Writers - Use Your Nose!

The human brain is a truly staggering piece of anatomy/machinery. There are so many things it does that we don't pay attention to, things that become second nature. Smell is one of those things; it's a sense that we use without thinking. We come across different smells every day, some pleasant, some not and unconsciously our brains register these smells and attach information to them.

As a writer I'm learning that smell is essential. Recently I happened to get some new perfume, one that I used to wear when I was a teenager. As soon as I sprayed it memories flooded back and I was transported 17 years into the past. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach, I closed my eyes and breathed in the scent. Emotions cursed through me and as I thought about my novel I was inspired to write about a particular character. It was this that made me realise how important smell is for writers.

Writing a Novel? Keep at It.

When I started writing my first novel I’ll admit that I thought it was going to be easy. Sat in front of a computer typing out words that pop into my head - what’s hard about that? 

I’d been collating ideas for months and had them arranged into a storyline (of sorts). I took a deep breath and decided to get to the interesting part; creating my world. I wrote every day for about a month and completed my novel. Amazed that I’d managed it I was very proud of myself. Experts advise taking a break at this stage and that's just what I did. Time flew by because I was excited to start the next stage of my writing journey. If only I’d been prepared…

I read through my novel and it made me question whether I was cut out to be a writer. I couldn’t believe the garbage that had come out of my head and landed on the page. Devastated is not the word. I remembered being proud of myself and laughed - what made me think I could do this? The same experts that said "take a break" now said rewrite. I tried that and learned that not only was the writing bad but the story was too. In the end that novel got filed away on the computer never to be seen by human eyes again. But then came a problem; I wanted to write.

The Pen. Is It Still The Tool For Writers?

The pen is mightier...
On my writing journey I've learned lots of things about myself, about how to write and about how others do things. I know that I struggle to write if there's anything important going on in my life, I just can't move past the excitement, trepidation or worry. I've learned that there's lots of different ways to write a book and no one agrees on the 'right' way. And I've learned that everyone has their own way of creating and putting a novel together.

When presented with the word 'Writer' my mind conjures up images of a man with black hair and dark-rimmed glasses sitting at his desk, pen in hand staring thoughtfully ahead. Pen in hand? I wonder if this is just a generation thing or something that all writers think they should do? When I first started trying to write a book I had my laptop for the actual writing but most of my notes were handwritten in notebooks or on post-its. Other writers blog about how they carry a pen and notebook around with them just in case they get hit with inspiration while they're out.

Apple's WWDC 2014 - OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite for Mac

Apple is one of those companies that don't like to stay still. They continue to come up with new sparkly ideas that wow us and this year's WWDC was no different. Yesterday I talked a little bit about iOS 8 and the exciting new features coming our way in Autumn but now I want to talk about OS X Yosemite.

Yep, Yosemite is the name of OS X 10.10 and this is because they have moved from naming their operating system after large cats. Now they're naming it after beautiful places in California and so we have Yosemite.

For a long time now I've been an Apple convert and love all their devices. Many years ago I had an android phone and used to complain about its capabilities constantly but now I have no qualms about my phone. I have an iPhone. I work on an iMac and occasionally use a Macbook Air. These machines are beautiful things but they also make the user experience so much more pleasant than using Windows. This is why I always look forward to Apple conferences and announcements, because I know something amazing is coming.

Apple's WWDC 2014

This week is Apple's 25th Worldwide Developers Conference and yesterday they held their keynote presentation. I sat at home next to the hubby quite excited about the prospects of new 'stuff' and I was NOT disappointed. Apple told us about lots of new things coming our way soon including iOS 8, OS X 10.10 and many other things.

You may think that a 'Developers Conference' would be all about what the developers should expect in the coming months and it is, for the most part. However, this time Apple gave us lots of information about what is new for the end user. Very exciting if you're an Apple girl like me!

I would love to list everything that Apple talked about but I think that would be a long rambling post and you'd get lost in the midst of it all. Instead what I'll do is post information today about iOS 8 features and tomorrow I'll get into the OS X stuff. There was so much that even Apple, in their two hour presentation, couldn't talk about every feature and so I've just picked a few of the best, in my opinion.