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

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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.

 

A bump in the road.

Next episode from my wonderful daughter

dreambigfordixie


So, a funny thing happened this weekend. And when I say funny, I actually mean shit.

We had a cardiology review for Dixie. Which was odd in itself as we weren’t due to be seen till May!

Anyhoo, so off we go. Daddy L is in tow as its a Saturday appointment!

We have the usual chat with the lovely cardiologist. She looks at Dixie’s last few weights and I explain the recent weight loss was down to a bout of illness.

She asks the usual questions. Is she breathless? Does she sweat profusely? We shake our heads. So far so good.

She performs the echo and manages to get some pretty decent pictures of Dixie’s heart. I’m feeling nervous as always. Then she finishes up.

‘The heart is still the same’ she says and inside I breathe a sigh of relief. Phew. As much as I hate limbo land…

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Grammarly et al

I’ve fallen in love with Grammarly, an app extension of Google Chrome but also available in Windows. It seems to work really well and monitors your use of grammar and spelling, even on those websites which don’t normally spell check for you. (Something I have found to be essential in recent years). On initial set-up, you advise it to use either UK English or the USA English dictionary, alleviating a source of irritation that most spell checkers present to UK writers.

The added bonus is that it checks the grammar too, so the occasional incorrect word use is highlighted immediately. In effect, it’s doing a form of first line proofreading for you.

It’s available to use in its free version but enhanced features are added if you subscribe  to the Premium, where it monitors many more areas of your text including sentence structure and writing style issues.

Have a look at the website https://app.grammarly.com/

I think you may like it too (No I’m not on commission)

Well That Was a Surprise 

I’ve just won third prize in a small writing competition. The premise was to write less than 1500 words with the prompt ‘on another planet’. Science fiction writing is not my strongest suit but I do like to write odd stories (mainly because I’m pretty odd) and I like to have a bit of a twist. This one I wrote in about half an hour once given the prompt.

It’s a monthly competition and the entries are read by the forum members and they vote for their favourite story. I suppose that third place is not the pinnacle of literary achievement but it’s my first time in the numbers after an awful lot of entries, over an awful lot of years.

So I pat myself on the back instead of filing another rejection letter/email.

It’s a nice feeling.

Milestones, Schmilestones

A lovely piece from my lovely and talented daughter

dreambigfordixie

I just got one of THOSE emails.

You know the ones that are congratulating you on your child moving onto the next milestone. The ones from the baby shops that are really just trying to promote their equipment and encourage you to buy it.

Every one is a big fat slap of reality. Take that mummy. You’re child is sooooooo unbelievably behind, I think I will just remind you of just how far every few months.

And I will also make you so mad at the email that you will delete it before you have a chance to unsubscribe. So we will just continue to send them.

And we will always send them on one of your bad days.

Or something like that!!

Milestones are always a worry. A concern. Something you think about as soon as your baby is born. There’s the mummy competitions and the strangers asking seemingly…

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A wobble day!

Another blog from my brave and wonderful daughter

dreambigfordixie

I was having an ’emotional’ wobble day today.

You know the kind. When you worry you’re not doing something right. That you must be failing because nothing is coming together.

I was singing the same old nursery rhymes, doing the same actions. Asking Dixie the same old questions. Are you clapping Dixie? Where’s your nose? Can you poke out your tongue? Look at mummy banging on the tray. Can you?

Nothing but blank stares or a soft smile. No copying with the claps or the banging of the tray. And that is her usual response. On my wobble days I find it hard!

Nevertheless I pushed it down deep and carried on.

We moved onto some floor time. Some sitting. Only today that resulted in Dixie forcing herself backwards. Again.

I tried several more times. With her favourite toys, me sitting behind her, her sitting against the sofa. Every time…

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