Monday, June 20, 2011

The Great Spatula Hunt

The Great Spatula Hunt
by Missy Tippens

Missy, here. I love a good omelet. I have an egg white, veggies and cheese omelet a couple of times a week. (Used to eat one every day.) And all the while, my spatulas drove me crazy with the melted cheese sticking to them, getting stuck in the grooves of the slotted ones or just gluing to the edges of solid ones. So I went on The Great Spatula Hunt.

I wanted one that was silicone to be stick-proof. I finally found a nice one by Oxo that I liked at Kohl’s. Brought it home and made my omelet without problem. Yes! No messy cleanup. Then one night, I used it for grilling burgers, since it can be used up to 600 degrees. I went to serve a burger to my daughter, and the non-stick surface was so non-stick that when I slid the burger toward her bun, it went flying about 90 mph into her lap!

As the laughter died down (because she made a great catch and saved the day), I realized that maybe my specialized spatula was better used in certain situations instead of for everyday use.

Like favorite writing tools we need for certain situations. (Were you hoping I’d get beyond the Food Network moment to talk about writing? :)) So, I polled the Seekers about their favorite writing tools (and not one spatula was mentioned!).

My favorite writing tools:
When I’m writing a synopsis…Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method.
When I’m doing a read-through to check to see if my romance thread (or other plot threads) are consistent…Sticky Notes!

The two favorite writing tools of Love Inspired author, Tina Radcliffe are:

Love Inspired Suspense author, Debby Giusti, says, “My AlphaSmart gets words on the page. Then I can rewrite and transform rough into something much, much better. Also, I rely on Google to find pictures and information on objects, machines, cars, whatever, that I'm using in my story. Seeing a photo helps me to be more accurate when I describe the object.”

Janet Dean, Love Inspired Historical author, has several tools that are important to her. She says:
--As an historical writer, I value my Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that dates when words came into usage and the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms that dates expressions.
--I rely on my reproduction Sears Roebuck Catalogue that reveals what anyone in the country could own in 1897 and better yet what it looks like.
--My favorite plotting tool is a resource Missy suggested, The Story Within Guidebook by Alicia Rasley.
--Add the comfort of Debby’s The Writer’s Prayer and the additional backup of a zip drive and Dropbox on the Internet and I’m covered.
--Oh, and Post-It notes. Whatever did we do without them?

Ruth Logan Herne, also an LI author, has a favorite tool. And it’s not something you can buy. It’s one of her traits: ferret-like annoying nosiness, delving into people's lives with little or no compensation so that they'll help her. :) (I promise I’m not being mean, here. It’s how she described it herself!) Here’s what she says…

“Well, I pretend to be off the cuff, but I'm totally dorky about research. I can 'feel' the character's angst and emotion, but if I can't nail down their physical presence with their job and home, with their profession, with the ins and outs that don't make it sound made up or manufactured, then I can't write the book. So I immerse myself into the job/profession/situation as much as I can. I used a restaurant in Reunited Hearts because I spent eleven years in a Greek restaurant, so that was a walk in the park. But for the hero's role I contacted a Lt. Colonel at MIT who went to West Point. And yes, I found him on the Internet and approached him with my project and he said yes. :)

"Gotta ask!

 "And then I contacted a military man who went into an electronics firm to help design military devices to help me create Trent's transition from military hero to home-town hero. If I don't feel like the person's background and situation is done right, I can't feel good about the book's emotion because each thing feeds off the other. So research into the characters is huge to me.”

Camy Tang (Love Inspired Suspense, Guideposts and Zondervan) says:
“For character creation, I start with 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I use the archetypes as a jumping off point for my own characters, starting me on "what if" questions. For example, for Sushi for One, I started with the Amazon archetype, and asked, What if an Amazon, who would be devastated by any type of sexual violation, had already been date-raped before the story began? And Lex was born. (jumping full grown out of her father's head ...)

For the manuscript, Camy also goes with the AlphaSmart. “Hands down. I can't revise while I'm on the AlphaSmart and it forces me into full-on creative right brain mode, and the words I write are just better.”

Thomas Nelson author Cara Lynn James says:
--I always have a glass of iced tea
--my flip dictionary (This was new to me, and very cool!)
--Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary which dates when words came into common usage
--The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms.
--I also have my cell phone.

Love Inspired author Audra Harders says she totally agrees with Debby and Camy on the AlphaSmart! She said her rough draft stays rough and flowing when she works on the AlphaSmart.

She also loves using WriteWayPro as her novel writing program rather than Word. It’s very user friendly. She had to pay for the download, but she loves it. It lets her develop characters, keeps her research organized (“For that alone it’s worth millions.”), and it's very easy to navigate. Then when she finishes a book, she just imports the file into an rtf file, saves as Word and voila! She can print and read.

And speaking of writing programs…Myra Johnson (Barbour and Abingdon), who is a Mac user like I am, inspired me with her favorite tool (now I’m ready to really jump in and finally learn this program!). Myra says:

“I LOVE Scrivener. It's great for keeping research organized and easily accessible while I work on my wip. Also I can save pix of my characters along with their bios as well as setting details etc. You can even save actual web pages right into the research section. There's also a feature that lets you set a project word count goal and a daily word count goal, and it tracks your progress on both.”

(I can’t believe there are so many features I haven’t been using. I’ll be correcting that soon! Also, I discovered there's now a beta version for PC.) 

When I asked this question about tools of the Seekers, Mary Connealy (Barbour and Bethany House) first said: “I just use my computer, that's it.”

But then she added a couple of more items:
--The Internet for searches, especially using, and Wikipedia. When she does a Google search, she always types “wiki” at the end to see what pops up.
--Then she added, “Honestly, my best tools are reading great books, novels, not how-to books. I think I learn from them more than anywhere else.”

Amen to that, Mary!

What about you? We want to hear about your favorite tools! And while you’re sharing, help yourself to some extra-bold coffee, hazelnut creamer and…a nice cheesy omelet!! You eat. I’ll do the cleanup. :)

Missy's most recent book from Love Inspired, A Family for Faith, is still available...
Christian Book

Visit Missy at


  1. I love the image of the flying burger only laughing makes me cough.
    thanks for sharing.

  2. I love a great omelette too! :)

    Favorite Writing Tools:

    1. My laptop.
    2. My plot board. (thank you to Seekerville for introducing me to the plot board. I LOVE it!)
    3. My daughter as a sounding board for story ideas. Tonight we were plotting while we walked around the neighborhood.

  3. Mary's list is pretty much mine.

    Now I'm off to set up the coffee pot.


  4. Jenny, I'm sorry you're still coughing! But glad you enjoyed the burger story. As soon as it happened, I knew I wanted to share it with y'all. :)

  5. Erica, you know I never did buy one of those boards. I really need to try it. What size did you get?

  6. Helen, thank you!! I look forward to some hot brew in the morning. :)

    Now, I'm heading to bed.

  7. Missy, great post. A few of these things I had never heard of before and will be checking out.

    1. Computer. And it's on the fritz. Again. Praying for Jesus to keep it limping along.

    2. A really old American College Dictionary
    I found out from my father yesterday this particular dictionary used to belong to my grandmothers brother, and he gave it to my grandmother when he left for the Korean war. Dad said he gave most everything away because he didn't think he would be coming back. Praise God he did though!
    I have a new respect for it I didn't before.

    3. Post-its. When I get great lines I want to use, I write them down and put them up on the wall. When I use them in the WIP, I take them down. I also use them to mark frequently referenced pages of my research books. And as coasters in a pinch.

    4. Google. A lot.

  8. Missy that's hilarious! LOLOLOL

    I'm so glad I'm in such good company with my Alphasmart lovers! I couldn't write without it!

  9. I love my AlphaSmart, too! I do a lot of writing by hand, but my handwriting just keeps getting worse, so I find myself relying more and more on the AlphaSmart. It's great when traveling.

    I loved your post, Missy!

  10. Missy its not as bad as it was but the cough seems to hang round. Laughing tends to make me cough more. The image is just so funny you need to add it to one of your books.

  11. Yep. I have the Plotting Board as well. Very useful tool.

    Especially with blue and pink sticky notes.

  12. Oh my stars, I'm lovin' the diversity.

    I gave my Alpha Smart to the FOUR-YEAR-OLDS to practice writing on because it and I were not (as you say) copasetic.

    The other option was taking a sledge hammer to it.

    But my laptop? The machine I thought I'd hate??? A match made in heaven! (with wi-fi. Love me some wi-fi!)

    Hey, I'm dropping off fresh veggies for the omelette-lovers!

    And M&M peanuts for the rest o' youse!

  13. Congrats on finding that perfect spatula, Missy! Well, almost perfect. :-)

    I'm checking out some of the Seekers favorite tools that I know nothing about. Thanks for the links!

    Kudos on the cheese omelet! Yummy!


  14. Mmmm, cheesy omelettes. I brought some bacon crumbles and a bowl of chopped scallions to sprinkle on top.

    I love these ideas. I tried using the plotting board for what it was intended, but my mind just doesn't think that way. LOL! So instead, I slap sticky notes with reminders that I have to pick up story threads and GMC along the way.

    And like Nancy, I slap Post-Its with great lines, details, character traits all over the board. Looks like a first-grader's tissue paper collage when I'm done with it, LOL!

    Thanks for the M&Ms, Ruthy!

  15. What? Chocolate isn't a tool???? I'm crushed.

    I recently discovered a set of post it notes that are chart paper size (I mean HUGE). I found them when I cleared out one of the rooms at work. Sadly we are closing the doors to our school board library at the end of the summer -- hence my clearing out every nook and cranny. Bonus -- I got to keep the GINORMOUS post-its. Now nearly all my walls in my teensy tinsy house are covered in themm -- every page filled with plot/character notes.

  16. Thanks, Missy, for the tip about the spatula.....I'll shop for one soon!

  17. Nancy, I'll be praying for your computer! I know that feeling. I went for a year before buying my new one. As my mom would say, that old one held on with "a wing and a prayer."

    I wonder where that expression came from?? :) Do you think it means an angel wing? How funny that I've heard that my whole life but never really thought about it until now. :)

  18. Nancy, I also meant to say how cool that is about your dictionary!! Take good care of it.

  19. Camy, I wish you could have seen it happen. We were sitting outside on the deck and I'm carefully leaning over to slide that hamburger on her bun...then ZOOM!

    And the dogs were hanging around ready to pounce should we drop a crumb! I only had 4 burgers. It would have been a disaster if she hadn't caught it. hehe

  20. Hey, Suzie!! It's great to see you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. What I would give for a video tape! :)

  21. Jenny, I'm glad you're getting better. But goodness, I know you must be frustrated to have been sick for so long!

  22. Tina, do you have the biggest one?

  23. Ruthy, I'm amazed at how many people use their AlphaSmart. I have to say, I'm in the Ruthy school of use, too. It was great in the beginning before I had a laptop and netbook. But I find I edit too much as I write. (And I have a really, really old Alpha 3000.)

  24. Thanks, Janet! I love my new spatula! :)

  25. Audra, I'm laughing, picturing you with your tissue paper collage!! :)

  26. Kav! How could we have forgotten chocolate!

    Special occasions such as rejections definitely call for the tool of chocolate!!

    For bad contest feedback: Dove or Lindt chocolate from the grocery store.

    For editor or agent rejections: Go for the good stuff and head to the Godiva store nearest you. Somehow if you spend $2 on one truffle, it just makes you feel better.


  27. Jackie, I hope you like it as much as I do! Just use it with caution. LOL

  28. Oh, Missy, what an EGGSELENT blog today, girlfriend!!! Talk about a keeper -- this is it!! I must have been buried eyeball deep in deadlines when you asked this question, 'cause I don't remember it.

    One of my favorite tools is an INCREDIBLE online thesaurus called the Reverse Dictionary. You type in any word or phrase and it brings up every synonym known to man. It's SO good (and easy!) that it has even replaced my former writer's Bible, The Synonym Finder. Here's the link:

    Then, as a historical author, I absolutely LIVE by the best etymology dictionary out there -- The Online Etymology Dictionary. Here's the link:

    I have seven favorite sites that are tabbed at the top of my screen at all times, and these two are the two I use most.


  29. I use online dictionaries all the time. I also keep a blank word document open so I can type a word and quickly check for synonyms by right clicking on the desire word. I need to figure out how to become better organized because I have several notebooks I record ideas in, as well as documents, post-its, and envelopes. You all bring some good ideas to the table. :p

    Missy, “on a wing and prayer” is a lovely sounding expression and I want to say it had something to do with wartime pilots.


  30. Oh, look!

    "Anyone who can write it that way is surely too young to know that it comes from a famous American World War Two patriotic song, with words by Harold Adamson and music by Jimmy McHugh. It tells the tale of a plane struggling home after a bombing raid:

    Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
    What a show, what a fight
    Boys, we really hit our target for tonight
    How we sing as we limp through the air
    Look below, there’s our field over there
    Though there’s one motor gone
    We can still carry on
    Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer.

    The song came out at the end of 1942 and instantly became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, so much so that the phrase almost immediately entered the language."

    Oh, I love tidbits of historical information like that.


  31. What a great post - I always learn so much when I drop by Seekerville!

    I'm with Ruthy - laptop and wifi. My dear husband gave me the laptop for Christmas a few years ago with the words "I know you'll use this" and I have. What did I ever do without it?

    Another tool are a set of 2' by 4' white boards. They're great for outlining, mapping, etc. I use color markers and go to town. The poor things are standing in a corner since we moved, but I think we'll get them hung on the walls this week.

  32. Julie, thank you for those links! I have them bookmarked now.

    You didn't really miss the question because I just posted it Saturday evening! I was a little late putting the post together. LOL

  33. Whitney, thank you!! I appreciate you looking it up! Isn't Google wonderful? (I'm assuming you Googled it.)

    Now I know what I'm saying when I repeat my mom's phrase. :)

  34. Jan, white boards are an excellent idea! I don't have an office, though. At least not one upstairs that I use. Maybe once my son graduates from college and gets job and is living on his own, I'll be able to finally steal his bedroom. (I tried stealing it last school year but he came home last summer and moved all my stuff back out!) [grin]

  35. Great tips, Missy!

    Thanks so much.

    (who is enjoying the great weather finally!)

  36. Exciting to hear these tools (including chocolate of course!) since I'm into book 2 now... The plotting part anyway, she says, rubbing hands together... :)

    (It does sound like we should rub our hands together when we say that, doesn't it?!)

    Will have to check out a few other tips.

    I'm starting to learn my way around Snowflake software. Thanks for letting me know about it.

    One resource I use many times a day, whether writing related or otherwise, is

    Thanks for a super post, Missy. May the K9 Spy says she would have been right alongside your four-footers, helping clean up. ;D

  37. Missy - my "office" doubles as our school room (another perk of homeschooling!). But my grip on it is tenuous - just this morning my dear husband (and greatest supporter) said "We can use that extra room for storage now that you don't really use it for school anymore."

    Auggh! I don't think he really knows what I do during the day while he's at work :) (Plus we have another year of school to go!)

    But today's project? Brainstorming other areas of the house to use for storage!

    I'm ready for a mid-morning pick-me-up (and it's only 8:45!) Here are some honey-wheat muffins to go with everyone's coffee. And, of course, chocolate.

  38. I'd like to talk with you now, Missy, but I'm suddenly so hungry for an omelet I have to go.

  39. Sue, I'm glad you dropped by! Enjoy that weather. It's supposed to hit 100 degrees here today in Georgia!

    KC, thanks for sharing the link! Tell May that my chocolate lab would have scarfed that burger down in one bite! I bet May would be a little more delicate about it. :)

  40. LOL, Jan! If you don't find that extra room, I'd suggest heading out to storage facilities! :)

  41. I guess I don't use a lot of tools! But I do love the Collegiate dictionary. I subscribe to it online and it is a must-have for a historical writer and so, so handy to have online.

    I'm an organic writer. I like for the plot to grow in my head. In the past I have consulted GMC charts and the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook after my book was already mostly plotted out. Great post, though, Missy!

    BTW, I'm going to ICRS, I just found out. Are any of you going???

  42. There are so many tools out there! It can get a little overwhelming. I like what Mary said, too. At this point, I'm just using my laptop. I love my thesaurus on there. I use it constantly! I think I'm going to check out the plot board idea. Now I've got to get back to writing...we've been out west and I've got to get back in the groove!

  43. Melanie, I wish I could go! But I can't this time.

    Stacey, best of luck getting back into the swing!

  44. Can't think of any tools at the moment, but loved hearing the advice from everyone.

    Jodie Wolfe

  45. Love, and And I SO want an alphasmart! Sooooo want one!!!!

    Great post, Missy!

  46. Wonderful post, Missy!

    I'm going to have to try out these suggested writing tools! Sounds like great stuff!

    I've been using an older version of Corel's WordPerfect. I think it's like version 8? It has a small built in thesaurus, word counter, along with spelling and grammar helps that come in handy every once in a while.

    Thanks for the spatula story as well! Brings to mind some of the cooking escapades my sister and I were involved in once upon a time. Wonderful memories. :)

  47. I'm always curious what other writers use. I'd have to say my laptop, my 7 x 5 in notebook with whatever pen or pencil is available, Google, Word and Excel. I keep spreadsheets of my plot outline, the scenes and I write them and my daily word count progress.

    Missy, I soooo get your spatula hunt. I'm on the hunt for one now. The trick will be teaching my crew to use the right spatula for the right situation.

  48. Missy, it's got to be one of those love 'em or hate 'em things. But at least I TRIED it before I condemned it.

    Obviously I'm not good jury material.

    Because that laptop is a dream come true and I was convinced it was a waste of money...

    (kissing said laptop that she can tote anywhere the children are... except the bathtub...)

  49. Hi Missy:

    Great post. I checked out all the online tools and when I tried to put them in my favorites, a whole lot of them were already there!

    So, I have an idea for a meta-tool. Make a list of all your great tools and visit them once a month.

    Even the best tool is of little use if you don’t know you have it.

    About spatulas: I need one that can get under the hamburger on the grill without cutting into the meat and leaving a 1/8” inch strip of meat on the grill.

    Patricia said: “The trick will be teaching my crew to use the right spatula for the right situation.” That sounds a lot like golf. You finally hit a great shot and it goes thirty yards beyond the green. Too much spatula.


    P.S. Thanks to Tina for the plug on my post. I’m am working on the RPP book today.

  50. My daughter is an awesome sounding board as I find I need to talk through my events to get them firmly in my head. Other than that, it's just me and my Word program. Would prefer a pen and legal pad (a pink one) but it wastes too much time to transfer the data.

  51. Oh Missy,
    This is great.
    I've been emailing a Lusitania expert for 6 months. He's Irish - so OF COURSE, he's cool! It's been great, because he's been doing research on all-things Lusitania for the past 25 years. Wow...the knowledge!

    And I read good books. Research and fun - love that mix.

    I love using OneNote to organize research, pics, plotlines, characters. I'm not gifted in the 'organization' realm- but this is simple enough that I 'get it'.

    I'm a BIG sticky note fan and little pocket notebooks. I can scribble on those no matter where I am.

    The Synonym Finder - recommended by Julie Lessman. It is a wonderful research that I always have open when I'm at my desk writing.

    okay - back to cooking supper :-)

  52. K.
    Just so Julie's comment.
    I've DEFINITELY gotta check out that link :-)

  53. It was great getting a glimpse into how ya'll write. I really enjoyed it, thanks!

  54. I'm still so new to all of these tools. I'm part of the ACFW crit group and without them I'd be lost.
    This is such a great post for me. I have a feeling I'll be coming back here time after time. I've already learned so much.
    Thanks for sharing!

  55. Sorry I've been absent! I had to take the kids to a consult with an oral surgeon (wisdom teeth out this summer!). And then we stopped at the mall. :)

    Will catch up now...

  56. Joanne,

    I hope you get that AlphaSmart!

    Natalie, my sister and I have a few kitchen escapades as well. :)

  57. Patricia, thanks for sharing your tools! I hope you find just the right spatula. :)

    Y'all Patricia just took the online class I taught and has such a great story going!! I can't wait to see who's desk it lands on and to see where it goes!

  58. Ruthy, I do like my netbook for traveling. Longer battery for taking notes in workshops. And I can have Word when I write. :)

  59. Vince, you need a nice large metal spatula. My silicone one left a little beef as well. :)

    Great idea for the meta-tool! LOL

    Keep working on that RPP book! We're dying to buy it.

  60. Marji, I like to work on paper sometimes. It just flows differently.

    I was recently talking with an author who'd been working on paper but dreaded typing it in. I suggested she hire her teenager to type it in for her. I think she ended up doing that. :)

  61. Pepper, I'm going to check out the link, too. That 20-pound book is a hassle to get off the shelf! :)

  62. I guess I should have added the TV remote. I need it on when I take a break. I'm addicted to news and the H&G network.

  63. Faye, thanks for stopping by!
    Jackie, we're so glad you're here! A critique group is an amazing tool! Thanks for reminding us. :)

  64. Cara, I think you and I are very similar. Working on the couch on our Macs, cell phone and remote beside us. I also keep lip balm next to me. And a glass of iced tea (Crystal Light lemon or peach). :) Also next to me on the other side: my calendar and a pen/pencil.

    I keep the TV off most of the time these days. I used to like it for background noise, but I'm finding that it has started to distract me.

  65. BTW...For you mall dwellers...

    Just Bieber's fragrance is out now. At Macy's, they're giving away a cute laptop bag with a $45 purchase. :) That's the whole reason we had to hit the mall. BUT the fragrance is reaaallly sweet. Instead, my daughter ended up buying Coach Poppy, which she's wanted for ages. (I'm thankful. I don't think I could have been around the other for long.) Sorry, JB. ;)

    Also, Victoria's Secret is having their semi-annual sale!

    Oh, and Bath and Body Works is having half off candles.

    Okay, that's it for my public service announcement. LOL

  66. Missy,

    I was wondering if my AlphaSmart was too old to be very good. A couple of keys are messed up and it will just zoom along and make a bunch of spaces.

    It's a 3000. Can anyone say if the newest versions are better?

    I got the 3000 on close-out for $150 and I figure the new ones are way more expensive.

    I've been meaning to get Scrivener for the MAC but am concerned the learning curve will slow me down too much.

    I'm behind on reading comments. Anyone using I sampled it once and it shut down the internet great. I would have to buy the software to use it more.

  67. Oh, my, I can SO related to that special spatula.

    And teflon skillets.

    And well-seasoned iron skillets.

    But dh does NOT related.

    If he cooks a burger or even an egg, he cooks it on HIGH. Sure, the food's done and he's happy, but my skillets take a beating.

    And, teflon skillets get the rubber spatula, NOT metal.


    Oh, what were we talking about?



    Went off on a tangent there...

  68. Great blog, Missy!

    Lots of wonderful writing tips.

    Thanks, Janet, for mentioning The Writer's Prayer.

    Glad to know what's available at the Mall too!

  69. wow the spatula incident reminded me of the satin bedset/satin pj's episode I had back when!


  70. Great post, Missy!

    I LOVE my MacAir. I couldn't live without it!

  71. Cathy, when I first bought Scrivener, I only used the corkboard to hold my scene index cards.

    On the last book, I did a little of the tutorial and used a few more features. Next time, I plan to use it even more and try some of the things Myra mentioned.

    So you can play with it a little at a time. :)

  72. LOL, Pam. Sorry to distract you, there. :)
    Debby, I'm so glad you've posted your prayer on your website!

  73. Susanna, it's great to see you!! And yes, I had one of those times too, in junior high at a friend's house. We ran and dove in our silky gowns onto those satin sheets and ended up in the floor on the other side of the bed, laughing ourselves silly. :)

  74. Sherry, it's a great computer! So light and thin.

  75. Missy- the dresser stopped me - along with an arm getting stuck in the rails of the headboard..and I was around 25 and should have known better! oh well I was graceful in my mind at least! ;-)


  76. LOL, Susanna. Sounds dangerous at that age! :)

  77. I know what you mean about having a good spatula...I'm still looking.

    Post-It Notes are my regular standby. Can't get by without them. Computer & Google for research. A small notebook in my purse to make quick notes when I'm not at home. Dictionaries and how to books are also park of my arsenal.

    Cindy W.


  78. Cindy, thanks for your input! I wish we could all buy stock in sticky notes! LOL

  79. My tools....thanks to Janet's comment, will soon include the Dictionary of Idioms and the New Ninth College Merriam-Websters. Thank you so much. My cousin gave me a coupon to for my birthday, and this is my moment!

    I've been using Wikipedia and the Brittanica online, but having a noble, real-live set at my fingertips befits a REAL writer, which I am becoming.

    Again, thank you so much for the discussion of tools today, and the omelet invitation. YUM.

    I don't write often, but am pecking away at my WIP, trying something totally new, and your missals often encourage me no end.

    I would love to enter the latest free critique giveaway - I think leaving a comment puts me in the running?

    And I've signed up for conference now, so anyone who has helped me (and several of you have), I will be skulking around for your nametags!

    Gail Kittleson

  80. Gail, I'm glad you're heading to conference! (I'm assuming you mean ACFW). I won't be there but hope to meet you next year!

  81. I absolutely can not write without my netbook. It's a pink Dell Mini9 and I love it. I have a lot of trouble with my hands and writing with the netbook leaves me pain free.

    I also have a little notebook I keep full of plots. After all, I have to have somewhere to write down all those voices rolling around in my head!

  82. Oh, I want a pink computer!!! :) Sounds so fun, Dawn. I'm glad to hear it helps your hands. I never would have thought it could, but I guess you don't have to stretch them or move them as much.

    Thanks for sharing!

  83. Hi Missy, so many good ideas to look in to. Love the hamburger story. I'll have to get one of those spatulas.

    I love Scriveners. I've been using it for a few months now and I'm still discovering things. Like the comments feature. You can enter a comment and it will link to the part of the story you're at. I use it to edit without actually deleting the text (it's a security thing). I also link research notes to certain parts of the story so I can come back and flesh it out later. It's a dream ap for my disorganized brain.

  84. Christy, that's a cool feature I haven't used yet! I'll give it a try.

  85. Missy, in case you don't know where it is, it's the little n* icon (Comments & Footnotes) in the lower right when the Inspector is open. Insert the cursor in your text where you want the link, then click on the + in the upper right to open a comment pane.

    If you delete the text with the link (which is highlighted in yellow) the comment goes away. So if it's really important, save it on text page in your research folder.

    The new version has The Hero's Journey novel templates. They're a little advanced for me. eek.

  86. Thanks, Christy! I never would have figured that out. I'm amazed at all the program can do. :)

    I had no idea about the Novel Journey template!! I'll check to see if my version has that. I would love that.

    You know, it just hit me. I bet you're the Christy who took our Cinder-Bella class! If so, thanks for heading over here from my link. :)