Tag Archives: iPad

Some Wednesday Random

It’s Wednesday, and I can’t think of a thing to blog about – so I’m falling back on the old tried and true. Random!

I’m a Happy Information Junkie This Week.

I finally figured out a way to keep an eye on all the links and fun things I find interesting online, without feeling information overload! And it’s all due to my iPad. Last week I spent a bit of time testing out various apps and I’ve now settled on some essential ones that have made my info-surfing life so much easier.

On the agenda: I’ll be writing up a post about the apps I’m now using. (Always nice to know what I’ll be writing about!).

And I’m Sharing My Finds on Twitter.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (and … ahem … if you’re not, here’s the link to my Twitter profile) might have noticed I’m doing something a little differently these days. I’ve been tweeting links to all the stuff I find terribly amusing or interesting or just plain mind-boggling.

I can’t help it. Seriously, some of this stuff is just too good not to share!

Sniff … Reamde Has to Go Back to the Library.

So I’ve had that big brick of a book, Reamde, by Neal Stephenson, for almost three weeks now. And I haven’t touched it. It’s just such a BIG book, so every time I look at it, I think to myself, I really need to make sure I have a nice chunk of time to curl up with it.

image

And of course, that never happened. And since this is a relatively new book, I can’t renew it, because there are lots of other eager readers just waiting to get their hot little hands on it.

Sigh. I hate when this kind of thing happens. I actually have it in audio, too, but I already know it will take me even longer to listen to it than it would for me to read it so I might as well just add myself back to the “hold” queue at the library.

The Art of Letter Writing

Okay, so no-one’s going to be too surprised that I wasn’t able to stick to writing a letter a day last month. No, not even though it was a short month (although with that leap day, it really wasn’t that much shorter …).

But I had some good excuses. Like the flu going through the family, which just about wiped out two weeks of the month.

Despite not writing a letter a day last month, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the handwritten letter bug. I’ve enjoyed getting letters from people, and I’ve enjoyed writing the letters I did write. So I’ve decided to just keep on doing this indefinitely.

Not, of course, a letter a day. But several a month. It’s going to be fun!

The Everyday Writer

Last bit of random for now. I’ve been having a hard time getting back into a writing routine. And then yesterday, I came across this blog post by Seth Godin.

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

(The emphasis is mine.)

I decided to take this advice to heart, and last night, I created The Everyday Writer. And this morning, I wrote my first post. My plan is to choose a different writing prompt generator every day (if you click through, you’ll see I have several of them in the sidebar), and then write a little something. Something short, that’s fictional, but Not of the Utmost Importance (the very opposite of the way I think of my writing-in-progress as Being of the Utmost Importance – which, by the way, is one sure-fire way to drum up a bad case of writer’s block).

And I’m adding this into my Wednesday Random because I’ve got to fulfill the “in public” part of the whole shebang.

So those are my latest bits of random! What random bits and pieces do you have going on these days?

Saturday Random

A little bit of Saturday randomness …

Yes, I’m Back

So you might have noticed, despite writing excitedly last month about getting into a blogging rhythm, I then kind of disappeared off the face of the blogosphere (and Twitter and Facebook).

What happened? Back in October and November, I had several clients ask me, “We’ve got a project(s) coming up in the new year – can you prepare the index for us?” “Why, sure!” I said, enthusiastically. But since there were no set dates, I didn’t actually have anything to set down in my calendar. My Basecamp account rules my work life, and I’ve gotten into a rhythm of sorts – if it’s not in Basecamp, I forget about it.

So January arrives. I have a handful of deadlines and I’m quite pleased, since I was SO busy in the late fall and early winter; I could do with the slower pace.

Then the emails come. Those projects have all decided to be ready for me at roughly the same time, and before I know it, I’m actually busier for the last three weeks in January than I was in December (which I’d been calling my “busy month”).

I wasn’t really prepared for the avalanche, but thankfully I got through it, and yes, I am back now for real, and I’m hoping this year to stumble onto a way to even out my workload so that I won’t ever have to go through another too-busy period again. (Wish me luck!)

Free Time? It’s Overwhelming!

So you’d think I’d be having a blast with all the time I’ve been having lately. But I’ve been going through a period of adjustment – to be honest, I’ve been finding myself quite overwhelmed with the idea of actually having time to do all the things that I want to do.

The problem is, there are SO many things on my list (good things, I mean – stuff I really want to do), and I’m having a hard time deciding what to do. And the result has been a lot of sitting around doing nothing, and then looking back and wondering how I managed to waste the whole day away like that.

Thankfully, Janel came to my rescue: she pointed out that after having put my brain through such a long workout, I really need to just give myself time to get used to the new schedule. Go with the flow, so to speak. So I’m doing just that, and it feels a whole lot better.

Short but Sweet

I wrote my first short story in over twenty years! When I was younger, I used to get ideas for shorts all the time, but for the longest time now, I’ve been immersed in ideas for novels. But I’ve started reading short stories recently, and it’s so true: you’ve got to read what you want to write.

The idea came to me one night and I was thrilled – beginning, middle and end, all there! In the bright light of day, though, the ending looked a bit trite. So my brain worked on it a bit more when I wasn’t looking, and gave me a new ending. Okay, to be honest, it’s not a not-trite ending, it’s just not quite as trite as the first one.

Anyway, I then sat down and just decided to write it. (I have my iPad to thank for being so conveniently on hand). Trite or not, I figured, I’d better start somewhere.

More good news on the writing front: I uploaded what I’d written so far of ELEMENTAL ISLE onto my iPad in pdf format, and after giving the whole thing a read, I found myself wishing I’d written more (because I wanted to know what was going to happen!), so I sat down and wrote more. I’ve added two chapters so far, and I’m hoping to work on the novel every day.

Reading, Reading, Reading

I’ve been getting back into a reading rhythm again, too, and that feels very nice; it’s lovely to have the time to sit down with a book from start to finish, instead of dipping in here and there for a few moments of pleasure. I’ve completed a few books, and will be posting a few more reviews soon.

Hercule Poirot and Nero Wolfe were my constant companions last month. I listened to them while working and at night before drifting off to bed, and the two of them helped me keep my spirits up as I worked through all those deadlines.

Not Another Blogging Rhythm?

I most certainly am not going to jinx myself by saying I’ll be going back into a blogging rhythm now! But I’m hoping I’m now back into a regular schedule of blogging, and blog reading (I really missed the latter, although I’ve noticed my TBR list hasn’t grown much as a result).

[TSS] My Year of Creativity

I’m not one to make resolutions – they just don’t work for me. And perhaps it’s a matter of semantics; “resolutions” and “resolve” have a hard-edged feel for me, and I much prefer the softer ease of “intention”.

So at the beginning of each new year, I like to make some general intentions for the days ahead.

Last year was my year of authenticity. And this soft, gentle intention had a great deal to do with 2010 being a very pivotal year for me. It was a year during which I got to know myself a lot better – who I really am, and what I really want out of life.

I didn’t exactly enjoy all the lounging-around-on-the-sofa-feeling-sick time I spent during Christmas week last week, but in some ways it was a gift; I had lots of time to look back over the past year, and look forward to the new year – and see what my general intentions are for 2011.

Despite flagging energy, I came up with a lot of ideas (many of which I’d actually been nursing during the deadline-driven months of November and December). And all these ideas gelled together and pointed in one general direction:

create

2011 is my year of creativity.

I’ve missed being creative. Last year, I added writing back into my life, and it has been a very joyful experience. But there’s more to what I want out of life than the writing. There are a lot of things that interest me, and this year, I’m giving myself permission to enjoy exploring and playing with all the things that catch my fancy.

So this means:

More Writing. But I’m not going to narrowly define “writing” anymore. I’m going for the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach. So that means not just novels and short stories, but playing around with writing prompts, writing essays, and (this is very tentative indeed!) more regular blogging here.

Janel has been my inspiration when it comes to my writing intentions. I am totally in love with her bowl of inspiration, and plan to pair it with this other idea I got from her blog – coming up with a story idea a day.

More Art. Once upon a time (read: pre-Dylan, my seven-year-old), I actually spent a great deal of time mucking about playing with paints and glue and paper and clay. I was never particularly good, but for me, making art isn’t about the end result, it’s about the process.

I’m going to start slowly; right now, I’m contemplating the idea of a Zentangle a day, or, more accurately, a Zentangle mandala. I found this great video on YouTube which makes me want to reach for my set of Pigma Micron pens and just do it – except, I don’t have a set anymore. So a trip to the art store is in order!

I’d also like to learn how to create digital art; I bought the Sketchbook Pro app for my iPad, and have a stylus on its way to me (in the same package as that Bluetooth keyboard I mentioned yesterday).

And digital photography! Molly posted today about her interest in photography, not just as a memory keeping device, but as a form of artistic expression. Photography is something I’ve been interested in ever since I was a teenager; I’ve just never made the interest much of a priority before.

More Reading. I also intend to read a lot more – for me, reading is a very creative thing. It’s rare for me to put down a book without it having stimulated an avalanche of new ideas. But this year, I’d like to add interesting non-fiction back into my TBR stacks as well.

For many years, after I had my kids, I read nothing but nonfiction, because fiction was just too gripping and I didn’t have the time to give to it (if you’ve ever found yourself having a really hard time putting down a novel, but it’s inching really close to 2 in the morning and you have to get up in a handful of hours to get the kids off to school, you’ll know what I mean).

So a few years ago, I made the decision to let myself read more fiction again, and I am so very glad I did. The more I read, the more I find myself itching to write. At the same time, though, fiction doesn’t quite appease my curiosity about things the way a very good non-fiction book can. So I’d like to have both types of reading in my life.

I suspect the Kindle app on my iPad is going to play a huge role in my reading life this year as well. It has been so easy reading on it (I recently finished Kathy Reich’s Virals, a real page-turner, and am in the middle of Naughty: 9 Tales of Christmas Crime, by Steve Hockensmith), and I’ve been finding myself looking through the Kindle store feeling very, very tempted by the selections there.

Morning Pages, My Way. I’m contemplating writing Morning Pages again; they were a part of my daily practice for about eight years, but I found myself outgrowing them. This time around, I’d like to do them with an added twist – I’d like to use them as a way to hold a conversation with myself, the deep-down-me who often gets buried in the unintentional busy-ness of life.

Meditation. And finally, there’s the meditation. I find it terribly challenging sometimes to quiet my mind (as you can probably imagine, by the length of my blog posts …) But I’d really, really like to incorporate meditation into my daily practice.

As a gift to myself, I bought a copy of Abraham-Hicks’ Getting into the Vortex Guided Meditation meditations; there are four 15 minute meditations on the CD, and 15 minutes is SO much easier to manage. It’s like the short timed writing goal for me – it’s nearly impossible for that naysayer part of me to tell me “you don’t have time for that”.

So these are all the things I’m looking forward to doing and being in 2011. What about you? Do you make resolutions? Mini-goals? What has worked (and not worked) for you in the past when it comes to new year changes in your life?

The Holiday Catch-Up Post

Happy new year, everyone! It was a very hectic December for me, as evidenced by the scarcity of posts here. And after I finished my last deadline for the year, I came down with the flu. Christmas week was kind of a blur for me as a result, but this past week has been great, with a wonderful family get-together where my husband cooked the most delicious roast chicken.

So here’s all the stuff I would have posted in the past few weeks, in shortened (for me) form. And then I will be up to date and will be able to get back into a regular blogging schedule for the new year!

IPad. Yes, I finally got my iPad, a Christmas gift from my family. And I love it! There have been some unexpected benefits, too, like discovering I will be able to markup PDFs for work purposes, which will really help my workflow (and save quite a few trees). I’ve been having lots of fun finding lots of great apps – and there are a ton of seriously good ones out there.

I’m blogging this post from my iPad right now, in fact, using an app called Blogpress, which, unlike other blogging apps I explored, let’s me insert HTML code (for links, for example) easily (rather than typing in the code manually). I don’t yet have my Bluetooth keyboard (it’s on it’s way via UPS right about now), so I’m still using the touchscreen keypad. Not ideal, but I seem to be getting quicker the more I use it.

Teen parties. Other than seeing family and dinner with friends, Ward and I haven’t done much in terms of parties this holiday season. But
Hayley had TWO parties here, one for Christmas, and one yesterday, for New Years Eve.

Yes, Ward and I survived. It was surprisingly fun, actually. Last night, for instance, we did a Chuck marathon!

Writing. Not much to report on this end, unfortunately. But I’m hoping this will change once I get my Bluetooth keyboard; I’ve been investigating writing apps for the iPad and there are some very good possibilities.

And thanks to Janel, I’ve been thinking about working on some short stories this year, too. She’s been very inspirational for me on the writing front.

Reading. I’ve been doing a bit of reading on the iPad and really love it – it’s easily my e-reader of choice. Which makes sense, since I already preferred reading in my iPhone over reading with the Kobo e-reader. I also listened to some books in audio while I had the flu, so I’ll be reporting on my reading material in future posts.

So that’s my quick update. It feels a little odd typing on the iPad, so this post might not sound as much like me as normal. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday week (or two!). Here’s to a beautiful, gorgeous new year!