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Monthly Archives: July 2016

New Infographic! How to Troubleshoot and Revise a Scene

I was looking for something else on my hard drive when I stumbled across this infographic that I had written a few years ago, and which turned up missinRandRSceneg. I remember looking for it and not being able to find it anywhere. I gave up, assuming that I had closed Word without saving.

But it turns out, I had dumped it in the root My Documents directory. Where I never put anything. Or so I thought. Turns out there’s all kinds of miscellaneous stuff in there, which I now should go through. Maybe I’ll find another hidden treasure.

It’s based on this post:

How to Troubleshoot and Rewrite a Scene …

It now has top billing at my Infographics page.

Making Some Changes

I had to adjust to a new reality recently. In fact, I’m still going through it.

Losing over 40 pounds has not been without its side-effects. You never hear about the drawbacks of weight loss, only the benefits. Well–not to discourage anyone who is trying to lose weight–my particular drawback has been a new sensitivity in my hips and tailbone.

Do I want to gain the weight back? Absolutely not. So far, the benefits still outweigh the costs. I am now down to half a blood pressure pill a day, and the Florida heat hardly bothers me at all anymore. I fit into the world better, making it more comfortable. But I realized that I needed to do something about this chronic pain if I want to get back to my old writing schedule. And I started in the past few weeks.

The first change is I moved my recliner into a different room, and moved an old reclining couch back in our family room. The reclining couch does not recline back as far as my old rocking recliner, so all my weight does not end up concentrated in one place at the base of my spine. I also realized that some strategic positioning of cushions has been making the problem worse, not better.

The second change is to move my writing area back to an actual desk, instead of any recliner. So I bought a nice office chair and started working at an old writing desk I had. However, my laptop is too large to fit into the area designed for the smaller laptops of yesteryear (ok, so the desk isn’t that old), and the drawer prevents me from pulling my new office chair all the way up. I looked around for a nice corner desk, but they were all too elaborate and expensive, and looked too difficult to move. (I know because I’ve had such desks in the past.) I will be visiting a used office furnishing store this week to see if I can find an old Steelcase corner unit, but in the meantime, I have pushed two 4-foot tables into an L shape. It is comfortable enough that I have been able to work here off-and-on for most of the day. My next book finally feels like it is taking shape.

The last change I am making is exercises to pump up my — er — derriere. There’s no fat at the base of my butt anymore (although there’s still plenty higher up), but I know there’s muscle back there, so if I can bulk it up a bit, maybe it won’t hurt to sit anymore. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past ten years, is to not let your muscles atrophy. It actually causes pain. My shoulders usually don’t bother me anymore, and if they do, a nice round of the same exercises that my therapist taught me is as good as a pain pill. The same kind of thinking keeps my feet from hurting. An old friend who was born with no kneecaps told me that if she had not kept exercising over the years, she’d be in a wheelchair by now. So where there’s pain, I tend to add exercise. I’ll report later if it helps–I just started yesterday.

I guess these are good problems to have, rather than the problems my obesity were causing and threatening to cause to my health. Still, a problem is a problem, and it’s encouraging to take some steps to solve it. The last step I intend to take is to mention the issue at my annual physical, which I need to schedule. Hopefully the doctor will be able to recommend some things I haven’t thought of.

Slacking off!

Wow, I’ve been slacking off here quite a bit. I won’t bore you with excuses; instead, I’ll let you know a little of what I’ve been up to.


I mentioned a while back that I was knocked flat by some very powerful antibiotics. I believe I am fully recovered from that, but am now plagued some other annoying stuff while my system keeps getting back into whack. While doing that, I’ve done some reading, including the first book of The Legacy of Gird: Surrender None, by Elizabeth Moon. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even if the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Gird was almost as likable as Paks was, but Surrender None failed to bring me to tears or to establish quite as deep a connection. But that’s not much of a critique because Paks was one of my favorite all-time characters. That bar is a bit high to reach.

I am now struggling through the second book in the set, Liar’s Oath. To me, the characters in this book just aren’t as engaging as Gird was, and I just can’t care much about Luap. I fail to muster much curiosity as to the true identity of Autumn Rose. I am not sure I’ll get through this one. I wonder why Moon felt–and apparently, continues to feel in her current series–that she had to write about other characters than Paksenarrion. The current series actually lost my suspension of disbelief because so much havoc is going on and Paks is nowhere to be found.

I also tried a reread of The Once and Future King by T. H. White, also one of my all-time favorites. However, I’m wondering if the hardback I purchased used is some sort of unabridged version, because really is plodding along. The version I read years ago was much better-paced. I have skipped over vast tracts of story, especially where pointless dialog just goes on for page after page. Eventually I gave it up to pick up The Legacy of Gird, which had languished on my bookshelf for quite a while.

While I read these books, my daughter is chewing through some Mark Twain. She read (and laughed) her way through Tom Sawyer, and then had to read a book for school that she didn’t enjoy nearly as much, and she picked The Prince and the Pauper to read next. In order to establish good reading habits, I have been reading beside her every night for a half hour before she crashes.


I am now shopping two books (both books in the Forthcoming section of this site), and while I do that, I’ve been planning the second book in each series. I am further along in the time travel series, but I have an entire five-book arc planned in the fantasy, and those books will be much easier to write.

I worked out some plot complications yesterday afternoon while taking a walk, so I do believe I’ll work on that now.