Oct32012

Spreadsheet Wistfulness (Important for Writers)

 

I’ll admit it. I’m not ashamed. Well, not much anyway. Yes, Gentle Reader: I love spreadsheets. I may, just possibly, be addicted to them. I love the little bits of information organized in perfect little boxes. I love to color-code the text. I love to be able to file data into neat little rows and columns. And then color-code the rows and columns, change backgrounds, make things bold, freeze frames, fix borders. Oh, it’s all so exciting.

Really, Gail? That’s your excitement?

Well, that and tea.

The Unsellable Blightness of Being (my sweeping, unpublishable YA epic fantasy full of humor, more cookies than the Keebler factory, more threads than a Victorian wedding dress, and a planned 7 book arc ~ I had big, big dreams in those days) attained 2.5 books before I gave it up and it earned its name. During that time it also attained 5, yes 5, spreadsheets: 1 for terms, 1 for characters, 1 for mythology and gods, 1 for topography, and 1 for the ever more complex time table of events. This does not include the vast and all absorbing notebook I carried about to go along, the massive wall map, binder of additional articles, nor the three page historical timeline.

Can you tell how much I hate continuity and consistency errors?

Yes, I know they still happen. These days I don’t have the time to double-check myself as often, nor do my betas. But also I always loved those books that after you’ve read the second book, you go back and read the first book and there are all these little secrets you didn’t pick up on during round one. They didn’t effect your enjoyment first time through, but they’re there waiting. And there are even more the third time round, after reading the third book. And because, in those days, I had nothing but my own preferences to act on, I could be as convoluted as I wanted. Ah, to be a Single Girl again.

These days I don’t use spreadsheets for books anymore. Oh sure I still get to have them, for keeping track of finances, and foreign editions, and house hunting, and budgets, and travel (you should see my travel toiletry planner, it’s fabo if I do say so myself). But I miss the spreadsheets of books, I don’t know why they don’t seem to work as well when I write steampunk, but they just don’t. Odd.

When I packed in the day job and went full time as a professional writer, I knew my archaeology life would change. What’s funny is how much of my writing life changed as well and continues to do so with each new series.

I haven’t anything pity to end with, so here’s what the AB and I randomly drove past on HWY 880 last Sunday night.

I know it’s not a great photo but we were going rather fast at night and all I had was my phone. Still you can imagine  my surprise seeing that out my window!

Book News:
JapaneseTimelessCover copy
The rumored cover for the Japanese trnaslation of Timeless. Not officially confirmed by my publisher. But still, isn’t it a cutie?

Quote of the Day:
“Books are a refuge, a sort of cloistral refuge, from the vulgarities of the actual world.”
~ Walter Pate

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Posted by Gail Carriger

 

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