Saturday, July 26, 2014

Story Update 2014-07-26

Last week, I mentioned in my update post that we were at chapter nine and "almost half way through the book". Well, as of yesterday, we officially crossed the half-way mark. Geekwif finished reading chapter eleven and submitted her notes to me, which is my measure for being half way through. I'm just ahead of her, on chapter fourteen or maybe fifteen, just doing some basic proofreading.

This weekend's plan: more editing! Also, we may take a break and go see Lucy.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Story Update 2014-07-19

Editing continues, I am on chapter eleven and Geekwif is on chapter nine. That puts us almost half way through the book!

Thanks to all who responded on the sample chapters. I sincerely hope you enjoy them, and that (cue evil laugh) they generate a nigh-uncontrollable desire within you to buy the book when it is finally published. Mua ha ha ha haaaa!

Seriously though, I decided against the idea of pre-publishing the story in 3-chapter samples, since the editing is going pretty well anyway. We should be done in a month or two, and then I will be ready to give the complete (beta-grade) story to those who are willing to help me with that final round of editing. By then, the story should be pretty well polished and almost ready for public consumption. It's really just a sanity check to make sure that a larger group of people won't find some hidden gotcha in the story, some plot hole or other weakness that forces me to go back and make significant changes in order to fix it. I consider that possibility highly unlikely. That's not to say that a group of people won't find any weaknesses in the story at all. But what you will find are more likely to be things that are a matter of taste or preference, rather than technical weaknesses in the writing, plotting, characterization, etc.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend so far. It's supposed to be sunny and warm here in the upper midwest US, perfect weather for grilling steaks and enjoying the fresh air.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Last Chance!

I will close down my offer of chapters one through three, starting tomorrow morning. That means you have about 24 hours to send me a simple email at thurianknight at gmail dot com, with the subject [Balfrith sample], requesting the sample.

I do ask that you send me your comments as you read the sample, or after you have finished reading it. I don't need any kind of formal review -- just let me know what you like, or don't like, and why.

In other news, I got my old laptop setup with Windows XP SP2. The biggest challenge was getting drivers. Even though this is a Dell laptop (D830), it's from about 2008 and the Dell website only had a limited number of drivers available for download. Fortunately, I was able to get the video driver, audio driver, and network driver -- the three most important things for gaming (Steam requires an Internet connection).

The second biggest challenge is pretty funny actually: Windows XP w/SP2 shipped with Internet Explorer version 6. I was amazed to discover how few websites actually work with IE6. At all. There were JavaScript errors up the wazoo, which caused page load failures, failures to load embedded content, ad infinitum. I was not able to use Microsoft's own website to download later versions of IE, let alone any service packs or use Windows Update. I tried to download Google Chrome, but Google's Chrome download page refused to load correctly (pretty sure it was JavaScript related). Finally I tried Mozilla Firefox and was able to download that. Then I used FireFox to find manual downloads of IE7 and IE8 at CNet, as well as Service Pack 3 from Microsoft, and get all those downloaded and installed. Once I had IE 8 installed, I was able to use Windows Update with Microsoft's website to download all the available security updates. They may not be actively supporting Windows XP, but at least you can still use Windows Update to get all security patches up to date as of earlier this year. I think I finally quit at a little after midnight on Saturday, with the laptop downloading one last round of updates and the Steam game that started this whole odyssey.

And on Sunday morning, I was able to play. :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Story Update 2014-07-12

Reading and editing continues, moving along nicely at three chapters in the past week. The Geekwif is still enjoying the read, which I think bodes well for the future. She isn't a huge fantasy fan, although she did enjoy The Lord of the Rings. So if I can keep her interest in the story, I guess I'm doing something right.

In other news, I've been playing with older games acquired through Steam. One was native to OSX, another native to Windows only. I tried getting that one to run on my Windows 7 virtual machine (running Parallels on OSX, if you recall), to no avail. Apparently this particular game had problems running on a physical machines with Windows 7 anyway, so I guess it's not much surprise that I had issues with my VM. Anyway, I had an older laptop sitting around with Linux on it, but I wasn't using it much these days, so today I am formatting the hard drive and installing my old licensed copy of Windows XP Home (with Service Pack 2!).

After I get Windows installed, I will download SP3 if I can find it, and any other patches that might still be available. I'm not sure if Microsoft has completely cut off Windows XP users, or if they are simply not releasing any new patches. I should find out shortly.

After patching is done, I'll download Steam, and finally that game. If all goes well, I should be playing by tomorrow!

Will post more comments as things develop later...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Offer's Still Open for Another Week

I'm still offering to email out the first 3 chapters of the Balfrith story, if anyone is interested. I did get a bunch of responses, but based on the web traffic history that I'm seeing, I know there are more of you out there. Just send me an email at thurianknight at gmail dot com. Please use the subject [Balfrith sample].

The current state of editing puts me at chapter eight, and the Geekwif at chapter five. Moving at about 3 chapters per week, we should be done in around 7 or 8 weeks. Still no plot holes or other big problems found, although we have done several nice improvements to individual scenes.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wondering If Anyone Has Interest...

... in reading the first three chapters of Balfrith. Geekwif and I have completed our edits, and while it will still go through another round (or maybe two) of revisions, I think this is very close to what will appear in the final draft. As we continue our editing process, chapter, by chapter, I could do similar releases, perhaps in bundles of two or three, until we are done with this round. In the end, you'd have an extremely rare and perhaps valuable some day* rough draft direct from the author, which you could cherish in years to come, gift to your children... or just delete, as you see fit.

If you're interested, you can email me at thurianknight at gmail dot com. Please put [Balfrith sample] (including the square brackets) in the subject, so I can find and tag it easily amongst all my other emails. Once I receive your email, I will send you the sample right away, in PDF format. I'll keep this offer open for a couple of weeks, just to gauge interest.

Finally, if you do sign up and enjoy the sample, please feel free to share it around to your friends and family, and I'd especially appreciate it if you sent them over to this blog to sign up for themselves. Again, it will help me gauge interest in the story, and hopefully give them some enjoyment perusing my blog posts from the past couple of years.

* The author makes no guarantees as to the veracity of this assertion.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Story Update 2014-07-03

Well, we're still reading and editing our way through the story. I am on chapter five, and the Wif expects to finish chapter three today. It's going more slowly than I had hoped, but then that seems to be the theme of my life and most of my endeavors.

At this rate, call it 1.5 chapters per week, we should be done in about 15-16 weeks. Still, even at a slow-ish pace, we are making forward progress. And I do not intend to allow this process to take 4 months, so that means we'll be kicking it up a notch.

To my friends in the US, I hope you all have a happy Independence Day celebration tomorrow!