Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Happy birthday, Google+​!!!!!

Happy birthday, Google+​!!!!!

Originally shared by Derek Ross

The best social network turns 6 years old today. Happy Birthday Google+!

What a community of people... what a network... Google+ and all of you have made me into the social media loving, Android device obsessed guru you see before you today. And this isn't even my final form!

<3 G+!

Thanks for the reminder Cliff Wade!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Old Notebooks. The Cloud. Backing up your Stuff.

As of Saturday, I've been going through some old notebooks from the garage. I used to be a notebook junkie, back in my youth. Why? Because I was always writing something. Whether it was fiction, a journal, notes, etc. I've always been a note junkie, too. Unfortunately, before the cloud age, this meant a lot of notebooks and being afraid to throw away any of them in case there was something in there that didn't eventually get realized somewhere else.

I'm mostly throwing away the stuff I'm going through, but there is an occasional gem here and there. These notebooks date between high school and college days. Any fiction I was writing at that age is pretty bad, but sometimes an idea was good. I try to keep ideas with potential, but stuff that's just bad I toss. And then there's the notes upon notes upon notes. You never know what you'll find in a notebook of mine. There could be like ten pages of Algebra II notes followed by a short scene for stage, and then notes on a two act play. Good gravy.

I mostly went digital several years back and have made little use of notebooks since then. While a lot could be said about the fragility and non-ownership of digital, a lot could also be said about notebooks sitting in cardboard boxes in your garage for years and fragility. Those notebooks easily could have been chewed up and dumped on by mice or whatever. Or flooding in the basement of our previous place could have destroyed them.

The key to me when it comes to your work, notes, etc. is that you have multiple copies. Period. Some people put all their eggs in Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox, or Box, or Evernote, or OneNote, or whatever other digital platforms/clouds. But I try to make multiple copies in several of these places. I may draft in one place, but then edit in another, or simply copy stuff over to another place at some point just to make sure I have a backup.

Backup, backup, backup. That's what you want to do.

Never underestimate backing up. Because at some point a service you use everyday will shutdown, or the cloud will hiccup and dump your stuff or whatever. Backup, backup, backup. Always backup.

#writing, #writingtips

Friday, June 16, 2017

Musical Writing Prompt: I Want Love.

Musical Writing Prompt: I Want Love.

After a long break from musical writing prompts, I'm bringing them back. Today's musical writing prompt is I Want Love by Elton John. This particular song comes directly from the playlist of my WIP and is a super powerful song.

What is a musical writing prompt? It''s like a visual writing prompt, but instead of staring at a picture to come up with an idea, you listen to a song. Simple.

Now, go forth and write my kittens!

You may share yours below in the comments, if you want.

#writing #writingprompt

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Heroines.

My Heroines.

A glimpse at my heroines in the novella crime series I'm writing. You can never have too many heroines.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Do It all Over Again by Night Vision.

Do It all Over Again by Night Vision.

Just discovered this beautiful piece of retro synthwave stuff. Fantastic. Turn it on, turn it up. I dare you not to put it on repeat.

You can purchase the tune on Bandcamp, here:

#music #synth #80s

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#AppTuesday Installment 1: Notes for Android 📒.

#AppTuesday Installment 1: Notes for Android 📒.

Starting today, I will be giving you a little installment called AppTuesday. The idea is simple, every Tuesday I'm gonna share some app with you. I primarily use Android, Chrome, web and Windows 10 apps, but will always let you know when they are available in other places. I'm a big believer in cross-platform compatibility. Hope you follow along and enjoy the apps.

First up, Notes for Android.

Notes for Android is a pretty straightforward app, but it filled a gap I wanted filled. A document/notes app that had a light and dark theme and which was enjoyable to write in on Android.

Nitty Gritty

+ Available on Android:

+ Available on the web:

+ Light and dark themes

+ Adjustable font size and font type

+ Create notebooks to organize notes

+ Share to Notes from other apps

+ Rich text via markdown (similar to Google+)

+ Automatically recognizes links

+ Import/backup notes

+ Synchronizations with Dropbox (look under Apps, Notes for Android; notebooks are organized by folders, and notes are in .txt files)

+ Protect notes with passkey or fingerprint

+ Single image attach to note

+ Checklist option

When I look at note apps, one of the main things I look for is synchronization. If you have to rely on a manual backup/import option, you will inevitably lose something. The sync with Dropbox in Notes is solid and since the files are in .txt file format, you can use them with other apps. For example, when I'm on a Windows device, I prefer to use a Windows 10 app with the Dropbox desktop client for sync over the web version. No offense to the web version of Notes, but the input/writing screen is not that great. It strays from the material design and that mismatched design makes it awkward. But again since the notes are .txt files in Dropbox, you can access them directly from Dropbox even.

I primarily started using Notes for Android as my go-to for first drafting my writing on a 2-in-1 Android device. I wanted something that made a great writing environment and which had a dark theme (you can't get a dark theme with Google Docs or Microsoft Word Android apps).

This app is solid. I've been using it all year, drafting a novella, and am 2 chapters away from finishing the novella and I still haven't abandoned the app. Which means a lot. I can bounce right out of an app as soon as I bounce in when it comes to writing. If it isn't helping the process, has an annoying quirk, or whatever, I can run from an app pretty fast. But, almost 7 months in and I'm still using it and enjoying it.

The app is free, ad supported, but the ads are only visible in the notebook screens. Not inside a note itself. Because of this, I haven't even upgraded to the non-advertisement version because it's so unobtrusive. I will be doing so here soon though, gotta throw some money at the developers.

Enjoy some screenshots.

Do you use Notes for Android? What do you think of it? Never heard of it? Give it a shot. Sound off below.


1. Please keep in mind that the web version is in beta, and I mean no disrespect of my assessment of it above. I have hopes for its continued improvement, just like the Android app. I am very fond of the app.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Metroid gaming logic

Metroid gaming logic

My son has discovered the joys of Metroid. For those who don't know, spoiler alert, there is a woman named Samus in that metal suit. My son now knows this and thinks she's pretty cool.

But in an amusing note, as we've been watching some walkthroughs on YouTube of various Metroid games through the years, how can you not love that she opens every door by blasting it? It's like a cop shooting the handle off a door for literally EVERY door. Front door at home? Blast it. Bathroom door? Blast it. Bathroom stall door? Blast it.

Take that Mario and Link who run around trying to find the key!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A reminder to rewind those tapes when you finish the movies. Don't wanna irritate the next movie rental customer....

A reminder to rewind those tapes when you finish the movies. Don't wanna irritate the next movie rental customer. Every little bit helps, folks. Now sit back and enjoy our feature presentation starring Hulk Hogan and Christopher​ Lloyd.