Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Sunday
Apr182010

My Fictionwise e-book woes continue...

Giving up on having an iPad version of eReader, I'm checking out Stanza, but customer support does not seem to be replying to questions on the topic: Meanwhile, I also tried getting versions of the e-books I purchased on Fictionwise onto my iPad to read through the iPhone app versions of eReader or Stanza...but am encountering problems. I'm getting the following error when I try downloading many of the titles in my Fictionwise library: "EBOOK DOWNLOAD: Territory not authorized. You are attempting to download an e-book that has territorial restrictions and it appears that you are in a country that is not authorized. Please contact the website you purchased this e-book from to determine if an error in processing has occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience." Argh. I had already come across this sort of problem when attempting to buy certain e-books that are available in the U.S. but not Canada, but never AFTER I had paid for them. I tried to re-download the e-books from my iPhone and got the same error, so this problem isn't because of my iPad but rather because of something changing with the book permissions. I've written to Fictionwise customer support. Hopefully I'll get a more helpful answer than I did to my last query. Sigh.

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Saturday
Apr172010

Fictionwise eReader Not Supporting iPad

I recently wrote the following to Customer Support at Fictionwise:

I'm a longtime customer of Fictionwise and I recently bought an iPad. All my ebooks from Fictionwise, however, are in the "recommended format" e.g. Secure eReader, but reading these ebooks on my iPad means I either have to read them iPhone size (too small for the iPad screen) OR blurry (increased to fill the size of the iPad screen). Do you plan to develop an iPad version of eReader? If not, I regret that I'm not going to be making any further purchases from Fictionwise. Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Their reply:
Hi, Currently at this time, there are no plans to update the iPhone eReader app for iPad. Thanks! Best Regards, Linda Fictionwise Support Team
Not happy about this, nor with Fictionwise's uninformative form letter response.

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Monday
Apr122010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500, 1000 wds/day

Ok, I had a total #fail when it came to writing during my vacation. I got frustrated at first but then just decided to let it go so I could actually enjoy the vacation. It was hard to explain the frustration to non-writers. It wasn't that I felt OBLIGATED to write...I WANTED to write. Not being able to write some days was like not drinking water. But now I'm super-motivated, and I figure that's only a good thing.

Do you need a wordcount challenge with some leeway? Check out the challenges below: 250 wds/day | 500 wds/day | 1000 wds/day
So how did you all do with your daily wordcount challenges since the last check-in?

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Monday
Apr052010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500, 1000 wds/day

I'm out of town right now with sporadic online access, so won't be posting much in Inkgirl this week. But I'm still going to try to get in my daily wordcount, dangit! I'm also going to experiment with doing some of this writing on my new iPad.

Do you need a wordcount challenge with some leeway? Check out the challenges below: 250 wds/day | 500 wds/day | 1000 wds/day
So how did you all do with your daily wordcount challenges since the last check-in?

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Wednesday
Mar312010

Old typewriters as mechanical art

The Copywriter Underground has a great post about how clunky manual typewriters have undergone a transformation.

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Wednesday
Mar312010

Three more days until I pick up my iPad

My husband was kind enough to give me an iPad for my birthday on Monday, and I'm picking it up on Saturday. Here's what I feel like.

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Tuesday
Mar302010

My Life In A Nutshell updated

For those interested, I've updated My Life Life In A Nutshell with an iPad paranoia comic. :-)

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Monday
Mar292010

100 Pages in 30 Days: Script Frenzy!

Only a couple of days left for you to sign up for Script Frenzy. From the site's About page:

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or "best" scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner's Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.
What I hadn't realized until recently: in addition to screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, and short films, Script Frenzy also includes graphic novels. Hm. I'm SO tempted. I've just started work on a cartoon-heavy novel for middle grade readers which is a sort of "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid meets Captain Underpants." Right now I'm focusing on the script, with very rough sketches of the graphics. Unlike NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy doesn't include a wordcount and also doesn't require you to start from scratch. My novel isn't in comic book format all the way through, which is why I'm still calling it a novel. However, there are going to be a LOT of mini-comic strips and fun graphic elements throughout, which is why I would be relying on scriptwriting format just as much as regular manuscript format. What about the rest of you? Are you planning to do Script Frenzy?

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Monday
Mar292010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500, 1000 wds/day

Do you need a wordcount challenge with some leeway? Check out the challenges below: 250 wds/day | 500 wds/day | 1000 wds/day
So how did you all do with your daily wordcount challenges since the last check-in?

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Saturday
Mar272010

Seven more days

7 more days until I pick up my iPad. Thanks to Susan Pigott for pointing out this gorgeous Vaja cases for the iPad. I especially love the one that looks like a Moleskine. To avoid overloading those of you who aren't iPad fans, I've been pouring most of my iPad obsessings into my @iPadGirl Twitter account and iPad Girl blog, so feel free to follow me there.

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Thursday
Mar252010

Comics for writers: Bo's Cafe Life

For those who enjoy comics focused on the writing life: check out Wayne Pollard's Bo's Cafe Life, which follows the adventures of Bo, an aspiring novelist. Thanks to Wayne for giving me permission to post the comic above!

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Wednesday
Mar242010

YA Author Rock Band: Tiger Beat

The members of Tiger Beat (I remember reading Tiger Beat magazine when I was a teen!) are all YA (Young Adult) authors, and they apparently rocked the house at Books of Wonder during a Sourcebooks launch party. From Mediabistro:

Libba Bray wailed on vocals, Daniel Ehrenhaft played guitar, Natalie Standiford played bass, and Barney Miller handled drums. The band headlined the launch party for Sourcebooks Fire, the publisher's brand new YA imprint. GalleyCat missed the party, but Sourcebooks passed along the excellent video.
Too bad the sound isn't clear enough to hear all the lyrics. I'll have to check to see if any of the band members have posted the lyrics online.

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Monday
Mar222010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500, 1000 wds/day

Do you need a wordcount challenge with some leeway? Check out the challenges below: 250 wds/day | 500 wds/day | 1000 wds/day
So how did you all do with your daily wordcount challenges since the last check-in?

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Friday
Mar192010

"Motion magazine" demo on iPad

VIV Mag Interactive Feature Spread - iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

14 days until I pick up my iPad. Not that I'm counting or anything, of course. Anyway, thanks to James Huskins (@groovymystery on Twitter) for pointing me to the demo above, which was included in an AppleInsider article. And so now I'm even MORE excited about the iPad's potential, and look forward to seeing how book and magazine publishers take advantage of colour tablet devices like the iPad.

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Thursday
Mar182010

Lovely Blog Award + 15 sites to visit

Thanks so much to Anita Nolan for giving me the Lovely Blog Award! If you write for young people and aren't familiar with Anita's blog, you should definitely visit her website. Here’s my list of blogs that I check regularly because of their excellent info and inspiration. I've tried to avoid blogs that have already been given the award, but I strongly suspect there may be overlap. I also check WAY too many blogs regularly to list here, so please don't be offended if your blog isn't listed. Congrats to all! If you write about the award on your blog, I encourage you to award 15 more, and let them know with an email or a comment on their blog. 1. Cheryl Rainfield: Cheryl updates her book blog with great info for writers in addition to her book reviews. 2. The Actress and The Writer: Adrienne posts a weekly roundup of links and info for writers, plus I also enjoy her frank insights about the craft and business of writing. 3. Mystery Writing Is Murder: Elizabeth Craig is also one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter at @elizabethscraig. Consistently high quality information for writers on both her blog and her Twitterfeed. 4. Routines For Writers: One of my daily reads, always inspiring! I've always been fascinated by work habits of other writers, so this blog is right up my alley. 5. Writer Unboxed: Always high quality content, with excellent interviews and information of interest to genre writers. You can find a list of the author interviews they've done so far as well as useful writer links in the right-hand navigation bar. 6. The Happy Accident: Writer Greg Pincus offers tips on how to use (and not use) social media, with a focus on writers. 7. Book View Cafe Blog: Online publishing venture by a group of writers. Posts include tips and thoughts re: craft & business of writing. 8. Gail Carson Levine: Wonderful posts by Newbery-winning children's book author, packed with practical tips for those who write for young people. 9. Bookends, LLC - A Literary Agency: Great tips for writers looking for an agent. BookEnds is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. 10. Editorial Ass: A self-described "recovering editorial assistant," Moonrat posts from the editorial perspective. Love the ascerbic wit throughout these posts. Lots of good info here. 11. Georgia McBride: If you're interested in writing for young adults, you HAVE to add this blog to your RSS reader. Georgia also has an active YA author community going on Ning and Twitter. 12. Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: One of my favourite sources of retweet material on Twitter, Rachelle posts consistently high quality tips and info for writers. 13. The Swivet: Colleen Lindsay's blog. Colleen is publishing consultant and a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management. I read Colleen's blog not just for the useful information but also for her acerbic wit. 14. Lisa Yee: LOVE Lisa's sense of humour, and her blog posts are a fascinating and often entertaining glimpse into the life of a children's book author. 15. Blue Rose Girls: Seven children's book professionals (authors, illustrators, an editor, and one former librarian) discuss everything kidlit related; from industry news and the ever-changing world of publishing to the creative process with all its frustrations and inspirations.

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Thursday
Mar182010

Hey, I'm "Blog Of The Week" at Profwriting!

Wednesday
Mar172010

WWFC: Michael Finds A Niche

Wednesday
Mar172010

iPad anticipation cartoon

To see a bigger version of this comic, see My Life In A Nutshell.

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Monday
Mar152010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500, 1000 wds/day

Do you need a wordcount challenge with some leeway? Check out the challenges below: 250 wds/day | 500 wds/day | 1000 wds/day
So how did you all do with your daily wordcount challenges since the last check-in?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar102010

Taskpaper: minimalist note-taking PLUS other favorite organization/writing apps

I'm a big fan of lists, and have been experimenting with various To Do list systems for quite a few years. Recently I've been using Culturedcode's Things, which syncs between a desktop version and my iPhone. While I like Things, in the past year I've found myself relying more on a plain text file. I suppose part of it is feature overload -- there are SO many great apps out there with all kinds of cool features, but sometimes I find myself spending way too much time fiddling with the settings. I started a plain text file for daily tasks out of a need to see just the bare content without the distractions of other stuff. Which brings me to Taskpaper, which was developed by Jesse Grosjean. Jesse is also the developer behind Writeroom, a minimalist writing environment. Taskpaper works like a simple text editor. From the website:

Works like a text editor Type your lists into TaskPaper and each line is formatted into a project, task, or note. TaskPaper doesn’t force a particular system on you; it provides you with basic to-do list elements and then you use them as you see fit. Feels like a magic piece of paper TaskPaper has a magic trick. It can instantly filter your entire list to show only items of interest. TaskPaper’s filter system is simple to use—focus on a particular project or tag with a single tap. It also supports advanced searching if need.
I've been using Taskpaper heavily on my desktop and iPhone lately, and am excited to hear that Jesse is working on an iPad version. After reading SimpleText, TaskPaper, WriteRoom, Notational Velocity – Going minimalist with my notes from Dougist.com, I decided to adopt some of his strategies. What I'm trying now: For longer writing projects, I use Scrivener. Not sure what will happen with that when I get my iPad, since it doesn't look as if there will be an iPad version of Scrivener. If I end up using my iPad for doing a lot of writing outside of my office, then I'll probably have to look for an alternative. For pure writing (not outlining), my favourite so far is WriteRoom. WriteRoom has improved its features and flexibility a great deal since it first launched; although the green text on black was cute, I found it hard on the eyes. Now that I can write on a lighter background, WriteRoom is back in my favourites list. WriteRoom also has an iPhone app. I use Evernote as my catch-all for everything: important e-mails, maps, audio notes, business card scans, screenshots, etc. plus a reference library for my comics. What I like best about Evernote: (1) search recognizes text and handwriting in images, (2) I can e-mail items directly to Evernote, (3) it syncs with my iPhone, (4) an iPad version will be available and (5) it's actively seeking partnerships with other app companies, making it more useful to me. I use Zengobi's Curio for visual brainstorming. What I like best about this product: (1) the drawing feature supports my Wacom Intuos tablet, (2) Evernote integration, (3) an iPad version will be available, (4) the wide variety of supported media appeal to my packrat nature, and I find it a huge creative boost. I've also just started checking out Notational Velocity and SimpleNote, mainly because they seem to work so well with Taskpaper and Writeroom. But back to Taskpaper... One of my only quibbles about Taskpaper is that the sync process is a bit of a pain. It took me a little while to get everything straight and I'm used to it now, but I suspect this is the factor that will keep Taskpaper from appealing to a wider audience. Anyway, in case there are other Mac users who are syncing between their desktop Taskpaper and the iphone app, I've put together a basic overview in laymen's terms of the process. I spent some time looking in vain for this kind of document when I first started using Taskpaper, so figure it might be useful to others out there: Taskpaper Syncing Tips For Mac Users with iPhones INSTALL SIMPLETEXT All the synching goes through SimpleText, so you need to install and run the SimpleText client from: http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/simpletext. When you run SimpleText, it may seem as if nothing happens. Look at the navigation bar at the top of your screen; the SimpleText icon is the black circle with the small white pencil inside. Click on it and choose "Open SimpleText folder" from the drop-down menu. Move any Taskpaper docs you want to sync into the SimpleText folder. TO GET CHANGES FROM YOUR DESKTOP TASKPAPER APP TO YOUR IPHONE TASKPAPER APP: After making your changes, save your Taskpaper document. If you followed the instructions above correctly, this document should reside in the SimpleText folder on your desktop. Click on the SimpleText icon at the top of your screen and choose "Sync" from the dropdown menu. This sends changes to SimpleText. On your iPhone Taskpaper app, go to the main Documents screen. Click on the icon on the top left corner: it should look like a small piece of paper with lines on it. Choose "Sync" from the drop-down menu. TO GET CHANGES FROM YOUR IPHONE TASKPAPER APP TO YOUR DESKTOP TASKPAPER APP: After making changes to the document on your Taskpaper iPhone app, make sure you click "Done" to save it. Go back to the main Documents screen. Click on the icon on the top left corner: it should look like a small piece of paper with lines on it. Choose "Sync" from the drop- down menu. This sends the changes to Simpletext. Back on your desktop computer, open Taskpaper. Click on the SimpleText icon at the top of your screen and choose "Sync" from the dropdown menu. NOTE: If you already had Taskpaper open, with the SAME document open that you've been changing on your iPhone, then you'll also need to go to Taskpaper on your desktop computer, click on the File menu and select "Revert to Saved." To other Taskpaper users: dod I miss anything? Feel free to point out corrections that need to be made to the info above. Many thanks to Lawrence, Elastic Threads, Eugene, Doug and others for their help. Related helpful docs and sites: Main Taskpaper website Developer's tips on how to sync Taskpaper to the iPhone Taskpaper overview video How other people are using Taskpaper Hog Bay Software blog Taskpaper forum

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