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Computer Issues

September 6, 2013 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

For anyone who’s my Facebook friend or reads my Killer Hobbies blog, you know I’ve had some computer issues over the past couple of weeks. The upshot is that first my Internet access, and then a couple of my computers, crashed. Why? Malware!

I had to take my main desktop computer and one of my laptops to technicians to diagnose and fix. Turned out that we had to replace the hard drive on my desktop, and although the technician couldn’t figure out how the malware had affected my laptop, his working to diagnose it apparently solved the problem.

Some of you have undoubtedly experienced this. I have, too, on a much more limited basis. But a writer, these days, without access to a computer? What misery! And it lasted for several days.

Yes, I back things up. And even beyond that, although the technicians didn’t reinstall all the programs on my desktop, they somehow were able to save all the data–although I have to hunt for it. And I’m so untechie that it’s a real hunt.

So… my wish for all of you is that you never, ever, experience anything like this.

Oh, except for those out there who create viruses and malware and the like to harm people’s computers and think it’s fun and funny. Instead, I wish the absolute worst of such stuff, an incurable virus or whatever, on every computer you ever attempt to use.

How about you–has your computer ever gotten ill with a virus or worse?

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Up Early… and Writing!

September 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as ,

A couple of days ago, I had to get up very early–I set my alarm clock for 3:15 AM–to take some family members to Los Angeles International Airport for a 6 AM flight.

These days, I seldom even get up before 6 AM. In fact, my goal is generally 6:30. But years ago, when I had a full-time job as an in-house attorney, I had to get up much earlier, especially when my job moved from 10 miles from my home to 50 miles away. I’d already begun publishing by then so my coworkers knew that, when I arrived at 6:45 AM, I wasn’t really “there” because I would write for an hour before the official starting time of 7:45.

But since then, even when I’ve had law projects that required me to work in an office, I’ve seldom had to get up very early. Which now seems a bit of a shame!

On the day I went to LAX early, the drive from my home near Studio City was only about a half hour each way. Compare that to the usual round-trip drive to LAX of at least a couple of hours, thanks to traffic.

I was able to get in a workout at Curves that started at 5:45 AM. I returned home for breakfast and obeying my dogs, then started writing this blog plus my Killer Hobbies blog to be posted this week.

And then I got to work writing.

Okay, I admit that my eyelids were a bit droopy, thanks to my fatigue. Even so, it felt refreshing to start working so early. I think I even got a bit more done that day than I would have otherwise. Although I also admit to taking a twenty-minute nap–and that I still would have liked to have accomplished more.

Will I do it again? I’d like to, especially if it helps my writing productivity. Not sure yet whether I will… but I hope so.

How about you? What’s the earliest you get up to write?

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The Writing Life and More!

March 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing tagged as , , ,

I used to believe that writers just wrote. And then I really became one.

That’s when I found out that there’s a lot more to writing than just sitting at a computer and composing a story, then, hopefully, selling it.

The writing life, when you’re not writing, can even be fun and exciting. How? Because of all the events relating to it.

First of all, there are meetings of local writing organizations. As you know, this year I’m co-coordinator of OCC’s morning Published Authors Workshop, along with Charlotte Lobb. That means attending as many monthly OCC meetings as possible. I also attend meetings of other local chapters of writing organizations such as the Los Angeles Romance Authors, Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Then there are other library events. This month, I’ll be on a mystery panel at the Ojai Library. Next month, I’ll be appearing as part of the Fresno Library’s Big Read event about Jack London’s CALL OF THE WILD–and will be speaking to the local Sisters in Crime chapter. This is a result of my writing so much about animals, both in my Harlequin Nocturnes about shapeshifters and my Pet Rescue Mysteries.

Other kinds of book events include the very first LitFest Pasadena on St. Patrick’s day this month. Yes, I’ll be there, signing at the Book ‘Em Mysteries booth. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on occurs in April and I’ll be signing at several booths there, too.

Conferences? Yes! How about Malice Domestic, in Bethesda, MD–followed by the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA? And of course there’s the Romance Writers of America National Conference at the end of July. Among other things I’m looking forward to there, I’ll be on a panel there about How to Sell a Series You’re Passionate About. There are other conferences I’m interested in but can’t attend because of time–a lot of them!

Am I done yet? Not quite! World Book Night is April 23, and I’ll be giving away copies of Sue Grafton’s Q IS FOR QUARRY.

And I haven’t listed all my upcoming blogs and guest blogs. In addition, I belong to a critique group which is always a fun get-together nearly every week to discuss family, events in our lives and, yes, critique each other’s writing. Plus, there are other things that’ll be happening but aren’t yet for publication.

So… writing isn’t all there is to the writing life, is it?

How about you–what events and meetings are you attending that fit along with your writing?

Linda O Johnston’s Pet Rescue Mysteries, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, feature Lauren Vancouver, a determined pet rescuer who runs a no-kill shelter. Of course, in this cozy mystery series, “no-kill” refers to the animals, not people! Her most recent Pet Rescue Mystery is   THE MORE THE TERRIER , and next will be  HOUNDS ABOUND , an April 2012 release.

Visit Linda at www.LindaOJohnston.com  or KillerHobbies.blogspot.com

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Let’s Get Physical!

April 7, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Non-writers have no idea how physically demanding being a full-time writer can be.

What? Do I hear you laughing? Not so fast.

Give some thought to what happens to a body when it spends eight or ten or more hours per day in a sitting position. (Granted, I have writer friends who sit curled up in a big easy chair with a laptop all day, but that can’t be too swift on a body either.)

Wrist and elbow problems, and carpal tunnel, are as frequent as typos for writers.

The spine — all those discs and vertebra — can turn on their owner, resulting in serious orthopaedic problems.

Knees and hips are joints that are meant to move, not remain immobile for hours on end. (I assume you’ve heard of the condition called ‘piano player’s spread.’ Same problem for writers.)

And then there’s the foggy brain syndrome which is a result of hours of being sedentary and no blood reaching the brain.

Writers have to get up and MOVE! Deadline or not. MOVE!

Some folks have home gym equipment like a treadmill. (Please note: Treadmills are only effective if used regularly, not left sitting in a corner.)

Some writers take walks. That’s a great way to let your brain toy with your latest plot idea or characters.

I’m a member of Curves, the 30-minute women’s exercise program. I haven’t lost a lot of weight, and I’m a long way from being buff, but it does give me a chance to talk to ‘real’ people, in contrast to those talkative characters who inhabit my brain.

So, writers, let’s get moving!

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