I’ll Make You Famous…

The winner of today’s contest at Deadline Dames will have a character in my book series named after them.3


I was quoted in this article…

…about NaNoWriMo.

Click HERE to see the article.


NaNo NaNu


Posting today — about National Novel Writing Month — at Deadline Dames.

The Future is Today!

sciencefictionstories1NOTE:  Check the end of this post for bribes.

I heard a story on NPR the other day about technology.  It seems that it is changing so fast that there are a lot of things that most people think of as Science Fiction that already exist. The information is coming faster than we can absorb.  For example, did you know that the military really does have tiny little flying robots the size of houseflies that gather intelligence remotely?

For someone, ahem, MY AGE, I’m not especially intimidated by technology.  But it took me a while to figure out how to get my book covers up on the left and my Twitter feed up on the right.

A lot of writers I know struggle with technology.  We were the English major nerds (okay, I was a Performing Arts major, but the metaphor still works), not the Science/Math Geeks (who became cool in the age of Bill Gates). Like many of my fellow authors I enjoy the idea of sitting under a tree, writing in my beautifully bound leather journal with a quill pen (in my fantasy, the need for a place to put the ink bottle is conveniently ignored), surrounded by the sounds of nature.

But I type 80 words per minute, and handwrite about ten, so I use an AlphaSmart when I’m sitting under that tree. I still can’t resist buying those leather-bound journals, but they mostly collect dust.

I’m always tempted by various software applications that promise to more or less write the book for me.  Sort of like the serial dieter is always looking for the magic pill that will make them thin, the writer sees applications that keep track of plot threads, character arcs, and make pretty story boards, and we’re sure that, if we just buy them, we’ll have the next New York Times bestseller ready in no time.

I’ve bought a couple, and tried some of the free ones. Most of them didn’t do anything I hadn’t already figured out using basic office tools, and others had a learning curve so long that I was afraid I’d never get the book done.


But the technology used in the actual writing process is the least of the author’s worries.  It’s all the ancillary stuff, mostly having to do with marketing.

I currently use…

— WordPress for this blog, and the Deadline Dames.

— Bravenet for occasional updates to my old blog.

— Contribute (A dumbed down version of DreamWeaver) for my website.

— Windows Movie Maker for “virtual appearances” and book trailers.

— YouTube to post the trailers.

— Microsoft publisher to make all kinds of promotional things, both print and digital.

— I-Movie (on the studio’s Mac) to edit tape for the TV show I produce.

— Streamclip to change the format of the video so that it can be loaded to an FTP site

— Filezilla to actually load the video.

— PegMedia to distribute the show to other Public Access stations around the country.

— Prism to compress the video to a lower-resolution so that I can post full episodes.

— Blip.tv to post those episodes.

— Twitter, to tell people to go read the blogs and watch the episodes and trailers.

— Seesmic, to customize my views of the Twitter feed.

— Facebook, because everyone says I have to.

— PayPal, so I can get online payments for my Book Rx business.

— Yahoo Messenger, although I REFUSE to use IM abbreviations or abandon punctuation.

— Yahoo Groups, to keep track of various organizations of which I am a member.

— Autosynch, to synchronize calendars, tasks and contacts in multiple places

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this is actually a pretty short list. Compare to some REALLY tech savvy writers I know, I’m a Neanderthal.

What do you use that is or isn’t on my list?  Do any of those novel writing applications really work for you?


One commenter will win an autographed copy of Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  And, speaking of technology, be sure I have a way to notify you if you win…