Writing A Novel: The 10 Best & Worst Things That Have Happened To Me

May 9, 2014 by

Writing A Novel: The 10 Best & Worst Things That Have Happened To Me

Today is Friday, May 9, 2014 and things are wrapping up for the big Mother’s Day weekend here in America.

So as we’re reflecting about life and the sacrifices Mom has made in your life, here’s today’s writing exercise.

The recommendation is to write these out on 3″ x 5″ notecards, but really, any place you want to write them out and think about them is fine.

The idea behind this exercise, those previously mention, and those to come is to help give you a wealth of material to consider if you’re writing a novel, or, if you’re just in a reflective mood about your life in general.

TODAY’S EXERCISE

So take out a sheet of paper, notecards, even your Notes feature on iPad, iPhone or Mac, etc. and think about these next two questions.  It calls for 10. Maybe that’s enough.  Maybe you can/need to do more than that. Either way.  I encourage you to do these exercise in quiet reflection. There are no right or wrong answers. And no one has to see them. This is for you. Did you know that according to mental health experts, most people among us never sit down and do anything like this at any point in their lives? Here’s your chance to do something few others will ever do.

What are the 10 worst things that ever have happened to me?
What are the 10 best things that ever happened to me?

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Writing a Novel – Daily Exercises in Self-Study

May 7, 2014 by

Writing a Novel – Daily Exercises in Self-Study

My apologies. I’ve been neck-deep in work-related projects associated with books for iPad the past couple of days. And I’ve been doing work on what will become my first novel. I hope.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing daily posts on suggested self-study exercises that can be helpful in writing a novel, but also as a self-study in getting to know oneself a little better.

So since I missed out on posts on Monday and Tuesday, I’ve lumped those questions in with Wednesday’s post.

What you’re supposed to do, is take out a stack of 3″ x 5″ notecards, title them, date them and number them, and then make a list of the answers you come up with for each of the day’s questions.

If you would go back to Monday’s exercise, it is:

I’m glad I did _____

Tuesday’s exercise is:

I wish I had NOT done ______

And the exercise designed for today, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, is simply this.

If I died right now, what would people say about my life?

Maybe that’s not something that just goes on a notecard, but instead of writing long sentences, maybe you should start by jotting down a few words. And be honest with yourself.  If you were to keel over right now and someone were to have to deliver a eulogy about you using only a series of one word thoughts, what would they be?  I know. That can be pretty sobering, but let’s go.  Might give you some things to work on even if you don’t end up writing a book….

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Writing A Novel: A self-study?

Apr 22, 2014 by

Writing A Novel: A self-study?  Over on DaddyClaxton.com today we’re writing about an unexpected benefit of writing a novel–doing an in-depth personal self-study of oneself in order to be able to write a novel. Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 7.16.57 AM The logic makes perfect sense. If one is going to get into the minds of multiple fictional characters, there are many things that seemingly would need to be straight within the mind of the originating author as well, right? So today, and for several days to come actually, we’re posing a series of questions that we believe all authors, and even those not wanting to write, should ponder and do so seriously. Did you know that almost 95 percent of the population will never do such an exercise? In our mind, we’d rather be in the five percent who does. Life will seemingly make a little more sense. We hope. We encourage you to jump over to DaddyClaxton.com and read the set up and then do today’s exercise and the ones to follow in the days to come.  We think you’ll be glad you did.

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Writing a Novel: The project has initiated on DaddyClaxton.com

Apr 21, 2014 by

Writing a Novel: The project has initiated on DaddyClaxton.com

Today on my companion website, DaddyClaxton.com, I’ve begun with announcement. I’ve been working several months now to begin the process of writing a novel. Actually, it really began sometime last year when I began with a print copy of Robert McKee’s book, Story, and spending untold hours with it and an ink pen making active notes throughout the work.

That has spring boarded from a desire as a publisher of online books to an itch to become an author as well. The Beginning Of Writing A Novel

And an even better discovery has happened along the way. I’ve found that in order to be a good novel writer/play write/novella writers, etc. one has to be in very good touch with himself. That has led to a massive self-study effort that you will find reflected in the posts that are to come on DaddyClaxton.com and here on ClaxtonCreative.com.

This is by no means meant to be a week or two-week series. It’s already survived longer than that pre-announcement.

I encourage you to bookmark this site and check back often for new information. Check out DaddyClaxton.com, too.

My friend, mentor and digital book colleague Ron Rose has cautioned me about the enormity of the effort I’ve begun.  I’ve responded in saying that I get it, but in all likelihood, I can’t possibly “get it” until I have completely weathered the task.

If you have tips and ideas along the way, I encourage you to share them.  I don’t believe for a second I will have all right answers and suggestions from those of you at various places in the process will be most helpful.

So here we go. Onward…..

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FileMaker Pro 13 Projects Issue – iPad Won’t Connect When iMac Asleep

Jan 20, 2014 by

FileMaker Pro 13 Projects Issue – iPad Won’t Connect When iMac Asleep 

I’m using the trial of FileMaker Pro 13 to test a new project management system for my Macs, iPad and iPhone. The only issue with it I’ve found so far is when the iMac goes to sleep because of Mavericks’ Energy Saver settings in System Preferences. But I really like the ability to check on my projects, make notes of tasks, and then track my progress through the process of developing them. Here’s a review of the product and a tutorial for setting up sharing to mobile devices.FileMaker Pro 13

FileMaker Pro 13

Before I go into the problem I’m having, let me first talk about FileMaker Pro 13.  I’ve been a Bento user off and on for about five years now. It priced at $49 or a threshold very reasonable to get into and it was quite useful as a database management system for my needs. There was even an app for iPhone/iPad and from time-to-time I used them. Then, in September 2013, FileMaker killed off Bento and even though I’ve paid for Bento and had the iPhone/iPad apps, when I got a new iPad at Christmas I tried to migrate the app onto it and it would not. It’s dead. I have issues with that, but that’s not germane to this post.

So FileMaker is offering 30-day trials of FileMaker 13 in various versions on its site. They’ve even begun a year-long subscription model, very much like Adobe uses for Creative Cloud–but it’s a one-time, (for FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced) of $180 price per year, not staggered out monthly like it could have been so it’s easier on the pockets of the smaller business owner. (FileMaker Pro has a $9/month option). Otherwise, one can flat out buy the product.

FileMaker Pro 13 Pricing

Now I chose to use FileMaker Pro Advanced because when I invest in a product I go for as much muscle as I can afford and might need so I’m not looking back and wishing for an upgrade later. With software and computers, that just seems to be the best strategy to live by.

Getting Started

There are some tutorials that come with FMP 13. Lynda.com is still running FMP 12 lessons and I’ve not seen anything for 13 yet. I suppose that’s in the works.

My Projects

There is a great template that comes with FMP 13 that allows the creation of a management system for projects. It was easy to set up. And, because of it being FMP 13 advanced, apparently there’s a server setting inside that allows me to push the file for this out to my iPad and iPhone so that I can check or make updates to projects over there, too.

UPDATE: I forgot to include a screen of how easy projects are to manage:

FileMaker Pro 13 projects screen

To take my Projects file and make it available to my iPad and iPhone, I apparently still have to be on my WiFi to share it, so I’m doubtful it’s going to work when I’m not home. I’m hopeful it will, but I’m not seeing how that’s going to work. It would seem critical that it would work away from my IP.  That’s a test for later today.  But here’s how to set it up so it works here.

One the project is ready for sharing to iPad or iPhone, go to File > Sharing > Share with FileMaker Clients … and then pull up the following dialogue box:

FMP 13 Filesharing screen

 

This works great.  Except for one issue with Mavericks.

The Problem – Energy Saver and App Nap

As has been noted before, an issue occurs with saving to hard drives on the iMac in Mavericks when the settings in Energy Saver get too far away from their factory defaults. A very odd, “error -50” dialogue box begins to appear when one tries to write, particularly to G-Drives, which of course, are critical for storing video.  As one doing graphics, video and books for iPad, you can see how this would become a problem fast–not being able to save to a drive. 

Last night, when my computer had gone to sleep, I could not connect to the iPhone or iPad.

FMP 13 Host Not Available on iPhone

So, while it’s great that I can have my projects available on iPhone/iPad, there’s a problem with my host. I don’t plan to go out and buy a dedicated server right now to host this, nor pay the additional money to FileMaker to get the FMP Server software loaded, too. A version of that comes in FMP 13 Advanced, which I have already. So the issue then is how to keep the server on the iMac operational.

Possible Solutions

Already this morning I’m trying some new settings in Energy Saver, and one in FMP.

For starters, I’ve changed the setting on my hard drive so that it never goes to sleep. I’d had this on before, with “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” being unchecked before, and that’s when I got the error -50 messages. Hopefully, that was just because I’d unchecked the PHDTSWP box, and not because of “computer sleep.”

Sleep set to NEVER.

I also did a little more investigating and did one other thing. I turned off App Nap in FMP13 so that it theoretically won’t “go to sleep.”

To get to this setting, I opened Applications, then hit CMD+i on the icon in the list and up popped the window below.

As you can see, I have checked “Prevent App Nap.”

Prevent App Nap

And so the  experiment is on today to discover if these changes will keep the app available on the iPhone/iPad regardless of what is happening on the iMac. If this works, and I will make updates, I will also experiment to see if the Prevent App Nap or the Energy Saver settings were the key.

FileMaker Pro

I’m pleased with the over all functionality of FileMaker Pro.  When the trial is over, I’ll probably invest in the product.  I have a couple of clients that already have been sparked about the potential it has for their own data management.  And yes, I realize it can do a lot more than what I’m using it to do so far, but setting up a project management system that works on my iPad/iPhone when I’m out and about will be quite beneficial.

 

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