Sunday, August 21, 2011

The technical delights of being on holiday

The Windmill - Wimbledon Common
A couple of years ago, just before we were about to go on holiday the Frog joked about how I would cope for a whole month without the internet. At the time I felt very justified reminding him of  this comment every time I caught him on his Blackberry. But that was before (cue dramatic ta da da dah music). This summer I went to London fully aware that I would continue to work on my WIP even though I left without a USB key or huge wad of papers.  

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
If somehow you have not heard of the wonders of the simple program Dropbox, it's a little box, somewhere in a technical cloud where you can drop all your files. There was a bit of a hooha this summer as they changed their terms and conditions, but I for one am far too enamoured to be jumping ship just yet. If it means that anywhere I go I can have access to my WIP, then I for one am happy.

Just before I left for London I had a bit of a light bulb moment about my WIP, which resulted in me changing my MC. In the past this would have been bloody horrendous, but I have to say that Scrivener has revolutionised my life. OK to begin with I thought it was a huge problem and had a bit of a panic all over Twitter, Litopia and FB, but after a deep breath, I read all the index cards and saw the light. What happened was that I wrote some new chapters to establish the new MC, popped them into the right place (just like that) and then all I had to (all I had to do) was revise the old chapters to change the POV from old MC to new MC. Sweet huh?

Siena Cathdral
So with this in mind I took my laptop to Italy. I know, I took my laptop to Italy, but, I was pretty good. I only worked when the bubba was having (a two hour) nap, and we went to Assisi, very briefly to Perugia, Siena and Arezzo and I revised all those chapters I was telling you about and ended up right back where I was before I changed the MC. You see there can be balance. The FIL did keep commenting though that next time we went on holiday it would be good if everybody left the computers behind as between fifteen of us there were six laptops and four iPhones!

Which brings me onto the last of my techie delights: the iPhone. It's a phone, I can read the news, find the nearest boulangerie and (we checked today) even measure how loudly I snore, but more importantly I have the Dropbox app on it which means I can read my WIP on twelve hour car drives, send chapters off for critting, receive e mails with chapters and even tap out whole notes with story ideas I have while on those twelve hour car rides.

Piazza del Campo - Siena
Another thing I did on the iPhone was read an article about Lucy Kellaway's new idea called: 'worliday'. The idea is that people go on holiday and spend a part of each day working.To be honest when I read it, the whole idea just seemed ridiculous and reading some of the comments I realised I'm not the only one, but then I reread the last line:
In my suitcase will be my sunglasses and Wellington boots - as you never know with the weather up there - as well as my Blackberry and computer.
I didn't exactly go on a 'worliday' as a 'wriliday' with my family and pals: Dropbox, Scrivener and iPhone. Personally, I kind of recommend it.


Stephanie said...

Hi, new follower through Rach Harrie's Campaign. I've never used dropbox, but I do have Scrivener and I love it. I'm using it right now to organize my WIP.

L. said...

Hello, fellow fantasy Campaigner and Scrivener user! It's fantastic, I agree.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Hello from a fellow campaigner! I've enjoyed looking at your photos - and now I've learned something new (Scrivener/Dropbox)!

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hello ladies, and welcome to the blog. I hope you like what you find here. Dropbox is brilliant and so easy to use. It's great I have Scrivener on all the computers I use and it saves into Dropbox so I can access it WHEREVER. I'm trying to work out Evernote, but so far I'm not getting it. Anyway, looking forward to getting to know you.

Brittany said...

Hi, another Campaigner here! I used Scrivener when I used my family's Mac and I loved it, so now I'm waiting for the Windows version to come out so I can use it on my laptop.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi Brittany, you can download a Beta version that's what I'm using. If you follow the link on the post it will take you to the page where you can download it. Good luck with your writing journey Brittany.


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