Monday, June 13, 2011

The Dreaded Double Space

Occasionally, something slips under my radar and I don't realize how important it is until much later. Heck, sometimes I don't even know it exists until confronted and even then, my normal reaction is, "huh?"

Thus beings the epic tale of the Dreaded Double Space.

For the sake of time and, to be honest, interest, let's just say I learned to add two spaces after a period. I never took a typing class, so where it developed I have no idea. In the years since, writing became an interest, then a hobby, then something I actually got serious about. To the point of allowing people outside my family to actually read pages. 

It was then that a certain author from a certain state "waaaaaaay up there" on the map pointed out the double spaces. My reaction was, "huh?"

After doing a little research, I realized this is an issue that I completely missed. Not only is she clued in, but so is most of the writing community. Farhad Manjoo even wrote a very detailed (and opinionated) post about it on Slate. I'd never known why people did it, I just assumed it was The Way Things Were.

Apparently that was not correct.

Fast forward to very recently and I realized that every single page of every single story of mine were double-spaced. There was an exponential learning curve to the point of being educated on the magic of "Find/Replace All" when it comes to spacing. So far, there's been little hemorrhaging, but it's still early.

So what's the lesson here?  Well first, there are trends in publishing that we, as people who kinda' like the publishing world, really should keep tabs on. Whether it's the number of spaces after a period or the debate between Courier and Times New Roman, agents and publishers have certain expectations. Maybe they prefer .doc, .pdf, or .rtf. as an attachment or maybe they like a hard copy so they can scribble all over them. Keeping your radars tuned to What Is Happening is important.

The second lesson? Learn your writing software. Otherwise you might wind up writing a story in Helvetica with three spaces after the period.

Imagine trying to reformat that bad boy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tag! You're It.

For those who don't follow her blog, PK Hrezo was “tagged” yesterday by a fellow blogger. It was a nice way to get to know a person beyond the “what’s-yer-fav-color-lol” questions and she encouraged her followers to post on their blogs as well. Since I am extremely impressionable, below are her questions and my answers. Additionally, I’ve added a couple of my own for you. If you’d like to participate, answer the questions on your own blog and let me know you did so in the comments below. I’d love to learn more about you all. 

Alright, down to business:

1) DO YOU THINK YOU’RE HOT?  Hm, maybe not “hot”, but I do believe that charm and confidence, as well as humor, wavy hair, and loads of money, can make you “hotter” than just having a pretty face or cut figure. The Future Mrs swears I clean up well, so that's enough for me. 


The picture is the same as my Twitter handle. That’s my 1966 Volvo 1800S and Penny, my uncle’s Boxer. The Volvo has been in the family since my grandfather bought it off the showroom floor.

Thanks to a fellow AWer for this one. I agree whole-heartedly.

And to shake things up, a picture that always makes me laugh:

3) A SONG YOU RECENTLY LISTENED TO: “If I Loved You” from Carousel and “What Do I Need With Love” from Thoroughly Modern Millie. These songs (ballad and “up-tune” respectively) comprise our contest set for the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Competition next month. We had rehearsal last night and those two have been stuck in my head every since. It may require a “Tiny Dancer” song-bomb to clear.

4) WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU WERE DOING THIS? Whether I was hot or not, what picture to upload, and what songs I’d recently listened to.  Kind of an odd question. . .

5) DO YOU HAVE NICKNAMES? Several from my previous career, but none that are worth repeating. Occasionally I’ll use “Horatio” when baristas ask for a name or “Ramon: The Emperor of Awesome” when filling out a name tag at a party.

6) TAG SOME FRIENDS: I 100% agree with PK: if you’re reading this, you’re tagged.  

And now for a couple of my own:


8) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WRITING SUCCESS (this can be anything from “I completed a chapter!” to “Dude, I’m J.K. Rowling.”)?


Thanks for playing. Write hard, gang.