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9-29-18: My First NaNoWriMo Kick Off and a Surprise, other than winning two out of four raffle tickets.
If you're not interested in Astrology just scroll down until you understand what I wrote.

The San Francisco NaNoWriMo Kick Off started at 4PM and this was the transit I focused on for that moment: Transiting Gemini Moon Trine Transiting Aquarius Mars.


What does that mean? Good time to be chatty and to be assertive, dealing with technology.

Now note where my natal moon is located.


I have a Gemini Moon, aka Chatty Cathy (someone cut my string when I go on too long.), which is within 1 degree of the transiting Gemini Moon. As your birthday is a Solar Return, this transit is my Lunar Return. If I'm chatty on a regular basis when Transiting Moon conjuncts my natal Moon it's like being turbo charged. But what about that Aquarius Mars being in a Trine aspect?

If you draw a triangle inside of a circle you get three points. There are four elements in Astrology: fire, earth, air, water. Three representives of four elements makes 12 and that's the amount of zodiac signs that are used.

When planets are at the same degree, in this case 120 degrees, in signs that share the same element, like Gemini and Aquarius are both air signs, that makes a Trine. It makes ease. Sometimes it makes things too easy. People with a lot of Trines tend to rest on their good luck and don't utilize their natural talents. I know of some folks in jail who have a lot of Trines. They never learned how to work for a thing because everything was so easy, until they got busted. But I digress.

Mars is the verb in our astrological sentence; it makes us GO do things. Aquarius rules technology, data communication, tele communication, inventions, and breaking with the status quo. Mars in Aquarius makes inventions that are electric look nifty.

How does that affect my natal Gemini Chatty Cathy Moon? I want to tell everyone about a nifty technological trick I figured out. Now how did this play out at the NaNoWriMo Kick Off in the Haight? 
I arrived a half hour early at The Bindery, a wonderful bookstore at 1727 Haight Street. I met Barrington who told me they are just setting up but I could go into the back room where the event will take place. I found a place to set up my Kindle with bluetooth keyboard so I could type my reactions. While there I over heard Barrington and Rachel, the other NaNo volunteer, talk about one of the scheduled speakers called in sick.

Rachel is the second from the left

That's Barrington on the left looking like he was singing

I thought to myself "I never met a mic that was not my best friend." So I approached Barrington and showed him my webpage that has "Saying Solly" on it and I offered to speak if they need another speaker. He wanted to confer with Rachel and I showed her my webpage and she said, "Sure, that's ok. I can give you five minutes."

Then I had a flash and I told her "I want to share how one can convert a document to a mobi file to upload to Kindle. That way one can listen to their draft while they edit." Or words to that effect.

She said, "Ok, write an introduction that can be read before you speak."

I know how to make an elevator speech so I wrote who I was, that I am published, graduated from SFSU as an English Literature major, a sentence of what I want to talk about, and my website where my short story can be found. All scribbled in a mad rush on a page from my 6 ring mini binder journal I take with me everywhere.

That was exactly at 4pm. The astrological winds were beneath my wings. Remember that Trines can be lazy. One has to grab the Trine and shake it by its neck and say "Work for me!" to get anything from it. That's what I did.

I was the first speaker. My only regret was not recording my five minutes. I got laughs. A hammy Leo with a Gemini Moon loves laughter at her jokes.

My thanks to Belington and Rachel, aka R&B, for trusting a random grandma with the mic.
During my introduction the mention that I have a BA in English Literature got applause. I was gobsmaked by that. No one, not even my mother, was ever impressed with my English Literature BA. I interjected "With a minor in Linguistics." Someone said "She got cred." I was thrilled.

I got up and just did technological improv. The image below is the main reason why you can't trust your eyes when you edit your writing. Your eyes will lie to you.

If You Can Read This
We evolved as story telling creatures. Sitting in the cave Urg tells the story again about how he snuck up to the Mammoth. "Oh Urg is telling that story again." sighs his bed mate.

Reading is a fairly new fad for humans. Before the Industrial Revolution and the Gutenberg Press, there was no need for workers to know how to read, nor was there a lot of access to printed material.

We've been listening to stories since we figured out to speak to one another.

A writer may think that the sentence just written was the best. Yet, when listening to it suddenly it sounds wonky. Because our ears won't lie to us. Our eyes will accept any old jumble of letters and the brain says "Close enough for government work."
KindleGen is a program you download from Amazon. It comes with instructions on how to install it on your computer. Then you save your draft in any number of formats.

Now here is where it can get scary...young folks do not usually know how to Boss Their DOS. Get over the fear. "Fear is the mind killer." Dune fans can fill in the rest of that passage.


There are a couple of steps where you must use a DOS emulator but don't let that unnecessary hoop Amazon put in your way stop you. Amazon does not want making mobi files easy. The faint of heart just stop at the DOS requirement and curl up in a fetal position and weep. Not Us! We're fearless. Follow the directions like you're making a boxed cake. Just read it slowly, read it out loud if you need to. Then abracadabra you generate a mobi file.

You connect your computer to your Kindle with the same cord you use to recharge your Kindle. That makes your Kindle into another storage unit. Copy the mobi file you just made and paste it into the document folder of your Kindle. Undo the connections between your computer and Kindle. Easy Breezy.

Next go to your Kindle settings, look for "Accessibility" look for "VoiceView Screen Reader", click that. When VoiceView is activated if you touch an item it will be surrounded with a green box. Touch what is in the box once Kindle will tell you what it is, which good for figuring out bookmarks in your proof copy. To open what is surrounded with the green line you tap it quickly twice.

There are 9 different settings to adjust Voice View. My favorite is to change the accent. There are 3 English accents: American, British, Australian, both male and female. I listen to Max Barry with the Australian accent. I listen to China Mieville or Neil Gaiman with the British accent. But I digress, as all Gemini Moon people are wont to do.

Now you can listen to your draft as you edit it on your computer. You'll discover that typos your eyes gloss over you ears will catch. "Hey that was ally not alley!" Your ears will nudge you. You turn off the text to speech by tapping twice on the page or moving to another page. Correct the typo and start up again.

If you try this method and find that you're having difficulty, because there are some tricks that I'm not going to go into now, just email me and I will be happy to help you, if I can.
After my 5 minute talk a handful of people came up to me to tell me that they are going to give effort to do this trick. I thanked them for laughing at my antics. I handed out a few cards with my website and email address. Three writers chatted with me, two before and one after and we were all in similar genres. Two SciFi writers and one Supernatural/Fantasy writer. My Work In Progress is a mix of both. But that's a topic for another late night nattering. Thanks for reading down to this point.
Some of the attendees


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