Lots of Things

Today is a “Lots of Things” day.  I had 1 topic that I wanted to share, but it has suddenly ballooned to 4 things based on events from last night and this morning.  I’ll try to be brief with them, however.  Here goes: 

 1) PROJECT DARK TOWER – started a new story for an anthology that is accepting submissions.  It is a story about the Dark Tower (from Robert Browning’s Poem–Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came).  This story has been in my head for years.  It was supposed to be my “breakout” novel (as Robert Browning’s poem is already arranged in 34 stanzas/cantos already).  I’m still learning how to write a novel, however, and this story is demanding to be written now.  It is coming together in my mind and there is a tangible market asking for stories about the Dark Tower.  I have my main character, Roland, who is a fully realized protagonist in my mind, so I figure its time.  Maybe I will expand it into a novel later, but right now I think I’ll strike while the iron is hot. 

 2) WIFI ISSUES – Readers of the blog know that I’ve been struggling with my wifi since Christmas 2014 when I integrated a new router to my network.  Apple JUST released an update to iOS that fixes the multitude of issues that my phone and ipad have had since Christmas.  So far, so good.  Now, my computer is temporarily out of commision, and I think that my Keychain access that holds my wifi passwords was also at fault for the lack/loss of connectivity.  Not sure if my Mac OS has had an update yet, so some issues may still persist, but hopefully, my wifi network is on the mend.

 3) HACKED! – So about 2 weeks ago, thanks to Gmail’s security team, I was able to intercept and stop an attempt to hijack my email account.  However, this morning, I woke up to 2 emails from Microsoft that said that my gmail account had been linked to a outlook.com account and that outlook account had changed to sblaylock2012@outlook.com.  This is NOT my account–so if you get messages from this account be sure to delete them (I think they’re trying to gain access to my Amazon.com account as I intercepted and stopped an attempted breach there about 1 year ago).  I spent about an hour on the phone with the Microsoft Accounts Live department and they said that my gmail account did not appear toenou be linked to this account.  I remain skeptical of this (based on the attempt hijack 2 weeks ago), so I’m going to create a new email account (actually 2 email accounts–1 personal & 1 professional) and then abandon my current gmail address.  Unfortunately for the scammers/hackers out there: I’m not emotionally tied to email addresses.  I abandoned my AOL email address after 6 years and I will abandon an address when I feel it is no longer useful.  It’s not really all that difficult to change your credentials at various sites–just do the most important ones in a day or two, then do the others as you log into to them/use them. 

 4) LEARNING HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL – That’s my big focus for this year.  I’ve heard that novel writing is “simply the accumulation of pages day after day.”  I don’t think I have thought about my story, setting, characters well enough when I try to write a novel and I think that’s why it falls apart.  I just don’t know enough about the world, the people, the plot, etc.  When I write short stories, I don’t need to know EVERYTHING, but when writing novels, you do need to know how it all works and relates to each other.  I bought 2 notebooks and I’m going to use 2015 to fill them up with everything that I have (notes, characters, story, setting, etc.)  At the end of 2015, I’m going to pick a notebook and start drafting the novel.  This year is all about “preplanning” the stories that I want to tell (aka “training” for a marathon to use a sports metaphor.)

Well, that’s it for this week–hopefully I’ll be back next week with my computer and not my iPad (& hopefully with a stable wifi connection).  Later.