Tag Archives: Writer

Writer Tech Trouble

pcillustratorThe other day I had some issues with my computer. It’s not a huge problem for me because I know how to take them apart and fix them, or get into the DOS settings and troubleshoot. Since the computer is vital to writers, I felt I’d share some tips that might help you out if you have problems and don’t want to lose your work.

Set your word processor to save every few minutes.

MS Word- autosave tutorial

OpenOffice autosave tutorial

Back up your file to a cloud drive. I also recommend backing up to a USB periodically. I use my Dropbox folder as the My Documents folder on my computer. This way, if I get a crash and need to format or get a new computer, everything is already saved and synced through the Internet.

Dropbox (free) If you sign up via the link, I get more space. If you sign up, you can get more space by getting people to sign up too.

Icloud- (free) If you have an iPhone, you probably already have an icloud account.

OneDrive (try for free) If you use MS Office, you may already have an OneDrive account.

Be sure to have your antivirus software update regularly. This means not only to update ‘definitions’ but also the program itself. Make sure settings scan the computer regularly.

Avast antivirus (free)

AVG antivirus (free)

Install anti-malware. I recommend Malwarebytes or Spybot. You can also install these programs on a USB drive and run a scan from the drive.

Malwarebytes (free)

Spybot (free)

Corrupted files. Sometimes with word processors, the file you save gets corrupted.  

MS Word document recovery.

OpenOffice documents recovery.

Make boot discs for your computer. A boot disc helps with fixing problems with the computer with a simple restart of the system. How to do this will depend on the version of Windows you have, and sometimes even the make/model of the computer.

How to create repair discs for your computer.

How to make bootable USB, CD, or DVD to install Windows using a ISO file.

If you have any questions, please leave in comments or email me at frootbat31@yahoo.com.

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The writer I was yesterday….

july quote

This quote felt right since the past few years left me very uncertain of my writer ability. My confidence waned after I published and found so few wanted to buy my short stories for only a $1.00. If I couldn’t get friends and family to purchase, how can I find strangers online?

I remind myself that I can’t stop writing. After all, the stories continue to rattle around in my head. The characters want their stories told. I just need to muster motivation- or better yet, resolve, to complete and publish again.

One other issue that’s made writing difficult is my eyes. I’ve always had bad vision, but as I get older, and now require bifocals, it’s like looking through binoculars at the world.

I’ve been told the risk of retinal tearing also increased with aging, when I already had the potential of going blind since I was a kid. (I have thin retinas as well as very bad astigmatism, and the shape of the entire eyeball is wrong). Two eye doctors said it was the worst astigmatism they’ve seen in their careers. Needless to say, reading is a chore now.

I figure ‘slow and steady wins the race’ so even if I can get a few hundred words in fiction done each day, it is better than nothing. I hope it will be enough to satisfy the writing gods (and my characters).

Currently, I’m working on the following:

A sequel to Into the Shade, my short story published on Amazon Kindle Singles. You can also find my other short story, Fireflies: A Vampire Story. I have three anthologies I published but don’t have stories in some of them. See my Amazon Author Page.

I have three other short stories all vying for attention, as well as a novel series with vampires, and two e-workbooks I want to publish before the end of the year. I’m not sure if that will happen, but I’ll keep at it.

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Researching death

askamorticianSometimes doing research leads me down the rabbit hole of strange and interesting. I was curious on the decomposition of a body (for writing of course!) and came across Ask a Mortician. Caitlin Doughty is author, blogger, and YouTuber who promotes ‘death acceptance’. But what I find engaging is her videos on death.

She talks about the process of death, of how the body is prepared for burial, but she also covers topics like rituals in other cultures, or history of death. Videos include such helpful information in what you can do with your body after you die, but also the process.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/4NV-5BrC65c

She accept questions, so perhaps if you’re needing a fact to add to your story, you might want to ask her.

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Do you have fun stories on researching for your writing? Post in comments or better yet, blog about and leave a link for me in comments. I’d love to hear about it.

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Writer Tools

writertools

Here is my compilation of tools to help writers write:

write or die

Write or Die– This online site provides a tool to provoke you to write in ‘freewriting’. Settings include word count, time, but the fun part is consequences. You can choose between spiders, grumpy cat, and a few others. Alarms include alarming and cacophony.

ywriter6mainChapter-by-Chapter is a free program that words with OpenOffice or MS Word to sort documents. I like having my chapters in a single document, and this programs let’s me find/replace but also compile them together into a single manuscript.

Grammarly.com is a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) and provides grammar checking when you type anywhere in the browser. This includes hints to corrections as well so you learn how to write properly. They also have Grammarly for MS Office

Paperrater.com is an online service to check grammar but also includes spelling and plagiarism. Readability statistics, passive voice detection, and more are also included for submission of up to 5 pages for the free version.

visuwordsVisuwords.com works much like a Thesaurus, but visually. This online free service uses a bubble/mind map interface. Type in a word and see what other words pop up.

Word to Pages helps the self-published author find out how many pages their manuscript has based on words, size font, and page size.

OpenOffice.org is free Office suite software compatible with the MS Office suite of programs. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, 3D drawing, and database.

Google Drive includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, forms, maps, and even click-and-build web sites. This is a free online service that offers many add-ons to each service such as CloudConvert (to change file formats), auto-bibliography, translate, table of contents, and speech recognition. This is just what I found for the word processor.

Coffitivity.com is a site that provides ambience of a cafe to help you write. I use this myself since music can often distract me when writing certain non-fiction. This is free.

Add in comments your favorite tools to write. I’ll be posting in the future the best books for an author’s library.

 

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