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Archive for July, 2013

Have you ever read a book and found yourself rewriting it as you read? Have you read a book and thought the subject would be great for one your stories? As I was reading The Handle and The Key by John Neufeld, I found myself doing both. I didn’t like the beginning, but after a few pages in, I got a hang of how it’s written and got sucked into the story so much so I felt myself wanting to sock Mary Kate in the nose and giving somebody’s mother a good talking to.
The book is about a boy adopted by a loving couple and their daughter. Dan is a quiet boy who’s been in and out of foster homes his whole life and had even been adopted before. He is in constant fear that if he doesn’t obey the rules or show his worth he’ll be returned. The girl, Mary Kate would be glad if he were.
I had a bit of trouble believing the boy didn’t know how to play tag or play at all, but after some thought, maybe he didn’t. I felt a bit more back story would be in order such as going in more detail about the adoption and the horrible people he lived with. That’s why I somewhat rewrote it in my head. The subject matter is a great one; it’d work well for the current dystopic young adult dramas. Would I write it? I wish, but contemporary novels aren’t my forte although I do try. I start serious, it ends funny.
This is not the only book I’ve read where I start rewriting the book in my head. Sometimes the story is just so lousy you have to do something to make it better. Of course I could just put it down, but usually there’s something luring me on. And I love the books that give me ideas. Everyone needs ideas and sure helps later on.

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To outline or not to outline. I’m still on the fence. After reading Walter Dean Myer’s book Just Write! Here’s How I got a good reason, for me, why writing an outline may be a good idea. It makes the writing process go faster. Wow. That’s how he can publish so many books. Although I’m not so keen on the idea of writing an extensive outline as he. From his examples he creates quite intensive ones and I’m not into that. Yet.
Writing an outline would free me from brain freezes or days of letting the story go because I can’t think of what to write next. On the other hand sometimes I get the most wonderful ideas when I’m stuck. It may take a few days, but, then… Bam! There it is.
So, what does that mean for me? I think what I’ll do is outline the shorter stories, okay maybe some longer ones as well, and let other stories do what they will and come at the speed they want. Maybe I’ll have two stories going and do one with an outline and one without and see what happens.

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You’d think that having a break over the summer I’d get quite a bit of writing done. I wish. Still I am moving forward if not at a quick a pace as I do over the rest of the year when I am squeezed for time. Instead of writing on my manuscript, I am working on my holiday journal of Arkansas. Right now I’m still on Wednesday, but that’s okay. I am on the third edit of my New York trip and I’ve edited all the pictures except for the Pawnee Kitty and Angus ones. My Hadrian’s Wall trip journal, Pawnee Kitty’s rather, is moving along nicely. I think this will be the best one yet. I’ve decided that for my 2015 trip Blurb book I’ll do Peru. Not sure after that.
One thing I’ve done that I haven’t in years is picked out my Christmas story already and maybe this year it’ll be illustrated again. The last two years I started, but never finished with the pictures. It’d be cool to turn it into a picture book. Maybe.
Now that I have a netbook again I can start writing stories on it. I’ve already started on a Dear Hamish letter that deals with those two naughty twins (who save the day no less) and a children’s story.

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New Netbook Update

Finally have time to work on my new netbook – download security software, mozilla firefox, and open office. I don’t want to download anything until I have some security software. I found out I had Windows Defender on this, but I don’t know much about it so I downloaded my old standby Microsoft Essentials. I know there are better ones out there, but most don’t scan constantly for new threats.
Open Office took forever to download, but it’s worth it. Now I can start writing again.
My new netbook is going to take awhile to get used to. It has a full keyboard and the keys are squashed together, but I have small hands so that’s okay. For a while I had heart palpitations because the screen kept flickering. It’s not doing that now and I think I solved it after going on line. The problem I have now is my cursor hops around so I start writing here and ending up writing a few lines up. I had that trouble at first with my other netbook. After a while I managed to get rid of it by learning how to position my hands over the mouse pad.

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