Tablet Computers: How Do You Use Your Tablet?


CNET’s running a poll, How do you use your tablet?. We’ve fallen in love with our tablets:

“Fast-forward three years. Now we all know exactly what tablets are good for and what they’re not. We buy different sizes to accommodate different needs and purposes. Heck, some of us are already moving on to our second or even third tablet.”

I mainly use my iPad for reading. I read for hours on my iPad every day, and although I wouldn’t have thought such a thing possible, I prefer it to print. Reading a real book’s uncomfortable for me now. I need to hunt around for paper to make notes, and if I want to look something up I need to reach for the tablet anyway.

Currently I’m on a Georgette Heyer kick, so on the weekend, I reread The Talisman Ring for the first time in years. In that book, there are snippets of French. My high school French wasn’t up to the task of translating
ventre à terre, so I looked it up.

That’s the benefit of reading on a tablet; you get instant results when you need to know something now.

iPad for writers

The biggest benefit for me as a writer however, is that I don’t need to carry a lot of stuff with me to client meetings.

My portfolio lives on my iPad. I can instantly give a presentation. I can hand clients an electronic brochure at the end of the meeting, along with any material which might be useful to them.

Of course, I can write and research anywhere. I take the iPad to the library, to work on books. I take it to a coffee shop to brainstorm blog posts and client projects.

When I bought my first iPad, I wasn’t sure how I’d use it. Over time, I spend more time with my iPad than I do with my production machine.

So, go take the CNET poll. Tell the good people there how you use your tablet computer. I’ll bet you use it more than you thought you would, before it entered your life.

Brainstorming Magic: Use It For Everything


Want a secret weapon for your writing? (And your life?)

Here it is: brainstorming.

In Fiction Frenzy, I wrote:

Brainstorm Ideas: Ten Ideas Are Better Than One

You can brainstorm whenever you get stuck, or you can brainstorm everything. I like to brainstorm everything from titles and character names, to motivation and ideas for locations. (On Day 14, we’ll be looking at location. Your locations are as important as characters in your novel.)

There are many ways to brainstorm. If you’re not familiar with brainstorming, here’s an excellent article to get you started.

I do a lot of brainstorming, in every draft. I FORCE myself to come up with ideas. There’s a reason for this. The first idea which pops into your head might be great. However, that’s unlikely. It’s much more likely that the tenth, or 20th idea, will be just what you need.

Try to surprise yourself. At the level of a scene, every character in the scene needs an agenda: a goal. Brainstorm a goal for every character in a scene. Rarely will a character reveal his/ her goal. This means that every character in your scene is hiding something. Brainstorm characters’ secrets before you write a scene. Your scenes will be suspenseful. Your readers will keep reading.

Think of brainstorming as a way of accessing your mind, beyond its current content. It’s also a way of training your mind, which can do much more than we think it can.

Can you remember your student years, and cramming for exams? You stayed up most of the night, packing your brain with as much knowledge as you could. More often than not, your brain came through for you. You surprised yourself, with how much you remembered. You not only passed the exam, but did better than your your friends, who’d spent most of the year studying hard.

When you brainstorm, you’re pressuring yourself to come up with brighter ideas than usual. More often than not, you do.