P. H. Solomon

4 Common Computer Questions

 

Tech Tips

When other writers find out that I work by day in computer support, technical questions are immediately asked of me. Here are some of those questions and my suggestions in answer (NOTE: I’m not doing technical support from this site so please don’t ask me about fixing Laptopproblems).

  1. What brand should I use? I rarely answer this directly as there are several good brands of computers available depending on your taste and budget. The main idea I suggest is research the brand and model.
  2. My battery doesn’t charge anymore. Should I replace my laptop? This depends on one main factor: the age of the laptop. A new battery can cost between a quarter to half of the cost of an inexpensive laptop so if the laptop is over three to four years old and/or out of warranty you might consider replacing it. At that age a laptop may have other parts that fail so investing more money into it may be a losing prospect versus a new, affordable laptop. Also consider this: many newer laptops have solid-state hard drives with less failure potential as well as improved battery life.
  3. Should I get a laptop or a tablet? If you travel a lot then a tablet is ideal and may last longer than a laptop. With a laptop the keyboard can fail/break or the screen can stop working with age. While a tablet can be broken, an external keyboard can be more easily replaced. I’m strongly considering a tablet when I eventually replace my current laptop. Regardless, my next computing device will have a solid state drive.
  4. Computer UsageWhere should I get a new laptop/tablet? What should I pay? I look for good buys on clearance/refurbished sites. Also, consider getting an extended warranty especially if you carry your laptop/tablet to various locations or travel frequently. However, if you are mainly computing from home then there is less wear and tear on it so the standard warranty is fine. As far as how much to pay it depends on what you r usage. If you just write then something less expensive is fine. If you play games or do more intensive tasks like graphics design then something with more horsepower (more memory and faster CPU) and a larger screen should be considered.

So those are some common questions I get. What questions, suggestions or personal preferences do you have? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Also, remember if you opt to follow this blog via email I’ll send you a coupon to download my award-winning short story, The Black Bag, for FREE.

Thanks for reading and check back often for news. I’m currently completing a revision of The Bow of Destiny to send to my editor as well as other details toward publication.

Deep POV Tips Pt. 5: Eliminate Narrative Distance

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

This writing tips series began after I attended a webinar in late July the subject of which was deep third person POV . Part 1 , Part 2Part 3 & Part 4 of this series are available if you want to catch-up on the topic. As promised, here are more tips gleaned from the presentation that you may find helpful as I know they will be for me.

One characteristic of deep POV is the elimination of narrative distance. What does this mean? Simply put, the reader lives with the POV character as the events happen instead of being informed or directed by a narrator. In other words, instead of using a narrative voice with tags that cue the reader on activity and dialogue by the main POVC, the deep POV style lets the reader experience the action with the main POVC.  For example:

Narratvie usage: When the door opened, Martha turned with surprise and said, “Who’s there?”

Deep POV: The door banged open. Martha whirled. “Who’s there?”

Notice the difference? There’s not a tag for Martha’s question. Also the action is ongoing in the second example which is accomplished by the verb usage and dropping unnecessary conditions and descriptions. In so doing, the narrative excess is removed along with the telling and passivity.

In my next post, I’ll focus on another characteristic of deep POV and how it is applied.

Want more pointers? Try these resources for deep POV:

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Writer’s Guide to Emotion: Fiction Writing Tools by Sherry Soule

Check out Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Do you use deep POV? Why or why not? How do you utilize these and other aspects of this technique. I love receiving comments so feel free to leave one via the form. Also, you can receive notifications about this blog by email and even receive coupon to download my award-winning short story for free. Sign-up and download today!

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

P. H. Solomon

What is Needed Part 6

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Author’s Note: This is the conclusion of Part 2 of the prequel blog serial entitled “What is Needed”. Click on these links to read Part 1, Part 2 (first section)Part 2 (Conclusion)Part 3Part 4 and Part 5. This series is a companion to The Bow of Destiny (Part 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga) as expanded writing samples for the current Indiegogo campaign for the novel. The events of the blog series pre-date those of The Bow of Destiny by several hundred years but include several long-lived characters who appear in the forthcoming novel. Please read this post and consider supporting the fundraiser. To learn more about The Bow of Destiny campaign click the provided link. This material is copyrighted and not intended for reproduction except at the author’s consent.

What is Needed (Part 6)

by P. H. Solomon

Troll-wolves howled and Hastra slipped into the shade between trees with Zelma and Howart. If only we can avoid the pursuit one last time. The Tower’s just ahead if I remember correctly. She pinched her lower lip and peek along the old road they followed.

The sun dangled between corona-rimmed clouds and the snow-capped peaks of the Grey Spires. Sunshine bathed the path ahead of the three furtive shapes with golden light.

Zelma’s breath puffed mist. “Is it still clear?”

Howart loomed in the shadow of the trees. “They aren’t as close as yesterday.”

“They make enough noise to scare everything for miles. But I don’t see any scouts so let’s go.” Hastra eased out of hiding onto the overgrown road and her two companions followed.

Her stomach rumbled but Hastra dared not call for a halt so she ate bread from her bag. Two weeks and the food’s still good though this is hard now. She kicked a root and stumbled but Zelma steadied her.

At the head of the long rise Hastra spied the pile of weathered stone named the Old Tower. Where Withlings used to go to see and hear instruction or speak rituals. Now it’s the dead end of the trap Kregen sprung on us. They staggered over the path against wind that snapped and swirled across the end of the headland that thrust into the booming sea.

Horns and Troll-wolves howled. Much closer now. “We must hurry now, sister.”

Zelma walked on with eyes wide and shivering.

Hastra brushed hair from her face. Is she cold or afraid? The edifice loomed out of the gloom of dusk in the east. Distant lightning flashed across the Bay of Storms from the east and lit the roofless tower-top. It defies wind and weather. Gusts tugged at the low scrub-trees scattered around its feet. This isolated end of nowhere may be the end of us. If only Eloch…

The travelers hurried into the shadow of the Old Tower and took refuge from the blasts in a shallow alcove. Snippets of howling and horns broke through the roar of wind. They’re coming now. There’s no escape. Hastra hugged herself but still shivered. “Now what?”

“I don’t know except go up.” Howart steadied himself with a trembling hand on the stone. He leaned against the wall, slid into a crouch and laid his head on scratched arms folded over his knees. A ragged sigh escaped from his thin lips. “Just need to rest a while.”

Hastra peered along the road. We’re all spent and bound to die. She touched the death wound from which she’d risen. “What is needed is given.”

Horn blasts floated on the wind. Zelma’s lips quivered and dark circles ringed her eyes above pale skin. Her hair reached from beneath her gray hood. “They’re coming now.”

Hastra nodded. Even her hair seems faded. “They’ve found our scent. We can’t stay here long. If we are needed atop the tower then let’s climb.”

Soft sobs escaped from Zelma. “Then what?”

Hastra embraced her sister. “We’ll pray, Zelma. All will be well in the end. We’re here for a reason just because we’re still breathing when we should be weeks dead.”

Zelma forced a thin smile through her tears. “It will never be the same as it was, but perhaps we see better atop the tower.”

Hastra stirred. “Trolls are near. It’s time.”

Zelma’s hair fell across her face as she touched Howart’s head. The Grendonese man remained still. “He’s fallen asleep.”

Hastra’s head whipped around at the close sound of horns. Zelma jumped and Howart started.

The gaunt man stood. “We must go and seek Eloch’s guidance.”

They scurried from the alcove and climbed the stairwell that wound around the tower’s girth. Wind flailed the surviving Withlings and the storm thundered in the bay as they fought for each ascending step. They ignored their weariness as horns sounded closer.

Hastra staggered. Surely there’s time for us. She thrust her hands before her and pulled for the next step as rain pattered the stone.

Horns sounded closer along with hounds baying, clear and constant, as the din of pursuit carried over the wind. They grappled their way to the top and knelt with their cloaks twisting in the violent wind.

Snarls announced the arrival of trolls. The troll-wolves howled. Kregen’s voice rose in the wind. “Quickly, take them.”

Hastra raised her eyebrows to Howart and Zelma. There’s fear on their faces. If only we can meditate in all this. “Pretend it’s the Hall of Silence.”

Hastra shut her eyes and raised her hands. What is needed is given and I need focus. She ignored the troll boots clamoring on the steps. She breathed and reached for practiced calm. Move in me, O Eloch. She exhaled. Welcome warmth bloomed at the edge of her awareness and she waited rather than reached for it in conscious thought. Warmth swallowed her fear and grief.

Hastra’s eyes blinked open and shut as her usual trembling at the presence of Eloch took hold. Her arms shook and her body quaked. Zelma and Howart undulated like grass in the wind in Hastra’s brief glimpses.

The clouds spun into a whirlwind that detached from main storm and churned toward the tower. Hastra closed her eyes. Calm as a sleeping babe. Indecipherable words erupted from her mouth.

The wind rumbled and drowned the clamor of troll horns and hounds. Hastra’s body stilled with the wind and her eyes opened. Light glowed in the spinning gust. We’re protected from our enemy. Her arms dropped to her sides and then she fell over and stared at the shape moving amid the light and whirlwind.

Beyond the silence with the whirlwind, Kregen cringed at the stairwell. He stretched out his arms and shouted unheard words. He shook his fist with a grimace and fled.

“You have come as children in need. Will you serve on?” The voice suffused Hastra with the rich whisper of peace and inexorable power.

Kregen’s offer rose with the flash of the knife. Hastra smiled as tears spilled from her eyes. “I will serve.” Zelma and Howart answered the same.

“Zelma Vorcinni, should you choose to follow, to you shall be given the task of protecting for long years that which shall come to you in time. You shall want for nothing, not even companionship in desolate places.”

“Howart Balto, should you choose to follow, to you shall be given the task of hiding against chaos what shall come to you after a while. No power of time or change shall pierce the bulwark about you in the midst of confusion.”

“Hastra Vorcinni, should you choose to go, to you shall be given the task of labor against innumerable foes, yet you shall find rest and plenty in the midst of want and danger.”

“And now, my children reach to me if you will come and be comforted and healed…”

At Eloch’s urging, the three Withlings stretched out their hands as one.

The whirlwind fell away.

Hastra rose on one elbow amid a grass covered field at dusk. “Zelma? Howart?” She sat alone with her bag that held her food and the Book of Prophecies.

End of Part 6

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Thanks for reading!

PHS