( Version B As dictated to Dragon) :)

Or The One Where Dragon Sits On Me…

My writing day.

Dragon 13 professional has finally taken flight and it has, without a doubt, saved my life. Scott Baker has been appearing on a few pod casts recently to support the launch of his Dragon Training School and his book, and also which joined the dots for me because I had been trying to get Dragon to dictate or transcribe Q3 and Q4 and it was hopeless.

Several weeks ago I actually went and bought paper notebooks – because I decided it was I might as well give up trying to get my Indie dream to work – and just write more longhand – as this is obviously just a friggin hobby – so the stories don’t need typing up!

I took them back and got my money back – and that was hard because I wanted to sit under a tree and just write on a proper bit of paper with a friggin pen…

I resigned myself heavily to the fact that I was going to have to sit down and do the 1500 – 2000 – 3000 even words/day to get Q3 and 4 typed up – because there was no point spending money on external editing by an Editor if those things hadn’t happened.

There it was – and it was always going to stop me. The fact that it wasn’t typed up and the fact I don’t touch type.

So Five/Six weeks ago this worked out at 11 ‘finished’ words per minute typing and that was fast as I could get – ‘finished’ = typed, spell-checked but not line edited  (as-I-wrote-it) copy that is also divided into Word Chapter files and Scrivener, Ywriter, and Novel Factory and printed and filed – which means that my remaining 175 K was likely not to be done this side of next Easter!

The thing that was very, very doubtful was whether or not I was gonna be prepared, to do the typing at all and that meant at best I was going to have to move the deadline of being ‘ready’ by a year Sept.

In which case I felt I was gonna lose all my credibility not just with perhaps other people, but with myself – and that’s hard. You can’t push yourself when you don’t want to be pushed because you think you’re making a mistake worse.

SO I’d got Dragon 13 out the box again – I’d done plenty of training last year out and about with it and the transcription was quite good then – but – I was really horrified to find that after the first three or four weeks  I printed it up what had looked pretty clean on screen (using Grammarly and Word Spell Check with just a glance at it) Only to come back to in high spirits and see the stuff that I thought was fine was absolutely full of what I christened Dragon Shit, it was horrendous.

Yes – the spelling was fine – I had searched the things I knew it did like calling ‘Doug’ dog or dug – but other these things I was word blind to and couldn’t ‘search for’ and they weren’t highlighted as they weren’t ‘wrong’ . It had changed the tense regularly – messed up when, were, where and will and added whole sentences of correctly spelt gibberish that it thought I said – I picked it up first when I printed out and 2nd when I got my kindle to read it to me OUCH!!!!

I couldn’t understand it because this time last year when the Scrivener iPhone App came out I was using Dragon REC with my RODE MIC and it was really good and I was very accurate – with it like that.

I couldn’t understand why now it suddenly was atrocious. In fact, when I applied my equation to it factoring the massive clean up time – the best I could do was three finished words a minute. I mean, that’s terrible.

Enter Scott Baker doing the rounds on the podcasts – Jo Penn’s, Mell Hammond’s and the SPP’s and SPF’s – the breakthrough came when he pointed out the best thing to do was to plug in your good microphone to your iPhone and use the free recorder application because the speech recognition software in your iPhone is better than is on the laptop!

I realised that the thing that had changed was WHERE I was – last year I was outside walking about using the iPhone and this year I had plugged the RODE into the Laptop as I happened to be at my desk !!! At that moment, I had a Ka Ching moment and I plugged it in and away I went and I discovered that I could get anywhere between 25 and 75 ‘finished’ words a minute and over the last five weeks I have been hammering away at it and I have now completely transcribed the whole of the remainder of the series.

I have about 10 chapters at the end left just to go through and divide up and print because I was doing one scene/ time read in/ transcribe it/ lightly edit/ divide it up/ run upstairs and print and file away/ write the count down and move on; but it appeared that I had rather more time at the weekends than I thought to actually do some work – but when there was no transcription ready I couldn’t do it – so  had  3 days I think of just simply reading and then transcribing to get to this point where it’s now done.

It’s an amazing feeling to have achieved something has been hanging over my head since I finished writing it three years ago and to achieve it apparently ‘just like that’- even though I’m completely knackered – and throat sore – it has opened up a realm of possibilities that I just had never thought of and the major point is that now I probably can be in a position to have that series, mostly edited, covered and ready to go out by 2018 autumn – 13, 14 months time –

If I had given up failing this wouldn’t be the case… but –

There’s no reason why I now can’t do that other than my own fear and inhibitions which have all come crowding round me. I must admit I am getting a whole range of negativity – might succeed/ might fail/ look stupid/it’s rubbish/ how embarrassing you now have to do this etc etc are coming at me thick and fast at the moment and I’m trying to deflect that.

So yeah that’s been a lifesaver – Dragon 13 professional and my iPhone and Scott Baker have saved my life. 🙂

I noticed that Scott had said something else that latched in my brain; I had a notification from the iPhone -like you do – which said that Dragon REC App might not work when the phone updated…and I know that Dragon is going towards a subscription thing for recording microphone and etc and it’s quite expensive and it isn’t as accurate etc etc and as far as I can tell is very expensive. . . So I figured that that is a distinct possibility that it might be the case that the Dragon record thing might not work with the iPhone at some point in the future – and also I’m very aware that my iPhone might pack up – in which case, I’d be stuffed and trussed and in the oven. . .  I noticed what Scott said about using and ordinary dictaphone and I remembered that when I bought  Dragon- I also bought a dictaphone.

It was £9.99 on Amazon and is a tiny little thing it’s not even got a brand I think it’s called Steel, back in the day I had no idea what I was doing and it was still in the box in the desk. I fished it out and tried it and it works as good as the iPhone J

So there’s no reason why – should anything happen to my iPhone I will be stuffed J

Scott Baker also brought a Dragon training course – and I’ve already bought it because he’s already helped me and there is going to be more!!!

On the train of thought about life without an iPhone I have also taken a good look at my old camera – a little Olympus Traveller 14/25 – I saw that Darren Rowse’s team have a 31ay spin off about taking better photos and learning to use your camera so I printed out my 65 page manual and signed up. One thing that gets me blogging is activity and a picture – when riding the horse I can’t use the iPhone as it doesn’t have a wrist strap even to guard against it falling and it is quite big to hold etc – my camera just hangs on the saddle in a tough bag and if something happens it isn’t my life handler that has just cantered off without me or been trodden on….:)

Now I have achieved the impossible type up and publication is a real possibility if I show up and keep working on it I think it is time to get on with the two big courses I have but haven’t started – 1st 10,000 Readers and Mark Dawson’s similar one – both very expensive courses I got  because I think that they will both be utterly relevant to what need to do but haven’t started as they weren’t relevant to ‘typing/transcribing’.

Holly Lisle has plenty to keep me busy as well that is new for me and I found a ‘new guy’ – Scott Teague, another from the Alli website and he’s got lots of how-to videos -all very pertinent to my next stage/steps and he has a great podcast I am already binging on J

Goals and Plans?

My long-term goals – and my short-term goals – have largely featured the fact that this ‘thrilling’ 350,500 words had to be typed up!

It’s been a feature of my goal setting for three years and was finally what made me jump from a day job I really enjoyed as a carer for our local authority Social Services…And it also played a part in me getting rid of my sheep flock and ‘standing down’ as an active farmer.

Now that mass of words is transcribed – bar enough of the rest of the Quest series and Hacked that I can use them when I’m playing with Scott’s course so I’ve got something fresh to do  that isn’t  huge – I need to re calibrate everything.

There’s also the fact at the moment I have not finished writing the first drafts of Hacked Apart or Hacked To Bits – but then my goal for them was to finish by Sept 2017 – and that IS still doable and I am still on course…

Editor Eileen is saying that she will invoice me next week for the story edit read through of Hacked Off – I’m very keen to keep that going just on the story level. It will help me with HA and H2 B but mostly it will help with the revision and editing of the Quest series  as I am bound at this stage to have made similar mistakes.

I want to be revising and editing Quest from Sept onwards – and booking someone for the long haul of editing that series with me these next 14 – 16 months while I also  . . SO those of the ways my goals are starting to re- emerge so far

I’ve repurposed the Extensor laptop with Vista as a second screen. It might not last forever, but it should last for a while.  I threw out lots of software from it and  I’ve just put back in the software that I actually need so that when I’m using Dropbox so it will open the files – it’s also – I think going to really bring in the capacity to have a whiteboard on the table because I got Scapple and Free Mind on it and at the very least I can put either the to-do lists for plot points or ideas up on it – so I don’t have bits of paper everywhere – it’s is not wholly portable because it it’s too old now and it needs it needs power, but equally it fits the space and is big enough for me to see things clearly and has a brain – unlike a separate screen.  And yes, it’s got Vista so – bits of it may stop working at some point but as long as I don’t do any actual writing on it – it will be fine J It is important to have a bigger second screen because my eyesight is not good.

I have also got around the horrendous experience of finding my Broad Band was too slow – and the 4Gee too expensive – for me to move stuff out of Dropbox to work on my spare machines with when my main machine needed a fan clean – by getting 2 separate Seagate 1TB hard drives – I use one one week and one the next so the off site stored one is never more than a week behind

SO/ 🙂 That’s my update for my writing day…

This morning  I’ve dictated this and I will go in  and  edit it – take the horse bit and post that in ‘Riding’ and this bit I will post later  in ‘Writing ‘ – what I want to do is go in and actually sit and write a ‘pantsed’ normal blog update with the same subject – and then I will post this ‘dictated to Dragon version with a light edit’ later just to compare the two –

If you have read both you can see what I see – I talk way too much!!!!!!!!!!

So if I am thinking of using Dragon with a few plot cards in my pockets to do first draft on – if it follows this non fiction voice/style difference then the ‘voice’ of HA and H 2 B will change drastically and they will rival War and Peace in length!!! Because in a 38 min walk I ‘wrote 4270 words!!!!! Happy Days!!!


Trust emergence?


Been moaning about this blog editor and Dashboard, as when looking back at Blog Library the titles were verticle – but given my seat of pants approach to life, let alone blogging –  a few verticle titles aren’t enough to make me get the Blog Spanners out. Today, I decided that I would spend 15 min checking the blogs and thinking about getting back to regular posting  – and the first thing I noticed – and ignored – was verticle titles and groaned ‘no change there then!’ and then, I ‘just wondered’ what would happen if I reduced the screen size on the Google bar to 90% – low and behold – my Library re appeared. 🙂

Lessons learnt from this?

Could be that if you don’t know what you are doing; don’t tinker till you have an idea. Trust emergence, as just ‘pushing buttons’ can take you places you don’t want to be – for as long as it will likely take to get back where you started – wiser about many things; excepting the issue in hand.

On the other hand, if I waited till I knew what to do, I would not act at all; and in the course of acting I eventually get the result I want – sometimes it is a long journey – but I get the result.

How to tell the difference between the time to wait and the time to act?

How important is it to the goal that this thing get sorted now? If life can continue – only inconvenienced – by the failing, then it is best to carry on: if life has stopped because of it, then act regardless.

Friday’s child … Is a long way from finished testing Mail Chimp!

Friday’s child … Is a long way from finished testing Mail Chimp!

It’s time consuming, learning anything new…

At least I had the sense to snap shot all the changes I made so that I could return to that which was working – if not pretty. The new one was just plain bad as it didn’t include the post and folks would have to click through.

I have at least made myself more familiar with the controls and means I can finally open up Nick’s 10k Readers Course which should help me fill in the rest of the blanks, meanwhile I will carry on the as and when blogging with the generic Word Press template – well I hope I will I guess I will see as soon as I hit publish now if today is going to be spent outside ‘filling buckets’  ( this is still a farm…) Or in here wishing I had sat on my hands and not tinkered with any of it – here goes …:)


Been line editing and little else …

Good ol’ Scrivener…

I have mostly been getting to grips with the use of snapshots which make version control much easier.

I am also working on my ‘workflow’  in terms of developing an effective and reliable system that lets me ‘switch off’ when I leave the desk so I can enjoy my surroundings; not infuriate my family – by being constantly distracted; and be emotionally congruent enough that my horses don’t run away when they see me 🙂 Some days are better than others. 🙂



Editing Software

Editing with Hemmingway App.

Playing with bits of software…

All jolly good fun! Except when it isn’t.

Grammarly – paid version.

Pro Writing Aid -paid version.

Auto Crit – paid version ( Ouch!)

Hemingway App – paid version.

Initially, they produced panic as I fumbled around and then they produced versions like toads under a tarp.

Then I tried to please them till I decided that to do that till the coloured lights went out meant just having a blank page.

Yes learn and stick to one punctuation style – British English in my case. Yes find the repeats and long sentences…. but then INTERPRETATION is your game OR your manuscript goes from verbose to signage a two year old can read…

I worked out that I needed comparison before I re wrote the MS  so I typed in chunks of random novels and got reports on them  till I could see the ‘proportions’ of their manuscripts (finished, edited many times and published…)

No software will check out description, character or plot and it will only use words like ‘then’ to indicate ‘telling not showing’ – it will use sentence length to indicate pace and it won’t know what exposition is…. So based on its interpretation of the words you mostly use it will give you an indication of their effect. Unless you have access to a lot of stats of many other books in your genre and age group this will not mean that much.

These bits of kit are useful but will not replace an edit and are most use when they work out of the word processor you use is in my case MS Word – so Grammarly and Pro Writing aid. As extra steps are time wasters and printing out these reports is uneconomic on a novel of 130K! Not to mention impossible to then use… having all of them on screen at once is like using a stack of iPhones and I like some distance in editing ie I like to see more text rather than less as then you can correlate the data with the pattern on the page you see…

My experiences of the Tech Help at ProWriting Aid were appalling as I was told that it was ‘obvious what the colours related to…’ when I asked about a key for the colour code. That is a shame as that one was economical of time and money – but only if I understand the colours… Auto Crit guy, on the other hand, was amazingly helpful and sent me a screen film of him sorting out the issue – so I was sorted out in no time at all. ( If using Google Chrome screen size for this laptop is 67%)

Hemingway App is OK but without interpreting the four points it highlights with comparison to similar texts will reduce prose to signage promptly.

I have however, learnt a great deal these last two weeks and with Beth Hill’s Magic Of Fiction to hand as well it is engrossing me enough to continue.

I have also started actively thinking about and talking to Editors about the work so I am incentivised to get on with it:)

Not making time to Blog much as the broadband here is awful and I do like to include a photo – but not to the extent of waiting all day for it to load…

Happy Writing Days then 🙂



Great Start :)

Peddle Power.

Trying not to multitask unless…

I am listening to PodCasts, watching demos, reading blogs. Even then I get distracted and stop peddling – the ‘keep fitter’ plan is struggling to compete with stuff I am really interested in. I should probably not multitask but what are you supposed to do when riding a stationary bike and it is too dark to see outside?

Otherwise the writing month?

Went very well. I had some firm goals set and several calendars to organise me – this meant I had scheduled a ‘five-day’ edit of the manuscript I’d finished second drafting before Christmas. This was to take place in the first five-day week of the new year, and I had planned to do a continuity sheet and edit my dialogue punctuation – however, I checked out Grammarly, and some pennies started dropping on the Grammar and Punctuation front and I invested some time and money in some supporting textbooks and also Hemingway App which complements it nicely – and today I added Pro Writing Aid which is similar and complementary, but different.

No, I haven’t gone mad – I have just started to ‘see’ my mistakes and be able to apply the explanations to my work on a practical level – something that up until now I couldn’t do and I could only hope that this day would come!

The difference I find is that I can learn by doing and it instantly tells me I have a solution. It isn’t quick, and using separate systems is awkward and heavy on the print outs, etc.

The support books elaborate and assist, and I can see  I am making real progress in my levels of understanding, and I think adding value to the manuscript at this point – so that when I write on with the first draft, I can start to practice writing this way from the beginning.

I’m not sure how long this process will take – maybe a few weeks – but I think it is worth seeing through, so though I have rescheduled the calendars to allow for the extra work.

I have actually done a fair bit of brainstorming for the next two books in the series so all in all I am pleased with my progress in January 2017 🙂



Wed 04/01/17
Phew – I often seem to start a post on these lines – a blog post for me has a gestation and birth followed by a tidy up and slap on the bum to get it to take a breath. I am not conscious of this process so it isn’t painful to write it – only may be to read 🙂
I have worked hard recently on my levels of organisation within and without Scrivener and have made a big step forward in my understanding of the settings – in both Non-Fiction and Fiction Templates – and worked out how to use downloaded ones, design my own and save them for my use.
This means that today I have settled to write this not using the Blog editor in WP but in the Blog Post Scrivener file – only thing is that I can’t do formatting and layout or pictures at this stage. It remains to be seen if I do cut and paste this out and use it.
In order to help give me ‘an audience’ I have split the screen and uploaded some photos which are in Corkboard view above which I can use to stimulate me / make it feel more ‘live’ – the thing about writing straight on to the editor was the buzz of a ‘live performance’ often unscripted ad-lib based on the week or ‘a thing’/ photo etc – hassle with tech and photo’s often put me off the text .
Also cutting in an out of external outpost Blog editors is often too wild to handle between slight tech ‘finger tennis’ protocol issues and my rubbish BB which get in the way of the ‘performance’ – I have realised that while I plot my fiction and lay it out with structure, I am a ‘Pantster’ when Blogging – or as the Spell Checker suggested a ‘Panther.’
Well, may be not … as that suggests ‘Cougar.’ Not quite my demographic… ‘Hippo’ may be…:)
Anyway I digress, I now do have a functioning Series Bible for the Hacked books and individual project files with matching templates – woo woo LOL 🙂 This means that the hard copy very old notes and the old notes kept on a variety of iterations of software from Ywriter to One Note, Red Note Book and Evernote are now imported as are a whole array of ‘cast’ photo’s and images from all over the place – I have even got some little icons in the Character profile for the horse cast and the dog cast to have representations of each on their own files – that is way too cute to last – I am bound to stop doing that!
Am not planning on using the icons on the Blog or in media or the photos -unless they are mine or I have bought stock ones that licence me to use them – my new decorations are purely to pretty up the place and stimulate creativity and help me get through the ‘dark corner’ ( Primrose Cummins) to the other world where I play and work 🙂


1st Edit Resumed At Last…

1st Edit Resumed At Last…



I joined in with Holly Lisle’s live writing room that she had set up to support her students during NaNoWriMo and wrote a new first scene for this book based on the work I had done the last few months – I am pleased with it.

I have been collecting information and advice on big casts of characters – or ‘handling teams’ as I prefer to think of it 🙂 and I have a suitable pile of books, audio and ebooks to get through – I have gone towards more screen writing advice areas as most ‘How To Write…’ books say ‘avoid multiple protagonists and big casts’ – fine if you read those books first – and want to write the next Jack Reacher or James Bond, Marple or Poirot – but I had already written 6 books and series when I started looking at such advice 🙂 and personally I think that as I grew up with TV shows of multiple characters – from Scooby Doo to NCIS and GOT it would be a surprise if I did want to write about one character – and the books I read also tend to be big casts and long series of what ever genre.

Student Is Ready And Teacher Appears…

I have just finished back to back reading of the Winston Graham series Poldark – I am old enough to remember the first TV outing as well as this current remake so I thought it would be a good exercise to read them through – I did no research before doing this and it ended up being fascinating – it took me all the time my dog Brin was poorly and then just past his death – so 5 weeks to read through – and after I had finished with a (very) few questions in mind I googled the Author – I was amazed to find that the first had been published in 1945 and the last in 2002 the year before he died aged 95 – as some one who is writing series – though not adult historicals – I learnt a great deal about what the reader sees in terms of continuity and story line – the few hiccups I felt as I read coincided with a gap in production or characters growing up, a few references to action we never saw and wasn’t relevant and getting Ross to go else where to be a hero and superimposing a murder mystery at the end that didn’t really involve any main character etc etc which even they were so slight that had I read them on publication I doubt I would have felt them and in a series written over 60 years I thought it was an immense achievement of entertainment – I felt at the end of Bella as if there could have been one last book left to finish the tale – but that all in all one could guess the likely progress of them all so it didn’t really need spelling out:) The set piece scenes were so well researched they lived on the page and the humour was Laugh Out Loud – especially Pruddie and Jud – and I felt that the depiction of the Cornish native and working environment every bit as good as the Dorset ones of  Hardy.

And So To Work… 🙂




Best Laid Plans…

2016-10-10-09-09-12-sea-jpgOr All At Sea…

Spent most of my summer regrouping and working on my editing process alongside Holly Lisle’s course How To Revise Your Novel which I had started back on Dec 16th 2015 with Hacked Off.

I also needed to work with some of the software I use as there were things about it that didn’t work as I wanted and things I needed to learn.

But I had decided that come ‘clock’s change in the UK’ I would get back to editing that MS with a view to having a second draft of it by the end of the year – and then 5 weeks ago my little dog Brin had a stroke and everything changed as TBH I knew he and I were heading into an abys only one of us would return from – and I wanted to spent all the time he had left with him.

Brin recovered for a while – and then  a week ago last Fri had another stroke – and though he recovered enough to supervise the studio roof replacement on the Sat – by the Sunday morning it was clear to us that it was time to say Good Bye.

As any one who has animals knows this is a dreadful decision to have to make – that NEVER gets easier with practise – however much you celebrate a life that has shared yours happily and healthily for nearly 15 years it makes just no sense at all in the face of the irrevocable.

Brin lived a happy, warm, well fed life and slipped away quietly and peacefully  with all his people around him – just as he had been born – and we buried him in the orchard – that he supervised planting  – and next to his long gone friends Harvey and  Mandy.

This last week has been spent once more regrouping and making sure that Tash  – my mastiff – herself now 9 or 10 – is taken extra care of now she is an only dog, and my plans to resume the editing – and my blogging – and even riding the horses- just stopped in the face of the things I realised were more important.

But to day we moved on – Tash out and about supervising me fencing a field and then sleeping while I was joining in with a live writing room session organised by Holly Lisle re NaNoWri Mo – where I at last re started my edit and wrote a new scene ‘live’ and in company of her and some of her students around the world – which was fun.

I hope to resume my blogging now as I was 🙂



Writer’s Retreat…

2016-10-07 12.13.47.jpgPeaceful – with view.

Writing Week…

Good place for inspiration –  which was just as well – as it turned out I needed some for the  WIP I am story editing right now. Much walking about the fields these last few weeks talking to Dragon and then – depending on the Dragon’s ‘windyness’  editing the transcriptions  – new addition to the Tech Dept’ was a tiny fur thing for the MIC – looks like a dead mouse on my jacket – but it dealt with the growling wind that Dragon was suffering with 🙂 I have less transcription editing to do now and I can actually ‘see’ my ideas.

Next step will be to work them into the plot on scene cards – and play about till I am happy – then get on with the rewrite. I would like to have this draft done by the end of this year.

Reading this week?

‘How To Blog A Book’ by Nina Amir – very interesting and giving me ideas for this book I am  editing now and for the non fiction projects I have on the go at the moment.


September Sun To October Mornin’…



Last blooms of the Queen Elizabeth rose.

Inspiration came about the story I am taking through Holly Lisle’s revision course on the 23rd of Sept – it gave me enough to write the thread I was struggling with right through the end of the series -but the next few days I felt bereft – I jumped in the van, I went to the beach, the harbour, coffee shops, the old fort – I walked the dogs and I couldn’t find ‘it’ again – then I realised I didn’t need to find it – it HAD given me all I needed to go on with for the next two books after this one – I had dictated it into Dragon and Dragon had transcribed the excited ‘ramblings’ and the notes had been stored in Scrivener – revelation and slight embarrassment and then delight as I felt free enough from the constant nagging ‘thinking’ about the books, to really enjoy being with the horses and head out with a friend for a ride, I took Rufus for that long planned walk and even found I was in the ‘right place’ to deal with Flax reminding me be likes to bite me!


Flax and Rufus grazing under the willow tree I grew from a cutting when we came here – reminds me of home in The Purbecks 🙂


So sunny September – with it’s blissful days – has given me fantastic progress on all fronts, fiction story edit, non fiction project and most importantly – getting out and about 🙂






 October mornin’s have now arrived – and it’s all  ‘glow n go’ 🙂

Glow n Go :)

Glow n Go 🙂

And yes – that IS a picture of me riding Flax :)- may be one day I will again! Who knows? 🙂









Dragon Trained…Using Windows 10, Dragon and iPhone 6 for transcription and dictation.:)

Using Windows 10, Dragon and iPhone 6 for transcription and dictation.


Dragon training…

1. Install Dragon 13 Premium version or above on lap top.
2. Install (both FREE) Dragon Remote MIC APP and Dragon Dictate MIC APP on the iPhone 6.
3. Set up a separate user profile for Dragon remote MIC APP and DragonDictate MIC APP I have also set up a separate user profile for Dragon desktop on my laptop.


         Do one lot of training and save it and when it wants you to retrain for each thing – chose that file – it will save you HOURS:0 🙂 This was easier to set up than one user profile with many dictation sources. However the Dragon desktop or laptop profile ALSO needs to have set up a separate dictation source for the Remote MIC APP and for any microphone that you have to plug into it. Windows 10 does not support an external microphone that has two connectors you need to buy a USB external stereo sound adapter and you need to buy an SC3TTRS to TRS adapter with your microphone and they all need to be joined in tandem/in line before your Windows 10 machine will hear what you say and you can train your Dragon profile.
         The microphone that I bought was a RODELav microphone which I can use directly into the iPhone 6 to record to Dragon Remote MIC and DragonDictate MIC without having to have earphones in constantly, the microphone is tiny and clips onto clothes and gives a very good sound quality. This microphone if connected in a way I described above gives a very good sound quality when dictating straight to the laptop as well. (Thanks to Joanna Penn for the  tip with that 🙂 )
         It is important that if you use DragonDictate MIC when you are out and about that you open DragonDictate profile on your laptop when you want it to transcribe ditto you must have Dragon Remote MIC profile open if you wish to use the wireless function between the iPhone and laptop and not use an external microphone. It is possible to have one profile and more than once source of audio input but while I was setting this up I found it was easier to work on one thing at a time – it can always be changed later and any way only I use this machine…:)
         It is possible to use Dragon Remote MIC with your laptop running Windows 10 instead of the inbuilt MIC on the Windows machine by following instructions for paring the two machines wirelessly – there is a very easy nuance U Tube video for this.
          It is not easy to wirelessly transfer and transcribe recorded audio from DragonDictate MIC to a Windows 10 laptop running Dragon because the file is in the wrong format/does not transfer out of the Dragon web site in a recognisable form for some reason – it is possible if you follow the instructions and you have an Internet connection to wirelessly transfer your dictation to the Dragon website where it can be viewed and listen to – but it is better to connect the iPhone 6 to the computer and open iTunes if you want to transcribe it.
         With iTunes open and your phone connected choose APPS scroll down till you see DragonDictate MIC click on that, and your recordings will appear on the right-hand side and then you scroll further down for the opportunity to save. Save the audio file to a place on the desktop/laptop – NB avoid saving to Dropbox if you wish to do this quickly as audiofile takes a while to sync.
         Having saved by copying and pasting to a desktop/laptop file, open Dragon and choose transcribe audio by following the on-screen instructions to select the audio file from the desktop file, and click okay and it will appear on-screen, when you have finished checking through, ‘save as’ to the file of your choice on your laptop. This will not have deleted the original audio file on iTunes or on your phone.
         It is possible to transfer files wirelessly between the iPhone 6 and the Dragon website as long as you don’t use Chrome to open the site and follow the links- no idea why but you just use Edge and that works- those files need to be copied and pasted into the free software called Audacity in order to be turned into WAV files which Dragon can read they can then be saved in the manner mentioned above and used exactly the same way.
        If Dragon dictate has not been used for the recording then any other recording source i.e. Voice Memo on iPhone 6 can also be transferred the same way BUT Voice Memo is in MP4 file format so it also needs to be run through Audacity before going to Drangon for transcription.
         To ‘run through’ Audacity simply install audacity use it to ‘import the audio file’ and then click on the X the top right corner to close it – it will then tell you that you need to use the ‘export’ button – I found that as audiofiles can take a while to load this option wasn’t always there instantly – but if you wait a few moments it appears once the file has uploaded – choose ‘export’ and export to your desktop/laptop file and it will automatically be saved as a WAV file – without you having to do anything to it at all. However Audacity does provides a good mechanism for replaying and for editing if you want to…
        One mistake I made was in thinking – having watched several YouTube videos and read quite a few how-to’s – that I needed to use the phone’s Wi-Fi and cable at the same time – this is not the case and in fact Windows 10 does not allow you to transfer wirelessly to Dragon in a format that Dragon can read. Once I realised this I was able to develop a system of recording and transcribing, at the moment I’m dictating this straight into Dragon box using the lapel microphone and connectors, I could also have used this microphone plugged into the iPhone 6 which was placed adjacent to the laptop and if I had it would also be necessary to go into the settings of the iPhone 6, and turn the ‘autolock’ to ‘never’ – as when you are using Dragon Remote MIC with iPhone 6 and the ‘autolock’ kicks in Dragon remote MIC stops, does not remember what you were saying and this can be very annoying if you are reading/revising a draft and not concentrating on the screen.
         I have owned Dragon for several years and not successfully managed to produce a transcription until this last week – I did not understand that there was not a good tie-up between Apple products and Windows and I did not understand the file formats that were involved MP3, MP4 and WAV so I got some very unreliable results – which put me off using it as it became so distracting! Now I have worked out that I need to have the correct format file -which I can get by using the free software Audacity to convert to the correct format anything that I’ve previously recorded – say in Voice Memo iPhone 6 which is MP4. I can pretty much transcribe anything I want and I am very impressed by the speed it does this.
         I use DragonDictate with my RODE LAV microphone when I am out walking for notes, first draft thoughts, prose and for my non-fiction projects and for generally thinking out loud. I find this works really well even when fairly windy and when I come indoors I simply download the audio and see it transcribed – I generally do not edit as I go – I can easily search the transcription even if it has little punctuation – I am teaching myself when thinking out loud to say ‘full stop new paragraph’ every now and again – so that the ideas are broken up on the transcription page and are easy to search. Before I worked this out I would have to listen to my audio notes to know what I’d said – which was quite time-consuming – now while I’m making a coffee it’s doing a printout and I can file it for future reference or delete it.
         I tend to store a copy of the audio in Evernote by copying and pasting. Each time I do this I sync as it takes a while – and I do not encourage anyone to synch more than two files at any one time if they want carry on working with the laptop – equally if you use Dropbox as much as I do – choose your moment to move audio files into dropbox as it is again time consuming.
         A tip from Joanna Penn I heard recently – when dictating for audio, and you make a mistake – if you need a clean audio file – is to clap – then as you run it through -say Audacity – you can see a spike on the graphic where the mistake is you need to sort out. I am only keen to be able to transcribe rough ideas for saving and to produce transcription to screen of first draft at the moment so I don’t need this myself – yet 🙂
         There are other microphone makes, and probably other third-party software that could be used instead the ones I’ve mentioned – these are the ones that I have used, not ones I’m affiliated to in any way. I found several useful YouTube videos from Nuance software about DragonDictate APP and Dragon Remote MIC APP, and through listening to Joanna Penn – on some of her recent broadcasts The CreativePenn.com and Facebook live epsodes – I have managed to piece together the problems that I was having with Dragon and the iPhone 6 – and work out that why the combination was not working for me was down to the fact I was running Windows as opposed to an Apple Laptop AND that this version of Windows would not recognise a single conected MIC jack microphone – it may do but not with my level of skill:)
(If you are using Apple to Apple or Windows 10 to other Smartphone this isn’t relevant and Windows versions on lap tops with a separate MIC and Headphone jacks can also plug and play other MICs without USB etc)

Dragon Training And Other House Keeping…


Dragon training…

Badges added…

The Haynet badge/link I have been trying all year to work out how to get it on the Blog and with help – again :)- of Simon Whistler’s Rocking Self Publishing Site and his free course -with a close examination of the video on ‘sidebars’ I managed. My blog s are available on Haynet amongst their many other featured countryside blogs and this is NOT an affiliate link but it will take you to their site for a look see…:)

The ALLi badge I must admit I got carried away with -as I am an Associate Member and I can use their badge BUT I hadn’t realised it IS an affiliate link -so if you click on it and decide to join them your self I apparently get some dosh which I need to point out to you. 🙂

Next piece of housekeeping then is to find a short piece of code that says all that  legal stuff without me having to to it every time I post 🙂

To see badges on side bar – scroll on down below  🙂 🙂

More Dragon training required now – I may be some time – Deanarys I am not. 🙂

On the plus side seeing transcription of dictated first drafts of Q3 and Q4 appearing as if by magic on the screen makes reading endless texts to a sleepy Dragon and fighting file transfer protocols between Microsoft and Apple devices and third party puddle jumpers seem worth it.

Actually ANYTHING that gets the books nearer publication is worth it to me …:)


Arrival At Point Of Departure…

Arrival At Point Of Departure…

I had never noticed that for someone who doesn’t travel that often, I have come to think of some of my writing adventures as train journeys – when I dropped out of Platform University earlier this year I had the sensation of standing on the platform ( no pun intended ) watching that train leave with out me and I have been bumming up and down the tracks joyriding ever since – but now here I ‘stand’ shiny shoes and new books ready to get back on board and leave this point for the next stop.



Have signed up for First 10K Readers Nick Stephenson’s course and also two of Joanna Penn’s about the business side of writing. Moths have escaped wallet.

As it turned out my schedule for this year  – which included taking Hacked Off through Holly Lisle’s  live class of How To Revise Your Novel  16/17 – was fairly destroyed – not least because the rest of my schedule was based on me spending all my other time typing up the first drafts of Quest 3 and Quest 4 – this of course didn’t happen due to husband being home for 3 weeks over Christmas and then 100 days which meant me typing all night and editing all day were frowned on 🙂 – he even wanted a cooked meal !!! 🙂

Anyway the up shot was that Hacked Off did get undivided attention – as did the course – but now I want to bring my learning experiences back this side of The Pond – when I first started this there were no UK based courses out there and the terms ‘Indie Author’ and ‘Indie Publishing’ didn’t really exist here – but now some of the earlier adopters of the US and Australian sites  are successful and experienced enough in the fabulous Indie World Of Everywhere Else  to start making the Indie Publishing UK a reality – and I intend to support them – no disrespect to my previous mentors and the many friends I have made on my International Surfing Student travels who I will still be working with but ‘The Time Has Come…’ and in this case that is to come home and be part of the scene here as it grows and to make sure that my legal base for my writing is UK sound in terms of Tax and Vat etc and given that Brexit IS coming I think this is the time to stick around. 🙂

The other ‘New Arrival’ is that having had four months to have a damn good think about what I am doing and what my plans are – without  Q3 and Q4 being typed – at this point. This has been a big pondering point as I had decided that Hacked Off would be got ‘Out There’ first and then Quest – but the penny dropped this week that a book written under my own name aimed at adults, which is the first in a trilogy, will not do much – even if it is free – to help a series of books written under my pen name Alex Allington that is aimed at YA.  Whoops.

So…. Finish my rewrite of Hacked Off that I am doing now – then revise that. After that – finish the first drafts of Hacked Apart and Hacked To Bits –  roughly aim for end Jan 2017.

Then both writing names have a series for me to start to prepare to offer for sale – after I have found an Editor – or actually two of them as I have realised that they might need different ones! SEE – It REALLY is a learning curve – or perhaps a Learning Trajectory  – that must be my creative streak having me simultaneously studiously waiting on a platform to get on a train while my alter ego catapults, tumbling over and over, through the stratosphere… 🙂

There is only one cure for that – write more books. 🙂



Five Pubs Challenge And Truck Fest Weekend Extra…

Which means I get a weekend almost alone – Gordon dashed home through he holiday traffic on Friday night and he and his friend Chris washed and polished Ghost and off they went in convoy – Chris this year in our car rather than a truck and clutching a new tent – as it was nearly dark when they left I imagine all sorts of fun and laughter putting that up in the lines of show trucks.
2016-06-06 07.25.29.jpg


Neither I nor the horses are fit enough to go on the Five Pub Ride – but it might be something I can aim to do next year as it is on the doorstep, requires not travel and lots of folk do it on foot/bike or horse + may be the road will be repaired at Uplodders by then – as it remains shut following the road collapse in the spring and the villages remain segregated. I will peddle my 20 km on the exercise bike instead though and watch out of the window. 🙂
2016-08-02 09.09.22.jpg
I took a quick trip to the Coop this morning before the A35 started filling with holiday makers going or coming back from their trips – I have a thing for flat breads at the moment and I wanted some Massa Farina but that would have meant a trip to the market – something that wouldn’t be quick- however gorgeous it might have been to hunt around my favourite home town’s sumptuous market and wend my way through the packs of locals hitting the place early while the pavements have air spaces and before the amazing bands and entertainments stop the movement the closer to the Bucky Doo you get and the closer to lunch time – the combo of which will have you inside any one of the amazing eateries -then you won’t leave till sundown and the night scene fizzes away till dawn – Coop it was then but I did spot some interesting Dove Farm gluten free flour that had a high proportion of the Massa Farina I wanted in  so I headed home and made pancakes with a mix of that and Dal flour with yogurt and turmeric  – yum. 🙂 Nearly time to have some for lunch as a salady wrap. 🙂
Mum got her plants watered around her little studio, her pots have been very pretty this year, and her wild strawberries brought with her from the Purbecks have been fruiting in the crevices of paving and pots they have invaded all summer. When the garden gets sorted out I intend to set some runners in the wall etc – I remember her making wild strawberry jam as the plants loved the quarries and hazel wood land we were surrounded by. Yum. 🙂
2016-07-17 15.40.05 HDR.jpg
I got Rufus and Flax in to the stable and I peeled off Rufus’s gear that he wears to keep insects off him and I Vaselined his head and combed his mane before putting the the eared fly mask back on and re-covering him. I rubbed baby oil and tea tree into his under carriage as he has made it raw and I took off his socks and treated his afflicted heals and re socked him – he had a good go at the salt lick while I did all this and then he had the most important part – The Special Pony Pills – of which he gets two – for being such a Good Boy – Flax gets one because Flaxes only need one – he isn’t poorly. (Other wise described as ‘mints with holes’)
2016-08-14 09.43.56.jpg
The dogs have been taking it very easy this am supervising – and as the sun has gone in and a cooler sea mist is lightly circling us I think an after lunch  stroll is in order – and as I ate two pancakes stuffed with veggies and salad and have only achieved a min of 3326 steps today according to my phone I think if I am not careful I will be Zzzz-ing too 🙂 Where are the leads?
Sea mist blew in and around us keeping us cool on our walk, I recorded a Dog Day Chronicle episode en route and my boots got quite wet – the mist blew away leaving it fresher and brighter.
As the dogs returned to their slumbers I went and caught Buddy with a couple of those Special Pony Pills and gave him a nice groom and we played for a while – he was still tense and sometimes skippy but not too bothered – I saddled him and we went to the bigger grass area and continued with the rope games – bigger space, better footing and he trotted and cantered on with more confidence and less stiffness.
Back at the shed I asked my self ‘Does this horse look ridable?’ and the answer I got back was ‘yes’ so I hopped on and off a few times and then did a passenger ride around and about and looking at the view for half and hour or so ending up with some weaving in and out of the barrel maze without me touching the reins. Cool. Turned him back out.
2016-08-14 09.42.49.jpg
Another session of that order and we can head out somewhere 🙂
Beautiful evening here now – Eggardon, having appeared from the wraiths of mist, now has sun dapple flanks and cloud shadow puppet films playing on the steep bits.
Another dog walk I think after their tea and then a few km on the exercise bike for me – bath and read – BLISS :)Sunday Morning.Getting darker in the early mornings already the yard lights came on as I walked past. Sunday very early is one of our few quiet days here – traffic noise – but there are a few ‘flappers’ abroad this morning ( plastic wrapped suitcases and trailers full of holiday gear ) I wonder if there are little kids asleep on the back seats or if like I used to they are noses pressed against the window counting off the familiar landmarks till they are there…
The day of The Five Pub Challenge – looks hot an dry but yesterday
afternoon the sea mist blew in and cooled us a little – I rode Bud last night for the first time since May around the higher fields here which was nice, sat in the grass and took pictures of the sunset on third dog walk of day and then inflicted 20KM on the exercise bike on self !
 SO much easier now it has been oiled!!!! Not sure the same can be said of me 🙂 But it isn’t hurting my joints like running was and it is slow so suits the need for me to take it steady. AS far as it can be measured -given it is 40 years old and basic – I seem to manage between 30 and 40 km /hour ‘speed’ and since oiling has now worked, it is about a turn and a half off the easiest setting – last night it took me the length of a Podcast to cycle the 20 – I reckon that was 50 min -when I first bought this I was in early teens and used to do 10 KM in 20 min everyday before school and the speed this was at 12 Oclock on the dial so at 52 after an inactive year for me I am not entirely surprised it is taking me over twice as long at half the speed – but as joints aren’t aching and I am still raising my heart rate and ‘perspiring’ I will stick with it rather than the running for now.
The yoga DVDs didn’t really get into the day – the floor in the house is now good to lie on even with a cut off chunk of carpet and with no curtains and being on the side of a large busy road me trying to hold my big toe in the air or get up off the floor from my ‘on my back dog pose’ could be a danger to traffic.
Did a fair amount of time on the non fiction and on my calendar/work process/ post HTRN thoughts re potential publication for fiction – thoughts and plans are beginning to form and come together – REVIEWING  given what I know now, compared to what I knew this time last year, when I set out my longer term work structure against what I has happened in real life and what I have achieved.
I know for sure
I still want to get my fiction stories into shape for the Indie market.
I want to write new material an revise some other projects in my portfolio.
I want to build my Blogs.
I still want to ride my horses – as opposed to keeping them as pets unridden.
I want to get fit enough to do both.
I want to get the house straight.
I want to get the garden fenced this Autumn so it can be got ready for veggie growing again next season.
I need to be fit enough for digging the garden over or controlling the hired rotavator ( !)
I enjoy contributing to the forums I am a member of – or as I said to my sound recording last night ‘The Floorums’ which is a blooper I think will stick in my head – so I want to continue to do that.
This last month I have taken steps literally to instigate the fitness improvements and with the mad grass cut down I have moved the horses cente stage and started them being more active alongside me.
2016-08-13 20.07.16.jpg
Spent Sunday morning doing a session with Buddy on the long rope  and then I rode him around the barrel track I laid out – just walking and steering without my reins ‘focus riding’ and then I brought Flax in and we played dressing up in tack – it has been a while – 2 years + since I made any attempt to hack out on him but he is always first to say hello and the last to give up on the hope he might get to go somewhere with me … Anyway he is still too chubby for his saddle – even though he has lost 50kg since May weigh in – he needs to shift the same again to stay in good health.  We had a session on the ropes and around the barrels which he adores and is beginning to be so focused that he can be unclipped to go freestyle.
2016-08-14 11.28.36.jpg
Not making any plans to hack out on Flax but I see no reason why we can’t take advantage of the slightly quieter road below – due to the closure – to do a little bit of walking about and sight seeing again as though there is still traffic it is not ‘through’ traffic which might give us a chance to regain our nerve and traffic skills on foot.
I sit on Buddy this afternoon again – he is happy to be caught for two Magic Pony Pills but still a little bothered by the idea of wandering around the barrels so we just sit and then we go to a corner and practice what he needs to do when I place my leg on his side – I am tiny so it is far from his girth. Standing with his face in the right angle I simply apply my right heel on his side and look behind to the right – his bum moves away I take my foot away and look forward – I repeat this with my left leg – nothing happens this time and he frets – I repeat the nudge and he moves over we just stop a while and then we do that again – the right leg gets a prompt response but the left leg gets little but a head toss, I kick my feet out of the stirrups and push my finger in behind my knee on the left side – he moves over smartly looking surprised – I wonder if the square saddle cloth is numbing the sensation as well as the fact my legs are so short.
We go over to the far side and look at the view – he frets I look out for 5 Pub Challengers – he snoozes – we move and stop and look and snooze a few times then walk back to the barrels and do figure eights all around and in and out all the ways we can – I boost the energy up little and we swing along – a little trot – he anticipates a turn and jogs on but I hear that tension sheath sucking noise so drop it back to a walk – we stand and gaze again and walk around again and then I look at my watch and i have been on board an hour and my legs feel like it even though we have not gone out of walk nor left the safety on the field  – I rub him down and take off the tack, pack it all in the van and turn him out early with Flax and Rufus – after a good refreshing drink he goes to sleep with them in the sun and I bring the van back up the field  – Gordon and Chris will be home soon full of tales from the ‘Fest’ and I want to be showered and ready to hear all about it.:)
Happy weekend all at Alexander. 🙂2016-08-13 19.58.18.jpg
Brin aged fourteen and a half 🙂

Summer Time and The Living Is…

2016-07-13 14.52.45

Writing Week…

Only on day two of that – struggling a bit with the slow progress I am making – was reminded it is three years since I was on a friend’s fishing boat when researching a Viking Time Shifty YA I had the hots for – hasn’t made it off the note pad as I directed my focus at my most finished stories and designing this site etc – THREE YEARS? Still none of the work is done – yet I work most week days way longer than 8 hour days, don’t garden, sold my sheep, gave up off farm contracting, and rarely ride my horses and the physical strength , fitness and health is disappearing… will it be THIS year? No  earliest I can get HO out there/ up here is next Spring and The Quest series could start going out the following Autumn and that is if we get the house rebuild finished and I don’t stop working at the rate I am – beggars the question why? Why am I doing this?

I look back and I can see how far I have come since I doodled to stop my self going nuts here alone on the farm, I can see where I got my focus and went for it – but now it feels as if those goal posts are moving – I move faster, work longer hours, have started talking a different language than my friends and family  and my previous life is ‘another land’ – on another planet.

So wondering if I live my life in an alternative universe now ? No I am not wondering – I KNOW I do. 🙂

So do I know why I do this? No I just do it is overwhelming – I just do it.

If it is overwhelming why do I keep doing it? I don’t seem to able able to stop.

Proving a point? Not so much – no one says to my face that they think I can’t do it – though I debate the opportunity cost of spending my life on this suddenly rather narrow, stony goat track-  just to see what is on the other side of the mountain range of my imagination – I don’t doubt that one day a finished book or more will be able to be down loaded from this site and others – free or For Sale.

It’s the ‘one day’ bit that could do with being ‘that day’ ‘this day’ ‘today’ – can only re make date and aim for it baring in mind that I don’t want to miss my life staring at a screen and that  S..t Happens. 🙂

I am lucky to have only such small problems and really ‘this Old Goat is not for turning’ so I will pick my way onward  while I still can. 🙂 When I can’t then I will do something else.:)

Perked Up…

Scrivener is going mobile – Yippee!

Drew out a WIP/Body Of Work/ Catalogue Of Work  To Do to try to give my self an overview of  My Big Plan So Far…

When I looked at what I have already written – some finished first draft and some a few ideas and a rough plot but something tangible on each I cheered up as I am in the learning phase now – what takes me a long time now will speed up and each achievement will in it’s self teach and enrich the next – also in having a Big Plan – WHEN I get the first thing live and flapping – I can let it go and move to the next and can hope to avoid the dreaded ‘Now what?’

Scrivener App arrived – and that mean’t an opp to re try Dragon – which I have rechristened Nuisance Software Dragon Elsewhere. I am not complaining – I can’t imagine the hours that go into making soft wares like these that folk are screaming for – in my case my Dorset accent provides more than a few howls and howlers – Oooo and Arrrr 🙂

2016-07-19 14.58.17


Dog Day Chronicles…

Took A Week Off –

Well  worked on Open House Surgery  – but it turned out that  the week – 10 days  I had planned for – was only 5 days including the weekend.:)

Gave me a chance to play with sound recording on my dog walks – many reasons and it turns out to be Good Fun 🙂 I have never enjoyed walking much as I tend to chunder on about things and come back depressed – running doesn’t let me get away with that but neither the dogs or me are up to a lot of running right now..

The sound recording keeps my focus on ideas and constructive thoughts – now I VERY much doubt I will ever link this in to Dragon and be dictating my fiction – and any jokes about me being a Dragon and a Dictator WILL get The Finger. Anything that keeps the mental Black Dog from following us  on our excursions is good – I do all the mindfulness  Black Dog crap collecting techniques I can – but the fact is just like dog walking anywhere these days you come back home with a stinking bag of something you wish you didn’t have to deal with…

Been reading and listening to Joanna Penn ‘Successful Author Mindset’ – really good – but then I like her style. Still reading ‘Barkskins’ -Annie Proulx – that is a delicious long read in a ‘savour every word kind of way’. I thrashed through Lorelie James latest and much craved ‘Unbreak My Heart’ the conclusion of her Sierra and Boone story that fans were waiting for  – bliss 🙂

I have picked up the threads of my rewrite earlier than planned and am pleased with progress.

Bit Of A Dry Update…:)

Hell – This Time we are living through is interesting though – may we all survive long enough to see it through.




Baby Steps…


Seems Like A Long Time…

Since I set that up and yet it was only last year. Only when I look back sometimes can I see how far I have come but equally the excitement I felt over designing this has evaporated and the tiny baby steps of progress are just vague indentations in sand.

When Those Times Strike…

Focus on the horizon and keep moving forward anyway

2016-02-02 14.36.44.jpg

There is no way back. 🙂


Writing Week?


Been doing a lot of thinking about the characters in Hacked Off, by putting self in the position of taking Buddy down to the livery yard next door – for a few weeks while we get going again – has allowed me to think about and feel  ‘fear’ as a concept and about the relationship between horses, people and group dynamics – reading around that then, looking at my characters to deepen them.


It has been an active week – no Podcasts, or other input, or much On Line activity – as I have been absorbed in my horse, my book and my thoughts, and I have bee watching the orchard blossom…


This is ‘Hoary Morning’ with ‘Winston’ below snapped a few years ago in full glory.


Research And Stuff -Video, Dictation, Transcription in journal/blog.

Playing with video and sound recording in Blog post and journalling




Dragon – bought it at great expense a few years ago – comes on a CD that loads very slowly and I had issues with serial numbers etc – it says Y on the box but it is actually an X (!) – it really slowed my then Vista machine to the point I un installed it. But this week I re installed on W10 machine and it is faster,  but  the microphone is dire and so I use the integral one to the lap top which is vulnerable to back ground noise – I now have an iPhone 6 and thought I could combine the two – Hum- first there was ‘which app?’ then how to join the two? And find the files and then the lack of correction features and saving and …. I gave it up. BUT if you want to dictate and have it transcribed straight into Scrivener or via Dragon box thing you are kinda lumbered with Dragon.


I have Evernote Premium anyway which I use a lot – if you create a new note in Evernote on the iPhone and instead of typing you hit the little microphone sign in the keyboard area you can speak into the phone and the txt appears instantly and you can stop and start and correct and it all appears on your lap top ‘just like that’. Job Done.

Web Cam notes on the other hand are NOT video – they are stills only.


For use with the iPhone – One Note App works in the same way as Evernote for Dictation to Text – again – if you use the microphone within the key board. I guess it is down to which  soft ware you use or want to buy into, for the look and functionality look you prefer…(The one thing I remember about One Note though is that if you try and print from a Page or Note you have to be a bit careful that you don’t get the lot)

So for video for journaling?

The laptop’s own camera and camera roll work perfectly but if you want it with bells and whistles then – on the lap top – you can also video journal straight into OneNote and edit it and also sound record separately and picture and the sound quality aren’t  bad for no extra cost on programs that are already familiar.

The video journalling function doesn’t seem to be available in the One Note App, and as I said above in Evernote it is only still photos on either though video can be embedded.


The iPhone can be used to VDO Journal perfectly well and I would imagine be embedded in whatever you are doing – blog etc. But I do not know if that is what it is or is just a link to it


That is a still photo from the iPhone collection but the video was too big and 50 MB – As can be seen IT ISN’T here…! It did not up load so One Note cannot be used to put together a whole post and copy it here.

It took a smaller one but it still tells me it is loading several hours later! And neither is that here…




Video recording started: 11:06 29 April 2016


This obviously works if you click the link and how you might up load to the blog I do not know – I already noticed that the free Word Press Blog doesn’t let you upload video and my self hosted does but I will admit to not knowing the limits of that.

Still handy to know what I can and can’t do with this and I will practice up loading to the blog – and the above is what happened there -so far!

How is this useful use of my time this week?


Coming Soon…:)

Well I am at the ‘Write In’ stage and ‘Cutting’ stage of revision on Hacked Off and was looking to transcribe speech to text in some way – long and short of that is that IF I want to dictate to text in Scrivener then I need to practise with Dragon 13 but if I don’t want to buggar about with that at my desk ,I can dictate into an Evernote note any where I happen to be and then copy the text into Scrivener – or I could just write it longhand and type up/dictate and transcribe or type straight into Scrivener – life was probably simpler and less distracting when the choice was  Pencil, Ink, Biro or Type Writer. 🙂

Where did that morph into any relevance for journal keeping?

Trying to see if I could keep an ‘organisable’ video diary – with clips I could put up here – ANYTHING to avoid typing – but I think that unless I want to go on a major detour – photos and typed updates are just fine…:) 🙂 🙂

OK! I admit I was killing time till Husband goes back to work next week.

Quest Series - Book 1 coming soon.

Quest Series – Book 1 coming EVENTUALLY 🙂


Moving On…

2016-04-15 09.29.31.jpgHad To Pick Up And Move – Again!

This time to the mezzanine floor as husband has re possessed the ‘old kitchen’ for a work space while he has been working on the house the last month or so.

Take Out From This?

The most important bits of equipment a writer can have are – plastic storage boxes, of a size you can lift, and a collection of weird old light weight tables…

Have Those And CAN Travel 🙂