UPDATE: The winner of a signed copy of HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE by Jenna Kernan is Shoshanna Evers. Congrats! Please email your physical addy to Contests@KnightAgency.net. Leave a comment to win a signed copy of HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE by Jenna Kernan. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.
Tools to Make Me Thankful
In this season of gratitude, I would like to show my appreciation for an eclectic list of gizmos and software for which I am truly thankful. And though none of them will bring world peace, they bring peace to me and that is a good start.
1. TextAloud Program: This has been a Godsend. This software speaks my words back to me. I guess I’m an auditory learner, because my manuscript can say: He it form Mars. But because I remember writing, He is from Mars, I often don’t see the mistakes. But Crystal and Mike read only what is written. Crystal and Mike are the voices I purchased with the program. Crystal reads my heroines POV and Mike reads my hero’s. Because of Mike and Crystal’s hard work, I have many fewer mistakes in my writing. In fact, when I finish this blog, they will help me proof-read it. They are not perfect, as they can’t tell REED from READ, and they don’t sound exactly human, but I love them both like family and would gladly invite them to my Thanksgiving table if I could.
2. Handheld Dictation Tape Recorder: I’m embarrassed to admit this one as I heard on the radio that Sony has stopped producing the Walkman and the host wondered aloud if anyone in the world still listened to cassettes. I do. I buy books on tape (real tape, mind you) at yard sales, book stores, church bazaars and other odd places. Everyone is getting rid of them, so I have dozens of wonderful stories waiting for me. I also listen to CDs, but I can’t stop them and get back to exactly the same place. Boy, if you pause that cassette, it is there waiting in the exact place you stopped. I listen in the car, in the tub (and since there are no ear buds I don’t have to worry about getting them wet) and when I’m getting dressed. All times when I couldn’t read. This particular cassette player was designed for dictation. The speaker is built in and it has the odd feature of being able to speed up or slow down the speed of the recording. Since I am a New Yorker, I set the speed just a little faster than normal to hear more story in the time I have to listen. Isn’t that pathetic?
3. MP3 Player: For listening to podcasts during the day. The variety of options are endless. I also listen to downloaded audiobooks. In addition, it has become a sleep aid. When I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep I click over to Joseph Conrad’s, HEART IF DARKNESS. “The horror. The horror!” Yes, I have listened to it awake, but something about the reader’s voice and Conrad’s long sentences makes this a perfect sedative for me and for thousands of students in 10th grade English class. It also makes a nice flashlight in hotels to help me find the bathroom at 3 AM. I know, there’s an App for that, but honestly, I still don’t know how to use my cellphone, so give me a break with the Apps.
4. Post-Its: One more tool I can’t live without then editing or revising a manuscript—Post-its and if you visit my website News page at www.jennakernan.com you will see why. It’s not pretty.
So there you have it. These are the gadgets/software that makes my world a happier place. In this season of thanks, let us not forget the useful tools that aid us in our work, calm our soul and are often much better company than our relatives.
What software or gadgets rock your writing world?
Would you rather spend two hours on Thanksgiving with your laptop or your Aunt Marge?
HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE, Sept. 2010
WESTERN WINTER WEDDING BELLES, Oct. 2010
DREAM STALKER, BBB Award Winner, 2010
Labels: guest blog, jenna kernan, thanksgiving week