Devoid of ideas

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 03:28 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I rather fancy the idea of being an author. More specifically, I fancy being a published author. It would be nice if that brought with it a substantial income, but to be honest, largely having a bound book with my name on the cover would do the trick. Anything else would be a bonus.

The trouble is, I think I like the idea of writing a book rather more than I like the actuality of it. I am not by nature a novelist: I may be a diarist, but I am not a novelist, or even a novella-ist; neither am I a journalist, though I might be a columnist. I like writing, but in short bursts, which is why you get to see so much drivel on my Live Journal and why I am fast approaching 3,000 entries in around five and a half years of using Live Journal. That’s what, about an entry and a half each day for all that time?

When I sit down to write anything that isn’t actually me chatting to the computer via the keyboard, it becomes a great deal harder, though even then there is a range of difficulty. When I was involved with NWO some characters just flowed into place and were a complete joy to write. Others needed to have every word ground out of the keyboard, often to be deleted and replaced many times over (the choice of words, not the keyboard) and towards the end especially, it became far more of a chore than a pleasure.

Equally, while I derive some fun from hacking out the occasional snippet under the flag of Dimpler Towers, these tend to be more work than pure enjoyment. I almost never have a story in mind when I sit down to write and if I do have an objective it is to get to a punch line for that particular instalment. The hope is that in getting to that punch line, anyone who reads it finds it fun; hopefully more fun than I gained getting to the same place. It would help no end if I had a plot and sub plots to work to, but really I don’t. I have a series of vignettes and character studies in my head, which occasionally come together to suggest something bigger, or to open a window onto an odd little world of eccentric Englishness that never existed, never will exist and where you wouldn’t be remiss in looking at the drinking water with grave suspicion.

I have been thinking about this more recently simply because some of the odd happenings of the warped little world of Little Whittering-in-the-Stubble have started to link hands and prance around in a slightly bigger and more complicated, if still aimless dance, with more characters intruding but not developing beyond a cameo. I still have no idea where it is all going or if there is any point to it at all, but the population of odd little county freaks is growing and they are bringing their odd preoccupations and activities with them.

The trouble is that is all a long way from having a plot.

I think that this has all started coming to a head in my head (!) because a number of my friends have, over the past couple of years, written books. Four of them have managed between them to produce two factual books, one polemic and two novels. I already have the first three and have today put in an order for the other two. Given the respective attitudes of the authors of the two novels, it will be interesting to see if the books make it to my doorstep unscathed. I should not be surprised if they fight each other in the parcel, if they are wrapped and posted together.

I need a plot and a couple or three subplots. Then I need the drive to sit down and weave it all together so that I can at least put it all in a folder and say “I wrote that!”

And I should draw and paint more. By which I mean 'at all'.

Devoid of ideas

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 03:28 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I rather fancy the idea of being an author. More specifically, I fancy being a published author. It would be nice if that brought with it a substantial income, but to be honest, largely having a bound book with my name on the cover would do the trick. Anything else would be a bonus.

The trouble is, I think I like the idea of writing a book rather more than I like the actuality of it. I am not by nature a novelist: I may be a diarist, but I am not a novelist, or even a novella-ist; neither am I a journalist, though I might be a columnist. I like writing, but in short bursts, which is why you get to see so much drivel on my Live Journal and why I am fast approaching 3,000 entries in around five and a half years of using Live Journal. That’s what, about an entry and a half each day for all that time?

When I sit down to write anything that isn’t actually me chatting to the computer via the keyboard, it becomes a great deal harder, though even then there is a range of difficulty. When I was involved with NWO some characters just flowed into place and were a complete joy to write. Others needed to have every word ground out of the keyboard, often to be deleted and replaced many times over (the choice of words, not the keyboard) and towards the end especially, it became far more of a chore than a pleasure.

Equally, while I derive some fun from hacking out the occasional snippet under the flag of Dimpler Towers, these tend to be more work than pure enjoyment. I almost never have a story in mind when I sit down to write and if I do have an objective it is to get to a punch line for that particular instalment. The hope is that in getting to that punch line, anyone who reads it finds it fun; hopefully more fun than I gained getting to the same place. It would help no end if I had a plot and sub plots to work to, but really I don’t. I have a series of vignettes and character studies in my head, which occasionally come together to suggest something bigger, or to open a window onto an odd little world of eccentric Englishness that never existed, never will exist and where you wouldn’t be remiss in looking at the drinking water with grave suspicion.

I have been thinking about this more recently simply because some of the odd happenings of the warped little world of Little Whittering-in-the-Stubble have started to link hands and prance around in a slightly bigger and more complicated, if still aimless dance, with more characters intruding but not developing beyond a cameo. I still have no idea where it is all going or if there is any point to it at all, but the population of odd little county freaks is growing and they are bringing their odd preoccupations and activities with them.

The trouble is that is all a long way from having a plot.

I think that this has all started coming to a head in my head (!) because a number of my friends have, over the past couple of years, written books. Four of them have managed between them to produce two factual books, one polemic and two novels. I already have the first three and have today put in an order for the other two. Given the respective attitudes of the authors of the two novels, it will be interesting to see if the books make it to my doorstep unscathed. I should not be surprised if they fight each other in the parcel, if they are wrapped and posted together.

I need a plot and a couple or three subplots. Then I need the drive to sit down and weave it all together so that I can at least put it all in a folder and say “I wrote that!”

And I should draw and paint more. By which I mean 'at all'.

literary aspiration

Thursday, May 8th, 2008 11:25 am
caddyman: (Default)
I have been reflecting, with a certain lazy envy, on the fact that three of my friends have published books in the last twelve months. That’s two novels and one political tract.

I think I like the idea of writing a novel more than I do the actual writing. It does not help that I have neither an idea for a plot nor a steady written style. I am also less than sure that I have the stamina to stick at it, should I obtain a plot and concentrate on maintaining a written voice. The thought of clutching a book that is all my own work appeals immensely, even if no-one else buys it. The thought of actually sitting in front of the computer to write it appeals much less.

All that happens when I try to write something more important than a journal entry is that I end up googling my way around the internet and discovering dust bunnies under my desk. My coffee consumption, already high, sky rockets and the pleasure I get from staring into space thinking of tumbleweed and the colour purple expands to fill all available memory. Looking back on it, I find that I can no longer work out how I ever wrote anything for NWO games and even the reality of that is that my written contribution was less than my memory makes it.

I have been amused in a way that I know the author probably won’t be to find that if I google the title of one friend’s novel, I get a couple of hits on Shakespeare and TS Eliot, one on the book itself and innumerable hits on Andromeda, the sci-fi show least admired by the man in question.

Rather than writing anything of value yet again, I find myself contemplating with wonder the nefarious ways and means of the Karma Pixies

literary aspiration

Thursday, May 8th, 2008 11:25 am
caddyman: (Default)
I have been reflecting, with a certain lazy envy, on the fact that three of my friends have published books in the last twelve months. That’s two novels and one political tract.

I think I like the idea of writing a novel more than I do the actual writing. It does not help that I have neither an idea for a plot nor a steady written style. I am also less than sure that I have the stamina to stick at it, should I obtain a plot and concentrate on maintaining a written voice. The thought of clutching a book that is all my own work appeals immensely, even if no-one else buys it. The thought of actually sitting in front of the computer to write it appeals much less.

All that happens when I try to write something more important than a journal entry is that I end up googling my way around the internet and discovering dust bunnies under my desk. My coffee consumption, already high, sky rockets and the pleasure I get from staring into space thinking of tumbleweed and the colour purple expands to fill all available memory. Looking back on it, I find that I can no longer work out how I ever wrote anything for NWO games and even the reality of that is that my written contribution was less than my memory makes it.

I have been amused in a way that I know the author probably won’t be to find that if I google the title of one friend’s novel, I get a couple of hits on Shakespeare and TS Eliot, one on the book itself and innumerable hits on Andromeda, the sci-fi show least admired by the man in question.

Rather than writing anything of value yet again, I find myself contemplating with wonder the nefarious ways and means of the Karma Pixies

The written word

Friday, December 7th, 2007 11:28 am
caddyman: (master)
It’s odd how even in a short period of time, your memory can play you wrong.

Having received (finally) my copy of NWO Transylvania from the printers, I have taken a very quick moment to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The interesting thing is how few of the characters I contributed to that volume; in my memory there were more.

Hereafter there is to be found a long and largely pointless retrospective and introspective waffle about writing, which you should feel free to skip )

The written word

Friday, December 7th, 2007 11:28 am
caddyman: (master)
It’s odd how even in a short period of time, your memory can play you wrong.

Having received (finally) my copy of NWO Transylvania from the printers, I have taken a very quick moment to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The interesting thing is how few of the characters I contributed to that volume; in my memory there were more.

Hereafter there is to be found a long and largely pointless retrospective and introspective waffle about writing, which you should feel free to skip )
caddyman: (Default)
Ye Gods and Little fishes, but I am out of practice with this writing malarkey. At least writing anything more substantial than a journal entry.

I have recreated as far as I can, the beginning of the story I started at work on Friday and I have rather ground to a halt. I have ground to a halt after 469 words; I have to write somewhat more than that if I am to have short story. I need to triple that amount at least.

Oh well, tomorrow I guess. Tomorrow by which I mean Sunday. It may be 1.19am according to my PC, but Sunday doesn't start until I wake up.

I have a title and 469 words.
caddyman: (Default)
Ye Gods and Little fishes, but I am out of practice with this writing malarkey. At least writing anything more substantial than a journal entry.

I have recreated as far as I can, the beginning of the story I started at work on Friday and I have rather ground to a halt. I have ground to a halt after 469 words; I have to write somewhat more than that if I am to have short story. I need to triple that amount at least.

Oh well, tomorrow I guess. Tomorrow by which I mean Sunday. It may be 1.19am according to my PC, but Sunday doesn't start until I wake up.

I have a title and 469 words.

Novel

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 12:40 pm
caddyman: (Default)
Although I have yet to commit a word of it to paper, I decided many years ago to follow the advice of a long since forgotten (by me) novelist, and start my story with a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention.

With that in mind, I have spent the bigger part of twenty years polishing and finessing the opening line of the novel I have yet to write or even develop a plot for. Whatever it turns out to be about, the story will start with something I consider different enough to grab the attention of the casual book store browser and make that person stop and read more.

”Uncle Horace wants to know what he should do with the Moose’s head?”

Now, I’ve been happy with this basic introductory line, with minor variations over the years, as fashions change, and have been content in the knowledge that when I finally get my arse into gear and start writing the Great …er… British novel, that I have a sound beginning.

Today I find out that no less a person than James Clavell advises that one should always start a story with a man riding into town. Presumably, this is a hangover from the days of the American West. The point is, that despite twenty years of development, my opening line doesn’t conform to this advise; men riding in to town are conspicuously absent from the sentence, and who am I to gainsay the author of Shogun?

So, as of today, the opening line of my novel reads, Horace rode into town with a moose’s head; leaning down from the horse he said, “Go get my nephew, and ask him what I should do with this…”

The man’s right, you know. Just adding that context has turned my opening line from an interesting hook to a work of genius.

Novel

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 12:40 pm
caddyman: (Default)
Although I have yet to commit a word of it to paper, I decided many years ago to follow the advice of a long since forgotten (by me) novelist, and start my story with a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention.

With that in mind, I have spent the bigger part of twenty years polishing and finessing the opening line of the novel I have yet to write or even develop a plot for. Whatever it turns out to be about, the story will start with something I consider different enough to grab the attention of the casual book store browser and make that person stop and read more.

”Uncle Horace wants to know what he should do with the Moose’s head?”

Now, I’ve been happy with this basic introductory line, with minor variations over the years, as fashions change, and have been content in the knowledge that when I finally get my arse into gear and start writing the Great …er… British novel, that I have a sound beginning.

Today I find out that no less a person than James Clavell advises that one should always start a story with a man riding into town. Presumably, this is a hangover from the days of the American West. The point is, that despite twenty years of development, my opening line doesn’t conform to this advise; men riding in to town are conspicuously absent from the sentence, and who am I to gainsay the author of Shogun?

So, as of today, the opening line of my novel reads, Horace rode into town with a moose’s head; leaning down from the horse he said, “Go get my nephew, and ask him what I should do with this…”

The man’s right, you know. Just adding that context has turned my opening line from an interesting hook to a work of genius.

(no subject)

Sunday, March 26th, 2006 03:58 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I have just impressed myself.

It's not often that you realise that you have practiced something so much that it is now second nature. Second nature to the point where you have to make a conscious decision not to do it, like not reading a notice posted up in big, friendly words on a board somewhere, or not reading the headlines on somebody else's newspaper. These are things you just do without conscious thought, and is a different level of behaviour that even say, a virtuoso musician. The maestro, no matter how gifted or talented must at least make the conscious decision to sit at or pick up the instrument before playing it, even if the playing can be done as easily as breathing and take no conscious thought of its own. Reading, however, you cannot turn off. You just read stuff if it's there, even if it is instantly unforgettable.

I have achieved this level of excellence with activity displacement.

I have been just about to sit down and write since 2 o'clock. Without thinking about it, I instead went out and bought groceries. When I cam back, I managed to occupy my time quite nicely without a single conscious thought, and it was only on my fourth descent of the stairs to pick up something I don't really need, that it occurred to me that I was simply avoiding getting on with writing.

And I'm doing it AGAIN!

Right. WRITE.

(no subject)

Sunday, March 26th, 2006 03:58 pm
caddyman: (Default)
I have just impressed myself.

It's not often that you realise that you have practiced something so much that it is now second nature. Second nature to the point where you have to make a conscious decision not to do it, like not reading a notice posted up in big, friendly words on a board somewhere, or not reading the headlines on somebody else's newspaper. These are things you just do without conscious thought, and is a different level of behaviour that even say, a virtuoso musician. The maestro, no matter how gifted or talented must at least make the conscious decision to sit at or pick up the instrument before playing it, even if the playing can be done as easily as breathing and take no conscious thought of its own. Reading, however, you cannot turn off. You just read stuff if it's there, even if it is instantly unforgettable.

I have achieved this level of excellence with activity displacement.

I have been just about to sit down and write since 2 o'clock. Without thinking about it, I instead went out and bought groceries. When I cam back, I managed to occupy my time quite nicely without a single conscious thought, and it was only on my fourth descent of the stairs to pick up something I don't really need, that it occurred to me that I was simply avoiding getting on with writing.

And I'm doing it AGAIN!

Right. WRITE.

Writing

Friday, March 17th, 2006 04:06 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
Something is either going very right, or horribly wrong. I'm not sure which; the jury is out on this one and I don't expect them back for a couple of days at the earliest.

To explain:

I have just started page seven of an NWO character sheet and I am really only on the second of a number of important plot points that I have to include, though a third has been hinted at. I have another seven major plot points to include, excluding incidental character interaction and flavour. The standard character sheets are formatted with a header on each page, which takes up about an inch of useable space on each side. We like to include section titles and clever-sounding quotations at the beginning of each section. I have done none of that so far. All I have is six full sides of closely typed California FB in 10 font, single-line spaced. The only nod to the final formatting of the sheet is that the paragraphs begin with a 6 point space to separate them from the previous paragraph.

If I fully format and and include quotations, I have probably got about 8 sides of character sheet written, but still with seven major plot points to go...

As I said, it's either going very right or horribly wrong...

Writing

Friday, March 17th, 2006 04:06 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
Something is either going very right, or horribly wrong. I'm not sure which; the jury is out on this one and I don't expect them back for a couple of days at the earliest.

To explain:

I have just started page seven of an NWO character sheet and I am really only on the second of a number of important plot points that I have to include, though a third has been hinted at. I have another seven major plot points to include, excluding incidental character interaction and flavour. The standard character sheets are formatted with a header on each page, which takes up about an inch of useable space on each side. We like to include section titles and clever-sounding quotations at the beginning of each section. I have done none of that so far. All I have is six full sides of closely typed California FB in 10 font, single-line spaced. The only nod to the final formatting of the sheet is that the paragraphs begin with a 6 point space to separate them from the previous paragraph.

If I fully format and and include quotations, I have probably got about 8 sides of character sheet written, but still with seven major plot points to go...

As I said, it's either going very right or horribly wrong...
caddyman: (Psychedelic)
Any minute now I am going to crack on with writing another NWO character. I am. Definitely. Absolutely.

I have put it off all morning and so far this afternoon, but nothing will prevent me from launching at it this afternoon with gusto. Indeed not. I am about to become Mr Focused, and I shall brook no distractions. Not one. I do not know the meaning of the word prevarication.

Which reminds me; what is it with Freeview (free digital telly for those of you not of the UK bent)? My digibox keeps telling me that it has found new updates and demanding that I retune it. I oblige and find that nothing has changed. Except this morning, when it stated grandly that it had found additional services, but a quick retune tells me that in fact I have lost 9 channels including More 4 (though not, bizarrely, More 4 +1, which is the same channel broadcast an hour later...).

Problem is, see, that despite living atop a hill in north London, no more than twenty minutes from the Alexandra Palace transmitter, all the digital signals slink northward across the smog-bound depths of central London from the Crystal Palace transmitter which is nearer thirty miles away. This shouldn't make too much of a difference, but there is simply not enough digital left over by the time it gets to me. It's all been sucked up by the antennae of all those houses between me and it, and as it's raining and windy today, what's left gets water logged. This means that the signals are too wet and heavy to get up the hill to me and my digibox. Later, when it dries out and the signal loses that additional watery weight, I shall have the channels back as they should be, but for now, I am not getting my full range of rubbish digital telly. Actually, that's not strictly true. Whilst ITV4 has temporarily disappeared, QVC, Price Drop TV and Bid-Up TV remain as strong as ever, providing further evidence for the theory that the channels no-one wants or watches do not have the strength sucked out of them by over-viewing between the transmitter and me.

Oh well, I shall retune in a few hours and I shall be back up to 55 channels, of which I really only want about 12.

I suppose I'd better do some writing now, before I get distracted.

I am focused today, see.
caddyman: (Psychedelic)
Any minute now I am going to crack on with writing another NWO character. I am. Definitely. Absolutely.

I have put it off all morning and so far this afternoon, but nothing will prevent me from launching at it this afternoon with gusto. Indeed not. I am about to become Mr Focused, and I shall brook no distractions. Not one. I do not know the meaning of the word prevarication.

Which reminds me; what is it with Freeview (free digital telly for those of you not of the UK bent)? My digibox keeps telling me that it has found new updates and demanding that I retune it. I oblige and find that nothing has changed. Except this morning, when it stated grandly that it had found additional services, but a quick retune tells me that in fact I have lost 9 channels including More 4 (though not, bizarrely, More 4 +1, which is the same channel broadcast an hour later...).

Problem is, see, that despite living atop a hill in north London, no more than twenty minutes from the Alexandra Palace transmitter, all the digital signals slink northward across the smog-bound depths of central London from the Crystal Palace transmitter which is nearer thirty miles away. This shouldn't make too much of a difference, but there is simply not enough digital left over by the time it gets to me. It's all been sucked up by the antennae of all those houses between me and it, and as it's raining and windy today, what's left gets water logged. This means that the signals are too wet and heavy to get up the hill to me and my digibox. Later, when it dries out and the signal loses that additional watery weight, I shall have the channels back as they should be, but for now, I am not getting my full range of rubbish digital telly. Actually, that's not strictly true. Whilst ITV4 has temporarily disappeared, QVC, Price Drop TV and Bid-Up TV remain as strong as ever, providing further evidence for the theory that the channels no-one wants or watches do not have the strength sucked out of them by over-viewing between the transmitter and me.

Oh well, I shall retune in a few hours and I shall be back up to 55 channels, of which I really only want about 12.

I suppose I'd better do some writing now, before I get distracted.

I am focused today, see.

Midweek in Wem

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 02:59 pm
caddyman: (Psychedelic)
Back at the computer trying to get this interminable character sheet finished - it was not the sanest idea I've ever had to repair to the parental home for a week with the intent of getting this done. I thought I could distract myself back at the Athenaeum Club, but I am a rank amateur in the face of Parents, Sister, Brother in Law and two kids.

Still, I am hopefully reaching the end of this sheet, and then I can attempt to start on another after a cup of tea and a gasper. I take solace in the fact that others amongst the NWO writers are just as behind as me, though I am going to have to get a move on.

Logging on to check my email (of which there was very little, thank-you: I am one of the most contactable people I know, with multiple email addresses, four phone numbers, a street address and a live journal, and do any of you rotters contact me? I should cocoa...), I discover a message from an old college friend I lost contact with some 20 years ago. And just as I was giving up on Fiends Reunited1, too. Now I live somewhere not too distant from his last known whereabouts, he washes up in Sunny Shropshire. Oh the irony.

Anyway, that's two valued old friends I've managed to find again in less than a year, after a minimum 20 year gap in each case.

You know, baffling as it is, this electronic age in which we find ourselves may be worth its salt after all.



1Don't bother; it's deliberate not a typo.

Midweek in Wem

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 02:59 pm
caddyman: (Psychedelic)
Back at the computer trying to get this interminable character sheet finished - it was not the sanest idea I've ever had to repair to the parental home for a week with the intent of getting this done. I thought I could distract myself back at the Athenaeum Club, but I am a rank amateur in the face of Parents, Sister, Brother in Law and two kids.

Still, I am hopefully reaching the end of this sheet, and then I can attempt to start on another after a cup of tea and a gasper. I take solace in the fact that others amongst the NWO writers are just as behind as me, though I am going to have to get a move on.

Logging on to check my email (of which there was very little, thank-you: I am one of the most contactable people I know, with multiple email addresses, four phone numbers, a street address and a live journal, and do any of you rotters contact me? I should cocoa...), I discover a message from an old college friend I lost contact with some 20 years ago. And just as I was giving up on Fiends Reunited1, too. Now I live somewhere not too distant from his last known whereabouts, he washes up in Sunny Shropshire. Oh the irony.

Anyway, that's two valued old friends I've managed to find again in less than a year, after a minimum 20 year gap in each case.

You know, baffling as it is, this electronic age in which we find ourselves may be worth its salt after all.



1Don't bother; it's deliberate not a typo.

Best Laid Plans

Monday, January 30th, 2006 01:15 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
So here I am, up in Wem for the week chez famile, and not entirely sure how much of a good idea it is. The usual sniping is occurring, but I think there is something of a truce on at the moment, so it's not so bad right now. I think it helps that the kids are at school. Doesn't it always?

I thought I had the week planned quite nicely. Courtesy [livejournal.com profile] rumfuddle, I borrowed a laptop and loaded all my NWO files onto my memory stick and was nicely set to get some writing done.

The first indication that I have made life hard for myself came on Saturday while I was travelling. Now, for all their other faults, Virgin Trains new pandemonium Pandolino trains do have one great advantage: there are power points for laptops. I'll get some writing done on the journey, thought I. That notion lasted all of ten minutes. I unloaded the lap top, plugged it in and booted it up. Fine. I rooted in my pocket and produced the memory stick and plugged it into the USB port. Fine. Then I realised that the laptop runs on Windows 98. It recognised the existence of the memory stick, but in a moment of electronic apartheid demanded its papers and drivers and such before allowing it a work permit. The memory stick is, of course, a generic little beastie and came with none of those accoutrements. So the two just glared at each other and I sat there helplessly.

No writing on the trip up, then.

My nephew has a quite spiffy laptop, less than a year old and loaded with Windows XP. This of course has the drivers already on board; you have to load them, but they're already there just waiting to be activated. Hurrah! Let's get some writing done!

No Word. In fact, no Office utilities of any kind at all. Fan-bloody-tastic. So Yours Truly writes a couple of paragraphs using notepad before realising that rich text format loses all the bloody formatting that was previously applied to the document, including footnotes.

Great.

Still, it didn't lose the text itself, so not a total loss.

I am now at my final fall back position. I am using my sister's PC, which has web access, Windows XP and Office. I am set. The fact that I am sitting at an odd angle and will probably put my back out because of the strange lay out of the computer set up is nothing.

I have an interesting take on the character I'm writing and just need to avoid distractions, such as family, to get the blighter done. I wish I could turn the central heating off, though, it's like a frikking oven in here.

I'd be grateful if one of the other NWO writers could look through their archives and email me Violante of Erezun's character sheet from Thebes. I don't have it here, and it would be useful, though not vital, to have a look at it for a couple of details of continuity.

Are we having fun, yet?

Best Laid Plans

Monday, January 30th, 2006 01:15 pm
caddyman: (NWO)
So here I am, up in Wem for the week chez famile, and not entirely sure how much of a good idea it is. The usual sniping is occurring, but I think there is something of a truce on at the moment, so it's not so bad right now. I think it helps that the kids are at school. Doesn't it always?

I thought I had the week planned quite nicely. Courtesy [livejournal.com profile] rumfuddle, I borrowed a laptop and loaded all my NWO files onto my memory stick and was nicely set to get some writing done.

The first indication that I have made life hard for myself came on Saturday while I was travelling. Now, for all their other faults, Virgin Trains new pandemonium Pandolino trains do have one great advantage: there are power points for laptops. I'll get some writing done on the journey, thought I. That notion lasted all of ten minutes. I unloaded the lap top, plugged it in and booted it up. Fine. I rooted in my pocket and produced the memory stick and plugged it into the USB port. Fine. Then I realised that the laptop runs on Windows 98. It recognised the existence of the memory stick, but in a moment of electronic apartheid demanded its papers and drivers and such before allowing it a work permit. The memory stick is, of course, a generic little beastie and came with none of those accoutrements. So the two just glared at each other and I sat there helplessly.

No writing on the trip up, then.

My nephew has a quite spiffy laptop, less than a year old and loaded with Windows XP. This of course has the drivers already on board; you have to load them, but they're already there just waiting to be activated. Hurrah! Let's get some writing done!

No Word. In fact, no Office utilities of any kind at all. Fan-bloody-tastic. So Yours Truly writes a couple of paragraphs using notepad before realising that rich text format loses all the bloody formatting that was previously applied to the document, including footnotes.

Great.

Still, it didn't lose the text itself, so not a total loss.

I am now at my final fall back position. I am using my sister's PC, which has web access, Windows XP and Office. I am set. The fact that I am sitting at an odd angle and will probably put my back out because of the strange lay out of the computer set up is nothing.

I have an interesting take on the character I'm writing and just need to avoid distractions, such as family, to get the blighter done. I wish I could turn the central heating off, though, it's like a frikking oven in here.

I'd be grateful if one of the other NWO writers could look through their archives and email me Violante of Erezun's character sheet from Thebes. I don't have it here, and it would be useful, though not vital, to have a look at it for a couple of details of continuity.

Are we having fun, yet?

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