The word of the week is veritable.
Aug 14 – Great Choice!
My 'new' used Samsung S5 is proving a capable phone indeed!
Now that I've acquired( cheaply )all of the extra little bits needed to make it fully-functional( in my eyes, at least )it's going to serve me well for some time to come. I love that it has a removable battery( I bought a new one for $7.50 CAN! )as well as built-in heartrate and barometric sensors, both of which I use on a daily basis.
In addition to the new battery, I've picked up a protective case( from Ringke, they're superb for the price! )as well as a longer( braided )charger cable, since the original one that came with the phone was worn out by the previous user. I've also added the usual tempered glass screen protector for obvious reasons... and all of this for a total of about $40 CAN, which is simply excellent value for ensuring the phone lives a good while.
As a bonus, the S5 is rated as IP67, meaning it is essentially impervious to dust, and can survive up to 30 minutes immersed in 1m of water. No previous phone I've had could do that without adding an expensive case, like ones from Otterox.
The phone's snappy, even with all my apps and music added, so by this point( after 3 weeks )I'm really happy, and will be set for at least another year, if not longer.
Aug 15 – Cnut The Space Viking
A few months ago, a friend of mine posted this back-cover blurb:
I found out last week from one of our writing group members that this published book was likely done under contract, so the author HAD to come up with something... and boy, did she ever! Called The Angel Wore Fangs, it's so over the top that it goes from bad to worse and out the other side into pure camp, I have no desire to ever read it( you can find a hilarious summary of it here )but:
It serves to remind me that any story can get published.
I will work hard to make sure that mine is far, far better than Cnut's tales... holy. I had to wash my eyeballs after reading only half the summary above.
But: the author got paid, and it was probably a hoot to write, too.
Aug 16 – Holy Dioramas!
I now have a reason to visit Langley BC...
This is the largest toy store in Western Canada, and it shows, the place is MASSIVE! Even better, the owners are consistently adding giant, highly-detailed displays regularly to the store, such that it's a g33k-mecca of a sorts! Have a look at the tour video below, it's truly incredible:
Aug 17 – Getting an Agent?
Everyone knows actor Nicholas Cage, right?
They also know that he's had some... interesting career choices, moreso than even Cuba Gooding Jr. If you're watching a Nicholas Cage film made anytime in the last 10-15 years, chances are it's not the greatest artistic achievement in film.
So what's it like being Nick's agent? This should give you a clue( NSFW language ):
Aug 18 – FINISHED THE DRAFT!
At 11:01pm PST tonight, I finished the edit of my fourth( and final )draft of my first novel - YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It wasn't easy.
It took about 2 weeks longer than I thought it would, as I was aiming for July 31st. This happened for multiple reasons, including expected health issues( core muscle pain )that kept me from sitting / standing for more than 30 minutes at a time before something started to hurt. As well, as the edits added up, new tweaks and ideas cropped up, so that I had to spend even more time going back to make the supporting changes throughout the entire novel, adding to the time taken...
But I persevered and edited my heart out.
The key to finishing?
Staying in the Flow: editing every day, morning and/or night, no matter what / how I felt. This kept me THINKING about the story, every day, and so my subconscious mind was always working on it, wherever I was and whatever I was doing.
So now that it's done, what's the plan?
I'm giving about 6 people copies of the draft to read through, spot any major / minor errors( which I can quickly correct )and then it's going in front of an editor!
My AMAZING INCREDIBLE WONDERFUL LOVING girlfriend offered, as a birthday gift this year, to PAY for an Editorial Consultation, where an accredited editor( from a local publishing company that I know, have investigated and trust )will go through the whol manuscript in about a week. They'll look at the structural, stylistic and grammatical aspects of the novel for any corrections needed, but won't do copy editing( line-by-line )as it's just an evaluation to see how ready the book is to send out.
Then when the editor's done, that's what I'll do!
I'll be sending out a raft of Query letters to Agents and Publishers, to see who bites first. It's just another step in the process, but if I get someone interested in the next 4-6 months( I hope! )then my book could be on shelves within 2 years or so.
By which point I aim to have the first drafts of BOTH the second and third novels written. An author's work is never done, but I'm pouring all of my skill and experience into this, along with the feedback I've been receiving.
Wish me luck!
Aug 19 – Off to the USA!
It was a busy morning today, heading out to the States.
As the first day of my vacation, I'm looking forward to doing some serious relaxing, considering my vacation week last month was spent entirely working on my novel, as noted in previous blog entries.
For this week's vacation, I'm not going to touch the draft at all, save to print out some copies. But I won't do that until I get back home around the 25th!
My parents were kind enough to drop my lady and I off at the Sidney Ferry Terminal to take the 12pm crossing, though there was some confusion( on my part! )about the departure times, but the small stress-out turned out just fine.
The crossing itself was the best I've had yet: smooth seas and Gravol for me meant no issue whatsoever with seasickness, though I was feeling tired from only getting 4.5 hours of sleep last night( bed 12am, up at 4am with abdominal aches from sitting too many times to edit last night ) - darn these noodly core muscles! Toughen up already!
My girlfriend's mother picked us up and we drove less than an hour to her home in Sedro-Wooley, arriving after 3pm under perfect blue skies. The Skagit Valley is a delightful place to visit, with wooded hills, green pastures and a quiet rural lifestyle I really enjoy.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and catching up with her parents, as well as her brother and sister-in law with their young child. It was magical just spending the time in the perfect weather out on their back porch, watching the skies darken and talking about all sorts of interesting topics until the stars came out. Bedtime was early and a relief, as I was dog-tired and I slept well indeed!
Aug 20 – McMenamin's!
Early to rise...
We were up around 5am to head out early, hitting the road after 6am to try and get the jump on the estimated million-plus people heading south to be in the path of the eclipse totality in Oregon, clogging roads and otherwise crowding places up.
We needn't have worried.
We made it past Seattle WA easily, with only one small stretch of delay( a mere 20 minutes )near Olympia WA as we turned south. The wide freeways were clear, with only normal traffic volumes all the way down to Troutdale, OR where we had a reservation at McMenamin'sResort.
What a place!
A former county 'poor farm' built in 1911, it's now a unique destination resort, where you can easily spend a few days on-side enjoying the many offerings such as pubs, patios, bars, a spa, golf and more. I'll write up more about it next week, but for now have a look at this charming place I'm staying at for 2 nights:
All for now... I'm tuckered out from working for 2 months solid on my novel's draft, and need a rest. The right side of my neck has developed an ouchie( stiff! )so that's a additional how-do-you-do that's been interesting some days. Good thing I'm on vacation all of next week!