I’ve got nothing today, people. Nothing at all.
I’ve just finished the rewrite of my contemporary fantasy. I’m about to start reworking my new shiny from earlier this year. I have a short story to work on, but I really have no idea what to do with it. I am in writer limbo: fresh off one project, gearing up for another. But right now I really don’t have much to do. And I don’t have much to say, either. So here’s a little writing-oriented free association for you:
I was at an event for my daughter’s school the other night, and had the usual conversation. Someone asked me what I do and I told him that I was a writer.
“Really! Have you published anything?”
“No, my family and I eat paper and toner for dinner every night.”
No, I didn’t really say that. But I thought it. Not fair of me, I know. It’s a legitimate question. Sort of. But come on. If I introduce myself as a writer, doesn’t that imply that I’m making a living (of sorts) at it? Pet peeve, I guess. Although I wasn’t peeved; I just find the question amusing.
I’ve started wearing reading/middle distance glasses when I work at the computer. Had to, because not wearing any glasses at all was giving me headaches, as was using my distance glasses. The glasses are bifocals, which I always swore I wouldn’t wear for fear that they’d make me dizzy. Turns out they don’t. I’m getting used to them, but wearing them makes me feel old. My wife says they make me look distinguished. She’s not a very good liar…
Part of the reason I needed the glasses is that the screen on my new iMac is absolutely gi-normous. It’s great for processing photos, but it’s a little overwhelming when working in my word processor. That said, I love, love, love, love my new mac. I do not miss Windows even a little.
Part of what I love about the mac is my new word processing software. I always hated MS Word. Early on I was a WordPerfect user, but Word always came with the Windows machines, and whenever I tried to install my old WordPerfect programs they didn’t work very well with Windows. Well, now I’m using Nisus Writer Pro, and it is terrific. It’s as close to WP as anything I’ve used in years. It’s smart enough to help me do the things I need to do, but not annoyingly smart like Word. What do I mean? Well, for instance, there are times when I want to highlight part of a word, but not all of it. When I used to try to highlight letters within a word, MS Word would always snap to the beginning and end of the word, assuming I wanted the whole thing highlighted. Nisus lets me highlight what I want. It assumes nothing. Same with its auto-correct. It does what I want; never more. I like that. Nisus saves everything in RTF, so that any other program can open it with minimal problems. Its thesaurus is better than Word’s, and its interface is easy to use and felt familiar almost immediately. For those of you who use Macs and don’t have a word processing software that you like I recommend it highly.
Other than that, the office is much the same as ever. I have my jazz on when I’m writing. I have my guitar handy when I need a break. I have pictures of my kids and my wife scattered all around. I have my little Acoma Storyteller sculpture right in front of me, along with a few cool geodes and crystals. I have a pair of binoculars handy in case a hawk or hummingbird or migrating warbler lands outside my window. I have a new little dragon from Misty. Thanks, Misty!
And now I have a really lame Magical Words post to put up for Monday’s readers. Forgive me, friends. I’ll have a more substantive post next week. I promise. This was just one of the those weeks. I’m in the middle of a three day weekend. I feel lazy. I have no pressing writing issues on my mind. I intend to enjoy my Labor Day holiday, and I hope that you will, too.