Possibly my most enthusiastic feedback ever!

March 28, 2013

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with
my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Too bad it’s from an obvious spammer, sigh. 🙂

In a related off-topic rant, Gmail is pissing me off just a little. Not only do they appear to be dead-set to ram their tiny ‘New Compose Window’ down my throat, even though I really don’t like trying to organize an email in such a small space, but when I tried to send them feedback, their ‘Send Feedback’ window was so freakin’ huge that I couldn’t see or find the SEND button on my netbook. I managed to send it off by clicking on some text and then hitting the Enter key, but that’s not really a good user experience, Google guys.

googlefeedback

I understand that you’re excited about rolling out new toys, and that it makes support harder if the users have hundreds of different interface choices, but I like the Old Compose Window!

My ISP is doing the same thing with their webmail – they got rid of the nice, simple, quick, easy to use mail interface and replaced it with some complex monstrosity that’s trying too hard to look like Outlook and requires Java. Sigh. At least I can simply access my ISP email through my iPhone.

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Character worksheets and Google.

December 30, 2011

I’ve been doing some character worksheets as part of the ‘Magic Manuscript’ story outline – I started with this worksheet template at Jody Hedlund’s blog, which Rinelle posted a link to over at Stringing Words, and picked the items that seemed to interest me about my characters at this point.

One thing I noticed was that nearly every item seemed to send me off on a google search to do further research. Height, weight, and body type? Over to “BMI calculators.” I quickly learned that to pick character scents, I wanted the Wikipedia article on the Fragrance Wheel. There’s a great list of eye color synonyms over at the Obsidian Bookshelf. And so on and so forth.

I think that this is cool, and it probably says something about my thinking and my creative style that I like to choose from lists instead of coming up with these details entirely by myself. And this kind of research can turn up unexpected facts that send my storyline down new paths. I’d gotten the idea by myself that Mandy was from an Italian-American immigrant family, but orphaned in her teens, so moved to Ontario to be taken in by her closest relatives, an aunt and uncle. Looking at the Wikipedia page on causes of death I was surprised to see that HIV and AIDS accounts for as many deaths as lung cancer and car accidents put together. (If the statistics were for North America and not global that might not be true.) So I decided to have Mandy’s mother die of AIDS when she was 16. Her father died when she was younger, getting into a car crash shortly after moving out of their home. It all smacks a little of trailer trash tragedy, but I think that works for the character so far.

What’s the most unusual Google search you can remember doing for writing research?

UPDATE: Since so many people seemed to find value in the few links I shared, I decided that I’d continue reviewing my history and share some more!


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