Wednesday, 7 March 2007

GoogleDocs update and new Extract

I’ve been writing in GoogleDocs for a couple of weeks now and I still can’t make up my mind about it. I do like the convenience of having the document stored in one place and not having to transport it back and forth between work and home on a USBclip. I also like that other can look at the doc with the same ease.

However, I do think that the advantages outweigh the benefits. As a WP app it’s pretty basic, and I really miss the advanced features of the likes of MS Word and OpenOffice. I’m thinking in particular of things like the ‘as-you-type’ spell check and auto correct, which I use heavily being both a terrible speller and poor typist. I know that I’m going to have to use one of the big two apps to edit the story when it’s finished – which sort of defeats the object. I’ve also had a fair few problems with formatting.

Now, GoogleDocs is still a beta, and I’m willing to give it another go when it comes out of beta, but for now, I’m switching back to OOo. I’ve also signed up to the Xdrive service, which is a bit like an online hard drive. I can access it from home and work, and share files if I want to – so all the advantages that I saw in GoogleDocs then plus I can store pics and videos on it to post to my blog and MySpace profile.

I spent some time yesterday reformatting and tweaking a story that I want to submit to an upcoming anthology. I don’t want to say any more about the submission just yet because I’ve got a couple of things I need to clear up first, but imagine my horror when I realised that I may not have formatted the most up to date version of the story. If I owned a gun I’d have shot someone. But I don’t so I didn’t. What I will have to do though is try and compare what I know is the most up to date version with the one I reformatted to see what, if anything, I need to change.

Finally for today, here’s a very short extract of my latest story – which I’m sure you’re all sick of by now. I do feel that I should point out that this story takes place in a fictional universe and that “The Queen” mentioned here is not Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II or indeed, Dame Helen Mirren playing QEII, and that “Prince Harold (Hal)” is not based on any of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren at all, in any way, honest guv.

The movie ended on a high note and received a standing ovation. Someone at the front of the theatre called for 'three cheers for Her Majesty' before the Queen left the auditorium along with her grandson and the rest of her party. The official man from earlier and hurried Adam, Chloe, the other actors , the director and the producers out into the foyer to meet the monarch. Adam and Chloe were at the end of the line and it seemed to take the Queen hours to reach them. The director, Bobby Everett, was conducting the introductions.
"Chloe Goodman, your Majesty."
"Ah, yes. we've met before, haven't we?"
"Yes, Ma'am." Chloe gently shook the Queen's hand and curtsied.
"Although, you were much shorter then, as I recall."
"Well, it was nearly six years ago, your Majesty. I was only twelve."
The Queen nodded. "Has it really been that long? My, how time does fly. You played a young witch at a magical school, didn't you?"
"That's right, your Majesty. Sally Trotter."
"I remember thinking that you were destined for great things. And how right I was. I thought yours was the best performance in this film. Very emotional. I very much enjoyed it."
"Thank you, your Majesty."
The Queen smiled and nodded. "You know, Miss Goodman, my grandson does rather like you. Young Harold. I know it would make his evening if he could get a little kiss."
"Certainly, your Majesty."
The Queen turned to Adam and before the director could introduce him, she said, "You must be the young man in the newspapers with Miss Goodman. I don't normally take much notice of the tabloids, but that edition somehow passed across my desk. I do feel sorry for you, to be thrust into the limelight like that. Still, very nice to meet you." She turned to her aide before Adam could reply, and was led out to the waiting car.
"Bloody hell," Adam whispered. "I can't believe she saw those pictures. Have I gone all red?"
"Just a bit," said Chloe. "Shhsh, here come the prince."
"My dear Chloe," said Prince Harold, holding out his hand. "It's so good to see you again. It was a shame you couldn't come to my birthday party. Do I get a kiss?"
"Of course, your Highness." She leant forward and kissed the young prince on the cheek. A barrage of flashes went off as the pressmen saw a bundle of money in their not too distant future.
"How many times do I have to tell you to call me Hal? All my friends do."
"A great many more your Highness. If I were to call you that, I'd get severely told off and I think I've been in enough trouble the past few months."
"Yes, quite. They are bastards, aren't they the press. I can't count the number of times that Daddy has had to stop some rag from printing an embarrassing photograph of me. I do wish they would just butt out. Still, it's all good fun." He turned to Adam. "And this must be the lucky chap. Good show, old boy. I must say, I wished I was in your shoes when I saw that paper. Tell me, is she as good as I dream that she is? As a girlfriend I mean, nothing unseemly, obviously." The prince winked as he shook Adam's hand.
"Your Highness, I can safely say, that Chloe is the very best girlfriend I've ever had. Or could wish to have."
The prince laughed heartily. "That's what I thought. Well, you hang to her and treat her well. You're a lucky son of gun." He addressed Chloe again. "And if it doesn't work out between you two, remember, my shoulder to cry on is just a telephone call away. Call the palace, they have a standing instruction to put you striaght through. Enjoy the rest of your evening." He winked again and then joined his grandmother in the car. He was the last member of the party to leave and everyone in the line-up breathed a sigh of relief.
"My god," said Adam. "He's a dirty perv. I don't believe it."
"Oh, he was tame tonight," said Chloe. "He's normally a lot worse. That thing he said about his father stopping the photos--he's shown me some of them himself. Some of the stuff he gets up to would curl your hair. The public only know a small fraction of it. I guess it's the privilage that comes with being second in line to the throne."

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