Monday, June 27, 2016

Evernote 101

I recently started using a program called Evernote to jot down little thoughts and inspirations throughout my hectic day with a toddler. 


As a person who has often resisted technology, part from liking the smell of books and the feel of pen and paper, and part from my ability to make any technology go haywire, I have fallen in love with this app.

I first heard about it from the wonderful Andrea Pearson, a prolific writer who mentioned she used it to write a book while feeding her baby. Yeah, she’s that awesome! Anyways, it works well even for technologically-challenged people, like me. Super easy to start using and, best of all, free. (There are upgrade that cost, as per usual.)

A couple months ago, I downloaded it to my phone, laptop, and desktop computer, everything since it will sync across devices. 

Best. Thing. Ever! 

I'm a mom, so having something on my phone that I can jot down my ideas and scenes into real quick has helped me not lose as many of my brilliant, few though they sometimes are, thoughts. And, this is the best part, I don’t have to spend precious writing time later typing up a bunch of handwritten notes or retyping the info from my phone to my writing software of choice. 

I just sync from my phone to my computer and . . . 


I have all my snippets of dialogue, character development, etc. right there. 

From there it’s super easy to copy and paste my notes over to Scrivener and flesh them out as needed.

Now that I’ve wowed you with my technical jargon, let me show you a bit what I mean.

You can organize your Evernote into Notebooks, like such.

Remember to title your notes to make searching for them, or just remembering why you wrote the note, easy to access later.

Save and you’re done. It’s really that simple. 

Of course, it has all sorts of other fun features that I’m starting to learn. One thing worth mentioning is the toolbar that pops up when you hit new note. 

(This is from my computer. Will be different on phone/tablet version)

It gives you various options of how you want to capture your note. I use the text version the most, but also love the audio feature for when I’m out walking with my son or driving, and can’t stop everything to write things down. 

Another handy feature is the ability to take a picture of something and jot myself a quick note on why I took the picture.

Oh, one thing that should be remembered, you have to remember to sync your Evernote with your other devices. You can set up something that automatically does this, or just at the end of your day remember to hit the sync button on your phone/tablet. 

I’m sure people who are much more tech-savvy than I can figure out even cooler ways to use this helpful app, but even in the simple ways I use it, it has saved me hours of frustration over ideas I can’t remember when I finally get a chance to write and searching for that note about that thing that I wrote in one of my many notebooks scattered about the house and car. 

Lest I be accused of becoming truly converted to electronics, I often still put notes in my notebooks, but like to, when I get a spare moment, take the time to quickly transfer them over to Evernote for easy access when I need them.

Well, that's my experience with Evernote in a nutshell. Hope it helps.

Enjoy a fabulous writing day!

Do you use Evernote? Other programs that help you stay organized? Let me know tips that have helped you streamline the process so you have more time to do what we all want to do, write. J

Friday, June 24, 2016

2016 Summer Book Trek

Time, once again, for the Summer Book Trek hosted by New LDS Fiction. The prizes look so great this year, and I’m excited to read some great books I’ve had waiting on my shelf and kindle for far too long. If you want more information about this challenge, you can click on the banner above. 

My Hope-to-Read List for July

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen (Proper Romance Steampunk Need I say more.)

Bluescreen by Dan Wells

Winter’s Heir by Amber Argyle (Final book in the Faerie Queen series. Can’t wait!)

Cupcakes and Cowboys by Lindzee Armstrong

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmeberg (Loved her Magician trilogy and Followed by Frost.)

Lost King and Slave Queen by H.B. Moore

Proposals and Poison by Rachelle J. Christensen

Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

What are you reading this summer? 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer House Party Review

From the publisher of the #1 Amazon bestselling A Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance. 

Join three bestselling Regency Romance authors, Regina Scott, Donna Hatch, and Sarah M. Eden, for three new novellas in SUMMER HOUSE PARTY.

A ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE by Regina Scott: Kitty Chapworth is nearly a spinster, and an orphan living on the charity of her uncle, with nothing to recommend her for the marriage mart. Her primary purpose is relegated to acting chaperone for her cousins until she can see them successfully married. Kitty remains focused on her duty even though she knows her future is bleak. When Quentin Adair returns from a long ten years working in Jamaica and proposes a wild charade to Kitty, she agrees, although the plan might reawaken her old feelings for Quentin. Can a reformed rake convince the perfect chaperone to overlook propriety for love?

A PERFECT MATCH by Donna Hatch: Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can't wait to introduce her to a gentleman she wants to marry, Christian Amesbury. After meeting him, Genevieve determines Christian is perfect . . . for her. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, Genevieve must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who's obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.

THE PAUPERS’ HOUSE PARTY by Sarah M. Eden: It’s a rare event that Edward Downy and his brother are invited to a house party by a member of the ton. But when they arrive, Edward quickly realizes this house party is different than any other. All invited guests are quite destitute, fallen members of Society barely hanging onto their homes. The hosts of the house party, the Warricks, then make a stunning announcement—they intend to gift all their properties to one fortunate guest. As the guests race to impress the Warricks, Edward finds a fast friend in Agatha Holmwood, who shares his same aversion to the horrible expectations. But their growing fondness for each other only makes the game more painful.

4 out of 5 Stars

Three great clean regency romance from talented authors. Like most anthologies, all three stories center around a similar concept, this time a summer house party, with vastly different takes on it.

An Engagement of Convenience by Regina Scott

This one focuses on Katherine Chapworth, a lady who is considered on the shelf and has played guardian of the lady in her family’s virtue for the past few years. When her latest attempt to stop her youngest cousin from running away with a man with questionable motives leads her to a man from her past, she finds her own dreams of romance reawakened.

I liked this story and found Katherine’s character to be interesting. I always like it when the author writes about the older women finding happily-ever-after. I was a bit confused on the stakes of this story and felt the pace was a little rushed. I would have liked to see the relationship between Katherine and Quentin develop a little more deeply in order for their progress from fake engagement to real to have more of an impact. An interesting story though, and I was glad to see her uncle get his just dues in the end.

A Perfect Match by Donna Hatch

Hatch gives readers the story behind how Christian Amesbury, the youngest brother, and his love interest, Genevieve Marshall met. It was interesting to see how the two developed and attachment, but knowing what comes next made it hard for me to really get into the story. They have a longer book,  A Perfect Secret, that has been out for awhile. If you enjoyed that book, you’ll like this. Or if you haven’t read that book yet, I’d suggest starting with this one first.

The Pauper’s House Party by Sarah M. Eden

Eden blew me away, once again, with how she’s able to take a common topic and put a fresh new spin on it. I loved the twists and turns this story took as Edward attempted to keep his own moral strength amid a house part that quickly turned into a cutthroat competition for the chance a future. The romance was sweet and full of humor, and I loved how both characters stayed true to themselves, despite wanting to be together. A fantastic read to help endure the hot summer hours.


Purchase Link: Amazon

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Madness

Whew! It's only the first couple weeks of summer, and I'm already exhausted. I've had a great beginning with visits to family and friends, and lots of birthday, graduation, etc., parties.

Amid all the chaos, I've managed to make a couple of my smaller writing deadlines, but still have a little less than 10K words on my current novel-length work. Fingers crossed that I can get it done this week, so I can move on to the next step. 

In other news, I'm so excited for the many upcoming adventures, including an amazing editing internship opportunity. If you haven't checked out the Eschler Editing website, do so. They have tons of articles on everything writing and publishing. So helpful! While focusing on that, I also have grand ambitions to outline/organize my notes for a couple new books, draft a half-finished manuscript that's gathering dust in a drawer, and make a dent in my to-read list. I may need a nap to gear up for it all!

Awesome side note: Just received a Steampunk Proper Romance to review in my mailbox. Yeah, pretty much grinning like a fool. Now to find time to read it. Hmm . . . the bathroom door has a lock . . . and I can write tomorrow . . .

All the writing stuff, of course, gets interwoven throughout spending tons of time with my family and creating some great memories, some of which may actually involve not getting lost or forgetting some crucial item. Then again, where's the fun in that? 

Among our many planned adventures, we're headed to the pageants in Nauvoo next month. Yay! Now to invent a personal air-conditioning unit to carry around with me. So hot!

What are your plans this summer? Writing? Non-writing?