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03-16-2013: Millennicon

Good morning from Cincinnati where I am attending MillenniCon. Day one of the con was fun and educational. The first panel I attended was "So this is your first SciFi convention". Since this is my first it only made sense that I attend.  It was well conducted and informative. Next up were the opening ceremonies followed by a get together in the con suite with cake and snakes and a chance to meet the guest of honor (GOH) Erik Flint. During the opening the Miami Valley Fandom for Literacy (MVFL) presented a Cleveland instructor with an award. I learned that he had worked with Geoffry Landis - one of the people I met at Launchpad last year.  I also learned that the guest artist, Sarah Clemens, has published several short stories and is a friend of Ellen Datlow, another person I met at Launchpad. Small world.

I made several runs through the small dealer's room and purchased a shoulder dragon. At first, I hesitated to spend the money but the dragon kept looking at me. Eventually, I caved and bought it. Ameentch now sits quietly on my shoulder. To round out the day I attended a panel on "Writing by committee" hosted by Erik Flint, Mike Resnick, Tim Waggoner, and David Burkhead.

I've been carrying my laptop around with me so I can continue to edit and revise Peacekeeper.  The novel is coming along nicely. I plan to continue to edit it during the outage even though I have only one day off a week. I should have a few hours in the morning. I have discovered a few major goofs which were easily corrected.  Hopefully, by the end of the outage I will be done with the second pass as well as having a finished ending (which I currently do not). This will allow me to do the quick run-through to verify story continuity. Then it's my wife's turn so she can do her proofing magic.

Today, I plan on attending the following panels: GOH reading, Short story snafus, Reading by Mike Resnick, Devil's in the details, and Is the e-reader the death of the library? I have not made any plans to attend any room parties but that could change. I will be heading back home early tomorrow morning and then the long hours and long work-weeks begin.


03-02-2013: Scrivener correction

This may be my last post for awhile as I will start working 12 hour days on Monday.  I will be at Millenicon in a week but between driving and attending the convention I doubt I will have time to blog.  I will only have one day off each week during the refueling outage which will leave little time to do much more than play catch-up.

I do have a correction to make concerning Scrivener.  I mentioned that one of the small issued I had with it was that it removed the formatting of my scene break asterisks.  I've discovered that I was not using the Compile options correctly.  I've since gone back through the entire project and created sub-documents for each scene break.  The program automatically inserts the correctly formatted line of asterisks between each scene as desired.  Plus, this approach also makes it easier to outline the novel.  Scrivener is a very powerful program for writers and I highly recommend it.  The manual could use updating and enhanced with screen-shots showing and explaining how some of the more hidden features are used.  Scrivener combined with Dropbox is an unbeatable combination for writers on the go.

Peacekeeper stands at 82,474 words.  I'm still working on the final couple of chapters.  Lately, I've sat and stared at the blasted screen for many minutes, writing a sentence, then deleting it, then doing it over and over again.  Why has is suddenly become so hard to finish?  Perhaps it's because the final chapters bring together everything that's been going on up until now and I know that some of it needs to be seriously edited.  Perhaps, I will write a skeleton ending and then fill it all in during the first rewrite.

In other news, I've made a few minor changes to "Glitches" which will be published as part of a Launchpad anthology.  I fixed a few technical errors and made a couple of minor enhancements as suggested by Jody Nye.