Friday, September 11, 2009

Using a New Medium to Spark Creativity and Production

It’s hard to find the time to write these days, and when I have a spark of creativity I’m not always in front of the computer or have my notebook with me. There are new ways to write on the go, which I just recently discovered.

The other day I was out running errands as a new idea came to me. It hit me hard like a line drive down the 3rd base line. How was I going to get to a notebook or computer in time to write it all down? I’m sure all of you have had these moments, where panic ensues and in the end you have no idea what that idea was. Of course once you’ve forgotten it completely, you know that it was probably the most brilliant idea ever, right? So as the words came flying at me (yep, not only the idea but actual WORDS), I rummaged through my purse, only to find my iPhone. “It has a Notes app,” I said shrugging and promptly opened the application up. I proceeded to not only type up my idea on the phone but the first few paragraphs. You would think it was awkward, but to be honest it wasn’t. That’s when I got an idea. What if I wrote a lot of the first draft on my iPhone, making it hard to go back and edit so I could just worry about the words as they came? It was a crazy idea, but I thought I would give it a shot and started to investigate.

Now, for those of you who have Smart phones, especially iPhones, you know there are way too many apps out there to easily find the good ones. Lucky enough, I found one that’s pretty darn good and thought I would share my research.

NoteMaster is a note-taking app that allows sync back and forth from Google docs. I’ve had the app a few days and used it yesterday to continue my story. It lets you sync certain files, folders or everything you have stored in Google docs. The sync is almost instant and the doc formatting comes back and forth pretty seamlessly. My only beef (so far) with NoteMaster is that the text is a lot smaller than it is with the standard Notes app that the iPhone comes with. For $4.99, I think it’s definitely worth the price.

Right before buying NoteMaster, I wanted to see if anyone I knew used it. I Twittered asking if anyone had it and YA author Heather Hanson responded that she hadn’t but to let her know what I thought if I went ahead and got it. We twittered back and forth and she pointed me in the direction of another app for the iPhone that could be really useful—Docs to Go. With this little app (two versions, one is $4.99, the more expensive is $9.99) you can view, edit and create Microsoft Word files. You can even view excel, pdf and more! With the more expensive version, you can send and receive attachments via Microsoft Exchange email.

I’m sure there are more amazing apps and programs out there for all you tech savvy people! Those are the few I have dabbled in. It’s great to know that at any time I can pull out my cell phone and start writing!

Have you tried to use a Smart Phone to write your book?

Monday, September 7, 2009

iPod Shuffle Game

Okay, it's Labour Day (or Labor Day, to my US friends who obviously have a thing against the letter "u", this is a time to celebrate all things rebellious and worthy of putting up a fight. In light of this, my blog post for today is a veritable parade of give-it-to-the-man sentiment. It's a music game - we're channelling the union songs of old - but with a twist. I first saw this as one of my friend's notes on Facebook and am embarrassed to say I could only get three from her list. But I enjoyed the challenge. So here we go...

The iPod Shuffle Game

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first lines from the first 10 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Place any answers in the comments section, where if you’re correct, you can claim bragging rights.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game start your own!

Alright here’s my list. I’ll even give you guys a few hints – they span from the 70’s to current and most are rock or alternative tunes. They may not be work/labour related, but they'll help you rock in the end of summer. Don't forget to post your answers!

1. Tell me that you’re alright, yeah everything is alright

2. I guess you’re right and there’s nothing I would say to you this time

3. Hit the beat and take it to the first line, yeah, yeah, yeah

4. You know he’s not the one for you but that’s no fault of mine

5. Did you see the sky I think it means that we’ve been lost

6. All our times have come…here, but now they're gone

7. When you came in the air went out

8. I hear a voice say don’t be so blind

9. Sha-la-la…ships are docking, planes are landing

10. Give me a kiss, give me a kiss, I want to find out what I missed