Writing Journal

I'm still struggling a little bit with my keyboard.  Especially the shift key, the apostrophe/quotation mark key and the sensitivity of the keys.  Sometimes I get more than I bargained for and sometimes I'm halfway through the word before I realize it didn't recognize my tap on one of the letters.

This wouldn't be so bad if I were writing in word, which auto corrects a lot of those kinds of errors, but I'm not.  Which is slowing me down significantly.  The NaNo gurus are all like "don't edit as you go, not even typos," but they do not understand how utterly gruesome it would be to read what would appear as a result.  I'll give you an example, using a very well-known first line of a novel.

"It i sa truth universally ackknowledged, thaht a single man in posession of a good fortune, must be in wawnt of a wife.?"

Could you imagine 80 pages like that?
Um, that would be a big, fat NO.

As such, I signed up for free typing tests online at www.typingweb.com
When I hit blocks, I go there and keep my fingers limber, especially that right pinky.


Writing Journal

Now that I have a keyboard with my iPad, it will be easier to update this, as well as work on my writing. (Even though I'm not using the cheap keyboard right now, since the on/off toggle switch is really hard to get at, and I don't anticipate saying much.)

Today, I went browsing for free writing apps, and I have to say I'm not impressed with the Apple store's search feature. With Google Play on my phone, if I search the exact name of the app I'm looking for, it shows up. Not so much with the Apple store.  Anyway, I haven't found what I'm looking for.
-word count
-offline capabilities
-easy to navigate within the program.

Werdsmith is pretty much the best one I've found so far.  I won't stop looking until the end of the month, or I find one that I love instantly.

I also just created Pandora radio stations for the three characters who are not me.


Writing Journal

I want to share my thoughts on the #AmtrakResidency program. Please note my opinions may be influenced by the fact that I was actually on a train from Omaha to Salt Lake (but I got off early in Provo) when I first heard about it.

Basically, writers appeal to Amtrak for the chance to take one of 24 trips within the year so that they may have uninterrupted time to write on a train. Don't worry, I'm working on my application. I've seen a lot of dismay about the fact that Amtrak reserves the world rights forever to the writing sample that you submit with your application. 

Authors are upset because they want to retain the rights to all of their writing. I'm not that hardcore about it. I write to share stories with people, not make money. (Although I'm not opposed to that.) If I were to want to write for money, I would have turned to tech writing.


Writing Journal

Long story short, I took a vacation from Omaha to the SLC metro area at the end of February. Knowing that I wanted it to be relaxing (and nervous that I would get distracted by the beauty of the mountains and accidentally drive myself off a cliff) and having no desire to deal with the hassles of airlines (also, it was February and I didn't want to risk cancellations), I decided to cross a thing off the bucket list and take a train.

Best decision I could have made. Will probably blog about it at some point.

The ride from Salt Lake back to Omaha...I can think of no single word to describe it.  The cast of characters is absurd and gave me the idea for a story. I can't help but tell it, in novel (or at least NaNoWriMo) form.  Thank goodness for Camp NaNo in April!  The cast of characters is small (Terrence, Grandma Betty, Helen, and Chiraq) but vibrant. The scenery is mundane enveloped in the grandiose, and the climax is astounding.

My intention is to stay true to the events that happened on the train, and give wide speculation as to each individuals interpretation of those events, as well as their backgrounds. I'm going to title it "Family for a Day." I haven't decided as of yet how I want to format the story. I'm going to be oing a lot of reading in March to help me figure it out.

Do I want each character to have their own section for each plot point? Or do I want to tell it third person omniscient? Do I want to introduce their backgrounds straight away, or interweave those details into the storyline?
So many questions, and not much time to answer them!


Reading Journal: Ten Books

Lately, a few folks on my facebook have been posting the "Ten Books that Have Stayed With You" tagging game.  Before anyone tagged me in it, I decided I wanted to do it as a blog post (and then post it on facebook because....I like social media), mostly because then I could include links to each book (mostly on goodreads). 
To be honest, considering my horrible reading retention, this was pretty easy. 
They are in no particular order.

8. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
I'm currently in the middle of my sixth or seventh annual "fall" re-read of this book.  I almost have some of my favorite passages memorized, and think about scenes from it often.

4. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
This introduced me to the wonders of Ms. Binchy (the only author I seek out on a regular basis).  Plus, it has one of my favorite endings of all time.  Complete enough to satisfy, yet ambiguous to disagree about.

5. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
Reading this had changed my life and helped understand my Savior more, before even taking into account the circumstances under which the book was originally introduced to the world.

3. The Princess Bride: an Abridgement of S. Morgenstern's Classic Fairy Tale by William Goldman
Duh.  Also introduced to me the idea of breaking the fourth wall in literature, which is where some of my most favorite parts are located.  When I was younger, I toyed with the idea of shelving it under Morgenstern.  And, someday, I'll get around to mailing the publisher for the extended reunion scene.

10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
I don't care that it's a children's book, that some good stuff in there. But, some days, you just want to move to Australia.

1. Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
You know a book is good when you don't realize you're shouting at the characters at 2 a.m., as though they can actually hear you.

9. KJV of the Bible
There's some good stuff in there.

7. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Withing by Natalie Goldberg
It's a great little handbook for writing and editing.  Or it's a nice, easy read if you're not looking for guidance in those areas.  I need to get in touch with my inner samurai.

2. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
I was in fourth grade the first time that I read this, and I didn't finish it because I got sick, missed like two weeks of school, the teacher had to go into my desk, return it to the library for me, and I had to wait a long time before no one else was reading it so I could check it out.  I sometimes still cry when I get to *that* part, and I don't think I ever want to see the movie.

6. Daughters in My Kingdom: the History and Work of Relief Society
This book made me feel wonderful about being a woman, and many of the stories inside of it help inspire me to be a better woman.

Fun Fact: As a testament to my inclination towards classic literature, I read Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard during my sophomore year study halls.  Only recently have I learned it's been canonized.  (I also read Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby during high school, by choice, and not for assignments.)