Posts Tagged ‘technology’

As this week has been one of the busiest I can remember for quite some while, I am actually quite pleased to say I got some writing done!  I will do a little more once I’ve posted this, but it’s good to keep going.  I need to make more use of those 10 minute breaks here and there so am working mostly on my phone which is a little slower than on the computer but I can at least carry it around everywhere.  I have a few car journeys coming up where the phone will be the focus – I’m lucky my husband is happy to drive 🙂

This week, I also joined twitter – something I haven’t done in my personal life but thought would be good for the blog (with a couple of cheeky follows for dance inspiration…).

I set up a Facebook page linked to the blog some while ago but I deleted it after a few weeks as it was not really valuable and required too much attention. Having had a few chats with some of my writer friends I decided it would be sensible to link a twitter to this site instead – I can’t always share everything I would like to as I don’t have the time, but on twitter it will be as quick as a click, to retweet things that are useful or interesting, and I can again do that from my phone.

I said I needed to make technology work for me, months ago – and now I am actually putting that technology to good use!

If you’re on there, come and find me by using the link on the sidebar…

I know this is short but I’m going to leave it there for today so I can get back to work on the whodunnit – the more I get done today, the better for next week’s post 😉

Happy writing,




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As I’ve nothing particularly interesting to report – still researching, still planning, still writing character profiles for the next story – I thought I’d tell you about an idea instead…

I decided to look into software for writing – the kind of software that helps plan and focus work. It seemed to me that with all the options available, there might be something that could not only help with the current work, but also help me with earlier stories and with longer, more intricate, poetry pieces.

There’s a useful article covering the 10 best free writing software , plus links via NaNoWriMo that I can use as well as software available to buy.  I am looking into all the different types and hope to find what I need.

I was really impressed that so many options are free: so many incredibly generous and clever people work on open source products, and they deserve the thanks of all writers who benefit from that work.  So thank you, open source developers 😀

Have any of you tried out this type of software?  Let me know if it’s been helpful – in the meantime I’ll carry on looking at the options and see what will help me get the most out of my work – I might even road test a few!

In other news – We’ve reached book 24 on the 100 novels list: Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson. I Haven’t read it – in fact I’ve only read one of his books – but I think I’ll leave this one for now as I’m longing to get back to more modern stories for a while!

Also – Yesterday was International  Women’s Day and was mostly spent celebrating my niece’s birthday. I wonder if there will still be a need to highlight the successes of women in the same way when she is my age.  I’d love to live in a world where all people are treated as equals, and valued for what they bring to the community and not identified for their differences; maybe the next generation will leap towards that type of humanity.

And finally – I have read a lot of features and comment about a forthcoming political event on this island; it’s a situation where many people feel strongly one way or another. So strongly, in fact, that there is almost no chance they will change their viewpoint.  That (bizarrely) got me thinking about the Woods novel and how entrenched my ideas on it have become. I think this is a bit of a wake-up call really: I can’t make a story with a fluid and realistic storyline if I am as rigid as a ruler when I write it…

It’s a good point and one that I really should have taken on board before now – but better late than never, I suppose!

I’m off to bed now but I’ll be back for Challenge Tuesday.

Happy writing,



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As you know, my work this week focussed on book 1 – looking for an agent, identifying what they want, getting the synopsis done.

Well – I’m about 50% there.  If you squint…

I had a huge problem on the technology front which has put me back somewhat – this afternoon, my computer decided it had had enough, and I have lost access to my entire hard drive!

Now, I do make backups of my work, but I have to be honest and say my last backup was a few weeks ago – and I don’t have all my recent work on the stick.  I have the vast majority, and am hopeful that a cleverer person than me can sort out the old laptop, but at the moment I have to assume it’s gone.  When it comes to novel one, I have the final proofread document, plus the extra chapter I had to work on, so it’s not a disaster or anything like that, but it’s a bit of a blow because I did a little polishing that I’ll have to re-do.

I have also lost all the work I’ve done on the synopsis.  Again, I have the notes and things I have done manually, but not everything I typed up.  Not a disaster, but not ideal.

All in all, it’ll put me back about three weeks to redo the book edits and the synopsis.  Plus – I had to get a new computer super-quickly!

The moral of the story is make sure you back up your documents every time you work on them…

Still, I have all the agent information on old-fashioned index cards so at least I haven’t lost any of that, and most ask for a maximum of 3 chapters so I can re-edit the first bit of the novel and send it whilst working through the rest.

In other, less frustrating news – I’d like to say hi to all the new followers who have come to the blog over the last few months; it’s exciting to have new connections and I will pop over to your blogs and read a few posts at some point soon!

And also – I have already had some interest in my local writing group, so I’m very happy about that; I’m really eager to get going with the first meeting and see where it goes!

That’s all from me for today – I have to go and download a number of documents and links I had on my old computer.  Sadly, I think my courses will have to be pushed to one side for a while but I’ll just re-enroll for the next sessions!

Happy writing – and don’t forget the back-up!



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Although I have a lot of time to myself and spend most of the day quietly, I know that if I get bored, or writing isn’t going well, or I just want a break I can put the radio or TV on as a distraction.  I can type straight onto the computer, I can phone someone and – when the battery on the mobile is low – I can put a plug in a socket and as if by magic everything will work again.

So yesterday, when we had a power cut, I had a bit of a culture shock.  After having something to eat and playing cards, I sat in the dimness with candles flickering and the fire attempting to roar.  And I felt the strongest urge to write.

I wrote about the fire guard.  It once stood in my grandparents’ house, and now it stands in mine, a reminder of my childhood.

I wrote about my partner’s memories.  The comfort he felt in the familiar warmth, how the sounds of the fire were the soundtrack of his winters.

I wrote about the fire itself.  The power of the flames, how they were reflected in the candles that lit my words.

I wondered why it took a lack of something to make that happen – the fire could be lit any night, the candles and matches are always there.  I’ve lived with my partner for many years; we’ve had plenty of time to talk.

Today I realised it’s because we had a night off from reality, a night to experience a different way of life.

I will not say I enjoyed every moment – it had been snowing, and it was cold.  It got dark very quickly; there were phone calls to find out what was happening, check in with neighbours, to generally share our predicament.   But it was peaceful.  There was very little noise – even the machines used to dig up the road were unobtrusive – just voices, and the fire, and ourselves.  There was no rush – there was nothing we could do.  There was laughter.

I think from now on, I’m nominating Tuesdays as our quiet nights.  A fire, some candles, some games and peace.  I might not write each time, but I’ll have moments to write about.

Happy writing,



B4Peace Central

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I have decided to use the NaNoWriMo tools a bit this time round, and have duly uploaded my word count.

Yesterday I was on just under 5,500 – I was told to expect an end date of 30 December.  That was a bit disconcerting, to be honest: I’m not sure I could say why but I didn’t like to see it.

So today when I did my first writing session, I uploaded my new word count – and it said I’d finish on December 18th.

I got quite excited about the jump, so did another 15 minutes – and got it to December 16th!  I was especially pleased that the extra 15 minutes produced an extra 400 words; that seemed like a very healthy (and unusually high) return on my time investment.

I wasn’t too concerned about getting to 50,000 words when I started this, but now I’m in competition with the NaNoWriMo predictions…  My word count for today stands at 7,548.  I’m going to push myself to get to 10,000 by the end of tomorrow, because I want to shave a couple more days off that predictor!

Good luck to all you writers trying to reach milestones.  If you’re struggling, try competing with a computer.  It’s working for me!

Happy writing,



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Week 56 found me disheartened as a writer. Rejections feel personal and when you’ve entered a competition and don’t place, it can feel even worse. But a poetry competition is as much about the preferences of the judge, the feeling they get from the poem, as the validity of the piece – and as a poet I have to stand by my work. I love this poem; by posting it here I will never send it to another competition or off for magazine publication, but you know what – I can live with that. I’d rather people could see it and – hopefully – enjoy it than it sit in a file on my computer for ever more, rejected and sad.

I guess the point is to say love your work, and do it for love, and if other people don’t enjoy it that’s a shame but it’s not the end of the world!  If you want to see the winners, they are here and you will see they are of very different styles to mine!

Afternoon Seaside

A bright warm sun sits on my shoulder,
Parrot-style. It draws my image, elongated
Across a sticky path of dripped ice-cream.

The sea is the colour of Paraiba apatites:
A subtle, shining sheet of gems
Twinkling provocatively in the light.

But the pebbled shore is dry, and dead –
Solar hands bleached its seaweed offering,
As omnipresent seagulls ate shelled day-trippers.

And the wind that wraps me in my hair
Carries a gentle scent – the aromatic
Portent of another change to come:

Clouds form a fence between the heavens
And the earth, as the ever-nearing horizon
Fills with tomorrow’s stormy weather.

So we ignore the imperfections, and the
Cooling evening sun: tomorrow’s end of summer
Makes us glad, today, we’ve come.

So on to my holiday.  I realised very early on how much technology is a part of my life, as on my way my mobile completely failed.  I had no internet there and the dongle I took didn’t work, and then my computer started playing up – but I wonder when it became normal to have all these things on holiday?  This wasn’t a researching trip like last year, so why did I feel the need to look at the internet at all?  I took my computer because I needed to complete a submission (which I did, but am not overly happy with), but why did I feel so lost without a phone?  It’s a good reminder how things have changed over a very short time: I still remember getting my first mobile phone 12 years ago, now people go on Facebook when they’re on a beach on holiday!

Other than that, and the completion of my short story, I wrote a fair few notes but spent most of my time actually being present and engaging with the experiences.  I have returned home with loads of ideas as well as some early format poems so I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into some new pieces.  Although, as you know, I’m not exactly a skilled photographer I am hoping that the images I recorded will be a reminder of the feelings that each place and scene evoked.   I will keep you updated on progress…

I’ve also started planning for October’s projects so I hope to give you a bit of a heads-up about that next week.

Until then – happy writing from a very well rested me!



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