Monday, June 07, 2010

National Trust/Mills and Boon writing workshop

Current work: back to work - new book!
Listening to: Vivaldi cello concerti
Reading: Lindsey Davis, Alexandria (enjoying)

The National Trust is holding four writing workshops in association with M&B – Linda Fildew (senior Historicals editor) is doing one, and the other three are by Nicola Cornick, India Grey and Kate Hardy.

If you’d like more information, please go to the National Trust’s website for details – right here!

Back to school today, so normal routine again. Is also dog’s birthday (he’s eight). My wireless broadband stuff is due to arrive today… and I also need to start my new book. On the todo front, desk will be tidy a bit later; I have sorted the talk and just need to do the handouts; and today I’m working on the Venice book and licking the outline into shape.

As for the iPad – do I still love it? Yes, because it’s light and it’s easy to work in bed or on the sofa with it (OK, so I was playing Boggle, but the principle is the same – I can type without my wrists aching).

However, I do think that Apple could’ve done a bit more market research to find out who their customers are and what they want from applications such as a word-processor.

Apparently what we have (to buy) turns out to be a stripped-down version of Pages. Fair enough – my PDA has Word Mobile, which is also stripped down (and also is YEARS old… remember this in a second when I talk about the differences between them). Big missing functions for me:

  • track changes (from the support forum, it seems that all the lawyers are cross that they can’t do this, too. To be fair, you can’t really do it on Word Mobile either, so I can just about live without this)
  • ability to produce coloured text (which is what I want if I can’t have track changes – next best thing so I can fudge a DIY version of track changes, and that's what I have on Word Mobile)
  • ability to highlight text (dear Apple, just HOW do you expect people to use this as a proper business tool if you can’t even highlight text and make comments in a different colour when you’re editing your text? Word Mobile can do it – and if you can add symbols and drawings in colour in Pages, why on earth can’t you do the text in colour? Even if you limit it to half a dozen bog-standard colours, that would do. You can import them from Word (I tested it), so why can't you do them within the program?)
  • wordcount (OK, so if I fiddle with the settings and make the text TNR – as in the bog standard font used (even though Apple doesn’t support the one Word uses and changes it, cough) – I can do a rough wordcount, but that’s not the point. This is SUCH an easy win, and Word Mobile can do it. Why can't Apple?)

On the whole, it’s great. Just needs a couple of enhancements to make it REALLY awesome. And wouldn't it be nice if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got together and realised that this isn't about their fight for world domination? It's about fulfilling customer needs - so if that means working together and sorting out connectivity properly, I wish they'd grow up and do it!

(Oops. This wasn't meant to be a rant. However. I was raving about how great the iPad is, so I guess this is balance.)

I will have wireless connection tomorrow - and that's when I'll find out whether it works properly or not...


Caroline said...

Hi KAte. Thanks for the link to the NT - they are also running a comp through The LAdy (when I can find it - that is!) Caroline x

Amy Andrews said...

Hey Kate - I wish I lived over there, I'd love to go and lsiten to you in a gorgeous NT property. We were NT members about a million years ago when we lived there and we made it our mission to see as many of their properties as possible!
What a fabulous idea!

Michela said...

Hi Kate! So glad that you're going to start a book about Venezia.
Can't wait to read it... In the meantime I'm delighted by the Neapolitan one. :)

I'm reading 1-2 chapters per day because I'm busy this period but I love the development of the story.
Anyway, almost finishing...

You'll love wireless's very, very useful and soon you won't do without it!

Morton S Gray said...

Thank you for the information about the National Trust. I have been trying to book India's workshop all day but no one answered the phone. I will persevere and hope there are spaces. Enjoy your blog very much and am now using music much more when I write. Morton Gray x

Jan Jones said...

Can you use bold instead of highlighting? Just a thought.

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - they are indeed - link here.
M&B are also doing another competition in September - watch this space :)

Kate Hardy said...

Amy - I wish you lived here, too! :)

Kate Hardy said...

Michela - glad you're enjoying the book :)

As for wireless - sigh, it's WHEN I can get the thing to recognise other devices. (Am currently very cross!)

Kate Hardy said...

Morton - pleasure, and hope you get an answer tomorrow :) (And thanks for the compliment)

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - I did think about that, but I decided to ring Apple and ask anyway. Result: now I know where to put my text in colour. (Useful so I know what I want to take out and what I'm adding in.)

Morton S Gray said...

Finally got to speak to someone at the National Trust and am booked on India's workshop for Sunday. Excited!

Kate Hardy said...

Morton - hope you enjoy the workshop! (Actually, I'm sure you will, as India is utterly lovely.)

Morton S Gray said...

Thank you Kate. I'm really excited.

Morton S Gray said...

Hi Kate,
Just to say that I had a lovely time on sunday. India is delightful and very inspiring. It was worth the two hour drive. Morton x

Kate Hardy said...

Glad you had such a good time, Morton - and I agree, India's just LOVELY!