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Justice chapter 9 coming soon!
all the gang
Hello Fake fans,

I have good news! I finished my course today. No more classes or assignments. However, I do have a huge exam coming up, but not this month. That means I should really start studying for it, but I probably won't, at least not right away. First of all, I have to write a big proposal at work, even though I'm technically supposed to be on holidays. Secondly, I can't tell you how much I've missed Justice and the world of FAKE. It's been almost painful. Which brings me to my good news! Chapter 9 is with the betas and Chapter 10 is three-quarters written. I'm going to publish both chapters this month. Chapter 9 is slated for the weekend of the 13th and Chapter 10 will be out the weekend of the 27th. Beyond that, I cannot make any iron-clad promises, except to say that I'm 98 percent sure I'll be able to get Chapter 11 out sometime in December. I'm tentatively expecting a visitor in December who will stay with us for about a month, but it may not happen. And even if it does, it's my husband's job to keep him busy.

I had to submit a major assignment online last night before midnight. It was the last one, the final assignment for the whole course. They gave us three weeks to do it. Naturally, I didn't even think about it for the first ten days. I started worrying about it when I got a "mid-point friendly reminder" from the advisor who had been assigned to me for the final project. She was wondering why she hadn't heard from me, apart from the initial "I'm looking forward to working with you" email.

"Uh-oh," I thought. "Better start working on it."  I pulled up the guidelines, skimmed them, procrastinated a LOT, thought about the assignment, lost sleep over it, but didn't really make any measurable progress on it until about four days before it was due. Then I went into a frenzy of activity. It was actually during that time that I wrote most of Justice Chapter 10. There's something about having a major stressful deadline that wakes up every creative juice in my whole body.

Anyway, I submitted my assignment at 10 PM on Sunday night, about two hours before the midnight deadline. I wanted to celebrate with pizza or something, but I was too drained. I decided to have a hot bath instead. I was about to get into my bath when a dreadful thought struck me: Did I submit my assignment in the wrong format? I scuttled back to the computer to check the guidelines again. It had to be submitted in either MS Word or PDF. Argh! I had submitted in Open Office ODT! I don't have MS Word. I ran up and down the stairs checking various computers. All three computers in the house were set up with Open Office. And they're all old! I tore my hair and stressed. Then I messed about looking for a solution, to no avail. It was 11:00 pm by this time. I emailed two friends in desperation, hoping they might have MS Word. They didn't respond. I ran up and down the stairs some more. My husband scolded me for (a) not telling him sooner and (b) for not finishing a day or more BEFORE the deadline. Yeah, yeah, you're right, but you're not helping, honey.

Finally I laid my problem at the feet of Google. Within seconds I received an answer. A site popped up that, for a buck ninety five, would convert my ODT file to PDF! I scrambled for my credit card and solved the problem with money. I submitted the second version of my assignment at 11:37 PM, twenty-three minutes before the deadline. Then I took a bath, feeling very clever indeed.

Now I know that some of you are going, "Huh? How could she not know about online file conversion? Everyone knows about that." Well, all I can say is that I honestly didn't know. It just never came up before in my life. Until last night. Whew.

My instructor emailed me this morning to praise my assignment and tell me I passed with flying colors. And just for the record, I had my celebratory pizza tonight instead, and shared it with my husband. So all's well that ends well, except that I have to go to the office tomorrow and start writing a boring proposal.

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Squee! Justice, coming soon to a browser near you!

Whew! I'm glad you got your assignment in on time. I hate that moment when you realize you weren't quite as done as you thought...

Don't feel too bad, I hadn't heard of online file conversion until just now. XD

Hope these next few weeks prove less stressful for you! Dont'cha just love holiday housguests? (/sarcasm)

Really? You didn't know about online file conversion either? Okay, now I feel a whole lot better. There are two of us in the world who didn't know.

I'm not too worried about the houseguest yet. Maybe I should be. We've got a room downstairs for him to stay in, but it's kind of cold down there, and I'm a little bit worried that my husband will offer him my computer room, which has a single bed in it. If that happens, I will be like a junkie who has been summarily cut off from her supply. I think I should try to explain this to my husband in no uncertain terms. Except that he is typical of most husbands in that he's not really listening half the time when I tell him things, and then later he says, "You never told me!"

I'm resigned to the extra cooking, cleaning and parties. December is usually like that anyhow, guests or no guests.

Are you still in the UK? I checked your LJ and you still seem to be doing tons of reading.

Yes, I'm still in Merrie Olde Englande, although I leave early next month. You've put your finger on one of the many pitfalls of my LJ: I can wax eloquent for thousands of words on random, obscure fantasy novels, but I seem to have a problem mentioning visiting places like Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Scotland. I probably should do something about that...

Also, something I've been meaning to tell you: It seems that my computer has gained some degree of sentience, because whenever I'm on LJ, it randomlly directs me to your journal. So if I show up in your MyGuests, I promise I'm not stalking you or anything!

Speaking as a minor fanfic writer for a small manga fandom, I would be beyond thrilled if someone cared enough to stalk me. Unless of course they were leaving me scary messages indicating that they would soon be coming to my house to rid the world of the foul scourge that is me, but hey, how likely is that?

I would never suspect you of stalking! Stalkers basically have nothing else to do except stalk whomever they're obsessing about. Your interests are much too varied for you to be a stalker. Besides a career in stalking would take away from your valuable reading time.

I was born in England and have been back a couple of times, but I've never been to Scotland. Is it true that they have the unhealthiest diet of all the British Isles? I believe this is the country from whence the deep fried Mars bar originated. Someday I'd like to see Ireland and Scotland. I'd love to read your impressions of wherever you've been, but only if you have the time and inclination to write about them.

Anyway, your computer seems like a really smart and nice machine! Please tell it thank you from me, and to keep up the good work. Then, please give its outer casing and output cables a friendly stroke or two.

You were born in England?! That's very, very cool. And yes, I did put on quite a bit of weight in Scotland, which I attribute mostly to the pub food. I didn't get to taste haggis, though, even though it was a goal of mine.

I definitely wouldn't put inventing the deep-fried Mars bar past them...

My computer purrs with happiness at your compliment.

Online file conversion? Don't worry, you're not alone.

I understand people, who work more efficiently with a deadline breathing down their neck. Sometimes there is no other motivation.
Congratulation for the happy ending of your personal drama!

Thanks! I probably lost two pounds running up and down the stairs in a tizzy.

You know, I've always been that way-- a procrastinator who works to deadline. I would like to change and be more self-disciplined. It would save a lot of stress. But a looming deadline has the happy side effect of making me not only more efficient, but smarter as well! I tend to have temporary attacks of intellectual brilliance when I'm sweating over a deadline. I'm not brilliant at any other times than those.

Capitalism saves the day! I can't believe there are people in this world with no access to MS on their computer, but yay for Google. And to make you feel better, I didn't know about that conversion thing either, though it's true I would have probably gone to Google first in search of a solution. I'm very happy you were able to pull it off, though. Congrats on finishing the class. I also cannot wait for a continuation of New Day.

Yep, Capitalism saved me, all right. My dad always says, "If you've got a problem that money can't solve, you've REALLY got a problem."

I think my new catch-all solution to everything is going to be: Go To Google. Although that wouldn't solve the problem of not having any clean socks left due to procrastination over laundry.

When I pass my big exam, I'm going to get a new computer, and you can bet that at that time I'll be joining the ranks of those who have MS Word.

Thanks for the congrats! And right back at you-- congrats on finishing your run for office. That was pretty amazing. Are you ever going to do it again? I think you would absolutely slay all of your opponents in the debates.

And finally, are you ready to start reading my story again? My posting this past year has been so slow that I wouldn't be surprised if some readers wanted to back off for a while until such time as I had a few more chapters out or was back to posting more regularly. As a reader, I personally hate waiting five or six months for updates. But now that I've finished my course and only have to study for an exam, I'm expecting to return to a more regular posting schedule. I wrote great chunks of A New Day with only two weeks turnaround time between chapters, but that sort of thing tends to burn out betas. I think I can manage a posting schedule for Justice of once every three or four weeks. I can't wait, either!

Glad to hear from you!

I had no idea that OpenOffice couldn't convert its own files to pdf--I just assumed that every writing program could. I've always used OpenOffice--up until I got a new computer about a month ago, when I splurged for Word. Since then I've had to convert a half dozen files into pdfs-- I sure lucked out on the timing!

Anyway, glad to hear you're done with classes. Yay more chapters of Justice! I recently went to Yaoi con in San Francisco, and you wouldn't believe how many people I ran into that had heard of/were fans of your series! Well, maybe it was only two people, but still--you're famous! I even bought some amazing fanart for FAKE, though I don't see a way to share it through LJ..I must look some more.

Thanks for the update, and I look forward to finding out what happens to our favorite LEOs. :)

Re: Glad to hear from you!

Really? Two people at Yaoi-con had heard of me? Wow, that's exciting! I wish I had been there to properly enjoy the moment. I went to one yaoi-con back in 2006, but no one had heard of brit_columbia then.

I hope you can find a way to scan and share your FAKE fanart. I bought a picture of Roy Mustang from FMA, even though I've never been a fan of Roy. But the picture was just so breathtaking, I had to buy it. It was done in a style that was slightly more realistic than the anime Roy. His face and his body language were so sensual and masculine. My heart still skips a beat whenever I look at it!

I got up in the middle of writing this comment to look for it because I wanted to say the name of the artist. I tore apart my manga drawer and storage closet looking for it, but couldn't find it. Oh well, I'll have to let my subconscious work on finding it for me. I know I would have put it in a safe place.

There are some amazingly talented fan-artists out there.

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Hi Erin! I'm so happy you're happy. 'Cause, dammit, I'm happy, too!

Yeah, I noticed when I was frantically working toward my deadline that a bunch of my classmates were online doing the same thing. There were one or two non-procrastinators in the group, but most of us were 'last-minuters' all the way through the course. A couple of times I got things done early, but only because I had some other commitment on the due date.

Nope, no knowledge of online file converter. And a friend of mine is taking an online college. We were talking today and she said something about a class tonight and I said "Yeah, and you had a class last night too." - "No I didn't, its Tuesdays and Wednesdays." I didn't say anything and after a few seconds she got this "oh shit!" look on her face. Yup, she missed Monday's class.

Well, how about that. The more people who tell me they also didn't know about online file conversions, the better I feel. I thought I was the only computer-using person in the online world who had no clue about this-- now I find I'm a member of a solid minority, possibly even a majority! I feel less out of the loop with each comment that comes in.

I have moments like that before! I had a project due at 2am (I'm in EST and the server the assignment was going through was PST) and my computer started hating me! I ran over to the library to use their computers and they closed like 10 minutes before I got over there. So.. I ended up waking up one of my friends so I could use HIS computer to turn in my assignment. It took forever. I didn't get it in until about 1:45am.

I have to say that I did know about file converters. There's a free one that I use (www.zamzar.com) to change small files. I put in the link to a youtube video and convert it to an MP3 so I can just get the audio. A fast way to get music off the interwebs. SHHH!

I'm so excited for Justice! :D I check the site a lot to see if anythings changed, but I completely understand about work and assignments taking up all your time. Like right now, I SHOULD be working on my Calculus homework, but instead I'm surfing the web and eating Blackberry Jell-O! :P


Hi Neengy! They make jello in blackberry now? I must buy some. Is it a dark purple-black color?

I'm so lucky my computer didn't start hating me. I suspect that my computer's feelings for me range from long-suffering patience to quiet contempt, but luckily, so far they haven't tipped over into outright hating.

Wow, that was a good friend who let you wake him up to use his computer. I hope you bought him beer and pizza the next day!

I'm going to go and check out zamzar. Free is good. I mean, I was grateful at the time to be able to solve my problem with $1.95, but considering how much moolah that course has cost me, it's really time to try to stop the one way flow of cash. My upcoming exam is going to cost me $650!

I'm excited for Justice, too! I'm looking forward to being able to post more regularly now that my course is done.

They do make it in Blackberry! It's a dark red color. It's tasty! (I like the icon picture by the way! :P). I also have Pineapple and Black cherry. My sister discovered, some time ago, that a 2 cup glass measuring glass is the exact right size for a single serving of Jell-O! So now I have my own measuring glass and a spoon. She also has a recipe for Jell-O gummies that is quite good.

I called my friend at about 12:30am and he was not awake at all.

Him: Huh? Who is this? What time is it?
Me: Ian. I need your computer... now...
Him: Whhhhy?
Me: Just let me in your building! It's an emergency!!!
Him: Diana... it's after midnight, on a Sunday.
Me: You think I don't know that?!

He was awesome about it all after I managed to wake him up enough to explain it all. I think he deserved Pizza and beer, but I, alas, cannot buy it for him since I'm not 21 yet. *sigh* I made him brownies instead! ^_^

Zamzar only lets you convert 100mb for free, but it's good for somethings. I don't think it's very expensive to actually upgrade. If you want I could find you a better one for free and send you a link.

As for FAKE, I was bust corrupting an innocent young freshman last night. We were comparing books and I casually brought it up. :D She has my first one right now! I'm feel so proud of myself for spreading the joy. I first read it when I was a Freshman in Highschool (It was the first Manga I ever read) and was hooked.

I really think I shouldn't be eating this much sugar this early in the day. I'm practically bouncing in my seat. *Looks down* My leg appears to be jumping on its own! :P Maybe I'll be able to concentrate in Math for once!


I call brownies a darn good substitute.

Yay for spreading the FAKE love! Do you think your innocent young friend will be able to handle volume 7?

If it's not too much trouble, I would love it if you could find me a better file conversion site, but not at the expense of your calculus homework. I have no more immediate education-related deadlines, so I can certainly wait a week or two.

I really, REALLY want your sister's recipe for jello gummies! Can you get that for me? I can't wait to try it. My taste buds are all excited now! They're shoving each other boisterously and whispering, "Jello gummies!" Kind of like your blackberry-jello-stimulated leg, except no one can actually see what my tastebuds are doing.

I'll poke around a bit to see if I can find a good conversion site for you.

This is a link to my sister's blog: http://web.me.com/jbennett515/Site/Blog/Entries/2010/4/28_How_to_make_delicious_gummies.html

She gives great step-by-step instructions on the gummie making! (With pictures and everything!) The best part about these gummies is that is takes two packets of Jell-O so you can mix and match flavors!



I use Open Office 3.2.0 and it allows me to change a file to Word 7, Word 2003, Word 97, and Word 95. It's as simple as doing a "Save as" and selecting one of those formats. If you version doesn't list those then it sounds like you just need to download the most recent version of Open Office. You can even set it so that your default file format is .doc. I have mine set to default to .rtf since everyone has something that will open that.

Hi Ranuel,

My Open Office converts to those formats too, or says it does. I tried converting my document to Word 2003, but it all I got was lines of code and other gobbledegook. Maybe someone with MS Word could have opened it, but since I couldn't read it, I didn't want to take the chance that it would be unreadable for my instructor.

You're right about rtf. I usually send rtf files from my Mac. But since the assignment instructions stated that the document had to be either MS Word of PDF, I had to find a PDF solution.

That's the thing, I have Word on my work computer and Open Office on my netbook and it doesn't just say that's it's converting and then becomes unreadable on the netbook. I can open the document on either computer and read it just fine and I can open Word formatted documents from the person I beta for, make edits, save them without changing the format, and email them back with no problem. It sounds like your particular copy has a glitch. Try reinstalling with the latest version and see.

OMG! What a mess. I've not heard of Open Office ODT - what is that?

Congratulations on a superb accomplishment. I hope you feel proud of yourself. There's nothing like an approaching deadline to make you do your best work!

And Yay for a new chapter of Justice.


In answer to your question "I've not heard of Open Office ODT - what is that?" I'm afraid the answer is "Don't ask me! I'm a techno-peasant!" I have no clue what ODT stands for, but I bet some of my computer-savvy readers know.

There's something about deadlines that totally energizes me. My husband, who is totally opposite me in that respect, simply does not understand why anyone would work close to a deadline. He doesn't procrastinate and is early for all his appointments. You know, it's possible he's an alien-- I should check!

Um, other option to online conversion.

I am a lurker by nature, and have enjoyed your fan-fics. (Anxiously awaiting the next part...) I will try to be more vocal.

When I need something in PDF (all my online receipts, etc.) I print to something called CutePDF. It looks like a printer when you do a -File -Print, but you end up with a PDF file. It is free, and works with just about anything, including OpenOffice (I have used it with that as well.) It's a great way to save receipts from online without having to cut and paste into another program, or print out hard copy.

Just giving you another option for the future.

Re: Um, other option to online conversion.

Wow thanks for delurking to help me out! But don't forget-- you're dealing with a techno-peasant. :(

Is this Cute PDF thing something that is online, or is it in every word program? I guess what I'm really asking, is how and where would I find it?

Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy my fan-fics!
You're welcome to lurk OR be vocal, whichever you prefer. I've always said that lurkers are welcome on my lj.

Re: Um, other option to online conversion.

you can find CutePDF Writer at http://www.cutepdf.com/ free for download. It installs on your computer like it is a printer, so it is available to every application on your machine, OpenOffice, IE, Notepad, whatever. When you print to it, it will then open up another little window asking where you want to save the file and what you want to name it. The 'printer' is actually very easy to use.
(I am a computer support person, so interactions with the the techno-innocent are a normal occurance.)

Good luck!

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