Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Double Space or Not To Double Space…

I admit it. I’m a double spacer. When I type that period (or question mark or exclamation point) at the end of a sentence, I hit that space bar twice as a prelude to the next sentence. I’ve done it for decades and I’ll probably keep doing it for decades. It feels so natural. A period by itself just isn’t enough to signal the end of a thought. Who could dispute that?

Not convinced of my correctness? Consider Microsoft Word. It doesn’t complain when I put two spaces together at the end of a sentence, even though it notifies me whenever I do it anywhere else. How can it be wrong if Word doesn’t complain? (Note: A little fact checking reveals that Word does have an option to flag it as an error, but it’s not the default setting, so I rest my case and declare victory.

Astute readers will already have noticed there is only one space between the sentences in this post. If you use Blogger as your platform, you already know the reason why. No matter how many spaces you place between your sentences when you submit a post, Blogger removes all but one. When I first discovered this a few years ago while working on my first blog, I spent over an hour trying to trick Blogger into accepting more than one space. My soul crushed by this failure, I resigned myself to this fact of life and it no longer bothers me (very much). If our overlords in the cloud think this is the way it should be, who am I to argue?

If you care about this topic at all, here are links to two dissenting points of view:

Against double spacing

For double spacing

Friday, January 14, 2011

Too Many Blogs, Not Enough Time!

I’ve been a naughty boy.

Instead of spending the little free time I have diligently working on my story, I’ve spent the last three days searching the Internet for web sites devoted to writing. And what I’ve discovered is there are a bazillion writing blogs out there; each chock full of links to more sites, which contain even more links. At the rate I am collecting links, I won’t be able to finish checking them out until sometime during the summer.

It appears every writer on the planet has a blog, which probably isn’t all that surprising when you thing about it; but between all the posting by the owners of the blogs and all the commenting by other writers wo visit, who is getting any real work done? Of course, I’m a (newbie) writer myself and I keep a blog and make comments on other writers' blogs, so I shouldn’t point any fingers, but searching for writing blogs has become damn addicting. I may have to unplug the computer from the net for a while if I expect to make any progress on my story this year.

So I curse all of you whose blogs have stolen time away from me.

I’d also like to thank you for all the great blog posts and excellent tips.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Emotional Attachments to One's Book

I had a bit of a scare this morning. My wife chose to wash my pants while I was in the shower – pants which still held my phone and the USB thumbdrive I carry with me at all times. My wife found the phone when it fell out of the pocket (before being thrown into the washer), but she didn’t notice the thumbdrive.

That thumbdrive holds every chapter in my Hogwarts book, and that’s where I’ve stored them since the very beginning. The reason I carry it with me is because I never know when an idea will pop into my head or when I might find myself with some free time next to a computer. So you can imagine my reaction when I realized what might have happened. I pulled every soggy jean out of the washer and searched every pocket. I had no idea if a USB drive could survive immersion in soapy water, but I was going to give it a shot. Eventually my wife discovered the drive in one of my son’s boots next to the washer. Like the phone, it had fallen out of the pocket prior to washing. My relief was indescribable.

Too be honest, this was an overreaction on my part. I have the book backed up in multiple locations, so no material would have been lost had the drive been ruined, but after having carried it around (nearly) every day for the last year and a half, I’ve developed an emotional attachment to it – something I didn’t realize before now. To me, that drive symbolizes THE BOOK and all the work I’ve put into it. I would have mourned its loss.

But it’s safely back in my pocket again. So, really, much ado about nothing, I suppose.