Notes from the Labyrinth
Unobtainium and Dragons' Bones
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ws: hamlet

This is the blog of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, a professional writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sarah Monette is my real name; Katherine Addison is a pen name, intended to be transparent.

If you've found me here, odds are pretty good you're looking for something to read, so the following is--to the best of my knowledge--a complete list of everything I've written that's available online:

STORIESCollapse )
ESSAYSCollapse )

If you know of anything I've missed, please leave a comment!
18th-Feb-2011 02:07 am - 5 things
horse: fd-milo
1. We had a thirty-six hour internet outage yesterday and today. SO not amused.

2. Also not amused by Wisconsin's governor. But yay for the 30,000 protesters!

3. Sean Wallace has posted the cover mock-up for the new edition of The Bone Key. I am in love with the cover art.

4. 169 copies of Unnatural Creatures have arrived! I have signed and numbered the entire print run, and this weekend will be all about making up orders and shipping them out.

5. Today, Milo and I cantered off the lunge line! This is huge, because the last time I tried cantering off the lunge line, back in May, I fell off the horse. It's taken my instructor and me this long to get me to the point where I was ready to try again, and OMG it felt completely different and SO MUCH BETTER. Completely psyched.
7th-Feb-2011 07:51 pm - A comedy of errors
writing: kmb
This is a list of all the words MS Word has mishyphenated in Unnatural Creatures. (And, yes, I double-checked all of them with the American Heritage Dictionary. Well, except "although," because really.)
  • alt-hough
  • anim-al
  • catech-ism
  • circ-ling
  • Co-leridge
  • des-cended
  • domin-ies
  • edit-or
  • Esth-er
  • extra-vagant
  • ima-gined
  • irrit-ation
  • juni-or
  • lib-rary
  • natur-al
  • philanthrop-ist
  • posit-ively
  • reas-onably
  • re-cognized
  • squeam-ishly

Booth would be appalled.

Also, for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, the sale is extended another day.
Word believes that "although" is hyphenated "alt-hough." And due to the UTTER IDIOCY of their quote-unquote "manual" hyphenation feature, you cannot correct it.

Although (ha), even that isn't as bad as what it did to Coleridge. There will be one change in the text of "White Charles," as the only way to prevent Word from hyphenating it "Co-leridge"--drawing a discreet curtain over the interim carnage--was to add in "Samuel Taylor," to get "Coleridge" away from the end of the line.
25th-Jan-2011 11:11 pm - lessons learned
ws: hamlet
What I have learned from fighting with Lulu, MS Word, OpenOffice, and Adobe:

1. Lulu would really prefer that you use (and pay for) their formatting service.

2. You have to choose a page size from Lulu that you can convince your word processor to agree on. 6"x9" may be lovely, but Word has no idea what you're talking about. Go with A5 instead.

3. Although you can technically use any font you like for the interior of your book, the fonts Lulu offers for covers are quite limited, and some of them are very very ugly. Garamond is your best bet for harmony.

4. I hate Adobe.

5. Making a .pdf is not as easy as you think, because Lulu requires you to embed the fonts. Which you cannot do from Word. You can from OpenOffice, but in going from Word to OpenOffice, you must be careful. This is the thing I learned tonight with much raging in the streets: OpenOffice will quietly bork your .rtf formatting that you have slaved over like a dog, and you will not be able to unbork it, no matter how much you swear. On the other hand, the same formatting in .doc, it's nice as pie about.

So, get everything right in Word: page size, tabs, page numbers, fonts, hyphenation, justification. Then save as a .doc, and move over to OpenOffice to export as a .pdf, remembering to tick the PDF/A-1a ticky box. (Iä! Iä!)

6. And ... oh crap. If you have to change your page size after you've turned on the automatic hyphenation, you'd better go back and double-check it. Because, O Word, library is not hyphenated after the b.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go beat my head against this wall some more.
ws: hamlet
At the moment, I have three word processors on my computer: MS Word 2000, WordPerfect 12, and Open Office 3.0. As you (may) know, oh interweb-Bob, I loathe Word with a white-hot passion. So why, you ask, do I have it on my system?

An excellent question, interweb-Bob! I'm so glad you asked.

Originally, I only had WP. I've used WP for years and years; I like it in direct correlation to the degree with which it differs from Word. (This means, of course, because WP has been handed through a succession of increasingly stupid companies, that I have liked it less and less, but that's a different problem.) But I am also well aware that it is going the way of the dodo as Microsoft eats more and more of the software market, and if I want other people to be able to read my files--and that's more and more how things work these days--I need to be thinking forward about cross-platform compatibility and what I do when WP finally turns up its little toes and dies.

But I hate Word and Microsoft and their little dog, too. So Open Office looked like it might be a good solution. I've been using OO for a couple months, and it's . . . meh. It does not irritate me to screaming point the way Word does, because it makes fewer assumptions about what I want, but it's a Word clone, so I dislike it for all the reasons I dislike Word.

And then there was this weekend's snafu, in which OO decided that an .rtf file (of the draft of the new wolf book) it had opened and saved happily the night before was now unopenable. (Word, when I installed it, concurred. WP opened it without complaint, but of course lost all the Track Changes formatting which is kind of essential to the whole collaboration process. This required kind of a lot of work on my part to remake the file, and I was Not Happy about it.)

Which leads me to my imponderable. If I can't use OO to go back and forth with an .rtf file, is there any reason to use it at all? Am I not going to be happier--since I don't like OO anymore than I like Word--using WP for my own files and Word for my collaborations? Except then that whole WP-in-decline thing is still an issue, and I don't know what the hell to do.

Yes, this is the sort of thing writers think about when we should be working.
30th-Jan-2009 07:28 pm - This time for sure, Brain!
ws: hamlet
A round of applause, please, for mirrorthaw, who has bent the technology to his will. The file is now about half the size, and all of it is on the server.

Right-click here to download.
29th-Dec-2008 10:28 pm - Waterlog
TIME: 37+ min.
DISTANCE 4.5+ mi.
NOTES: The technology betrayed me by resetting itself, so I don't know exactly how long or how far I rowed.
SHIRE-RECKONING: We're heading for the Road, tra la.
4th-Apr-2008 02:27 pm - EPIC FAIL
cats: problem
So, on page 619 of 827, my trusty and well-belovèd Samsung has thrown a paper jam.

It took me five minutes to FIND the jammed piece of paper, which has accordioned itself in the guts of the printer so that it is (a.) nearly invisible and (b.) even more unreachable. Seriously. It's folded up like a goddamn fan, and the available aperture is not wide enough to admit fingers.

I can reach it with tweezers . . . but they're tearing the paper rather than, you know, extracting it.

This? Is not the plan. You can tell it's not the plan because Samsung's owner's manual does not even IMAGINE the possibility of being able to FUBAR things this badly.

I feel . . . special.

ETA 3:00 PM: Going to Odd Con. Some progress made but printer still jammed up like a dog with a mouthful of peanut butter. Hard copy will get to New York significantly later than planned. C'est la fucking vie.
29th-May-2007 10:17 am - Houston, we have a problem.
mfu: ik-wtf
WordPerfect has become unstable.

As in, it crashes almost as soon as you open a file. (This would be, of course, the first person singular "you.") It has done so now four times in a row, including after a reboot. The "recovery" wizard is as useful as a screen door on a submarine, thank you very much.

I am not a happy Mole.
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