Category Archives: Books and Writing

MyMac Book Review of Take Control of Podcasting

Elisa Pacelli over at MyMac.com writes a very nice review of Take Control of Podcasting On The Mac.

Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac is out!

TCoP CoverThe 3rd edition of my book, Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac, is now out! If you have ever wanted to start a podcast, or take your current podcast to the next level, then my book will help! I had a lot of fun writing this over the last few months and hope you find it useful.

Fear and Panic vs. Education and Common Sense | Navigating The Waters

My latest article is up! Fear and Panic vs. Education and Common Sense | Navigating The Waters. This echoes some of what I have said before about parents being responsible for understanding what their kids are getting up to online but it also points out something that is so often neglected in the media: the rules for being safe and for being a good person are basically the same online and off.

The Digital Nomads | Navigating The Waters

My latest blog post on my new blog is up: The Digital Nomads | Navigating The Waters.

NaNoWriMo ’13

2013 Winner Vertical BannerI just completed my seventh National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a row writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This year I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it. I have so incredibly much going on that when I feel behind by 11K words two weeks ago, I never thought I would recover from it. But recover I did and I finished it today. Now I can focus on all the other things… no rest for the wicked!

Latest Article Published: Apple’s new Podcasts App

My latest article, Podcasts App Breaks Podcasts out of Music App, is now online over at TidBITS.com. In it I review Apple’s latest app, Podcasts. Quick preview: it’s very much a 1.0 application but has potential.

Reunion 10 Article

My article on Reunion 10 for Mac is now live on TidBITS.com. And with that, I am now back into genealogy after close to a decade away. What’s nice, and I mention this in the article, is that in my first ten minutes of using Reunion 10, I found a set of great great great grandparents I didn’t previously know about!

 

“Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

“I’m not arrogant, I’m pedantic. There’s a difference. Let me explain…”

— Seen on a T-Shirt.

For my birthday a few days ago, Ann gave me “The Book of ‘Unnecessary’ Quotation Marks.” She knows me too well. My obsession with inappropriate quotation mark usage goes back to my days working for Dartmouth College in the early 1990s. The person who was in charge of communications for our department was an abuser of the quotation mark. She, like so many, used them for emphasis and, while it is a bad habit and possibly forgivable in most people, it drove me crazy that someone who wrote and communicated for a living was making so blatant a grammatical error.

Not able to stand it any longer, I finally went to her and (quite pedantically) informed her that emphasis was best handled by italics or, less often, bold, or, even less often, bold and italics together, and, never, ever, with underlining. I was politely told that this was her profession and that she knew what she was doing.

I let the matter go with no small amount of effort. But in the years since, I chafe whenever I see quotation marks being used for evil and not good. Of course, I am older and wiser now and am more amused than annoyed because I have learned in my old age that if you can’t laugh at these things, then you are just doing it wrong. My favorite example now is the card scanner at Trader Joe’s that invites me to “Swipe my card” (sounds dirty when you put it in quotes like that) and to “Enter my PIN” (as if we are both in on the joke about what that really means), and so forth.

So, Ann, being a brilliant person who knows me far too well, buys me this wonderful little book with all kinds of “wonderful” examples of “inappropriate” uses of “quotation marks” and I cannot help but be “highly amused.”
A little later, we go out to lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill and I note in the menu that for dessert they have:

Homemade “Scratch” Cookies

Part of me suspected what was going on here but I wasn’t 100% certain. So, I asked the waitress if they really were from scratch or if they were being somehow ironic? She just stared at me, not understanding at all what I was asking. I thought about explaining and then I remembered all those years ago and just smiled and said, “Never mind. Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Ice Cream.”

The cookies were from scratch and “really delicious.”

Interview in Social Media Week

I was interviewed for Social Media Week on the topic of Children and Social Media. While I do think about this topic a great deal (as is evidenced by how much I’ve written and spoken on the subject), I am turning my attention to how I, as an adult, communicate with my Facebook friends who are under 18 year of age (yes, an article is being written). It’s an interesting topic mainly because I am still figuring it all out for myself. If anyone has any insights from their own experiences, I’d love to hear them.

NaNoWriMo 2011

Five years. Wow. Five years in a row, two as a Municipal Liaison (though I was so busy this November I hardly did anything) and five completed novels. People keep asking me if I will post them. The answer is an unqualified no. What I write is not even first draft. It’s rough sketch at best. As such, it’s also highly embarrassing. I don’t want to share that stuff with people. This year, I plan on focusing my efforts and either pulling one of the five into better shape or doing something new but not in sketch mode but actual author mode. I promise select friends will be asked to proof that and give me constructive feedback and, later, everyone else will get a shot at reading it. Whatever it ends up being.

I spent this year doing a lot of self-analysis and figuring out where I was weak as a writer and what I needed to work on. I now have a list of areas I want to target and am going to be looking at resources to help me (classes, books, whatever). I want to make 2012 the year I get my act together, hone my ability as a writer, and go from playing around with words to working with them instead. In short, me want write good.

But for the moment, I’ll just bask in the glow of five straight years as a NaNo winner. I’ll get to work tomorrow.