… have I been?
It’s freaking May already — like the END of May, I have haven’t even posted ONE blog post! Ouch. I suck. No Avatar either — which I think you folks probably like a lot better than my blog posts.
First of all, I’d like to thank you. Thank those of you that sent me emails of encouragement — and offers of direct help. Thanks to those of you that gently reminded me I should post. Thanks to those of you who NOT so gently reminded me (and no, I’m not being sarcastic). Your passion to read Avatar is sometimes the only thing that keeps my writing.
First, writing news, which is what most of you who read this are probably interested in:
I did finish another commercial book. I quite like it, and am just waiting on the cover before it goes up for sale. I could let the publisher put just any old cover on it, but I like the book, I like the world and I want to use it again so I asked a friend to do the cover. He’s quite good, but also quite busy, so I’m not sure when that’ll come out. When it does, you can rest assure I’ll tweet about it, and even maybe post a snippet or two here.
Avatar. Well, I posted a chapter about the time this blog post was written, so it’ll be up at some point — if it isn’t already. The story is going, and although I haven’t been doing a lot of writing, I have been doing a bit of plot work. Some of the plot directions I was going were screwed up and had to be fixed. Some had gotten over complicated and needed to be simplified. One, I thought was simple, but is turning out to be more complicated that I thought. I am now only about eleven chapters ahead of what I’ve posted, and I have to say, I think that a few of those are really good. This last one was good, but (and I know some of you will be disappointed), but it’s all about sex. Not much plot there. The next chapter will have plot though, I promise.
Although … you DO remember that Avatar is a sex story, right?
Okay, it’s also my writing play/training ground, so plot is important. Just in case you’re interested, I’m using Scapple for my story-board/mindmap software and at 15 bucks, it’s a damned awesome program. And, also in case you’re interested, for the twenty or so chapters I’ve been working through, there are fifty-one separate story-board sections that help me keep track of things. So… lots of moving parts. Although, George R.R. Martin, I ain’t — and never will be. (No, I don’t like his writing, and I think he’s kind of a deush. I do like WATCHING Game of Thrones though. Go Khaleesi! I also think Emilia Clarke is incredibly sexy.)
Anyway, this shit is complicated, at least for me, and I’d like to do it right. I have no idea if that is how things are going to fall out though. Remember, I’m not a professional — I just do this on TV. Or something.
Oh, I’ve switched almost exclusively to Scrivener and Scapple for writing/plotting. Liquid Story Binder hasn’t been updated in far too long, and when I used it, I kept getting the urge to recode it — and I simply don’t have the time. I’ve also been getting the urge to code a companion to Scrivener, since the Windows version doesn’t do all the stuff the Mac version does — but I digress
I guess that’ll segue us into the Tech and Life sections of the post. If all you were interested in was Avatar, you can stop reading now.
I dumped the iPad. I just got absolutely fed up with the data roach motel that the platform is. I miss how slick it was for most other stuff, but I just couldn’t handle the fight I had with formatting and data transfer.
The Samsung Windows 8 tablet I got was also a failure, but that wasn’t because of the writing end of things. That worked fine, although the touch-screen could use work. I stopped using it because other things that I use, things like the Amazon Kindle app and PDF, mobi and epub readers were complete, buggy, pieces of shit. I still like Windows 8, but for that kind of tablet, it isn’t there.
I ended up with a Galaxy Note 8, and I absolute and completely LOVE the thing. While the writing tools make synchronization a bit of a challenge (although I dump that in Scrivener’s lap, because they make it impossible to sync things unless you’re on a Mac. Import and export only get you part of the way there, trust me), and the ‘best’ of the mind mapping ap (Simple Mind) is kind of crap, the machine is awesome and I like Android a lot. My next phone might be an Android, after a lot of years as an iPhone user.
So, about that mind mapping stuff. I’m going to mention this because they pissed me off.
SimpleMind. It’s an app, and it’s also a desktop version. I had some trouble with it when I tried to use it — some of the same kinds of things that happen when I try and use an Apple product. Like Apple, the people who wrote this app think that your data is theirs. No, they don’t try and steal it, but they give you no options when it comes to HIDING or CONTROLLING it. And when I asked how I could use my own directories, how I could store the data where I needed to store it, convert to other formats, the answers I got back from them were condescending and infuriating. So, if you were thinking of trying it, take that into account. Their writeup of what the app does is true, but misleading.
And now, for what is probably the least interesting for you folks, Life:
Life has changed. As you know if you read my last post, the shit hole I worked for is closing. Personally, I hope it collapses into a fucking black hole, taking most of the workers and all of the management with it, but whatever. I don’t work there anymore as I found another job back in January.
Once I started working at my new place, I realized JUST how incredibly toxic that hell hole was. In fact, toxic doesn’t even begin to describe it, but sometimes you don’t realize how horribly bad a place is until you’re out. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know it was a shit hole, but it was seriously eye opening to be able to step back and see just how bad it was.
I had to do a harassment training video at the new place and all I can saw is that, with the exception of the sexual harassment, EVERY SINGLE THING described in that video, I experienced on a daily basis in the shit hole. The damage done to my professional growth, my health, my life and even my marriage by working there is huge, and it’ll take years to recover from. Fortunately, my marriage is fine. Some of the damage (like my health) I’ll never fully recover from. My career is permanently damaged.
Still, I found a good job with a good company, and I’m very happy about it. It’s not perfect, but no place is and I’ve been around long enough to know that. There *is* one thing that could happen there that would make me start looking elsewhere, but hey, life ain’t perfect and there’s nothing hold me there. No pension, no 401k (yet) and no time put in. I like it, but I’m getting my skilz back, so fuck with me and I’m gone.
My health has gotten better. I’ve dropped a lot of weight and started doing a lot of exercising in the past year and a half. I’ve even gotten back to mountain biking recently (although with my condition I need to be careful about it). Mountain biking is Awesome. I’ve also been roller-blading a fair amount over the last year, and that’s fun too. My marriage is fine — it was never in actual danger, but neither my wife nor I like the tension the shit hole was putting into our life.
So I am writing again and feel as if my life is in a better place. Posting will still be slow, as I have a lot of catching up to do on many fronts, but the story continues.