My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Writing Via Recording and Speech to Text

I'm taking a second part time job again soon on top of my normal full time job. In preparation for this I've been looking at what my schedule will be and not finding much time for writing in it. That's unacceptable. So I've decided to employ my digital voice recorder and my phone's speech to text capabilities to help me out. I've done this in the past but it's been years since I've used it to generate prose for a first draft. 

While I commute I record my story into my digital voice recorder. I've tried just doing straight speech to text but then I'm looking at my phone while driving so that's out. Instead I just record with two hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road. Later instead of transcribing it like I used to by listening and typing it all out I'm using my phone. While listening to the recording I speak it back into my phone. My iPhone 5c does an amazing job at converting my speech to text with very few errors. I tried having my phone listen to the recorder to create the text from my recorded speech and it works in a quiet environment, but then cuts out any small edits I want to make as I transcribe. From my 18 small recordings I made yesterday on my way home ranging from 15 seconds to a couple minutes each I cranked out 1,285 words. It took a while to get the audio into text but with my speech to text method it went WAY faster than keying it in by hand even though I'm a pretty fast typist. So this is my new plan. Recording my story while I commute and speaking it into my phone later to quickly transcribe it.

It's weird at first but doesn't take long to get used to and I think my dialog is better for it because I'm saying everything instead of typing it out. It also gives me a chance to do a light first pass edit because I sometimes find a better way to write something as I'm transcribing. I'd rather be sipping coffee and listening to my hands tap the keys but this is a great way for me to use the time I already have as a constant in the car commuting to get some words on the page. This is the method I used to write most of my second novel the first time I did NaNoWriMo. It helped me find more time to write to try and get those 1,667 words a day and I ended up hitting 50K words by the end of November. Looks like it's a method I'll be employing again during this NaNoWriMo. I thought this might be interesting to fellow writers. I'm sure I'll still do some cherished keyboard clacking on the weekends. Happy writing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Floating Down River by Martin Spernau | Audio Version
Narrated by Dan Absalonson and Dave Robison

Download the .mp3

In this short story Martin Spernau craft's a wonderful little fable in which a young warrior learns a life long lesson from an old man he always sees sitting by a river. Narrated by Dan Absalonson and Dave Robison this beautiful fable is a treat to listen to with sound effects adding to the ambiance bringing you right into the story.

Music used in this production by Kevin MacLeod at
Sound effects (all public domain) from
Author Martin Spernau's website:
Narrator Dave Robison's podcast website:

This has been a production of Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Zombie Super Powers is Halfway Written!

Placeholder Cover Art for Wattpad
Hey guys! I'm excited! Last night I wrote in my novel for the first time in a very long time. It felt great and even though I'm an outliner I learned about one of the character's backstories as I finished the chapter up. It was a big chapter because it's the last one in the first part of Act II so now I'm right at the midpoint. Now they're making plans to fight back instead of run and react to the problem. My plan knowing how many chapters this book will have and about how many words I wanted in each chapter shows me that somehow I got to the midpoint and was only off by 12 words! I'm at 30,012 words at the end of chapter 12 and there are going to be 24 chapters total. A short sweet 60K word young adult novel called Zombie Super Powers. I know that word count of the first half of the book will change with editing but hey - I've reached the halfway mark! Now I just have to get to Act III where all the really cool stuff happens. It should be a fun ride getting there though with some big realizations for the main character. I can't wait to write it. It feels so good to be writing again in this book!

So I figured out how many words I need to write a day to finish this thing before NaNoWriMo so I can be set to start a new book on November 1st. It's 517 words a day until October 31st. That will get me finishing this book on time. That's the game plan. You can track my progress with the nifty word count meter I put on the top right hand side of my website. You can also be an Alpha reader if you want and read the new chapters as they get published to Wattpad here. I'd love any feedback or comments you have. I'm so excited to see that meter fill up and finish this novel! It's my forth novel and I'm hopeful it's the first one I'll publish. After I write my fifth novel during Nanowrimo then finish the other two novels I started I think I'll try and do a massive overhaul on my third novel and either rewrite it or rewrite lots of it. We'll see. I'm excited to be writing again! Thanks for stopping by!