Friday, January 27, 2017

Blog Tour Alert: I've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (late February)

Caroline Fardig and I were looking for another theme for our crazy blog tours, and this came to me last month. If nothing else, talking about how much you don't love something after Valentine's Day is pretty wacky, amirite?

But prepared for some deep analysis (why is our gadgety, cutting-edge culture nostalgic over toys we played with when were in preschool?) and some straight up trash talk (no, Dynasty, you owe us an apology for making passive-aggressive, sexually abusive men seem like catches).

Watch this space for updates and schedules.

...And here's the schedule! Thanks to the authors and bloggers who agreed to share their wit for this.

Me: 2/25
Jami Deise: 2/27

Friday, January 20, 2017

A not-so-hidden feature gets in done in three days

I don't talk about my writing process on this blog because I know most people couldn't care less, but I think some of you might be able to relate to this.

I just sent the manuscript for my next full-length release to my beta reader. This is a huge relief. I started working on it two years ago (wait, that long ago?!) and instead of plotting it out in a linear fashion, I wrote it as I needed to get the scenes out. Which isn't the worst way to write, but makes things more complicated when it's a mystery with a lot of moving parts. I didn't have writer's block on this one, but I did have editor's block. I knew I needed to fix a number of things, but it seemed like so many that I couldn't keep track of them.

Part of my issue is that I'm not using Microsoft Word but Google Docs. The machine I do the bulk of my work on is a Chromebook (and I LOVE my Chromebook), and it hasn't seemed worth the trouble to install Word because what I could get for Chrome isn't fully functional. That meant I couldn't take advantage of the outline feature that Word has...or so I thought.

Earlier this week, I saw that some of my chapters were randomly showing up in the outline. I'd seen this on other Google Docs I work with but hadn't known how to use it. I did a little research and found...wait for it...that all I needed to do was highlight chapter titles (or whatever) and change it to a heading style. Yeah...just like what you do in Microsoft Word, though it might be a little easier to change styles.

God is in the simple things

After I spent thirty seconds grumbling at myself, I jumped into the editing. So. Much. Easier. Now. As soon as I saw something I knew I needed to carry through to another section, I could quickly figure out where it needed to go. That was three days ago, and it would have been one if I didn't have to do things like care for my children.

Before I found this (really simple) solution, I was fantasizing about getting something like Scrivener, a software many writers I know use which allows you to visually organize scenes and rearrange by dragging-and-dropping. But something in me resists getting the latest-and-greatest out of principle--and the principle would be not wanting to have to keep up with every new software or gadget. My orientation is to pull as much use as I can out of something before I walk away from it. This is hand-in-hand with being a tidier person, but the lesson here is that we need to be more proactive about researching what we have.

What hidden-to-you features have you discovered that saved you time?