Monthly Archives: October 2014

All Set

It took a lot of finagling and hair-pulling, but I finally have my computer set up the way I want it. I ended up uninstalling MS Office 2013 and installing 2010, which if I had known I could activate on more than one device to begin with I would never have bought 2013 at all. Ugh. The sticking point for me with 2013 is their insistence on the creation of a Microsoft Account and its attendant cloud storage of all files to “back them up.” Nope. Not gonna happen, and the more you try to bully me into it, the more likely I am to delete all your fucking programs and go completely open-source software.

Speaking of open-source software, I am happy to report that I did not lose any of my hard-won GIMP skills in the 10 months since I have worked with the program, and mastered a new task quite easily with only a minimal tutorial; I think I am at last working within the logic of the program. Project at hand: I am finally working on the new covers for my Twelfth Night novellas, for which I took photographs last December and which I have not yet had (made) the time to put together. I won’t get them finished tonight – still have to do all the typography, which will be its own brand of hell, I think, given I need a way to create linking elements between these two and A Christmastide Courtship (which cover I need to tweak, so the sticking point is creating the common element rather than just implementing one already in place) – but I am pretty pleased with the overall look and feel for them so far.

After I redo all the covers I am going to redo all the ebook files. Christmastide has a few typos I found on a re-read over the summer, plus the formatting on the Amazon version came out with wonky paragraph spacing, and the novellas were completely bare-bones presentations to begin with. I may only be able to work in drips and drabs right now, but these are projects made big by a long list of tasks, not because they are single tasks that take long stretches of concentration…thus they are highly suitable for evenings after work and baby-tending.

I have not been writing much since my last posts. Hard to say if the words have dried up, as I simply haven’t had time, or the mental energy the few times I’ve had time. Baby went through another sleep regression where he wakes 1-2x per night, and so unless I’ve gone to bed with him at 7, I am simply too exhausted to get up and write before work, and always too tired to try in the evenings. Plus I had a minor sewing commission and a big family visit. And this week is the big week when baby starts day care full time and the family-nanny departs, and suddenly I will have to find time/energy for ALL the household chores instead of just some of them.

On the bright side – husband and I are leaning very strongly towards relocating to the countryside, and one of the benefits therein would be my not having to work outside of the home. No plans are made, so this might still be a year or even two off, but the possibility heartens me on the days I am burned out on being a working mom.

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Filed under Housekeeping

More Fun with Old Lexicons of English: biological

The concept tripping me up linguistically today is how a man of the early 1800s might have expressed “biological child” when referring to making sure a baby born in wedlock was, well, his. The term “natural” would not be appropriate because it would imply illegitimate biological child. “Biological” is unusable because it did not enter English in a provable way until 1819 (given that my story is set no more than 10 years previous, and the term had been coined in German and moved to French by then, it might have been used in spoken English amongst educated persons and just not written down in a record that survived). I don’t want to use a phrase such as “child of his body” because in the context of the flow of the sentence I need a one-word adjective. Using “blood” doesn’t quite work.

In the end I settled for no adjective at all, and perhaps it’s an argument for letting the words just say what they have to say: “…make sure any babe born of the union was his–and therefore the marquess’ grandchild.”

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Filed under Research, Writing

Dear Microsoft,

Windows 8 fucking sucks and you are all a bunch of ripe turds for putting it together.

You should have made two versions (or modes within the same version), Windows 8 for mobile devices/tablets, and Windows 8 for desktops. The two forms of usage are discrete, and you cannot serve both. You made a choice to serve the tablet market. You chose…poorly.

I should not have to uninstall and reinstall programs I intend to use in order to decouple them from the requirement of being linked to a Microsoft account.

I should not have to give a separate command (beyond non-maximizing a program) to my GODDAMNED LAPTOP in order to make it function with more than one window open on the same screen – you know, as a fucking computer and not a mobile device.

I should not have felt the need to investigate whether a change to a different operating system was in order.

I should not be contemplating purchasing apps from third parties to restore your fucking system to the functionality that I require.

I am not a luddite. I am someone who uses my computer as a computer, not an entertainment consumption device, and you have basically shat all over my needs as a customer with this OS. I hope that by the time I need to replace my hardware again, all the industries with which and within which I work no longer require the use of Office, at which time I will happily give you two birds and embrace another company’s product.

For now, you have me caught. But now it’s on sufferance and not by choice. So fuck you all.

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Filed under Rants and Storms

Novel concepts addendum: Eureka!

I figured out what the rough-drafted novel’s second theme is, and it seems so obvious now I have it that I want to smack myself for not seeing it last weekend when I was writing about this: choice. Split loyalties and choice. The hero and heroine both choose one another, despite having other loyalties and obligations, and despite having other options.

Remains to be seen if this keyword theme expression will help in the revising process, but I finally have my new computer so I can actually access all files and, you know, work on that revision.

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Filed under Writing