If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Always own up to your mistakes

We had the annual Boys reunion this week. Chadwick came in Friday night, and Saturday morning before I went to the airport to retrieve Scott and Paco I asked him if, by chance, he'd brought the Sword and Scabbard manuscript. He said yes, and I did the happy dance before hitting the road. When we got back from the airport, Paco handed me his copy of the manuscript with a bow and a flourish, and of course I sat right down to go through it.

As the week went on, I thought about the fact that Chadwick hadn't given me his copy, but it was too chaotic for me to remember to ask. Yesterday, one of my beta readers called on an unrelated subject. I was sleeping off a headache, but when I got up, I was told that although I'd busted my tail to get the manuscript to her to take on vacation last month ago, she was only on page 32. I groused and grumbled about it and moved on.

This afternoon I was printing Rogue Pawn manuscripts for The Boys to take home. Chadwick came into the office rather sheepishly, ready to run, and told me he hadn't had time to actually read the manuscript, but that he had indeed brought it back. In short, he hadn't done his homework. He's heard me yell at Scott about not getting updates to me and fuss about my soon-to-be-former beta reader, and he was sure I was going to kick his tail for not reading it! The poor guy was here all week scared to tell me that work and home renovation took precedent over reading my book. That's when I realized, I truly am the materfamilias! They all know when Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

It's all for the best. I told him to take both manuscripts home with him, and read Rogue Pawn first because I'm thinking it might make more sense to pitch Rogue Pawn first and let Sword and Scabbard be the sequel for both. Paco wasn't confused, but he knew The Dragon's Lady story when it was in development. Chadwick has, too, but it will be good to get another perspective. Lord knows I'm too close to the series to be objective anymore.

It's good to be the matriarch!

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Office 2007

My beloved geek sees to it that the computers and software we use are current and protected. For the most part it doesn't disrupt my life, and usually I can test drive software on the desktop and decide if I want it on my laptop.

A word to the wise: Test drive software whenever possible.

I upgraded Office on my laptop after playing briefly with Powerpoint. It was not my brightest move, but Eric was on the desktop, I needed to work on a Powerpoint, and Vicky said the new version had new backgrounds, so I popped the disk in. It took less than an hour to figure out the new backgrounds weren't so great and the new version was different to the point that it was difficult to navigate. I uninstalled, thinking it would revert to the old version; no such luck. Of course, we have the disks for the old version of Office. Where they are is beyond me. They're not in any of the places they should be, nor are they in off-the-wall places I've looked. My only alternative at this point is to stick with 2007. Yes, I know there's a way to restore the settings to a previous date, but I'm not willing to take the chance of losing data. It's easier to get used to the new software and keep the cursing to a minimum and under my breath.

The only thing that's totally chapping my hide at this point, having had a week or two to get used to it, is the Find and Highlight option. I used to be able to search for my weasel words and highlight them in my document, making them easier to spot and change if necessary. In the new version, I can Find and Highlight just fine, but the highlighting shuts off as soon as I hit a key. This does not help me much, other than telling me I have 'she' 2,336 times in a 90,000 word document. I even played with it a little to see if I could use Find and underline or change the font size and I haven't figured out how to make it work.

I'm not terribly desperate yet, but I could become desperate. If anyone knows how to get the highlighting to stay on in Word 2007 until I turn it off, leave a comment. If it works, I'll send you a copy of "A Writer's Space: Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write" by Eric Maisel. If that's not your cup of tea, I have author copies of "The Dragon's Lady" upstairs, and I'll throw in a copy of the "Rogue Pawn" manuscript when I get it back from the beta readers.

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