In the Writer’s Toolbox – Programs and Apps

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With the New Year freshly turned, I’m looking for ways to increase productivity and organization in 2016. It’s not a new goal, but because of technology, every year there are more choices, and with more options it becomes harder to find things.

I’ve started a list of apps and programs to help, support and assist writers that I’m exploring or already using.

 

For Desktop: The hammer, screwdriver, and saw of writing.

Scrivener – literatureandlatte.com – This is the program that I mainly write in. It’s cross platform and works very well with my need for visual organization. There are many things to love about Scrivener.

Grammarly – I’m a new convert, and while I’ve taken it out for a test drive, I think what I like best about it, is that it brings focus to potential problems. I don’t always agree, and that’s okay.

Hemingway – The best way to highlight your overuse of things. Less intensive than Grammarly and because of that more friendly, IMHO.

Slick Write – Stats. Did I mention I love stats? Have fun, but carve out at least an hour to play.

Aeon Timeline – I have yet to sit down and use this, but I keep hoping to backtrack and plug all my notes and paper data into it.

 

For Mobile: The goal on mobile is to keep track of word counts on the go and set daily goals across projects. What I dream of is an app that stacks sprint counts, but I’m still searching for one.

Writeometer (Android only) – Jury is out. Wish it was on iOS.

5000 words per hour – I downloaded it today so we’ll see if I use it.

Ink on – seems like it could be useful, but the interface is clunky. I’m hoping that I’ll get used to it.

 

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Things I Love : Three Treasures

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If you know me, at all, you know I love old paper. Handwritten words beat printed ones, but where there is a story I fall in love. I think it’s likely married to my love of history. Holding something ancient and readable in my hands is thrilling.

Today my mother presented me with a used book. An English Cottage Year by Sally Holmes and Tracey Williamson from 1993. The book itself is the first little treasure. It’s a first edition compilation of poetry, quotes and musings interspersed with recipes and watercolors.

Inside the pages was another treasure – an envelope. Old and stained it has a tiny bit of writing on the front

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and another treasure inside: a bookplate.

 

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My busy studio at HuntingDragons – lots of works in progress

 

Messy is my forte in art. I think I design better with some semblance of chaos around. Even when my workspace starts off pristine, by the end of the day it’s likely to look like this again.
As a writer my desk needs to be orderly and austere. Funny how that is in such contrast to my artist’s needs. Perhaps it’s a statement of both sides of me – one loving the zen of simple of beauty and the other desiring Victorian style chaos of color and texture.

One Hundred Words – the memory of the day ahead

The air had the scent of summers past; when the morning was spent in anticipation of the day ahead. I remember the light breeze and coolness of the day that lifted my hair as I helped to pack the car for the trip to my aunt’s house. I could capture it for you; a mix of bird song the scent of flowers and the essence of sun starting to warm the day. A calm unfettered feeling with only the movement towards our arrival. I would see my cousins, drink lemonade, eat tiny egg salad sandwiches, and walk in the woods.

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One Hundred Words – The Game – Sunday April 28, 2013

IMG_6440“It’s your turn.” I say handing him the small white dice. They make a pleasant sound as he shakes them and land with a plunk on the table. “Six!” He says with glee, obviously not understanding  that a low number is not that desirable. A few more pieces of colored paper move into his meager pile. His turn is played and the dice come to me. I hold them in hand testing their weight and roll them between my fingers thinking of tens and twelves. The roll is disappointing; only an eight. I buy some colored papers and move on.

Through the gate – 100 words – One Hundred Words

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The sweet smell of lilac in full bloom hit me long before I touched the cold metal of the gate. The morning was chilly despite the sun’s warmth. A breeze lifted my hair and rustled the branches. I released the latch. The garden was still loved, but plainly far too much work for aging hands. The green burst of spring had consumed the bare spaces left by winter die-back. I put down my basket of tools and laid the blanket near the wildest part. Gathering my well-worn skirt to one side, I settled myself, surveying the smaller world.

The Old Bones – 100 Words – Weekly Writing Challenge – Sunday April 7, 2013

The bones were old, creamy beige with dark brown crevices. You could imagine my surprise to find them so neatly stacked behind the shed. They were gleaming, as if someone had washed and dried them. It was more likely that the rain and wind had done the thorough cleaning. Brushing stray leaves away, I lifted the top bone. It was lighter than I expected and still warm from the sun. I brought the flared lens of the bone analyzer close. There were no fractures in this one. It was long, tapering to a wide end point where it joined something.

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