Quotes for Writers from Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never scoring. – Bill Copeland

It takes five years to break in and fifteen years to support yourself as a writer. – Sue Grafton

With the power of conviction there is no sacrifice. – Pat Benatar

I wrote for twelve years and collected 250 rejection slips before getting any fiction published, so I guess outside reinforcement isn’t all that important to me. – Lisa Alther

“Now” is the operative word. Everything you’ve put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. – Barbara Sher

It’s never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot

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The End Has Come and Gone

It’s ironic that they call it “She passed away” when someone has died. It’s not until the next week, the next month… that they really pass away, fall into the past.

It’s coming up to a month since Julie died. Today I heard that my cousin Jonathon died in December too, a week after Julie. Jonathon died on my birthday.

I’ve got a new calendar up, it started with January. December is gone. Julie and Jonathon are on the old calendar, the one I took down. At the end of your life you gradually become the past.

What are other terms people use to say someone has passed on? Do you find irony or some kind of dark humour in any of those, or something else you have heard?

Hope Begins at the Bus Stop

This is just how I felt waiting outside in the dark, half an hour standing in the pouring rain at the bus stop. I was soaked through when I finally got home. Right through my Winter coat, even my bra was wet.

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” Anne Lamott

The Invisible Deep, Dark Web

The invisible web is what you can’t find using the usual search engines or web directories. The search engines have adapted so they can find some of the invisible web. Pages not created with standard HTML, sites created with other software or scripts didn’t always show up in searches.

So what’s still unavailable? Databases which use passwords or choose to block or restrict search access in some way. Anything which requires user interaction in order to use the site, becomes unavailable or invisible to standard searches.

You probably think this hidden content doesn’t really matter. You’ve found the information you need online and don’t see anything lacking. But, not everyone uses the web the same way. Those who want to research a topic or find detailed information may want a peek at the resources in the deep web. There is a report stating the invisible/ deep web is 500 times bigger than the standard web. Doesn’t that make you at least a bit curious?

You can investigate some of these extra resources yourself, even using a standard surface search. When you type in your search terms add words like: database, portal, directory to it. You may land at some page in a larger site and need to do some backtracking or know a bit about mining a site for it’s resources. However, it could be interesting to explore what’s out there in the deep, dark, invisible land of the WWW.

About.com: The Invisible Web
Internet Tutorials: The Deep Web
JEP: White Paper: The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value
Wikipedia: Invisible Web
Wikipedia: Dark Internet
Those Dark Hiding Places: The Invisible Web Revealed (No longer being kept updated).
Search Engine Watch

Resources for Searching the Deep Web:

Writing in the Moment

Reading, Riting and Rithmatic… Yes, it’s a bit of a cheat for the A – Z Blogging Challenge but I’ve been dealing with computer chaos this week. Just installed another OS tonight. Hoping it will be the last time I need to install/ reinstall a version of Linux.

Rach Writes her A – Z of Writing Tips for the A – Z Blog Challenge. I picked out this one because I think about the “show don’t tell” thing a lot.

Keep your character in the moment to avoid “telling”

She added more in the comments on the post:

“In the moment” is one of the ways to show without telling – you basically have the characters experience things as they happen. So rather than saying “Steve was attacked with a knife” (which is a summary of what happened, and “telling”), you describe what happened in detail as though it were happening in that moment. Eg, “Steve spun and flinched when a shadow lunged toward him. A flash of light glinted in the dark, a streetlamp reflecting off the blade of a knife. Steve’s mouth fell as the knife arced toward him. He tried to scream but his throat was locked shut, and all he could do was watch, watch, watch while his death approached.” (That sort of thing anyway) 🙂

What do you see Outside your Window?

What’s Out Your Window? – I’m not looking out a window from a highrise building. I have, in the past. But these days I’m in a one storey house. I can still see snow outside but the roads are clear from the snowploughs and the sunshine we had all day today. It’s after midnight now so outside it is quiet, dark and a bit mysterious. I can see everything from the streetlight at the bottom of my driveway.

Share your photos and stories with the Highrise – What’s Outside your Window project.

Black Backgrounds Have Glare

One more reason not to use a black background on a website or blog… Glare!

I have a new monitor, one that stretches wider than it is tall. It is also shiny for some reason. The one that came with this computer was not shiny but this one is. Anyway, I find websites and blogs which use a black (or very dark) background are pretty hard to read. I get glare which I have to bob my head around to try to read through. Most of the time I just end up skimming to see if I really want to try reading anything.

So, now you know. Black is not the best choice for a background colour, for yet another reason.

A Plot for the Dark Day

May 19th in 1780 was known as the “dark day” in Canada and the New England states because darkness fell at 2:00PM. The cause has never been discovered.

The above comes from “The Ontario Book of Days” by Robbins Elliott.

What caused the “dark day”? Come up with something that sounds possible. Test your idea on at least one other person. What holes do they poke in your theory? Can you fix it or does it evolve into something even better? Write a plot outline around the “dark day”. You don’t need to add characters to it just see where the plot takes you.