From now on, you can call me Christopher, as in Christopher Columbus. You know, the guy who thought he was going one place and ended up somewhere else entirely and got credit for a discovery that he may or may not have been the first to stumble upon.
Because I have made a discovery myself. And just like old Chris, while I may have not been the first to do so, it’s all new to me.
As many of you probably know, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking software to dictate my books because my stiff fingers usually hit the wrong keys when I try to type. Since I’m a two-finger typist at best, that can really slow down production. Typing by hand, I can do 3,000 words a day, but the next day my arthritis would give me so much pain that I couldn’t work. When I switched to Dragon software several years ago it helped tremendously and a 5,000 word day was nothing to me. I have even had some 10,000 word days on occasion.
The problem is, Dragon is less-than-perfect, no matter what the TV commercials want you to believe, and I get a lot of errors. Compound that by the fact that as I am dictating, I’m looking at my screen, and whenever I see errors I stop and correct them. Again, this slows overall production.
In Scott Baker’s excellent book The Writer’s Guide to Training Your Dragon, one of the things he stresses is not to do that. In fact, he says you shouldn’t even look at your screen while you are you dictating. Instead, just do your thing and go back and make corrections when you’re done. That sounds good in theory, but it’s a habit I’ve had trouble trying to break.
In a blog a few days ago I mentioned that I sometimes use a Sony ICD-PX440 digital voice recorder to knock out a couple of chapters while waiting in the car if Terry is shopping or something like that. Then when we get home, I plug the recorder into my computer and the Dragon software transcribes it into print. Just like when you are dictating right into the microphone attached to the computer, there are going to be errors and typos. But nothing I can’t clean up pretty quickly.
Even though my expensive Lifeform chair has been good for my back, the last few days when I was hurting so much, I found that I just couldn’t stay in the chair for more than an hour at most before the pain would force me to get up and move around. The other day I sat down in my recliner, which is more comfortable, and dictated a chapter into the recorder, and it didn’t take long, so I dictated a second chapter, and then a third.
There’s no way to tell the word count when you’re dictating into the recorder, but when I plugged it into the computer and called up what I had written, I was surprised that I done over 7,000 words in about two hours. Hmmm, that’s interesting. So yesterday I did the same thing, knocking out 5,000 words in just over an hour. I think I need to be using this recorder a lot more, don’t you? As of now, I’m very close to the halfway point of the new book, and I’ll be back at it today, cranking out more words.
We have some packages to mail off at the post office, and Terry and I need to run into Daytona Beach and pick up a couple of items in the next few days. But I’m not sure if we want to brave the after-Christmas crowds looking for sales and returning gifts yet, so I’m not sure when that will happen.
Terry said she’s going to cook the turkey today that she originally bought for Thanksgiving and then left in the freezer because we had to be on the road on Thanksgiving Day, going to Mayo in Jacksonville. She will be roasting it the traditional way, but one of these days I really want to try frying a turkey. We’ve only had it once or twice when other people cooked it, and I really enjoyed it.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – The older you get, the more dangerous it is to sneeze.