So there’s this new website that has been live for, a couple of months by now I believe, called Writely. It’s a subscription based website that encourages you to write everyday. It has a forum for sharing writing and other discussions, a points system to reward you for writing, and tutorial writings that teach you how to do different types of writing. A few people on the forum said they were very excited for the app to be released and couldn’t wait for it to launch. I hadn’t had that kind of anticipation for it so this will be more of a casual review of it.
I liked the idea of this app when I first signed up to beta it, but its functionality doesn’t live up to what I had hoped. Granted, it is still in beta so it may get better with other people and other feedback. The app isn’t a phone app so it’s hard to use when you don’t have access to a computer, which describes most of my day. It also makes it hard to actually achieve the word count I’d like to for the day because I can’t access the web app everywhere I go.
I think with a few adjustments or with the addition of a phone or desktop app this could be a really useful tool for most people. I also think that with the addition of features like Scribophile has the interactive features of the site could also help a lot of people with editing and such. Before anyone who uses Writely complains that neither of these are the point of Writely; I know. I know that the point of the app is to get as many words written and projects finished as possible. But finishing the project is only half the battle. If you’re actually going to do anything with it, besides have it sit and collect digital dust on a hard drive somewhere, you need to edit it and send it out.
So do I think it’s worth checking out the free trial and maybe using if you have a specific project you want to get accomplished in a certain amount of time? Yes. Do I think it is a program I will pay for over a long period of time? No. I think I will eventually find that it does not benefit me as much as it would need to for the amount that it costs.
Disclaimer 1: I have not been paid for this review. I do not get paid for anything I post.
Disclaimer 2: I do not edit any of my posts. They are all just stream of consciousness kind of things. So if they are worded poorly or if they have typos, that is why. Usually it is because my brain moves faster than my fingers and forms five different versions of the same sentence resulting in a combination of all of them. Sometimes it’s just that I’m tired and/or distracted by the other people who live in my house. The later is the case for this particular post.
Obviously by the title this is about Evanescence’s new album Synthesis which is out now and can be purchased or listened to in multiple places, so I feel I should make it clear that I am not being paid for any of the rest of the article. The following is just my own personal opinion of the album and websites discussed in this post.
Okay, so now that that’s out of the way. Let me just say that I absolutely LOVE this album! For those of you who don’t know, the concept for this album is basically the classic Evanescence songs but with a full orchestra and other instruments non-traditional for rock band based music. It is really cool!
As someone who in general likes orchestral instruments better than any electric instruments, I was all about it from the beginning. There’s just something about them that make things sound more epic/movie magic level. The sound is fuller and with headphones you can almost pick out each individual instrument while also hearing them all as a whole. There are so many different elements and movements to focus on that you can listen to a song a bunch of times and it will still sound different each time. Most of the songs on the album are already on their other albums but they all sound so new and interesting that I don’t even mind.
You know how when bands re-release songs or have a Greatest Hits album and you’re like “I’m a fan so I want this” but also like “But do I really want to spend more money on songs I already have?” (In the end I usually end up buying them anyway just for the fan-cred.). When I saw the song list that’s sort of what when through my brain, but when I listened to them when they were released on Youtube (evanescencevideo) and Spotify it completely changed my mind because they were just so gorgeous and new.
I did say most of the songs are old, but there are two completely new songs with lyrics and two new songs that are purely instrumental. Which adds even more new music excitement to this already pretty exciting album. But I think that best part of the new versions and the new songs is that you can hear Amy Lee’s absolutely gorgeous voice and vocal range even better on this new album. Without the rock background she’s just so clear and pure over the top of the music, like her vocals got drowned out before.
Overall, the album is just amazing and I would totally recommend you listen to it or even buy it. And if you want to they are doing a give away on Tunespeak. My personalized link is in the about me tab and then we both get entries. The winning prize includes a signed Synthesis cd. So go ahead and check that out too.
So Camp NaNoWriMo just ended and as usual they have rolled out their winners perks. Unlike usual I actually qualified as a winner this time around (Woo!), and I’ve decided to check out the winners’ perks. One of the winners’ perks is 30% off a premium membership for a website called Scribophile.
Scribophile is a writer community for serious writers who want serious feedback. It’s not for the people who just post to get views, or post for the fun of it (although those are there too they are not the majority). This site has a contribute before benefits setup where you must help out other members with their writing before you can get enough karma points to post a work of your own. It’s really an ingenious system. It means you can’t take advantage of the community.
When you first sign up you are awarded two karma points. It then walks you through how to set up your profile and participate in the community. Once you’ve gone through the orientation you pretty much have free reign on the site. You can introduce yourself in the forums or jump right in and critique a work for someone. So far I’ve only tried out the critiquing and the scratchpad. I am particularly fond of the inline critique format where you can read the work and basically write in the margins, then post it for the author to see. It’s interesting because you get to see everyone’s work and help them and watch the piece evolve into something new. It’s very interesting and I would recommend checking it out.
I feel like I have a million posts titled Updates. But I’m constantly updating things and being creative with these titles just takes away from all of the other things that I’m doing.
As you can probably see there is a new page title up at the top called Currently Reading which is intended to be a more real time status update for what books I’m reading and what books I’m reviewing. It will have the book I am currently reading, my thoughts, and the most recent quote that has gotten stuck in my brain. It will also have the book I just finished, just the title unless I have comments that need to escape my brain. And finally it will have the book I’m reviewing, whether or not I will do a full review or just a tiny one on Goodreads, and what the progress of the review is.
So that’s the run down of the new page, now for the run down of what’s currently there. I just finished The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken and my brain is so full of nerd comments that I’m not even sure where to begin. I would like to do a full review on this book because it was just so good but if I don’t have the time or the second book ruins the vibe I’m feeling with this one. It’s such a good book, at least for me right now in my current state of mind.
Filed under Books!, Updates
So I subscribed to Penguin Random House’s mailing list a while ago, and it gives you updates on different programs and upcoming releases. It also sends different surveys on product marketing ideas. In the most recent email was information about #ProjectReadathon.
#ProjectReadathon is a week long promotion that donates money for every excerpt you read from a Penguin Random House book. However, only certain excerpts qualify. For every minute you read Penguin Random House donates a book to Save the Children. The excerpts that qualify can be found here: #ProjectReadathon. The promotion ends on April 23rd, which is also UNESCO’s World Book Day. So go add to your To Read list for charity!
Filed under Books!, Charity
So I’ve done a small overhaul of the website. I’ve updated all of the pages and added a new one. Please leave comments about whether or not the changes are something you like or dislike or if you have any suggestions.
So I was looking through my Goodreads shelves and updating the ones I own and the ones I don’t own on my shelves and I decided to finally look up what that BookCrossing ID thing meant. What I found was that BookCrossing is a website where you can custom print book plates with an ID number on it. This ID can be used to track where the book has gone over the years. You can even release your own books into the wild.
It looks like the idea behind this was to make a public library with a world wide community involvement instead of just a local community thing. There are also no due dates, or late fees. You can keep the book as long as you want and release it whenever, wherever, and to whoever you want. You can write reviews and do pretty much all of the same things with BookCrossing as you can with Goodreads. You can even connect BookCrossing to Goodreads. But with BookCrossing you can track books you release, read reviews on the books you release, or see where the book you found is from. It’s pretty cool.
I made a profile for it, and a custom book plate that is released for public purchase. (There are free book plates or ones you can purchase.) My BookCrossing profile is under tonks4life, I’m sure you can find me with that. I just thought it was a cool thing. If any of you do sign up for this site I believe they have a referrer section on the profile so feel free to add me to that!
Since I know a lot of people find me because of the book reviews I used to do I’ll point this out. This site seems like a really cool way to market or spread word about your books. If you have print copies that you’re trying to get reviewed or that you’re selling on your own personal website, or even if you have them in bookstores you might want to buy a few book plates and put them in your books. It might spread word faster and to more people. (Maybe ask permission before placing it in bookstore copies that are waiting to be sold.)
Anyway, have fun sharing your books! Or reading them. Whichever.