Tag Archives: editing

Of holidays, hot springs and cold shoulders

3 Apr

They say a change is as good as a rest… or something like that. Well, I decided that a rest would be a good change. It was definitely time for a road trip  – even if it was just an overnight one, so we headed off to the hot springs in Palm Desert/Palm Springs. The reason for this was threefold:

1. We needed a holiday!

2. Excellent for cobweb clearing the mind and rebooting my editing stint (it worked, I’m feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle scenes that I’ve been avoiding – and I even wrote an entire new chapter because I realised the book needed it).

3. We went to  the hot springs because I have a FROZEN SHOULDER. It’s been going on two months now and despite physical therapy and drugs (not necessarily in that order), does not appear to be getting any better. Last week I headed off to an orthopedist who recommended a cortisone shot right in the shoulder. Hands up if you’ve had one of those? NOT fun. Almost passed out. The shot worked for about 3 hours and then – nada. I’m back to the ortho in a week so who knows what he will recommend next? I’m thinking amputation at the neck.

Anyway, the hot springs, we thought, might help the shoulder. I can safely vouch that it didn’t hurt it. Not sure if it helped. But it was lovely to get away and see some sunshine (er and then a whole lot of rain), lots of wind, and soak in hot springs. Our room overlooked one of the eight “miracle healing” pools and we could just pop  out of our little patio straight into the pool. Here’s our room with a view.

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It was also great to wander around town in the sunshine and have brunch in this sweet little garden area where the tea is served in an elephant teapot! (okay, so I brought my own tea bag (PG Tips) and they provided the hot water) but it was still lovely.

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And if it were not for Palm Springs how could I have ever known that Sancho Panza retired here?

 

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And then the sun disappeared, the heavens opened up and it poured with rain… But then there was a rainbow. Look closely and you’ll see it. (sorry about the car blocking the pic).

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Back in the real world again, writing again and shoulder is actually feeling a bit better this morning. No shooting pain up and down my arm, but still not able to wash my hair by myself yet. One day at a time. Back to the keyboard.

 

A very tall man looking for a very small child

30 Aug

Ah, the Interweb. The bane of my existence. Love it or loathe it, few of us can live without it, and I pretty much make my living on it. Writing, editing, researching, it’s all done on my MacBook, and thanks to brilliant techie geeks who somehow know how to get all this information to shoot across the universe. I’ve always been one of those people that doesn’t care how it works, as long as it does work.

So, when I found out that my D-Link router (that had served me faithfully for five years) wasn’t working and was no longer under warranty and I’d have to pay for advice to hook me back up to the world-wide spider web, I finally bit the bullet and attempted to hook up my Airport Express. Granted, I’d bought it about three months ago, but on the first try it wouldn’t work and I figured I’d just wait to try again.

a-woman-showing-frustration-at-her-computer-~-pgi0318Finally that day arrived (thank you D-Link non-free advice people), but still, despite my basic grasp of tech-dom I could not get the Airport Express to work. Now, I’m not a big swearer, but something about losing my link to the computerized world gets me in a terrible state and I find myself using and abusing all kinds of expletives (sorry Mum). I cursed the computer, Apple, Steve Jobs, my desk and anything within cursing range. And finally I called the Mac experts (God bless Apple Care – you should all invest).

And that’s when I met Russell (on the phone of course), and Russell went through all the motions  I went through and also couldn’t get it to work. This made me happy momentarily, because at least it meant I wasn’t being obtuse, if even Russell the mac guy couldn’t fix it. Of course, it meant I still had not Internet access, unless – heaven forfend! – I used an Ethernet cable. The horror of it!

And then, Russell suddenly said, “How far is your Airport Express base from your computer?” I said, “About a foot.” And he said, “Try moving your computer at least three or four feet away.” Which I did, and voila, it worked!

Then Russell, mac guru and apparently philosopher said gravely: “When setting this up, the base was just too close to the computer, so it couldn’t tell it was there. It’s like a very tall man looking around for a very small child and realizing that he’s standing at his feet but he’s looking all around instead of looking straight down.”

father-daughterI’d like you all to know that my very tall man and my very short child are now happily reunited and we’re back to living in Mac harmony. Thank you for today’s philosophy lesson, Russell. May you and  your Mac/philosophy skills go far.

Fear, faith and finally… some work

14 Aug

Apologies for falling off the radar for a couple of days. Truth be told I’ve been busy. I finally landed a copy editing gig – phew and will be starting tomorrow (it’s online and I still get to work from home). I’m plodding away at my web site, getting great help from Jane Boursaw through her course and feeling “up”….

That is until today. I’ve been distracted the last couple of days. My 12 and a half year old Golden Retriever – Bridget – whom I’ve had since she was six weeks old needs surgery! I discovered a small bump/lump on her flank the other day and took her to the vet. She has two large lipomas which are just fat deposits that older dogs get and they’ve been fine for years. I was hoping this one was more of the same. It wasn’t. The vet aspirated the lump and said it needed to be sent to the lab. It took two days for the results to come back. She has a soft tissue sarcoma and is going in to have it surgically removed tomorrow. Only once it’s removed will they know how bad it is and be able to assign it a “grade”. I hope they get the whole thing and that she’s fine, but who knows? It’s very distressing and I’ve been crying a lot this afternoon. I can’t imagine my life without her.  I have no idea how much this is going to cost and given that I have ZERO money I don’t care. That’s why God invented credit cards, right? It may take 10 years to pay it off but right now Bridget’s health is the most important.

So, I haven’t been able to focus on much else since getting this news. Her surgery is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Please pray for her.

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Caught in the writing web

3 Aug

Wow,

Don’t know where the weekend went, and had zero time to post. Actually, I do know where the weekend went. I was working on my big “light bulb” idea I mentioned in an earlier post. I can tell you that it will be a very unique website. I did a lot of research and am excited because there is NOTHING like it on the web. I will let you know only that it naturally has a writing/literary bent, but you’ll have to wait until the site is up and running to see what it’s all about. In the meantime, I’ve chosen the name, signed up with a web hosting company and chosen my WordPress theme for my site and uploaded it. This is all VERY time consuming.

neologoAlas, I also discovered that despite being mildly techie and fairly geeky, I need massive doses of extra techiness and geekiness to customize this site. Luckily my very good friend Jim Bursch (who created WestLAOnline and its’ subsidiaries) is going to help me separate my CSS from my Widgets and I can’t wait! If you need his services, he’s amazing. Check out his Websites for Non Techies here. Mention my name too, I’m sure he’ll give you a discount.

Frazzled on Friday

31 Jul

39The work week may be drawing to a close, but my body seems to think it’s already the weekend. Off to a sluggish start today after a brilliant night last night with the child star and her b/f who came round for dinner. Lots of chatting and discussing and plotting and planning. All in all a good evening.

I submitted a completed article to my editor in NY yesterday but have some tweaks to make on the piece now after reading her feedback. Shouldn’t be too difficult, just need to rework some things but I’ll be doing that this weekend.

I’ve spent so much of this week looking for courses, competitions, figuring out which fiction mags to subscribe to etc. that I need to get back to focusing on actually doing some more fiction writing. I’m spending my weekend with Stephen King’s On Writing, which I’ve read several times but it’s a fantastic book and always inspires me when I’m feeling sluggish, and flexing my fictitious muscles with Roberta Allen’s five minute fiction prompts from her book Fast Fiction (which I’ve written about before on this blog). Can’t wait! I’ve discovered that many of my short stories come out of goodness knows where. I actually wrote about a dirt poor little African American girl in the deep South, something that has certainly not come from my personal memory banks. I’ve written about the Kalahari desert and multi-national corporations, divorced parents and talking castles in my fiction. No idea what is going on in my brain, but I’ve discovered I don’t like to think too hard about what to write, because when I do I seem to draw a blank when I say “What should I write about?” Then I go down that slippery slope of “I have nothing to say!” which of course isn’t true. So, more “leaving myself alone” this weekend to pull strange writing tricks out of my head.

In the meantime, with August 1 hovering on our doorstep, I’m hoping that the slow morass of July will soon be nothing more than a  31-day memory and the job boards will be filled with writing, editing, reporting, blogging positions just waiting for me to dive into and bolster my ever-depleting bank account. Bring on August, I say! Bring on the work!

More yoga stretching today – it’s taken almost a week for my body to recuperate from that masochistic gym class.

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Wishing all writers a great weekend. Oh, I will also work this weekend on harnessing  yesterday’s BIG idea…

PS. I LOVE the TGIF picture at the top of my blog – but did you notice the typo????? Just wanted to let you know that as a writer, yes I did see it, but the picture was too cute to take down. Aesthetics over accuracy?