Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Crippled dictation

My latest update of the Ubuntu System has somehow crippled some of the tools I was starting to use.
For some mysterious reason, I can’t access the settings panel of the system, in particular I can’t select the microphone I am using with my PC.
voice_typing2But the hardest hit is the sudden decision Google Docs took not to accept dictation through my system anymore.
This was an excellent tool for doing quick work – such as translating short texts and writing short pieces, and I was counting on the thing…
Instead, nothing.

This means spending long hours checking documentation and assorted blogs and websites instead of doing what I should be doing.
My, this is frustrating.

Enough, back to trying to find a solution.


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Of Seances and Egyptian Goddesses

And so we did it.
Oh, what a night! (yes, just like the old Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons hit.)

Part 1 – The Seance

Google Hangouts acted up a bit during my hangout session with my Italian supporters from Patreon. A lot of

“Can you hear me?”
“Are you there?”
“I can Hear you, can you hear me? Give me a sign if you can…”

Next time we’ll use a Ouija Board. And there will be certainly a next time, because it was a lot of fun and, for me, a mighty injection of good cheer and positive attitude.
Writing, we have said it before I think, is a lonely business, and we often wonder at what’s happening out there, with our readers. Well, Patreon and this hangout thing is certainly helping bring writers and readers together in a fun way.
We’ll do it again.

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Part 2 – The Boy’s Night Out

In the end that guy was right, and three thousand words were on the page after about two hours.
Ooops.
In the end, I ditched my plan for a 2-characters/3000-words story, and let Nennius Britannicus and the boys take the story where it needed to go.
End result: 6000 words in 5 hours, making lots of pauses. Good going.

This, despite a 2 AM call from a call center somewhere, with a guy trying to sell me a table & chairs set for my garden. Continue reading


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Erle Stanley Gardner’s Trick

The writer’s life would be ideal but for the writing. That was a problem I had to overcome. Then, I read in the Guinness Book of Records about Erle Stanley Gardner – the world’s fastest novelist – who can dictate up to the rate of ten thousand words a day. That was for me. None of that romantic stuff with a typewriter. I had better uses for those two particular fingers.

The quote above is from a 1972 movie called Pulp, featuring Michael Caine as a rather sleazy pulp novelist that gets involved in a complicated – and in the end pretty ludicrous – caper with mobsters, killer and what else.

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The bit about Erle Stanley Gardner is true. Continue reading