Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Yay for New Toys!


I try to make this blog about writing, but darn it: I haven't had much to say about writing lately. Submissions of my previous novel continue, and my current novel trundles along happily.

Wait--upon closer inspection, that latter thing is worth further comment.

Claws are your friends. Especially Koala claws.

Back when McKoala proposed her Public Humilation Challenge, my second novel was going miserably. But the thought--oh, the unbearable thought--of someone looking over my shoulder and frowning in disapproval if I didn't squirt off 100 words a day got my fingers a-bobbling in terror-stricken self-defence.

Occasionally, all they bobbled was 103 rather lousy words squeezed off at 11:54PM. Other times, their bobble was only bupkiss, and The Koala nipped-and-gored me down a "badge".

Sweet Zachary Quinto, how I hated going down a badge. We're talking shake-your-fist-at-the-screen-argh-argh-NO kind of hate.

But, as the physics teacher in me would say, momentum is conserved. Once you've got some, it lasts--so long as you don't trip up. The argh-argh-NO served its purpose.

I kept slogging, and 100 words a day became several hundred. Then several hundred a day slid toward a thousand. This past month, I've been regularly getting over a thousand words a day, and today, I hit a personal best with over 2100 words. Woot!

Aaaaaand I'm superstitious I'm going to jinx the good progress just by mentioning it, but hey: I am brave. Or foolhardy. Anyhoot, I had to preen; somebody pat me on the head and whisper "good doggie", quick.

Besides the Koala claws (of which we speak only with abject reverence), three things have helped with my recent happy progress:

1) I kinda know where the story is going now. Heh. Funny how that helps.

2) I've finally lapsed into "first draft" mode, i.e. I'm just splattering it all on the page and not going back to re-read anything. It was tough to break out of "edit" mode, where I polished everything fully before moving on.

And 3), I got this:

Isn't she pretty? My little powerpuff here--while not negligible--is light enough and small enough she trots along with me daily. Now, when things get quiet in the lab, I have a third option alongside brain-melting boredom and furtively surfing the web. I can write! Hurray!

She's definitely a luxury, and I know I'm fortunate to be able to buy an extra computer just for the sake of convenience, especially in this economy. That said, if any of my writer buddies are considering getting one of these, I recommend you spend the extra $50 to get the HP Mini. As you can see, the keyboard goes right to the edges of the computer, which makes it 91% the size of a regular keyboard and very nice for typing. The other "netbook" computers I tried had very cramped keyboards; it felt like trying to type on a credit card. Also, please note that these computers don't come with a word processor; I had to install an older version of MS Office on mine.

Ahem. I R a Geek. But I really am feeling very sweet on my little baby computer. ♥

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