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Sunday Diary Scan: Reading About Writing

Good evening all – good late evening, I should say – and welcome to Diary Scan #4! I think these have been working out well so far, especially when Vickie and I have been busy. Last week was a little on the ho-hum side, though; I'll just have to stay more busy!

On Tuesday, Un-United played the first official match of the current indoor season against a team called Hapless Tribe. As team captain I ought to sue the Tribe for misleading advertising in their team name; that was a real slog of a match (then again, our team is Un-United, so maybe the pot'd just be litigating the kettle). The first quarter closed with them leading five goals to two. We fought our way back and managed to claw a one-goal lead a couple of times, but they pulled ahead of us again in the closing seconds of the last quarter. Thankfully we equalised at the end for a nine-all draw! A great match and I was happy to shake their hands once it was done.

I tend to say of the teams that give us a run for our money that they're quick and nimble, but Hapless Tribe really put the quick into quick; they went from zero to sprint in a heartbeat, intercepting passes even when the ball was almost with one of us. A white T-shirted player would cross the field and get between the ball and our player and either hand it off to one of his or her own or dash it back toward our goal.

As mentioned in my last posting, this week wasn't great for writing. I wound up doing more brainstorming than writing. I still need to do some, but as it's looking like Slamdance is going to be a bit more character driven, I think I need to work on my character profiles more than the plot.

Or maybe I just need quit over-thinking this, stuff the outline, accept that my first draft is going to be crap no matter what and discovery-write it. After all, you can't cut or polish a diamond before you've dug it out of the ground.

In the meantime I subscribed to a bunch of writing blogs whose authors cover all sorts of
topics from getting the first draft written to the current state of self-publishing. The main thing I was looking for, though, was a guide to how much of your novel you can get away with talking about. A quick Twitter conversation with Aussie writer Joanna Penn (you can find her at www.thecreativepenn.com) set me straight on that matter and I sat on my hands until the urge to blog about the contents of my outline thus far passed.

I've also got to be careful of the urge to sit and read blog posts instead of getting on with writing. I signed up to the RSS feeds of ten blogs and my feed manager downloaded the last ten posts for each. Every one of them was interesting and written well. If I keep this up I'll wind up in the same spot I was with tabletop roleplaying games; reading all about them and never actually playing. And as I don't need a table of players to write, I won't have an excuse anywhere near as good...

On a related yet technical note, I wound up trading Brief, my Firefox add-in feed manager, for Google Reader. While I liked Brief I had no way of syncing the version on my desktop with the one on my netbook; Google Reader, being online, is always up-to-date on what I've read or marked to keep.

I also downloaded Evernote at Marcus' suggestion and have been impressed so far. Very handy for managing the small stuff.

Friday, of course, was the dreaded April 1st. I got pwn3d by my fellow admin Katrina within minutes of her arrival at work. I gotta come up with a decent prank for next year... As a couple of my colleagues had birthdays over the weekend, Friday was also cake day, and we wound up with plenty of nibblies left after the morning tea was done - after the junk food fest at last week's parties, my face finally rebelled over the weekend in clusters of zits! Ergh!

Yesterday was April's Tropical Writers Group meeting, which was good as always. The group is gearing up for this year's anthology, and I've got a month or two to come up with something to submit. By the way, the Group also has a new website thanks to the hard work of Talitha Kalago! Please go and take a look!

Finally, Vickie and I headed out to shop today. We took a look at those e-readers I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They were all fairly low end units around $150. The best of the bunch was an iriver, but it was telling that none of the controls on any of them worked. I wanted to show Vickie the screen blink phenomenon I mentioned last time but instead got to show her how dodgy they were overall. If I wind up with enough spare cash for an e-reader, I think I'll be going with a Kindle, Kobo or Sony Reader (thanks for your recommendations, folks).

Vickie was impressed with the iPad, though; I'm starting to think that instead of a netbook, I should have kept her Toshiba laptop where it was and bought her an iPad instead! Yet another reason to become a successful author...

But Enough About Me, Loyal Readers: What About You?
- How did you fare on the annual Day of Hilarity? Did you get to Fool someone? Did anyone zing you? As it fell on a Friday, did any workplace hijinks ensure?
- Here's a couple for all you creatives out there. If my experience is in any way representative, there must be a lot of you who have the sudden urge to tell the world when the muse strikes and you've had a Great Idea. How do you fight that "I wanna show my work off now!" itch when you're just starting on your work? Have you ever given folks early teasers?

If you liked this post, please check out more Breaking News


I attempted to fool readers of my newsletter with a fake Dark Knight Rises teaser (That was the 60's Batman tease), but I don't know anyone hit the link yet. Oh, well, there's always next year.

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