Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New toys...

I'm testing my new toy tonight. I call it Dragon. It's the voice recognition software I have been waiting to buy. This is my way of continuing to write while also saving my hands. In fact, I'm using the software right now!
The test is going pretty well all things considered. I do a lot of deleting, correcting, and general gnashing of teeth. But I figure it's all worth it. Especially if it prolongs my ability to write and use my hands.
Of course it was pretty weird talking into my headset while the boy sat on the couch watching basketball the other day. I kept expecting him to comment on what I was "writing."
I can even secure file my nails why talk! What writer can say that? It's taking some getting used to, learning the commands for what I can change and what I can't. Supposedly the more I correct, the more it gets to know my voice and eventually I won't need to change half as much as I do now.
I really hope they're not wrong.
In meantime I'm having fun. Even if I do feel a little foolish.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just when you think you're close, then knock you back down...

I opened up the mail today to find the little slip of paper I've been waiting on. The little slip announcing a package in the manager's office. Wahoo! My Dragon NaturallySpeaking arrived. For those of you not in the know, DNS is voice recognition software. Theoretically, it should allow me to speak into a microphone, and have then type what I say. Crucial, in my opinion, if I'm to continue to write while working on my National Board Certification.
And yes, in case you're wondering, I probably am a bit on the crazy side.
So I have my software, I have my headset (which, to be honest, pinches a bit and will have to be replaced eventually. I have a small head, people, and yet this is too small for me. What about all the big-headed people in the world?), I have my computer, I have the will to train the software to recognize my speech variances (I said hockey, not hackey). What I don't have? Is a DVD-rom drive.
Just when I was set to spend the rest of the evening on it...
Good thing The Boy is a techie, and a talented one at that. Fry's, here we come.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Working weekend...

It's been a weekend of work, writing, cleaning and errands. Yesterday, after working in the morning, the boy and I ran errands for the bulk of the day. This includes stopping at two separate Barnes and Nobles to find a copy of Cathy Yardley's Turning Japanese (along with Confessions of a Little Black Dress by Elizabeth Boyle and Sudden Death by Allison Brennan).
Today was the day to clean, clean, clean. I'm on wash load two, with at least two to three more on the way, as I'm in a fit of spring cleaning apparently.
And the cleaning bug hasn't only struck me. The Boy took it upon himself to clean off one of my counters (where did you put that tray again?), and is currently helping out by removing some liquid adhesive stuff from a plate/cup set of mine.
Through all this, I still got about 8 pages written, plus ordered my copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10.
What have you been up to?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, my head...

As a writer, I'm always looking for ways to make my books stronger. It's my job. Making each book better than the last is the goal.
In light of this, I found myself listening to a workshop from last summer's National Conference on my walk tonight. The topic? How to heat up your manuscript. Not the specific title, but the topic. The speaker was engaging, and full of good advice. She was thought provoking and entertaining all at the same time. The problem? She provoked too many thoughts on how I can fix my last manuscript, and also on what I can do for my next manuscript.
Too bad I'm working on a middle grade novel geared toward fifth grade and up. She was absolutely no help for that one. And seeing as how I'm about 40 pages from the end, I can use all the help I can get.
I probably should have done a better job choosing which workshop to listen to...but it was too much fun to stop.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

And the winner is...

Carolynn! Drop me an email and let me know your mailing address (or if you'll be at the meeting next week, I'll just bring it then.)

In other news, Passover is well on it's way. Two days in and I'm already tired of matza. This doesn't bode well for the duration. Wednesday was a crazy busy day. I ran around doing last minute shopping until about 3, then came home to have The Boy move furniture while I made soup. Lots of soup. Two big pots of soup. But boy, did my apartment smell yummy.
The evening went smashingly, without the smashing of plates or glasses. We managed to fit three tables, 14 chairs, and 14 people into my apartment...and there was still room to maneuver. Well, mostly. Note to self, in the future, don't give inside seat at card table to the 6'1" guy. It's just mean, not to mention a hazard to all wine glasses.
I love hosting gatherings at my place, and Wednesday was no exception. Despite the matza crumbs that I'm sure are still hiding in the carpet, despite the fact I've managed to lose (and quite possibly throw out) the spout cover to my tea pot, I'm already looking forward to the next get together.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

In honor of Spring Break

My district is finally on Spring Break, which means I'm finally getting my much needed "vacation." Not that I'm going anywhere, really. But the break came sneaking in and bringing with it sun, sun, and more sun!
After months of the rain, sunshine and almost 70 degree weather is downright tropical for me. So is it any wonder I broke out the bicycle this afternoon? Of course not. Mom and I have another ride planned for tomorrow, and I hope the ride is smoother now that I've already done one.
In honor of Spring Break, good books, and a chance (finally!) to relax for a few days, I'm offering another contest. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Spring, and you'll be entered to win a copy of Julia Harper's For the Love of Pete. Contest runs through Thursday night at midnight and the winner will be announced Friday morning.
Make sure to check back on Friday, not just for the winner, but also to hear about how I fit 14 people into my tiny apartment for the first night Passover Seder.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Take a load off. Put up your feet.
Somehow, my Spring Break is rapidly filling up with more events than I can even keep track of. As a matter of fact, you know it's a bad sign when The Boy runs through a list of 3 nights in a row with activities, and follows it with "So, is there anything else for the weekend?"
I don't know how it happened. In fact, I've been pretty darn proud of myself lately, as far as my scheduling goes. Sure, I'm not completely on top of things. Not sure if I ever will be, if you want the truth. But somehow I've managed to out-do even my usual scheduling this weekend and into next week.
So, here's to staying sane, catching up on sleep, and hopefully getting some writing done. It's a special talent, but it's my talent.

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