Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday 20

Want to know how to fry a modem? Better yet, want to know how not to install a new one? Come, my darlings, come and talk to PBW.

Yes, technology got me again. Sorry, folks. I also have some personal messages to pass along before we get into the weekly Q&A because I have no idea if my e-mail went out, stayed put or was devoured by the keeler modem:

Jordan Summers landed a three book contract with Tor -- Wheee!

The link for Midnight Blues is now live, and will hopefully stay that way. There is an exclusive excerpt from Night Lost at the end of it, and for the StarDoc readers, one from Plague of Memory as well. I'll also add the link to the freebie section in the sidebar as soon as I do the monthly template updates.

I will draw the names for the 20 read/critiques from the challenge entries as soon as I'm absolutely positively sure I got everyone on the list. E-mails are still coming in.

Selah, this is the last night I'm staying up until 2:30 a.m. I promise.

Dear Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0 Designers: Your extremely expensive program? Sucks. First time I really need to use it in a hurry (don't ask) and hello, it crashes everything. Windows, Microsoft Word -- all had to be reinstalled. Because of you. And once I do get the damn thing to work? Oy. I thought I was landing a shuttle in Houston. User-friendly? Ever heard of this term? Huh?

We just won't talk about file transfer protocol. Ever. Again.

So? You all having a good week, or what?

39 comments:

  1. Eeep! Almost bought that software myself and decided to wait because it was so darned expensive! Then a BRILLIANT blogster (you) recommended PDFonline.com that has suited me just fine.

    :D Thank you for that.

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  2. I just started using PDF Factory Pro - it's a little cheaper than Acrobloat and seems to actually work.

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  3. Fan girl "Squeeeee!!!" at the link for Midnight Blues and for Jordan.

    Okay. I'm over it now, I promise.

    As for the week, well the outline for Nano went south (knew it would), I just can't adhere to them, so I've finally decided (after three Nanos and a two year novel program and ten manuscripts) that I'm just not that organised. My work is better if I don't know what's going to happen.

    So, it's day three and I'm 16k into the first book. Hell, only another 123k to go for my NaNo challenge. (Can you hear the maniacal laughter of hopeless despair?) Why can I not resist a challenge? Better yet, why, after accepting the challenge, must I feel honour-bound to complete it?

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  4. Glad to see you back here. I was about to suggest sending a rescue team to save you from The Monsters.

    When Meljean Brook sent me a PDF ARC of her debut novel, she used Primo PDF.

    I've just started on my first ever WIP with an outline that I appear to be sticking with, and I've not even had the urge to rewrite anything yet! Hurray! My Becoming A Plotter program is working.

    I had a question, but I can't remember what it was so I'll come back when I remember. NaNo leaves me very scatter-brained.

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  5. I have sent you thelink for my book (e-book challenge)twice to your email address, as instructed, now but you still haven't included it in the list. :(

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  6. "Dear Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0 Designers: Your extremely expensive program? Sucks. First time I really need to use it in a hurry (don't ask) and hello, it crashes everything. Windows, Microsoft Word -- all had to be reinstalled. Because of you. And once I do get the damn thing to work? Oy. I thought I was landing a shuttle in Houston. User-friendly? Ever heard of this term? Huh?"

    Acrobat 7, eh? StarOffice has a built-in PDF writer, as does the coming Office 2007. You know it's bad when, five minutes after Bill Gates announces that Office will now make its own PDF's, Steve Jobs comes out and says Apple has declared war on Adobe because they write bad software.

    How bad?

    I installed their even more sweep Studio Pro for our corporation communications department. Let's just say technicians hate it when a software company takes over security of a machine from them.

    And we paid for this.

    Plus, Acrobat 7 doesn't know where a critical printer file is in Windows XP. Hello! XP's been out since what? 2002?

    There are a host of other things wrong with Acrobat. The worst is the way the Reader bogs down the machine while it tries to pitch new add-ins you don't want. And it doesn't matter if you turn this off. Adobe turns it right back on.

    Adobe sucks.

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  7. Regarding FTP: I use FileZilla, and have been very happy with it.

    As for PDFs, I just used OpenOffice, which happily (apparently) exports to PDF without a fuss. The only thing is that the graphic I used on my eBook (yay PBW!) was a little off because I added a border.

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  8. An Aspiring Writer wrote: Then a BRILLIANT blogster (you) recommended PDFonline.com that has suited me just fine. :D Thank you for that.

    Oh, more like cheap, not brilliant, but I appreciate the kind words. :) I used PDFOnline for everything I've done up to this last e-book, and never had a problem with them. I think I bought their $20.00 version of their PDF maker a few years back for one of my kids, too, and they loved it because all they had to do was click on it like a printer option.

    Good luck with NaNo -- I always like seeing that graphic. :)

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  9. Zornhau wrote: I just started using PDF Factory Pro - it's a little cheaper than Acrobloat and seems to actually work.

    Thanks for the rec, Z. I think I'm going to go through all of the freebie .pdf makers in the near future, test them out and do a write-up on which is the least hassle and produces the best results.

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  10. It took me 4 screwups to get my PDFs right, but that was my fault; I had formatting issues that didn't show up until after I PDF'd so I had to go back, change 'em, PDF again...

    Yay, Midnight Blues is live! I'm grabbing it. Then back to my unofficial NaNo (which is really just another month at work). Glad you're back online, PBW.

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  11. Jaye wrote: As for the week, well the outline for Nano went south (knew it would), I just can't adhere to them, so I've finally decided (after three Nanos and a two year novel program and ten manuscripts) that I'm just not that organised. My work is better if I don't know what's going to happen.

    You're doing NaNo? That's dedication (Jaye has an e-book in the challenge with gorgeous cover art that I went totally green over.)

    Don't beat yourself up over the organization and outlining. In all things writing, do what works best for you.

    So, it's day three and I'm 16k into the first book. Hell, only another 123k to go for my NaNo challenge. (Can you hear the maniacal laughter of hopeless despair?) Why can I not resist a challenge? Better yet, why, after accepting the challenge, must I feel honour-bound to complete it?

    Because you're . . . professional? Lol.

    I think it's like rock climbing. The mountain is always there, looming above us. Taunting: can't climb me, can't climb me. Hard to walk away from something like that, and then, when you're halfway to the top, no way in hell are you going to climb back down. :)

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  12. May wrote: I've just started on my first ever WIP with an outline that I appear to be sticking with, and I've not even had the urge to rewrite anything yet! Hurray! My Becoming A Plotter program is working.

    Good for you, lady. Don't forget the purple pen.

    I had a question, but I can't remember what it was so I'll come back when I remember. NaNo leaves me very scatter-brained.

    I'll be here. Look for the wisps of smoked modem.

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  13. Jennyta wrote: I have sent you thelink for my book (e-book challenge)twice to your email address, as instructed, now but you still haven't included it in the list. :(

    I sent you a note of apology for the oversight, Jenny -- your first two e-mails never made it to my in box, which might have killed them as SPAM as it often does --but just to confirm, you're on the list now.

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  14. Jim wrote much about Adobe Acrobat that warmed my mean little heart, and: Adobe sucks.

    You hear that, Adobe? That's from a professional who actually knows what he's doing.

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  15. Dean wrote: Regarding FTP: I use FileZilla, and have been very happy with it.

    When I recover from FTP third degree burns -- if I ever do -- I will definitely check it out.

    As for PDFs, I just used OpenOffice, which happily (apparently) exports to PDF without a fuss. The only thing is that the graphic I used on my eBook (yay PBW!) was a little off because I added a border.

    Thanks for the rec. Btw, I am getting a lot of "wow" e-mail comments about your entry in the challenge, D.

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  16. Charlene wrote: It took me 4 screwups to get my PDFs right, but that was my fault; I had formatting issues that didn't show up until after I PDF'd so I had to go back, change 'em, PDF again...

    Sounds like we were having parallel nightmares. My e-book maker program wouldn't recognize five different fonts that I tried to use for mine, and then I ran it through Adobe, which I swear I'll have to go to college and get a doctorate in computereez in order to fathom.

    Yay, Midnight Blues is live! I'm grabbing it. Then back to my unofficial NaNo (which is really just another month at work).

    Yep, that's what I'm doing. Every month is NaNoWriMo around here. :)

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  17. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Hello, PBW! Missed you. :) Nothing new here; letting my mystery novel plot stew around in my head for the next few weeks. Unsure what I need to research yet besides painting restoration, LOL.
    Jess

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  18. Oh that sucks about your system crashing like that, and having to totally reinstall everthing. Wow. I'm glad you're back up and running.

    Can't wait to read Minight Blues!!

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  19. Hey, Glad you're back up and blogging. Sorry about the fried modem, that hurts.
    I skipped the whole PDF posting thing and posted the whole novella as blog entries. I was going to take a few days off before going back to work on book 2 of the other series I'm working on, but I think I'm going to have to go back to my ebook and turn it into a full length novel first. The characters won't let go (plus I keep thinking of things I need to add, should change, or develop more). Have a good weekend, Ann

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  20. Um, I didn't have any issue creating my PDF at all.

    I use Wordperfect 11 and one of it's great functions is a little "publish to PDF" selection, and well,

    presto magico - No problem PDF created including hyperlinks and cover art.

    Sorry to hear how much trouble others had - that sucks!

    So, PBW, what wordprocessor do you use to write with?

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  21. I use Wordperfect 11 and one of it's great functions is a little "publish to PDF" selection, and well

    I meant its (from my previous post), like the possessive not the it is abbreviation.

    GRRRR ARRGGHHHH!

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  22. This idiot loves idiot-proof site-building software. I just made a new page and went with good ol' copy/paste. The results may be a little less slick, but I suspect I saved myself a pile o' frustration, as I'm not nearly as bright as I look.

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  23. Whohoo... three more days until the election and then this political reporter will get back to having a little more time between governmental meetings to work on her novel writing hobby.

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  24. I'd like to try turning a novella into a screenplay, just for fun. Does anyone have any scriptwriting software suggestions? Something cheap and easy to use.
    Thanks.
    And thanks PBW for fixing my link.

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  25. I'm glad you got the link up for your story, PBW. I've been waiting for it! :)

    I had a friend create the PDF file. I didn't have trouble FTPing it though. Hmmm, all I did was upload it like a normal, html file. I didn't have to convert it to get it to FTP like you mentioned, PBW. And yes, when I HAD Wordperfect on my last PC, that's what I used to create PDF files. Ha, that's the only thing I used it for. I like MS Word so much better for creating .doc documents.

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  26. Jess wrote: Unsure what I need to research yet besides painting restoration, LOL.

    Now that's an interesting field. Robert Fulford had some interesting observations about the restoration work done to the Sistine Chapel; you might want to check out his Globe and Mail column about it here.

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  27. Trace wrote: Oh that sucks about your system crashing like that, and having to totally reinstall everthing.

    I'm writing a highly indignant letter to Adobe about it. On paper!

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  28. Ann wrote: I was going to take a few days off before going back to work on book 2 of the other series I'm working on, but I think I'm going to have to go back to my ebook and turn it into a full length novel first.

    Good luck with it! (Ann, btw, is A.E. Dillings, one of the challengers who set her e-book The Familiar's Witch as a blog -- has a very cool look to it that way.)

    The characters won't let go (plus I keep thinking of things I need to add, should change, or develop more).

    That's always how I know I need to take a short story or novella to novel length -- the characters refuse to get out of my head.

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  29. Paul wrote: So, PBW, what wordprocessor do you use to write with?

    I mostly use Dragon Naturally Speaking's built-in notepad for the writing part, and then cut, paste, and edit it in Microsoft Word. I can print rough drafts from the Dragon if need be, but most of the tune-up and turn-out I do in Word.

    I wonder if that has something to do with my meltdown....

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  30. Paul wrote: I meant its (from my previous post), like the possessive not the it is abbreviation.

    Sure, sure. We're calling the Punctuation Police on you, Paul. You'll never write in this town again. Bwahahahaha.

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  31. Those nasty keeler modems. Psst...the shuttle doesn't land in Houston; no wonder you were having so much trouble.

    Glad to see you back. My week? That little extra job I picked up a week or so back (I really can't remember)? It's really three jobs -- manpower, personnel, and section commander (on top of my "real" job). Oh, yeah, and they're talking reorganizations, manpower studies, and summer move assignment cycle. And why aren't those hundred deployment folders done yet?

    Paul? You're safe. I refuse to add Punctuation Police to that list (but I do resemble them).

    But Nano's on track, so all is good with the world. Did I mention I'm glad to see you back, Sheila?

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  32. Selah wrote: This idiot loves idiot-proof site-building software.

    Sister! Lol.

    I just made a new page and went with good ol' copy/paste. The results may be a little less slick, but I suspect I saved myself a pile o' frustration, as I'm not nearly as bright as I look.

    One's degree of slickness is not nearly as important as the preservation of one's sanity. ;)

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  33. Word Nerd wrote: Whohoo... three more days until the election and then this political reporter will get back to having a little more time between governmental meetings to work on her novel writing hobby.

    Your job is one I do not envy, W. I think everyone who has to cover the election this year should get combat pay. And a free lifetime supply of Emetrol. After the mud settles, you'll likely be chugging it.

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  34. Jordan wrote: Thanks PBW!

    You're very welcome, ma'am. :)

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  35. Darlene wrote: I'd like to try turning a novella into a screenplay, just for fun.

    Oh, so the rumors are true and you are a masochist.

    Does anyone have any scriptwriting software suggestions? Something cheap and easy to use.

    The only screen-writing software I've personally used (a screenplay I wrote with it finaled in Project Green Light, btw) is Movie Magic Screenwriter, which you can get more info on here. It had a few bugs (it would come up with weird errors now and then and shut down) but for the most part it was quite efficient and tidy. There's a free demo of it on the info page here. It's gone up in price, though, and I think $199.00 is a bit pricey for what you get with it.

    ScriptersWorld.com has a whole page of freeware and shareware screenwriting programs that you might test drive first before you buy something more expensive, like the retail programs they've listed at the bottom of that same page.

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  36. Patrice wrote: I had a friend create the PDF file. I didn't have trouble FTPing it though.

    Introduce me to your friend. Please. Lol.

    My problem seems to be the images I added in my e-book, and Maybe the fact that I used uncommon fonts with the first four versions of it. FTP either took forever to upload and then it wouldn't display the document past the first embedded image.

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  37. Jean wrote: Those nasty keeler modems. Psst...the shuttle doesn't land in Houston; no wonder you were having so much trouble.

    Those NASA snots tricked me!

    Glad to see you back. My week? That little extra job I picked up a week or so back (I really can't remember)? It's really three jobs -- manpower, personnel, and section commander (on top of my "real" job). Oh, yeah, and they're talking reorganizations, manpower studies, and summer move assignment cycle. And why aren't those hundred deployment folders done yet?

    Hang in. All you can do with that kind of Charlie Foxtrot is what you can, and CYA on the rest.

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  38. PBW asked:
    So? You all having a good week, or what?

    And then later she said:

    Btw, I am getting a lot of "wow" e-mail comments about your entry in the challenge, D.

    I was having a fairly difficult week until I read this.

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