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Archives | Sylvia McNicoll

Technology and the Writer

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My birthday present finally came–my most expensive phone to date. A phone that I will use for taking photos and movies, porting presentations, keeping notes, storing addresses and dates, reading and listening to books, texting, Skyping, googling and much, much more–rarely, rarely actually making or receiving a telephone call on it.

Change is good.  An efficiency expert once told me, and I believe her, that any small change in her office such as dimming the lights increases productivity.  Months later raising the lights will do the same.  I’m hoping my new device will actually help with my Internet addiction.  I will separate my writing instrument from my diversion device. At the very least I can catch up on email during grocery line-up time, or read a book in a dark theatre instead of watching the commercials.

Enter a©eCreator.ca

November 12 is the day after Remembrance Day but it’s also Look Forward Day at the CANSCAIP meeting (7:30 p.m. 40 Orchardview, 2nd floor, Northern District Library)

Garner Pridmore, a Digital Services Specialist from Access Copyright, will talk about a©eCreator.ca–a free cloud storage and organization service for “affiliates” or published authors/illustrators/photographers and designers who are signed on to Access Copyright.

I was one of his first guinea pigs.  Not because I am excessively technological but rather the opposite. I am that author who wants to dip their toe into new medias and opportunities but hangs back, even gets overwhelmed by the ever pulsing new, new, new.

What I enjoy about a©eCreator.ca  is that there is unlimited free storage and I can organize and keep track of what I’ve done with my work on it. So,for example, I can keep my beginning chapters through to my contracts and cover drafts all in the same file. I can also send drafts out to agents and/or publishers or invitations to download drafts and see when I’ve sent different versions and if they’ve read them.

Why I really signed on to be the test rodent is because I hope to help a©eCreator.ca achieve extreme simplicity. Also to be ready for when we will need to upload our work to that Access Copyright pipeline in the sky supplying educational institutes with quality Canadian content to browse and enjoy.

I wanted to become fluent with tags and metadata. I want to be more organized with my work.

The light is turned up this month in my office.

Now let’s hope I don’t let my phone go through the wash and spin cycle.

Here’s to increased productivity.

PS Can’t make the meeting and want to know more?  Visit http://www.accesscopyright.ca/creators/ace-creator/

Hot off the Press!  Two webinars will be offered to train you in a©eCreator

January 13, 10 a.m. EST

January 15, 3 p.m. EST

 

 

 

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Meeting the writer: Michael Crummey

DSC05394  What’s the difference between Michael  the man and Michael Crummey the writer?

At Burlington Public Library’s One Book One Burlington celebration, newly Governor General nominated Michael Crummey was asked that question.  He answered something like–I put the best part of myself in a novel. Obviously the worst part of me still exists, it’s a part of me after all.  He went on to say that when he really loves a writer he sometimes avoids meeting him/her so that he doesn’t become disillusioned.

What I like about meeting another writer, especially one in a totally different genre, is that I can put my feet up and be the reader.  I can ask reader type questions like “Why didn’t you use quotation marks?”  Michael avoids quotation marks when the dialogue is not in the present “realistic” portion of the novel in both Galore and Sweetland.  It may not be word for word exactly what the character said.  (Hence, I did not put his earlier answer in quotes, please note.) I can ask writer type questions:  “Do you write from an outline? Do you write scenes here and there or do you work in a linear fashion?” No outline. Linear.  Again no quotations as these may not be Michael’s exact words–I like to have a few of points in mind that I will cover. I write 500 words a day.  Maybe on a good day 1,000.  I move to a point on the horizon. But that point often shifts. On writers’ middle-of-the-book misery he says he tells himself something that somehow gives him comfort–I will finish this book. It will suck. And I will never have to write it again.

What I liked hearing is that now that Michael’s more experienced with his own writing rhythms and cycles he’s enjoying writing the book more.  Confirms how I feel (can a GG be far off in my own career?) On meeting Michael the man after meeting him as the writer–for me, it enhanced the experience of reading his work.  Thank you Burlington Public Library for hosting this event.

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Signing: Interacting with some great readers.

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“I like Canadian authors because there is not a lot of them and they are all really good.”

Yesterday, Jennifer Maruno (Totem, Kid Soldier, War Bird & The Cherry Blossom Series) and I met some wonderful readers.  Here are the names of some of the young people who came over to our signing booth, front and centre at Chapters, on Fairview in Burlington. Drawn by the promise of “an autographed bookmark from a famous Canadian writer”,  Aiden, Alysha, Ashleigh, Emily, Eyrin, Isabel, Julia, Kate, Olivia, Owen, Monette, Paloma, and  Vivian enjoyed a chat about history, books, writing and reading.  (This is a memory game for me–I’m sure I’ve forgotten some names–plus writing them down will provide me with names for future characters.)

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What I remember most vividly is how excited they were to talk with real live authors.  Jennifer and I mostly just told them the plots of our books and that takes forever since we have so many.  I made them guess the number of flies in a jar as an intro to Revenge on the Fly.  Believe it or not, I gave away free plastic flies.  Who would want one?

As a lead in to Totem (Dundurn) Jennifer  performed an impromptu assessment of a young lad’s spirit animal vis-a-vis designing his own totem pole. He liked collecting, especially rocks, and often encountered small animals. Somewhere on his totem should be either a squirrel or a chipmunk.

What I also remember is an afternoon of laughter and fun. Jennifer and I enjoyed  each other’s company.  Sitting at a table in the front of a store, can be a bit of a fishbowl experience.

Thanks to Rebecca Rahey for the great book display you see in our photo.  We know she and the rest of the sales associates will continue doing a wonderful job of hand selling our books.

Thanks also for the wonderful opportunity for Jennifer and I to interact with so many book lovers including ourselves and the staff.

 

 

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