Monthly Archives: June 2011
I love being outside, and I love writing on my laptop, but screen glare has been making putting the two of them together annoying, sometimes impossible. Even on overcast days in the Pacific Northwest, even when sitting in the shade, even with 20/20 vision, I struggle to see my MacBook screen.
My eyes get tired from squinting and my nerves get frazzled from losing my cursor yet again. Should I really have to go inside just to find my cursor again? Really?! And on those rare sunny days in the Northwest, I have to decide to pack it inside, or pack it away. After eight months of rain, does it get any more unfair than that? There’ve been times I thought I was going to have to turn into a pale, sun-starved waif substituting M&Ms for the glory of nature if I ever wanted to finish writing my series!
With summer finally here, I decided there had to be an answer, and I turned to the community of writers at Verla Kay’s Blue Boards for help. At the least, I knew I could find some writerly commiseration (wasn’t this writing business tough enough without sun deprivation?!).
Then came this tip, which was totally free, and helped me right away: You can make your MacBook screen go negative! The background turns dark, and the text is white. Just push control, option, command, 8 at the same time. Press the same buttons again to switch it back. This takes some getting used to, but it makes it possible to see the text and the cursor in full sunlight, or even in the dark. Wow! Who knew?
Thanks, Blue Boarders! Now I just need the sun to come back out . . .
Recently I had a disastrous and inadvertently tasty adventure in character names.
I spent days researching names for the mysterious boy in my middle grade novel, Unicorns of Lonehorn Island, and finally came up with the Perfect Name—Graydy. I could even call him Gray for short!
I like to read my middle grades aloud to my kids, and I was so looking forward to the big moment, the Great Reveal of the real name of the character previously known as Ghost Boy.
And . . .
The girl-child said, “What? Gravy?”
And the boy-child burst out laughing.
Gravy—er, Graydy—made my youngest think of the pot roast scene in Chapter Three (I think that scene is still her favorite), which made her hungry.
“But, he’s going to be called Gray for short,” I protested.
The boy-child got serious. “Mom, you can’t call him that. It’s horrible!”
“But it has special meaning!”
The chorus of protests and pleadings and chants of, “Gravy! Gravy!” drowned out all my special meanings.
So much for the Perfect Name!