I fell in love with a dragon – alberta’s check in

This week I fell in love with the Dragon. I should, as a Welsh descendent, have a rampant red Dragon here, however the Welsh Dragon is a little too militant my liking, always being displayed on flags and leading knights of yore out to battle. I rather fancy the Oriental dragons those with good luck, goodwill and wisdom.

Karen, it was, who gave me the incentive to get going with this wonderful bit of software. I had bought it at the backend of last year, in the hope that it would help with my wrist problems. On reading that I had to train the thing, I put it to one side, until I had more time. When do we ever have more time? However, as I have already reported, I had major crash of energy this last ten days, as my fibrillation started going odd on me.  A lot of time has been spent sitting on sofas and comfy chairs:) so I have had plenty of time this week to really get to grips with the little bits of software, that have been put to one side.

I love that Dragon:) It is amazing; not yet trained so there are a few issues! It is so fast, I had not realised how much faster I can talk, than I can type. One thousand words in 20 min, as opposed to typing 1000 in 40- 50 mins. These are words that are much better spelt, than ever I type. As long as I enunciate correctly, there are no typos, no dyslexic mixing of letters. Hardly a red line in sight. I love it. Punctuation is as erratic as always, because unless I tell it to put in commas, exclamation and question marks, of course they do not appear, and as I very rarely punctuate my thoughts, this is still a major problem:(

I began with blogs; I always make little notes before I write a blog, so this was the usual preparation for using the Dragon. I dictated and before I knew it I had a blog and another and another and. . . .  I am way ahead now.

I decided to get ahead on my book reviews and I have now got eight written. So cheered by all this activity, yesterday I thought I’d try some fiction.  Could I actually dictate fiction to this microphone? It went swimmingly well; except for one wobbly bit, where I was dictating an incredibly sad scene in The Ancestor’s Tale which made me cry. I am one of those crazy people who cry over their own inventions! Unfortunately trying not to cry made my dictation a little muffled. I had to keep stopping. Switching off, blowing my nose, wiping my eyes. For goodness sake! At this point the Dragon was having a real problem working out what I was saying.

There is a thing called selective deafness, my dragon has it. Trouble hearing me, as I cried.  At one point I muttered, under my breath, very softly!

‘Oh get a grip, you daft old woman, it’s fiction for goodness sake.’ Oh yes, you bet the Dragon heard that alright, it typed it out beautifully, word for word and not a single typo!

On the fiction front I can dictate as fast as for the blogs and yesterday, with hardly any effort at all, I clocked up 8000 words between The Ancestor’s Tale, Blue Moon, and a little short story writing. The beauty of this beautiful bit of software, is that I can, in fact, now take it easy, put my feet up. I don’t need the laptop on my lap; I just need to have a long enough flex to my microphone. This has helped the ankles no end, as well as my wrists, as well as resting the old ticker.  So as you can see alberta had a good week, despite all her ailments.

An interesting point, a young friend of mine brought up today, was at what stage does one cease to be a writer?  If I am dictating my words, can I call myself a writer? It was tongue in cheek, but a pertinent point. So I decided, I have now become a storyteller. I am still an author but maybe not a writer.

As  I was playing around with this little bit of software, I decided to have a go with some other software, I was not to sure about. I have been searching for some pictures for my Storyteller trailer, to depict nightmares, migraines and mental instability. Stock photographs don’t tend to have these. I thought, I really must get a mastery over layering and transparency in my photo editor. So, sitting back in my nice comfortable chair, with my feet up, I started playing.

Yay, I finally got it; I can layer. So I managed to layer together a picture of a brain, (I cut a piece out of it) inserted some rats and a cobweb, I’ve merged them, feathered them, layered them and many other fancy words I don’t yet understand! Magic:) I need a lot more playing yet before I have it looking brilliant:( but hey yay I’m on the way.

I am now spending a lot of time dreaming up horrendous pictures that I can put together. I have to work out a book cover for Blue Moon and Purple Turtles.

My friend from forever/editor is being a nag, she wants a volume of fairy tales, as a stand alone book, nothing to do with Purple Turtles. We have discussed this, in a reasonably friendly manner! But I like to keep my editor sweet so I have decided to go along with her. Now I have to find a new title and new cover for this one. At the moment I’m just going to call it Folk Tales when I talk about it as I don’t actually have a title for it yet. But I do have outlines, rough notes and finished tales, for a volume of about 60,000 words. So I think to keep editor happy Folk Tales will be the one that comes out first and Purple Turtles will have to wait, I do have quite a fair bit of Purple Turtles written already, awaiting final edits so, won’t have to start from scratch on that one.

I’ve been happily playing with my music software, trying to find psycho type combination of notes for The Storyteller’s trailer. I also have downloaded the free audacity software and I have been practising, to see if I can record the short stories for my sister to listen too.  It’s not as easy as it ought to be:(

ROW80 : So this week I have achieved

The Ancestor’s Tale, 6000 words first draft

Blue Moon, I did a first edit on 6,200  words – and I wrote 5,401 new words

3  Posted on Kiss a frog, and put up a review on Prudence MacLeod’s book Dark Star

4  8 book reviews, and 5 blogs to have in store

5  Caught up on my backlog on triberr, updated my independent author network page, did quite well on my twitter not so well on Face book.

6  Signed up for a few book spotlights, and trailer spotlights.

7  Played with and got a better understanding of various bits of software.

I am still awaiting the results of my hospital test, still having to take it easy, sleeping, I would think, on an average about four hours during each day. But I have had a splendid week, a strange one to be sure, and I’m very excited about the future of my writing. This Dragon of mine promises me good word counts, so I can begin to catch up on this year, with far less stress and effort. Editing also promises to be easier because of the lack of the initial spelling mistakes and punctuation. Because I can see a good future with this piece of software, a great deal of stress from my self-inflicted deadlines has been lifted. So results all round. Karen I owe you an incredible debt of gratitude.

I hope everybody else enjoyed the week as much as I have and that the coming week is a successful one.

8 thoughts on “I fell in love with a dragon – alberta’s check in

  1. I wanted to ask a question of those of you who have this software. Does it come with a microphone and everything you need, or is that purchased separately?

  2. KM Huber says:

    I am absolutely delighted to read of your progress with Dragon! Like you, I have a new lease on life because I have the Dragon in my life. Wanted to say that you can try the automatic formatting for punctuation; it is under tools and automatic formatting options. I’m considering it but have not yet tried it.

    I am quite late in responding to this post but I have read it more than once and with great glee, mainly because we get to read more of your work, Alberta, and for that, we all thank the Dragon.

    One final Dragon note, I am enunciating my words now, and although I have no way to measure this, it feels as if enunciating is also clarifying my thoughts. Perhaps it is the Dragon gently nudging me to better prose.


    • alberta says:

      Karen I will def. try the punctuation thing – but how would it know if I want a question mark or exclamation? – well I will experiment and see – haven’t yet tried it up on cyberspace – i am certainly speaking more clearly whether or no it is making my mind clearer I don’t know but I suspect that it may well do. Taking the extra step of writing away from communications might allow us a clearer path. Speech being the more ‘natural’ or the the most ‘basic’ way of comunicating. I never thought I would be able to dictate in this way which, I guess, is why It took me so long to try it out.

      • KM Huber says:

        From what I understand, it will auto format commas and periods. Haven’t tried it yet but if I do, I’ll let you know how I find it. Sorry it took a bit to get back to your question.


  3. Julie Glover says:

    My husband has been bugging me to try that out! I have thus far refused to budge from the old-fashioned typing of words on a laptop keyboard. Oh wait, that’s not very old-fashioned! Ah, how we resist change. ;)

    So glad it’s working well for you. You’re obviously knocking out some great goals. Have a wonderful week, Alberta!

  4. Wow, you did A LOT!
    And now you go me wanting that voice recognition software! Seriously, if I could type as fast as I think, or as fast as I talk, I would produce a book so much faster! hehehe

  5. alberta says:

    I am besotted as you can no doubt tell:) I cannot beleive how fast and painless it is – I should slow down and train it better, to the odd words that crop up in my fiction, but of course I’m running to catch up all the lost time – when do I ever learn! If your hands bother you I’d say give it a go. I first tried this kind of software years ago when it first came out and found it pretty naff , something like 1.5 or something, this one is 11.5 and it is really good now

  6. I’ve always wondered how good the voice recognition software was and whether or not I could write that way. My hands bother me a lot.

    I’m so sorry you’re having so many health problems. I hope you feel better soon.

    Good job on your goals!

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