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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bracing for SNOW

Issued by The National Weather Service Jackson, KY 10:49 pm EST, Thu., Jan. 28, 2010
... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM FRIDAY TO 7 PM EST SATURDAY...
A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM FRIDAY TO 7 PM EST SATURDAY.
* SNOW IS EXPECTED TO START FALLING FRIDAY AFTERNOON SOUTH OF THE HAL ROGERS PARKWAY AND GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTH AND EAST THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SNOW IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL SATURDAY EVENING.
* SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON WILL LIKELY REACH 6 TO 10 INCHES OVER THE WARNING AREA... WITH UP TO A FOOT OVER THE HIGHER RIDGES ALONG THE VIRGINIA BORDER.


Well, this is what we have to look forward to tomorrow. More snow. I've been tracking it on radar all day, watching it build out west and tonight it's getting ever closer. From the looks of it, I think the storm will be here long before 1:00 tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if we wake up to the white stuff.

In any event, I think we're prepared. I went to the grocery yesterday and stocked up, just in case, because we live several miles outside of town in a rural area and our road is well off the beaten track. If we should lose power, we have plenty of firewood and kerosene.

I hope everyone stays safe and warm.

Devon

Monday, January 25, 2010

Calling For Backup


Yes, the Evil Computer is back. Over at Bookends, the topic for today is backing up your computer files, so it got me to thinking. Is there any 100% safe and sure backup method?

Over the years I've backed up my word files on floppies, rewritable CDs, and flash drives, but I've still managed to lose a lot of material as a result of computer crashes. Any backup method is only as good as the person using it. You have to resave each document after each and every little edit or you're not covered.

Let's run it down. Floppies are out of the question. They never were reliable, and these days computers usually don't even have a floppy drive. Writable CDs are good, I guess, but I always had a problem with those as well. On every computer I've owned--and I'm now up to half a dozen--the CD drive has eventually stopped working. I'm now using flash drives, but I understand they are also vulnerable because they can become corrupted.

Back in the very early days of owning a computer, I printed everything. It didn't take long before I was buried under a mountain of partials in hard copy. I printed each time I made a change or added to each document and, after a while, I couldn't make heads or tails of any of it because the sheer volume of version 1, 2 , 3 etc. became overwhelming. And let's not forget the cost of paper and ink for all that printing.

So, what's the answer?

Many writers set up a Google or Yahoo email account and email their manuscripts to themselves. But I foresee the same old problem with this. You would have to be super diligent and email the ms. each and every time you make a change to the text.

I know how heartbreaking it is to lose an entire manuscript or even multiple partials, not to mention pictures and other sundry items, in a computer crash. Just the other day, a dear friend and fellow writer asked me if I perchance had any of her old manuscripts on my computer from when we used to critique together. Sadly, I had to say I didn't. Those critiques were two computers and several years ago. I feel so bad for her. She's lost everything she didn't have in hard copy.

If anyone has a tried and true backup method that I haven't mentioned, I'd love to hear about it.

Devon

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clutter

I spent nearly the entire day today going through all the paper in my office. I mean all of it, and--let me tell you--it was a daunting task.

All this time, I thought I kept my writing space neat and organized. Ha! I had no idea I had accumulated that much paper. Old manuscripts. Not just one, but several copies of each. Mail, mail, MAIL. Pictures. I ran across some strange stuff when I went digging into everything. Both entire sets of my children's baby teeth, the package of new checks I thought I hadn't ordered yet, even my old student ID from junior high. Geez, I hate to admit it, but the picture on that was in black and white.

This all started on Saturday when my husband needed the title for his car because he was trading it in, and I couldn't find it. I found the title to my son's car, but not hubby's and not mine. I was ready to pull my hair out. I still haven't found them, but wherever they are, they're together. I know I'll end up finding them in a stupid--right in front of your nose--kind of place. I'm sure I stuck them up for safekeeping. The question is, where?

Meanwhile, I've gone through every envelope and scrap of paper in this office. The most interesting things I found--and I plan to sit down later and really look at them--are old correspondence from editors, agents, and writing pals. At least this had forced me to get rid of the clutter in the drawers and cabinets.

Hope everyone has a great, clutter-free week. :o)

Devon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In With A Whimper...

From where I'm sitting, this year certainly hasn't started off with the kind of bang I had hoped for. My heart goes out to everyone everywhere who is suffering and grieving right now. I'm sick at heart over the catastrophe in Haiti. It's impossible to imagine the horror those people are living every day. I lost someone very close to me over the holidays and I'm just now starting to come to terms with it. Closer to home, my thoughts and prayers are also with Magdalena Scott and family. Stay strong, Mags. Your writing family is here if you need us.

Now, for a complete change of subject...


Rules of Engagement, by Christina Dodd, was published in Oct. 2000. I know because I looked it up. Why? I received a Google alert about this book in my inbox the other day. It turns out the hero's name is Devon Matthews. How funny is that? If I ever happen to meet Ms. Dodd, I'll probably have to explain that my pseudonym is a combination of my children's given names and not a ripoff of her character. I may have to buy a copy now and read it. Just because.

I haven't been online much during the past many weeks, but I have been writing. More recently, I've been working on a laptop that isn't online. I disabled the wireless function so I'd have no temptations or distractions. My goal for the year is to finish three projects. Two full-length and one short. Wish me luck. :o)

Devon