Archive for category Doctorow

E = …?

Since I have officially finished reading my first ebook, I have added a designation to my “Currently Reading”… Yeap… intuitive you probably already guessed it… an “E”, well “(E)” to be specific. I’ve read a couple of short stories, or pieces of magazines, but finally snuck in a book so I could finish something for a class.

And the jury is still mixed. Sort of.

I’m reading on an iPad (cross platform: I’ve got both Nook & Kindle apps loaded, as well as iBooks), and the experiences have generally been positive… much better than my attempts to run the Nook app on a Droid 2 (synching issues). Really, the only issue I’ve had to grumble about is the lack of cross-platform availability for some titles I’m interested in. Examples: Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series – there are a couple of titles not available for the Nook, but are available through Kindle. Neil Peart’s books that are available electronically on Kindle, aren’t anywhere else.

I like the appearance and functionality of iBooks, but Nook’s got so many more titles and options available, and in theory has cross platform support (has worked between an iPad & iPod Touch… not so much with the Droid app, and some issues with the PC client). And Nook’s easier to add titles to (over 3000 – yes, that’s thousand – samples so far). Kindle hassn’t impressed me, other than as an alternate venue to find titles – like Peart’s books, or Cherie Priest’s Clementine.

Yes, I said samples a moment ago. Many of them are books that I already own copies of and am just using as place markers for the “library” (Grafton, Gaiman, some Stross and Doctorow, among others). Many of them are back-cannon collections for writer’s I like, have an interest in reading (the rest of Stross, Doctorow, Scalzi, King). Many of them, though, fall into the “oooh, shiny” category, which is where I think Nook has the market advantage. I like to wander the shelves and look at books. I’m weird that way, always have been, but with the marvel of cell phone cameras, I can now take a picture of a book that looks interesting, look it up online, *click* a sample is added to the library for me to check out later. Much better for the discouragement of random impulse buying with triple digit receipts (I mentioned here before where two trips to B&N in a week netted me about 20 books, just because I was bored and wandered the shelves).

I guess the real reason I say the jury is still sort of out stems from moments like that… I still have a boatload of books – physical paper, bound, printed things – on my shelves begging to be read, many of which are more likely out of print, or haven’t been transitioned over to ebooks yet (inherited collections). Which means not a frequent digesting of ebooks… yet. Once I finish this Master’s Degree thing, I may have some increased opportunities to play with.

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Do you wanna…?

I’m not a regular Scalzi reader… not that I don’t like his stuff, I’ve just not intuified and programmed my fingers to surf on over on a daily basis like I have with others: Wheaton, Gaiman, Stross. When I have found myself wandering up to the bar to hang out and listen, I’ve usually gotten something of interest… like this little gem here that I’ll excerpt a bit of (mostly for my own future records).

But if you want to be a writer, than be a writer, for god’s sake. It’s not that hard, and it doesn’t require that much effort on a day to day basis. Find the time or make the time. Sit down, shut up and put your words together. Work at it and keep working at it. And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do.

To say that it’s duh-huh advice is an understatement, and something I know I’ve struggled with, especially recently when trying to juggle creative projects with academic demands. The (current) academic portion is almost over… a few more months if I can keep the house of cards balanced. And if I can strike the balance, once the academic is completed I can redivert energy back to the word count in earnest. And I think I will be lowering my goals at first, from my original 500-1000 (2-3 pages) to something more like 250-300 (about 1 page, since I hand write)… inspired by this other tidbit fromthe same article…

Cory Doctorow says that no matter what, he tries for 250 words a day… and if you write just 250 words a day — the equivalent to a single, double-spaced page of text — then in a year you have 90,000 words. That’s the length of a novel. Off of 250 words a day. Which you could do. On the goddamned bus. If you really wanted.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a bus to catch.

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