Monday, May 27, 2013

Iron Man, Star Trek, and Stephen King

I admit this freely; I don’t get out much. There isn't many movies that I can’t *eventually* see on ppv or networks/cable channels. But the few I do go see at the theater have their release dates on my calendar.

Btw, I regret not seeing Avengers in the theater. Who knew? I sure didn't think it was going to be the unique ensemble it was.

Iron Man 3
I worship at the altar of Special Effects. This one has that and then some. High marks for the soundtrack also. It was so good I downloaded it as a writing companion.

One of the best praises a writer can hear is when their characters grow. Iron Man 3 gets accolades from me on that point.

Another thumbs up for any film or book is when it leaves its audience wondering. This film stayed with me. Very thought provoking. I love that.

No spoilers here but dang, I will say that Pepper Potts is one cool lass.

Star Trek, Into the Darkness
Again, the fantastic special effects were way beyond awesome. 

Seeing the Enterprise with the accompanied music is enough to bring me figuratively to my knees.But then I've had a case of verklempt since the first Star Trek movie in the seventies. 

Lots of action in JJ Abrams version of Star Trek. Doesn’t stop for nuthin’. I did have some issues with it though. Maybe because I guessed most of the revelations. Or maybe I felt it was a case of redux.

Can’t say I was disappointed though. Not at all. Loved it from start to finish.

Stephen King
Prolific writers are few and far between. Find one who is not only good at his craft but also willing to speak about writing is almost unheard of. That is Stephen King.

Check out the article written about him in Sunday’s Parade magazine. I love seeing how our idols do their magic.

Have you seen Star Trek or Iron Man 3? How about Man of Steel, is it on your calendar also?

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Earthquake Wasn't his Fault. Not this Time

Please tell me, when did it become real for you?

After you sign the contract? 
Saw the cover?
Or get the release date?

August 30, 2013

Reality hit me last week. Until then I figured I'd wake up soon, discover that it was a good dream but definitely a mistake. Then I'd find another reason to write.

The Magic Withheld - urban fantasy, release date 8-30-13 by Musa Publishing, Urania Speculative Fiction.

Book Trailer:

Holy Talking Cats, I'm gonna be a Published Writer.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Is there a 12-Step Program for Trekkers?

Don’t call me a trekkie. Those ppl are nuts.

Please note that I am a trekker, spelled with an ‘e’ and 'r'.

We trekkers love worship enjoy the Star Trek world created by Gene Roddenberry but it doesn’t take over our lives. We don’t dress in weird costumes and shave our eyebrows.

Oh, no we are quite logical.

This weekend is the big opening for JJ Abrams vision for this franchise, Star Trek, Into the Darkness. If it is anything like the first movie he made, Holy Talking Cats, I’ll be jumping out of my chair at the theater.

I admit, I lost interest in the TV series when it hired a chick for the captain’s chair. Not a fan of whats-her-name anyway but Kirk she was not. And Scott whozit? I like him but…meh.

Then I heard of this director who wasn’t all that familiar with the TV drama or the movies and thought, “Well, boy howdy, that ain’t gonna work out well.”

Then I dragged my hubby to the movie and…

I mean, WOW.

JJ Abrams made a film that I could sit through then watch all over again. Several times probably but I’d have a revolt on my hands if I tested that theory. *crabby hubby*

What blows my mind is that Abrams is also directing the Star Wars sequel as well. 


I've been told to see the new film soon because the surprises will become public so I am going this Sunday.

So how do you swing? Star Trek? Or Star Wars? And do you dress in outlandish clothes as an Ewok or Vulcan?

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to Survive and Return from Formatting Hell

I'm Baaack...

When my editor, the fab Mistress of Multi-Tasking Angela Kelly, pointed out that my manuscript had a few double spaces between words, I investigated. And was appalled.

In my *completed* and *polished* ms, there was way over a hundred double spaces.

It was easy to figure out how it happened. No doubt, I had misplaced the cursor when moving a line or paragraph.

Other concerns arose however.
  • Sentences that magically jumped down a line or two that needed re-attached or pulled up.
  • Hidden Text, the cockroach of the word processing world.
  • The mechanics of em dashes and en dashes. I know where to place them and the difference but Word program sometimes twiddles its digital fingers, dithers around, and creates the wrong symbol.

Now that I am hyperaware of these problems, fixing them is easy but time consuming.

! Note: before attempting these fixes, copy your manuscript and practice on it rather than the original!

Inserted Lines. There are two ways to find formatting symbols in Word program. Hit the formatting symbol ¶ at the top center of your screen. Or click on the Window icon at the top left, click on Word options then hit Display. This will show the formatting.

The Fix. After you click on the formatting tools, all kinds of things will pop up. The paragraph symbol is ¶. If you hit enter twice or inserted a section from another ms, you will see where the sentences jumped or lines inserted in the text and can edit them.

Hidden text. Faint dots underlining the word represent hidden text. This became a problem when my editor and I exchanged the ms back and forth, converting it from Word to Word Perfect and inserting comments as we went. Remove them by using Find and Replace.

The Fix. Hit Find. Under format, click on Font. Click on Hidden then OK. Highlight All and work your magic.

Em Dashes. When my Word program didn’t convert the dashes to em dashes, it meant I had to physically do this.

The Fix. Click on Find, Special and (in my case) en dash. Replace with em dash. This does the job, but since Word placed spaces before and after the dash, I used a different technique for most of them.

Try this. Where you want the em dash, type the word. Then hold down on the Alt key and type 0151 then the next word. This places the correct symbol—in that spot. No spaces before and after. And no double dashes to muck up the format.

Double spaces. These are represented by two or more dots. I committed this sin not only in the middle of text but at the beginning of some paragraphs as well. It is easy to fix in the sentences. Not so much at the beginning of a paragraph.

The Fix. Hit the formatting symbol ¶ or Word options to see them. Use the Find/Replace by hitting the space bar twice then Highlight All. Replace All with a single space.

The spaces before the paragraphs required more labor, a page-by-page inspection.

Dig out these formatting errors since who knows?

Maybe a prospective agent is looking for these goof ups in your manuscript and using that as a guide.

Got any more horror stories?

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