Day 30 of NaNoWriMo and Day 70 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

November 30, 2014 7:08 AM BP: 135/90/68 fitbit: 1692

Day 30 of National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo).
Target number of words for today: 0 (I’m done)
NaNoWriMo Words written and reported today: 0
NaNoWriMo words: 50,128 of 50,000 words

Day 70 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 54 days in a row –  1948 words today (so far)
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Yesterday I surpassed the writing goal of 50,000 words for the November 2014 NaNoWriMo event. One hundred and twenty-eight (128) words over and a day to spare.

This is my second consecutive year for completing the event and because I was using Dragon Dictate, it was much easier than last year when I just banged away at the keyboard. It was more productive in that I gained a month’s experience in the use of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener as well as a better knowledge of storytelling as explained in the book I dictated from, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.

  • Did I write a novel? No.
  • Did I write 50,128 words of original content? No.
  • Did I improve my pronunciation? Yes.
  • Did I get a better idea of story structure? Yes.
  • Will I ever write a novel? Probably not.
  • Did I enjoy meeting the average of 1,667 words per day every day? Yes.
  • Was I more productive because I had a self-imposed deadline to meet for 30 days in a row? Yes.
  • Will I do it again next year? If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise.
    [Couldn’t help that last sentence. You can take the boy out of Kentucky but …]

    What will I do today and for the next eleven months until NaNoWriMo 2015 rolls around? Today I plan to continue doing what I’ve been doing for the past 29 days. I have dictated chapters 8 – 36. There are 14 more chapters. Could be over in about 2 weeks if I decide to continue. Let’s see what I will do.
    Today, I will do chapter 37, The Second Plot Point.

    And oh, by the way, I used some of my NaNoWriMo results in my 750 words per day goal that runs for every day of the year and was able to win the 30 Day Writing Challenge for November at 750words.com

Day 27 of NaNoWriMo and Day 67 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

November 27, 2014 7:16 AM BP: 127/88/67 fitbit: 1,526

Day 27 of National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo).
Target number of words for today: 1,667
NaNoWriMo Words written and reported today: 1,303
NaNoWriMo words: 47,554 of 50,000 words

Day 67 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 51 days in a row – 1,858 words today (so far)
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I’ve been participating daily in NaNoWriMo but have not been posting about it. As shown above, I have 47,554 of the words toward the 50,000 word goal and I have 3 more days to create 2,535 more words. If my daily writing continues in the same way as it has from the beginning of the month, I should be through in 2 days at most.

My dictation of the book, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks as the center pole for this yearly event has educated me greatly in what goes into writing a fictional novel. It is a formidable process. It can been months (or years) of concentrated effort to not only tell a story but to make it interesting and cohesive.

While still contemplating the writing of my story about the death of an old man and the transfer of his experiences, education, and values to the mind/psyche/essence of his grandson, I thought it would be a straightforward explanation of who, what, where, when, why and how. Not so.

There are specific events that must occur in a somewhat formulaic manner. No longer do I think of a novel as having a Start, a Middle, and an End. There are phrases to consider and implement in the right order like: character arc, plot, First Plot Point, Second Plot Point, the Midpoint, conflict, inner demons, protagonist, antagonist, and more.

Now, I’m suffering from overwhelm. Not to say that I am stopped. I still want to write the story and I now have some of the names of the tools that I can use to do so. The secret now is how to use those tools. This will not be a short term effort. It will take daily efforts over at least a year to tell the story and tell it right. [Takes a deep breath ….]

Going to do a little exercise while cooking breakfast. Will use the treadmill for something other than a clothing storage device. Will watch a Ted Talk and try to run up my FitBit mileage a bit. More details after the fact. Fitbit reading now is 261 steps. After 7 minutes on the treadmill, my fitbit device shows 804 steps. Not a great athletic achievement but about 550 steps more than this time yesterday. I MAY do some more treadmill stepping before the day is over.

The Ted talk I watched during this exercise was Marc Abrahams: A science award that makes you laugh, then think. https://www.ted.com/talks/marc_abrahams_a_science_award_that_makes_you_laugh_then_think One of those awards went to the woman who invented a bra that could be easitly be separated into two gas maskes. She is shown fitting it to two Nobel prize winners.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with son, Chris, his wife, Sunnie, and Señor ToMas, my youngest grandchild.

Day 22 of NaNoWriMo and Day 62 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

November 22, 2014 6:59 AM BP: 165/88/63 fitbit:1572
Day 22 of NaNoWriMo.
Target number of words for today: 1,667
NaNoWriMo Words written and reported: 1,772
Day 62 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 46 days in a row – 2,116 words today (so far)
NaNoWriMo words: 38,424 of 50,000 words
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IMG_1114I have been writing as a habit for the last 441 days, since September 8, 2013. Unfortunately on 20 of those days I did not post my output. Some days I forgot and some days I just didn’t write. However, during that period I have written more than a half-million words.

Writing on a daily basis is one of the best habits I have ever developed. Excessive drinking and smoking are two of the most obnoxious habits that I have broken. I’m happy to be writing. I’m happy not to be drinking or smoking. There may be hope for me yet.

I am still tinkering with my Windows laptop and trying to get it to accept Wacom digital tablet driver. I’m currently in the middle of doing a complete restore on the laptop software because it would not accept that driver. I’m almost at the point of running back to Best Buy and whining to them to “fix it.” I need this laptop to be operational so that I can install the Xara software which I intend to use to finally get around to making digital cartoons.

Today’s exercise of writing at least 1667 words for NaNoWriMo is done. It is a Saturday morning and I started late and I finished late and sporadically but below are the results of that writing or should I say dictation.

The task was completed sporadically because of the constant assistance from my new kitty, KC. She is so proud of her help.
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Average Grade Level 8.6
Text Statistics
Character Count 7,732
Syllable Count 2,526
Word Count 1,810
Sentence Count 103
Characters per Word 4.3
Syllables per Word 1.4
Words per Sentence 17.6
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Day 21 of NaNoWriMo and Day 61 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

I woke up. I wrote 1,565 words. I posted them to NaNoWriMo accounting. I have written 36,652 of the 50,000 word goal. I’m ahead of my writing scheduled goals by at least 1 day.

I reset my ASUS Windows laptop back to its default settings. I tried to install the Wacom Intuos digital table driver. The system crashed. I cursed. I sulked.

Day 20 of NaNoWriMo and Day 60 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

November 20, 2014 5:44 AM BP: 134/88/65
Day 20 of NaNoWriMo.
Target number of words for today: 1,667
Words written and reported:  2,067
Day 60 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 44 days in a row –  2,412 words today (so far) 34,907 of 50,000 words
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Starting out writing today with my kitty handicap.

We’ve had KC (Kitty Cat) for a bit over a month now and she has staked her claim on everything. My keyboard when I’m writing. My plate when I’m eating. She even comes into the bathroom when I’m … well, you know.

She just finished scarfing down a 3oz can of liver and chicken and is breathing and purring mightily in my face. Cute and icky at the same time. When she runs through the house, she sounds as if she would weigh more than two pounds based on the thundering pounding of her furry little paws.

Now she is clawing at my headset cable which dangles as I dictate this post. Kitty handicap.

It has been three days since I got the ASUS Windows laptop ready to run Xara. All I need to do is to connect my digital drawing tablet and begin. Truth is, all I have to do is to find an accommodating electrical outlet – I’m pretty overloaded around my desk. Guess I’ll need to set up a cartooning corner – the Kartoon Korner. Yeah. Maybe a kitten free one? She’s walking around my shoulders now.

Dang. I keep buying books about how to write and I still don’t have an idea for a fictional story that has enough bones. It’s like have stones and mortar and nails and hammers and saws and not knowing what to build. Frustrating? Yes. I know I can write. Not sure about how good I write. I’m an amateur writer. Not in the big leagues. But I can dash out a few hundred words every single morning and have been doing it on a schedule for over a year.
Maybe the secret is to get more knowledgeable about my tools and how to use them and THEN decide what to build, er, write. What a novel idea! Get it? Novel idea. Sigh.

As a result of a conversation with friend, Jeff, yesterday, I installed a WordPress plug-in called WordFence which shows every hit on my website. It’s frightening – Russia, Ukraine, China, France, Canada, Buda. Some of them are multiple hits from the same IP address. I’m sure that I’m not that popular with the Russians but they are the most frequent visitors.

Day 19 of NaNoWriMo and Day 59 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

November 19, 2014 5:35 AM BP: 113/77/69  fitbit:1474  weight: 182.5
Day 19 of NaNoWriMo.
Target number of words for today: 1,667
Words written and reported: 2,062
Day 59 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 43 days in a row – 2216 words today (so far)
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I want to contiSN20141119nue with my cartooning. I want to concentrate on digital drawing rather than the traditional pencil and paper. I have a couple of Macintoshes and COULD use Adobe Illustrator but so far it’s too difficult for me to learn. I would like to use Xara but it’s a Windows only product.

I could install Parallels and Windows on any of my Macs but that would cost around $200 and I’d rather not bog down my Macs this way. A separate Windows machine would be best. I have an ASUS laptop that I bought a year ago and just got disgusted trying to use Windows 8.1. BUT…if I only wanted to use it so that I could do XARA, then that might not be so bad.

Yesterday I was able to find the correct power cable for my ASUS Windows laptop and remembered the password. I did have problems with connectivity. Could not get the wireless connection going. And one of the two RF5 cables failed to give me direct connect. So, I need to get a new cable or just switch the working one back and forth between the ASUS laptop and the iMac. That’s what I will do for now.

I have priced Xara at $299 but have not yet purchased it. I have looked at a lot of XARA demos and am convinced that it will aid me in drawing cartoons as well as many other things. Will probably purchase it today and get started with my small digital drawing pad.

I also got re-interested in Sketchnotes because of someone commenting on my Pinterest comment as well as  Learn Nuggets AND SketchNote Army. May not lend itself to direct digital drawing but could serve as a scanned guide for that.

NaNoWriMo Using Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

NaNoWriMoNovember 18, 2014 6:15 AM BP: 135/82/62  fitbit: 2,921
Day 18 of NaNoWriMo.
Target number of words for today: 1,667
Words written and reported:  1,741
Day 58 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 42 days in a row –  1820 words today (so far)

The lines above indicate my current status in a couple of areas – physical state, progress towards my normal daily writing goal (750 words per day), and progress toward my November goal of writing 50,000 words (1,667 words per day) for the National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) event. I am letting my writing do double duty. The 750 words done at 750words.com counts as part of the 1,667 (more or less) for NaNoWriMo.

I am still using Dragon Dictate to capture the NaNoWriMo words by dictating from the book Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. The contents are going into the Scrivener application that so many  people use for writing their books. My intent was and still is to better my skills at using Dragon Dictate and Scrivener while immersing myself in the teachings of the Story Engineering book.

I am not meeting my fitbit goal of 5,000 steps a day. Could be because of time spent in writing but it is not. Just  plain laziness. I have the time. I have a nice treadmill so weather is not a factor. I can watch / listen to stuff using my iPad so it would not be a mindless pick’em up and put’em down activity like outdoor walking can be. I did do a 6 minute stint at 3mph yesterday while I watched a Ted Talk episode about drones.

I think what I’m trying to do here is to gear myself up to use the treadmill daily in quest of my 5,000 steps. Will I be successful? Time will tell.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Are you writing? Are you exercising? Leave me a comment and tell me where you are and what you’re doing. If you wish. The inquiring Lindsey wants to know.

Day 31 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

October 20, 2014 5:47 AM BP: 142/95/68 fitbit: 1267 (goal is 5,000)
Day 31 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 13 days in a row – 3385 words today (so far).

Join me (Lindseyexplorer) in Words With Friends. Today’s first words played: yerba(20), long(16), wale(16), safe(21), put(25), run(20)
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Today I used the book Story Engineering by Larry Brooks as the object of my dictation using Dragon Dictate and Scrivener. I think I want to use this book as the focus of my NaNoWriMo efforts in November 2014 instead of the book by Lee Child, Worth Dying for. Child’s book has been read for purely entertainment purposes while Brooks’ book is for education, about the process of storytelling. This is a more appropriate subject for the NaNoWriMo event.

I dictated the introduction to the book, all 3085 words of it. I fed it to the readability score program and came up with the following results:
Average Grade Level     10.4

Text Statistics
Character Count     14,192
Syllable Count     4,703
Word Count     3,163
Sentence Count     156
Characters per Word     4.5
Syllables per Word     1.5
Words per Sentence     20.3

As can be seen, the reading level has increased from the fourth grade level of Worth Dying For to the sophomore in high school level for Story Engineering. I suspect that this means also that my Dragon Dictate training is getting smarter based on the words used and their assemblage. I’m not sure if there’s a way to measure this within Dragon Dictate but I hope there is.

In an attempt to achieve near 100% accuracy with my dictation, I carefully dictated a  sentence at the time, ensuring that it was identical to the original before I went to the next line.
When I was done with the entire Introduction, I ‘fed’ it to the spell checker and found no errors. Excellent.
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Day 19 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

October 8, 2014 5:42 AM BP: 140/94/70 BG: 107
Day 19 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 1 day in a row – 2753 words today (so far). I wrote yesterday but forgot to post it to 750words.com so I’ve lost my streak once again and must start over.

Join me (Lindseyexplorer) in Words With Friends. Today’s first words played: he(1),fixation(61), gait(6), tag(5)
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I forgot to post my word count yesterday and ruined yet another streak. Bah!

I forgot to post my word count yesterday and ruined yet another streak. Bah!

“But wait,” you say. “What happened to day 18?”

Well, I wrote it but I forgot to post it. I wrote 2061 words and forgot to post it to 750words.com thereby breaking my eight day writing streak. Start again. Bah. But happy to start again and not roll over and pout. Charge!!!

Nearly ready to begin my dictation to Dragon Dictate and Scrivener with Chapter 19 of Worth Dying For by Lee Child.

Things I want to check on later today:
1. 1pm meeting with Eric to get his website straightened up a little
2. determine the cost of hosting x(less than 10) people in a WordPress for Newbies scenario lasting 3 months.
2a. creating a sample website to support paragraph 2
3. check with ACC lady re hosting a meetup at ACC
4. thinking about a blog about a 30 day (Novemeber) challenge consisting of NaNoWriMo, cooking light, treadmill exercise and ???

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6:44 AM I read pages 128 through 135 of Worth Dying For. I was somewhat cautious today with my dictation. I spoke and paused to see the translation a little more frequently than I have been doing. From a cursory examination, it appears that the dictation was more accurate than usual. This chapter contained 1816 words with the following results from readability-score.com:

Average Grade Level 5.9

Text Statistics
Character Count 7,773
Syllable Count 2,539
Word Count 1,854
Sentence Count 175
Characters per Word 4.2
Syllables per Word 1.4
Words per Sentence 10.6
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Today’s business.
1. Last night I presented the 3rd in a series of WordPress for Newbies. Disappointing turnout but a lively discussion nevertheless. One of the attendees, Eric was having problems getting beyond the initial installation of WordPress and effectively using a default theme. He had lots of questions so I volunteered to help him via a telephone conversation scheduled for later today at 1 PM. I look forward to helping him get a leg up on his website. This is quite atypical of me because I don’t like to donate my time as much as I have been doing in the past. But this seemed to be a good time to do just that.
2. Before I started the WordPress for Newbies presentations, I purchased a combination domain name and web hosting package expecting it to be a good choice for hosting several people for a couple of three months as part of the presentation the basics of WordPress.
The package purchased was the professional plan for three months for a total of $31.72. This provides up to 26 websites. I need to find out exactly what that means. How do I create the second website? I’ve already created wpnewbie00.com. How do I go about creating wpnewbie01.com? EXPLORE THIS MORE.
3. I walked on the treadmill today for about 19 minutes at 2 1/2 mph and I clocked almost 8/10 of a mile. According to my Fitbit this amounted to about 1400 steps. I’m concerned about the accuracy of that count. I think the Fitbit works based on the rhythm of your dominant arm the Fitbit is located. I noticed somewhere near the end of my exercise that I had been using that hand to hold on to the treadmill’s handle. Tomorrow I will focus on learning that arm swing naturally as I do my walking.

As is my custom of trying to do more than one thing at a time, while I was walking I was also watching and listening to a video on Ted.com. It was presented by Hans Rosling an the topic of their presentation was “How not to be ignorant about the world.” It seemed to me that what they were trying to do to their audience of news media was to train them not to be sensationalist but optimistic observers of world events. I also felt that they were crusading to create a new label or way of observation for these media people. I’m not really sure how factual or how effective what they were processing would be for me in my daily life and my daily observation (minimalistic at the best) of my world.

As I neared the end of my walk/presentation, I also realized that although I had my iPad that I was watching, I did not have a notebook in my pocket to record the presenters, their topic, my treadmill statistics, etc. I decided that I needed once again to begin carrying a notebook in my pocket. when I returned to my home office, I broke out a fresh Moleskin Notebook and attempted to insert it into the hip pocket of my Levis 517 jeans. But I couldn’t. What had not been apparent to me was the back pockets of these genes are slightly tapered, narrower at the bottom then at the top. Frustration. Slight anger. Search for a solution. Nothing apparent at this time. Right now I’m settling for keeping the notebook in the iPad in close proximity to each other. I may bundle them with an elastic strap, they make do with a solution that best.

And one final note, as I was discussing this with my son Chris who also wears a Fitbit and tallies over 10,000 steps every day, my first walking goal will be 5000 steps per day. I will go for that bill every day from now until the end of November at which time I will reassess where I am, what’s going on, how I feel and other undefined events. After all 10,000 steps is 5 miles I believe. Not bad for someone who has not exercise regularly, who does not want an exercise induced heart attack, who is basically lazy, and who will be 74 years old on the sixth of the next month.

Day 17 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener

October 6, 2014 7:03 AM BP: 152/92/69 BG:106

Day 17 of Dragon Dictate and Scrivener – Current writing streak: 7 days in a row – 2,061 words today (so far)

Join me (Lindseyexplorer) in Words With Friends.
Today’s first words played: vrouw(26), junto(36), hag(26), we(23) =====================================================

Dipping broccoli into catsup while waving his iPhone. Good time Tomas

Dipping broccoli into catsup while waving his iPhone. Good time Tomas

Family Time
Yesterday afternoon, we went to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack in Round Rock, Texas – Glenna and I, Chris, Sunnie and Thomas, and Sunnie’s mom who is visiting from Minnesota. To the left is a picture of Broccoli ToMas, the only person I’ve known who dips his broccoli in catsup before eating it while at the same time, waving an iPhone around.

Quirky little boy. Quite unlike his adult male relatives. wink, wink.

After dinner, we went to Thomas’s favorite store, Toys-R-Us where his grandmother Mary bought him another toy to join the ones she had already purchased since her arrival here on Saturday. Now I have some kind of validation for buying the number of toys I get for him each month. Way to go, Mary!

And now, Thomas has five adults in residence to react to his every whim and anticipate what he needs / wants next. Way to go, ToMas!

No More Regimented Office Hours
Since I no longer go into the office (where I used to visit for about 4 hours each day), I decided to turn off my alarm for 5:15am and just let nature decide the length of my sleep. I had not reckoned with the animal desires of my Kitty who had become accustomed to being fed at 5:20AM EVERY DAY.
Meow, get up. Meow, I’m hungrrrry. Meow, where are you? Meow, I’m starving to death.
But I did sleep in until 6:20 and that’s a good thing. Now if I can work on Kitty training for lesson number 1: Don’t meow before 7AM, I will count that project as a success.

Meetups
Tomorrow morning, I will do a one person meetup with a new disciple / mentee / student where I begin teaching her about the basics of WordPress, step-by-step.
Tomorrow night I will present the third session of the WordPress for Newbies Meetup. I intend to talk about blog posts, sticky blogs, categories, and tags.

National Novel Writers Month
I’m still trying to figure out what I will write 50,000 words about during the November NaNoWriMo contest.

Digital Photography
I was very pleased with the pictures that Glenna and I took at Mayfield Park on Saturday. I have a problem though. I can’t find the battery charger for my Sony A65 camera. I seem to find just the appropriate storage when I’m unpacking a new item but when I first need them, I can’t find them. Why is that? Disorganization? Guess so. As it is, as it has always been.

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Ok, I’ve fiddled around with Facebook, Email, and internet marketing offers long enough. It’s time to move on to yet another day of using Dragon Dictate to put words into Scrivener. Today’s dictation will be Chapter 17 of Worth Dying For by Lee Child.
Starting now at 7:35 AM… and ended at 8:01 AM.

Today’s stats:
Average Grade Level 4.3

Text Statistics
Character Count 6,205
Syllable Count 1,871
Word Count 1,541
Sentence Count 165
Characters per Word 4.0
Syllables per Word 1.2
Words per Sentence 9.3
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It’s getting easier and easier to achieve pretty good accuracy as I learn to act as if someone were taking dictation for me. I had originally tried to talk as if I were addressing someone in conversation. Does not work well and causes lots of editing to get just right. Extra editing slows down the process. Although I’m not out to set a speed record, I would like to be finished in a reasonable (to me) time each day.