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The Hobby Horse Corral
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Grouchy Chris' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011
9:46 pm
Virus in, virus out
Well, I am feeling better, but my computer is feeling worse. I've been messing around trying to fix a virus (I think) all day, so I haven't gotten any writing done.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
6:21 pm
I guess I picked up whatever Mike had, because I've developed a sore throat and a cough. I didn't get anything at all done yesterday. On the other hand, last night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I had an idea for a story. It's a bit of a silly idea, but it kept me entertained for a couple of hours, so it is perhaps worth committing to paper. It borrows a bit from an earlier idea, so I'm not sure they are both viable. Anyway, I have decided to give this story the code name "Copenhagen." I got a good start on it today.

1422
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
9:24 pm
I changed the ending of a scene halfway through it today. I think it's a better ending, but the scene is now getting long, and I think I may have gotten a little lost.

465
Saturday, April 30th, 2011
10:24 pm
I have got to find a way to get started earlier in the day.

1017
Friday, April 29th, 2011
7:18 pm
Toward the ideal
They say that the way to have good ideas is to have lots of ideas, and then throw out all the bad ones. I trust that this works on the small scale as well as on the large, so that when I want to do something like introduce a character or give a line of dialog the right tone, I can just try it forty different ways until I find the right one.

1000
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
10:25 pm
Imagine a transition to an appropriate title here
I got off to a very late start today. I keep getting to points where I can't figure out how to transition to the next interesting thing. Generally, my rule is that if not knowing how to handle a transition is keeping me from writing, I just ignore the transition and go straight into what else needs to happen. Sometimes I wrestle with that for a while before I realize that's what I need to do, and that was the case today.

So although I started late, I got a good start on a conversation that I know needs to happen, although I don't know exactly where or when. Since I've done this damn-the-transition maneuver a number of times now, I have a very choppy and disconnected text. I hope I'll be able figure out how to stitch it together later.

1003
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
4:43 pm
1089
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
10:06 pm
Lightning never hits the same grass twice
Last August, while I was mowing the lawn, the ideas fell into place for the book I'm writing now. Today, mowing the lawn just wore me out.

724
Monday, April 25th, 2011
9:09 pm
1019
Sunday, April 24th, 2011
9:56 pm
I'm back from Norwescon. I had a good time and did a lot that I thought was worthwhile. At a lot of cons, I often find myself with a lot of dead time between events I want to go to, but this time there was less of that and I managed to find things to do between events. That included some writing, but what with all the distractions and the lack of a computer, I didn't meet my goal either day. (Sunday, of course, is a day of rest.)

Highlights: the art show tour with Alan Clark, dinner at the new Thai restaurant across the street from the hotel, learning William Gibson's secret of writing via Eileen Gunn.

I went to several writing panels and that left me with a lot to think about, primarily in the areas of editing and figuring out what to do with the novel after I get it done. I also came away with two half-ideas for stories, which I will refer to with the code-names "Play" and "Running." More on them later if I can move them past the half-baked stage.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
7:36 pm
828
Friday, April 22nd, 2011
7:09 pm
437
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
7:09 pm
I say tomayto, you say tomahto, but there's only one way to say duck
On paper, text is usually formatted a certain way: the first line of a paragraph is indented, and there is not extra spacing between paragraphs. Newspapers, magazines, fiction and nonfiction books -- they all use this standard. I was taught the same thing in typing class in the 8th grade: end a paragraph with a single carriage return, begin one with a tab.

Online, a different format holds. There is no indentation, and there is a blank line between paragraphs. Email, Usenet, blogs, company web pages, personal web pages, it's all the same. Except for text intended to be printed out on paper, I can't recall ever seeing text laid out on in a webpage like it would be in a book. I'm sure there are exceptions, but they must be very rare.

And here's the thing: I have never, ever seen this format explicitly taught anywhere. Yet everyone uses it, and -- here is the really odd bit -- there is no controversy about it whatsoever. Just about everything you see on the web for which there can be a standard has multiple standards, and people arguing for one or another with such vehemence that the argument becomes known as a religious war. And yet somehow, without any fuss, or any overt instruction as far as I can tell, we have all agreed that text on the Internet is to be arranged in line-separated, unindented paragraphs. Weird.

1007
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
4:43 pm
Do be do be do, crooned Frank
For years, I have wanted to be a writer. However, wanting to be a writer is not the same thing as wanting to write. Thinking about how cool it would be to get something written is one thing, and wanting to write is another. Being and doing are different.

I have tried, at various times in the past, to turn wanting to be into doing, and it has always failed. I cannot, left on my own, sitting unseen at my desk, get a damn thing done. I'm much too easily distracted, and hey, if I don't do it, who's even going to know? Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow. And I didn't tell people about what I was doing, because it would be embarrassing to have to admit that yet another day had passed, and I hadn't gotten anything done. You can see the result in the nonexistence of all my short story collections and novels.

So now I have decided to take the opposite approach. My goal is a thousand words a day, six days a week. Every day I will post my word count, and everyone will be able to tell if I've been productive or if I've been slacking off. So be it.

1014
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
6:28 pm
1098
Monday, April 18th, 2011
11:59 pm
1042
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
7:57 pm
1000
Friday, April 15th, 2011
10:40 pm
51
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
10:14 pm
1105
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
1:35 pm
1092
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