Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fishing for Facts and Photos

One of the ways Book-it promoted the upcoming production of The River Why in Seattle was by a flash fish mob. Fun and quirky just like the novel.

I spent the last six writing this and the previous post. This one first. Does that confuse you? Well beginning with the next paragraph and to the end was written in the previous post before what now appears there was written. Then I realized that I hadn't yet answered the question in the title, Why The River Why? So I went back to the top and thought to add a paragraph or two of the explanation I had in mind. And once again I seemed to loose my ability to detect when enough was enough and I'd soon doubled the post in length and the bottom half was a complete change in subject. I considered deleting it or moving it into my journal but then I had the thought that if I split the post in two I'd have Wednesday's as well as Tuesday's post done, leaving me free until after dinner on Thursday if I chose. (I just took all the words of both posts over to Whiz so I could use the word counter. 2644. Only 600 some odd short of 2 days NaNo quota!!! If only it were November.)

I have just spent the bulk of the last 24 hours working on my River Why profile for Book Drum. Visit my December post Drumming for Books if this confuzzles you.

At any rate, this was the second over 16 hour session I put in on it in the last week. It was Thursday/Friday when I spent over six hours just looking for a photo of David James Duncan that was either creative commons or had a clear provenance with contact info for its owner so I could request permissions for its use on a commercial site such as Book Drum.

I had expected that to be a fairly easy task as I've encountered so many author photos in so many venues in my wanderings on the web. I knew it was common for there to be a press packet available for journalists and failing that at least a contact page somewhere on the author's or publishers sites.

But David James Duncan's site was under construction and had only the front page. No about, no contact, no press packet. Only one photo and that with no attribution. I finally had to forgo my goal of populating the author page of my profile for The River Why before I quit my session to sleep. And discouraged by that, I did not pick up where I left off when I awoke but instead buried myself in watching DVDs for a good twelve hours over the weekend.

One of those DVD was Normal People Scare me which I posted about and it set me off on another round of surfing the Asperger/Autism resources online, collecting links and notes. I also slept hard and Sunday got to go out to dinner with Ed and then shopping for crochet thread. My first time out of this house in two weeks!

So last night I set myself to get it done already! I decided I would make one more quick pass through the usual motions, collecting the links and recording my moves so that I could describe them in an email to the editor at Book Drum so he would know what ground I had covered when I asked his advice. And once I had that info, I would proceed to organize the rest of the material I had collected for the Author page: links to some of his essays online, his web page, the Wikipedea article on him; facts pertaining to the timeline of his life for the bio; lists of his published works and awards. I had pages and pages of these in my note taking ap WhizFolders. Well, it would be pages and pages if the topic windows weren't as bottomless as Crater Lake, holding potentially as much as my RAM could handle.

OK, couldn't help myself had to check. Word count on one topic was nearly 4K and the other nearly 2K and that's with 20-90+ character links making up at least 30% of the total character count.

So there was a lot of info and it was loosely organized by type but there was still a number of links I'd collected that I hadn't visited yet to confirm their usefulness or at the least their aliveness. And of course that only led me to more links that had to be followed. Sigh.

And once followed, explored, read, contemplated. I began the project soon after I posted last night. Meaning soon after 1AM. And it was 1PM before I was finally satisfied with the completeness, tidiness, accuracy, and integrity of the material in Whiz and was ready to start transferring it to Book Drum.

Of course it took me an hour to get un-clumsy with the Book Drum platform. It has a resemblance to blogger from over five years ago. It's clunky and glitchy. I like to say cranky and by the time I started working with it so was I. Yeah, clunky, glitchy and cranky.

When I got about two-thirds done with creating the 30 links (30 before I noticed I'd put the same info into two different lists and had to eliminate one) I realized I'd been making a colossal error when filling out the link dialog form. I thought the second box under the URL box was meant for the highlighted text that you wanted turned into the link and so I'd been making the extra step of returning to copy that text as soon as I'd dropped the link in. Then one time I goofed and didn't get the text copied so when I returned to the dialog box and pasted I found I'd pasted in the link again but I noticed that just as I clicked to insert the link. When I returned to the work area to click the highlight off I discovered that the hover text now had the link in it instead of a simple copy of the highlighted text.

Of course! Duh!!!! Makes perfect sense. Now that is useful info. I vaguely wondered why that hover text was only mirroring the highlighted text. But I hadn't made the connection with the text I was pasting into that form. *shakes head and thumps it with fists*

So I did it the right way for the remaining 8 links and then went back and re-did the rest. By then I'd been up for 28 hours and still had this post to do

Was planning to do a quick video post related to what I've been working on. Hence the vid that heads this. But once I started typing something cut loose. I tend to get hypergraphic when sleep-deprived anyway but I think it had something to do with reading so much by and about a writer all day and manipulating words with cut and paste but doing very little composing and something in me was itching too be cut loose.

No, I was not plagiarizing. I was taking bare, essential facts: proper names, dates, titles, a few nouns and verbs and arranging them in logical groups or sequence and then adding whatever was needed to make coherent sentences.

Something about what I've been doing in the last 30 some hours must have sparked something major in me though because during dinner tonight while I was 'chewing the cud' so to speak, I had a flash of insight into the characters of my FOS story world, into the very plot and timeline tangle that has had me stalled out for months. I ruminated on it while doing dishes and planned to get finished fixing those links, then get a quick post up and then spend a half hour or so getting those thoughts down in the FOS worksheet WhizFolder. I was thinking I would just type wild kinda like I'm doing now without worrying too much about keeping perfect order of the info--just get those ideas recorded so I wouldn't forget.

Because I could very well forget as I'm likely to crash down off this lit up brain state and sleep like I'm dead for ten to twelve hours and then wake with a brain that feels like chewed cud for the first four to six hours.

0 tell me a story:

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