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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Embracing Technology!


Rather than make resolutions this year, I have decided to embrace something that intimidates me. I’d like to say that I’m becoming braver but in reality, it is a very practical decision. Just so you know, the last time I embraced a technological advance it was in the form of an ergonomic keyboard. Stop laughing. I would rather spend all day long using a pen and yellow pad than figure out technical jargon. But that won’t get it to my editor in a form she’d be pleased about.

The truth is that I’m very serious about writing more books this year and I need some help. The outlines for these books are finished and although the spirit is willing, my back is not. I’ve spent many years and a small fortune trying to create a comfortable work space. So far, comfort has eluded me and I have the chiropractor bills to prove it.

Since I'm on the short side, office furniture has never been comfortable but it’s been a necessary evil in my life since I started writing. My friends, I think I am about to banish that evil to the nether regions of the universe. A little while ago a friend, author Lynn Michaels, tipped me off to the Dragon Naturally Speaking software. Lucky me, I hit a promo sale and got the version that responds to voice commands and after it types the book, I can go back and edit it. I think I see a future without repetitive injury requiring me to take time off from my writing.

Now I’m a bargain hunter and finding a sale pleases me to no end but not as much as the fact that thanks to the Bluetooth headset (purchased separately) that allows me to be 33 feet away from my computer—sitting in my very comfortable rocking chair (don’t laugh, my feet actually touch the floor without using a footstool) or roaming around the room while I dictate my book, my chiropractor isn’t going to be able to retire to Tahiti on what he gets from me. I love my chiropractor but I’d rather use the money to buy books!

The only downside at this moment is that I sound like a foghorn and I’m going to have to wait until my cold subsides so that I don’t have to retrain Dragon to recognize my voice. I’m excited and looking forward to 2011 with a new outlook and a plan to turn those outlines that I mentioned into books.

What about you? Have you discovered a new website, software or a tip to make writing easier or more fun? Leave me a comment and you could win a download of my newest EC release, CROSS MY HEART.

Paris
http://parisbrandon.com
You can find Dragon here: http://www.nuance.com/talk/
Cross My Heart-EC
Head Over Heels-EC
Assassin’s Kiss-EC
No Holds Barred-EC
IOU-Resplendence Publishing
http://twitter.com/ParisBrandon
http://www.facebook.com/index.php#!/pages/Paris-Brandon/170137563009674

25 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I hope you got the newest version. My DH bought me it for Christmas last year and I've used it twice. You have to command the comma's, quotations, etc. It drove me crazy. I REALLY wanted it to work. Though, I'll admit I'm going to try it on my netbook so when I'm taking my three hour bi-weekly journey I can give a whirl. I'm not completely ready to throw in the towel.
They do keep calling me to get version 11 which is supposed to be much better. Good Luck and let me know how it works for you.
Please don't put me in the running as I already have Cross My Heart! :)

lastnerve said...

Since this year I resolved to actually write a book, my computer is my best friend. My laptop that is. I had back surgery in October 2009 so sitting or standing for long periods of time is painful. This is where my laptop comes in. I LOVE IT! I can take it with me wherever I go. I can lie down, stand up or sit down and still be able to access what I need to access. Being a computer programming major though, my laptop has been threatened to be thrown many a time. lol I read the blurb on Cross My Heart and it sounds wonderful! Good luck in the New Year and I expect to see a lot of new work from you young lady! :) And by the way, I LOVE your website. Very sensual.

Lynn Michaels said...

Hi Amber, Which version of Dragon do you have? I use Preferred 10. (Paris bought 11.) You can change adding punctuation on your own to letting Dragon do it for you. It's in there somewhere -- poke around and see if you can find it. I do my own punctuation, but Dragon WILL do it for you.

Lynn Michaels

Nina Pierce said...

Oh, I'm thinking about investing in that software as well, Paris. I'm not really bucking it, but I'm not sure my muse would be able to be creative without my fingers on the keyboard.

Good luck to you. I hope it helps with your productivity! Happy New Year!

Paris said...

Amber,
I was told it would drive me crazy for a couple of weeks so I'm ready for it:-) I'm actually considering getting a laptop so that I can take it anywhere in the house and work. I'll let you know how crazy I get...later:-)

Paris said...

Hey, last nerve:-)
Glad you liked the website and blurb! And I will be working like mad this year!

Paris said...

Hi Lynn,
Thanks for telling me about Dragon!

Paris said...

Nina,

My muse has actually been griping at me because I'm not getting any work done and wasting her time, LOL! The little diva has taken to pulling the feathers out of her boa and pitching them at me like darts!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Paris--I discovered a 1920's typists chair at an antique store. It's sooo comfortable--actually designed for somebody SHORT!

Good luck with the speech recog program!

Katalina Leon said...

Paris I'm a pocket Venus too, my husband built me a wooden cross bar for my writing desk so I would have a place to rest my feet because no chair adjusts to my size. It does help.
I so want Dragon software to work! Its such an enticing idea especially for those times when you're driving alone and the muse wants to talk. I've never used Dragon but I want to.
I would love an update on your experience with Dragon.
XXOO Kat

jean hart stewart said...

Congratulations on your new book as well as conquering a new technology. I have only one chair in the house I'm comfortable in so write there on my laptop in the living room and send what I do to the printer in another room. Keep files in the other room too. Sounds inconvenient but it's not. Naturally the other room is really kinda messy! Guess this is kind of a to each his own session. Glad you found what works for you.

Paris said...

Cindy,
I swear the next time we're together I'm dragging you off to antique stores. LOL! You find the coolest stuff:-)

Paris said...

Kat,
I use a footstool but also have a problem with my hands and the repetitive injury thing. I'll be sure and update you!

Paris said...

Thanks, Jean! I'm glad you have a system that works for you, too:-)

desitheblonde said...

hi since i am full time student
i do that all the time i use it for the lap top and some time on my computer yea two but i love to read and would love to read yours and then let you now what up

Paris said...

HI Desi,
Yes, I'm thinking about putting it on a lap top also. I think it's great that you use it for assignments. That's something I didn't think of!

Marie Rose Dufour said...

My laptop is my best friend. Although, I have wanted a Mac Notebook for a while now. But I still write with a good pen and paper first. It's just part of my process. I can't break myself from it.

Paris said...

Marie,
I have always brainstormed with pen and paper because it was my first process and the most comfortable. I wish it still was. Thanks for stopping by!

Linda Kage said...

I have the opposite problem as you do. Too tall. Imagine Schroeder from the Peanuts comic as she's playing the piano. I sit there, always having to bat my knees aside to reach the keyboard.

Okay, so it's not that bad, but I do find myself hunching my back over alot.

I wonder if a laptop would be helpful at all. You don't have to leave you nice comfy chair, just sit the whole computer on your lap and go to town.

Hope your new technology works. Let us know how it goes!! Good luck.

Tina Donahue said...

I probably shouldn't be writing this right after my computer crashed, but if I ever have to come back (reincarnation), I want to come back as one of the geek patrol (or an auto mechanice - I have car problems all the time too).

Just setting up a new computer gives me a migraine. I just want to plug it into the wall, turn it on and start keying. If only it were that simple. *sigh*

Paris said...

Hi Linda,

No, I can't imagine that would be comfortable at all! I'm thinking a nice laptop and a comfy chair would be just the ticket, too:-)

Paris said...

Tina,
I know just how you feel! There are times when I'd almost be willing to house a member of the geek squad...room and board and all the books they could read!

Marianne Stephens said...

I hadn't heard about the program but now will look at it. Anything to make writing easier is a great goal! Thanks for the information.
Feel better! I've got something going around here too, and am losing my voice!

Paris said...

Hi Marianne,
Sorry to hear about the voice! I'll keep everyone posted on the progress of the Dragon system, fingers crossed, I'm hoping it helps me get more books out there!

Paris said...

Thank you all for stopping by and giving me your take on the technology!

Linda Kage is the Cross My Heart winner! Congratulations, Linda!

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