Adventures in Networking

1 12 2011

One thing about working and living  in one city and having a house in another is almost every time I’ve come back to the house I own for a few days of packing and organizing and fixing, I almost always have to reset my entire network here. The one utility I’ve kept here at the house, besides the essentials like water, gas and electricity, is the internet. It may seem a little odd, seeing as Im hardly ever here for more than a few days, but it’s the only way I have any sort of entertainment at night.

Tonight was the mother of all resetting though. Firmware update, removing a router from the ip phone service I disconnected and then resetting my modem, the wifi router and reconfiguring the connection on everything that was connected to it, since it only wanted to give an I.P. address to one device at a time.  All that practice at walking other people through things like this for the last four months has come in handy.

Now that I’ve gotten everything back up and going, I’m hoping I can get some writing time in along with the packing and fixing and organizing. Although.. I probably should have kept it down if I really wanted to get a lot done. I would have gone crazy, but a lot would have gotten done.


Thank you, Steve.

5 10 2011

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

The world mourns for you and your family. We also mourn a little for ourselves. There is no telling with more time how much more you couild have revolutionized our way of looking at technology and the world as a whole.

Thank you, Steve. For your vision, for your imagination, for thinking of how technology is for people, not just for technology’s sake.

*photo and advertizing copy from: *

Can You Send Your Writing For Voice Lessons?

3 10 2011

When you’re starting out as a writer, one of the hardest things to craft is your voice. Going beyond your use of narrative and tense, voice is what digs down deep inside of your writing and is always indicative that you wrote it.

When I think of literary voices that I know instantly, there are a few that come to me. Hemmingway’s machismo and guys guy way of writing. Anthony Bourdain’s unmistakable narrative voice in his shows that carries over to his writing. It’s quick, in your face, and very New York City. Just like the man himself. I have to wonder what it says that I’m having trouble recalling a female writer that has a distinct voice. Most female readers I’ve read tend to let the storyline and characters speak for them and I remember the voices of their characters, but not theirs as a writer.

When you’re first starting out , your voice is informed by what you’ve read, what you love to read and what inspired you to pick up the pen and start writing Your voice is overlaid on top of the voices that you’ve been soaking up and emulating when you decide to start to write. Writing teachers recognize this stage, it would be hard not to when you’re reading submissions that sounds like amateur versions of well known authors. They then urge novice writers to find their voice. They stress the importance of that voice, that you must find it to succeed and you must find it now.

I’m of the mind that your voice develops as your writing does and that for a lot of people, that voice has several different octaves and changes as you go through different stages of learning the craft of writing. Finding your voice can not be forced to come quickly. It comes with time and experience and it also changes with them.

I’m finding that looking over my own writing for the past year that my voice has been undergoing a change. My writing has always been detail-filled and, I’m going to admit it, wordy. Over the last few projects I’ve been working on, I’ve noticed my narrative is tightening up, I’m choosing what I’m revealing in plot points more selectively and finding ways to convey the story I want to tell with fewer words. I’ve learned that sometimes the act of finding your voice is also the act of shutting yourself up.

Have you found your own writing voice has changed over the years? What changes have you noticed?

Friday Fun!

30 09 2011

For you lucky people that work a Monday to Friday job, something to start off your weekend on a light note. For those of us that have to work on the weekend, something to make us smile through it.

Don’t think grammer and punctuation can be interesting? I happen to have proof that Grammar is a little bit of a slut and Punctuation practices cannibalism!

*picture from *

The hussy!

And now, how Punctuation kills.

*picture from *

Practice safe commas! The life you save may be your own!

picture from * *

Hmmm, looks like the comma gets around too. Oh dear!

Have a great weekend!

Write What You Know and Other Bad Writing Advice

29 09 2011

Time just keeps flying past, doesn’t it? I’d like to say I’ve been
doing nothing but writing since my last post, but life as a funny way of
looking at your plans and laughing at you.

Oh, I have gotten some writing done, let’s make that clear. Just
not as much as I’d like to have done. That might be the never ending cry of the
writer though. No matter how much you get down on paper or screen, you always
feel like you could have done more. Even with working on a writing focused
course and working full-time in one city and then spending my days off in
another city packing up my house there, I still feel like I could get more
writing done. Not sure where, but there must be some place!

I seem to falling back into education mode easily enough. I guess
with being a writer, you never really leave it. You’re researching parts of
your plot, occupations of your characters and sometimes even the geography and
neighbourhoods that your story takes place in. Sometimes it’s to refresh your
memory of it, or to gain a new understanding of somewhere you’ve never been or
something you’ve never done. To write is to never stop researching and

Which makes me think of that often pulled out instruction to
writers: “Write what you know.”

My first instinct is to roll my eyes. If all writers wrote what
they knew, the literary landscape would be a pretty damn dull place. I’m sure
that C.S. Lewis has never been to Narnia, never met a talking lion or ever
encountered a witch beyond trick-or-treaters at his door. J.R.R. Tolkien has
never been to Middle Earth, didn’t speak Elvish or ever encountered a Hobbit.
Shakespeare was never a teenaged girl, ripe with emotion and doped up on first
love and had never been cut wide open by that first love falling apart. If they
all wrote what they knew, none of the masterpieces they created would exist.

Why would anyone tell an aspiring fiction writer to ‘write what
you know’? The whole reason someone is called to put something down from their
head onto the page or screen is because in the act of making things up, they’re
escaping what they know into where they want to be. That’s what writers do.
They make things up. Granted, it’s making things up with a lot of research,
creativity, plotting and re-writes, but when you get right down to it, that’s
what we do.

What writing advice have you gotten that you instinctively cringed
at? Conversely, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?



*pic by kamikaze fowler, found on*

About Time I Dusted Off My Blogging Boots

27 09 2011

Wow, it’s hard to believe that I haven’t posted on here since the
middle of May.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I have. I’ve finished a
60,000 word manuscript in that time and a few smaller pieces as well. The
manuscript is still in its rough form right now, needing rewrite and editing,
but I’m very happy with how the first draft came out. I used the opportunity of
a Big Bang to get the idea out of my head and onto the screen and it was a
great way of exploring what parts of the plot were going to work and what were
not and now when I’m working on my second draft of this, I’ll have a better
idea what things will need to be revised and refined.

In August I accepted a new job and it’s been an interesting month
and a bit learning the ropes and remembering a lot of the technical knowledge
of a computer that I’d not used for a while. It’s been a struggle and at times
overwhelming to say the least, but I’ve finally turned the corner on it and no
longer want to stab things. Now that the major stress of settling into a new
job is ebbing, I’m slowly starting to hear mumblings from different characters
I’d sent running for the hills in all the chaos.

With September rolling around, I’ve also started taking some
classes online to get certification as a Technical Writer. I’ve been doing
various forms of it in my previous jobs for years, but I’m finally making the
time to get myself the paper that documents the skills I already have. It’s
been busy trying to fit that in with working full time in a city an hour and a
half away from my house. I stay with my mother when I’m working and on my days off
I’ve been going back into my house and packing it up. Once it’s emptied, I’ll
go through and do all the fixing that’s needed to sell and hopefully will have
more free time.

It’s been so long since I’ve had some that I practically forget
what it looks like.

Luckily my first course finishes at the end of October, so I’ll be
able to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. It was a great exercise in perseverance
and discipline last year and I’m hoping to use the month to finish up a lot of
projects that I have out there that need finishing, so I can work on new things
from here on out.

If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before, you can check it out at they have great
resources and are a great cheerleading team to help you reach your goal during
the month.

*picture from nanowrimo website*

What do you mean it’s the middle of May?

19 05 2011

Ever have one of those months that just seem to be slipping by? May is that month for me. I’m glad it’s going quickly though. May is usually not a good month for me. Bad things happen in May, like people dying and people being diagnosed with brain tumors bad. I usually call this month Aprune in my head, an extension of April and an early June, so I can avoid this month all together.

On the writing front, I’m at about 12,500 words on the Rome story that I’m working on. I had originally thought it would be about 15k, but I’m thinking that half of it will be at the 15k mark. I’ll have to see what it turns out to be when it’s all done and edited. I’m liking the way it’s turning out so far, but we’ll see how my first readers like it when it’s done.

Here in Canada we have this channel called Book Television, which is pretty much my favourite channel right now. They don’t have a lot of new programming, whic

h sucks, but they’ve been running a series where they picked 12 people in 2009 to do the 3-day novel contest and they did it in the middle of a book store, where they lived and slept there while doing their novels. They had challenges and penalties if they lost and it’s been fun to watch. Has anyone ever done the 3-day novel contest? It’s tempting to try it, but I’d have to see if I’m  working at that point or not, because that would make a difference in whether I could attempt it or not.

I’m definitely going to do Nanowrimo though. I found the goal of 30 days and the word count of 50k really gave me a push in my writing and made me sit down and do it every day. Gave me the kick in the ass I needed.

Speaking of kicks in the ass, I better get back to it. I’m in a Starbucks right now inside a book store. Needed to be around humans for a bit. I’m sure every writer has those moments when they need to not be in a room writing alone. Thank goodness for cafes with free wifi.