Friday, 8 January 2010

Old Fart Wannabe Blog 4 - The Plan part 1

Old Fart Wannabe Blog 4 – The Plan part 1

January 8, 2010 by captnjames

The Plan – part 1: Learning the Trade

For new readers who don’t want to go back and check out Blogs 1,2 and 3 here is a review of what has gone before.

    O.F.W. stands for Old Fart Wannabe and I’ve written a book, which I would like to publish. Having written it without one jot of knowledge about the craft of writing or the art, for that matter, of finding an  agent and publishing, I made a plan to rectify these oversights. (To see the full plan in all its logical simplicity see OFW Blog 3.)

    It pleases me to announce that the first step on this ‘Journey of One Thousand Miles’ has been taken. In exchange for a sum of money the OU has enrolled me on a level 1 course, A174 Start Writing Fiction. This commences shortly, the materials arriving very promptly after I paid my fees and filled in the (online) forms.

    I had a small fright when all the stuff arrived and I unpacked it. There was an included software disc, an audio disc and hard copy. All seemed fine until I read the booklet that came with the software disc. Eyes bugging, Aaaargh, Tom and Jerry fashion, the booklet said the OU software worked on PCs but not on Macs!
Well, I’m a Mac user from way back. I have a junkyard of Macs. In one corner of my desk is an old blue G3; under the desk lurks a graphite G4; both still plugged in and waiting on the day when my MacBook ( the best Laptop ever produced, in my view), worn out by a life of constant toil, rolls over belly up, so that they can perform their long awaited duties as back up machines. “NOT ON MACS!!??.” Splutter splutter, “I’ve never heard such a thing; you are kidding me; get outta town!!”

    Anyway, after calming down and wasting a lot of time looking up the cost of Windows 7 and VM Fusion or Parallels to work alongside my OSX Leopard I found all is not as it seems. In the first place, having uploaded the software disc anyway, just to suck it and see, I found that it all seemed to work. I then discovered an admirable OU student-generated web sight that listed the courses that used software that would work on the Mac. It turns out that the three courses I need, to get a grounding in my newly chosen craft, perhaps because they are text based, all use software that will also work on Mac providing assignments can be sent in, in Doc. Format. I can do that because I have Word for Mac on board and in fact the “Axe and the Shield” is written in Doc. Format and copied into PDF.

    Incidentally, the three courses mentioned above, if satisfactorily completed will yield enough Units to achieve a Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing. Not only, hopefully, will I learn enough to bring the “Axe and the Shield” up to a publishable standard but I will get ‘letters’, ‘DipLCW (Open)’ to tell me that I am qualified to tell myself, “I can do this”. Cool!!

Take care of yourselves,

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