If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There's an App for That!

Last month I received a hand-me-down Smartphone and an iPad. In the interest of full and honest disclosure, I’m a technological underachiever and don’t desire the “latest thing.” But with my new-to-me electronic gadgets, I was ready to jump into the 21st century. Then I learned about apps. What an eye opener. I knew that the American Dialect Society voted “app” as the word of the year in 2010, but I didn’t know they are changing the way we live.

For instance, my sister-in-law called from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport because she missed her connecting flight on the way to visit. She was tense and said she needed to meditate.

Confused, I asked, “Is there a class for that in the airport?”

She replied, “No, I have an app for that on my phone.” So, off she went to create a peaceful oasis in the middle of chaos by meditating using her cell phone and ear buds.

After arriving at our house, my sister-in-law admired my phone and patiently showed me how to use it. Joking, I told her I would probably forget most of what she taught me.

She said, “There’s an app to help you practice remembering and increase your brain power.”

Of course there was.

I mentioned that instead of using a game-like app to increase my memory, I should probably be more physically active. She showed me a 7 minute workout app.

Apparently, there are apps for everything. Consider these unusual apps that have varying degrees of usefulness:

·        Tired of blowing out candles on your birthday cake? An app called Blower turns your iPhone speaker into a fan.

·        If you’re vitamin D deficient like 80% of Americans, Dminder can help. It checks your local outdoor vitamin D potential and notifies you when to get sun exposure based on the time of day.

·        Spirit Story Box claims to detect and message nearby ghosts and spirits. It only costs 99 cents!

·        You can combine your iPhone, a metal detector and an app called PETALS to help find unexploded landmines. (I was seriously impressed by this app.)

·        When your teenager makes you crazy, try Annoy-A-Teen. It produces high frequency, undesirable sounds audible only to teenagers. (Does the sound also annoy dogs?)

·        If the aforementioned teen is the cause of sleepless nights, iNap@Work will help you get away with napping at work. It makes “productivity sounds” so your co-workers hear typing, stapling, and mouse clicks instead of snores.

If there are apps for everything under the sun, are there apps for writers?

Appsolutley!

I found a mind boggling number of apps for note taking, journaling, editing, creating character names, and poetry. There’s even an app for people who don’t like poetry, but for some reason have to write it.

Also, there are numerous ambiance apps—gurgling water, Zen bells, waves, birds sounds—to listen to while writing. One of my favorites is Coffitivity which features ambient coffee shop soundtracks. It’s based on research that found low levels of background noise, like chatter and the whoosh of an espresso maker, create the optimal level of sound for maximum creativity. There are three coffee house sounds: Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge (According to my niece, this one is a bit “clangy” because of the silverware hitting dishes while people are eating.), and University Undertones.

But are there specific apps for mystery writers?

Well, that's where I found a distinct appsense. There are plenty of crime and mystery games but nothing to help writers craft a mystery story. After puzzling over this, I’ve decided that while some apps are useful to writers, nothing can replace human imagination and hard work.

Are you comfortable with technology and apps? If so, do you have any advice?

11 comments:

Warren Bull said...

I feel very comfortable with cuneiform, although when they dry the clay tablets are quite heavy Anything beyond that is app to give me a headache.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

All I have to say is that when you have to have one app to manage your other apps – it would be a good time to throw them all away and read (or re-read) the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by Gollum.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, this is not only a hilarious blog - one I can relate to - but Warren's and Jim's comments made me laugh out loud. I certainly can't top them.

Kara Cerise said...

Gloria, Warren's and Jim's comments made me laugh out loud too. I think I will ditch the apps, practice my cuneiform, and put the Lord of the Rings trilogy on my TBR list.

Sarah Henning said...

I don't really use apps for writing, but I sure do use the "notes" function on my iPhone to jot down plot ideas anywhere. At the gym, at a stoplight, etc. Of course, I like to physically write those notes down too, but this bit of technology comes without my bad handwriting.

Kara Cerise said...

Thanks for the good tip about "notes" on the iPhone, Sarah. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like it will come in handy when an idea hits and I can't physically write it down.

E. B. Davis said...

1. People get so upset about words (or not as the case may be) like alright, yet everyone goes around saying app like it's a word. My husband, who is not into the electric world, had to ask if apps were the same as applications.
2. I pay too much for the Internet and have no problem getting to my PC for hours on any given day--so no, I'm not paying for a duplicitous service. Besides, I have a cell phone I hate now!

Maybe I have more Neanderthal blood than Kaye George. Off soapbox, now.

Shari Randall said...

Hilarious! Thanks for the smile!

Kara Cerise said...

E.B., technology makes me want to revert back to my Neanderthal ways, too. There are times I’d like to pick up a club and smash my PC, tablet etc. However, I am a bit jealous of your reliable connectivity. We frequently lose our cable and electricity.

Shari, I was surprised and amused (sometimes bemused) at the creative apps available.

KM said...

When I heard someone use the term "Technofeeb," I knew they had me pegged. I feel like I've struggled to master so many different incarnations of technology that "brain is full. Insert new brain." I no sooner master one aspect than it's changing.

I can't get a cell phone signal reliably where I live, or where I work, so I haven't really investigated it. I do have a Trac phone (had the same one for several years until I sent it through the wash in in my pocket and had to get a new one.) But I pretty much only use it for ong distance calls or emergencies. My land line doesn't have long distance service. I can get a signal sometimes in one corner of one upstairs bedroom. If not, I can always walk to the top of a hill nearby.

Ain't technology fun?

Kara Cerise said...

KM, it's difficult to keep up with the rapid changes in technology. I can only imagine what life will be like fifty years from now.

I laughed and was nodding my head when I read about your cell phone woes. We have had so many problems with internet and cell phone connectivity that we now have a different service provider for each phone or tablet. The hope is that at least one will work during an emergency.