The Noble Pen for Sept 15, 2016

Next Noble Pen Meeting

September 15th, 2016 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The Marion Public Library will host a Celebrate Writing event on Saturday October 15th. It’s free, with an optional $5 lunch with the presenting authors. Two morning sessions and one afternoon session each offer a choice of topics on writing and publishing. Registration is encouraged for the morning, and required for the lunch and afternoon session.


Watch for used book sales at or associated with your library.  You can often pick up a lot of reading material for very little money as they sell off discards or unused donations.  Aime reports the Hiawatha library has an ongoing sale. The Friends of the CR Library have occasional events and their big fall sale Nov 4-8, 2016.


Aime finished revision edits on her short story.

Stacy H. received a nice personalized rejection letter.

Dylan got another commission.

Cassie received a new review on her first book.  The ad campaign she joined in with other writers raised her newsletter signups to 700.


Writers, like anyone using a computer, need to use a backup strategy.  You will eventually need a backup, probably at the worst possible time.  You should find some combination of methods that would allow you to recover from corruption of a file or loss of the hard drive where you compose your work.

A first easy step, after each significant writing or editing session, is to copy the working file to another name.  Then if the word processor crashes and can’t recover today’s file, you still have yesterday’s to go back to.   If you decide today’s edits took you in the wrong direction it is easy to rename the disappointing file (don’t delete it!) and copy yesterday’s file to the working name.  I like to back up a file named MyNovel.doc by renaming a copy as MyNovel20160911.doc, where the digits are year, month, day, and if needed the hour.   Using that order causes an alphabetic file name sort to list them in chronological order.

To deal with potential disk problems, a widely advised strategy is to have two flash stick drives and alternate, copying your work onto one today and the other next time.  Occasionally you should open some files on the flash stick to be sure it is reading properly. Flash drives are cheap, and the smallest one for sale would store many backups of all of the writing you will ever do (sans pictures).

You can occasionally give an additional flash or a burned CD (using the Mastered option) to a friend or family member to store at another location, in case something happens to your apartment or house.

Cloud storage is another option.  Several services are affordable or free.  One such convenient (and free up to 2 GBytes) option is Dropbox, which not only backs up a folder to their servers, but will also synchronize its folders between all of your machines, and will let you send a link for other people to download selected files.

Upcoming Schedule

Sept 15
Stacy H.

Sept 22
Aime W.
Open slots

Sept 29
Stacy H.
Open slots

Oct 6
Open slot

Oct 13
Open slots

Keep Writing,