Freedom logoHey, writers, wouldn’t you just love to blow off all those enticing internet distractions when you’ve got a daily writing quota to turn out?

How many times, with the best of intentions, have you told yourself, “I’m going to stay off the internet until after lunch,” yet somehow it doesn’t happen. The end of the day rolls around and you haven’t written a word.

NaNoWriMo, the yearly gut check for novelists, is almost here, and that means over 1,500 words a day for 30 days. Are you up to it? Sure, you say, but here comes another email, another tweet. Plus, there’s some important research to get done, and you haven’t changed your Facebook status in a while, and…oh, what the heck, why not surf through a few blogs while you’re at it.

And on and on it goes. What price freedom?

How about $10. That’s how much it costs to buy Freedom, simple little utility that, with a couple of clicks, turns off your internet for whatever length of time you specify.

Sure, you can turn it back on. But to do it, you have to shut down your computer, and sit there feeling like dog food while it reboots. In my experience, that’s sufficient trouble (not to mention self-loathing) that you’ll think twice before surfing away.

Freedom now comes in both Mac and PC versions, and in my opinion it takes its place beside Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die in the Self Enforcement Wing of the Writers’ Hall of Fame for Internet Tools. (For the record, I have no affiliate relationship with either Freedom or Write or Die.)

Here’s a direct challenge to those who say, “I just can’t find the time to read fiction anymore.” If you can’t handle this once every few weeks, you’d better renegotiate grade school.

One-Story
One Story, in the words of its publisher, Marybeth Batcha, is on a mission “to save the short story by publishing in a friendly format that allows readers to experience each story as a stand-alone work of art and a simple form of entertainment. One Story is designed to fit into your purse or pocket, and into your life.

One Great Story

One Story is designed to fit into your purse or pocket, and into your life.

Each issue is artfully designed, lightweight, “easy to carry, and ready to entertain on buses, in bed, in subways, in cars, in the park, in the bath, in the waiting rooms of doctors, on the couch in the afternoon or on line at the supermarket.”

And don’t look for the online version: One Story, slim as it is, is a real magazine, and available only by subscription.

So, okay, slackers, no more excuses. There is always time to read one story.

Interesting how quickly things change. On first look at the iPad I posted my opinion that it was not for serious fictionwriters. Why? Because, the the kind of pounding fictionwriters do, its virtual keyboard was not a serious contender for the toolbox. Well, that’s all over now. FADE OUT/FADE IN: Apple, about to unveil the iPad, is already offering a bluetooth keyboard that just might do close the discussion. Check it out.

Presto – Your New Mac Netbook

February 4, 2010

Restless minds have figured out ways of getting OS X onto various Windows-native netbooks.

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Convert Your Old Typed Manuscripts to PDF and Word Docs

February 1, 2010

I have an old pile of typed manuscripts that were never saved on a computer.

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The iPad – It Doesn’t Walk on Water…Yet

January 29, 2010

The Apple iPad arrived Wednesday and elicited mostly positive reviews, but many were an interesting combination of dying-to-have-one but loathe-to-show-it.

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See How Your Entire Writing World Can Exist inside This Amazing Tool for Fiction Writers

September 8, 2009

These virtual writing project organizers have been designed BY writers, FOR writers.

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