Just a little frustrating.

I had a manuscript sent me by a friend edited (up to the last fifty pages, or so).  And I had a chapter and a half done and ready to be added to my manuscript, which would have brought the total up to something like a little over 2/3 of my planned length.

And then, Microsoft decided it was time to update.  Without telling me.  Nor letting me choose when to do it.

I deeply and sincerely hate Windows 10.

Especially since Office decided that, since I am no longer employed with the university, I wouldn’t be allowed to use the version of Office I’d downloaded and had been using for the past year and a half.  And it locked me out of Word.  I can open old documents, but I can’t change them, and I can’t save anything.

Why, no–I hadn’t saved the editing work I’d done.  Thanks for asking.  Nor had I gotten everything saved on my work.

It recovered what I’d been writing okay, and I managed to get it transcribed to another program (since Word wouldn’t let me save it at all) but wouldn’t recover the editing work.  I’ve spent the last month trying.  I finally managed to get it to recover that, and was starting to work on transcribing what I’d done to LibreOffice’s word processor…and Microsoft decided it was time to update.  Again.  To fix the things it screwed up with October’s update.

Guess what I haven’t been able to re-recover.

I had managed to get 26 pgs of almost 150 of editing transcribed.  But no more than that.

Bah.

I still can’t use Word, either.  I could get one of the earlier versions of Office.  If I trusted eBay sellers to sell unopened boxes with unused keys.  And if I could afford even that small amount of cash outflow (taxes plus saving for house and car insurance plus saving for tuition).  Since it’s not in the cards, and I won’t pay a hundred bucks to rent the one program from Office I use for the next year, and buying the program is right out*…time to turn to the free programs.

OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

Truth be told, I think I like LibreOffice a little bit better than OpenOffice.  Yeah, they’re almost identical, but in my opinion (and really, since I’m the writer, who else’s opinion matters, here?), LibreOffice’s word processor is a little bit less awkward to use than OpenOffice’s.

I hadn’t quit writing, though.  I have a bunch of stuff that I need to get transcribed from my notebook that I carry with me.  Hopefully, I can finish things up in fairly short order.

I really, really hate Windows 10.  If I had the brain processing power/speed, I’d work on learning Linux so that I could dump the program that treats me like an idiot child that can’t be trusted to take care of an expensive devise on their own.  Especially now that Word isn’t an option anymore.

 

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Week’s plans

I will acknowledge: plans change.  Sometimes with no notice whatsoever.  I’d had plans to finish up the book last week.  I ended up running in after Kathryn on Monday morning, which threw a lot off, and I never got back on track.  Then came Thursday.  And then Friday.  Last week’s plans didn’t happen the way I’d wanted them to.  At all.

But so far, my week’s plans include beta reading/editing for a friend, and writing.  I’ll be finishing up the first draft of Gods and Monsters, God willing.

The kids have no scheduled days off this week, and hopefully, we won’t have any more tragedies happening right outside my front door.

(After last week’s fatal hit and run, I was thankful to have the kids home on the following day, due to a scheduled teacher in-service, but I got very little actually done last week).

I’m really hoping for a peaceful, productive week.  I’m still fighting to recover from the last flareup of the chronic health condition that makes getting anything done damn near impossible.  I need the peace to make it easier to recover–stress triggers flares.  I need the productivity because I’m starting to edge toward depression again.

God have mercy…

I wrote my quota yesterday (2500 words, scattered through three chapters of the current project, Gods and Monsters, bringing total word count up around 63-65K words).

But I am distracted again, today.

I have reason.

There was a hit and run just about forty yards from my driveway, this morning.  Big rig hit a kid waiting on the bus.  I don’t have a whole lot of information, but I’m not focusing well.

Wonder why.

I’ve heard half a dozen things: that the driver has been caught, that they haven’t; that the kid has passed on, that they are still in critical condition; that the kid was a 10 yr old boy, that the kid was a small girl…  Nothing is concrete.  Just that there was a horrific tragedy happen just a little ways down from my door.

I can’t do anything.  I can’t do anything for the parent who may or may not have lost a child.  I can’t focus enough to write.  I can’t scrape up the motivation to get up and do things for my family.

All I’m doing is waiting to hear concrete facts of what happened at 7:00 this morning, just a little ways east of my house.

And praying.

Update: The child was an 8yr old girl.  She didn’t make it.

It’s easy.

Not the writing, not always (thought it usually is, for me).

No, getting knocked out of the groove.

Last week, I hit a block.  I started a chapter for the current project, but wasn’t sure where it fit, or why that character had introduced themselves at that point.

I could not do any more work for a while.  My brain felt like four mice on an exercise wheel (with a fifth riding the outside going whee!!!!).  So I started re-reading what I had done, editing, and adding more details here and there (and a scene in other places).

And then, this morning, I had a dream just as I was waking, and it fell into place when I woke.  No, don’t remember the dream.  Just remember why the character appeared, and what purpose he was going to serve.  And was just starting to get stuck into the writing groove when a headache hit.  And then the phone rang, just as I got breakfast/lunch fixed so I could take some aspirin.

School was calling.  Kathryn’d taken a tumble down the bleachers before school, and had hurt her hand or wrist–they weren’t sure which, or how bad, but she wasn’t able to write.  I’ve been keeping an eye on her, today, and it seems like she’d hurt the outside edge of her writing hand.  Right where it rests on the desk when she’s writing.  It’s bruised.

Her wrist seems fine, unless she bumps the bruise, which sends pain shooting down her pinkie, and up through her wrist into her arm.  I don’t think she needs to go to urgent care for x-rays, based on her behavior and the lack of swelling.  And based on the fact that she’s been able to draw and write after I gave her a dose of Tylenol.

But I haven’t been able to get back into the writing groove since.  I’ll try again later, after the kids go to bed.  Because I’m in the home stretch, now, and I know where the book is going and how it’s going to get there.

Woo-hoo!!!

The kids have been back in school for a little bit.  This is the second day of their second full week (they started back on Thursday, two weeks ago).  I’ve been working on getting stuff done so that I can just focus on writing.

And then, I had a really good story from a former student that needed a lot of edits.  I hope he hands it back when he’s done with the revisions (places where he needed to add stuff, places where he needed to cut).  It took me three read-throughs because I kept getting caught in the story, and forgetting what I needed to be doing.

I’m done with that, though, and back on my own stuff.

Gods and Monsters…I’m a bit more than halfway through what I have planned for it.  Yes, the dragon goddess is proving wilier than I had planned, and things are not going well for the ones tracking her, but I think we’re turning the corner.  She’s not cornered and caught yet, but we’re getting there.

I’m not quite done transcribing the things I wrote out long-hand while watching over the kids’ swim lessons–I actually got a lot done there–but I’ll be finished with that by the end of the day.  I think I managed about 20K worth of story done long hand in my draft book over the summer.  I topped 52K with the chapter I added last night.  The  one I’m working on now isn’t finished, but is about half done, and will probably be about 5-8K words.  Maybe a little longer.  And I’ve got the next chapter started, but only barely.

The sad and scary is that this isn’t ALL I’m working on at the moment.  The next book in the Liquid Diet Chronicles is kinda butting in.  Yes, that means I’m scribbling down bits and plotting other bits.  No, I don’t have word counts–I may be writing it, but I’m not typing it yet.  I also have another couple of projects that intrude and won’t leave me alone until I scribble them down.  But considering that I carry multi-subject notebooks around with me (and multiple other small notebooks and bits of paper, as well as a bunch of pens), it’s not that hard to keep track of everything.

Anyway, the kids are at school, I’ve just finished my second cup of coffee, and the dishes are drying.  It’s time to write.

It’s Metallica time.

It’s one of those days.  Those days where you feel the desperate need to write, but…the kids are watching really annoying TV, bickering, running up to your elbow to ask how to spell something/what they can do/if they can have this, that, the other (candy–and the answer’s absolutely not on that–they’re already annoying enough without the sugar).

And it’s not like I haven’t been fighting a feeling of futility.  The constant interruptions every time I get into the flow are not helping.

I’m currently sitting at about 40K words in Gods and Monsters.  Just a little over 26K words written since…oh, since the week before the kids’ school turned them out for the summer.  Over their time out of school, I ran across a few things: the KU book stuffing thing; reading samples of some of the “popular and selling” stuff, indie and not, on Amazon (no, not depressed because it’s better than mine–depressed because it’s not); looking for where to start learning about self-marketing and finding a lot of advertising advertising services that I can’t afford; knowing that my covers need work, but not able to pay for that, either…yeah, lots of stuff.  I need to write, but the black dog is breathing down my neck, asking me why I’m bothering.

I…I just need some time to write.  Transfer words from my notebook to my hard drive, and edit and expand as I go.

Time to put on headphones and blast my eardrums with Metallica.  Can’t hear the kids through it unless they’re screaming at each other (which is the point at which I will be sending them to their own rooms by themselves from now until dinner).

Still working…

I’m also working on taking care of the things the kids need to do over the summer: finding a new doctor (theirs retired, but we succeeded), doing dental stuff (about half done), doing fun classes for learning to use school resources (done and over with), and swim lessons.  Which are scheduled for next month, but not yet paid for.

All of this takes time.  And energy.  And tends to yank me out of the writing groove.

I’m not done.  I’ve gotten a bit under half written.  I’m hoping to get this sucker out by the end of August, at this point.

I am having a lot of fun–I’m learning things about my characters that I didn’t know.  Things keep happening that I didn’t plan for.  And this…this is the fun part of writing.