C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

Filtering by Tag: ipad

Meanwhile, in the town of -UNDISCLOSED-

Reading Books:

The squeal to "John Dies at the End" by David Wong, is a book full of spiders.

"This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It" is a less rough-around-the-edges tale centering around two beloved slackers living in a fictitious Midwestern town. Part of the popularity to the first book was due to it's following on the Internet, as a serialized blog of sorts. Reading the first book you could tell that -though coherent and complete- it felt somewhat disjointed. There were several stories rolled into one overarching main story that tied itself together in a somewhat chaotic way. The chaotic nature of the story and it's characters, that off-the-cuff writing style made the story work.

The squeal is much more polished. The story is tight. There are several subplots but they tie together in a way that complements the story as a whole. The tie-ins are clean.

I think the 1st book is better only because that chaos was what set the book apart, made it unique. It's not that it wasn't present in the squeal, but it was lacking.

Writing Books:

I had to look back to my last entry to see what the hell I had last talked about.

Ok, Part 1 IS done.

I need to sit down and edit it but finding the time to do that has been tough. It's the end of the fiscal year and the library I work at has a lot of extra money they want to give me. So my meager 6 hour a week shift has grown to 19 hours, just for this remaining month. So I'm working a lot.

I've reached the conclusion that in the same way writing with pen and paper is more effective than typing it out, editing in the same way is equally beneficial. But the tech-geek in me wants to desperately bridge this gap. I tried using a stylus with my iPad, Pages, and a copy of Part 1. Didn't work. Actually it sucked ass. And to be blunt, as one who owns several Apple devices and doesn't pass up a trip to the Apple Store whenever I'm in a mall, I can honestly say that the iPad is a nightmare for serious writing. It's a toy. It really is. Don't get me wrong, I like my shiny expensive toy, but I've given up on trying to use it to get any real work done. 

I've been eyeing the new Surface Pro 3, which isn't even out yet. No, I'm not being endorsed by Micro$oft. I'm merely seeing something I could actually use to get the pen and paper experience on an electronic device.

So I've been wasting a lot of time on tech I don't have instead of reading Part 1. 

Meanwhile, I'm stumbling through Part 2. I'm still trying to get a clear picture of how events play out. I mean, it's all been written in Draft 1, but I'm still discovering new things, new quirks about characters, new places to explore.

Having no time doesn't help either. I'm not in the groove, not in the world of the story.

Reading Part 1 will help.

Perhaps in July.

Editing Made Easy with RD Client

I've started editing my 'short' story and I've come up with a very comfortable means of doing this. I've made a point not to chain myself to my desk for the editing . I really want to keep this stage in the writing process about cleaning up embarrassing spelling and grammatical errors, and less about rewrites. I really want a very clean first draft to start revisions from and since I've not finished the story yet, I cannot consider these initial revisions part of a new draft. Not being at a desk, with a keyboard keeps me from rewriting when I should be writing. 

How I've achieved this is using my iPad and a little app made by Micro$oft called RD Client, which is available on the iTunes and GooglePlay store. RD Client turns your tablet into a Windows Desktop. But it's not just any Windows Desktop. This is YOUR Windows Desktop. Interacting with the desktop from your tablet is very responsive because RD Client only works within your home network and does not need to travel outside the network in the way similar products like TeamViewer have to in order to authenticate.

The experience is access to my entire personal computer, which means I have access to the full version of M$ Word instead of a dumb'd-down 'tablet' version. I am able to edit my work while sprawled out on the couch. The onscreen keyboard allows me to make corrections, additions or subtractions, but is cumbersome enough to discourage me from rewriting entire sections of work. It can be done however, and I've already found that I have added entire paragraphs using just the onscreen keyboard. But it is still a bit too awkward to do any substantial, long-term work. If I connected a Bluetooth keyboard that may be a different story and I may end up doing that for a writing session in the very near future. But it's really working great for this editing/first-read-through process. 

Setting this up is also very simple:

1. Make sure your tablet is connected to your home network.

2. Make sure your Home PC is ON (duh!)

3. On your Home PC, go to the Start Menu and Right-Click Computer

4. Locate where it says Computer Name: , and write down the name of your computer. Chances are it says something generic and dumb like "Owner-PC". Maybe now would be a good time to make your computer less dumb and change the name to something awesome like SHUTtheFKUPDONNIE, or IWRITEBKS4LULZ.

4.5. If you get an error trying to connect by the Computer Name, you'll have to use an IP address. To do this, go to the Start Menu and in the box that says Search for programs and files type cmd and hit ENTER. In the black box type ipconfig and hit ENTER. Write down the string of numbers to the right of IPv4. This is your IP address and 2 examples of what it should look like are: or They are always 4 groups of numbers separated by periods (.)

5. On your tablet, open the RD Client app and select New Remote Desktop.

6. Under Connection Name, type a name for your computer. This is handy if, like me, you have a lot of different computers to keep track of. This name can be anything. You can call it something like Home Desktop, or Home Laptop, or even just a bunch of nonsense so long as you know what computer your accessing.

7. Under PC name, you are going to want to type the actual name of your computer described in Step 4. So go ahead and type in "Owner-PC" ;-p

7.5 Again, if you're getting an error connecting, go back to Step 4.5, get the IP address and then type it in, in replace of the Computer Name.

8. Under User Name type the Username and Password you use to log into your home PC. If you don't use a username and password to login to your PC,  then I see you like to live dangerously. I'm not sure if leaving this field blank will work. Windows has a fetish for security. You may need to secure your computer if you're getting errors connecting.

9. Ignore Gateway, hit Save, and then tap your newly created Computer entry to connect. If you get a Certificate Error, simply click Always Allow. If you can't connect, check your firewall or call tech support. Leave a comment below and I may be able to walk you through it.