Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Arid August


When I say arid – I don’t mean the weather – we are sinking in the ooze here.

Have you noticed how blogland seems to be on a sort of stand-by just now? Personally I can’t think of a single interesting topic – not that that stops me as a rule - so excuse me whilst I just burble on a bit.

There was a long letter from Sitemeter today- most of which I didn’t understand but there are changes afoot apparently. Recently mine seized up and I realised how much I missed it and enjoy seeing the faraway places visitors come from - even if they don’t utter. I think more people should stick to the maxim- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Last night my computer didn’t shut down as normal so I zapped it with the zapper. Sure enough this morning it didn’t switch on properly – there was a picture, but nothing to click onto. As usual when all else fails I unplugged and restarted when it VERY sluggishy got going again. This is NOT the time to lose transmission chaps.

Whilst we are being technical (and Boffin is my middle name) I’m getting messages from my anti virus saying ’back up has not completed recently. Please back up or change your back- up schedule.’ They seem to expect me to put a clean disc in every other day or so, whereas I normally back up my story every now and then.

I worked hard yesterday and my dilatory editing moved up a couple of gears. I had to get MTL to calculate how many pages make 10,000 words. I think we made it 29 - to the nearest penny. That reminds me I just found an old wallet in my ‘abroad drawer’ containing 75 euros in notes. Yesterday – on the way to the post, which has moved from a newsagents to the supermarket – I changed it for £54. I did say this was burbling didn’t I?

Finally no-one told me how hard it is to write a synopsis. I had imagined my punchy dozen lines or so would suffice but – just for interest - checked and the general opinion seems to be that it is harder to write than the book. Agreed! For a start you write in the present tense which is quite hard to maintain. Then you have to decide how many pages which can vary from 2-20 and whether to do single or double spacing. Don’t leave out cliff hangers and don’t describe the character’s physical appearance I found this very useful as a guideline. At the end of the day I took a rare head ache tablet


granny p said...

try a MAC, Pat. No virus/anti-virus software problems! My step-un-son-in-law (work that one out!) makes his living sorting all that sort of stuff out....

Know what you mean about blogland. BUT it's August. Nomansland/time. xx

Mei Del said...

yes you get more pounds for your euro these days, speaking of bof - i used this word in front of the darling and he totally misunderstood me because to the french bofs are complete idiots.

who's colin farrell?

kenju said...

I have definitely noticed a dearth of posts over the last few weeks.

I don't understand how a MAC can be that much better, but those who love them are very vocal about it. I'll have to check them out again. My daughter has one and I couldn't understand how to work it.

Eryl Shields said...

I have never tried to write a synopsis but can imagine how difficult it would be: trying to whittle a whole book down to a few hundred words without losing the essential flavour, cripes! Good luck, no wonder you had to take a headache pill.

PI said...

GrannyP: I hope I can hang on to this for some time. I'm still recovering from paying for my PCAs.

Mei del: My French DIL says bof as a sort of expression of disdain. Colin Farrell is an Irish actor who has made it big in Hollywood. Has a reputation as a naughty boy but suspect he's a nice lad underneath. I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Judy: I hate change. How about if you try it out first:)

Eryl: be warned an don't leave it literally to the last minute like I did. Today - having posted it - I re read it and was reasonably reassured.

Anonymous said...

it took a while to understand my MAC but now I wouldn't be without it! No spam, no viruses and so easy to drag and drop stuff around.

Yes, it IS quiet in blogland and everywhere else - my work is too quiet for comfort at the moment ... !


Kath said...

Even when you "burble" your posts are interesting! That's talent :o)

Kim Ayres said...

Weather - oozing all the way here in Scotland

Blogland - always gets quieter in the summer. Will kick in more once the nights start drawing in.

Sitemeter - I'm ignoring it until they give me clear instructions what they expect me to do

Back up - make sure you create several back-up copies of your book and edited changes to date, on to discs. If you've got a computer problem the last thing you need is it crashing and you losing it all forever. Even consider uploading copies to online documents (Google mail has this option, for example - email me for further instructions if needed)

Anti-virus - make sure your anti-virus is up to date, then do a full sweep of your machine.

Words - I tend to assume approx 300 words per page

Synopsis - is that the same as a summary? I was always very good at summaries - sum up a 100,000 words into 3 sentences. My problem was always expanding it out again. It's why blogging and short stories suit me.

Flirting - did I ever tell you what twinkly eyes you have?

Coffee - I'm still buzzing from my last mug - can you tell?

sablonneuse said...

I agree with kath, your burblings are most interesting. Good luck with the editing. Hopefully the book won't be long now.

Z said...

One real advantage of a Mac is not needing anti-virus software. However, I wouldn't recommend you change, it would take you a while to adjust and you've got better things to do with your time. Also, you'd need a spare £800 to splash out.

About backing up, I agree with Kim. Not worth the worry if your computer breaks down and you don't know if your recent work is lost.

PI said...

Belleek: I hope I don't have to make a decision for ages.


Kim; I'll follow your lead re sitemeter.
What you said about uploading - if it is going to further protect my MS I'd like to do it so will e-mail you but there's no rush. Thanks for the offer.
Yes it is the same as a summary except one needs to make one's synopsis so attractive that the reader has to read the book.
Where did flirting come from? Twinkly's good.

Sandy: it's in the lap of the gods.

PI said...

Z: one of our sons put my story on a little blue tube thingy instead of a disc but I'll take advantage of Kim's kind offer. And as sooon as I've finished the editing will print out the rest.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Getting everything together with your book is really hard woek. The Sybopsis is a 'mother-bear'....! I honestly understand why it is easier to write the book itself! Much great good luck with that, Pat.

As to having a MAC....All the people I know who have one absolutely swear by them. And for Music--I mean writing programs, etc, it is a lot better than a PC, from everything I can gather--And for putting together Videos, too...Editing and such. More "user friendly" they say.

Anyway...having a MACBook may be a great way to learn some of it....

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Pat...I hope everything is okay with youy, my dear....I haven't seen your lovely comments in a while and I just wanted to make sure you are okay...I have two "Ladies Who Lunch Posts that you might enjoy, with a third to come in a few days...! Come on by for a look-see, if you can.

PI said...

Naomi: your suggestion of reading up about Macs is a sensible one and I certainly would if I have to replace my computer - but hopefully that won't be any time soon. One of my sons reckons that as I don't play games on it it will last for ever-ish. I will be round today. Yesterday I really had my head down - see today's post. I'm fine really.xoxox

Kanani said...

Sorry about the computer woes, Pat. It used to be car repairs that drove me to despair, now it's hard drive failure!

Synopsis are very hard to write. Good lord! Mine was a mess. I'm still trying, though.

By the way, thanks for your kind notes regarding my Uncle in Tucson. I'm leaving Saturday morning, after having decided I was simply too tired to fly. I know, it sounds odd. But there's all the rushing of getting to the airport, not being able to pack what I want, and all the waiting that makes me a bit anxious. So my youngest and I will drive the 9 or 10 hours and sing and talk along the way.

See you when I get back.

PI said...

Kanani: all seems to be well again - fingers crossed.
I understand and share how you feel about flying. In the same way I prefer using a bus to a train.
Have a safe journey and I hope there will be a peaceful conclusion.