Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How to go grey in one day, brought to you by Windows Vista

So I've been working a little hard to finish Sky Waves, having lost so much time to illness over the spring. I've promised delivery of the ms July 26th. I revised 59 (short-short) chapters over last Saturday and Sunday. Now, I haven't slept well since June, and I'm getting just a teensy bit edgy. Monday night I taped open my eyelids and fired up my new Windows Vista-powered laptop to sketch in a new chapter ... but Windows Vista can't find the latest Sky Waves document. Check again -- nope. "Search" can't find it. Restart. Search. Nothing. Restart. Search -- got it ... registering at 32 pages.

When last I looked it was at 168 pages.

Now it registered just 32 pages.

I almost puked. Yes, I'd backed the file up, but not correctly, as I discovered, using my portable drive earlier in the day. For a few moments I thought I'd replaced the version with the 59 of 98 chapters with an older version of just 16 of 98 chapters.

Sweating now, I hit Ctrl End to see where this document ended.

Okay, all my work was there. But Windows Vista still told me the file measured 32 pages, despite me being on page 168. Finally, Windows read the file length correctly.

At least, I'm quite content to blame Windows Vista for this little bit of confusion. Yeah, that's it, evil Windows Vista, out to get me, out to get us all ...

Not sure what I need first: chocolate, Valium, or a new colour job at the salon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Salt (through my Water Street office window)

Downtown smells like salt. Not that rancid-scallop smell Halifax gets, but hard-biting salt water, the stuff that'd scrape the features off your face as soon as freeze you to death. Fog's coming in, so it's too chilly for short sleeves and skirts. That lady with white hair who often wears high platform boots and asks you for change in a very professional voice (was she once a receptionist?) stands across the street, breasts down to her navel in a thin old exercise bra. People ignore her. She shakes all over for a moment, picks a few times at her crotch, then moves on, dragging a wheeled suitcase and a cooler behind her.

Cursing and swearing

I love profanity. I love the rhythm and flavour it can add to a sentence. I want to poke the hornet's nest of profanity and blogging -- should I maintain a corporate tone here? Will the occasional expletive make someone decide not to buy my books? make them decide to buy my books? Is this also a gender and cultural issue, whereby I act like "one of da b'ys" by using profanity? Whoever said cussing was solely the province and privilege of da b'ys? Am I still a good mother if I don't use profanity around my kids? But then can I use it at a reading they're attending? Is it okay for my characters to use it, but not my narrators? Who's in charge here?

Fuck this.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

(I found this at Nadine also has a few words to say on the subject.)

Reading Saturday, July 26th

As part of the NL Publishers event on Saturday, July 26th at Chapters on Kenmount Road, St. John’s, I’ll be reading from my upcoming novel, Sky Waves. The whole event runs 1-5 Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th.


My site,, is down. I’ve paid all the fees, but I remain site-less. I want to change it up anyway. Stay tuned.

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett
in progress