About Me

Too Late?

Sometimes I worry that I decided to jump into the whole ‘author’ thing a bit too late. Blogs are, like, totally old hat by now, and everyone has literally switched over to YouTube. Most of ’em haven’t read anything since Fifty Shades of Grey anyway.

The funny thing is, I was planning on retreating for the first half of this year, given that I’m expecting our fifth baby (omg that’s a lot of kids). Instead, the characters in my head have gotten louder, to the point that it’s meaningless to argue that I’ve got my own major life events going on. So, here I am, writing another story.

And I wonder: is there going to be an audience for novelettes posted on some random person’s blog? Even if I put tons of effort into marketing in my own way, will it ever amount to anything? It’s been ages since blogs were the hot new shiny item, and as much as I love fantasizing about being a crazy trend-breaker, I’m not sure if anyone else wants to go along with it.

Am I too late?

In a way, it’s also exciting to discover who’s still out there.

Hello, we’re the weirdos who stubbornly do our own thing, irregardless of where the masses have gone.

About Me

Having Fun

I have a confession to make: I am a nerd.

Okay, so we probably already guessed that, with the whole “fantasy/sci fi writer who plays video games” thing that I’ve got going on, but it’s good to be clear.

Long story short, for Christmas I got an embroidery machine with the goal of learning how to make my own designs for it, because otherwise buying them would turn into a giant money-sink (and I’m stingy). ENTER OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE.

For the month of January, I’ve been learning how to use Inkscape, and the InkStitch extension. The kids are thrilled that I took some of their drawings, traced them, then had the machine embroider them onto shirts for them. It was seriously cool.

So while I was riding the whole, “This is frustrating yet fun!” high, I decided to figure out GIMP, an open source program that’s kind of like Photoshop with more headaches.

‘Cause yeah, sure, why not go crazy.

Hence, graphics.

You’d think that I have enough hobbies by now.

About Writing

Dvorak

If you don’t know what keyboard maps are, then you’re using QWERTY. The name comes from the top row of letters above your left hand.

QWERTY was originally designed in the late 1800s, and became the popular choice for typewriters. Its popularity was carried over into the computer era, and it’s now the default for literally everything.

The thing is, QWERTY was designed for typewriters. Typing too fast on a mechanical typewriter can jam the machine, so one of the design features of QWERTY is that it intentionally slows down how fast most people can get their fingers flying. Computers, on the other hand (snerk), don’t care.

Writing involves a lot of typing as an unavoidable part of the process, so in addition to typing speed, problems like carpal tunnel deserve some concern for writers. QWERTY is not the best option for heavy typing.

There are several options out there that were designed specifically for computers with the goal of increasing speed while decreasing fatigue. Personally, I use Dvorak.

It takes some getting used to, but once you learn a new keyboard map like Dvorak, it’s much easier to type faster with fewer typos. The first thing that I noticed is that my hands don’t have to move all around the keyboard just to have a mundane conversation. Occasionally, if a typo does slip through, it confuses others how I managed to hit ‘p’ instead of the ‘y’. I can also recognize other Dvorak users through their typos.

Yes, I know this is boring, dry, computer nerd territory, but I happen to think this is an important topic for writers. Go ahead and give it a shot. At the very least, no one else will be able to use your laptop.