Saturday, October 29, 2016
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Werdsmith allows writers to use their mobile devices to write while on the go. It helps writers to write stories on the go. No more waiting until you get to a notebook or computer to write down the story that comes at the most awkward time. Werdsmith can help writers to begin and finish stories away from home.
- WERDSMITH turns your iPhone or iPad into a writing studio.
- The app is free.
- Easy to use.
- Even helps writers to set and meet word count goals for each day.
- All work is backed up, so no work will be lost.
- Personalize and customize your writing studio with custom fonts and themes.
2. Ulysses Mobile
Ulysses Mobile App
Offers writers a distraction-free writing experience. Although this app does cost money, it is well worth the cost. It can help writers to complete projects in no time. Here are a few more points that keep Ulysses at the top of the list for writing apps.
- ULYSSES helps writers stay focused.
- Is a text editor.
- Is a text library.
- Is a reliable icloud sync for mobile devices.
- Offers everything a writer needs in a writing app.
- Easily transform text into PDFs, web pages, ebooks, and word documents with the tap of a finger.
- Costs $24.99 but well worth the cost.
Another writing app that has many synonyms, antonyms, and phraseology for writers to use on the iPhone or iPad.
Another writing app that has many synonyms, antonyms, and phraseology for writers to use on the iPhone or iPad.
- WRITERIGHT offers proofreading services.
- Helps writers persevere conjugation, gender, and number. Making sure that these are correct throughout the writing piece.
- Changes expressions that are used too much and helps writers to change these to something fresh.
- Offers a full text editor.
- It helps to recognize conjugated words, either feminine or plural.
- Suggests synonyms and will replace with a better counterpart matching gender, number, person, and tense.
- Cost $3.99
4. Write PDF for iPhone and iPad
- WRITER PDF is not only just a common annotation tool, it is also a powerful PDF modification tool for the iPhone and iPad.
- Great PDF editing tool.
- Allows users to add notes, circles, highlights, and drawings.
- Fill in PDF forms and sign.
- Move, rotate, or add/delete pages.
- Print to any printer.
- Easy transfer into icloud.
- Convert and transfer web pages.
- Cost only $4.99
5. Tex Writer
- TEX WRITER is a text editor and compiler on to use on the go.
- Users can work online with this app without an internet connection.
- Syntax highlighting.
- Line numbers and error cross reference.
- Assistant keyboard.
- Customize appearance and keyboard,
- Automate text editing.
- Sync with Dropbox.
- Cost $9.99
6. Writing Prompts
- WRITING PROMPTS offers writers endless inspiration to keep on writing.
- An easy to use creative app.
- Never run out of ideas, just open the app and see many creative solutions to keep a writer engaged in writing.
- App generates scene elements.
- 600 writing prompts to keep writers motivated.
- Cost $1.99
- MINDNODE makes mind mapping easy.
- Visually represents your thoughts and ideas with this easy to use app.
- No need to write your thoughts on napkins, Easily jot down ideas on MindNode.
- With iCloud Drive allows mind maps to be seen on all devices.
- Create new ideas with a tap of the finger.
- Add photos and stickers to add to mind maps.
- Cost $9.99
8. Story Tracker
- STORY TRACKER allows writers to keep track of writing projects.
- Know where all writing projects have been submitted.
- Be able to store details and guidelines for any market that allows writing submissions.
- View total income earned for each story submitted.
- Displays story status.
- Highlights approaching market deadlines so that writers meet deadlines.
- Cost $9.99
9. Agent Obvious
- AGENT OBVIOUS offers advice to authors, agents, and publishers in the writing industry.
- 500+ tips from literary agent Laurie Abkemeier.
- Quick access to the most popular publishing topics, queries, proposals, manuscripts, submissions, and rejections.
- Receive tips for contract negotiations.
- One touch sharing tips on Twitter.
- Cost is FREE
- SCRIVENER combines all writing tools into one place.
- Grow your manuscript by thoughts and ideas.
- Offers an interactive tutorial.
- Offers project templates for novels, essays, scripts, and more.
- Allows writers to write MS in sections.
- Has a script writing mode for screen plays, stage plays, comic scripts, and more.
- Automatic back-ups.
- Write in any order and organize later.
- Cost $19.99
Although there are many apps out there that can help writing professionals, this list is some of the top apps to use. Anyone used any of these apps? Love to know what your experience has been with the app.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Jerri Aubry M.S., MFT
After a recent bullying event that happened at the school in my area, I decided that I should write a series of articles regarding bullying, and the effects of bullying on others.
Bullying hits many homes across America. Children scared to go to school, because of what is waiting for them each and every day. Many parents struggle with helping their children that are continuously bullied. It breaks the hearts of many, when a child’s self-esteem is lowered, because of the interaction children have with bullies at school.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, indicates that 1 in every 4 students are bullied. That 64% of children bullied do not report these to anyone. Only 36% of children actually report bullying to authorities such as a principal, school counselor, or the police. ⁴
Bullying happens both in school and outside of school. Cyber bullying has become a real problem with social media platforms, and now texting on cellphones, but that will be for an article later in this series.
Bullying can be defined as an act of aggression toward others that can include:
- · Taunting
- · Teasing
- · Talking about negatively
- · Spreading rumors
- · Leaving kids out of being included
· Attacking someone either physically or yelling at them.
More than 77% of school aged children are being bullied verbally, mentally, and physically at school. An average of 160,000 kids miss school because of bullying or the fear of being bullied. ⁴
According to the article “11 Facts about Bullying,” only 1 in every 4 teachers see bullying as a problem, and only 4% intervene. My personal opinion says that this needs to change in order for bullying rates to begin to descend. ²
As a parent I think that the school needs to protect my children and to stop the bullying. As a behaviorist, you must change the environment in order to make changes in behavior. With that said, it is part of the faculty at a school to become an advocate to change the environment at school to lower bullying rates in the school.
Kids that are bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, changes in eating and sleeping, feelings or being isolated and alone, and suicide to escape. These issues can follow a child into adulthood.
Some children that are bullied might have a lower GPA and struggle with school. Other children might get sick from the anxiety and vomit both outside and in school to avoid going to or staying at school.
Teens that struggle with bullies might turn to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain they may feel. Some turn to suicide to escape their life. And some might retaliate with a serious form of aggression such as school violence like school shootings.
Does bullying lead to mass murders? Both at school and in the community? There is evidence to support that some people who have been bullied have committed a heinous act such as a school shooting. But that is for another article that I will be talking about later in this series. School shootings in the 1990’s indicate that 12 out of 15 school shootings were related to bullying. ⁵
I would like to share a little personal story of my own with you.
I don’t really know how old I was when the bullying started, but it did effect my self-esteem negatively. I remember a time when 5 years old, my mom left me with my grandmother on my dad’s side, and she took me to work with her (she cleaned house and was a nanny for a family of boys) one day. While she was cleaning the house, the boys came out to the tree swing, and knocked me off. I fell onto my butt, and one of the boys sat on my chest while the other two stuffed flowers in my mouth. I can remember not being able to breath, and then I was stung in the mouth by a bee.
I never told my mother about this, and yet have never really told anyone this story. I am sharing it today, because I know what it feels like to be bullied. I understand the depth of isolation one feels from being bullied. I continued to be bullied for years about my name. For a long time, I hated my name, and I hated myself.
Only 24% girls report being bullied compared to 20% boys that report being bullied. Statistics show that girls may be bullied more often than boys. Some may say that girls are more likely to tell someone about bullying than a boy. There are several reasons for this including boys wanting to be seen as being tough and don’t want to look like a wimp in front of peers. ᵌ
As I became an adult —now in my 40’s with two boys of my own— I thought I could protect my own children from bullying, but this was untrue. As I tried to intervene, it just made things worse for my boys. So, instead I tried to inflate their egos to make them feel better, but in reality I knew that there really wasn’t much I could do to protect them.
So, instead I chose to teach them about bullying, especially for children who become easy targets. I taught them to be able to come home, and tell me about these bully attempts, but I knew I was only hearing the jist of the story. I knew this, because I didn’t tell anyone when I was bullied.
No matter what I did, I could not save them from being bullied. I remember when my oldest son —whom has ADHD (which led to bullying until he was in 10th grade)— was a freshman in High School, he would be taunted by this older kid behind him in the lunch line. My son took this torture for a year. The kid always knocked his food and drink out of his hand, and my son would not get anything to eat or drink, because he had already spent his money on lunch, that was now all over the floor.
When my son started his sophomore year —the same kid at lunch stood behind him— taunted my son once again. That day, I received a call from the principal about the situation. I never knew he was having problems until this phone call.
As the principal explained the situation, he told me that this kid knocked my son’s lunch onto the floor. I guess this had been happening every day of school. Until one day –this day– the principal calls me and tells me that my son is not in trouble for what happened.
I was frantically thinking about what the heck did he do. So, when this kid knocked his food and drink out of his hands, it splattered the floor, my son then turned around and punched this kid in the mouth.
Now, those of you who know me, know that I do not promote aggression. But this was the last time this kid bothered my son, and it ended the decade of bullying that my son had been enduring. My son finally stood up for himself, and stopped the bullying himself.
Thirty percent of teens in High School are bullied either through being bullied themselves, bullying others, or bystanders. Seventy-seven percent of bullying of school aged children are from verbal bullying. ¹
Types of verbal bullying include:
- · Yelling
- · Calling names
- · Teasing
- · Spreading rumors
Why am I sharing this with you all? Well, because bullying is a part of most American. It has become a real problem leading kids to seeing themselves as the problem. My son found the strength to change this on his own, but he endured years of abuse—that I could not stop— and the school’s did nothing about it.
I have worked many children in therapy that have endured bullying at some level. Although I cannot change this for them at school, I can help increase their self-esteem, and teach them how to cope with bullying.
Children can be bullied as soon as they begin any type of school program even pre-school. My youngest son was bullied within a few months of starting preschool. I mean really? preschool; he was only two years old. He has not only withstood some dangerous bullying, but witnessed it happen to kids with autism, ADHD, and mental retardation.
According to stopbullying.gov, children with ADHD are more likely to bullied than other children and kids diagnosed with autism are at a higher risk to be bullied and left out of activities. In general, 60 percent of children with disabilities report being bullied as compared to the 25% of kids without disabilities. ⁴
My son has shared most of his experiences with me. He chose to help others as they were being bullied. He stood up to the other kids, and then helped these kids tell the authorities what happened. This made me very proud, as a mother, and as a person whom has worked with the developmentally disabled population for more than 20 years.
In my work, I have seen how bad the anxiety can be for these children and how this keeps them out of the school and isolated. Many times this anxiety is so bad on Sunday nights —the day before returning to school— these children make themselves so sick that they just can’t go to school. The panic is real and it can take its toll on the child and their family.
Is your child being bullied? Were you bullied as a child? Find help for your child, there are many programs to help children being bullied. I will be following up with the effects on bullying later in this series.
If you are being bullied call 1-800-273-talk(8255)
Did you know that there is no federal law against bullying? Do you think there should be one? Please share your thoughts
Thursday, March 24, 2016
To Prologue or Not to Prologue?
Are These Really Necessary to Move a Story Forward?
Are you an author who struggles with whether to include a prologue, or to leave it out of your story? Here is some key information that may help you in deciding when to use a prologue.
Many books have a prologue at the beginning of the book. But are these really necessary to move the story forward, or to fill in details not included in the story?
As a reader, I skip the prologue of every book I read unless it’s a memoir, or a nonfiction book. For fiction novels, I find the prologue is not necessary and therefore, I skip the reading of these. I haven’t found a story yet that I found a prologue was necessary.
As a writer, I struggle with whether I should include these in my books. At this moment, I tend to leave them out, as I would rather fill in all the important information within the story.
So, what is a prologue?
· It is an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details.
· Used to fill in pertinent details of the story or plot that if used in the plot would bog down the story and not help it to move forward.
· For those novels that want to include flashbacks used to help the reader understand the character.
· It can be used to hook the reader. Although the first chapter of any book should hook the reader. What if the reader does not read the prologue? I don’t read the prologue, and rely on the first chapter to hook me. If the first chapter does not reel me in, then I am not likely to continue to read the book.
· Prologues can also be used to introduce the book’s characters. Although, a seasoned writer will introduce characters within the story. Again what if the reader skips the prologue, and the writer has used it to introduce characters? The story would be missing important elements that make the story.
Is the Prologue necessary?
· As a reader, I have yet to find that a prologue was necessary to any story.
· There are a few things to think about when writing a prologue:
o If placed as the first chapter in the story, would the plot’s integrity be damaged?
o If left out of the book completely would it be missed?
If you answer “yes” to both questions, then a prologue is necessary for the book. If no, then skip it.
When to use a prologue?
· When detailed information needs to be revealed to the reader before beginning the story.
· If the information would bog down, and interrupt the flow of the story.
· If used to snag the reader at the bookstore. Many readers when choosing a book to buy will read the prologue to see if they should purchase the book. Of course some would say that they back of the book should do this by itself.
When not to use a prologue?
· Do not use a prologue to dump additional unnecessary information.
· Do not use it if it is not needed.
· Do not use it to repeat what is already in the story.
· If it does not contribute to the story, it is not necessary.
Many times new writers will write prologues for their book, but not really know when and how to use a prologue. As I mentioned before, as a reader, I detest these and skip them altogether. I have read thousands of books over the years, and yes every one of them had a prologue that I did not read. To me it is a waste of my time. I have never read a story that I felt that needed a prologue. A well written book will contain all the key information throughout the story.
What do you think? Do you find that a prologue is necessary? Leave a comment with your thoughts on this matter.