Round Two, Readers! Ready?

I had a pretty busy weekend. That sounds crazy, I know, but mostly I was busy with things which involve lots of a$$-sitting.

I managed to get my new WIP updated with several things. For one, all the awesome, awesome feedback I got from the readers who stepped in and said they’d give that feedback proved more helpful than I can express. It was so awesome to have the feedback of readers rather than writers for this particular application. I still have a lot of work to do as a writer, but knowing how readers view my work is a good thing, IMO. I can more properly target how I work my stories so the readers get the fulfillment they want from the story, to leave them satisfied.

My precious and first reader, however, provided the best feedback so far, because she’s intimately involved with the writing process as it unfolds. She’s given me some real pointers which I feel make the story stronger. So, I’ll be ready to have other folks read Chapter Two by the end of the week. Any takers? (I’m hoping the same readers will come ‘round again, so I can get consistent views of the piece.)

I’m working with a new software package too. It’s called Power Writer, and I have to say it’s pretty amazing. While it has the ability to break things down into Acts, Chapters, and then scenes, it’s also able to add the plot point milestones I love so much. Then, all I have to do is write to those milestones. I never get lost in my story, but I don’t need a big detailed outline to plan the life of my projects, either. Win-win! Maybe I’ll give a full review soon, if anyone’s interested. But it’s pricey, so maybe not.

I added another chapter to the WIP; that’s the important thing. So today’s post is all about my call for my readers to again volunteer for another look.

How was your weekend?

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

Independence Day

I sat down and watched some movies this weekend. I found some really good ones, and have to say, I’m loving this foreign film kick I’ve been on.

And do you have any idea why I sat down to watch a movie – or three, actually – this weekend? Because I can!

Why, you ask?

 

Continue reading

Behaving Badly

I can give you reasons — or excuses, if you’d rather that word — for why my latest non-fiction project isn’t going well. I can tick them off on my fingers one after another and justify each one of them.

But to be honest with you, and with myself, I have to get down to the biggest problem in the whole process.

The thing about working with this agency is, they’re awesome. They’re wonderful to deal with, they make my life as easy as they can, and they don’t ask much in return. My agent doesn’t bother me a lot — though on this project he’s asked for updates more than I expected — and he’s generally able to talk me off a shelf when I need that (only once so far in my relationship with him, going on two great years). The accounting people, with whom I deal to get paid and on payment matters with the publisher, are also amazing, helpful people. I’ve got the direct line of the director of the department, and when I need results she’s never deterred me from going straight to her. She refers me to her staff when her involvement isn’t necessary, but she always speaks to me directly when I need to talk to someone. Awesome.

Now, the publisher for whom I’ve done all my work to this point? Well that’s another matter altogether. Continue reading

Friday Free-for-all

Ah, Friday at last! Huzzah, huzzah!

The New Books

I heard from the editor about my two new books. Seems he took a look at the competition and realized NO ONE is publishing introductory books on HTML5 and CSS3 separately… just like I said. So now he wants to combine the two into a single baby-steps book. Good. NOW you’re talking. Of course, that’s going to HALVE my money. Dagnabit.

Still, it’s something. I want to pitch him a OneNote book, too, and see if I can get Fal to work on it with me. She’s fallen madly in love with OneNote, and I have to tell you, I knew it would happen. I tried to get her to use it back when I wrote the first of my technical books, and I tried to pitch it to the publisher then. But she’s way better with it than I am and I bet we can make it look exciting to the publisher now.

Whattaya think, babe?

The Job

Something amazing happened with my job and the programming side of things. I don’t know why other than the Lord just blessed me, but I looked at some code I’d looked at a thousand times before and it not only made sense, I’m about 80% finished with something I’ve been banging my head against fruitlessly for the last two and half months. I’m so excited I could just puke.

I also got to set up a new SharePoint site for our business group, develop a template for collecting data (I actually had a form designed but it wasn’t flexible enough for our needs and I don’t have time to research it), and maybe, just maybe, things are starting to fall into place. Maybe.

Thanks, Lord. The prayers of my wife and children seem to be having a positive affect.

Fitness

Yeah, not so much. I still haven’t started. I want to pick it up on a Friday when I can sleep in the next day and recover, then keep on my progress and develop a head of steam going into Monday.

Someone at work suggested maybe it’s like a lot of other things. When we think about it, it’s easy to make a big, scary dragon out of it when really it’s not much at all. We psych ourselves into being sedentary this way. I know I do, for sure.

But this ends this weekend. I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be. I’m going to do this.

Dieting

Since I’m not exercising, I figured I’d better be extra diligent in my diet. So far, so good. My loving spouse and I have been on it for about two months now, and I’m starting to see – and feel – the difference. My clothes aren’t so constrictive, I’m wearing shirts I haven’t worn in a couple of years, and maybe more like three or four.  They’re not stretched taut over my gut either. So that’s something.

Yeah, it’s working. And you know what? I don’t miss the things I’m giving up to do this. I really don’t. Whether or not it’s realistic remains to be seen, but my goal is to get myself from where I am to under 10% body fat. I’ve never been that lean before, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be now.

I hope.

Miscellany

I’m way happier with our TV. We took the one with the bright spots in it back and bought another one somewhere else. It’s a couple inches smaller, but I think it’s a better size for our room. And the picture is MUCH better because I got the HDMI cable to go with it. We got a PS3 for a Blu-Ray player and the kids absolutely adore Little Big Planet. Thanks to Onyx Nightingale for that recommendation! Great call sweetie. Now… any others? ‘Cause Little Big Planet 2 is way too expensive. 😉

The Wii has been relegated to what it actually is – a basic game machine. My son loves his Mario, so those games see action. Who says you don’t need more than one game system? XBox 360 Kinnect, here we come. 😉

I don’t know whether to buy the kids a new computer for their little games and stuff or get myself a really nice one and give them this one. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have, but it’s not the best thing out there either. I saw a triple core machine I liked, and I think I saw a quad-core too, but I don’t know if I want to drop a grand on a PC. At the same time, I do want a bigger HDD and more RAM, and having higher processor speeds wouldn’t be a bad thing. I haven’t decided, but then, I don’t have my mad money yet either. When I get it I guess I can decide.

What’s up with all of you? Any plans for the weekend? Sound off and let me know, y’all.

Have a good one whatever you do.

God bless!

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

Monday Updates

Sorry, y’all. I meant to get to your awesomely supportive comments, meant to thank you all for being such great friends, and didn’t get a chance to get online at ALL this week. I’ve been checking feeds and clearing them through my phone, getting my emails and such, but there’s been a lot going on and most of it’s… not great, but not bad either.

Work is… work. More work than any job I’ve ever had. I’m doing my best but only God knows if my best is good enough.

We got a new TV . Wife loves it; I can’t decide. It should be HDTV and seems… less HD, more like regular TV, but big. We don’t have an HDMI cable for it yet. Anyone know if that’s the problem? It’s a Sanyo, which I thought made a pretty decent product, but I dunno. I think the picture should be sharper. Crisper. Like they are in the stores, y’know? And I don’t feel I’m seeing that. My loving wife says I’m crazy, it’s fine, and by a far cry it’s the best TV we’ve ever had. But for what I paid for this thing, I want my socks blown off. They’re not; they’re still firmly on my grimy feet, being unblown.

Just to see if I’d bought a lemon, or if I got myself a POS, I asked Fal; to Google the set with me and look for consumer reviews. Most people gave the set high marks, and I had to scratch my head in wonder. Then, on a review site, some guy tells another commenter how to make the set brighter. I decided to try it too, and you know what? HOLY COW. What a difference. Now I have to see if that solves my problem with the crisp-picture going through the hi-def thing.

*Sigh* I also found out there’s no zoom feature in Windows Live Writer 2011. I hoped it would be more like Office 2010 that way, but it’s not. Not while you’re using your blog’s theme to edit, at least. Wouldn’t be WYSIWYG if it did, I guess. But still… come on.

The car had a problem on Thursday and Friday, too. Died on me in the middle of my commute to work, on a two-lane road. Greeaaaat. But it corrected itself and seems to be… um… okay. It will cost about $100 to fix should I need that, but it’s honestly not worth putting a lot of effort into it right now. I used electrical tape – I kid you not – to fix the problem. It worked fine Friday night. I have to test it some more, but we’ll see. It’d be great if that could be the final fix, but I’m seldom lucky.

Really need to learn this programming crap and not take DAYS to fix things they ask me to fix. Excel macros, mostly. I have one that’s a buggery bear to resolve. Anyone out there know how to change a While/Wend construct to a Do While construct and have it work? I’m sort of at a loss at this point.

I hope to be back, but I didn’t make as much progress on the proofs as I wanted. I’ll let you know how that goes. And I sent off a graf for each of the new books to my agent; he said the publisher wanted them in addition to our ToCs. I didn’t even know what a “graf” was until I figured out he meant “paragraph” – just now, while I’m writing this. We’re still waiting to hear on those new projects.

My workouts haven’t been going. I stopped after last Monday. I’m just too busy right now. I don’t have even the less-than-an-hour it takes to do this right now. I hope to soon, though. Maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have started again.

Hang loose y’all. I am. See ya soon as I can.

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved