24 December 2009

23 December 2009

Attack Plan & Wish List

Remember when I said that I'd do something writing related everyday this month, despite all the hustle and bustle? Well, I've logged 4 days of not doing any revising, but I am caught up on one of my courses.

Today I turn it around: red pen and course worksheets are out; I'll chip away those scales while I wait for the bread dough to rise.

On a lighter note ... Saw this on Writer Unboxed this morning. Made me smile. I think I'll print multiple copies of the graphic and stick it around the house. If not a reminder to the rest of the family, then to myself.

17 December 2009

Construction Done

Thanks for your patience. The construction phase is over ... for now.

About Me

I don't think you want to read my resume. Particularly since I last updated it back in 1999 and it deals with very technical issues. Instead, I'll give you the shortened version of how I came to pursue a writing career.

My technical career included positions as lab tech, graduate student, materials quality engineer and server systems quality & reliability engineer. I left the workforce in 2001 to focus on my family.

Which brings me to writing, the next stage of my career. I love reading books and figured I'd give it a shot and see if I could do it. And it seemed compatible with the way I want to be available for my children - being  available for the many school and after-school activities that kids have.

Leaving the workforce did not mean I left my interest in science, engineering and technology behind. I keep my finger on the pulse of innovation via the internet, newsletters, podcasts, websites and blogs. Additionally, as the mother of three fun and bright children I have plenty of practice answering questions about the world in which we live and how it works.

In 2008 I began reading craft books and started my first novel by participating in NaNoWriMo. At first I didn't know what to think of the writing process. Now, at the end of 2009 and two novels drafted, I can't stop thinking of what to write and how to improve my writing. It's all very exciting and fun.

Given my fetish for technology and science, my writing process utilizes various technologies like the internet, online courses, computers, my iPhone, books - both paper and electronic, and plain old paper and pens. Most of which I plan to muse about on the blog as well as my current WIP, books I've read, tools I use and how writing intersects with my everyday life.

And just in case you haven't detected a theme yet, science and technology feature prominently in my life and in my stories.


Will use this space to post questions as they come up from readers. Until then, check out some old posts.


Pardon the dust

For the purposes of the new template I've chosen (isn't it cool?), I need to create a few posts as I can't figure out how to create pages for the new links above. So pardon the seemingly non-writing aspect of these next posts.


Contact Me

Email: AnneVelosa at gmail dot com
Twitter: AnneVelosa

eBooks, Gift Cards & B&N

Our bookshelves are bursting with books because the whole family loves books. So earlier this year I decided to purchase most of my books in the electronic version. And I'm glad I did ...
  • They take up less space - just some bytes on our hard drives.
  • They cost less - usually less than the paperback price.
  • They are easy to cart around - I keep mine on my iPhone or the Kindle. (Not all ebooks are compatible with the Kindle, like those purchased from Barnes and Noble.)
  • They can be purchased anytime and anywhere (when using the iPhone and Kindle.)
However, my ebook purchasing experience is limited as I've purchased ebooks mostly from Amazon. Generally, I'm satisfied with the overall experience. It was easy to set up the devices for document delivery and purchasing books is WAY to easy. I haven't received any Amazon gift cards, so I assume  they allow gift cards to be used toward ebook purchases. (I couldn't find anything on the website to indicate they didn't.)

As of a few days ago Barnes and Noble now allows users to use gift cards to purchase ebooks. I made my first B&N purchases today from a gift card and loaded them on my iPhone. (For those curious, I performed the experiment with L. Viehl's Darkyn Series #1, 2, and 3.)

My observations about the B&N experience:
    + easy to add gift cards to account
    + easy purchasing process
    + ebook wishlist is available to queue books for future purchases (added rest of Darkyn books)
    - needed credit card listed on account to unlock book on the iPhone
    - it took a while to view updated balance on gift card
    * books can be read at the computer (I don't intend on trying this feature out.)
Overall, a decent experience.

Most of our books, both paper and electronic, are purchased through Amazon because of the low price, ease and cost of delivery (we are Prime users). And I can't see a reason why to change.

And before anyone says that there are lots of other ebook sites and applications, I know. I have seven different ebook reading apps on my iPhone; I've downloaded lots of books from them too. However, most of my friends and family haven't heard of these sites or applications.

So, should I receive gift cards from B&N in the future, I'm glad to know I can use them to purchase ebooks for my iPhone. On the flip side, I can give gift certificates to my friends and family that are readers and they have a choice in format. (Even if they are DRM'd files, that's a post for another day.)

And now you know too.

08 December 2009

Plan of Attack for December

So I lived through November with NaNoWriMo, my own birthday and Thanksgiving dinner for 20 at our house. And now we are in the midst of December and all the activities of this glorious month: homemade cookies, new recipes, buying and wrapping presents, family visits, birthdays, parties, Christmas and New Year's Eve...

And two stories to revise/edit. Yes, revisions, with an S. I now have two beasts to slay. And, fortunately for me, I received an early Christmas present in the form of a new writing course to help with my first story.

But how am I going to keep on top of everything and maintain forward motion on my stories? I've got a plan...

1. Courses - Each manuscript corresponds to a writing course, so I'll be able to use the tools from my coursework to assess and modify each story. The weekly assignments will help me keep a schedule of sorts, if not a strict schedule. Fortunately each course is self-paced.

2. Hard copies - I'll be keeping actual paper copies of my manuscripts nearby with notebooks and a red pen to mark down notes. Yep, I'm using old school technology. Besides, it's safer to keep paper than my precious in a kitchen dusty with flour. (Don't worry, I'll still be using electrons and the "intertubes" to do research and coursework.)

3. Time - Schedule some time just for my writing/revising each day, even if it's just a few minutes here and there. I commit to performing at least one writing activity each day. Even if it's in between batches of cookies and wrapping presents, I'll find time to work on my revision.

4. Flexibility - This will be the hardest for me, but I'll just keep reminding myself that having fun and enjoying this holiday season will only help my writing, even if it gets pushed to the side from time to time. Besides, there is always January.

So, that in a nutshell, is how I plan to keep slaying those beasts I've created.

I'm off to imbibe a cup of eggnog and toast this plan of mine. I'll need those extra calories to keep the my sword at the ready.