1. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    <clever and original new member post title>

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cady36, Jan 4, 2009.

    Hey, guys - thanks for the help you've given me already.

    I'm a computer geek - programmer and graphic designer - living in a funky old off-the-electrical-grid log cabin in the Idaho Panhandle Mountains. I work from home and I work pretty odd hours, mostly making my own schedule. That, and the fact that we're currently snowed in and probably will be until March or so, means that I've got some time on my hands right now, and writing seemed like a good way to fill it.

    I wrote lots of songs as a kid, and some fiction in my late 20s, including an unfinished novel. My entire fiction publishing resume consists of one short-short story for an arts magazine in Portland, Oregon. The only reason the story was published is that a friend of mine submitted it without my permission. I married the friend and I still have the $15 uncashed check around here somewhere.

    I have written college text books for graphics applications (Photoshop, Quark, Pagemaker, etc.), lots of advertising copy, a few corporate/business articles of the sort that are published in Daily Journal of Commerce. Lately, it's been mostly website copy and hyperbole, and not a lot of that; if I'm dealing with complex programming issues, I cannot write.

    I read a lot, perhaps 5-6 books a week, in most genres...I do a lot of rereading. When I'm hitting the library or bookstore myself, I usually head toward fantasy or science fiction, and an occasional horror novel, but I will literally read anything. When we're out of town, if I run out of book, I will read myself to sleep with the phone book.

    However, I don't drive, so usually what happens is that my husband goes to one of our two tiny libraries and grabs a half dozen books and I read them. I've encountered a lot of great authors this way, and then John will get me all of the books our libraries have by that author. I've found some real stinkers as well. I've developed a real fondness for suspense/crime/mystery novels and experimental fiction. I'm still not too hot on westerns, romance, and "high-spirited wacky comedies" but I'll read 'em.

    As to why I am here, well, I haven't touched fiction for about 15 years. A few months ago, I had the germ of an idea for a story. It grew. It's become this many-layered, multi-tentacled, nagging friggin' monster that is stuck in my head...but I don't know where the story ends. So I need to write it down.

    I'm discovering that all those bad writing habits I'd banished 20 years ago have crept back into my writing (I have a particularly noxious habit of inserting irrelevant remarks in parentheses all over the place). Hopefully I will be able to stomp those puppies. I've also picked up a lot of NEW bad habits from spending too much time online in Messenger and on forums, but that's just a matter of discipline. I've learned a bunch already just going through the posts and blogs on this site.

    Anyway, that's who I am and why I am here. I just need to know how the damn story ends! I don't care if I ever publish it, or if anyone reads it other than my husband, myself and a few people who will help me make it read like a novel rather than teenybopper fan fiction. I want to write something that I want to read.

    Oh, yeah: I talk too much.

    Cady
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Cady, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    I gotta know - you're off the electrical grid, but have power and Internet nevertheless. Just how the heck do you manage that!

    Posting your own work should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    Hiya Cady.

    The phone book? Really!!! The dictionary is much more interesting ;).
    Good to greet you and I hope you have fun. Stick another log on the fire, it's dying down a bit. Thanks. Take care and wrap up warm. xx
     
  4. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    Ahh, but this is in a hotel room. Usually I go through the folder with phone instructions, fire escapes, laundry services and near by restaurants first. After that, the only choice is Gideon's, if the room has one, and the telephone book.

    I'd love a hotel room with dictionaries. ;-)
     
  5. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    Location:
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    We have big clunky deep cell batteries and solar panels for power, with a super-quiet and efficient 2000 watt generator for backup. Just before we moved here six years ago, I'd bought a desktop computer with a 19" CRT monitor; my husband's computer was a desktop with CRT as well. Sucked that power right down, and we were definitely more generator than solar.

    When his computer died, we replaced it with a laptop, and I finally got a laptop last May. Now, from a full charge if the sun is shining, we can go three days sometimes without a generator, with 2 computers, a printer, modem, network stuff, kitchen lights, office lights, etc. We get a lot less than that when we're listening to MP3s or watching movies on a laptop.

    The sun is shining right now, so we're getting a few amps in, though not enough to run everything. In the winter, we usually charge once per day for a couple of hours. In a pinch - when I'm up all night or something, and the batteries low - we run straight generator. (The generator is quiet but the charger is loud-ish.) We can go about 15 hours on a 9/10 gallon tank of gas.

    At night, we read by oil lamps. We have DC lights here and there, and we use AC compact fluorescents, sparingly. Loooottts of flashlights.

    Internet...sucks. I use satellite. It's clunky and expensive, and even with the extra I'm paying, if I download more than 375MB in any 24 hour period, they shut us down for 24 hours. We have to wander out and brush the snow out of the 3 foot dish every so often on snowy days. It's a damn sight better than dialup, though, and I couldn't live and work here without it.

    We do have phone service here (but they don't offer voice mail :(), and I have a backup dialup account to use during solar storms, heavy rain storms and when there are other weird satellite-only technical issues.

    Verizon was set to put in a cell tower about 10 miles away (cell phones don't work here either - lol), which would have given us wireless internet, but the economy turned and they pulled out. Some day.

    This place is absolutely paradise in most ways. Incredibly quiet, you can see the milky way, and lots of wildlife - moose families, elk, flocks of wild turkeys, and a variety of other birds. (I guess I could do without the verminous herds of whitetail deer that break through our 8-10 foot fence and eat my swiss chard. And I can reallydo without things like the bear that came to visit last summer.)

    Sometimes, though, I miss the Portland area - decent internet and everything a phone service junkie could want, plus light switches, water pressure, microwaves, McDonald's and toilets that flush, fondly known as "Flushies" here.

    See, told ya I talk too much.

    Thanks for the welcome. :)

    Cady
     
  6. blackpen
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    blackpen New Member

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    It sounds very exciting where you live, everyone should live a little of that life style, it would make for a better place.
     

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