I’m feeling so very off-topic tonight…

December 16, 2010

So let’s see what I can come up with to tell you about. I ran some more recent projects through ‘I write like’, just for the fun of it:

“Dragon’s Prey”, a Roswell/Dragonriders of Pern crossover that I started back in June I think, is written like: Arthur Clarke

The new draft of “Landing”: William Gibson

“The Onus of Grace”, the challenge story that I turned into my Nano novel for this year: Jack London

The new draft of “The Wolves of Wyoming”: Annie Rice!  I think that this is supposed to be Anne Rice and they mistyped it into their database. Even the Amazon sales box is confused, offering a mix of Anne Rice, Annie Tremmel, Annie Johnston, and Annie Russel.

The ‘Father Ismay’ Blogisodes: Ursula K. Le Guin

The first writing exercise that I did for the Brian Henry ‘Writing with Style’ workshop in September: David Foster Wallace

Style exercise 2: Neil Gaiman
When I submit both style exercises together, David Foster Wallace wins.

The latest episode of the Roswell/Doctor Who crossover that I was working on in JulNoWriMo, Children of the Molecule 23: J. K. Rowling! (The JulNoWriMo chapters came out as Dan Brown.)

The Angel’s Charlie, my Nanowrimo novel: Dan Brown

Harry and Mars: Arthur Clarke (I think that seems to be the default reply for anything science fiction.)

Alien in Metropolis chapter 3 (the Roswell/Smallville crossover): Stephen King

The Artifact: Arthur Clarke

The start of the ‘Conspiracy’ Nano idea: William Gibson

The two Sunday ‘Star Patrol’ Blogisodes so far: Arthur Clarke

What else? I’ve been playing around with a few little things regarding technology and writing – one is an MSword VBA macro that I’ve worked out to convert a kind of a rough ‘markup language’ into Microsoft Word comments. I really like them as a way of sending back feedback to other authors, but sometimes I’d like to read or make notes on a device that doesn’t have MSword available – including the eeePC netbook. OpenOffice is great at many things, but its ‘add comment’ feature doesn’t compare to Word’s – particularly because you can’t tie a comment back to a word or a phrase, only to a point between two characters. So, with this new macro, I could start with something like:

Jack fell down and broke his <<by which we mean, his head||crown>>,

and get:

It’s working pretty well, although there’s one thing about the MSoffice VBA that confuses me – after I’ve finished making one substitution, which involved using a ‘find’ command twice, (once for the comment text and once for the body text to anchor it to,) the ‘find’ command stops working. When I enter the code to reset the range and start a new find command, that works perfectly, although I think it might be slower for really long documents full of these custom comments. Guess I’ll have to see how that goes.

The other technology item is one that I haven’t really started on yet, but I’m considering upgrading the eeePC’s Ubuntu version over the Christmas holidays. It’s been on Hardy Heron eeeXubuntu for about two years now, and that’s been fairly good, by the Heron is getting towards the end of its Ubuntu lifespan, and apparently the Lucid Lynx is a really great upgrade, and it’ll let me install some great software that isn’t available for the Heron. So wish me luck there – or if you’ve had horrible experiences with Lucid Lynx and want to tell me I’d be making a horrible mistake: just comment! Thanks.

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