MacBookPro

So long, Chromebook. Hello, MacBook Pro!

MacBookPro

As I type this, I feel a little misty. I loved my Chromebook. It helped me finish Life in the ‘Cosm, got me half-way through the second book, and even some of the way into my third book. I used it to write four short stories this year, one of which has so far made it to round three of an upcoming anthology. That little laptop also read my stories back to me. Thanks, Chromie, for everything. You’re like my first worn-out teddy bear.

When I hadn’t been published, I sort of told myself that if it happened, I’d treat myself to my first Apple laptop. Where I’d get the money for it . . . who knew? But lo and behold, Super Broose, my long-suffering husband, surprised me last Sunday with a purchase. Everyone should have a Bruce. They’re nice.

We bought the 2016 MacBook Pro with retina display. Holy schnikies, is it ever great for reading text. So sharp and crisp. This will come in handy not only for the writing phase, but also for the gruelling editing phase. Another side benefit of the retina, or maybe not so much for my waistline, is that my cupcake background is so sharp, it looks as if the cupcake is right there and I can just reach for it! I joked with the husband unit that one day soon I’ll say to him, “Um, hon, I might have broken my laptop by trying to eat the screen.”

What I really like is the super-light touch of the keyboard. With arthritis and fibro-related neuropathy, this is a treat. I keep having to remind myself not to pound the thing. And I noticed there’s a dictation feature, so I might have a blast with that, too.

So, while I’ll never totally stop being a Google Girl, I have come to the Dark Side. At least that’s what I tell my PC and Android friends. I have an entire Apple tree this year: watch, Apple TV, iPhone 7, and now this MacBook Pro. How did I become this person?

Oh, well. At least I can continue to write my silly stories on a lightweight laptop. I think I’ll have a lot of fun.

I just have to remember the cupcake is a photo. It is not real. Gosh, that icing looks so creamy.

Uh . . . yeah. MacBook Pro. If you have the funds, I recommend it. The space grey is really chic!

/cg

P.S. Oh wow, I just totally air-dropped the photo of my laptop with a press of a button and *poof*, it saved it to my MacBook Pro. (Yes, I’m a noob, but this is coolbeans!)


cgauthorCait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedic space opera where boy meets girl, but girl doesn’t notice boy because she’s sharing a body with another boy. She is also the creator and editor of the Spoonie Authors Network. You can follow Cait on Facebook  and Twitter.

Splot on iOS

This Googly Author’s Journey toward iOS

I’m so mad about Google. I’m Googly for it. I wrote my first novel on my Chromebook. I even used the Chrome voice feature to read my novel and especially my dialogue back to me, during the development and editing process. I was thrilled to jot down my ideas on my Android phone, whenever I wasn’t near my Chromebook. Google products are my comfort zone. They’re my jam.

I also have a craft business. When it was time for me to let my Nexus 4 Android phone go to heaven, I purchased the LG G4 for its 16 megapixel camera. Photos of my products turned out amazingly amazing. I absolutely loved that phone. It was larger and fantastic for writing with while waiting in doctors’ offices or taking the bus somewhere. It was a mini computer in my pocket.

If you own a LG G4, you’re probably aware that there is a risk of a boot loop issue. It’s a major hardware defect. My best friend had her phone go kaput without any warning. I thought perhaps mine was okay. Well, as of two days ago it wasn’t. The boot loop issue is when your phone looks like it’s restarting, but it never goes past the LG logo. My beloved cell was completely useless.

After chatting online, phoning, and meeting in person with my provider (persistent little thing I am) I found out that my phone had to be returned to the manufacturer. Fortunately, I had also chatted with LG online. Seems that they will fix this issue free of charge even if you’re off warranty, because it is such a global problem.

In the meantime, I was so fed up of the idea of having to ship my phone away and maybe get it back after a month, I was thinking about jumping to Apple’s iOS. Now for those of you who aren’t technical, that’s the equivalent of changing religions. People these days are very attached to their operating system. You’re Android or you’re iOS. You should hear people argue about this. I’ve not even heard religious debates that are this passionate.

Even though my provider was going to give me a loaner until my phone returned, a friend of mine was not using her iPhone 5, and she graciously lent it to me. I’m using it now. My two friends were over when I was trying to configure the thing yesterday. I’m quite technical, but it looked like I hadn’t a clue. I kept saying things like, “Where the EFF is this, and where the EFF is that?!”

This Googly gal does not transition easily into the Apple world.

However, despite my mourning for Android, I have noticed certain things with iOS already that are superior for my needs. I’m dictating this post using the voice recognition software on the iPhone 5. It is leaps ahead of the voice recognition software on my Android phone. Because I suffer from fibromyalgia and have arthritis in my fingers, I lean on voice recognition a lot. Also, I have a lot of pain in my hands and the smaller phone has an ergonomic advantage for me.

I’m feeling very pondery about the whole thing.

Also, it felt like I was going to lose my stuff last night. You know, the stuff inside my brain that keeps me sane? But I made a lovely discovery. I could put Google all over this iPhone. So I installed the Chrome app, Gmail, Drive, Google docs, and Gboard, which is a Google keyboard that allows for swipe texting. Now I feel like the phone’s a little hybrid.

Google apps on iOS
My friends say Splot doesn’t look too impressed.

I can have my Google, and eat it too. Okay, that sounded better in my head.

I’ll keep you updated with what my final decision will be, if my LG G4 returns fixed by the manufacturer. Right now it looks like I’ll be spending the next month on iOS. Your guess is as good as mine as what I’ll finally decide. Although, accessibility features that I’m seeing with iPhone are sort of turning my head.

Stay tuned as I take a bite out of the Apple.

/cg 

listentobook

Listen to your book. Literally.

I’ve written about this before, but after going through the exercise several times, I had to say it again. There is nothing like listening to someone else read your writing to you. I find it does the following:

  • Lets you know if your story flows from one chapter to the next.
    ..
  • Validates the rhythm of your dialogue.
    ..
  • Catches typos you’ve missed a thousand times because your eyes can’t notice them anymore.
    ..
  • Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you’re wrapped in a furry blankie.

listentobookSometimes I read my work out loud just after I’ve composed some dialogue or a paragraph I’m unsure of, but when I really want to sanity-check my work, I let Celia read to me. Celia is the nickname I give to the English-accented voice on my Google phone. I convert my MS Word document to an epub format, then use the Read Aloud feature on Google Play Books. Update: I also use ChromeVox on my Chromebook, on the Accessibility menu. 

Listening to a voice that isn’t mine—or doesn’t belong anyone else I know—really forces me to pay attention. I also read along on my Chromebook (yes, I’m googly for Google) and that helps me catch what doesn’t work. I’ll pause, edit a bit, and then let Celia continue on.

Right now, I’m about three chapters away from finishing the rough draft of my 30-chapter novel. I’m listening to the 27 chapters I’ve written so far, before finishing it up. After that, I’ll search for more bad words (See: Editing really, really bad words. Really. ), listen to the old book again, and, squee, hand it off to the beta readers!

I really encourage you to hear what your writing sounds like. This is where technology really comes in handy, if you don’t have a patient friend to do it for you. I am finding this exercise invaluable.

Enjoy the journey and happy listening!

/cg