Thursday Three

1. This week the kids have been doing AIMS testing. As a reward for their hard work (and because we needed to go visit family on Sunday anyway), we planned a trip to Tucson. We plan to visit Flandrau Science Center on Saturday and then spend some time on Sunday with my sister and brother-in-law so we can see their new baby boy (born at the beginning of this month). As always happens when we try to plan something, we aren’t sure we’ll make it. Hubby started feeling lousy yesterday. He has a sore throat and is coughing a bit. *sigh* We’ll see how things are tomorrow and then make a decision (hopefully in time to cancel hotel reservations). The kids have been very understanding about the possible cancellation (a couple of them are actually hoping we don’t go since they had planned to spend time with friends on Saturday). Still, I hope we are able to go since it will be good to get away and have some fun . . . and see the new nephew.

2. I’ve been doing some writing on the MG and revising on the YA. Things are going well in both of them (and a huge thanks to a certain critique buddy who has been sending a few chapters of the YA at a time with the most awesome feedback!!). While working on the projects, ideas for new works have tried to tempt me away. I’m holding strong and only taking down notes instead of dropping everything to play with the new shiny—a big step for me since I like new shiny things.

3. Speaking of new shiny things, about a week ago, I got a shiny new iPad! I wasn’t going to get one since I didn’t think it would be useful to me and would only distract me from my work—but hubby got one and I discovered the world of technology and apps at my fingertips! To tell the truth, the main reason I gave in and got one of my own was because of school. No. Really! There’s this awesome app called AudioNote where I can record the lectures and type notes at the same time (we got the Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad) and the notes are synched and time stamped to the lecture. So if I have a question about one of my notes or just want to hear a section again I click on my note, and it plays back that part of the lecture! Also, my History 105 book that I bought for Kindle only works on PC, Mac, or iPad so I had been trying to read it off my laptop each week—not fun. Though the iPad screen isn’t as easy on my eyes as the e-ink display of my Kindle, it’s easier and much more fun on the iPad. I can zoom in on a page of text or a map or picture in the book with the touch of my fingers. So cool!! I still prefer my Kindle for reading everything else. There’s also this App called OnLive Desktop where I can send my Word documents to my iPad and work on them there! So I can take my writing with me in a much smaller and easier to carry/work with format (cause that Bluetooth keyboard rocks).

And that’s not all the iPad can do. I broke down and spent about $6 to purchase the ArtRage app for iPad! This is the program I use at my laptop for drawing/sketching on my Intuos 4 tablet. I do like the tablet better than the iPad just because the stylus for the tablet is better than the stylus I stole—um borrowed from hubby for the iPad. The stylus hubby bought just has this large round rubbery thing on the end of it and it doesn’t work so well when trying to do fine detail work. Still, it’s much better than using my finger. Here are a couple of drawings I did as experiments on the iPad:

Tulip drawn on iPadMoon over water drawn on iPad


If any of my artist friends know of a stylus for iPad that is more “art friendly,” let me know. Not that I plan on spending a lot of time drawing on the iPad or anything. *blush*

There are apps to help the kids with their math and everything so it’s useful that way too (and, yes, we let the kids use them too). Also there is this horribly addicting app called Magic Piano (by Smule) that I’ve fallen in love with (thanks, sis for that—not!). Too much fun!!! Eh-hem. But really I’ve been working on my writing. Honest. The iPad fun is done after hours.

Do any of you have iPads? If so, what are your favorite apps? If you don’t have an iPad, do you want one and why or why not?


Write on!

About Joan Stradling, Author

Joan Stradling is a middle grade and YA author of stories with magical elements. She loves painting, baking, crafting, pet wrangling, and anything else she can fit into her schedule. A passionate believer in the power of books, she still hopes to one day ride a dragon, meet a Hobbit, or discover new worlds by walking through a wardrobe. In the meantime, she imagines and writes about her own incredible worlds and characters–and continues to live vicariously through the adventures in other’s books. You can find her on Instagram (@JoanStradlingAuthor) or Twitter (@justJoanS) or FB (Joan Stradling aka Joan Stewart) Join me on Patreon:
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