Spring means the return of the fleas, and other things

Did some rewriting of DoCS this week, mostly adding/tweaking scenes I'd made notes about since last summer. Needed to really break in the netbook I bought a while back. About thirty percent of what was in the notebook (the pen and ink scribble scribble kind of notebook) was actually already in DoCS, which goes to show that I least remember some of the things I write*, and also that you do not actually need your notebook (the metal & plastic electrodigital kind) to revise a novel. Ha.

The reason I bought the netbook (ASUS eeepc) had more to do with the incompatibility of WinXP with Win7** networks*** than me needing a replacement. My trusted MSI Notebook might look like it's all duct tape and loose screws, but it still performs admirably for a well-traveled, all-banged-up "old" (about 6 years I think) notebook, but the batteries were simpering out again and those don't come cheap.
So: [ new batteries]+[win XP > 7 update]≈ [ASUS eeepc], et voilà.

So far it's turning out an okay thingie, though I still have some peeves I need to either overcome, kill, or learn to steer around.
It really freezes up Word a long time while saving, which isn't so bad when I decide when it saves. But 5 seconds is long when you're in the middle of an amazing sentence and the things starts autosaving. On the other hand, disabling the autosave is not an option for someone who writes.
I really miss the Numpad and dedicated keys like Home and End and Page Up. The limited space on the keyboard means they have been demoted to "function" keys (which makes me wonder whether it are only indjut writers like me who use them). Half the time I'm ending up at the start of the novel (ctrl+fn+home) when what I meant to do was select everything from cursor to beginning of the line (shift+fn+home), and I was drawing looks on the train yesterday while trying to select everything above the cursor right up to the start (a cat-spastic: shift+ctrl+fn+home) for deletion.
Something else I obviously did not give enough thought during the buying: arrows. On normal keyboards arrows reside in an upside-down T constellation (seriously, that was already the case in C64 days). On the eeepc they are reduced to the space of 3 keys in a row, with Up and Down being half-keys, conveniently placed underneath Shift. Imagine: you intend to go up a few lines, find yourself going down (not really a case of sausage fingers, but half of a tiny key is even tinier, okay?) and try to restore the error by tapping the correct key (obviously above the one you were), you end up tapping shift 3 times and wake up some annoying "helpful" key-shit proggie (Dorothy boobytraps I call those because they do sort of work like "click your heels three times" and before you know it you're standing in some field in Kansas and you did not want to go to Kansas at all, okay?). It means serious retraining of fingerspitzengefühl. Changing keys around like that, tch.

Nevertheless, today I did some more work on the second UTA novel, mostly plotting and choreographing, since it is going to be a complicated dance: I've got background stories about Conway's past, then 3 consecutive story arcs, and they all need to get mixed up and taken out of their chronological order and put into some phantaspasmodyllic roller coaster of a storyline. It's starting to look like doable, instead of "what the hell did you think when you thought up this mad scheme?"

Also bought some more books today, mostly because last week I was hit by a spell of friendly idiocy and allowing The Heroes to go with a friend since I was still finishing reading Loups-Garous which, of course, I finished within two days and since I'm not sure The Heroes will be back tomorrow... Mainly bought sequels: Jemisin's Broken Kingdoms (because I'm just so much in love with the woman's voice), Asher's Brass Man (because Line of Polity was not of the same level as Gridlinked, though the writing is good enough to give his agent Cormac another chance), Tchaikovsky's Dragonfly Falling (because even if Empire in Black and Gold didn't get me in an obsessive reading trance I could do with knowing how things evolve), and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, mainly because it got onto the to-buy list, and it still looked good, or even more so, in the flesh. Erm, paper. And in sticking links to titles I notice that I paid too much in Waterstones, and could  even have had them delivered to my door for even less. The things you do to support your local bookstore...

*seriously, sometimes when I'm reacquainting myself with one of the books I wonder who has added a scene here and there. The wonders of writing in bits and pieces and hopping between stories I guess. That and writing on the train after work like a zombified meatpuppet.

** I'm not a total dweeb with computers, yet it has cost me some study to figure out how to KILL homegroups, but even then no talk between the dysfunctional family members. Besides, with MS every step forward is two steps back. Our USB printserver is also not compatible with Win7, and I refuse working with wireless [don't ask me why, perhaps part of Laumer's Long Twilight (yes, the one that ultimately led to a movie called Highlander) planted a seed in my brain about stuff being beamed through the air, and Walter Jon Williams' Metropolitan probably didn't help either] so currently I email my hubby the shit that needs printing, but hubby don't print because he is a lousy secretary. Good thing I'm not his employer because he would be so fired.

*** the mobile writing desk gets to link and update often to the immobile one, as back up as well as making sure all versions are the same. NB: I bought a GoodSync licence for that and it's still one of my most beloved programs ever.°

° talking about helpful proggies: about two months ago I managed to get confused about whether I had updated the shit, and had 2 different versions of a document. Not something you want to happen when you're talking about 100K+ text, and not quite knowing *what* had been changed between the two. Snagged a program called Diff Doc from the web which was great help, though working through such a shitload of words was still painstaking and long.


Sometimes life is like a bucking bull. And no amount of clinging on is going to make him change his mind about throwing you.

So, today I figured out that trying to deal with old men, as they play at immovable object in a board, is pretty much like dealing with prissy bitches back in my catholic high-school days: what's important is not the work that needs doing and whether it gets done, but the holy sanctity of the pecking order. Everything is a popularity contest, and I never won those way back when, and I don't see why that would change now.

I really can't summon the energy to deal with grown people on that level anymore. So I'm getting off this crazy bull's back and look at things of neglect that are staring sadly at me with lopsided grins from the corner of the arena. Spring's in the air, after all, and I've got plenty of trees in my garden that need killing...