Archive for March 18th, 2012

Something I’ve Been Meaning to Promote

Kickstarter is an interesting place, but for those interested in anything artistic, is quickly becoming a way to go to do things outside the “traditional” process. There’s more of an indie feel, if you will, and a closer connection between the artist and the patrons or end users/enjoyers of that art.

I’ve come close to backing a couple of other projects before, by other writers, but for reasons related to work (and not remembering to get back to the site until after the backing period closed), I missed a couple of boats. But here is one that I have been actively remembering, and would encourage you to support.

(And, as much as I would like to include the video overview of the project, the Embed feature from Kickstarter isn’t cooperating very well…)

It’s a non-fiction book, titled An Author’s Grimoire, and the short description is:

An Author’s Grimoire will be a how-to book for fantasy writers: a nitty gritty guide to telling the story of your heart, and what to do with it once you’ve written it.  This book will include discussions of elements of fiction like pacing, characters and point of view, but with the fantasy writer in mind. Culture-creation, fantasy creatures, uses of magic, and more!

I was at the announcement launch party in Boston (at Boskone) last month, drawn mainly by Elaine herself. Here’s why…

I have seen Elaine Isaak on panels at several conferences over the last couple of years, and at each one she has impressed me with her candor and  intelligence on a variety of topics.

Understand, that in my opinion, one of the best things that can be done at a conference/convention is to impress people that may not have heard of you before and win them to your side. That’s something I’ve kept track of for the last year, when I’ve gone to Cons, if a panelist has won me over by the way they handled themselves, upon my return home I have sought out their works to add to my “to read” stack.

So, if you are interested in writing, specifically writing fantasy, or supporting the work of authors in general, I would encourage you to check out the project, watch the video, and back as you are able.

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Speaking of iPads…

Charlie Stross recently mentioned some of his thoughts on the new shiny… Something that he mentioned near the bottom of his post piqued my interest:

And there are some forthcoming apps that I’m rather eager to see: Scrivener for iOS, for example. (Scrivener is a really nice book-oriented authoring tool for OSX, and now Windows and Linux; having an iOS version with Dropbox support would make my day because at that point the iPad will turn into a full-fledged author’s tool, lighter and more portable and with better battery life than any laptop I’ve met.)

Which, of course, prompted me to follow the link, and read the announcement from December announcing that an iOS version is, in fact, in development. That snippet of news made me happy – for much the same reason that Charlie mentioned above. When I first got the iPad, that was part of what I was hoping to do, use it for writing or writing related sorts of things (when not using it for media consumption or gaming), but found that my initial forays into that realm proved awkward at best, and cumbersome due to navigational issues (some of us DO like using the cursor keys to get around). I have gone the Bluetooth keyboard route, but have not really taken them together anywhere that I haven’t also been taking a laptop (yet), so the laptop has still been winning out – especially since I’ve been migrating over to Scrivener.

Scrivener coming to iPad, combined with Quickoffice, should take care of my writing needs quite nicely. Definitely something I will be watching for in the app store.

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The New iPad…

I realize the announcement was about two weeks ago, and they started hitting store shelves this past week… this is part of my catch-up series…

Initial reaction: second verse same as the first. Which is to say, I really wouldn’t mind playing with one, and with this being the new baseline I would definitely not object to an upgrade at some point in the future, but not yet.

Actually, what I am more excited and intrigued about is iPhoto coming to the iPad (& iPhone). I’ve enjoyed using iPhoto for the past couple of years, and have also gotten Aperture to play with some features that weren’t easily found/usable from iPhoto for image manipulation, but the mobile version really looks like it might be a breeze to use, especially while on the go. I also like the sharable “Photo Journal” feature, and hope that becomes a feature that is cross-ported back to the platform version.

Honestly, I feel more inclined to upgrade just to be able to use iPhoto for iOS – but since it is also iPhone compatible, I am doing my best to hold off until the summer when I plan to finally switch to an iPhone… the question then will be if I get a 4S or a 5 (depending on if/when it is announced).

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