rosengeranium

Taking time

In Weekly report on 06 June 2009 at 19:54

I’ve spent close to a year paying for wireless internet I couldn’t use, and on and off during this time I’ve tried on and off to get things working by mailing the company, calling them to a number eternally on hold and in generall cursing the organisation in question. You see, this computer is a part of my subscription, and it was delivered to the wrong adress, was broke when I opened the parcel and when I complained it was sent off to Germany where the bright technicians ‘fixed’ or rather just checked up on the wrong parts and since they found them working they sent the computer back unmended. Since the thing needed was a new plastic cover for a port I called again and asked if they just could send me a new cover instead – and got the answer that if I wanted that I had to send the entire computer to Germany (a journey which takes two weeks btw).

You may understand that after this I had little hope that my netprovider could give me adequate support, and the few contacts I had wasn’t hinting at something else (I fondly rember an emailanswer claiming they couldn’t read my complaint since I’ve sent it in PDFformat). But yesterday I finally had enough of paying for something I couldn’t use – so I gathered all important papers, the modem and…

…what was that?

On a few of my paper a special support number was written. My other attempts to reach the support has started out by looking the number up on the company website (which isn’t the most easy one to navigate). This number was different from the ones I’d found before, so I decided to try it. After a few words spoken with a computer I was put through to actual support, and half an hour later my modem was up and running. Yay!

This is in a way depressing. I’ve spent months without wireless net because I couldn’t read my own papers and didn’t take the time to get things right. After all, it wasn’t even an hour I spent fiddling with my computer – that’s nothing compared to how much I surf the net!

Even more depressing is that I have a lot of those things laying around. I need to learn Audacity and Scribus, as well as clear my study. Right now these things feels like enormous waste of time, just like clearing the modem mess felt before I did it. I’ve decided to clear those needless timethieves one by one. Yes, I call them timethieves because messes always steals time – and energy.

One of my biggest messes is my lungs. I’ve been ill again this week and the only thing that cures me is rest. I’ve spent a few days ‘drugging’ myself with animated movies on dvd to keep me from working on any of my projects. The thing is that I work at a call center where people come and go 24/7 and if only one per day brings a cold or a flu I fall ill. Needless to say I’m ready to try any remedy that can strengthen my immune system but few of them actually work (except for washing hands before eating anything – that one’s effective!).  And I’m tempted to return to work at the drop of a hat; I have a family and we do need the money. But if I don’t take the time to rest as much as I need I’ll become ill within days (instead of within a few weeks). So I take the time.

But I cheated this thursday and actually made some work on my project. It’s an illustration, or half of it since I couldn’t finish it before I almost fell asleep over it.

****! My “battery” is too low, I have to end this post right now. If I can find strength enough this week I’ll give you a bonus post on illustrations, copyright and illuminations.

The math

Word count: 0

-handwritten: 0

-computer: 0

Chapter mindmaps: 0

Content mindmaps: 0

Character mindmaps: 0

Illustrations*: 1/2

Editing:0

Research: 0

Gardening blog updates. 4

Current projects: 2

Subprojects: 1+5

Expected celebrity visits: 0

Cold from Hell: A new one

*Since illustrations are more than half of project 1 I added them to the math.

A zero full of work

In Weekly report on 30 May 2009 at 20:26

Tonight my writer’s math will end up zero – not because I haven’t worked, but because I’ve done things that isn’t covered in my chosen statistics. I’ve done the basework – that boring stuff you need to do before you can sit down and do the real stuff.

First of all I dug through one of our attics. Project one is a handbook in illumination and I know I have my old notes packed in paperbags up there somewhere. They got burried when we moved here three years ago and I never got a chance to unpack them. Now I emptied the attic and looked through lost things and strew old receits across the floor. I even hauled a gigantic matress out into the communal hallway.

Didn’t find them.

What I did find was a few of my author’s tools, so the hunt was not completely lost. My swedish thesaurus, the SAOL (the Swedish Academy’s Swedish Dictionary – this is the standard dictionary in Sweden, the one you use to solve conflicts in Scrabble tournaments etc.) and “Svenska Skrivregler” (Swedish Writing Rules – lists stylistical standards in written swedish language) are now neatly put on a shelf and are awaiting transport downstairs. They’ll have company with a chinese dictionary and chinese sign flash cards. Man, I do have a lot of learning tools for chinese, I should take the bull by the horns and actually learn the language!

There is some hope for my lost notes though. I didn’t find my english writing tools either. My swedish-english/english-swedish  dictionary, my english thesaurus as well as my gigantic blue book for translating the New Testament (excellent for pressing flowers) were nowhere to be found. This means I have some more paper bags in the other attic, and probably I’ll find the notes there… Unless they are in the mess that should have been my study. The quest goes on!

Another thing I did was to collect my new notes and sort them neatly into a binder. This may not sound like an achievement, but I’m pretty proud I did it before it turned into a gigantic chore. You see, I’m using the same block of paper for everything, I keep my work statistics in it, I use it for studying chinese, write for my projects and use it as a folder to carry important documents. After a few weeks it turns much… rounder than it used to be, things are falling out when I pick it out of my bag, and finding a specific text in there is a task. Now I have my important notes collected where I can find them and can pat myself on the back for being organized – at least for a few days.

But the first thing I did this week was downloading Audacity and Scribus. Being able to produce decent looking books for the PODprinting presses is high on my list, and I’m planning to podcast at least one of my projects. I’ve downloaded Scribus several times through the years and always been surprised when I haven’t been able to handle the program at once. Eventhough I know that there still are quite a lot of those that you need to learn how to use before you can actually do something with them, I’ve always acted as if they’re userfriendly enough for me to start working at once. I won’t fall for this this time. This time I’m going to take the time needed to get to know the softwares – it’s well invested hours.

Being the podcast junkie I am I immediately set out to see if I could find some free tutorials on iTunes. Audacity had a few but Scribus didn’t, funny that. (I do expect the online tutorials on Scribus to be excellently layed out on the other hand.) The podcast tutorial I use is Laptop Lounge Screencast: Podcasting with Audacity. It’s good, delivering knowledge in small morsels, which is a treat for us who tend to panic in face of technical stuff.

For an overall understanding of podcasting I read “Podcasting for Dummies” by Tee Morris and Evo Terra – and listen to the accompaning podcast.

So, let’s do the math

Word count: 0

-handwritten: 0

-computer: 0

Chapter mindmaps: 0

Content mindmaps: 0

Character mindmaps: 0

Editing:0

Research: 0

Gardening blog updates. 4

Current projects: 2

Subprojects: 1+5

Expected celebrity visits: 0

Cold from Hell: Gone!

Oh, I forgot to mention I had the celebrity visit this week. This time it was a journalist (yes, I’m using “celebrity” in a wide sense here) who interviewed on my indoor vegetable gardening. I mention this here since I regard this as some kind of training for the publicity work I need to do for my projects once I release them. (If you want to know more about the interview you should head over to Indoor Gardener tomorrow.)

Hamlet should’ve read better books!

In Weekly report on 23 May 2009 at 21:03

I’m particular about something when I write; the reader shouldn’t notice the language. If your reader exclaims

“Words, words, words”

when someone ask what when he or she is reading, then you’ve failed as an author. Your language, the words you are writing, is your reader’s window to the story, and it’s in the the story you should put most of your effort.

Having said that you should know that I find the language is extremely important. Not only because I know editors at publishing houses looks for a “personal voice” but also since bad language gets in the way of the story – much like a badly cleaned window. I learned this lesson definately this spring while reading my fellow writers’ work at my creative writings course. One of us was a bit nervous about her story and spent hours pondering over every word. I think she must have shuffled the letters around  at least three times before she left us her draft.

The effort showed. Her work was  clearly on a level above the rest of us – just because of her thorough approach to her words. And no – you didn’t notice her language while you where reading the text. The story was written in first person, so the only thing you did hear was the particular voice of the main character telling her story. I want to write like that when I grow up!

So, let’s do the math.

Word count: 716

-handwritten: 716

-computer: 0

Chapter mindmaps: 0

Content mindmaps: 0

Character mindmaps: 0

Editing:0

Research: 103 (#2)

Gardening blog updates. 4

Current projects: 2

Subprojects: 1+5

Expected celebrity visits: 1

Cold from Hell: A raging flu – ew!

I haven’t had the strength to be productive this week – on the other hand I’ve been tired enough to comfortably read books. I guess it evens out in the end.

***

Would the play end differently if Hamlet read better books? I don’t know. Seems to me that Shakespeare had some troubbles with endings – if it’s a comedy everyone  makes even, hugs, laughs and sings a little tune, if it’s a tragedy everybody dies, preferably violent and splattery. Hamlet would probably still kill and be killed since the play is a tragedy, but perhaps he’d be a bit happier in the meantime.