Arg, I’m a fool

Howdy Folks. Here’s a little story. A precautionary tale.

I went to edit the book today. I thought, huh, wouldn’t it be cool to try out a different program to take a look at what we’ve written? Maybe there’ll be features I’ve not utilized out there, or perhaps it’ll give me a different view on things.

So I loaded up a program called Manuskript. Since I’m in Linux, and because I wasn’t looking too closely at how to install, it took me a minute. My fault entirely, but once I figured out my mistake it was easy enough.

It’s an interesting looking program, one I’m not sold on yet, but it opened. I took a couple of minutes to look around, then decided I’d try to import my Libre Office document. Well, it didn’t work. I thought, huh, oh well. And played around with some things, but didn’t save.

I figured I’d work out how to use it later, and opened Libre Office again to get back to editing. Uh-oh, the book isn’t opening. What do I do? Will other documents open? Yes. So it isn’t Office, it’s the book’s file. Darn it, I guess trying out new things messed it up.

Now I’m stuck, and can’t work on the book until the co-author is able to give me their back up copy. They worked on it this weekend, so any changes they made I can’t see until I get that version. Perhaps it’s time for a different method of exchanging the file, but then again any way would be just as susceptible with my current work-flow. I suppose I’ll have to reevaluate the way I do things.

Making a local copy instead of trying to edit the version sent to me directly would be one way I could have avoided this. If I hadn’t tried to open the only file I had on hand, that would have been the smart thing. However, I’m apparently in too much of a hurry, and don’t save locally until I’m finishing editing. Yes, I save as I go along, but it’s only to that original copy.

Frustrated that I couldn’t work on the book, I played around with Manuskript a bit more. Starting a new book, or at least working with the little I had for a book, I input some information. I can’t say it works with how I write. I can’t even see how I can write with such small input area’s. Sure it’s fine enough for making an outline, which I’m interested in doing, but making the transition from it to a finished book doesn’t look appealing. Discouraged with writing, I decided to do something else.

Now I’m no artist. I can doodle a bit, but I’ve not done it in years, and what little I’ve done hasn’t been exactly what I wanted. But I figured, what the heck, I can at least sketch out a template for a cover and have the co-author take a look at it. They’re the real artist here, and we’ve discussed how we want the book’s cover to look. So using the little skill I have in Gimp I began.

I was going to just do a collage, and maybe a little background coloring. I started out fine enough, but cutting out things wasn’t going well. Then I discovered an auto cut feature I hadn’t used before. Basically you outline what you want cut out, and it’ll make a path. You can add more points to help clarify lines, and after failing a few times, I got what I wanted. I pasted it into my new image, and began cleaning it up. That was a mistake.

I’m a perfectionist. There were still bits that the cut tool hadn’t gotten rid of, so I started painting them out. Zooming in so close that I could see every pixel, I took my time. Too much time, and in the end I wasn’t happy. Dang it Steve, this was just supposed to be a rough collage of images to represent the vision I had. Instead I wasted way too much time on it, and in the end I just deleted everything.

Basically my productivity for the day is shot. I did this to myself. I hope I learn from this and just work with the tools I have on hand, and don’t try to do things I know I can’t really do. Sure I could take the time and become better at things, but these sessions I have are supposed to be for writing or editing. Instead I annoyed myself to such extremes I lost my ability to focus on anything.

Hopefully I’ll be in contact with the co-author tonight, and can get a copy of what they worked on. If so I’ll be able to work tomorrow, and that is what I need.

Let this be a lesson. Work with what functions. If you are starting something new there is no problem with finding different tools, but don’t think some new tool is going to just work out for you. Or conversely, make a back up on-site. That way at least you won’t ruin the only version you have. Also don’t bite off more than you can chew. I guess I’ll draw some stick figures now. I can do that at least.

That’s all for now. I hope your week is filled with less frustration.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Daylight Doesn’t Like Me

Greetings fellow beings. I’ve returned once more for the weekly blog post.

So, as is inherently obvious, another week has passed. And yet for me it feels as though nothing much happened. However, I shall try to compile what I may of my experiences.

An outing of sorts was taken, and a lunch of Chinese was had. Fairly delicious, though perhaps noticeable only to me, the rice given was that of the instant variety. Flavor and texture-wise so similar to what can be purchased and cooked in mere minutes, yet delicious as such things go. If not for the meal being tasty, I would complain more upon the expense. Even if not from my own wallet it was purchased. Twas planned to be from my coffers, yet another insisted upon purchasing.

Of course while out I spun many a stop for Pokemon go, and even had my first raid. Easily won somehow, I even got the guardian Pokemon. One I hadn’t collected before, so that was nice. All together profitable for myself who doesn’t actively play any game other than certain ‘mobile’ ones.

While killing time, a couple of stores were perused. Ones which sell used video games. While I wasn’t tempted by the selection, the co-author spotted a couple they wanted. And while checking on-line pricing found a game they wished. Persona 5. An interesting game, though I found it played more like a light novel. However it looks beautiful, and I enjoyed watching the co-author play. Much like watching an anime, though I suppose I could just watch the adaptation if I wanted to instead.

Speaking of watching things, we watched the latest Power Ranger movie. It had fallen under my radar, and I only became aware of it when Movies with Mikey did a watch party for it. It seemed fun, so I had been wanting to watch it. So when there didn’t seem to be anything else to do late Sunday evening, I did.

Now I was never a huge fan. But back in the day, without cable and little else to kill time watching, I had watched several episodes. Perhaps even several seasons, though I never went out of my way to see everything. I had always found it silly, and perhaps that’s why I felt it was okay, even if it was marketed to a younger audience. But this movie, while silly in its own way, was more grown up. Even if it still took lines directly from the original run, they didn’t seem out of place in a more adult setting. Fans of the show from the 90’s should enjoy, though a new audience may not. Still, I did, and any who grew up with it in their lives won’t be displeased by the re-imagining of the universe.

Now I don’t know if it’s because I don’t venture out into the sun often, or if I was becoming sick, but I wasn’t feeling well Sunday. I had felt fine, in fact I felt pretty good since I had gone to bed early and got plenty of sleep. That combined with the coffee I filled myself with, when I stepped outside to join the day-walkers, I was ready for an amusing outing. However it became clear that I wasn’t going to last long. My speech suffered, as did my endurance, and I was left squinting and desiring a nap.

Perhaps because of my shunning of the day for my job at night my eyes have adapted to the low-light levels of the evening. It was tiring just keeping them open, and everything seemed too bright for me. Maybe I’ll have to invest in some sunglasses if I wish to go out during the day from now on. But I had to take a very long nap afterwards, and even then I didn’t feel totally well. Only now am I feeling better, but that may be due to the coffee I consume when editing and writing.

As to editing, last week the co-author and I had a disagreement on the way a chapter was written. They had updated it, making a few lines into a brand new chapter. I reviewed, and at the time I wasn’t completely sold on the changes. I spent several hours changing things, making it to my eyes readable and reasonable. I offered it back, but instead of reading the changes, the co-author took what I had complained about and made a new chapter. I was able to read it today, and make my own slight changes, and while I liked what was written before, after I edited, the new one flows better. But since it’s new I’ll have to take a look at it a few more times before I’m sure it meets the quality of the chapters that I’ve been editing up to this point.

An interesting thing came from all this. I noticed a change in the way I write, or at least what I’m able to write. Thanks to the co-author’s flair for depictions, I’ve been able to write more descriptive scenes. The new chapter was missing a bit of their usual shine, my fault of course since I had been grumpy about changes so they wrote quickly. But I was able to enhance in a way that I never felt I could before. My knack had always been dialogue, and I think that shows in my earlier books with the vague way I describe a scene, as each paragraph was mostly characters talking. However now I notice their lack, and am able to build a clearer picture using words, instead of just implying a world. This is something I’ve struggled with, and have been working on for years. I think I’m finally starting to show progress. We’ll see if I truly have overcome this weakness when I write my next book.

That’s about it. So until next time, have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Watching Movies

Hello you. I’m back once more for the weekly update.

So of course I’ve edited a bit, but I’ve also started on a new project when I had a bit of free time. This doesn’t mean we are finished editing, just that I’ve caught up with the co-author and I didn’t want to change things while they worked out what they were reviewing.

I’ve explained a bit of the new project to some friends, and they seemed excited for the premise. I still have some things I need to work out, but so far I’m happy with what I’ve put down. Of course I think I can make it better later, but it seems readable so far. Perhaps I’ll work on an outline for it, as so far I only have the main premise, and a bit of the story worked out.

The other thing I did over the weekend was watch a couple of movies. First I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp, and I really enjoyed it. It was exactly the type of fun movie I was in the mood for, and it was all around amusing. I’m not sure why people aren’t excited about his movies, but I enjoyed the first one as well. Perhaps because while it connects to the MCU, it isn’t hugely influential. Though I think we’ll be seeing more of Ant-Man for the next Avengers movie.

So being in such a good mood, I felt I could try to watch the Solo movie that everyone said wasn’t so good. Now I don’t know if it was because the movie right before it had me in such a good mood, or some other reason, but the Star Wars Solo movie was actually quite good. Perhaps not the best movie I’ve ever seen, but quite well done. Good universe building, and all that, and I enjoyed the characters. Yes, I can see that taking away some of the mystery of Han being not so great, but it felt true to the character. That could be in part to them lifting lines Han says from the original trilogy, but it didn’t feel completely out of place. So I’m not entirely sure why it garnered so much hate. Perhaps I liked it more than others because I was prepared to hate it, and was pleasantly surprised. Disney may be an evil corporate machine(I’m just quoting others here), but they can still make a decent movie. But I will say I really wasn’t a fan of The Last Jedi… at least half the film. But we’ll see what the future holds.

I also watched The Incredibles 2. It was fine. Simply a movie, and well animated, but it felt slow in some places. I didn’t hate it, but I think the first one was better. At least it didn’t ruin the universe, and perhaps another film can be milked out, hopefully better than this one. But even if it isn’t, it’ll probably be okay. I still say that first film is the best Fantastic Four movie out there, though I’m quite a fan of the 1994 version, even if it was on a shoe-string budget. It had some of the best lines and delivery out of all the other Fantastic Four movies I’ve seen.

And that’s really it. I wasn’t feeling great over the weekend, and perhaps because of that I didn’t do much, but I’ll be feeling better soon. So I hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon