Distracting Boredom

Hello again. I’ve returned.

I’m nearly at a loss as to what to talk about, as my life hardly changes week to week. That’s not a horrible thing, but it does bring a certain amount of stagnation into life. Even if I’m reading much more than I used to, I suppose that would be my only outside stimuli other than work. Work being the same thing everyday, for the most part, doesn’t grow me much as a person either though.

So what do we do to combat this stagnation? I like to learn things, and the Internet is a useful tool for such things. But I do that constantly, so is that really changing? I suppose going out and having new experiences would help, but since I work nights and sleep during the day there are limited opportunities left to me. That and I’m not a fan of parties or concerts that might be available during the early evenings when I might be awake.

I suppose I’m a homebody then. I do enjoy the occasional gathering of friends, maybe twice a month or so, but I’m still rather drained by it. I have my routines I like to keep too, and having friends over, no matter how much fun and stimulating our conversations are, I’m still a little tired out by it. But of course doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom, and this feeling finds me far too often. Eventually I get frustrated and mad at the world, or myself, and don’t know what to do to alleviate such boredom. Watching television can only hold back such emotions for so long.

Reading seems to be better equipped to distract me, but that’s just a distraction. There’s some underlying issue that must be faced. But then again I’ve always felt this sense of boredom. There are very few things that push such emotions away. One such thing that has helped has been road-trips. I usually like the journey more than I like the destination, though my last vacation(years ago) was fantastic all the way through. However being in a car listening to an audio-book, or podcast, or just having a conversation while watching the world rush by revealing new places is one of my favorite things. But having a job, and not much money, I’m not likely to experience one anytime soon.

Then again life ends for us all. We should fill it with things that we enjoy, and experience as much of it as we can. There’s no point to it, unless you make one for yourself. So I suppose finding distractions and entertainment are a good enough reason to do something as anything.

I guess that’s just another reason I write. I enjoy it, and I’m creating instead of just consuming. I guess it’s my little way, perhaps an unremarkable way, of giving back to those that have come before. I read what they’ve written. I watch what they’ve made, or look at their art. And if I can give back to someone else what they’ve given me, then I’ve done at least a little something for the world. And maybe all of us should try to make the world a little better by adding to it.

Remember I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice.

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: An estimated 94% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Advertisements

A Useful Tool

Hello friends and readers. I’m back again, though a day late.

Work has led me to weird sleep habits, as I’ve been not only doing my usual night-shifts, but day-shifts as well this last month. I’m tired, or at least I usually am. But troubles don’t end there. Again car issues have raised their head, however there’s not much to say save more money would be useful.

Once more I’ve used my text-to-speech program, and I’m finding things moving much quicker while I edit. Little things are caught, such as missing words, or wrong tenses. I highly recommend using a program to read your work aloud while you edit. You can’t trust your own eyes to interpret your words correctly, and another human might do the same if they look at it. We have an inherent way of interpreting things in a way that make sense. As such, having a non-thinking program read things verbatim certainly points out issues much easier, especially when you hear really awkward dialogue.

However I have a complaint. The program I’m using sounds awful. It took me a little while to get used to the voice, or at least be able to make sense of the gibberish it spews. Apparently I’ve yet to find the correct voice/program to use for my Linux computer. I’ve had great luck with voices on android, and apparently apple has good ones as well. I assume windows has a good built-in voice, but like with anything besides Linux and android, I know nothing first hand. But while I complain, what I have is a useful tool. And now I don’t have to strain my eyes reading off of the computer screen.

I let my eyes wander elsewhere this time around. I play mahjongg or other simple puzzle games while I listen, and when I hear something jarring I can easily pause the playback, and jump back into change things. It’s useful, and is much less intense than the multiple times I’d already read through this book. But I still find it quite surprising the little things I’ve missed. Must be my tiredness shining through. I thought I was being careful, but now that I am utilizing another tool I think the book will be greatly improved because of it.

But as I’ve said, I’m tired. So I’ll leave you here. 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: An estimated 90% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Inspiration

Greetings. I have returned.

Another week has passed, and in that time I’ve read a few books and watched a few things. And of course I’ve worked. Longer hours than the average week, and in the daylight no less, have left me tired. Editing was still done, but the weariness I feel perhaps has made it a little more difficult to process such things.

This time around I’m implementing an audio component to my editing. Meaning my computer is reading aloud the words. So far I’ve caught a few things that didn’t sound correct when spoken, so there is that. Though honestly they could have stayed, but I suppose I’m trying to make this book the best it can be. Perhaps I’m worrying too much about it, but a little bit of perfectionism never hurt anything. That is as long as you know nothing is perfect, and know when something is good enough. Otherwise I’ll be editing this book until the end of time, and I have other things I want to write.

Speaking of writing, I finally realized what I should do with a book I was working on before this one. I was watching an anime, one that has very little to do with this half-finished book I’m writing, and something clicked. Certain story elements stood out to me then. This happens now and again, and I’m thankful that I cast a wide net for the media I consume. Perhaps not in the literature field, but certainly the sources I entertain myself with. It’s interesting to see what different cultures think of as important, and what they focus on. Just a tiny little shift from the norm, and there you have it. An idea.

It makes me want to take up the keyboard again, and write a story instead of the constant editing for this book. However, I’m a single-minded worker, so I’ll put the editing first. Luckily I’ll have something to work with when I get back to writing. But this means I’ll likely want to be working on my half-finished book as well as the new book that the co-author has in mind. Since our pacing is different, and since I’ve seen how effective working on a couple of different projects at a time might help any difficulties one may have in having writers block, I see this as a good thing.

If you ever find yourself stuck, take some time to work on something else. I’ve done that now and again, and that’s perhaps why I have a few projects in the works that are only partially thought through. I have three books that have several chapters written, and one that simply has one. Of those one is nearly halfway finished, or perhaps a third, it’s hard to tell with the way I write. I didn’t set a word limit, nor did I make an outline, other than in my head, so knowing how far along I am is difficult. Perhaps when I get back to it I’ll do both, and see where I am.

That being said, another thing about writing, write down your ideas, you may forget them. You wake up from a dream that was really interesting? Write it down. Have a notebook, or use your phone, but always make a note. Stuck on a book, and a random thought strikes you, back it up to paper. You may not use the idea, but you’ll have a direction you can work from, or perhaps you’ll use it for another book. You can’t count on inspiration when your writing, so trust those little thoughts you have when you aren’t working.

Besides the entertainment value, this is why I like to read, and to watch movies and TV. Heck inspiration comes from random YouTube videos as well. I never know when something interesting will appear, and the story elements, or structure, might spark something within me as well. Not everything will work, but it will let your mind have more information to work with. So yes, it may seem I’m just wasting time watching some random anime, but to me I’m researching. At least that’s what I tell people.

So with that, I’ll leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable week. Until next time, good-bye.

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: An estimated 85% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

On Writing and Reading

Hello again.

Well I’ve been reading. Of course you say, especially if you’ve followed me on Goodreads. However I have been catching myself more and more critiquing my fellow writers. Their choices for words, their plot points, and their character motivations. But even more, I’m trying to dissect my own enjoyment. Why do I like a certain story, and why do I have trouble putting down a book?

In the case of the last two books I’ve read it’s a matter of what I see in the world. The rules that they’ve set up, and what a person might do with those rules. Even better is when a character experiments as well. That way we don’t have to wonder, we are shown. And I just can’t wait for the next new discovery. Another thing is mystery. A puzzle if you will. Here are these set pieces, and we aren’t told what they mean in the beginning. We are curious, and want to learn what is really going on, but only so much information is doled out, one piece at a time. Then we get to ask ourselves, what does it all mean?

If you can engage those two things, apparently even if the writing isn’t a masterpiece, it still is good. Good enough that I’ll spend too many hours reading instead of sleeping. Good enough that I don’t feel an hour pass, and when I look up the clock is telling me that I should have been asleep long ago.

Another trick for the sleepless reader, is something I utilized with my first three books. It wasn’t intentional, at least insomuch for it to cause sleeplessness. It was just a way I wanted to write those books. No chapters, no pauses, just a flow of consciousness. My first books have no natural pausing point, so it makes it difficult to find a place to stop. Some of the feedback I got on those was that people just read through the night, trying to get to a stopping point, but since they couldn’t find one, just finished those books in one sitting. Luckily they weren’t huge. If I were to have gone on as long as Robert Jordon I think some may have gone mad. I’ve moved on from that. Now I’m using chapter breaks after a scene is finished.

Chapters can also help the writer. It gives you a framework, one where you can drape your story. In breaking it up, it makes you think harder about a scene. You can then use it to build it up between one chapter and the next. Asking yourself what is important for the story to do here. How does it go from this to that? Currently this is quite helpful as I write with another person. Especially since we are in the editing phase. Since we both are familiar with what we’ve written, we can then try to sort out any inconsistencies. By knowing where the chapter is, we know where it isn’t. By knowing where it isn’t, we inherently know where it should be.

In the end I’m still very happy to be a reader, but I’m also excited to learn because of it. Every book I pick up gives me further clues into writing. Some of them good hints, others obvious no no’s when I start hating something. Luckily recently there’s been little to hate, as I’ve been picky with what I’ve read. But even if it’s a bad book, you’ll learn something. In fact you may learn more if you read something you hate. All those little things that irritate and annoy you will reinforce upon you not to do something so stupid. Then again, it’s all a matter of personal preference, as I’ve seen books I despise be praise way beyond their quality of writing. Maybe I’ll be lucky one day and receive such praise, but in the end the fun is in the writing, and in having it available for others to read.

With that, I’ll leave you this week. I hope you get more sleep than me, but if you have time pick up a book and enjoy.

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: An estimated 83% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Just a book update

Hello again. I’m back on my usual day this week. Obviously.

The book is progressing very well, and the co-author continues to turn out edits, and I continue to review and edit myself. I’m looking ahead a bit as well. Contemplating different word-processors and work flows that might be utilized on future products.

Speaking of which, the co-author was struck by inspiration, and could not stop themselves from starting on a new book. We’ve talked about the story a few times before, but they got the itch, so they had to write. They’ve asked if I’d like to work on it as well, and I’ve said yes. Of course I offered my services first, heh. But this looks like we may have a long-term partnership in writing together.

It’s been wonderful to work with them. We both are similar, but different enough that it gives us both something we are strong at, and we can pair them up and have the best version of our vision put to page. I can’t speak for them, but working with them has made me a better writer.

Of course there are other things at work when it comes to my growth as a writer. I randomly look up videos of people talking about writing, and editing. Random things stick, and I implement them just to see what such things look like. The good ones tend to last longer, and it changes me and how I do things. So thanks to other creatives that take the time to note certain things that first timers and newbies may not think of. And it doesn’t hurt to have my insatiable reading habit.

Other than that, not much is going on here. Save my lack of sleep driving me slightly crazy. But this happens now and again. But as for the book, I think we’re looking at months instead of years for completion and publication. My recollection tells me we started this book in either December of 2016 or January 2017, so it’s been awhile. My other books were done a bit faster, but I had more free time then. Given the amount of time we have to work on the book week to week I think we’re doing pretty good. So look forward to updates about the book in the next few months. Maybe I’ll even share the title, and the premise soon.

Just a note. The editing is slowing down. I’m getting really picky about what I change and clarify, so there is that. And as this is likely one of my last pass throughs, I’m really challenging myself to make sure things are as perfect as I can make them. So hopefully the finished product will be a good read for you all.

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: An estimated 83% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Manga and Goodreads

Hello all. I’m back, though one day late.

I thought I might miss this week, as I had to work yesterday. Fortunately I was able to rest enough to do some editing today, and am able to bring you this post.

This weekend the co-author was able to get some editing in, thanks to the holiday, and today I was able to read through what they got through. Meaning I’m all caught up with their edits. The story is flowing better than ever, and there wasn’t much left for me to do, though there were a few formatting errors I fixed. That and their word-processor seems to like to fix words to the wrong sort, though spelled correctly.

This time through I’m fixing how things are said. Sure, the original draft was fine, but I’m changing it slightly. Making it sound more natural, and less, well, verbose isn’t the word. Complex statements can be streamlined a bit here and there, and I’m doing that without losing the intended meaning. Also, a missing word can change an entire statement, and I’ve found a couple of instances where one thing was said, but really it should have been the opposite. Don’t forget your “not’s”.

Also I’m still adding things to Goodreads. Turns out they have manga on that site. So I’ve been going through and finding what I’ve read, and scoring them. I think I’ve read nearly as many of them as I have books, so it’ll take some time. That and trying to recall them from the top of my head isn’t helping. So far I think I’ve only been adding my favorites, though there are hundreds that are simply good instead of excellent that I’m not remembering the names for. That and I’m only adding the ones that I’ve finished, as there are just as many that I’ve stopped reading for one reason or another.

Since I’m more focused on novels and not manga currently I’m not likely to read many of them these days. Though who knows, maybe I’ll get back into it. I did spend many a year reading them and not books for the most part. Hence why my Goodreads grew a bit stagnant there for a awhile. It wasn’t until this year that I started reading more than a few books a year again.

I’m still watching a ton of anime, though I don’t think I’ve posted much about it here lately. The interesting thing about reading so much manga is that I recognize many an anime series from them. Almost every season there’s at least one that I’ve read first, even if it was just a chapter or two. As I’ve said, I’ve dropped a lot of them over the years. I usually at least watch the first episode, just to see if they did a decent job at adaptation, and most of the time they do. Though I tend to drop those anime as well. I’ve read it already after all.

Well I think that’s it for this week’s post. I hope you all have an enjoyable week. Until 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: An estimated 82% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Updates on Things

Hello there friends. I’m back.

The trials of waiting and finding a new phone have nearly come to and end. There is but one more hurdle to leap over, and that would be getting the correct sim card. Unfortunately in my excitement for a new phone I’d mistaken the size of my previous sim to be that of the new one. Unfortunately I’ve been using an oversized one for many years, and technology has long since pushed ahead of such things. But soon enough it shall be replaced and all my worries shall be alleviated. Or so I hope.

As to the book, it is proceeding grandly. The co-author spent many an hour at it and has progressed greatly in that time. They’ve lingered and leered over our words, and have produced yet more. Blank spots, or at least spots that needed filling in more have been. Myself, I’ve made language clearer and have beautified what was already lovely. Or so I think.

Yet the pace I edit will now linger behind that of the co-author. I mustn’t rush past them again. I’ve already re-read and edited multiple times, now I must focus on their notes and changes. It’s up to me to see the story clear on my end, until they finish and then we shall review together. It isn’t surprising to take as long to edit as it does to write. I’ve done this before, though previous attempts were slow due to the nature of the editors I had before.

No one has the time to edit daily, unless like me that’s all they did. Though I’ve no longer the time myself, as work is a thing we all must do in order to hold ourselves in a household. Financial needs sadly outweigh that of creativity. Luckily I’ve a certain amount of free time to work on writing, most weeks that is. There are times when such things are lost to me, and I work more than the average 40hrs. However since that is not the norm I’m able to sit here and type away.

With that said, there is a possibility that I might miss next Monday’s post. A holiday it is, and as such I may be called upon to attend to work. Tis a thing my job entails, as not a holiday goes by where those in my trade are called upon to perform our job. So if I am gone then, don’t worry. I should be back either the next day, or the following week.

But what else is there to tell? Hrm. Well if you are the sort interested in such things I’ve attempted to recall other books I’ve read over the years and have added to my Goodreads. I fear I’m missing many, as I borrowed many over the years, and memories of such are only sparked when I see their covers again. And of course due to previous selling and sorting out my own library I’ve lost hundreds of titles from my shelves. But since my mind lingers on such things a random jumble of author’s names come to me from time to time either while I’m asleep or working. Hence the update.

And also since several of my friends have taken to writing as well, we’ve talked of making a little guild of writers. The chance of more people looking over our work is an opportunity I think we all look forward to, and lets us focus on our strengths. Some of us are better at descriptions, others dialogue, and yet others still better at formating our words into reasonable paragraphs and such. Luckily we have a varied background to our reading list, and that too should make us stronger writers. But putting a name to our little group has been a sticking point. Not that we need one, but it’s something I’d like to do. As it is we disagree on the title. But that shouldn’t hinder us, as an unnamed group is just as valid as one named. But announcing ourselves would need such a thing, not that is needed either.

So with that little rambling post, I shall leave you until next time. May you have a wonderful 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: An estimated 78% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Finding a name for music

Greetings and salutations. I have found my way back to the internet.

This week was one that was filled with music. My ears were caressed by sounds that I hadn’t received a name for them to be categorized in, but as with most things they had been.

The first such things that received a name was one called Synthwave. An 80’s-esque sound filled with synth, that apparently was first widely spread from the soundtrack of a movie called Drive. A movie I still have not seen but first enjoyed the music from some years ago.

But this was not my first experience that lead me down this path. First was from an album that had been titled Nivel del Mar – Sounds for Soulsurfers. This collection of tracks from various artists kindled an interest in strange sounds and remixes from other peoples works. They were all categorized as Downbeat, Chill Out, Hip Hop, or Jazz. While you can hear why they would be, there was something different about them. Listening to them you might not see the connection, however Synthwave seems to have come from another genre. That genre being Vaporwave.

The first such instance of widespread internet fame came from a track called Floral Shoppe from Lisa Frank 420. At least in as much as my research has lead me. These early tracks seemed to distort old music to give it a creepy/unsettling feel. Making them sound like they were an old record playing or a similarly old VHS that had been played repeatedly on an old malfunctioning machine, but they at times also gave it a beat. However at that point it was also about the visual aesthetic as much as it was the sound. Marble busts and glitch art abound in their cover art and videos. A strange thing to be sure, however I felt relaxation listening to them.

And to make matters stranger, later a sub-genre arrived called Simpsonwave. These took classic Vaporwave tracks and used them tell a story using Simpson episodes and distort and glitch them. The first one was uploaded and titled Sunday School. And from my limited delving into this sub-genre is my favorite.

But what has this all to do with me? For the last couple of weeks I’ve spent much of my free time just listening to anything and everything I could find in these genres. I find them relaxing, and interestingly enough, when played in a group of friends it seems to stimulate conversation. They don’t drown out conversation, and they can spark thoughts in the listeners. This is very close to the playlist I use to write by. Hence why I find them so interesting. The music I’ve collected to listen while I work on my books have all been either Vaporwave or Synthwave all along. Or at the very least a precursor or an offspring of these genre’s.

Finding a name has made me go back into my library of music and see what I can find. And many of my favorites could be placed in either category. Of course about once a year I tend to get super excited about music instead of just being a passive thing I listen to. So this has apparently been the hyped period for the year, and I felt like I wanted to share my experience. But if you want to know more take some time and watch and listen to what others have to say about the history of these genres. There are many video’s on YouTube that you can find that do a better job than I. Perhaps you’ll find that you too have always enjoyed this type of music.

Until next time, have a musical 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: An estimated 76% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

I’m Just Complaining Again

Howdy folks. I’m back again.

So what have I been up to? Well I’ve mentioned the fact that my phone was trying to kill me, again. I also mentioned that I swapped it out for an old phone that I had. One who’s microphone didn’t work, who had a dead spot on the screen, and who’s charging port didn’t work. Well guess what? Now the screen keeps blinking, and randomly pressing buttons all over that place. So if I have your contact information it’s likely you may have received a random text, email, or whatever the phone happened to feel like doing at the time.

Time for the next back up phone. This one is even older, and has so little memory that it can barely run half the time. But it will make calls, the screen while small will allow me to read, and it works with wifi and 4G. That being said I can’t install many apps. I just have the kindle app installed, the rest is taken up by android and all the apps that come with that. So if you have tried to contact me this last week with anything besides texting and calls I probably didn’t get it. Heck, even using the built in browser doesn’t work half the time. I have to keep clearing the cache on the phone and browser to keep the phone from lagging so much that I can’t use it at all. Luckily I have an old tablet, that while has its own issues, tends to make up for the phone’s short comings. Though it is a hassle to lug both of them around.

That being said, I’m still waiting on my actual replacement phone to make its way to me. According to tracking it’s still in China, but I knew it would take forever to get here. I just didn’t think my backup phones would keep going to crap. Had I known that I might have paid a little more for the luxury of getting it here faster. Oh first world problems, how irritating you are.

I know I’m spoiled when it comes to having these devices, but man is it frustrating to have conveniences disappear. Perhaps that’s a sign I’m overly attached to them. Then again I’ve always been one to try to adopt the latest and greatest thing. Maybe not the bleeding edge, as my wallet can’t sustain such things, but within a few years time I tend to find myself desiring them.

Without the use of all those social media apps I’m feeling a little less stressed. Certainly the first few days I was craving them. I felt lonely. But then again, loading up a page with all the people you follow isn’t the same thing as talking to them. Now though, I’m not anxiously awaiting the next post. I’m more interested in what I’m reading.

And that’s the thing. I still can use this old phone for reading. Heck, if I really needed to I could use the tablet for that, though these days it seems a bit big for the task. I’d just load it up before I leave to a place without wifi, and I’d be golden. Unless I happen to finish the book. That’s happened, but before I had the option of downloading a new one while on the go. Now, not so much.

There are issues with the old phone, and one of them is the kindle store sometimes refuses to work. I don’t mean it won’t let me read. I mean the store just won’t load correctly, or it crashes when I try to purchase something.

Okay okay, enough complaining for one day. Truly we live in a future world. These issues are really not all that bad. If I really wanted to I could carry around one of the hundreds of actual physical books I own. It just wouldn’t be convenient. But that’s the name of the game these days. And when such things aren’t available to us, we tend to get a little upset.

Moving on. I’ve just gotten through my third pass through of the book. It’s looking good. The co-author was able to do some work on it this weekend as well. Looks like they took a dislike to a chapter and rewrote a bunch of it. So I’ll be checking that out the next time I edit.

Another thing, I finally used the spelling and grammar check for the whole document instead of simply as I went along. You’d figure I’d do that when I was going through it the first time, but I’ve found that tends to mess me up. I like to get to know the story before I start accepting what a computer thinks things should be. And it looks like I was right to do so. I didn’t find anything I didn’t expect. It mostly didn’t like the Norse names I’m using. Other than that, it looks golden. So one more pass through and we should be ready.

Until next time, I hope you all have better luck with your phones.

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: An estimated 75% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

How I Keep Writing

Hello all.

It has been four years since I published my first book. In that time I’ve released four other books. One of course is the poetry book, which isn’t the usual fare I put out. However the other three were novels. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this time, and I’m taking great effort in getting this latest book finished.

At least to me this shows my commitment to writing. I had a few times where I wasn’t sure of myself, and I couldn’t think of another thing to write. Those times I doubted I’d be able to write another book. Fortunately I’ve read of such things and took action to make sure I didn’t quit.

One way I’ve found that keeps me actively writing is to write something else. Whenever I feel I have nothing to add, and I’ve really tried at it many times, I switch to a different book. This has led to several partially started books that I go back to now and again. Some are further along than others, and one was a novel I was really focusing on before the co-author suggested writing this latest book together. I feel I’ve grown as a writer since then, so that book will have to be worked on before I really get back to writing it.

Another way to make sure I keep up writing is routine. I write in the same place, same time, and listen to the same music. Does that sound boring? Well there is a reason for it. I learned this from talking to people about meditation. When you want to return to the same frame of mind, such as in meditating, you make sure to do it in the same way you did last time. That way you aren’t distracted by any newness. This has helped me focus only on writing, and not on anything else.

Speaking of distractions, leave your phone elsewhere. Those constant notifications can take you away from your flow. And if you have a way of doing it, stay away from social media and email if you are writing on a computer. Yes I usually have a browser open when I write, and a huge amount of tabs loaded and ready to dive into, but I mostly use it for streaming my music playlist. Those other tabs are for emergency thesaurus use or checking up on some things you’ve looked up before. Don’t go into the black hole of looking things up in the middle of writing, that’ll take you away from the flow. I generally only research things well in advance of a writing session, then I leave the tabs open to go back for notable things and double checking my memory. Taking notes might be better, but having a tab dedicated to one topic tends to help instead of looking at a list of things I want to include.

Now this is for me personally, but having a window to look out of helps me think. I’m lucky to have always had tree’s and nature to look at, even though I currently live in a city. Just watching the leaves bounce in the wind distracts me and lets my mind build onto the story I’m working on. If I’m ever stuck on a scene all I have to do is glance out at nature and let my mind work. It’s very relaxing to me. Yes distractions are bad, but since it’s just a relaxing scene I don’t have to focus on anything really going on. It’s just nature doing it’s thing. Personally I like a nice sunny day, but rain and snow are good for me too. Though I admit any type of storm can exhilarate me too much, and I have a hard time sitting still.

Mostly I’m saying keep a routine, and don’t let yourself get distracted. That’s what works for me, and maybe it can work for you.

With that I leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable 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: An estimated 72% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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