February 28, 2013
I know we’re not even into March yet, but I’m already looking ahead to April for a few things…
- I’ve signed up for the A-Z blogging challenge, for the third time.
- For the first time in six years or so, I won’t be writing a script in April for Script Frenzy 😦
- And, for the first time EVER, Camp Nanowrimo is running an April session full of novelling AND script-writing goodness!
Putting the three of them together; I had a great time spotlighting some of the features of Script Frenzy last year for the A to Z challenge, so this year I’m going to make Camp Nano my topic. But I’m going to change it up a little, and I’m not going to fill up my alphabet with topics like C for Cabinmates or R for Rebel. Instead, I’d like to make as many posts as possible about my fellow campers! (It’s been a while since I’ve done a spotlight series, after all.)
So, if you’re going to be doing Camp Nano in April this year, and you’d like to volunteer for an interview or just to have me mention something about you during April, leave a comment here or contact me at chriskelworth at gmail dot com. I’ll try to slot you in based on your name, your username, or your novel title.
February 26, 2013
It isn’t as if I haven’t been working hard on editing for months now – rewriting The Storm Mirror, getting stories and gnome sample chapters ready to submit to workshops, and powering through the last few lessons in ‘How to Revise your Novel.’ But as you may know if you’ve been following this blog for longer than 11 months, March is a different beast.
I’ve been doing ‘National Novel Editing Month’ in March since 2007, I think. It’s not the most popular of Nanowrimo spinoffs, and the online community tends to be terse at best. Maybe this says something about the level of challenge involved. If you’re pushing yourself to spend 50 hours on revision and editing in 31 days, (and especially if you’ve also got a job, family, or classes to keep up with,) you don’t have that much time to chatter about it on a message board.
But I still find that my March editing is worthwhile for me, and even if you’re not crazy enough to commit to 50 hours, I’d like to make the following three-part challenge to all writers out there:
- Do some editing in March.
- Talk to other writers about it.
- Make a list of what you’ve accomplished with editing. Not a to-do list you cross things off from. A done list.
That third element is something that I may have come up with myself. I’m a big fan of to-do lists in general, but somehow when I’m really challenging myself in editing, they don’t seem to fit the bill, at least not in the traditional sense. Maybe that’s because my ‘to-do list’ for editing is always so long that trying to cross everything off would be disheartening instead of encouraging.
The way I do my lists in March the past few years is, I do sort of have a to-do list, but it’s an ideas/possibilities list, and nothing gets crossed off. I finish something, and I write it on the Done list. And it’s really encouraging to see that Done list grow over the month.
So, is anybody else with me?
February 25, 2013
So let’s see, where do I start? First off, it’s over a year that I’ve been a G2 licensed driver – I passed my road test on Feb 21st last year! 🙂
In the ‘not good news’ category, I got my car insurance renewal papers already, and they came with a pretty hefty premium increase. Sigh. (Guess that’s what I get for getting in a fender bender after having my car for a few weeks.)
I’ve booked my first try at the G road test, for March 12th. I’m feeling pretty confident, should probably make some time to drill myself on the basics between now and then. Maybe if I pass the G before my insurance renews, I can use that as leverage to get a break on the premium.
And I’ve booked the car into a collision repair shop to get the little dings in the bumper taken care of before the test. 😉
This kinda stuff isn’t my favorite part of being a car owner, it adds up into stress. But if you take it a bit at a time, it’s not that bad.
February 23, 2013
But I’ve still got nearly a week to draw my heart out! 😉
Earlier in the week, I was continuing with observational sketches using the plastic picture plane. I showed you a photograph last time of the picture plane with my hand holding a flash drive. Here’s the final sketch result. My fingers didn’t come out perfect, but I think I’m showing some progress:
Next, I did a still life of an apple with the picture plane, and I went back to toning my drawing paper with the charcoal stick: Read the rest of this entry »
February 22, 2013
It should surprise none of my faithful friends and followers here that I’m a huge fan of the Storywonk podcasts with Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens. A little while back I submitted a question on the Storywonk.com forums, and this week Lani and Alastair really got on a roll!
It’s a great episode, including the jokes about how nice Canadians are, and shoutouts to myself and to Elizabeth Twist, who I mentioned when introducing the questions. (I’m not sure if Lani and Alastair know that we’re both Canadian or if that was just a random coincidence.) There’s three listener questions and a follow-up ramble about reader expectations in the episode, and I’m the second, so the stuff about my question is mostly in the middle-ish of the MP3 file. They go to town explaining the differences between problem and conflict that were confusing me, (and the trouble with the capital T Trouble,) and share some interesting thoughts about Man versus Himself contrasted against Man versus Nature, both of which might be applied to The Time Bubble Blues.
So surf on over and give that podcast a listen!
February 21, 2013
It’s been a few weeks now since the Fictionwise and Ereader.com websites have been mothballed by Barnes & Noble, but I’ve been doing some ebook stuff recently and tried to access both of them without thinking. I remember getting warning emails back in November – US and UK customers were apparently offered the chance to roll their bookshelves over to the Barnes & Noble website, but for the rest of us, it was basically “Make sure you’ve downloaded backups of all your books, and have a nice life.”
It’s certainly not a great digital tragedy, but I’m disappointed to see those ebook providers disappear. Ereader.com used to be ‘Peanut press palm reader’, which was my intro into the world of electronic books, and they had a great, smart format that was supported by a wide range of devices. Fictionwise didn’t have a great selection of novels to my taste, but I was able to pick up some great short stories there, (as well as some interesting audio adaptations,) and I loved their ‘multi-format DRM free’ program, where you could download the story you purchased in any of 13 different popular formats, all of them without any copy protection mechanisms.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve downloaded copies in every format that I might have a use for, so the biggest immediate impact is that I can’t use the ereader.com online bookshelf to access my books from my iPhone or android phone. With the iPhone, this is just an annoyance, because I can put up my book files on another website and access them that way. But the Ereader.com app for Android is just about useless now; the ereader.com website was the only way to load books onto it, and I’d only loaded on one book so far.
But I’ve figured out another way to get those books onto my phone.
I don’t really have strong feelings one way or another on DRM; I don’t think of it as an offense against human rights the way a few people seem to, and I don’t hesitate to spend my money on DRM content; depending on my impression of the DRM system and how likely it seems that I’ll lose access to the file entirely, of course. On the other hand, I don’t really scruple about hedging my bets and using software tools to crack DRM protection when it seems to be in my best interests.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 19, 2013
Are you sick and tired of seeing my pictures and hearing me ramble on about the right side of the brain yet? I hope not, ’cause here comes some more. 😀
Well, since Saturday, I’ve done quite a bit with some very complicated Contour Drawing exercises. The overall recipe goes something like this:
- Draw a horizontal and vertical axis onto the paper to match the plastic picture plane.
- Take the graphite stick that I bought at Curry’s art store and rub it over the paper to ‘tone’ it to a shade of dark silver or light gray. Use a paper towel to rub away any extra graphite.
- Use the plastic picture plane to get an outline of the subject I want to draw, in temporary marker, keeping only one eye open to avoid stereoscopic confusion.
- Put the plastic picture plane against a white paper background to see the lines clearly, and copy the marks onto the paper in pencil as well as I can.
- Then return to the original subject, from as close to the original perspective as possible, and refine or add detail to the pencil drawing as much as possible. Use the one-eye technique again.
It’s been very interesting. For the first go-round, I did another marker outline of my hand:
And from that, I made the toned drawing like this:
Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2013
It’s Family Day here in Ontario, as well as some other parts of Canada, so I had the day off work. Family Day’s only been around for five or six years here, but it’s nice getting a Monday off in February, and that little gentle nudge to spend some time with your blood relations and so on.
This year, we had a little family reunion up in Kitchener, the first time I’ve seen my sister’s side of the family since Christmas. I showed my sister and brother-in-law some of the drawings stuff I’ve been doing lately, and showed my mother some of the features of my Kindle, since she’s been asking me about e-book readers lately. We were treated to an impressive mid-day roast beef dinner with roast potatoes and gravy, and the whole family spent a big chunk of the afternoon playing this intuitive concept-matching card game called ‘Apples to Apples.’
The game-play involves picking one of the seven ‘red apples’ in your hand to match the green apple that’s been turned up from the deck – the player who turned up a green apple picks whichever of the red apples match it best. For instance, I might turn up a green apple saying ‘irritating’, and the rest of the family could try to match it with cards saying ‘family road trip’, ‘Adam Sandler’, or ‘Poison Ivy.’ Whoever is judged to have the best match gets the green apple card, and each green apple you have at the end of the game earns you a point. I didn’t do great, but I ended up with three points at the end, and I had fun playing.
Tomorrow it’s back to the office. Long weekends are never long enough, huh?