Look at me, on teh interweb…

A couple of weeks ago, John Scalzi invited questions on his blog so I took a swing at it. While I didn’t get one of his fullpage answers, I did merit a short one. W00t!

In which I answer some of the writing-related questions:


Do authors (SF especially) ever use any of the massive over-functionality built into modern word processors? Or would they be just as happy with a typewriter that erased words and saved files?

Or, in other words, how much has the tool changed the trade?

Or, do they ever rtfm so they know how to use the damn things?

I wrote The Ghost Brigades on whatever the most basic notepad program that comes with the Mac is called and had no more problems writing it than I would have had on a more fully functional word processing program, so at least in my case I don’t really use most of the bells and whistles on modern word processing programs, and I suspect most other writers likewise use mostly the basic functions to get things done. I think the most useful tool I have for book writing, in fact, is the large monitor I have, which allows me to show two full pages of text at one time. I like that a whole lot. But in general I think the best thing computers do for writers is make it so much easier to edit the document while in process. Really, that’s such an amazing advancement over typing out physical hard copy that I’m still amazed that writing actually got done before computer word processing.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-29

  • Starting a new email campaign. Surprises to find we still have no spam legislation on Canada! #
  • RT @yourAGA Red Shoes. The 1948 film influenced generations of filmmakers, artists and ballerinas. FREE. Friday. 7pm. http://bit.ly/5nyInS #
  • Why even sign makers need a good ( and multi lingual) editor: http://bit.ly/xlCAU #
  • Amazon goes crazy Film at 11:00 http://nyti.ms/d8Z5kW The estore who caused death to many a bricks & mortar, seeks to suicide by arrogance #
  • Here here: I think Christianity is a fine religion and I wish more Christians practiced it. @scalzi http://bit.ly/c7XRbN #
  • Reluctantly moving from PDF newsletter mailouts to HTML. Still a pain on an OS X machine. Anyway to streamline this? #
  • The glass is up on one of two production greenhouses! Pictures soon! #
  • The north production greenhouse is now under glass. It's really coming together fast now. http://twitpic.com/1ai95e #
  • A shout out to the people over at @sonyelectronics for monitoring the twitterverse and offering to help out after my whining… #
  • Spent the day trying to publish HTML emails from a #Filemaker database. Not quite an exercise in futility, but I've done easier things. #
  • For mothers of little boys everywhere: RT @garnerandrews At Layne's house. Now THAT is funny! http://twitpic.com/1bfw7v #
  • Not sure if I'm enjoying Pure Pwnage or not. An internet hit now on Showcase, good but they had to make a lot of compromises. #

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Stolen Prose

Ah Leah

That hurts. Let me try again…

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out. That’s all I have so far, courtesy of snoopy.

That hurts. Let me try again…

She picked up a pen and stabbed her eye. The eye bled. She screamed for help, but no one heard her over the loud barking of a dog named Bruce.

That hurts. Let me try again…

And some more. And some more, convincing her that she’d never make it to Friday.

How’s that so far?

  • Much better. Possibly even exactly what I needed. Hey, do I always have only one eye when you think about me?
  • That hurts. Let me try again…

    Ha ha ha. Good. No, I tend to think of you with two perfectly functioning blue eyes.

    [bat , bat, bat, bat, bat]

    That hurts. Let me try again…

  • That was enthralling. Can I write a sequel?
  • Please do. I’ll be waiting.

    That hurts. Let me try again…

    -Stolen from the email journals of two strange ladies…

    That Ain’t No Cuba Libra

    Last dance show of the year. Litz Alfonso Dance Cuba ‘Elementos’ at the Arden. Live Cuban band, so it should be lively anyway.

    Well turns out I didn’t like. Reminded me of something halfway between a dance recital and a cruise ship show. Blech.

    Why I’m leaving St Albert

    “If there’s people who don’t take pride in the property, it can really bring the whole neighbourhood down,” she said. “I think that this kind of [fines] will make people think again.”

    From a Gazette article on new bylaws

    It’s amazing to me that people think pride stems from fear of retribution, and that in fact in many of their own minds, they actually believe it’s true. “You will conform, because if you don’t then you are a loser.”

    Really makes me ashamed of my class…

    Proofreading can be difficult…

    The English is clear enough to lorry drivers – but the Welsh reads “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.”

    According to this story,

    When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.
    Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated”.

    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-22

    • L's info on future of books comes from books: books are a going concern. My info comes most from new media: books are on shaky ground. Huh. #
    • RT @jdarrah Feel like a Lada at -30C. Can't get started this a.m. #
    • Alberta Readers' Choice Awards… Vote today! http://www.albertareaderschoice.ca/ #
    • RT @emckean wonderful word! RT @dscape: anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant http://bit.ly/9b4EO4 #
    • RT @craigmod I suspect the no-physicality/ownership stance is largely irrelevant for < 30 y/o folk They're used to not owning their media #
    • She says it wasn't a bare shave! #
    • Why does baked chicken take twice as long as fries chicken? Supper's gonna be late! #
    • RT @jmaxsfu: "The explosion of unmediated writing … just may b the best guarantee we have of keeping culture alive" http://bit.ly/9alMJO #
    • RT @craigmod: A treasure trove of timeless grammar deliciousness: @thatwhichmatter #
    • Teaching a class on book mfg tomorrow. Is it finally time to start introducing XML/ebook prep etc to Making a Book 101? #
    • If you haven't visited Thomas Fuchs 'A Heart a Day', you should: http://www.aheartaday.com/ #
    • RT @lavermeer Bravo, Vancouver. The Canada Line is fantastic! From tarmac to my hotel room in just over an hour — that is impressive! #yvr #
    • Book Production for n00b starts in 7 minutes. Still haven't decided how much 'new media' to go into. Maybe I'll just pass my phone around 🙂 #
    • This is book publishing! Not only not glamorous, but we’re all nerds! Why does the world think we still do 2-martini lunches –Megan Halpern #
    • Convicted: failure to comply is a felony. Bad adventures in crossing the border: http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=1186 #
    • RT @pwmartin: "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." – H … #
    • Very Cool! #yeg transit Tweet @ etsinfo 2872 & it will return: Trips from stop 2872 (109 Street & 74 Avenue): 9: 03:57 PM 51: 04:06 PM etc. #
    • Man, I love Alberta… RT @lavermeer Seriously?!? http://tinyurl.com/yex2vut #
    • Go Lyra! RT @mastermaq http://twitpic.com/19wkm2 – Lyra Brown at #yegswap in reply to mastermaq #

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