Monday, May 31, 2010

Clarion's write-a-thon

This summer the wonderful Clarion Foundation school at UCSD is hosting a write-a-thon. This is a great way for writers to support the school and participate as well.

If you're unfamiliar with the Clarion Foundation, it's a summer learning program at UCSD, where they've been teaching Science Fiction and Fantasy writing to promising writers since 1968. They bring in an amazing group of instructors every summer (the lucky lil bastards get to learn from George R.R. Martin this summer).

I've signed up. You should, too!

iPad apps for writers

Last weekend I participated in the San Diego Writers, Ink "Blazing Laptops" write-a-thon, which raised over $16,000 for the non-profit.

I took only my iPad and portable keyboard to the 9-hour event. By the end, after using the device the whole time, I still had 75% of my battery left. Color me impressed.
Granted, I turned wifi off, but still... it felt great to be untethered from the wall outlet.

Until I can get Scrivener (or something similar), here's what I've been using for writing on the iPad:

  • MyWritingNook: This is a rather simple app, which is a good thing. It's a full-screen, few frills editor. There's no formatting to speak of, and little in the way of file management. What you do get is a nice, fast editor that syncs with google's cloud, allowing you to return to the same documents via the website of the same name. 5$
  • Corkulous: There are many apps out now for organizing ideas, but I like this one the best. As the title suggests, it's a big cork board upon which you can attach post-its, pictures, strips of paper... even other cork boards. I've suggested to them they add a "yarn" feature, so you can draw lines between post-its. 3$
  • Penultimate: Drawing/Sketching apps are another crowded field in the app store. Most of them are geared toward actual artwork, however. Penultimate is more like a simple pen-and-paper moleskine (or rather, as many of them as you want). Very handy for just making quick sketches of ideas, and keeping them organized. 3$