I Also Hate…

Okay, you all know how much I hate promoting my own books. Yes, yes, I understand and accept that I have to do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. There is something else I hate as a writer and that is changing software.

I just upgraded my laptop to Windows 7, my MS word to Word 2010, and got a new printer. This means I have to learn new…stuff. You know, the different ways of doing things. Learning where THEY moved the commands. The new things now available to “improve” your work. The biggest problem is it takes time to do all this and I’m the first to admit, I get impatient.

Let’s start with changing the entire operating system. From day one, I hated MS Vista. The first sin was it wouldn’t accept my Rocket software. Shame!! It meant I can no longer load books to my Rocket eReaders. And Vista marked the first time I had an OS that wouldn’t take my games. Oh, wait! You’re not supposed to know I waste time playing games. Oops!

Okay, on to the Word 2010. Uhhhh, I haven’t had time to figure it out yet. Hmmm, guess if I’m gonna keep writing, I’d better do it next. *Sigh*

Crap! What’s that on the shelf? *Double sigh* That’s the Dragon voice software I bought seven months ago, figuring I’d put it on after I changed the OS. Just what I need. Another day of aggravation.

Now, you see why I also hate software change. Could someone PLEASE invent a computer whose software changes automatically without making me pull my hair out???

#1 Fan

 I’ve never heard this but while on vacation in the Philippines , DH showed how much he supports my writing. Handing out my Shadow Games card, he was promoting my book. Kinda made me thrilled and embarrassed.

Why? Isn’t that the goal of authors to promote? Yes, but. . . I was raised to never ‘toot your own horn.’  ‘Pride goes before a fall.’

Yet I was proud of the story I’d created. Proud that I write romance. Proud of being able to write stories.

Guess we all need to be our own #1 fans.

 

Seriously?

Linda here.

As I stated last week, I attended the Writers Academy at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX, taking Jodi Thomas’ class. Honestly, I wish you’d all been there with me. To spend an entire week with other writers, immersed in writing, is unbelievable. Yes, many of us have attended National (some will be there this week), but this wasn’t the same. You don’t sit and listen to speakers, you participate. We had to think and work at our writing.

Which made all the difference.

While there I realized how blessed I am to be part of RWI, to be able to meet monthly and to be part of a critique group. Several in the class had no one. One woman said how much being a part of the class, how being around other writers who “understood” her, meant to her. Guess she found out ALL writers talk to themselves. And wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

I’ll post more detailed info on my personal blog (www.lindatrout.com) in a day or two for some of the fun things we did during the week. I came home exhausted and so pumped! And ready to jump back into my writing full force.

The last day, a few minutes before the class ended, Jodi told us we took our writing seriously. As we should. However, we shouldn’t take ourselves seriously. To make her point, she passed out red noses for everyone. This is Jodi and I smiling for the camera.

Ain’t we cute?

I can almost guarantee I’ll be going back next year. Wanna’ come?

Linda Trout

 

Friday Funny

With thanks to fellow Slut Meg for sending this to me, and with a nod of admiration to Slut Marines Jackie and Sandee:

A teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories. There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. Finally, only Janie was left.

“Janie, do you have a story to share?” the teacher asked.

‘Yes ma’am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, her service .45 cal. automatic pistol,  and a survival knife.”

“She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn’t break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops. She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, ’til the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands.”

”Good Heavens,” said the horrified teacher. “What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?”

“Don’t f*ck with Mommy when she’s been drinking.”

Have a great weekend!

 

IT’S BIG! IT’S BLACK! IT’S AWESOME!

For the past three years, I’ve being using the printer from Hell.  It was one of those HP All-in-One and I hated it within three weeks of owning it.  In the first place, the paper feed only held approximately 20 pages.  It seemed like I was refilling it every 10 minutes.  And if that wasn’t enough, it was always jamming. Especially with any paper over 20 pound bond.

Lo and behold, about two weeks ago, the sucker jammed again and this time I couldn’t clear it.  Luckily, I have a portable printer I could use, but I was ticked at the idea that I would have to spend good money to fix it.  But then, I decided to find the silver lining; I had a great excuse for buying another printer.  And to keep from changing my mind, I gave the old one, printer, software, and user manual to the guy that repaired the drywall in my closet.

So off I go, debating what to get.  I thought about a laser printer.  It’s always been a goal of mine, even when I was doing amateur publishing.  But because I do more than just printing off my manuscript, I have to own a color, multi-function printer.  To buy a laser one would cost me more than I could justify.  Maybe when I make the New York Times Bestselling list, that’ll be my reward.

So off I go to the nearest Office Depot.  I was only going to comparison shop, but as I tried to find my way to the correct section, I passed an end cap display and fell in love.  It was big.  It was black.  It was a bad boy printer and I’m in love.  Take a look.

To set it up, you need an engineering degree.  I had to load in two printing heads and four ink cartridges. Then it took 20 minutes to just align them all.  But once it was done,  he ran like a beauty.  One thing I really loved is this dohicky for double-sided printing.  All my other printers would do two-sided printing, but I always have to flip the pages by hand.  With this printer,  the page prints one side, then dohicky sucks it back, and magically prints the other side.  Very cool.

Yeah, I’m in love!

New Week…New Beginnings

Linda here.

It’s Monday and the start of a new work week. Lucky me doesn’t work at the DDJ anymore, but I do have a fun filled week ahead of me. No. Not my normal goof off sleeping in late thing (but to my credit, I DO stay up really late at night! hehe).

Nope. This week I’m in Texas. Canyon, TX to be exact – at the Writers Academy. They have 4 different workshops to choose from. Catch the word ‘work’ here. We won’t be sitting back and listening like you do at National. Instead, the instructors will be putting us through our paces, stretching us to (hopefully) a new level of writing. That’s why I decided to attend . . . to improve and grow as a writer. In addition, they have other activities and workshops in the afternoons and evenings. Don’t think any grass will grow under my feet this week and that I’ll come home just too pooped to pop.

When I told my hubby I was thinking about going to this workshop, he gave me a thumbs up and said to go for it. Bless his heart. Isn’t it great when your spouse supports you whole heartedly? I don’t know how those whose husbands give them grief about their writing manage to stay positive and keep slugging along. Having someone shove you out the door, telling you to have a good time means the world to me. Wouldn’t trade him for the world! (Yes, he’s my own personal hero.)

I had said earlier in the year that I’d planned to go to a couple of regional conferences instead of National this year. This is one of them. Granted I had to drive 400 miles by myself (ugh), but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Now I’d better be off to class. Don’t want to be late the very first day. 😉 Hope your week will be just as productive (in whatever creative endeavor you chose) as mine.

Linda Trout

What’s In A Word?

I recently bought a tee-shirt with the saying “There. Their. They’re not the same”. This covers a common error that many people make, confusing sound-alike words with different meanings. But what about words that are spelled different, pronounced different, but having meanings similar enough to be used incorrectly?

Such as bum, tramp, hobo, and vagabond. Often dictionaries give basically the same definition to these words: lazy, dirty, without means of support, or drunks. Yeah, I’m sure some of these definitions fit the bum, tramp, etc. But they can also fit certain members in the general populations. By custom, these words do have particular criteria.

Bum: one who lives in same area without a job, “bumming” goods and services from any one who will give them to him/her.

Tramp: one who travels from place to place without a job, taking goods and services from any one who will give them to him/her.

Hobo: one who travels from place to place, looking for any job that can earn them money, goods, and/or services.

Vagabond: one who travels from place to place, working any job that will earn them enough to take them to the next place they want to visit.

Bums & tramps have many reasons for their lifestyle; alcohol or drug abuse & mental illness are common among this group as well as brushes with the law.

Hobos are a little different. Some travel the road because they want to. Most commonly, they are more numerous during financially depressed eras. They take great pride in refusing chariety, willing to work at any blue collar job, even just for room, board, and cigarette money.

Vagabonds: free spirits who wander the world, looking for the next adventure. They may have a home, but stay only for limited periods before getting itchy feet. They are the only ones of this group who stay in touch with families. They will even send money home; they just can’t stay home!

I’ve always been fascinated with how often some words are misunderstood. I had a co-worker who raised Holy H*ll because I called her a “wench”. She was livid that I called her a “whore”! Had to show her in a dictionary that a “wench” was an archaic word for a “woman”. Guess who had fun calling her a “wench”?

I’m soooo bad.