The Daily Report
Well, it took me three tries to get the date right in the title of this post. I got whammied over the weekend with a respiratory illness that I’m pretty sure I picked up hanging around the hospital, and came out of the fog enough to just barely get the chapter for yesterday in under the wire. Heck, I just typed “for tomorrow” twice trying to write that sentence. I think I’m physically fine now, but a couple quarts under on my sleep schedule and that’s leaving me a bit loopy.
On the subject of brain stuff, I discovered a weird hack for my own brain by accident. I was designing a document in Word that was meant to have a sort of retro look, so I turned the page color to black, the text color to white, and the font to a big fixed width one. Immediately I felt 200% more comfortable looking at and writing in Word.
I’ve long had this strong preference for old-style interfaces when I’m writing, probably because of the computers I grew up with, learned to type on, and learned to write with. It’s part of why I like ILYS and JDarkroom, even apart from their productivity flow-encouraging features. It’s just calming.
Word is the opposite of calming, when it comes to creative writing. I love it for structuring documents. I like its interface and its (now!) reliable autosaving across multiple platforms. But actually writing fiction in it has been a hurdle I haven’t been able to pass in a long time.
With this tweak to its presentation, though, I sat down and immediately wrote 800 words in 20 minutes, and a whole chapter in 90 minutes. It’s pretty great. The one downside is that I can’t figure out how to make a document from a custom template in Word 2016. I can save a blank black page as a template file, but I can’t see how to select it when I go to make a new document. Opening it and then saving it as my new document works, but less fluidly than I’d like. For this to really be handy, I need to be able to just open and go. If I can set it as my default template in Word, I’ll be golden.
…that just gave me the brainwave to search for “set default template” and “change default template”. I did, and the first results were from Microsoft… for Mac 2011 versions of Office. Nice. Scrolling down, though, I think I have figured out that I need to save my template to the right folder, and that opening and saving the “Normal” template will make changes to it. Something to try when I’m a little more clear-headed.
Not great. My ad-hoc fundraising efforts last week didn’t net much, so we’re still in the hole a bit. Writing Tales of MU again should help, but only at the end of the month. On that note, I noticed finally yesterday that when I changed my tip jar links on Tales of MU, I got the PayPal link wrong. Oops.
The State of the Me
Plans For Today
I’d hoped to make some more progress on my backlogged to-do list, but my attempts to-actually-do things keep running into absent-minded errors of the sort that make me suspect I should spend the remainder of the afternoon on more light creative things, where I can have “happy little accidents”.