Friday, July 18, 2008

Follow-up to FREE Liquid Story Binder XE

As I said in the other post, the offer to get LSB for free is for today, Thursday, 7/18/08 only.  I noticed last night when I was on the GiveawayOfTheDay site that those offers are good until midnight *Pacific Time*.  So that's 3 am my time...or noon on Friday in Australia (unless that funky daylight savings offset has thrown it off - probably so).
From my experience with GOTD, you download a .zip file and unpack it - there will be 3 items.  The setup file for the free software, a readme.txt, and an "activate" file.  Read the readme.txt first (I say this because I usually ignore them but this time it's important).  You need to run the ACTIVATE program before installing the software.  Then install the software and it should automatically register itself to the full version.
ALL of this needs to be accomplished before the midnight (or whatever) deadline.  You can't just download the file - you have to run the activation and install the software.
Just FYI.
Oh, and there's a Yahoo! group for Liquid Story Binder users.  For help with the software, updates, questions, discussion of features, etc.  Come on by!

Liquid Story Binder XE - FREE TODAY!!!

A commenter (thanks, Rick!) gave me the heads up last week that LSB might show up for free again and guess what - today it has.
I got my copy a few months ago for the bargain price of $15 but today (7/18/08) ONLY you can go to:
and download LSB XE for free.  The newest version, even!  (I'm running 2.71 but once you have it registered all updates are free, so I'll be upgrading to 2.91 tonight no matter what.)
It was well worth my $15 so BY ALL MEANS go get it free today if you don't already have it.  I've been using it for rewrites and I've only scratched the surface of all the features but some of my favorites are: character dossiers, line notes, shortcuts, file associations, picture galleries.  The storyboard and timeline features are cool but I haven't had the time to fully set mine up.  Other stuff I've heard it does but haven't experienced yet: jump words (i.e. if I click on "Alec" I can set it to pull up his character dossier, if I click on "Glencoe" it will pull up the picture gallery or the list of files with all my research on the massacre, etc.), playlists, all sorts of stuff.
For more information on Liquid Story Binder XE go to
The interface isn't your standard Microsoft (duh - and some would say that's a good thing) and it took some getting used to.  I had to change the display colors, and all that.  But the more I use it the more instinctively I know where to find the tools I want, the more features I discover and get set up, and the more addicted to it I get.
Go.  It's free.  You can't go wrong with free!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wordle and other fun stuff

Stolen shamelessly from Jo (and everyone else)...

For this blog:

For OHN:

And a fun cartoon Deniz sent me that I tracked to the artist's blog online:

Friday, July 11, 2008

More slashing and burning

Another 2700 words cut tonight, and that despite me not getting and staying focused until after 10 pm.  That brings the MS down to just over 102K, almost 10K less than the SFD.  I still have a lot more to cut, though, especially considering all the new stuff that has to go in.

I'd like to be done with this phase by the weekend, and seriously re-plot through next week.

In other news, I've got reviews for several books I'd like to post, if I could find the time to write them.  Unfortunately, being in full-on revisions mode makes me hyper-critical, and I can't enjoy everything as much as I might.  Thankfully, there are some authors (a few I happen to know "personally") who are good enough that I can still get transported into the story and escape for a little while.

In other other news, I booked our hotel for Fergus tonight.  Only one month from now, woohoo!  It's a shame DH isn't coming with me, though; he would have worn his kilt.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yay, caffeine

Revisions with me are proving to be mind over matter.  I was exhausted tonight, and the temptation to turn in early and get a good rest was strong.  But I get to sleep in tomorrow (working late - planned for once - so going in late) so I made myself take the little yellow pill and it perked me right up. 

I picked up where I left off with Chapter 12 and started cutting some more.  Among tonight's casualties: my beloved "takedowns" scene, or most of it.  *sigh*  All told I cut about 2500 words, and that only from chapters 12-16.

The rest of the time was spent adding a new scene, or most of one.  A little over 500 words.  Alec and Janet discussing their future, not knowing Elspeth is nearby and the sight of them kissing will send her off to Glencoe alone...

All in all, I'm pleased.  Yay, caffeine.  *g*

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


So I took a break from the "hacky, slashy, poky-poky" of last night to work on this week's assignment for the revisions workshop.

Right now we're looking at scenes: what makes a well-balanced, complete one, things a scene should and should not do, etc.  Our assignment was to post a pivotal scene from the MS, and I chose Elspeth's confrontation with Breadalbane and her bargain for Alec's life.  On the whole it was well-received (by the two people who've commented so far) and some good comments were made that inspired about a 100-word addition to the first new words in a while.  I also reworked some stuff and took out some "telling" where I didn't need it.

So that's one out of, oh, about 130 or so scenes in the MS that's in pretty much final condition now.  I'll take what progress I can get, hehe.

Now it's almost midnight and I think I'll be better served in general by going to bed and resuming my slash-and-burn operation tomorrow night.

But in the meantime, if anyone wants to save $30 on a CatGenie - a catbox that not only scoops but washes itself and doesn't need litter - let me know.  I can give you a "friends & family" coupon code.  After less than a week I am IN LOVE with mine.  It's totally worth the money.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Slash and Burn

So, first night of the new routine seemed to go okay.  Little Boy went to bed late, so I only got a solid hour of work done.  Still, for a change, I feel like I actually made some progress.

I made it through the first 1/3 of the MS (chapters 1-11) in my slash-and-burn rampage.

According to LSB (Liquid Story Binder) I cut almost 2600 words tonight.  (I've done a little bit previously, too.)  The overall MS is at 107,250.  So I'm down a total of 5K or so, and I've got another 12K at least to get down to my target of 95K.  Some of that will come in the next few nights as I cut big scenes and chunks of scenes (some are hard to part with, but I have to admit to myself they're more for me than for the story).  Other wordage will evaporate as I get into the nitty-gritty revisions, scene-by-scene.  Right now it's the broad-stroke stuff, because I'll get hung up in the little details if I try to go in and just take out lines or paragraphs.

I will also have new stuff to write, at some point.  But I think after I get all this extraneous stuff cut, it will be a big catch-up plotting/organizing streak, and then we'll see where I am in the revisions workshop - I really do plan to blog about that, someday - and hopefully I'll manage to keep pace.

In other news, I'm probably going to Fergus again this year!  My friend Jodi *waves* is also somewhat obsessed with Scotland and we're planning a "girls' weekend out" road trip.  Fun times.

Now I'm for bed.  Staff meeting at 8 am tomorrow.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A new schedule

Okay, I'm trying to get myself on a routine, since things are still hectic but at least they're settling into some aspect of predictability.

My new plan:

8 pm: begin bedtime routine for Little Boy
9 pm: LB in bed; wash face, brush teeth, etc. while waiting for him to settle down
~9:30 pm: at computer - go straight to work on revisions
11:30-12 am: wrap up revisions for the night, check e-mail/blogs and other online administrativa
~12 am: bedtime
6 am: alarm goes off
8 am: work
~6-7 pm: home, dinner, playtime
8 pm: lather, rinse, repeat

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Another meme, because Deniz posted it *g*

(Y'all, I have so much to blog and absolutely no time to do it - what with the internet ban at work, and my evening computer time taken up by the revisions workshop - so I'll have to make do with this for now.)

Stolen from Shaylin, who stole it from Jon, who stole it from Sandy:

1. What's in your pocket right now?  Nothing.  My cell phone about 15 minutes ago.


2. Have you ever gone skinny-dipping?  Do hot tubs count?


3. Did you have a baby blanket?  I don't think so, but I did have a tattered old feather pillow with a homemade pillow case (Lovey Pillow) and a ragged stuffed rabbit missing an eye (Lovey Bunny).  Still have them, in fact - though I don't sleep with them anymore. 


4. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair?  When I had bangs, I cut my own all the time.  Never the whole head, though.

5. How did that turn out?  Fine.  Like I said, I did it all the time.


6. Have you ever sleepwalked?  I don't think so. 


7.Have you ever had a birthday party at a restaurant?  Yeah.  Blanking on which ones, but I'm pretty sure I have.


8. Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit?  Tried one.  Not bad, actually.

9. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first?  Open the door.  (Thank you, Mythbusters.)


10. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?  No.


11. Have you ever fallen asleep in school?  OH, yeah.


12. How many foreign countries have you visited?  4: Mexico, Israel, Bahamas, Canada.  Oh!  5 if you count our layover in Copenhagen on the way to Israel.


13. Have you ever broken a bone?  Not officially.  Possibly a few undiagnosed hairline fractures in there somewhere.  OTOH, I drink a lot of milk.


14. Have you ever accidentally taken something from a hotel?  No, not accidentally.

15. If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be?  Movie star?  Can't it be someone interesting?


16. If you could attend an Olympic Event, what would it be?  I like to watch figure skating and gymnastics.  Fencing would be pretty neat, too.  Also archery.


17. How many pairs of shoes do you own?  Hmmm...6 pairs of serviceable work shoes (3 black, 3 brown, usage varies by season), 3 pairs of tennis shoes (white, black/white, and blue/silver - the first 2 are new as of last weekend), 2 pairs of boots (black and brown), 1 pair of tartan - not plaid - ballet flats, and assorted pairs of sandals/strappy dress shoes.  2 pairs of dress heels.  Or something like that.


18. If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick?  Oy...  How about Carnival Cruise Lines online reservations?  Does that count?  I'm too tired to analyze best-case options right now.


19. Have you ever been rushed to the emergency room?  Not rushed, but taken.  I seriously had like a 106+ fever when I was in 4th(?) grade.  And once I jumped in a pile of leaves and almost broke my wrist (but didn't, cf. #13).  Can't remember if the time I hit the pipe in the road while riding my bicycle barefoot resulted in an ER trip or not.  I think it probably did.

20.  Have you ever had surgery?  Yeah, most recently my wisdom teeth out.  Only one other back in college, and it was outpatient too.  Nothing major.

21.  When was the last time you had a sit-down dinner with your immediate family that didn't consist of a television?  Saturday night?  Sunday we were gone all day to the zoo, and Little Boy's been gone to Granny's since yesterday (he gets back on Thursday, and that's why I'm able to be on the computer before 10 pm...)