Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

Really, in this day and age, absence makes people forget all about you.  As I have no followers, this all becomes largely an exercise for my own amusement…

I took a pretty extended hiatus due to a number of real life things that come up: moving, settling in, yard work, and other sundry tasks that make a man set aside his story.  Well, I put the story aside but I didn’t put the pen and notebook away.  While I was making my contributions to our living arrangements and paying my sweat equity, I kept on plugging away at the story in the most low tech manner you can imagine: in a paper journal.  Ostensibly, I was doing what needed doing around the house, but whenever an opportunity presented itself I kept working on the story: an hour waiting for a ride in a coffee shop or during lunch in the employee lounge at work, while waiting for the bus, or any other time I could squeeze in a few lines; or at least ponder the possibilities of the plot.

Then I figured out that I could do the same in a way that wouldn’t require me to come back and transcribe my work into the computer: I started composing on my Android smart phone and tablet.  With a little app called Diaro and a Dropbox account, I make a rough draft of my chapter on my phone and then upload the text file to my Dropbox cloud storage.  Then it’s a simple matter of opening the text file at home on my PC, copying the contents, and adding it to my novel file in WriteWay Pro — bickety-bam, there’s progress.

“Isn’t typing on the phone’s keyboard a pain in the ass?”

Hell yeah, it is!  It took me a while to get used to it, and the stock Android keyboard was most definitely not to my liking, so I tried a few third party keyboards until I settled on GO Keyboard, and then I just had to keep at it until I got used to interface and got better at typing on a four and a quarter inch screen.  My tablet is a better interface, much bigger screen, and it has a keyboard dock which is really nice — attaching the tablet to the keyboard dock makes it into a netbook-sized portable that’s nice to use in tight spaces.  On the tablet, I prefer to use Google Docs (now Google Drive) because the word processor is robust enough for draft work.

“How stable and secure is this method?”

*Shrugs*  I have no idea… I haven’t had anything catastrophic happen yet, and hopefully I never will.  (I’m knocking on wood, as I type… I’m THAT superstitious)  I really want to get the draft of this novel done by September, so that I can work on the next one during NaNoWriMo in November (only six months away).  In order to keep up my pace I’m going to continue to use my phone and tablet to advance my work on the story.  It’s possible that I could lose my phone or my tablet or both (I’d lose my head if it wasn’t securely attached to the rest of me); just as it’s possible that all of my electronic devices could crap out on me.  Redundancy?  P’shaw!  I back up my work on a portable hard drive, and I guess I could upload a copy to cloud storage… but in this hypothetical, I’d be f*ck out of luck if my electronics all decided to die on me at once.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that none of that shit happens.

I’m no bestselling author… hell, I’m not even a published author… so the idea of a high end data vault is beyond even a momentary consideration. There is a moral to this story, kiddies, and it’s this: hit save often and make copies of your files.  Pretty easy, right?

BTW: you may have noticed the snazzy word counter I added to the site; no, I’m no programming genius… believe me — I can’t code myself out of a paper bag.  Fortunately for me there’s folks out there who not only make neat-o gadgets like this, but they share them.  Want one for your site? or just want to give the makers of this counter some love and support?  Go here: http://www.writertopia.com/toolbox/meters  Thank you, Writertopia!!!

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