Lip Service: Testing Out Google Docs Talk Typing

I wanted to test the Google Documents text to speech while using classical music in the background. I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time using dictation. I find it can be quite interesting to use it for writing experiences. One of the things I’m trying to do is to make sure that I get the ideas down for my next book. I keep dancing between several different topics and this is quite frustrating for me right now, so I will devise a way to use dictation software to get more words down. Another part of the reason I’m using dictation software to try and encapsulate my next book, because I want the book to be about my experiences and dictation is often a better way to do that than sitting down and typing it out. I’ve often used a tape recorder to record my thoughts and I’ve always enjoyed the freedom it gives me to express my ideas. The biggest drawback with using any sort of recording device is that it doesn’t become text automatically. So my idea would be to do this sort of  speech to text software to make it easier for me to edit a first draft later.

 

I think one of the biggest problems with writing and the digital format is the problem of information disappearing into the unseeable depths of your hard drive. Since it’s not a document that’s just sitting on a table somewhere if he comes this Vapor that can’t be seen until it’s pulled up on the screen and that’s a real problem I think for many writers. It was part of the reason that I wrote my last book on a typewriter as opposed to using a computer oh, I found it a good way to keep me motivated and get the pages down and in ultimately in the end it helped me to produce a book fairly quickly. With the Advent of being able to speak into a microphone and have the words become print I know this could increase the amount of production that I can have for my writing.

What I do know is it will be a problem to clearly express complicated grammar that will be missing if I use dictation software. Dictation is great for getting ideas down, for making comments about things that you observe, it also is very good for expressing emotions and working out ideas in a free-flowing way. What it is not good at is crafting the words in a way that would be artistic. I think that’s what rewriting is all about. It’s all about changing the words to a literary form which a spoken form is not. So I think that for me it will be a chance to build up my ability to speak clearly and with more random vocabulary.

 

What I do know is that I can talk. I know I can talk a lot! And because of this it gives me the confidence to at least make a shot at writing a book using dictation software first, and then jumping into the full edit process with the first draft manuscript (which I actually enjoy, it is not a dread for me at all). I think it all boils down to that first draft manuscript doesn’t it? We need to get that first draft out oh, it is the stuff that will become the next piece of our catalog. for all of us who are writing the true meter of what works is whether something is produced or not oh, I know that if I can dictate what I’m thinking in a logical and clear way, it will be the next productive work. So in this way I think I will have a chance to express my next novel in the first draft form. Then I take that first draft form and crafted into a better edit of the book. That is what all writing is and I think that doing that will make it a much stronger and more productive process.

 

So I look at this as an opportunity for me to experiment with something new and I do recommend Google Documents the online document program, to use for dictation because it is fairly accurate. And I’m a very fast speaker so this text that’s being written here, without being edited, is basically done in only about 5 minutes. That’s more than a page of speaking and I barely even scratched the surface of my own writing abilities as far as producing a post. So I think it’s going to be an interesting experience to use this to improve my writing and improve my production, because ultimately really what I want to do is improve my output to the point where my works are available more frequently as Kindle eBooks than what they are right now. But hey, I can’t complain! After all, I had two books come out last year and that was a great thing for me. And I’ve already had a new book published this year, so I know I’m on the right track with my writing. The whole point is to keep it fresh and not give up. So for all of you out there you want to try to improve or in get better at your writing I would suggest try dictation at least for your blog posts and see how it works for you. I’m here and I want you to be encouraged by my own experiences. So let’s all keep riding together!

 

Keep writing!

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Another Re-Vamping

Taking a title and changing it, then deciding on a completely different cover design, is a good way to breath life into an otherwise niche market book. My initial ideas and title for this book needed to be punch up so I did! Got to keep improving, moving forward and making the best of the market and learning from my mistakes. Here are the before and afters-

Before-

Maximize Advertising

After-

Sell your school vs 4

The second one might appear bleak or washed out, but as a thumb nail which do you think is more compelling. The first one looks flashy, but small text, and a busier image background actually can confuse people. So I shifted and made it as simple as possible-believe me it helps.

Keep writing!

Rollin’ with the family

The past few weeks have been interesting. We keep going out and in line skating, around town, in parks, here and there. It is a new thing for us and makes us go out more often. So far we are the only people who are doing it that we have seen.

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I passed a guy on the walkway the other night and I heard him say to himself-“That’s cool.” in Japanese. Yeah, I think it is cool actually. But it makes us stand out like a circus act at times. I mean I am used to it, being a foreigner, but this just ups the fun!

Well that is life, keep writing!

The Pile

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A teacher’s material can be overwhelming at times. We collect and use so many items in our pursuit of the best way to grab the attention, illustrate a point or explain a task, that it can become a big pile of physical “stuff” that must be dealt with on a regular basis.

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I am in the process of re-organizing everything in my teaching closet of my humble classroom/school. Where to put it, what to chuck? Hey, I forgot I even had that! The life of a teacher.

Keep writing!

Picture My Picture Cards, and ELT Teaching Review

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Recently I found a set of cards from a company called Picture My Picture on Amazon. They make a variety of card sets like, emotions, prepositions, etc. that come in nice slid close top boxes. Every Spring I search sites for new material to add to my teaching arsenal and these were one of the things I ordered.

The cards are a good size and printed on solid semi matte stock that should last for a while. One side is the image and the other side is the description word- a smiling woman on one side/ Happy on the back. The emotions cards are great for randomly picking by students and use for What is she/he doing? Type of questions. The preposition cards are good for reviewing item locations with more variety when asking in relay form.

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I also like the box these cards are stored in. Teaching material takes a good beating every class and the inclusion of a box that is both solidly constructed and has a slid on lid, instead of a fold over type that will wear out over time, makes these cards a good investment. As a tip, if you are an English teacher in Japan, order the cards from the American Amazon sight, even with shipping it will still be about half the price as ordering it on the Japanese Amazon sight.

Overall Picture My Picture has grabbed my attention, making me wonder what cards I might be ordering from them in the future.

Teach your students, and do it well.

Keep writing!

K2 In Line Skates; After a Month

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I bought a pair of in line skates in January after my wife and I thought it would be good to do instead of ice skating (which is cost prohibited with all of the fees). My skates had to be ordered on line as my size, and just any skates anyway, are not available in stores here in Japan. Cost was about $150.

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After one month of skating I find the 2017 K2 Boa’s to be a solid pair of all around good performing skates. They are much more comfortable than the Bauer skates I owned in the 90’s. The barrings are very smooth and glide well. I compared them to my wife’s Rollerblade brand skates and mine are definitely smoother.

After a month of hitting the parks, streets and a lake path I feel confident using them in many situations. This week I rotated the tires according to a Rollerblade tutorial video on YouTube which has helped. I am much bigger than my wife and daughter and thus my skates were starting to wear and needed the flip. This did improve performance, though turning became much sharper (all of you rollerbladers out there will understand this due to the worn side gripping better than the newer side).

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It is a new hobby, and one that has brought my wife and I together, along with my daughter, just like cycling and hiking did in the past. Finding something that will keep both of us active and happy to go and do is all part of life. It’s the change, and doing that change together, that makes it even more exciting. Key concept here: remain active!

And while you’re active- Keep writing!

The Velvet Hammer

Publishing a book on Amazon is a little like standing in the fog, waiting to see if your ship will indeed come in. The only problem is the size of the dock wraps around the world! I just published another book yesterday, The 20 Minute Principle, and all is hush and whispers. I am thankful Amazon has a platform for getting out my work, but getting seen is a shot in the dark, it’s the velvet hammer on the muted string.

So I take the best tack possible-I keep writing. It will be the defining factor of whether I will make it or not. Sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes your actions propel you on-wards. Thus, I write.

And you should too.

Keep writing!

Busy, Busy

Does seem to be the nature of life right now for me. I will have a new book coming out very soon called The 20 Minute Principle, which I have been working on all the while teaching and preparing for special lessons next March. I spilled coffee all over my computer table this morning, taught a class and went to the gym to beat my body up a little. This is the season between winter and spring and we have had a couple nice days thrown in..

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Getting to inline skate with my wife after lunch the other day helps me stay motivated as I truck through lessons and work on writing books.

Which brings me to my next book’s cover-

The 20 Minute Principle cover half size

I will be making a post about this one pretty soon, just getting some beta readers to check it out for me at the moment.

Be encouraged everyone out there, and whatever you do-

Keep writing!

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