Ulysses Writing App

I have written before about the use of writing app’s as an aid to productivity so I won’t repeat myself here. I will however tell you about my experience with Ulysses, as writing tool from The Soul Men. It’s not exactly new but it’s new to me and, so far, I love its simplicity.

Since acquiring an iPad Air I have been looking for a writing app which is easy to use and fully functional on this device. I have waited for Scrivener to deliver their much promised iOS version which is now on the market and working fine. Anyone who uses Scrivener will know what a great tool this is particularly as it is now a true cross platform piece on Mac, iOS and Windows via the Dropbox cloud storage facility. But whilst I was waiting for the iOS Scrivener App to be developed I discovered this wonderful writing app called Ulysses and fell for it immediately.

It’s quite unlike anything I’ve used before. It is so simple and clean that it inspires the writing process. I am currently writing this post on my iPad and it is set in ‘Typewriter’ mode which means the line I type is always in the same place and so I look at a single line of text as I’m typing it on the page. This stops the distraction of looking back at what I’ve typed previously and so I’m not flitting back and forth, editing as I work. (This has always hampered my progress, as I constantly ‘fiddle’ with work I’ve written but I don’t wait until the draft is done)

There is full Mac version too and also an iPhone app and they all work in iCloud so there is an almost instant update on all these devices without the need to do anything but type. It removes the need for the writer to constantly save work as it is saved automatically in iCloud, if you have an Internet connection or updates immediately you go back online. I can’t remember how many pieces of work I’ve lost because I failed to save them properly. There is so much more to this great bit of software which I don’t,t intend to describe here but I would encourage you to have a look at it.

Look in the App Store for it, you won’t be disappointed. Sadly, there is no Windows version. Or check out the website http://ulyssesapp.com

How do you follow that?

mm

 

I have just finished reading this book, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. It’s a book which took him nearly thirty years to write and finish it and then have it published. There are many books written about war and many of them about the Vietnam war but there are few that can depict such a real insight into the conditions which were endured by a young generation of boys. Sent to a strange country to fight an enemy, young boys, much like themselves. Who they were taught to hate but never met. Spending days and nights in wet, humid jungle. Often without water and proper food and every minute scared of every shadow. It is funny but often gruesome and it is a true story based on Marlantes own experience of the war. Where seventeen-year-olds commanded ten to fifteen men and a twenty-three-year-old officer was responsible for every waking and sleeping hour of the lives of over two hundred. It’s a tale of bravery, sacrifice and of how quickly they grew up when facing death, leeches, near starvation and even tigers every day.

It’s actually the second time I’ve read this book in two years. The first time I devoured every page and felt loss when I finished it. Having finished reading it again, albeit a little slower this time, I once again feel that loss. I’ve tried starting two books since but can’t really get going on either. I seem to find that when I have read a book I particularly like, so what’s the answer?

How do you get started on another book after a really good read? I know I’ll just persevere until a book clicks but I just wondered what the secret is.

 

Blogging Habit

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll always be an infrequent blogger. I only post a blog post when I have something to say, as opposed to those who feel they have to post every day. I have nothing against those who wish to do this but it’s really up to them. I always think I’ll do more blogging but it never actually happens as other things take precedence. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to finish my NaNoWriMo novel and am still to complete its first draft. Even though I’m over 100,00 words it shows no signs of concluding. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing!

Then I’m writing short stories and entering contests regularly, something I promised myself I would do this year. Blogging seems to be falling a poor third in the race for my time. I’m not complaining, its never been my desire to have hundreds or thousands of followers or to earn any sort of reputation or living from my blog, although I do realise that is possible.

I like a story prompt, but they inspire me to write fiction, not about me as I’m pretty uninteresting anyway (say awww), no don’t- please.

So I’ll continue with my sporadic and often disjointed posts, when I feel I have something to contribute and hopefully people on the same wavelength as me will find them a. Amusing  b. Thought provoking  c. Now what is c?

 

Words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Rudyard Kipling

I don’t know about you but, all my life, I’ve been plagued by certain words which I have trouble spelling. I have never been able to spell ‘restaurant’ at first go. I don’t know why but it always bugs me and I either have to look it up or use the spell checker. I get the ‘a’ and ‘u’ in the wrong place or miss them all together. Another word is ‘definitely’ which I seem to want to put an ‘a’ in. Or it comes out as defiantly. I have seen others who make this particular mistake.

I know that most of us mistake the ‘there, their and they’re’ sometimes but I usually correct that in the editing stage. (I hope).  Most of us realise the difference in UK and US dictionary words. (realize)

I find it quite annoying, though, when I find errors in a books or magazine stories. Something that has managed to get past the editors and proofreaders which seems to jump off the page at me. Having read some of the self-published e-books I find that mistakes are commonplace and really good stories can, for me, be spoiled by a lack of concentration. I don’t blame the writer as we are all guilty of reading what we think is there, especially when we’ve written it and our brain knows what should be written. Perhaps employing a proof reader would help in these circumstances but it’s easy to judge.

Do you have any words that trip you up constantly?

Blogging 101

“Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
Paulo Coelho

I think I must have got it wrong. I was looking for inspiration and motivation from Blogging 101 but sadly, so far, that’s not been the case. Perhaps I was looking for something which isn’t included in the course, although I will keep going with it and see the month out. Just in case by bailing early  I miss the good stuff at the end. Maybe I didn’t read the blurb, initially, but I’m not one for small print. I’m the guy who buys a new TV and takes it out of the box and gets it working before he looks at the instructions. Or the man who builds flat pack furniture before realising you need to fit a crucial part BEFORE fitting the top. But that’s me.

Even when I have read the posts in blogging 101 they don’t seem to be following the promps either, as though other bloggers are thinking the same as me and doing their own thing. Occasionally a blog post appears that resembles that day, or the previous days prompt, but mostly it seems that any post tagged ‘blogging’ is in that reader and so it’s not exclusively for those on the course.

All in all, so far, it’s not doing it for me but I’ll hang in there and see what develops. Anyone else got similar or different thoughts?

Blogging 101 – Day 2 – Title and Tag Line

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Bert Lance

Day 2 of Blogging suggests that we look at our blog title and tag line and change it to something more appropriate. Strange thing is – I like my blog title and my tag line so I’m not going to change it. I feel that change can be good and useful but often we change just to change. I am very much in favour of change but only change for the good and for improvement.

‘My Write’ is my personal play on words and means it’s my right to write whatever I want, within the laws of free speech and common decency. I don’t think I am alone in saying that blogging is about talking to an audience. Whether that’s to one or one hundred thousand followers, it’s immaterial. The numbers don’t matter, to me, it what’s being said that counts.

The tag line ‘Ramblings and reflections on life’, I don’t think requires any explanation.

What do you think? Are you happy with your blog title or have you ever changed it?

Blogging 101 – Day 1 – Intro

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”
Lao Tzu

I’ve always hated doing the introduction bit. Strange thing is I used to be a trainer, delivering mostly management training and the first part of every session with a new group was to introduce yourself, me included. You could see delegates literally squirming as the ‘creeping death’ went around the room and got closer every second. You could smell their fear as, with blank minds, they tried desperately to think of a few short sentences that would suffice and it would move onto the next victim. Revealed immediately by the out-take of breath and the relaxation of their body language once the ordeal was over. It seemed as though no-one ever prepared for that moment yet every person in the room knew it would happen. Even though it may seem like it at the time, it’s not meant as a torture; a way in which the trainer can ‘soften up’ their trainees and to show them who’s boss.

It is actually a really good way of getting people talking; a way of breaking the ice and letting them realise that everyone is in the same boat. Worried, nervous and scared of making a fool of themselves. Funny thing is – the trainers feel exactly the same!

My ‘About page’ is pretty well up to date so I won’t re-invent it here