Becoming More Mobile

by RS on August 11, 2016

My Writer for Hire produced no new clients, but I managed to get a generous project that allowed me to consider investing in an iPad and installing the new iOS Scrivener. The deciding factor was a social media client who needs daily updates on Instagram and Facebook (so much for that hiatus). Technically, I could do these updates on my phone but the tiny onscreen keyboard is hard on the eyes and I don’t like typing with my thumbs.

I researched the various generations and settled on the iPad 4,which runs iOS 9, which is what IOS Scrivener requires. Lucky me, I found one on eBay from a seller that refurbishes iPads. Mine has a new screen and a couple of nicks around the edges. Otherwise, it’s pretty close to new. Let’s say newish at best. It arrived on Monday and it felt like Christmas and my birthday combined. I played with it. I downloaded apps that I had on the phone and purchased Scrivener.

Thoughts thus far…it took me a while to understand how to sync with Dropbox and after viewing several videos, I was even more confused with the instructions. I sort of figured it out and when I synced Julius and opened it on the iPad, but I noticed that my gallery of images had disappeared. What happened? I don’t know, but I think it was an error on my part. What I saw was that the index cards were labeled but no photos. I managed to find the images and repopulate the gallery and sync it back again—actually there were several steps or attempts in between of linking and unlinking Dropbox, but I sort of figured it out. Or so I thought. To make a long story short, after a texting exchange with a friend now I understand how the entire process works and what I was doing wrong.

I’ve linked several projects onto the iPad and I am writing this post using iOS Scrivener  as a practice run to get acquainted with the interface. I’m currently using the onscreen keyboard and it’s not that bad at all. In fact, Scrivener has included some added-value keypads so you don’t need to be toggling back and forth between the iPad’s alphabet/symbol/punctuation onscreen keypad. Just as an FYI, I intend to offer tutorials in two weeks both on Simply Scrivener and privately. For private class rates, drop me an email.

But getting back to becoming more mobile. I’ve always had the concern that if I took my laptop to a coffeehouse, the library, or needed to travel with it at some point, and given the odds because it is a MacBook Pro, it would be stolen or break. Plus, after a while, it gets heavy to schlep around. I considered a Mac Air, but pricey and, again, there’s that fear of theft. Of course, the same could happen with the iPad, but the dollar loss isn’t a thousand bucks

So I’m happy with it and the old iPad 1 I bought in April for almost nothing will be a back-up Kindle.The Samsung Tablet I am giving to a friend. And after this purchase I believe I am done with the early Christmas presents to myself.

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Writer for Hire

by RS on June 29, 2016

Tomorrow marks two months since I moved from the woods in the Adirondacks to the little city in Vermont. Although it has been only 60 days, I feel like I’ve lived here for a long time. In other words, that’s how at home I feel in Brattleboro. There’s a bit of everything to keep me occupied from art galleries, bookstores, coffee shops to all the services I need in case of mechanical or medical emergencies.

Now that I am 100 percent settled in my pretty big abode, it’s time to start knocking on some doors for work. Yes, that’s right, I need more work.

I’m a firm believer in asking the Universe for help. When Greg died, the Universe came to my rescue via various ways: the generosity of friends, more work that came through the pipeline, social services that allowed me some respite in the house’s upkeep and a childhood connection that led me to Brattleboro.

I am grateful and humbled. The outpouring of love from friends and family has changed me. I am less critical. I keep the snark in check and I thank the Universe on a daily basis for its help.

But I need help again and that’s finding more writing gigs. I am asking the Universe to give me the strength to become a skilled networker. I’m not very good at it. Most of the time, I feel my persistence is annoying and I back off. I’ve come to the realization, though, that if I don’t ask for work or help, I won’t get any. That’s why I am pinning to my shirt a virtual Writer for Hire sign.  Do you need web copy for your company? I can write it. Do you need a pitch letter or a press release? I can write it. Need content for client blogs? I can write it.

If you have an opportunity and need help, please feel free to get in touch with me. I can provide a resume, numerous writing samples, and we can discuss rates.

And now…back to work.

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A Facebook Break

by RS on May 27, 2016

I’ve written in the past about my love/hate relationship with social media, specifically Facebook. The virtual water cooler is laced with an addictive substance that keeps me distracted. I’ve noticed that in the last six months that someone has put Kool-Aid in the cooler and it’s toxic.

Facebook has always brought out an aggressive streak in many users, but I’ve seen some egregious behavior during the last six months in a group dedicated to women writers that included insults, bullying, and slander.

Earlier this week, I caught myself reading one long thread about ageism. Within three comments the vitriol surfaced and that’s when I decided I had had enough. It was time for a self-exile and this time I knew I had to be strict with myself and that meant no daily or weekly check-ins. This would be a cold-turkey exile with the goal to make it last the entire summer. So far, I’ve been gone for 72 hours and I don’t miss it.

I’ve been fortunate to meet several people offline and become friends with them. They helped me deal with Greg’s passing and encouraged me to forge ahead when everything looked overwhelming and bleak, but when social media becomes the pulpit for bullying, slandering, ridiculing and allowing adult women to act like 15-year-old mean girls it becomes difficult to ignore, and that’s when you realize that it’s time to step away.

In my last Facebook update, I said I needed the break to write for work, write for Julius, and write for my sanity and then went on to list what I wanted to accomplish while I was gone. This self-exile is also a reassessment of what’s important to me. The time I spend away from Facebook is the time I plan to put to good use. The tasks I hope to cross off is completing Julius, getting the dogs trained (the action sit and down is almost there!) as well as working getting Plain Speaking up and running. If I can accomplish that by the end of the summer, I am, as Mary Katherine Gallagher would say, a “Superstar”.