Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Best Gadget Ever? Well, Maybe.

All month we've shared our favorite hacks and gadgets, and I admit I've watched closely to see if any grabbed my particular interest. I've tried a few gadgets and apps in the past few years, but none have held my attention for very long. As the days of March passed, I realized that next to my laptop, the one gadget I use most is my Kindle Fire.

Of course, I use it for the obvious reason - to buy ebooks! My most recent acquisition was this book by Becky Clark. It's an engaging and helpful read, and I'll probably review it here soon.

Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel
I don't just read ebooks from Amazon though. I soon discovered the Overdrive collection at my library, so now do most of my reading and research by checking out e-Library books. I love their format, and the fact that I can read online or download to the Kindle. And I can make recommendations for the library to add new books, including the latest from my blog team. Recently the library added Ann Parker's new publication.

Mortal Music - Ann Parker

I discovered another cool trick last year. The  Amazon Send To Kindle app was an editing revelation for me. I can't begin to list the many benefits of reading your MS Word manuscript in ebook format, just as your reader would see the book. It's yet another trick for revising your book with fresh eyes, plus you can annotate and search as you would any Kindle book. Very cool indeed!


Another useful job my Kindle does is keep me on a daily schedule - I have the most distractible brain on the planet, and my clock app is programmed with different ring tones to keep me focused for that crucial 10 AM to 3 PM time when I work best and have the most energy. If I didn't have a handwritten schedule, and the ding-dong Kindle reminders, I wouldn't get anything done. I'll share more about writing with adult ADD in a future post. Because - distractions. The bane of my existence.



Boy, do I desperately need to focus with all this pandemic distraction, don't you? Unfortunately, I spend way too much time checking the Coronavirus statistics, including on the Kindle. I don't think I'm alone. How are you handling your writing and editing lives right now?

I know the rest of the Blood-Red Pencil team is distracted too. It's hard to blog about Best Ever anything, which is our overall theme for the year. To that end, in April we'll use the blog as a group diary, and talk about our days living under the shadow of these constrictive times. Not just about writing - anything goes - and we hope you'll join in the conversations as we navigate through the month, one day at a time.

BE WELL, dear readers. Stay with us!

Dani Greer is a long-time publishing professional who is the founding member of this blog. She lives in the Colorado outback with her husband and too many cats. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

8 comments :

  1. I love my Kindle. Lately, I've gone back to books. I did try downloading from Overdrive, but for the life of me I couldn't get the book on my Kindle. The format said ePub, but the file said ASCM. I finally got it on my mini iPad but wasted a lot of time doing it. I've downloaded audios with no problem.

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    1. With my Overdrive account, I have to choose to read online or download to my Kindle. I usually just read via the Amazon browser.

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  2. Dani, distracted is definitely the right word. It's not that I'm lacking in things to do...it seems activities and chores are multiplying. It's too much thinking, I guess. I have to stop that. :D

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    1. I have to detach from the coronavirus statistics - such morbid fascination! Eek.

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    2. I know what you mean, Pat. I am as busy as ever, but now have to operate around kids and hubby at home (and the extra housework that generates) where usually I have my space to myself for a few hours. I found it very hard to sleep for a while, too, and was dealing with panic attacks. I'm still distracted, but at least now I've managed to calm down. And now we've escaped to a secluded island for a holiday, too, which is a wonderful distraction. :-)

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  3. Hubs bought me a Kindle paper white even though I didn't want one. I am slowly coming around. I am glad that it doesn't have the other bells and whistles to distract me, but can see how the advanced version can be useful. We are both utilizing our Kindles during this quarantine. Even Barnes and Noble is closed.

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    1. I have mixed feelings about the online capability of the Kindle Fire. I like that it's a little tablet... but, again, the distractions. And isn't the Paperwhite strictly for purchased books from Amazon? Or can you borrow from libraries too?

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  4. It's amazing how fast life can change, overnight even. I've had to limit my time watching the news because it gets both distracting and depressing when several people reiterate the same negative "facts". On a brighter note, my Kindle has been used solely to read books, but the Amazon Send to Kindle app intrigues me.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.