Thursday, April 14, 2011

Author Blog Hop for April 14 - tools of the trade

QUESTION: What software and applications help you write your masterpieces?  What do you wish you could afford?  What do you regret buying?  And what ebook reader do you use?  Why/why not?
Question provided by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Microsoft Word 2007's the word processor I use to write, but I also use Excel to track story-related info such as submissions, contests and giveaways, etc. 

Word's handy for not only first drafts of stories, but I also store research in Word files too. When I find great articles or background info on the web, I cut and paste it into a Word doc to refer back to later.   During edits, most editors use Track Changes to show what suggestions and changes they'd like, and that feature's great for crit partners too.

What do I wish I could afford? Even if I could afford to, I doubt I'd change word processors. I've looked at writing software and haven't felt the need to go that route. At one point, I considered buying a little gadget (can't even remember the name of it - Alpha something? - it was a word processor only) but I'm sure it would have been more a bother than a help as far as converting files and so forth.

Currently, I'm reading ebooks on my computer. I'd love to be able to afford an ereader. Maybe Santa will bring me one this year! :)


She set her portfolio on her seat, lifted her purse from the floor and squeezed into the aisle. Her foot caught on the end of the row, and his hands shot out to steady her. In that moment, his eyes met hers, his mouth opened as if ready to kiss her.
Her head swam with a rush and her breath caught in her chest like a thousand butterflies. “Sorry.” The only thing she was sorry about was having to let go.
The flight attendant’s cart rattled in the next aisle.
The few feet to the rest room looked like half a mile.  Vodka on a plane — never again. Steeling herself, she walked toward it, grabbed the handle and looked back.
Wes stood in the aisle, a crease between his eyebrows, watching her intently. Something wrapped around her beating heart and expanded in her chest, and flowed down her legs. Even as her nerves steadied by the surety of his gaze, her internal compass spun and locked itself on him. Knowing he waited for her sent a thrill through her as she stepped into the tight space.
Thank God she wore her short skirt. Her life was complicated enough. Whatever she could simplify, she did.
What about Wes? A relationship, on any level, would present definite complications. Maybe the only relationship he wanted was confined to the span of this flight. He probably picked up a girl on every trip. She shouldn’t read so much into his attention. His natural charms.
She wet a paper towel and touched it to her neck. Stop overanalyzing, she told her reflection.
A loud crack sounded on the other side of the plane. An awful metallic crunch. At the same time, the jet tilted slightly toward that side.
“Oh!” She braced her hands against the wall, afraid to move, afraid of what might be happening on the outside of that door.
Other passengers exclaimed the same noise of surprise. No one screamed. A good sign. Maybe it wasn’t catastrophic, whatever it was. The pilot’s voice came over the intercom, something about the oxygen masks deployed, ask the flight attendance for assistance. Dizziness swept over her.
A knock at the door. “Allison. Open up.”
Wes.
She quickly unlatched and opened it.
In one fluid motion, he pulled the door open, squeezed inside and locked it again. “Are you all right?” Even with his arms slipped around her waist, there was barely enough room for them both.
Thank God he was here. “What’s going on? That noise…” She couldn’t imagine what had caused it.
“I don’t—”
The plane tilted sharply downward and lost altitude fast.
Her stomach flipped in tandem. Her palms landed on the wall behind him above his shoulders. The plane’s dive placed him beneath her. He widened his stance to brace against the unnatural angle.
Panic rattled her nerves. “Oh my God.”
He commanded, “Allison. Look at me.”
Her eyes locked on his. Her mouth moved but only babbling nonsense – not even words – streamed forth in a breathless stammer.
“Allison.” His calm, deep voice reached deep inside her. “We will be fine.”
Her face must’ve crumpled with mounting hysteria.
His hand straddled her chin. “It’s not our time to die.”
“I wish you hadn’t used that word.” Thinning air deprived her brain of rational thought. Images flew faster than reflections from a disco ball: her life, her family.
All she’d done for the past two years was rescue Michelle McCarter from her own bad judgment and indiscretions. Was that all she had to look forward to?
His gaze steady on hers, he smoothed her hair from her face. She leaned above him, freefalling into the blue of his iris flecked with black and gold felt like diving in a deep cove and floating to the sun-kissed surface.
Going with gravity, she settled onto his chest. With his bottom lip fuller than his top, his mouth gave him a determined look.
 “In case you’re wrong…” Her lips met his, and she unleashed years of repressed desire on him.

6 comments:

Gabrielle said...

Hi Cate! Thanks for hopping by my blog. I'm a Word girl, but I'm even more old school with 2003. :) Have a great night!

Gabrielle

Ginger Simpson said...

Cate,
I'm new to Word 2007 too, but I'm finding it easier to use each time I open a file. Thanks for the idea about using Excel for tracking stuff. I've been using 3x5 cards to log reviews. Now I think I'll set up a spreadsheet with all the info I need on each book. You've inspired me. Love that we're hopping together on Thursdays. :)

diannehartsock said...

Oh, my stomach hurts, imagining that plane falling... My worst nightmare!
I use Word 2003 still. It does me just fine!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for hopping this way, guys! :)

Lawna Mackie said...

You bring up a good point about using Excel to track things such as queries, etc.

That is a very good idea!

Lawna Mackie
www.lawnamackie.ca

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

I should learn how to use a spread sheet, but....so far i'm sticking to a calender at my side where i jot down when i have something coming up. i also have two files in my email program, one for blogs to do and one for blogs done to help me keep track. I also write myself a lot of notes. just have trouble remembering to read them.