Is it still Thursday?

This. In a Bah! Humbug! kinda way. I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m lamenting the frustrations of working with technology. Can that be my excuse for not posting my usual “Thursday Walks” yesterday?

If the truth be told, my tardiness is due to two adventures that side-tracked me this week: 1) formatting my manuscript for print publication using CreateSpace (hence the tech issues); and, 2) trying to capture a king (the fun stuff).


I found too many great posts this week, but these hit home:

Alex Beecroft writes A pseudo-medievalist’s guide to fire at The Macaronis.
My crusader knights, who are attempting to thwart King Richard’s arrest in a tavern on the outskirts of Vienna, have been eluding enemy soldiers in the mountains during the winter of 1192. They’ve found barns and a few inns for shelter, but may find themselves camping under the stars. I’m going to pass along Alex’s words of wisdom to Sir Henry & Sir Stephan.

Bethany Lopez on Laura Howard’s blog has tips for Publishing with Createspace.
Very timely for me as I’m working on formatting Keeping the Family Peace for print right now! I attempted to format my original, clean Word .doc. Does Word for MAC have fewer capabilities than Word for PC? I’m pretty savvy with technology but ran into all kinds of issues with margins, headers & footers. I decided to download a formatted template from CreateSpace. And I’ve still been frustrated. Headers and footers are doing interesting things. Section breaks, section ends, Word for MAC that tells me a footer (that doesn’t exist) is outside the print borders when I attempt to convert to .pdf. There are a half dozen other issues that I’m hoping to work through. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get everything resolved this weekend.

KM Weiland talks about Options for Disasters in a Scene.
I love this quote from KM: “At the end of every single scene, you should be looking for a way to thwart your character’s hopes and make his life miserable… The point is to keep the pressure on and never let up.” Poor protagonist! I’d read a scene  from Battle Scars to my writers group last week that came across as the infamous “info dump.” Conflict! We want conflict. I keep repeating that to myself while working on the scenes leading up to King Richard’s capture. With any luck, that will be done this weekend, and yes, there will be conflict!

Thinking Around the Corner: Five Reasons You Need a Critique Group by Jonathan D. Allen at Shaggin the Muse
I’ve mentioned my own experience with my critique group here, here, and here. I’m very fortunate to have 3 great writers provide me feedback week after week. I hear the good and the bad. They are honest with their critiques – and they don’t always agree – and I don’t always agree with them. But that’s okay. When I’ve struggled to write a scene and think its crap, when I question whether I should be writing at all, they remind me that I’m a good storyteller. I still have a lot to learn, and they are helping me along the way.

What have you been reading?  Happy Friday to you! Have a great weekend.

  1. jadey Avatar

    Good luck with the formatting; it sounds a bit of a nightmare!
    Re your final line: I’ve just finished reading The Hobbit. Have never really been into fantasy, but after watching the film, I decided to give the book a go. In a nutshell: I loved it! My two boys take a bit of persuading to read books (too heavily into their ‘gadgets’ these days), but I’m hoping I can get them interested in the book by reading it aloud to them. I will, as with any book I read to them, have to do *voices*. Not quite sure I’ll be able to manage Thorin’s (RA style) deep voice, but I will try!

    1. Char Avatar

      I’m back in the groove with the CreateSpace formatting. Contacted an author friend who gave me some additional clues as to playing with the section breaks. And late yesterday afternoon, I opened the .doc on my PC at work and saved it without any problems to .pdf, so I know it can be done. I’m reviewing the .doc for spacing, punctuation, and breaks issues on my MAC this weekend. If I finish, I’ll do the .doc to .pdf at work again and then see what happens when I hit ‘submit’ on Amazon. Fingers AND toes will be crossed. 🙂

      And good for you & the youngs ones reading The Hobbit! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that stirred them to start reading on their own? But enjoy those reading sessions with them. They grow up way too fast. Hm… perhaps you should record some reading for us for Spam Fridays?? Would love to hear you doing voices!

  2. Marie Loughin Avatar

    Yes, Word for Mac is inferior to Word for PC. Annoying, especially if you switch back and forth between the two. Good luck with Createspace!

    1. Char Avatar

      Thanks for confirming that, Marie. Now I know I’m not completely crazy!

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