind of sad. I think they were just worn out.

To bring it back to the main topic... I do think about the story. I do imagine myself writing about Osbert Pickle. Bought a book "How to Write", by Baldwin. It uses the King James Bible to teach writing. I bought another Christian "how to write" book. I found it at Shiloh Christian Books on Fort Street. The first book I found via eBay.

June 13, 2009 b

Have the MacBook set up complete. Tried using it outside. Will have to figure out how to plug the MacBook into the one outlet in the garage. Don't know how to do that AND have the radio plugged in [to it] without there being radio interference.

Was writing a letter to my brother in law as I was beginning this post. Couldn't figure out why the computer wanted me to spell, "behavior" as "behaviour". It would say that "behavior" was mis-spelled. It was because the default language was set at Canadian English. I had problems with that before. I couldn't get the keyboard to stay at "American" English. I went and figured out how to fix the default. Am not in Canada so I don't need a Canadian English default. [It is good to be able to type in Canadian English.  I have UK English on here too.  That way I can type the £ symbol.  Can't leave it at UK English, because there are a few more differences in the keyboard.  I don't have a map or picture of the British keyboard.  I learned to type on an, "American" keyboard.]

July 31, 2009 

Short posting to update on the "goings on". Can't do much writing on this as it isn't good for the left wrist.  Can't have it permanently screwed up or it will be "curtains" for the writing.  Need to wear the wrist brace so that it will remind me to keep the wrist "quiet". Been making a tote for the bin we bought at Ikea.  The wireless mouse, keyboard and other accessories fit nicely in the bin.  Bin needed a carrying handle, to make it more portable.  Are trying to plan a trip to Texas.  Got over the tiredness.  Been eating lots of fruit this summer.  Mostly cherries.  Not doing enough bike riding.  I blame Douglas' working hours.  It has been a cool summer as I have had tea a lot.  Normally I drink "hot tea" during the winter months.  The wireless router has made for a big distraction!  I was downloading things to make the MacBook record streaming audio.  Was downloading "widgets" for "Dashboard".  That's part of the reason why I resisted getting the Internet on here.  It's good for looking up how to spell things, and to see if my "titles" or character names are in use already.  Anyway, I'm off to get ready.  Douglas said that going to dinner sounded like a good idea.  Don't know that it will happen.  It might.  He has been working very late.  The customer needs visor mirrors.  They get worked on by the customer who sends them on to the Japanese auto manufacturer.  The Japanese company is putting these visor mirrors onto all their new cars even the new line of environmentally friendlier cars.  For Douglas, the economy isn't as big a deal as the news media would make out. Oops....  Speaking of things that keep me from writing.....  automated telephone sales calls are one of the worst things.  They sound like a scam of some sort.  Then there's people coming to the door.  Lately, I have gotten two "sales calls" at the door from lawn companies.  They want to come with their trucks to spray stuff on the yard.  We need to take care of the weeds in the grass.  The weed to grass ratio is too high.  They used to call us on the phone.  It was very easy to say no.  We got rid of these people for a while.  Because of the "do not call list" and such like, they come door to door now.  I had a "cue" [a line of people] at the door the other day.  While the man was telling me about their lawn chemicals etc. this guy was waiting to hand me a flyer about a political candidate.  We are having local elections soon.  The guy is running for city counsel.  He lives a street or two from our house. 

Ok, enough for now.  More later.   I hope to earnestly write on the novel in the autumn coming up. I know, "We'll see it when it happens". 

August 3, 2009 

Was holding the July 13 on the MacBook for the longest time.  It was a hassle to transfer it to the PC. 

Am in the process of scanning in all the notes and outlines I have.  They are the final notes.  I have a lot of hand written stuff on them too.  It is too difficult to try and type all that in now.  We are thinking of going on a trip.  I want to scan the notes in case I loose them.  If I loose them I don't know what I would do.  Wouldn't be able to remember all the handwritten stuff.  Have the original typed in stuff.  Have it on the MacBook as well.  Always trying to make the writing portable.

More scanning to do.  Was just reconciling this page on the PC with the updated version I did online via the MacBook.  I decided to do this quick posting as well.

August 13, 2009 

(More posts after the photos.)

Won't be writing to this page for a short while I think.  The writing to this site that I will do (if any) will be on this page.  Find below a "table" with photos of the "outside office" I was telling about above. I only did it this one time.  If the MacBook is correct, these were taken May 2, 2009.  That's probably correct.  The guy near us, who was running for city counsel lost in the primary election.  He's out of the running.  I wanted to vote for him, but did not get to do it.  Douglas voted for him in my place. I don't know if I told you, but I got the Windows on the MacBook to type in Chinese.  Not that I can read what I type.  But being able to type a word or two in Chinese is helpful because I have a Chinese pen pal.  Still trying to rest my wrist.  I keep typing on it which isn't helpful.  As I type I keep the hand at an angle which isn't good.

In the photos below, the gray painted chair now has a bracket on the back so I can stick a large paper umbrella on the chair.  That way I can shade the radio or whatever I place in the chair.  We got the chair last summer when a neighbor threw it away.  It wasn't until I prepared for the set up you see in the photos, that I realized why they threw the chair away.  Duh! I really wanted the set up to be further back behind this area, under the garage door.  The sun was in such a spot in the sky, that the garage door didn't make much shade.  I wanted to shade the computer.  The lilac bush made much more shade.  I think this was just as the lilac was beginning to bloom. If I'm in these, Douglas took the photo. The computer cannot be in the bright sunlight. The heat and bright light is not good for it.

There were/are some large draw backs to this set up.  Not being able to plug the computer AND the radio into the same outlet.  The computer makes for horrible noise over the radio. On the PC in the house, there is a way to ground the case of the computer to reduce or eliminate noise over the radio. [This is a short-wave radio by the way.]  It would be worse had I plugged in the computer.  There is only one outlet in the garage. (one outlet with two plugs) The computer screen was so dark that I could barely see it.  Which is why I haven't done this again.  If I could plug in the computer, the screen would lighten up--- I hope quite a bit, but am not sure.  The goal is to make this "office" as ergonomic as possible.  I don't want my body to hurt if I am sitting at the computer for hours writing (typing).  My feet aren't flat on the floor (driveway) in this chair.  I don't want to set with my feet on "tip toe" so as to avoid the mouse and keyboard from sliding off the lap board.  This set up is somewhat hard on the neck, shoulders and back as well.  I'll keep trying until I find a set up that works well.  I'm not going to hurt myself doing this.  It is available to do this without injuring myself!!  It had better work, all the equipment was expensive.  AND I really do want to finish my story!!!! 

By the way, the reason I don't use the keyboard that came with the computer---  the "track pad" thing that's on there for "mouse" functions is in the way.  My palms end up hitting it and then I start typing in the middle of words. Other such things happen, like menus and dialogue boxes appearing on the screen when I don't want them there.  There's supposed to be a way to turn the track pad off but when I try it, that function is disabled.  Having it on is very aggravating!! 

Here is a list of the things you see in the photos:

the MacBook;
wireless keyboard;
wireless mouse;
1 black wrist rest I got with the other computer stuff;
1 Chocolate Charlie box;
1 folding "laundry" table I got when I worked at a charity thrift store in Ft. Worth--which I carried home on a bus;
1 old dining room chair we found in the basement;
1 gray chair I got out of another neighbor's trash before I realized why they threw it away;
1 stool I got at a garage sale across the street;
1 lapboard my sister made me;
1 silver bin from Ikea;
foam, corrugated plastic, etc.-- scraps Douglas got me from work;
radio Papa (pron. pawpaw) got me in Littlefield at TG&Y or whatever it became;
and whatever I am neglecting to mention.

If you don't see a new posting on here for a while and you want to read something I'm writing, check out this page.  If anything gets written to this site in the next few weeks it will be to that page.  No guarantees though.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.  (More posts after the pictures.)

  Taken May 2, 2009

setting up the "office"-- view from the back

set up from the front

turning on the computer?   no, I think I was opening up the computer


taking the wireless keyboard and mouse out of the Ikea bin


setting up the mouse and keyboard


something of how it looks from my vantage point


"turning on" the mouse -- view from over my left shoulder


view of me typing from the front

view of me typing from over my shoulder

another view that is something of my vantage point

set up from behind again



September 13, 2009 

Got home from Texas about two weeks ago? Or was it three weeks ago? 

I'm in the process of clearing some stuff off the PC so I can renew the anti-virus on there. It is wanting to have it's yearly renewal. When that's done, I can start clearing out the room.  I want to re-arrange the room.  That involves removing a bunch of stuff from the room. I have to take some books off a book case that is leaning.  There's some "maintenance" to the room that needs doing. (making sure the book case is stable; vacuuming the carpet; dusting; de-spider-ing corners and behind things; etc.) 

I'm still on the search for an ergonomic spot to stick this MacBook.  I need to get the dining room table cleared off.  I am trying to re-arrange the room in there so I can stick this onto the desk I bought for $8.00.  (I'm writing this as I watch Lewis on PBS Mystery.  I just downloaded a thing that's supposed to make the keyboard sound like a typewriter as you type. I've been wanting one of those for the writing.  I will turn it on, I will use it until it drives me crazy.  I had one before and it did something screwy to the computer.  I can't remember what it was.  I think it was something the program did to make it so I would register the program or some such.  You know, after a while it would cause something annoying to happen so I would register or pay them money. I hope this one does not do that.  I had a program that allowed Windows 3.1 to type in different languages. It started doing this countdown thing. It would do the countdown before it would allow you to access anything on the computer.  It started off as a short annoyance.  I could live with that.  Then it got longer with time.  Eventually it was around half an hour or so.  Douglas made me get rid of it at that point.)

The sound works.  It sounds like I am typing on a typewriter.  You get Morse code with it as well.  That's "way cool" too. 

I like typing with it.  I still make the usual mistakes.  I type with the correct finger of the wrong hand or I reverse the order of letters at times.  Sometimes my fingers are faster than the brain. Or is it the brain faster than the fingers?  I still miss the "home" and "end" keys which are missing on the built in, as well as the wireless keyboard. 

I've been reading, "The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction" by Jeff Gerke.   I'll have to write about what I'm reading some other time.

Ok, I need to get a snack and get back to work on the PC.  I will write more to this as "news" develops.

September 19, 2009 

Quick note.  Went to the "big book sale" again yesterday.   I bought a bunch of books as usual.  I was in the "collectable" books looking for "old" books on "interesting subjects".  I picked up one, "On the Art of Writing", by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.  Then eventually I saw a fairly new paperback copy of, "84 Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff. I looked up "Arthur Quiller-Couch" in Wikipedia.  There was a link to her book, "Q's Legacy" which is about, Arthur Quiller-Couch.  I learned that Helene Hanff's "life long love of books" started, with "On the Art of Writing". 

"On the Art of Writing"...

I should have known that I would find this book a difficult read.  In the preface, the author uses words like, "bewraying", and "vivacities",  "Lecture I", "Inaugural", uses the word, "prolixities", in about the second sentence. 

I need to go and find some lunch.  Will write again soon. AMC is in the middle of "Lonesome Dove" at the moment.  I was watching them making and eating biscuits on the screen.  I started getting very hungry. [November 7, 2009 That's "American" biscuits and not "British" ones.]

Part B

I should have said above, that I am looking forward to the challenge of attempting to read "On the Art of Writing".  Even though it might be "difficult", with the computer on and Google or an online dictionary available, it shouldn't be as difficult. Perhaps I've written about it before, but some day I will write a special posting explaining why dictionaries in book form are very time consuming for me.  Such a posting will end up on the "Writing About Books" page.

This part should "by rights" be included on the Writing About Books page. I don't feel like pulling it up and sticking it on there.  I'm doing this via the MacBook.  I don't have the whole site on here.  I'm adding to it a page at a time.  Then I have to remember what I added and where, so I can make the copy on the PC match what I stuck on the web, SO that the program won't eat what I've written.

The prices for books at the book sale this year, were $1.00 for paperbacks; $2.00 for hard backs.  That is, if they DIDN'T have a colored sticker with a price on the cover.  As usual I got some deals.

I'm looking up the book, "On the Art of Writing" in "Bookfinder". (the 1925 edition I have.)  The ones that came up started at $28.81 with shipping.  That was for an ex-library copy.  On the high end, there was one for, $71.35 with shipping.  Mine has some condition issues with the spine.  I think I paid $1.00 for it. I think it had a colored sticker on it.

I'm looking up my copy of "Shadows of the Stage" by William Winter.  I got that yesterday too.  I'm not finding the 1896 which I have.  I do find the 1895 edition.  I see it go for around $9.74 with shipping.

One last book I looked up, "Book on the Physician Himself" by D.W. Cathell.  I looked up the 1922 edition which I have.  The seller says that this is the last and better edition. They want $35.00 without shipping and $39.00 with shipping. 

Ok, I'm going to bed soon.  I should get off this.  The Travel Channel is showing, "City Slickers" I think.  It isn't what I want to view.  I was watching the guy eating strange things.

More later.

November 7, 2009 

It's "later"---

I'm listening to WGN.  This website needs rebuilding.  I hope to get a better program to make it with.  I want to try out a free trial version for Mac and see how it will work taking these pages and transferring them to them over.  I have put the "writing of conundrum" or "novel writing" pages, onto their own site.  I got a free Google website to stick them on.  If you want current updates to this page, check out .  I'll try and stick the postings on here as they are written on the Google site.  But it may take time to get them on here.

I've been busy lately.  I finished the Tai Chi class this week.  Then on October 17, a neighbor gave us a silver gray kitten we have named Sterling.  I'll have to get photos on here via the picture pages some day.

I really need to go now.  I am very sleepy.

Remember, if you want current updates to this page, check out .