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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Keyboard Dance

Fiction is not my only escape. When I dive into a repair at my auto repair shop, the thoughts and memories from past decades fade for a few moments. It seems the old cliché ‘idle hands are the Devil’s workshop’ remains true whether holding a tool or working a keyboard. I was asked by one of my auto shop customers, who knows I write novels, whether dictating a novel tempted me to give up the keyboard dance, now that voice recognition software advances make the practice much less a chore. The answer is a resounding NO.

I advanced from writing longhand to writing with a typewriter, to finally a computer keyboard. I also make use of every writing advancement given me in Word having anything to do with editing and formatting. The tools in Word for editing are incredibly powerful for those willing to surmount the sometimes steep learning curve. From the simple necessity for a writer to turn on the paragraph symbols to the more intense find and change feature, the tools are at our fingertips. Stripping the formatting from a complete novel can be done in seconds. I love the software advances.

Writing with the keyboard connects mind, body, and soul. I admit the thought of dictating a novel is abhorrent to me. I need to touch the words in some manner, as much as I need to grip the proper wrench at my shop. Truthfully, although I have an active imagination, I can’t imagine a writer speaking a novel. It would definitely take skill I confess I do not have. I love the keyboard - so much so, I have to paint some of the letters back onto my laptop keyboard even though it’s relatively new.  :)

In experimental writing news, my writing two novels at the same time is still flowing along at a rapid pace. I’m nearing 57K words in Demon IV: Darkness Rules, and 40K words in Cold Blooded IV: Bloody Shadows. So far, it’s still a pleasure hopping back and forth between my two creations. They’re on schedule still for an April and May release respectively. Being with an independent publisher, like RJ ParkerPublishing, Inc allows me the freedom to do anything I want in the realm of writing. Both RJ and I cringe when I fulfill a promise to write another Demon series novel, instead of writing more installments in the much more popular Hard Case and Cold Blooded series offerings. We both know the over 200 hours spent writing Demon IV: Darkness Rules, will probably be mostly a wonderful way for me to commune with one of my favorite canine characters of all time: Demon. So be it. The next dual project on the horizon will be writing Hard Case VI, and Rick Cantelli, P.I. IV. My escape from reality is destined to extend well into the summer months ahead, but always with the much needed keyboard dance.  :)

Hard Case V: Blood and Fear is still fighting to remain number one in Pulp Fiction, clawing its way to the top position on and off for over a month.  :)


Charles Gramlich said...

I do so much revising and reordering that word recognition just won't work well for me. I too need to touch the words.

Sara said...

As I speak what I write, word recognition might be good for me, but I like the typing. Like you, I remember starting with my crampy writing on lined paper and then the slow evolution to Word. It is an amazing program, but probably only fully appreciated by those who remember the time before grammar checks, find and replace, and review, as well as many other features.

Now, the only thing I need is for Word to alert when I leave a word. That's the problem with "speaking" your writing. My fingers aren't as fast as my spoken words. I imagine somewhere in this comment, you'll find a missing word... just know the missing word was actually said:~)

Good luck with the cars and the words:~)

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Agreed, Charles - same here. :)

Interesting, Sara. My mind speaks the words, and my typing speed is about the same as my thinking speed, so it all works out in the end. :) Actually luck has nothing to do with professionally fixing moving vehicles. Prayer, on the other hand, is quite helpful. :)

raine said...

Agree with the necessity for keyboard contact (at least). Actually, I do my best work longhand. I still go back to it when I'm stuck or for descriptive passages. Had to adapt to a keyboard, & may eventually to voice recognition as ye olde hands become arthritic--but I'll have to be forced.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I only write longhand when I know I will be stuck in close quarters, or where in past days I pretended to be listening to an automotive lecture meeting, taking notes - when in reality I was writing a novel scene. :) The keyboard is definitely my favorite, Raine.

In regards to arthritis, as I approach 65 next month with hands I've fractured nearly every bone in at the shop at one time or another, I know what you mean. The Glucosamine, and other vitamin supplements have worked miracles for me so far. The weather affects it the most, but so far, so good. :)