Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More reasons I hate Spell Check!

Claire and the Egotistical Rat Bastard is almost done.  YEAH!

It is now in the hands of a group who are reading, looking for inconsistencies and any other craziness that may have slipped past me.  I’m sure there are many.

This brings me to today’s topic.  Why I hate spell check.

I know, I’ve ranted about this before but every time I start to edit it attacks me all over again.

Now this time I didn’t get a lot of little colored squiggles for having a passive voice.  Thank you gods of micro soft!

First, I’ve been cleaning up Molly and the Vampire.  The one Amazon review I’ve gotten took off a star for my problems with homonyms.  She still gave me four stars but said I should use spell check.

I wanted to cry out to her, “But I did use spell check!” 

Now you see; that is part of the problem.  People have a weird notion that spell check actually knows what it’s talking about.  It doesn’t something that has been brought to my attention in a very painful way.  For example, loosing that star.

I have learned a lot about what the program will and will not help me with.  It will not distinguish between those pesky homonyms, and when I’m tired and frustrated I start accepting what it tells me.  BIG MISTAKE.  My reviewer thought that it would get things right. HA!.

I went through the manuscript three times searching for their, there, and they’re.  Lord I hope I got them all.

Spell check also hates normal conversation, at least the normal conversation between my characters.  Conversations between my people tend to be overrun with fragments.  I can’t help it if that’s the way they communicate and I will not be held responsible for what they tell me.

But there is something bigger that I just don’t understand at all.

When my hero Bran tells his friends that “My lady was intent on breaking my heart” Spell Check tells me it should be “My lady were intent on breaking my heart.” 

When “Molly had to give herself a mental shake” Apparently it should have been “Molly had to give her a mental shake.”  It left me wondering who had wandered into the scene and needed a mental shake.  

When Molly thinks that quirky people were usually fun, Spell Check decided that I had too many quirky people and that quirky people was usually fun.

But the one that really got me, the one that took me a couple of minutes to figure out was a scene between Bran and his friends Crow and Minstrel.  The line I wrote was; Both men were grinning at Bran who just looked puzzled.  I thought it made sense, but I was wrong.  It should actually have read, Both men were grinning oat Bran who just looked puzzled.

It was clear that at some point when I wasn’t watching my hero turned into a healthy breakfast cereal.

Molly is going to be very disappointed.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meet Minstrel

Let me introduce you to my friend Minstrel.  If you have already read Molly and the Vampire then you have already run into him.
I have written this blog for a friend who sent me a list of questions for him.  She just loves him. He has agreed to answer them but I can’t guarantee that his answers will make any sense.

“Hello Minstrel.”

“Hello lovely one.  You are looking delicious today.  Does this mean that you have decided to run off with me?”

“Okay now you have to stop doing that.  The ground rules for this were no flirting.  You promised.”

“Are you sure about that?  I’m certain you must have misunderstood sweeting.  That doesn’t sound like me at all.  We could go to that island I was telling you about love.  We could spend a few days discussing it.”

“Stop that.  Your here to answer questions, remember?”

“Am I?  Well we had best get on with it then.  It will leave more time for seduction.”

“Ahem.  Her first question is about your immortality.  Nan wants to know if that means you can’t be killed or you have always existed.”

“Oh, she likes the hard ones doesn’t she?  Well, I think I can be killed.”

“Excuse me, you think?”

“Well it hasn’t happened yet has it?  But that could only indicate that it’s very hard to do, or that I’ve been very lucky.  I’m not a god, at least I don’t think I am and they would be the only ones you can’t kill.  I think.”

“You don’t sound sure of anything.”

“Oh well I’m not.  I tend to forget things; or at least I try to.”

“Does that mean that you don’t remember if you have always existed?”

“Right.  I must have been born don’t you think?  I don’t remember my parents, but I should think it likely that I had some and I’m certain they were very nice ones.”

“Next she want’s to know, if you have always been, have you always been the same, the same health, maturity, that sort of thing.  Or did you grow up?”

“Lovely one are you sure you wouldn’t rather talk about something else?  Something like what I could do to your body if you were to give me a chance.”

“Let’s stick to the questions please.”

“Very well.  If I was born, and I think I was, then I would have to have grown up.  You might ask my friends Bran and Crow about my maturity.  They might not think I am.  Better yet, ask Molly.  She’ll tell you the truth, that I’m almost perfect.”
“I’ve heard that before.  Next question, have you ever been bored?”

“Well now you see, that’s one reason I began forgetting things.”

“Then you’re telling me that you purposely forget things, important things like having parents?”

“Well of course.  I’ve been around long enough to understand that boredom can be deadly.  But if you forget the past, you are constantly surprised by life.”

“That answers her next question, can you ever be surprised.”

“But there is more than that.  Ladies are always a wonder and surprise.  No two are alike, but they are all beautiful and a joyful gift.  I love you all.  Now, about that island...”

“No island.  Questions remember.  Next Nan want’s to know, because you can change into different things what is the strangest thing you ever turned into, and was there something so wonderful that you wanted to stay that way forever?”

“Well... let me think.  The oddest thing I remember turning onto was a Blue Whale.  It was very exciting to see the world they live in.  As to the second part of your question, I’m very fond of dragons.  Flying as a dragon is like nothing else.  It is exhilarating.  I also enjoy being a big cat.  Stretched out on a big rock in the sunshine is...beautiful.  But I have never wished to remain in a form other than my own.  How could I seduce you were I a dragon, although I could take you flying?  Would you like to fly to that island we were speaking of sweeting?”

“Nan wants to know about some historical events or people you knew.”

“But you haven’t answered my question about flying to the island.”
“I’m ignoring you.  Answer the question.”

“Your friend is the one who writes about history isn’t she?  That would explain it I suppose, this interest in my history.  I’m afraid I can’t help her much.  As I have explained, history, at least mine is something I endeavor to forget.  I do remember St. George but as far as I could tell, he was no saint.  Then he went and killed that poor dragon then made up stories to justify the deed.  And you should know that most of my time was not spent in the human world.”

“Next question, if you wanted to die could you?”

“But why would I want to?  I think your friend needs a vacation.  She thinks too much about death.  Do you think she would like to go to the island with us?  I could make you both very happy.”

“Are you even listening to me?  I am not, repeat not, going to some island with you.  Now, can you have children?”

“Are you offering luv?”

“I don’t know why I agreed to do this.  Every time you show up you make me crazy.  I have one last question from Nan.  If you just can’t die, then when were you born, how were you born, and what is your earliest memory?”

“Haven’t I answered those?  Very well, as to when, I know that I am something over two millennium old but I don’t know how much.  How is anyone born?  I don’t think I was discovered in a cabbage patch.  And I’m sorry but I have forgotten my earliest memory.  At least I think I have.”

“Have you anything you would like to say to the readers?”

“Why don’t we go to my island and take a few days to discuss that?”

“Go away.”

You can see why I was leery of inviting Minstrel in for questions.  Getting a straight answer out of him can be impossible.   

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Dogs

I saw someone playing with a Shih Tzu today and it got me thinking about my Crazy Little Monkee Boy. 
He too was a Shih Tzu and he loved me.  Actually, it was mutual.  They are great little dogs and are bred for no other reason than to be little love sponges.  Monkee Boy was very good at his job.  He would go off to play with Muppet (my Lhasa Apso) Or to make the cats crazy, but he never stayed away for long.
If I were at the computer, he would come and lay down on my foot, for a while.  Eventually he needed me to love him and he would stand on his hind feet and nudge me until I stopped and picked him up.  Talking to him, patting his head, even giving him a treat wasn’t enough and if I tried to get away with one or even all of those things, I would suddenly find him on my lap when he launched himself at me.  It didn’t really bother me.  It’s hard to get mad at that kind of affection.
The only real trouble came at night.  In the winter it would get cold enough at night that warm hairy bodies snuggled up against me was a welcome thing.  However, as cold as it was in the winter, it got hotter in the summer.  The cats would disappear, Muppet would find the coolest spot on the tile floor, but Monkee Boy would not leave my side.
Dogs are hotter then we are; they are meant to be.  He would start out snuggled as close to my side as he could get.  That was bad enough, but at least I could get to sleep.  But Monkee was never satisfied with that arrangement and would slowly move up my body until he could wrap himself around my head.
Now I’ve read that when it’s cold if you can keep your feet and head warm you will stay warm all over.  I know it works when it’s hot because Monkee’s belly was like a blast furnace and I would wake up covered in sweat.
I would pry him loose, look him in his big melting brown eyes, and beg him, please stay put before putting him down.  It never worked.  Within 90 minutes, he was back on my head and I needed to wring the sweat out of my sheets.    

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Minor Insanity (really)

Hi there

I know that is a lame beginning for my first post in six months.  I’ve been sick?

No, really, I have.  It’s something that many people live with called depression.  Or as I prefer to call it “AARGH!”  Mine is nicely controlled by medication, but every few years the medication stops working right and has to be changed.  That sounds simple enough, the thing is this time it wasn’t simple at all and it took forever.  However, I’m getting better now, really I am.  I haven’t wanted to whack every idiot I meet over the head with a heavy object in at least a week!  True, some of them would have deserved it.


I’m better, honest!

I’ve finally started writing again.  And it only took me two weeks to write about a thousand words, and another week to get another 5,000.  Pitiful numbers, on a good, make that spectacular day I can do almost that much.  I know this because I have.  It shocked the heck out of me, but I did it.  (You will notice that I haven’t remarked on the quality of those words.)

It might go more smoothly if I stopped listening to the characters in the story.  I was working my way to a perfectly fine ending when they started telling me I had it all wrong and changing the whole thing.

Someone once asked Michelangelo how he did what he did.  He told them that all he did was release the figure that was already in the stone.  Maybe writing is like that for me.  I find the people that already have the story and I just write down what they tell me.  On the other hand, maybe I’m crazier than I thought.  If I were, how would I know?  I mean everything would make sense to me because I was crazy.  Right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Things she didn't hear

I got some said news today.  The daughter of a friend messaged me to tell me that her mom had died.  I promised never to get serious with this blog, But Constance Rose Johnson should be remembered.

I can't be miserable about it though, no one should be.  Connie left me a lot of memories to laugh about.

Even at 80 she was on the lookout for a good looking man, especially ones with great hair.  If I saw her attraction, and it was hard to miss, she would say  "Woo Woo" roll her eyes and give me the biggest of grins.

She loved to play BINGO but it was more therapy than a game and very slow.  I would sit with her and help her play.  Some days she was very sharp and played like a pro.  At other times her attention wandered and it was my job to remind her what she was doing.  I like to think that it was just that she was looking at something more interesting.  She often found it in a man with an abundance of wavy white hair.  She had good taste, it was spectacular hair.

Connie also had a tiny hearing problem.  She could hear just fine, but she often heard things that you didn't say.  One day our conversation involved another person.  The subject had something to do with and old kind of candy, but I don't remember much of it.  I do remember Connie looking at me in absolute shock and asking,  "When did you circumcise a cat?"  I couldn't breathe for a while for laughing and every time someone ask what happened, I exploded all over again!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hello Again

It is the 17th of December and I’m only now getting back to you.  I am an insensitive brute, a lowlife, a monster!  Feel free to add any thing you can think of to that list.  I deserve all of it.

The last time I posted was early November and I had just started Na No Wri Mo.  You will be happy to know that I won!  Actually, it’s more likely that you really don’t care.  That’s alright.  I didn’t expect you too, but it was important to me.

Now I had 50,091 words for a novel Titled Molly and the Demon Contractor.  I would probably need another 70,000 or so to complete the first draft.

Now, on with the topic for todays rant.

I used the speech to text program that comes with Windows 7 for the last 14 pages because I was in a panic about not being able to finish.  It sounded like a great idea.  I’m mean I can talk a whole heck of a lot faster than I can type.  Of course, I never could manage more than 27 words a minute.  I’ve gotten worse over time.  Yeah; that’s hard to believe, but true.  I have given up trying to type on my lap top.  Every time I do, the cursor starts a wild dance all over the page.  At times it disappeared altogether.  That’s only one of the reasons that I use a Wacom tablet to type.  Another neat thing about Windows 7 is the nifty little keyboard that pops up when you use a tablet instead of a mouse.

Anyway,  as I’ve said, speech to text sounded like a great idea.  Well; not so much.  It has become clear to me that my diction, that I had believed to be understandable, isn’t.  That is the only explanation for finding phrases like “how had your bloody hands for this!  Do you think you can preach the best way I’ll happen before the”  What?  I’m pretty sure that I intended, “Do you think you can” but I’ve got no idea what the rest of it should be.  The last time I tried the program I found that “Dan Rather bought tulips from the war being cold”.  No, I wasn’t even thinking about Dan Rather.  Or tulips for that matter.

I have read that Dragon speaking Naturally is a much better choice, probably written by the good people from Dragon.  A real live human told me the same thing.  But I’m not sure I can trust that particular real live human.  It would be useful about now because I’ve done something to my right shoulder and my hand keeps going to sleep.  If I sit with my head on my left shoulder it’s not as bad, but it does create problems for my neck.  I have to stop every 3 or 4 minutes to make adjustments.

Back to those 50,091 words; it’s now more like 45,300 and I’m finding more that I have to dump.  It doesn’t bother me much, and it should.  I think.  I keep writing myself into a corner. 

I think I’ll just dump the whole thing and start over.  How much worse could it get?

Stop laughing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today is the second day of NaNoWriMo and I’m already behind.

Ah; I hear many of you ask, “What is this NaNoWriMo?”

It is a month of sanctioned insanity.  All over the world  people have signed up to write a novel in the month of November.  Not a short story mind you; but 50,000 words of a NOVEL.  Actually, I have over 90,000 words in last year’s book The first draft, and it’s not even close to finished.

Although I now have nearly double the word count I didn’t complete the assignment.  But; I have an excuse, and it’s even a good one. 

I started late, it was at least 6 days before I reached 1000 words, but caught up and surged ahead.  I was a writing beast!  I typed away, one key at a time, pounding my story into submission.  I was winning!

Then I started throwing up.  I don’t mean my tummy was a little off.  Even the consumption of water caused painful bloating and finally I would loose everything including the water. 

They came to me and said “Come, for we must take you to yon hospital.”

I cried “Nay!  Verily I will not go to yon hospital for I am writing and can not stop.”

Again they assailed me saying “You must go to the hospital for your fever is most high and the fluid has left your body!”

“Nay!”  I exclaimed again.  “ can not go to yon hospital for I have written 47,362 words and I am very near my goal.”

Once more they came and

Well, I’m sure you get my point.  I did eventually end up in yon hospital, but I didn’t give up!  No, I took my computer with me.  It would have been great, they even had internet access.  The only problem was that my mind was so screwed up that the only thing I managed to do was loose the power cord for my laptop.  I was in the hospital for the last week of November and completely disgusted with my self for falling short.

But not this year!  I have vowed that I will reach my goal even if I die doing it.  That could actually work for me.  I understand that zombies are very popular right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A New excuse

I haven’t been writing again.  What?  You say that you have already noticed that?  At least I hope that’s what someone is saying.  It means that you’re reading it.

Okay smarty, can you guess the reason?

I would like to blame it all on the riverboat, but that would be a lie.  Are you asking ‘what riverboat’?  I knew you would because you are bright, inquisitive people.

Well the answer is... A friend of mine, Nan Hawthorne, writes historical fiction and her next novel is going to be a M/M romance set largely upon a riverboat that belongs to one of the hero’s.  They are also on different sides of the civil war.  Now I come to the part that I play, that being the one who ‘paints’ a picture of the hero owned riverboat as well as drawings of the two men.  It helps her think of them as real people if she can see them. 

I understand this because early on I had to do drawings of the guys in my story too.  Well... Maybe I didn’t have to, but it sure was fun.  And it did help me to see them standing around being gorgeous.  If I didn’t want to write I could sit and drool over them.

Sounds a little crazy right?  It is but, and this is the truly strange part, they tell me what their story is.  Yep, that’s right, they talk to me.  That may be why I’m having trouble with Claire and the Egotistical Rat Bastard, They have been quiet lately.  You’d think they would want to get on with it, I mean I left them in an uncomfortable place in the story.  If it was me I would want to get to that happy ending.  It is partly my fault; I got rid of the villain too early on and he wasn’t all that evil to begin with.  Maybe if I nasty him up some and give him a longer part, Claire and Sebastian will start talking again.

Any way; back to the riverboat not being to blame for my not writing this blog.  It took me about 4 days for the actual picture but you can add a couple more for trying to find a period perfect picture of a riverboat, and it had to be a side wheeler.  So that accounts for most of 6 days.  I’m also doing some other work for my friend, but none of it can account for my lack of posts.

Then there’s the whole Molly and the Vampire thing.  I had finished it, sent it off to Createspace, and because I was certain that it was perfect, (I was also stupid) I told them to go ahead and put it up for sale.  I didn’t need another proof copy, in fact I ordered 20 copies for myself.  Then they came And to my infinite surprise, at some point in fixing things I turned off the mirrored margins.  Maybe you never thought about how a book is put together, I confess that I hadn’t done much, thinking that is.  A mirrored margin means that the outside margin of every page is the same and every inside margin is the same, but wider than the outside ones.  It makes it easier to read the whole page.  Don’t get the picture?  Check it out the next time you love a book until it fall apart.

Anyway, it was really annoying and it made my baby look bad.  You can understand how I couldn’t have that, can’t you?

Meanwhile, my friend, the aforementioned Nan Hawthorne, said I should change the interior to bring the price down.  She was right of course.  That $17 print price was bothering me.  So, I changed to a different font that allowed me to bring down the size of the font (did you know that just because a font is ten pts. doesn’t mean that it is the same size as another font in 10 pt.?) and that brought the page count down by almost 100 pages.  That brought the price down to $15.  Of course that changed the size of the book so I had to redo the cover.

And again I ask myself; why did I want to write this book?  And again, I have no answer.  Maybe it has to do with all those people running around in my head insisting on telling me their stories.

If you don’t already think that I should be locked up in a rubber room; My fictional characters are going to an imaginary Halloween party at a nonexistent bar.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bright Idea (Yeah, Right)

So I had this bright idea; instead of building a web site I'll just add pages to my blog.  I can do everything that I need too on these pages, right?  Sure, you could but I can't.

I purchased software to teach me how to build a website, I've mentioned it before.  I still haven't figured out how it works, so the website isn't coming from that quarter.  I found a site that would allow me to customize to my hearts content.  (Wix) I don't think that I'm going to finish there either.

I do however own the name Crazy Vampire Lust and Dogs.com.  I just don't have anywhere to but it.

I hope you will take time to take the poll that you'll find on the right.  I'll tell you just what dark secrets your answers reveal about you later.

Meanwhile, I'll keep working on that website and making the pages work here.  I know, the pages work fine, I don't.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The book is out, almost & a Name change

Its a book!

I think.

At least I submitted it to Create Space to publish.

Then I got the second email from their  support department.  It appears that the mistake they mentioned in the first email and had decided wasnt real and something I didnt need to be concerned about turned out to be real after all.   Now they werent earth ending mistakes, but they were enough to have me panicked over the idea that my book, my sweet baby of a book, the pages that I had slaved over in an attempt to make perfect, the pages that tried to drive me to a stay in the padded palace, were going out into the great wide world in a flawed condition.  (Insert profanity of your choosing here)

Soooo... I submitted a file with the errors fixed and crossed my fingers.  Any finger crossing, finding of four leaf clovers, or throwing of change into a wishing well on my behalf will be gratefully accepted.  I need all the help I can get.

But remember, you dont have to wait for it to appear in print.  You can purchase a finished volume at Smashwords.com and with the coupon (I wont be mean and make you look it up, Ill give it to you again at the end of this) it is only two dollars!  Besides, its way too expensive on Amazon.  $17.00!

Oh, and by the way, you may have noticed my name change on this thing.  Sorry but this really is my name.  You probably liked Danu Adair better, it is certainly easier to pronounce.  I had to change it though; I chickened out on the book and used my real name.  I dont have a problem with my name, its only that its difficult for non Finnish  people to pronounce.  (If your Finnish, you are actually Soumi.  Now can someone explain that one to me?)  Not the Linda part, thats easy if a big mistake.  Its the Laaksonen part that people get creative with.  A surprising number insist on putting an R in it.  Others add extra syllables.  As if it didnt have enough already!   Others add an O and move the e around.

Anybody still wonder why I tried Adair?  Anybody wondering why I decided to use my real name? 

Yeah.  Me too.

and the coupon code is...AR66Y not case sensitive