Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quotable Quote

From David Foster Wallace: “When you write fiction,[…] you are telling a lie. It’s a game, but you must get the facts straight. The reader doesn’t want to be reminded that it’s a lie. It must be convincing, or the story will never take off in the reader’s mind.”

Monday, August 12, 2013


Yeah, City of Glass is about a city, so I have to learn at least a passing familiarity with the architecture of the time. Burnham I can deal with. Sullivan I can at least understand. I think it likely that Frank Lloyd Wright, in my world, was fatally stepped on by a cow before he could produce any significant work. Wright's Prairie Style is /awful/ - and in the real world, ubiquitous. All the faceless, soul-less brick-facade buildings that so typified 1970s Cheyenne, Wyoming were clear examples of it. Unimaginative, boring, unadorned, without any sense of style. And flat roofs, in the midwest and west? Insanity.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Scrivener - Important Safety Tip

Okay, just had a bit of a scare. I was tinkering with and re-reading Brass and Steel: Inferno and wanted to see how many words I'd changed, so I clicked on targets, and got 93,000 and some odd. What's the problem, you ask? Inferno is a 118,000 or so word novel. It meant that somewhere a great swath of the novel was just… gone.

Don't panic, I told myself, even though clearly I already was. Check your compile targets and make sure you have the whole novel selected. Er… yes. I did. Okay, NOW go ahead and panic.

Then I happened to notice that some chapters' little icons in the scrivinings list didn't have any text in them. This is how empty chapters are represented. Surely not, I thought, but I clicked on those chapters to make sure the text was there. It was, and as soon as I touched the chapter, Scrivener noticed the text was there and reset the icon accordingly. And my word count jumped. Once I had touched all the empty icons in the list, my wordcount was back to normal.

I was imagining 'sure, one of the agents I was querying will naturally want the full manuscript while I'm figuring out how to recover what's missing, or if I was grossly miscalculating the wordcount before. It always goes that way. It didn't go that way this time.

I'm a little puzzled why this happened, and it doesn't give me warm fuzzies that it did happen, but this file's been through a lot. I have A. Edited the bundle. There was a lot of stuff in there from dropbox syncs gone bad. I had removed them. I have B. Touched the file with scrivener for windows running in Wine on my Linux machine. That failed to work, so I also installed the unsupported Scrivener for Linux on that box, which did.
C. My desktop mac has been showing a little flakiness recently, booting into safe mode rather than normal. The disk checks out, and from the log, I think it's an inexpensive USB hub and constantly switching that hub between the work machine and the play machine. Terrifying moment to think I'd lost a great chunk of the novel and that I wasn't even sure where. Yeah. Better backups in my future, for sure.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Separating work from play, update 2.

There's been a lot of discussion in the news lately about the harsh blue light of lcd screens making it hard to sleep, etc etc. How much of that is actually true, I don't know. By way of an experiment, however, I have put a bright daylight beach wallpaper on my work machine, which I use mostly during daylight hours, and a night cityscape on the play machine.

Does it make a difference? I don't know. I do notice that I get the same "ugh! Daystar!" reaction to the day wallpaper at night. Whether it helps or hinders my sleep, I have no idea. I figured it can't hurt.

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