Category Archives: The Writing Life

Writer’s Desk, 1 September 2014

Dictionary, Survival Guides, & the AlphaSmart

Dictionary, Survival Guides, & the AlphaSmart

Very short writing session (just a teeny-tiny hour) in the morning, followed by grading. Here’s a snippet of the scene I was working on today. Marcus & his optio clash, and Marcus loses his temper. 🙂

For a moment Marcus was seriously tempted to club the big oaf to death right then and there. “Are you mad? Why would I risk my own life if I wanted you dead?”

The other man just shrugged, wincing as he did so.

“I assume that with me being Roman and all that, I must take great enjoyment in perverted pleasures, is that it?” Marcus asked sarcastically. “By Mithras, just for that I will let you do guard duty with your damned tunic unbelted for the rest of your damned service! — Gods!” he added, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I will kill Titus! F*cking kill the bloody bastard!”

From the corner of his eye, he saw the optio’s lips twitch.

“What?” Marcus snapped.

The other man’s mouth stretched into a broad grin. “Why, centurion, I didn’t think you had it in you to lose your cool like this.”

Test, test, test, or, Oy, Google! Do you hear me?

In the past few days I’ve been doing battle with WordPress, trying to find a theme that would suit my needs better and, more importantly, trying to find a way to make this dratted blog visible for Google. Ever since I’ve migrated my blog to this self-hosted WP version, it has been invisible for Google searches. I finally figured that this was probably due to the fact that my old blog was still visible, and, apparently, Google doesn’t like duplicated content. (*quietly sobs into her keyboard* After I’ve gone to all the trouble of transferring all of my old content!!)

Found out that I make old blog invisible to Google searches. New blog now shows up in searches for “Sandy’s Chatterblog.” Yay!

Now, how to make new posts come up in Google searches for “Sandra Schwab”?

Create tag “Sandra Schwab.”

Nope. Doesn’t seem to do any good.


On some WP forum somebody recommends activating the “Sharing” option under “Settings” and connecting one’s Google Plus profile to WP.

Excellent idea! But where the heck is that dratted “Sharing” option?!?!?!

Finally figured out that this option is only available for WP-hosted blogs, not for self-hosted WP blogs. *head desk*

Back to Google.

Aha! Apparently, I have to add a html line to the header of my blog! Easy, right?


Where the heck do I find the index of the blog?

Back to Google. (Again.)

Aha! Apparently, there is no index file in a WP blog.

Um…. What?

Back to friend Google.

Aha! Apparently, the header file can be found in the folder of the activated WP theme. That should be easy to find, right?

Um… It’s not a html file, btw, but a php file.

*panic ensues* How do I change I php file?!?!?!?!

Finally figured that one out. Inserted relevant line. Saved file. Uploaded file. Added blog to Google Plus profile.

And now… *drum roll* …let’s find out whether I’ve managed to make this blog show up in Google searches.

A Fantastic Surprise

Anna C. Bowling has written a long article about me and my books for Heroes & Heartbreakers:

Whether angsty or more lighthearted, touched with the paranormal or grounded in reality, Sandra Schwab’s stories always deliver the goods in a way readers may not at first expect. With a deft use of language and historical detail, these fairy tales for grownups will sweep readers into another time and place, where no matter how dangerous the wolves in the woods, every couple will live happily ever after.

Not surprisingly, the article made me cry. (Happy tears, that is.) You can read the whole thing here.

Now please excuse me while I do a happy dance around my flat. 🙂

Writing, Music, & All That

A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a CD with a mix of music that turned out to be just perfect for listening to while writing Regency-set historicals. Over the years, I’ve listened to it so many times that now I only need to put it on to sink into Regencyland. (Thanks, Gideon! That was a truly AWESOME present!!!!)

But, alas, it’s definitely Regency. With lots of light, fluffy dance pieces. Not exactly the kind of thing you need for writing an edgy Victorian historical.

So I looked around for better writing inspiration and finally came back to the music I first used for writing: John Denver. Indeed, I wrote the whole of CASTLE OF THE WOLF listening to John Denver.

Country music for a novel set in 1827?!?!

Yes. And it totally worked. 🙂

And I’m counting on it working again!

On one of the John Denver albums I lately bought is the song “Stonehaven Sunset,” and it’s wonderfully gloomy and edgy — just perfect for a story set in the bleak winter of 1844.

PS: I wanted to insert a YouTube video in this post. Didn’t work. Grrrrrr!