Friday, April 28, 2023

Plottr: A Shoutout

In my last post I mentioned my plans for working during my trip, and how I went about making sure I can access my important files on both computers.  Because I originally only purchased a Plottr license for one device, this required reaching out to Plottr about upgrading my license.

I have to say, Plottr support was fabulous.  I was afraid I'd get some flak for my request, or be told just to buy another license, but they were actually really accommodating.  The person who helped me first had me make sure Plottr would run on my Surface Go, and then prorated the cost of the upgrade very affordably to reflect the fact that nearly half my original license term is passed.  They even canceled my original automatic annual payment so that it wouldn't renew for just one device the next time around.

I know I've posted before about Plottr, since I find it super useful for keeping a series bible as well as for doing initial plotting, but their support the past couple days blew me away.  If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, you can get to the Plottr website here by using my affiliate code.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

New Work Machine and a Change of Plans

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commissions from sales made through these links.

Today I was talking to my dad about the trip, and I mentioned I wasn't planning on taking my computer.  He said he's taking his, and we talked a little about that.  And I decided to look for a smaller device - a netbook or tablet - that I could take with me so I had access to a computer without taking my work machine with me.

I don't know why I'm so worried about taking my laptop on this trip.  I've traveled with my laptop before and never had an issue.  I suppose I haven't really flown with my main work laptop before, though.  All I know is that my work laptop is literally my life line, and if anything were to happen to it, I'd be devastated.

So instead, I decided on a Surface Go 3.  The slightly less powerful one (64GB drive with 4GB memory, as opposed to 128GB and 8GB) was under $400, so I picked one up tonight, and I have a keyboard and a case for it on their way.  (The case is a protective case like what I had for my Surface Pro that died a few years ago.)  I immediately had to turn off "S mode," which prevented me from installing the very software I bought it to run - namely, Scrivener.

It's a little slow compared to my everyday laptop, but that's okay.  I don't plan to use it all the time.  It'll be a good travel writing machine, though.  I've already created a copy of my current draft of Ruby into Dropbox and tested to make sure I could move back and forth between the two computers seamlessly (which I can, but I have to remember to close the file on each computer when I'm done writing, so Dropbox doesn't get confused as to which files are the most recent).  Because I'm working in a copy of the current draft, I'll have the original to fall back on if anything gets screwed up, and I'll try to back up my work to my main machine periodically to prevent any major loss of work if anything happens.

So it turns out I might not need to wait until I get back from the trip to get back into the habit of working on my novel, like I'd planned!  Now I just need to figure out if I can do the same thing with Plottr so that I can access my series bible on the trip, too.

When I purchased Plottr on my regular computer last December, I didn't think I was ever going to have more than one computer at once, so I just purchased a license for one computer.  So I reached out to Plottr about potentially upgrading my license.  They wanted me to make sure Plottr would run on the Surface first (it wouldn't have if I hadn't turned off S mode) and once we made sure, they prorated the cost so that I could upgrade my license for just the time I have left on my original one-year term.

Like with the Scrivener project, I loaded my Plottr series bible file into Dropbox, and now I can access the file on either computer!  I ended up adding a few more Scrivener projects too, so that if I want to reference or work on anything else, I have it all with me in the cloud.  So now I'm all set to be able to work on Ruby - or anything else I please - while traveling.

With the travel time at the airport and in flight, and hopefully some down time in the evenings, I hope it'll be a productive trip!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Ruby Ransome and the Danger of the Lost Habit

It's been a long time since I've worked on my novel... too long.  Tonight I thought to look at the stats on the NaNoWriMo site and the last time I updated my word count was December 20, 2022 - which probably means I was working late into the night on December 19th, and finished writing after midnight.

That's just over four months ago.  How did I manage to go four months without working on my novel?  And all of that despite April being Camp NaNoWriMo?

The answer is simple, of course: Life intervened.

The holidays were the first hurdle.  After that, my husband and I started working on projects around the house... and basically, we've never stopped.  We swapped our bedroom with the office and doll room, and then have been working on organizing and setting up the doll room.  In addition, I had a doll show to prep for.

All of this has conspired to make it difficult for me to get any writing done.  When we're not working on projects late into the evening, it's usually because we're burnt out, and I end up doing things other than writing - usually reading.  I've been reading a lot this year!

I need to get back into the habit of writing every night, but first I have one more hurdle: My dad and I are traveling for a few days end of this month.  I wasn't planning on schlepping my laptop along on the trip.  I don't have any client work, doubt I'll have much time to be on it, and didn't want the responsibility of having it with me.  I figured with my phone and my Kindle, that should be enough.

It does mean, however, that any work I do right now to try to get back into the habit of writing every day will be undone on the trip.  Plus it'll be a little tough to get into that habit right now, with my birthday next week and a lot of plans for that.  So I'm thinking I'll wait until early May when we're back from the trip to start writing again daily.

I still went ahead and created a new writing goal on the NaNoWriMo site now.  I want to try to get back on track for publishing the novel this year, even if it's later in the year than planned, so I am going to try to finish the rewritten draft in May.

You can track my progress in the sidebar of this blog, by following my blog posts, and on my NaNoWriMo goals page.


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