Tag: iPad Pro

Inspiration struck and life sucked

As I sit here, sipping my second mug of Death Wish and wishing it would kick in, I find myself shaking my head. The liberals are still losing their shit over something the President may or may not have said. The MSM is treating it as a done deal, many calling Donald Trump the most racist president we’ve ever had. All the while, they ignore Dick Durbin’s rather dubious track record for truth when it comes to talking about what he supposedly heard in private White House meetings. Add in the local weather talking heads who can’t figure out if we’re going to see a few snowflakes overnight or face Snowmaggedon. All I can say is this is a great time to be a writer because you don’t have to struggle to find a story people will believe. Real life is so unbelievable, just about anything we write will fly.

Speaking of writing, I’m at the point in Light Magic where I’ve been writing so hard and fast that I had to come up for a breath of air over the weekend. I figured I’d play some video games, write a post or two for Victory Girls and just relax. Boy was I wrong. Saturday night, I got hit with the sledgehammer of inspiration. But, as sometimes happens, the process was different and, fortunately, it hasn’t taken me out of the mood to finish up Light Magic.

I’ll even admit, part of the inspiration came from current events. No, I’m not going to be more specific than that. But it hit and I had to put down the game controller and pick up the iPad Pro and make some notes.

I guess this is where I make another admission. I’ve known from before I finished writing Vengeance from Ashes where the current story arc would end. What’s given me fits is the opening chapters of the next book in the series. This book will end the current plot arc and lead into the next phase of the story. I had the middle and end but not the beginning.

And it was pissing me off.

Then inspiration struck and, with Apple pencil in hand, I started making notes. Except, unlike every other project before it, this was different. Instead of the kind of half-plotter notes I usually make before starting a project, this was more idea plotting. I didn’t open a new document in Word. Instead, I went to the Notability app. Using the Apple pencil, I’d make a note in one color, draw a box with an idea in another, and so on. Within 45 minutes or so, I had enough down that I had a feel for the opening section of the book, something I hadn’t had before. Better yet, it fit with the rest of the book as I have it outlined in my mind.

Now, there are probably a couple of very proper little old ladies at church who are still trying to figure out what I was doing before the service started yesterday because, once again, inspiration hit and the iPad Pro, along with the Apple pencil, came out of my purse. I made another couple of quick notes, saved them out and put everything away.

What that means is I am ready to begin writing the next book as soon as I finish up with Light Magic — YAY!

It also means I have finally found an alternative to having to turn on the light in the middle of the night to take notes when inspiration hits. It also means I don’t have to worry about losing the slip of paper or notebook — or having the cat chew on it or me spill coffee on it. Everything I do in Notability is backed up to Dropbox. I can email it to myself or send it/back it up to a number of other services as well. Best of all, I do my best plotting with pen and paper and Notability is the best app I’ve found when it comes to that sort of thing.

I hadn’t realized how badly I needed an app like this until this weekend. Before, I’d been making notes in Word or similar program. The problem with that is my brain identified it as “writing”. So the few notes I meant to take often morphed into a detailed outline of a chapter or three — or more. The problem is I then felt like I’d written it and didn’t want to go back and do it all over again. This is why I’ve never been a successful “plotter”. Now I can make my notes — and I do mean notes, complete with diagrams and such — and save them out. I can refer to them on my iPad Pro as I work or connect the iPad to an external monitor and have them “blown up”. There are even ways to print them out.

Cool!

Now it’s back to work, after doing a few chores around the house. Until later!

It’s Done!

I know. I know. I was supposed to be back a couple of days ago with a review of the iPad Pro and more blogging. I got waylaid, first by the injured knee and then by writing. I’ll admit I worried that the injury would bring most, if not all, of my writing to a standstill. I can’t sit at the desk right now to work. I can’t sit in the recliner or on the sofa with the knee elevated and work on the laptop. It is too much weight and pressure on the knee. But, to my surprise, the iPad Pro turned out to be a better solution than I’d dare hope and, as a result, the final draft of the re-imagined Light Magic.

I picked up the iPad Pro about two weeks ago. It was on a whim a and I got a really good deal on it. Part of the reason for getting it is because I am trying to migrate all my writing and editing to my MacBook Pro and having an iPad to take with me when I’m away from the house would let me keep with the “Apple means writing” mindset. Part of it was less selfish. My mother has been using a second gen iPad I gave her years ago. To say it is on its last legs is being kind. I’ve been looking for a replacement, one she wouldn’t have to learn a new OS on. So i wanted to know what the real differences were between the iPad and the iPad Pro and if the differences were something she would need or want.

I did my research. I decided not to spend the additional money for the newest version of the iPad Pro, choosing instead to go with a refurbed 9.7” version. I got a great deal on it and, using the money I saved, bought an Apple Pencil to go along with it. They came in and I started working with them. Then I injured the knee and knew I needed to find a way to write or I’d be blowing not just one deadline but at least three if the damage to the knee was as bad as I feared.

I’d bought one of the most recommended Bluetooth keyboards and cases for the iPad Pro but it suffered the same problems so many of its kind do. There was a lag between typing a word and that word showing up on the screen. That lag got worse the lower the keyboard’s power. You had to carry the charge cord with you or find yourself suddenly unable to use the keyboard while out and about.

But it was the lag or the drag or whatever you want to call it that bothered me the most and made it almost impossible to use if I was going to do any serious writing on the iPad. I bit the bullet, trolled various sites and found the Apple keyboard for the iPad Pro at a really good price. (Mind you, I’m cheap and did not pay retail or close to it for any of this).

Oh. My. Goodness.

The keyboard is totally awesome. It doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections. There is a connector on the iPad it hooks into magnetically. That is how it communicates with the tablet and where it gets its power. The one real drawback, other than the fact it isn’t a full-sized keyboard — is that the keyboard isn’t back lit. But the feel of the keys is much better than I’d expected and I like the sound of them. Better yet, the keyboard keeps up with me and I don’t have to wait for it to catch up. Huzzah!

the Apple Pencil is wonderful for making notes or for annotating a manuscript. The batter life on both it and the iPad Pro are much better than I’d dared hope. I can work most of the day, pausing only for a short time to give the iPad a quick charge. Then I plug it in overnight.

To give you an idea of how much I have written on the iPad Pro since getting it, in this past week, I have managed close to 40k words on it. I have the work saved on the iPad and have emailed it to myself. I can save it to Dropbox or any of the other major cloud storage sites. In fact, I have been writing this blog post on the iPad Pro using the Apple keyboard.

it isn’t for everyone and I certainly don’t want to do all my writing all the time on it. I also can’t do my conversion on it because the program I use — Vellum — isn’t available on iOS. But for something that is portable and able to do what I want and need when writing and stand up to my writing schedule (at least so far), I highly recommend the iPad Pro.

 

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