2016-05-22

Works in progress

I don't have any particular topic to discuss today. It's been a very busy week and honestly, I haven't thought about writing this post until I woke up this morning. But, that does not mean I have nothing to write about!

Origins
My wife is making good progress on her grammatical pass through Dragonverse Origins. She is averaging about one chapter each day and is a bit over half-way done. Proofing is not easy as she has to remain focused which is difficult for her to do since she is not a fan of science fiction or fantasy. I have not yet entered any of her changes into the manuscript because I've been working on Pathogen, which is the next Peacekeeper book. I plan on taking everything she's finished so far with me when I go to Launch Pad in less than 2 weeks and make the changes while I'm gone.

I've also had my cover artist working on a cover for Origins. She produced a very good first draft and this morning I received another version after she made a few suggested changes. Doing the artwork on a computer allows her to easily move objects around, delete things, and edit individual components of the final artwork. If this type of artwork had to be done completely by hand doing all the editing would be a pain in the neck. The final artwork is shown below. I will be adding the title and my name to the artwork when the book is finally published.


Pathogen
Peacekeeper 3 (aka Pathogen) currently stands at 9,474 words. I'm trying something a bit different with this book in that I'm writing it without much of a gameplan in mind. I do have an overall theme and several scenes I want to incorporate in my head but for the most part I'm making up the story as I write. I've done this before but not to the extent I'm doing it on this book. So far, it's turning out pretty good and I'm making progress. I will have plenty of time to write next week because I will be on vacation and I will be in Laramie starting on June 1st.

Safeguarding your data
I recently talked about the importance of keeping your data backed up. Losing a hard drive along with the 8,000 photos, 5 partial manuscripts, and 10 years worth of financial data can drive anyone over the edge if the data is not backed up. But in today's modern society there's another device that people use every day that also houses huge amounts of very important information - your cell phone.

Cell phones today are power-packed pocket computers with enormous amounts of storage capacity. Yesterday, my wife and I both upgraded our phones the new HTC 10 (I had an HTC One M7 that I bought the day they came out and she had a Samsung Galaxy 5). The new phone is a blazingly fast, low bloatware, android device. If I were to max this baby out (doubtful) I could have 20 Gig of data stored in the onboard memory and another TERABYTE of data in the removable memory card. If I were to lose it, I would be lost.

Moving the information from the old to the new phones went relatively smoothly. The only glitch was my wife's old calendar events. She had discovered the Samsung calendar and her entire life was planned on it. Unfortunately, there appeared to be no way to back up all that data and move it to Google calendar. Through the power of the internet, I found a free app that allowed me to move her calendar to Google. Now, she can see her life on her phone as well as on any computer we have in the house. Plus, it is automatically backed up.

This movement of data highlighted the fact that many people have huge amounts of data on these pocket computers that might not be backed up. If you have an android device, all of your installed applications will automatically be reloaded when you buy a new phone. The data associated with those applications may or may not have been backed up by the application itself. If not, then it might be gone - especially if you lose your phone.

Backing up this data is simple. One only has to enable the auto-backup features built into the phone. You can send the data to Google, to your carrier's cloud, or (if you are an Amazon Prime member) to Amazon's cloud. If you have more than will fit - either find another place to store it or pay the money for more storage. You can also just plug your phone into your computer and make a copy of the data but who remembers to do that? Having stuff backed up automatically is the best insurance against you losing everything stored on a phone.