Damn you autocorrect!

Posted on November 17th, 2010

Found a hilarious site in my Twitter feed tonight: http://damnyouautocorrect.com/

I laughed more in twenty minutes than I have in the past twenty days. It’s a much needed relaxation break. Check it out, I’m sure you’ll love it.

As an aside to my writer friends: observe how the messages often have completely different meanings. Think about how you can use similar “mistakes” to comedic effect in your own writing.

A courteous spammer

Posted on November 16th, 2010

I have to say, I’ve run into something I never thought I’d see:  a courteous spammer.

This amazes me.  I didn’t think they existed.  Why can’t all spammers be this honest and up front about their intentions?

I manage the writing forums over at WritAnon, and found this message today by a new “member”.

Hello. This is a spam bot test message. If you are admin or moderator, please delete this message. I will see that there are alive people here and the board is moderated. And I will never come back… Else we both will be upset, cuz I will start to spam this place 1000 times a day, posting viagra and porn stuff, and you will start deleting my messages. Thank you and good luck. Sorry to bother you

I almost felt bad as I disapproved the message.  Almost.

Their honesty is refreshing, and a good deal from the garbledy-gook that I usually see from the spambots that try to sign up on the board.

Anyway, I thought I’d share.  A spammer being polite and honest.  Who woulda thunk?

Big announcement: I can’t wait

Posted on November 13th, 2010

My wife and I attended our first prenatal appointment yesterday.  After receiving our first positive pregnancy test almost six weeks ago, we couldn’t wait to find out more.

Stacks of literature were dumped on our laps to prepare us for what to expect–and most of it is what you’d expect: symptoms, growth charts, tips for dealing with anxiety, etc.

More importantly, we were able to share two life-changing moments:  the first time we’ve heard our baby’s heartbeat, and our first hint at what our baby looks like.

The doctor warned us that it was still early, so we might not be able to hear anything.  As she took her fetal pulse monitor and placed it on Brenda’s belly, we listened.  I held my breath as I sorted through the sounds we heard–the static, squishy noises (I assume they must have been Brenda’s digestive tract), and a couple of faint sounds that might have been the liquid thumping of a tiny heartbeat.

Then the doctor found the right spot.  Strong and clear, we heard our tiny offspring (or is it still in-spring?) beating away, growing in Brenda’s uterus.

For the ultrasound, at ten weeks pregnant there wasn’t much to see except for the baby’s heart beating.  However, we could see the faint outline of a tiny body resting at the bottom of the screen, with a heart flashing a bright white.

Outside the womb, Brenda and I smiled at each other. A moment of pure joy.

For her, it crystallizes the first time that she could prove she was pregnant.  Without hearing the heartbeat, she would have been disappointed until our next appointment, and somewhat adrift until she could “feel” pregnant.  She’s been one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had much nausea or other symptoms typical of pregnancy.

Except, as her husband points out, extreme fatigue and sleeping all the time.

For me, it’s a precious milestone on our road to becoming parents. I’ve always loved helping kids become whoever they’re going to be.  Now I’ll be able to pour my energy into my own child and his or her (or, eek! their) friends.  That doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing other things, just changing my focus.

As my wife will rapidly point out, only one heartbeat showed up on the ultrasound, so we’re pretty sure there’s only one in there.

Unless, my devious writer mind fishes up, multiple heartbeats were perfectly in sync.  Or the doctor stopped looking once we found the first.

But we’re pretty certain it’s just one.  Really.  And one will be plenty of responsibility to handle at one time.

As I mentioned to the doctor when we arrived, “we’re thinking of becoming parents.”  At ten weeks along, we’re heading in the right direction.

I can’t wait.  🙂

Halfway there

Posted on November 6th, 2010

While working on my story today, I checked my word count.  At 50,023 words, I’m now at the point where I’m halfway through my projected word count for my first draft.

Luckily, I’m also halfway through the planned events in my book.

There’s still a lot left to do, but it’s kind of motivating that I’m now closer to the end of the first draft than the beginning.   Every day, I get a little bit closer.

What’s been as much fun lately is that I’ve been meeting more and more with other novelists.  Four of us–Ann Noser, Jennifer Galuska, Christa Worrell, and I–have been working closely for the past few weeks, and all of us plan to work through each other’s novels.  With the feedback they’ve been giving me, I’ve been forming a tighter manuscript that’s getting closer to ready for publication.

Unfortunately, with some of the word count reductions, I’ve made it harder to make forward progress on word counts, but that’s not a bad thing.  My count now is more realistic than when I started.

Anyway, I was so excited that I’ve hit my halfway point that I wanted to share right away.  With any luck, I’ll have completed the novel in another month or so (I’m writing the second half as part of NaNoWriMo).  Even if I don’t get there, I’ll be a lot closer than I was at the start of the month.

On a roll

Posted on November 5th, 2010

Yet another phrase I thought of that sounds like fun.  Let me know what you think:

You can never get there from here, for when you get there, “there” will be “here”.

Sounds like a deep philosophical thought to me.  Or an abuse of the English language.  You pick.

Coining another phrase

Posted on November 4th, 2010

Seems like I’ve been coming up with a few quotable phrases lately.  I’m claiming this one addressed to my writer friends:

Let the words spill out onto the paper, and keep the coffee in its cup. Don’t get those confused.

Enjoy the mental image!