[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2011-03-06

Ridiculous capitalization rules

Filed under: Writing — bblackmoor @ 13:05

Anyone who has taken an English class in the last fifty years knows how ridiculous the rules are for capitalizing titles in English. First word, sure. Proper nouns, sure. Pronouns? Why would a pronoun be capitalized? “In” when it is functioning as an adverb, but not when it is functioning as a preposition. Uh… yeah. Prepositions aren’t capitalized, but sometimes they are if they are longer than four letters, depending on whom you ask. And it gets worse; this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So here is my rule for capitalizing titles:

A title is capitalized as though it were a sentence.

Either capitalize every word in a title, or capitalize it as though it were a sentence… whichever you think looks better.

That’s the best I can do.

Sunday, 2011-02-27

Note to self

Filed under: Writing — bblackmoor @ 10:11

Note to self: Don’t write blogs at four in the morning when you are so drunk you can barely stand.

Tuesday, 2010-07-27

How to publish an ebook

Filed under: Writing — bblackmoor @ 17:34

Some good information in this article. I have a novella that I had planned to release in the nearish future. I was just going to give it away under a Creative Commons license, but maybe I will try selling it, instead. If I am lucky, maybe I will be able to buy a pizza with the profits.

A while back I wrote a column entitled “Self-Publishing: 25 things you need to know,” which was mostly about how to create and sell your own paper book. Since then a lot of folks have asked me to do something similar for e-books, so I have.

I begin with one caveat: The whole e-book market is rapidly evolving and a lot of self-publishing companies are offering e-book deals bundled into their print book publishing packages, which makes them harder to break out and evaluate. It’s all quite complicated, and in an effort to sort through the confusion, I’ve decided to offer a few basic tips and present what I think are some of the best options out there for creating an e-book quickly and easily. As things change–and they will–I’ll do my best to keep this column up to date.

Read more…

Wednesday, 2010-06-23

Opinions are like

Filed under: Society,Writing — bblackmoor @ 21:50

You get what you pay forPhilip Berne has an interesting opinion piece on SlashGear about the death of journalism as a profession. Have expertise and informed opinions become irrelevant?

Wednesday, 2010-04-14

Never going back to Memphis

Filed under: Books,Music,Writing — bblackmoor @ 18:14

Serendipity is a strange thing.

I am working on my homework (I am in my twenty-third year of a four-year degree), and listening to music. I have a sizeable music collection, but for variety, I was listening to the “Blues” music channel on Comcast cable. “Never going back to Memphis” came on, and I thought, hey now — this is good. Who is this?

Google told me that it was Shemekia Copeland. Another quick search brought me to a lyrics page — hosted at a site called Spinetingler magazine, which is a site as much about the craft of writing fiction as it is about the fiction itself.

Which, as it happens, is something that had been much on my mind for the past few days.

Serendipity.

Tuesday, 2009-01-13

What I am reading

Filed under: Books,Software,Writing — bblackmoor @ 11:44

A quick list of what books I am reading right now, or intend to read in the near future:

I need to read more fiction. I will start looking at novels or short story compilations after I finish with this stack.

Tuesday, 2008-10-14

OpenOffice 3 rocks

Filed under: Society,Software,Writing — bblackmoor @ 20:23

There is a reason that the OpenOffice.org 3.0 servers are struggling to keep up with demand. OO.org 3.0 really is a serious upgrade over version 2.4 and makes NeoOffice irrelevant for Mac OS X users (previously, OpenOffice only worked within X11; While NeoOffice did a great job porting OO.org to native OS X, OO.org 3.0 works out of the box in OS X as a native Aqua application).

[…]

I had never liked the OpenOffice equation editor; this version brings a very nice graphical and text-based hybrid editor to us math teachers. Mail merge was clunky in OO.org; this version brings a mail merge wizard and improved label templates. Outline numbering tended to be a bit kludgy for notetaking in OO; this version improves the stability and interface of outlining.

Annotations are now incredibly easy to add (Insert, Note) and Office 2007/2008 formats are supported across the board. While Microsoft has dumped VBA support in Office 2008, OO.org users can run Visual Basic scripting, as well as Python and Javascript.

(from ZDNet, OK, now OpenOffice is definitely good enough)

Are people still debating whether to switch to OpenOffice? Seriously? Are these same people still debating whether to switch from dial-up to broadband? Are they still debating the merits of aspartame over saccharine?

Seriously?

OpenOffice was “good enough” to replace MS Office at least five years ago. Any individual or company that is still using MS Office is just… sad.

See also:

Thursday, 2007-04-26

Rachel McAdams as Rain

Filed under: Movies,Writing — bblackmoor @ 13:23

Rachel McAdamsThe name of the protagonist in Spider Season (the novel I am writing) is “Rain”. That’s not her real name, but that’s a long story (the whole first chapter, actually).

I like to picture characters as actors. It helps me visualize. The actor I picture as Rain is Rachel McAdams. She has large eyes, a quick smile, an expressive face, and she seems mischievous.

I also happen to like her as an actor. I really enjoyed Red Eye. I am not sure McAdams will be the Next Big Thing (what’s she done lately?), but I do think she’s a talented actor and she’ll have a successful career.

Here’s some news about her next role:

“Rachel McAdams has signed on to star in “The Return,” a bittersweet drama about three injured soldiers who come home from Iraq and learn that life has moved on without them.

Collee (McAdams), T.K. (Michael Pena) and Cheever (Tim Robbins) end up on an unexpected road trip across the U.S., with Collee on a mission to bring her boyfriend’s guitar back to his family because he saved her life.

T.K., meanwhile, seeks the confidence to face his wife after a shrapnel injury that threatens his sexual function, and middle-aged Cheever plans to hit the casinos in a desperate effort to pay for his son’s college tuition.

Neil Burger (“The Illusionist”) will direct the independently financed project, which Lionsgate will distribute. The budget is less than $20 million.

McAdams, known for her work in “The Notebook” and “Wedding Crashers,” most recently appeared in “The Family Stone.”

Sounds like kind of a chick movie, but I’ll go see it. I hope she’s a brunette in this one. She’s a natural blonde, but I think she looks better with dark hair. Rain has unkempt dark hair.

Rain is a slim, pale human girl with an athletic, almost boyish figure (64" tall, 113 pounds). Her hair is a wild black mane that falls to between her shoulderblades before being gathered into a half-dozen long, slender braids. Her features are angular and mischievous, her large eyes and wide mouth giving her a vaguely elf-like cast.

I wrote that long before I heard of Rachel McAdams, but doesn’t it sound like her?

Sunday, 2007-04-22

Spider Season

Filed under: Writing — bblackmoor @ 22:18

How times flies. I have written nothing on Spider Season for seven months. However, this weekend was RavenCon, and I attended a couple of writing workshops that I think really helped me with a couple of details that I’d completely overlooked. It also rekindled my interest in finishing Spider Season, at the very least. So to that end, I have downloaded yWrite and am organizing my various scattered notes as we speak.

I am up to about 4,700 words, not including notes. Gee, only around 95,300 to go….

Wednesday, 2006-10-04

Spider Season

Filed under: Writing — bblackmoor @ 22:14

I have not been writing as much on Spider Season as I’d hoped. I need to put forth more effort to write more. Zelazny once said in an interiew that he aimed to write something at least four times per day, even if it’s just a couple of sentences. I am going to try and adopt this.

I did manage to get a few lines into the rape scene. That is going to be difficult. I have done a lot of reading in the past week of accounts from rape victims in real life, and frankly it’s pretty horrific stuff. I considered taking that scene out of the book entirely. But it’s her motivation for several short-term goals which are important later, and it also explains her aversion to intimacy. On the other hand, it does seem awfully hackneyed. I am sick to death of having a sexual assault trotted out in every book by every half-assed hack novelist as though it’s a requirement like a copyright notice. (I am looking at you, Piers Anthony). Am I vain to think that I am doing anything better?

I think I am doing something better.

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