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Monday Morning Musings

Posted by mcm0704 on August 5, 2013 |

I spent my weekend getting used to a new computer program, Dragonfly Naturally Speaking. I wanted the program so I could read columns written by the Winnsboro historian, Bill Jones, and get them into my computer to make a book for him. The thought of typing all those columns, or scanning them was daunting, so I though this program would be an asset.

Of course, my friends Marian Allen and Patrick O’Sheen, who write about dragons had a lot to say on Twitter as I posted updates on how my orientation with Dragonfly was going. There were many cautions about fire and such, but so far nothing has burned.

After a couple of days of practicing with the program my reactions are mixed. First of all, I really like not having to type as I have arthritis in my fingers and after a day of writing my hands really hurt. I do notice, however, that the process of getting words from my voice to words on the page is a bit slow. Perhaps that will speed up once I get more comfortable with the process. It took me a long time to get used to composing directly to the computer with a keyboard instead of writing stories with pen and paper and then typing them on the old manual typewriter that I used in the very beginning my career.

So I’m hoping that it will just take more practice for me to get used to yet another new way of getting stories written. However, there has always been something to the connection between a writer’s brain and his or her hands, and that is one of the reasons this feels so weird. I don’t know what to do with my hands. They want to be typing. Maybe my brain and my hands have to just get over it. (smile)

Throughout the weekend, I learned that Dragonfly Naturally Speaking can be used in a lot of different ways, basically anything you would normally use a keyboard for, such as updating Twitter, Facebook, and a blog. In fact I’m using it now, but the process is much slower than when I type.

So how did you spend your weekend? Did you try anything new different? Do you think you’d like to use a program like Dragonfly?

Now here are some things just for fun.

This one from the comic strip, Non Sequitur is not laugh-out-loud funny, but it does make one stop and think:
Two angels are standing by the gates of heaven watching people line up to get in. There are two entrances in the gate and two signs. One sign has an arrow pointing to the entrance on the left and reads, “Wrong religion entrance.” That gate has nobody in line.

The other sign has an arrow pointing to the entrance on the right side and the sign reads, “Right religion entrance.” There is a long line of people there.

One of the Angels says, “The funny thing is, none of them ever get the joke.”

This one is from Rose is Rose:

Rose is reading a letter and says to Jimbo, “Betty moved. We’ll have to send a housewarming gift.”

Jimbo asks, “What kind of gift?”

“Oh, I don’t know. A house plant is always a nice idea.”

In the last panel, the houseplants are talking to each other. One says, “Does that mean one of us is leaving?”

Another says, “I’ll go. I have seniority.”

The last one says, “Hide me.”

Mothers who have not always enjoyed every summer day with kids home from school can relate to this one from Baby Blues:

Early in the morning Zoe and Hammie are sitting on stools at the counter waiting for their breakfast. Zoe is wearing a bike helmet. Wanda, bleary-eyed and holding the baby, gets the cereal box and the milk and slams them down on the counter.

Zoe says, “Told you mom was in a mood today.”
Hammie slides off of his stool and says, “I’m going to get my bike helmet before she brings the bowls and spoons.”

 And that’s why I taught my kids early on how to get their own cereal in the morning.

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4 Comments

  • Love the jokes!

    I tried Dragon, and the one side effect it had on my computer was that the cursor has a tendency to jump around, delete whole sentences and words and end up not where I’m typing at all, and this is after I removed or uninstalled Dragon from the computer. I couldn’t get used to the slow speed, voice recognition, or the editing. Not my cup of tea, but maybe in a few years when all the bugs are out of it.

  • Thanks for the input, Yolanda. I may end up not using the program for all of my writing, but it will be helpful for those columns, as well as for some of my older manuscripts that are on paper, but not on my computer.

    If I want to update those stories and publish them, reading them into the computer will be faster than typing or scanning. They will all be rewritten and edited before publication, so the mistakes that the program makes won’t matter that much.

  • Bob Sanchez says:

    Years ago, a member of my writing group broke her wrist, and the rest of us chipped in to buy her the Dragon program. She used it, but I don’t think she ever got comfortable with it.

    The jokes were cute. I used to read some of those comics back in the day.

  • Glad you liked the comics, Bob. I highly recommend reading the funny papers again. A good chuckle every day is good for us. 🙂

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