It’s been a very busy few months for me. Everyone is busy, I know. When are we supposed to find time to write? Well, arguably, we’re supposed to prioritize the things we love, and I have recently gone back to the sport of fencing after a 12 year hiatus. That has been extraordinarily good for me — sadly, limited to one night a week. But I’ve also been incredibly bogged down in work and trying to spend time with my wife and kids. Writing, which is typically a solitary activity, is hard to mix into that compound of activities. So this editorial is late.
In pursuit of this editorial, however, I started looking at tools for writing. Yes, I can use Notepad. In fact, I usually do. But sometimes I want a bit of variety, and certainly Notepad doesn’t offer everything I look for in a document editor. Word seems too large and bloated to me, quite often, and there have been many times when Word has failed to correct my grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. It’s not Microsoft’s fault that I made those mistakes, but still … everyone wants a little help. And, of course, I always want to find something new. Sometimes just a fresh writing tool gives me the ability to start composing.
That’s what happened today. I was digging around the net, looking for writing websites, and I stumbled upon Big Huge Labs’ Writer application. It’s basically a text editor in a website, so you can use it from any type of computer that can hit the web (in theory), so iPads, Android phones, Macs and PCs should all be compatible. It’s also a full-screen editor (or as full as you make your browser), does word count on the fly, and error marking. Pretty cool.
Now, I don’t want to just tout a single product. I’m not here to advertise for them, and this isn’t a review I’ve been paid to write. (That’d be nice … There are plenty of tools out there, and several I’ve used in the past that are simplistic, full-screen, distraction-free composition environments. I’ve used OmmWriter, WriteMonkey, FocusWriter, and a couple of applications that aren’t around anymore.
Ultimately, they all offer a similar feature: the ability to use your laptop / computer / tablet / what have you, for a single, specific thing: to write. No adds, no games, and no ability to decide to open a browser and check . Ultimately, you have to sit down and decide to write. You have to prioritize it. So this issue, I’d like to introduce you to two authors you’ve met before, who have decided to prioritize their writing: Dafydd Cyhoeddwr and Keith English. Dafydd brings us Thread 8 of Ol Tamboch Narhin, The Skipping Stone, and Keith presents us with the first of a two-part story titled Cursed.