Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midweek Madness

Well, I'm just at the very beginning stages of getting my new WiP off the ground, so I don't have much to say there just yet.  So I'm thinking about making Midweek Madness a totally random feature here at Le Dange, where I just post something fun and probably not writing related.  Yeah, if I can stick to it.  Since I have no particular blogging schedule or anything. :)  (That's right - you are at my mercy!  Oh wait, actually no.  I can't really make you come here...)

Here's a Hump Day giggle.  Enjoy!

Ooh... this new template shows video way better than my old one!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dark Playlist Suggestions?

I'm starting a new WiP.  It's dark.  And I'm interested in your suggestions for dark, sort of intense music for a playlist (whiny emo is not invited, lol).

The WiP I've been working on has me somewhat flummoxed.  As in... it is plotted and I have rewritten the beginning 85 times.  Ok, not 85, but it feels like 85.  And ya know what?  I need a break.  I've been tinkering with this one since January 2010 and as much as I feel like there is a really good story there, I don't know.  Something just isn't working.  Part of me knows that I don't have enough time to devote to any WiP and that's probably a big part of my problem.  Time is a big struggle for me - I work full time and also bring work home, I have a preschooler and an 8 yr old that I want to spend time with, and a hubby I'm pretty fond of. :)  Lately we've been hit with illnesses and major amounts of play rehearsals.  Next up is report cards.  It never really ends. :)

But I'm not really here to complain about time - time is a struggle we all have.  I guess I'm getting tired of struggling with the same story for over a year.  So I'm trying something new.  And my new story has a darker voice.  Which is where YOUR music suggestions come in!

If interested in photo credit, please contact me - I Googled my story topic and found this
pic but the site is kind of gory for general consumption.

What do you listen to when you are in a dark, intense mood?  Or to put you there for your writing?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A New Look

Wait!  Don't go!  I know, I know... the new look of my blog is unfamiliar and you want to shield your eyes.  You're wondering, Where's the coffee cup?  Where are the wooden floorboards?  FOR GOD'S SAKE, WOMAN, WHERE ARE THE STRIPED SOCKS?

I decided to sweep the Wicked Witch look out and find something more cheerful to freshen things up a little bit.  Entice myself to keep coming back.  Oh, and you, too. :)  Besides, what's more Dangerous than something that looks so innocuous, right? 

I'm a teensy bit impulsive sometimes when I want to change my look - I'm the girl who hands her hubby a pair of scissors and says, "Please chop my hair."  And when he gives me that Not again, would you PLEASE just go to the hairdresser staredown, it's not that I'm cheap.  Well, maybe.  But every time that happens, it's like 11pm and no respectable hairdresser is open and I can't wait until tomorrow, I need you to cut 8 inches off my hair this minute.  And mostly he obliges.  Because he is super sweet.  And because my hair is straight and you can't mess it up that badly, and if you do, I'll just shrug and say, Whatev, cut some more to even it out.  It's only hair.  It'll grow back.  I totally don't get mad.  Ask him.

In fact, I am currently looking for a new pic to post over thar at the top, because that one that's up there is  rolling her eyes at me in a very Mean Girls kinda way, since I have had short (like SHORT short) hair since last summer.  LAST summer, friends.  Time to update the pic already.  Hush.  I'm usually the family photographer, which leaves a very small and weak selection of pictures of myself to choose from.  (By the way, Handsome Hubs says he prefers the longer hair, but I think really he is happy as a clam that now I actually DO go to the hairdresser since I'm not sure I want him buzzing my hairline).  So... pic on the way.  Pinky swear.  In the meantime, enjoy the new view!

Edited: New pic added.  I took this pic today.  Doesn't get more current than that. :)
BONUS: Added a pic of Handsome Hubby, too.  Cause I like to look at him.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lindsey Learns... About Readability Statistics

So... usually Lindsey Learns, which I have been lax of late in even writing (oops), focuses on something I'm learning as I read.  This time I'm not featuring a book, though, just a nifty little feature in MS Word that I didn't know existed until now.  I'm not sure how useful or helpful it actually is, but it's interesting.

Put very simply, Word can sort of generally maybe figure out what reading level your writing is geared toward.  After it checks your document, it displays info about its readability, like so:

(That is from a short passage of my WiP) 18.2 words per sentence, really? Interesting.  Also interesting that the Grade Level it decided is 7.8.  Now, keep in mind, it's not scanning content here, it's looking at the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence.  So I'm not really sure how useful is in actually predicting what someone else would level your book grade-wise, but interesting nonetheless.  I'll have to try it again as my WiP grows in length.

Here's how you do it:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.

2. Select the Check grammar with spelling check box.

3. Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.

4. On the Standard toolbar, click Spelling and Grammar .

5. When Microsoft Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.

(I got that right from the Help section in MS Word)

Newer versions may need this from the actual

1.Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.

2.Click Proofing.

3.Make sure Check grammar with spelling is selected.

4.Under When correcting grammar in Word, select the Show readability statistics check box.

One thing to note: I kept trying it and wondering where the actual display was because I couldn't find it.  Turns out, you have to complete the spelling/grammar check (so follow the steps above to change the settings and then actually run the check - click through the "replaces" and "ignores" as you would if you were checking for real) and it shows up when the check is complete.  So I'm not sure how often I'd do this... but it's interesting.  One more Word feature discovered!  Sometimes I feel like Word is a game full of Easter eggs, KWIM?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Here We Go, Let's Rock and Roll!

My fabulina Crit Partner Rebecca and I have challenged each other to a duel. 

Me:  You rewrite your WiP beginning and I'll rewrite mine.

Rebecca:  That is a terrible idea.

Me:  Come onnnn....

(Insert her grad class that I paid to give her wonderful advice, thereby coming to her own decision to rewrite. Because I am evil.)

Rebecca:  If I dislocate my thumb, I can't type that much.

Me:  I'll see your dislocated thumb and raise you a kid with four teeth pulled out.  Hey, why are you blogging with a dislocated thumb?

Rebecca:  Because you asked me what was wrong... Heyyyyyy.... Wait.  Exactly how does having a kid with missing teeth stop you from writing?

Me:  You think too much.

Rebecca:  That's what makes me a good writer.

Me:  Touche`.  Good luck with your rewrite.

Rebecca:  You too.

Ok.  I made that whole thing up.  Well, actually I didn't make up any of the facts - we are both rewriting our beginnings, she dislocated her thumb, and TR got her teeth yanked out.  I didn't actually pay her grad class, but they did crit her beginning.  Cuz she is brave and let them.  But this conversation never actually happened.  So let's hope she doesn't sue me or anything while I am off beginning my rewrite. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011


I haven't posted in about two weeks because it's just been busy around here.  Work is busy, and both Handsome Hubs and Tootsie Roll are crazy busy with their respective plays, both of which open in the next few weeks.  And Tootsie Roll just got 4 teeth pulled out.  And I've been a mad crazy person preparing for Technology Week at school.  So... it's just one of those incredibly busy cycles we all go through and I've gotten no blogging or writing done.  But at least we are all well and happy, if a bit stressed.

I had a post planned for... whenever I had time to write it, but now that I'm sitting down, exhaustion is setting in and I'm not finding the pictures I want to post with it.  So it will come, but not tonight.  It was a post about stopping to smell the roses when you're really busy, and being grateful for the everyday things around you, and I think the tragedy in Japan magnified that by infinity, so sadly.  I read snippets of news online when I could today, but only when my first graders were out of the room, so I was getting choppy info.  Think I'll take some time now to read or watch the news.  The pictures are heartbreaking.