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

Monday
May102010

Weekly Wordcount Check-in: 250, 500 and 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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Thursday
May062010

Toronto MG/YA Writers' Group #torkidlit tweetup

One of the many reasons I'm glad I joined Twitter: the Toronto MG/YA Writers' Group. Claudia Osmond started the #torkidlit group, approaching Toronto area middle grade and young adult writers on Twitter and suggesting we get together in person. We meet once a month at a pub/restaurant in downtown Toronto. Although the focus of our group is on authors of MG and YA books, we are supportive of anyone who helps create children's literature in the Toronto area. For those that aren't familiar with the term "tweetup," here's a good explanation from SocialHat.com:

A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person. Normally we connect with our friends online after we have met them. At a tweetup you meet the people you might only otherwise know virtually. Like finally putting a name to a face, a tweetup is a great opportunity to really connect with the people in your network and share just a little more than 140 characters at a time.
I enjoyed having dinner at Fresh with Cheryl Rainfield beforehand, catching up with all the recent excitement in her life. Cheryl's book launch for SCARS, for example, takes place on June 24th, 2010 at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape (519 Church St. Community Centre, Auditorium Room 206) at 6:30 pm. Great to see Stacy King, Deborah Kerbel, Megan Crewe, Andrew Tolson, Hélène Boudreau, Helaine Becker, Lena Coakley, Cheryl Rainfield, Patricia Storms, Jo Swartz and Nelsa Roberto again, and meet Suri Rosen and Ian Keeling. Hélène, by the way, has a book launch tomorrow for KEEP OUT: Friday, May 7th, 2010 3-4 pm EST Markham Village Library 6031 Highway 7, Markham (corner of Markham Road and Hwy 7) For more info: 905-513-7977 x4284 Helaine Becker: showed us the cover of one of her new book projects. I had met Lena Coakley while helping Cheryl Rainfield move, but it was great to see her at the tweetup. Nelsa Roberto: had photos from her recent book launch of ILLEGALLY BLONDE. I enjoyed meeting Suri Rosen and Ian Keeling, and 'twas fun to watch Jo Swartz and Patricia Storms draw on my iPad. You can find out more about the MG/YA writers who attend the tweetups at the Toronto MG/YA Writers' Group website. I'm in the midst of moving this blog, so pardon the construction dust! And if you're a Toronto area middle grade or young adult writer, please do check out #torkidlit on Twitter. For help with Twitter, please see my >Writers' Guide To Using Twitter.

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Thursday
May062010

Notetaking & writing on the iPad: First app review - Sketchpad HD

More writers have been asking me about what apps I'm finding useful on the iPad, so I'm going to start reviewing various notetaking and writing apps I've been trying out. I posted my first on iPadGirl today: Sketchbook HD - Great idea, but doesn't work properly in landscape mode

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Wednesday
May052010

iPad envy comic, drawn on my iPad

If you're curious about the steps I took to create the image above, see my iPadGirl post.

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Tuesday
May042010

Bluestocking Blog: Lessons Learned at a Writing Conference

I've always appreciated those who post about what they've learned at writing conferences. The author of Bluestocking Blog recently wrote about the main lessons she learned at the event, and her post includes some excellent advice.

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Tuesday
May042010

C.S. Lewis may NOT have been rejected 800 times

Last year, I posted that C.S. Lewis had been rejected 800 times after finding the info on several websites. Several readers have since questioned this data, including Mary Mueller, who said:

Who the heck is Inkygirl and where the heck did she get her data?? This is entirely undocumented (the 800 rejections) and shouldn’t be “published,” even on an amateur website, without meticulous documentation.
Mary is entirely correct that I don't provide meticulous documentation for the rejection stories I've been posting, so it's entirely possible that some of the stats may be inaccurate. Unfortunately I lack the time to search for the original documents to support each stat but do try to include my sources of info whenever possible, in case readers need to verify info themselves. I make very little income from this site, and provide the info mainly to help inspire and motivate writers. I'm hoping that the spirit behind my Writers & Rejection series is still helpful to some writers, despite the lack of detailed documentation. Thanks to Mary for her feedback, and I do apologize if any of you were misled by my C.S. Lewis info. [Later edit: I just want to clarify...I -do- think Mary had a point, as blunt as her comment may have been. As she pointed out to me in a follow-up e-mail, just because you read something on three websites (or more!) doesn't make it true. It's a good lesson for me, and I do intend on doing a better job at verifying my source info from now on. Again, however, sometimes I won't have time to provide as detailed documentation as I could, so please do feel free to challenge anything I post if you don't agree. :-)] Gary McGath comments:
Claims made on the Web do tend to be picked up by other people and repeated, which gets some people really frustrated. I’m a lot more concerned when major news outlets, which _should_ have the resources to obtain “meticulous documentation,” don’t bother. I try to avoid the trap of repeating someone else’s unsubstantiated claim, but I’ve been caught in it too many times myself. All I can do then is acknowledge it.

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Tuesday
May042010

Magazines and the iPad: review of Zinio & thoughts about reading/buying digital magazines

Tuesday
May042010

Comic: Editorial Marriage Proposal Rejection

CARTOON EMBED CODE: (Before embedding, see my cartoon licensing info.)

 

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Tuesday
May042010

Blog highlight: Literary Rejections On Display

Rejection always hurts. I'm skeptical of writers who claim that rejections don't bother them at all. No matter how experienced you are, I can't help but think that a rejection -ANY rejection- has got to sting at least a little. Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm saving all my rejections (paper and digital) for any particular project so I can roll them out to encourage other writers WHEN that project gets published. I certainly appreciate hearing about other writers' rejections -> success stories! I've been gradually collecting these types of successful author rejection stories on Inkygirl. One great place to find other writers' rejections is Literary Rejections On Display. The author of this blog prefers to remain anonymous, but describes himself/herself as follows: "I am a published, award-winning author of fiction and creative nonfiction--but whatever. In the eyes of many, I am still a literary reject." URL: http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com

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Monday
May032010

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
May012010

My comics on Writer Unboxed

My first comic is online at Writer Unboxed! I'll be posting comics there every other weekend. For those who aren't familiar with the site, Writer Unboxed is an excellent source of writing tips and info for genre fiction writers.

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Thursday
Apr292010

Morning Ritual Goal: Posting less online but writing more

Morning self-portrait After my last get-together with my writing pal, Mahtab Narsimhan, I've adopted a new daily work schedule. I generally wake at about 6-6:30 a.m. and head down to my office to do e-mail, then surf for publishing news for my Market Watch column while also updating @inkyelbows and other feeds on Twitter. From now on, I'm going to do some writing first thing ... BEFORE GOING ONLINE. I've been trying it for a few days now and I'm very happy with the results. By 8 a.m., I've been writing for 1.5-2 hours, and then I can start working on my publishing news column. I'll do more writing later, but it's a good way to start the day plus I'm more productive. It'll take a little while before it becomes habit, though -- when I wake up, I am SO used to going online right away. It's how I wake up, instead of the morning cup of coffee that other people have. What about the rest of you? What's your morning ritual?

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Thursday
Apr292010

Write from your own passion

Wednesday
Apr282010

Story A Day challenge for writers: May 2010

The goal of Julie Duffy's Story A Day challenge is write a story every day in May. Before you freak out, keep in mind that the stories can be of any length. There is also leeway built-in. "You get to decide what “every day” means. If you need to take Sundays off, go for it. You make your own rules, but you are encouraged to set them up early, and stick to them!" I'm signing up. I'm going to participate in Paula Yoo's National Picture Book Writing week, so I figure writing picture books can count for the first week, then I'll write other types of stories the rest of the month. For me, I'm mainly aiming for story ideas -- a very rough story outline (including a beginning, middle and end) every day. Some days this might only be a few sentences but if I'm feeling super-inspired, I figure I can write a more detailed story outline. After May, I'll pick out the story ideas that appeal most to me and expand the outlines. What about the rest of you? If you're ready to commit, sign up here. For more info, see http://storyaday.org/.

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Monday
Apr262010

Inkygirl In Writer's Digest "Best Websites" List!

I recently discovered that my site has been listed in Writer's Digest annual "101 Best Websites For Writers" list, in the May/June 2010 issue. Thanks to all those who nominated me! :-) And thanks to Heather Wright for letting me know.

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Monday
Apr262010

Weekly Wordcount Check-In: 250, 500, 1000 words/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
Apr232010

Interview with YA author Deborah Kerbel

I met Deborah Kerbel through the Toronto Area MG/YA Author Group, which was founded by Claudia Osmond via Twitter. Deborah's a cheerful, witty and dedicated YA writer who is the author of several books for young people including Girl on the Other Side, which was nominated for the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award. Her newest book, Lure, is due out from Dundurn Press this September. You can find out more about Deborah Kerbel and her work at http://deborahkerbel.com/. Meanwhile, Deborah was kind enough to answer some questions for me... Q - How long have you been writing? A - Not very long in the grand scheme of things. I really started writing creatively about 10 years ago. But my father is an author as well, so ink has probably been flowing steadily through my blood since birth. Q - How did you make your first sale? A - My first sale was huge! I was just starting out as a writer and my agent sold my (as yet un-written) series of four MG novels to a European book-club publisher with plans to translate the series into three different languages and a first print run of 40,000 copies for each book. Exciting, huh? Well, as it turned out, not so much. By the time I finished writing the final book in the series, the publisher was encountering financial difficulties and was shutting down their book clubs. In the end, only the first book in the series saw publication (in Germany). The other three books never saw the light of day. But still, I think of it was a hugely valuable experience – basically I got paid to write my first 4 practice novels. Q - What is your typical writing day like? A - My typical day is a crazy patchwork of small writing spurts. I'm the mother of two little kids so I really have to write whenever I can grab some quiet time. Half an hour here, an hour there - I take the time wherever I can find it (and there's never enough). Lately, nights have been very productive for me - after my kids are in bed, the house gets quiet and I can hear myself think. Q - How much research did you have to do for Mackenzie, Lost and Found, which is set in the Middle East? A - This book needed a LOT of research since it was completely set in a part of the world I had never seen. Luckily for me, I have a good friend who, like Mackenzie, had moved to Israel as a teenager. She was my main source of information. We went through her photo albums and I grilled her for details - from everything to the feel of the air in Tel Aviv, to sneaking into the hotel pools, to the smell of the markets in the souk. She was a fabulous resource. And then when I was in the editing stage of the manuscript, I was given the opportunity to visit Israel and travel to most of the places that are in my book (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias) which helped me put the final pieces of the research together and allowed me to really personalize the story to my own experience. Q - How much outlining do you do? A - I like to outline - it's my nature to know where I'm headed before I walk out the door. But the amount of outlining I end up doing definitely depends on the book I'm writing. My next YA novel, Lure, was outlined from start to finish - chapter by chapter - before I wrote a word. But I don't always work that way - for Girl on the Other Side, I had no outline, no plot, and not much of a premise - just two strong characters with very distinct voices. I let them loose on the page and they took the lead and surprised me with the story. I love it when that happens - it's truly the magic of writing! Q - How much time do you spend promoting your books? A -Some days, not enough - other days, too much. It all depends on where I am in the writing process and if I have a new book coming out. Last spring, I spent weeks organizing a Canada/U.S. blog tour' to promote Mackenzie, Lost and Found. Although it sucked away lots of valuable writing time, it was fun and it got the word out about me and my book which is the most important thing. As Cory Doctorow has said, the biggest problem for writers is obscurity. Q - How useful have you found online social networks like Twitter? A - Well, let me put it this way - if it weren't for Twitter, I wouldn't be doing this interview. Twitter and Facebook have been incredibly useful for learning about this industry, getting to know other people in the business, and of course, promoting my work. There's a huge community of editors, agents, writers, publishers, and book reviewers who are putting themselves out there on a daily basis and I really believe that it's a mistake not to make use of this kind of accessibility (especially for people who are starting out it this business). Writing is probably the most solitary profession in the world and so the need to stay connected to your colleagues and peers is vital. Q - What are your current/upcoming projects? A - My next YA novel, Lure, is scheduled for release in September, 2010 and it's a giant departure from anything I've written before. Lure is a ghost story set partly in the present day and partly in the late 1800s and it's based on a real haunted house near where I live. I also have another YA manuscript that I've just finished called Bye-Bye, Evil Eye and -- I don't even know the right way to describe it - it's kind of a paranomalish mystery, comedy, romance about the Evil Eye. LOL - did that make any sense? And in between novels, I love to play around with writing picture books. My kids are still at that magical stage, so new book ideas for their age group come to me literally by the hour. Hopefully, I'll get one of them published soon.

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Friday
Apr232010

What e-book seller Kobo learned in 12 months about selling e-books (Video)

This is a video of a presentation given by Michael Tamblyn, the VP Content, Sales and Merchandising at Kobo. The presentation was called "Lessons Learned from Shortcovers and Kobo: A Year in the Life of the What and How of Selling eBooks." I like the fact that Kobo is very interested in what their customers want, and is willing to make adjustments based on their findings. I also admire them for admitting what mistakes they made, and learning from those mistakes.

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Friday
Apr232010

E-Book Readers for the iPad

Dear Author blog has an excellent overview of the e-readers currently available for the iPad. If you have an iPad or are considering buying one for reading e-books, I strongly recommend that you read this post. Clearly, there is room out there for a good e-book reader app for the iPad. Related resources: iPad Experience: Can the iPad replace ebook readers?: includes review of Kobo and Kindle apps eBooks on the iPad: includes review of Wattpad Reading Ebooks on The iPad with iBooks & Amazon Kindle [Mac] by Bakari Chavanu on Apr. 16th, 2010

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Tuesday
Apr202010

My iPad Review, Part 1: writing, reading and drawing on the iPad

ipad-case-type-tea.jpg As some of you already know, I've been excited about the iPad for a long time, even before the hype began. As a birthday gift, my husband pre-ordered the Wifi-only 64 MB iPad, and we picked it up while we were in Columbus earlier this month. For those that missed it, here's my report of the day I got my iPad. (Disclosure: A couple of friends of mine work at Apple, and one did some work on the Apple iPhone and iPad.) WHY I ORIGINALLY WANTED AN IPAD I've been reading e-books regularly on my iPhone, mostly purchased from Fictionwise. I've bought quite a few books from Fictionwise since I got an iPhone. While I don't mind reading them on the iPhone screen, I was excited about the prospect of having a bigger screen on a device as portable as an iPad. ipad-hand.jpg I was also hoping that I might be able to use it to do some short session writing when I wasn't at home, a lighter alternative to carrying my laptop. TYPING ON THE IPAD Learning to type on the iPad was much easier than I expected, at least in landscape mode. I was thrown at first, not having the physical cues of the keys to guide my fingers. ipad-case-sideview.jpg I bought the thin Apple case, whose front cover folds to prop up the iPad at an angle, making it easier to read the screen as well as type. I haven't yet tried typing for a period longer than about an hour on the iPad to see how at feels, but I will report back when I do. I also want to try out a Bluetooth keyboard, but ideally I would love to be able to just take my iPad on its own. I mentioned that I had no trouble typing in landscape mode. It's more awkward typing when the iPad is in portrait mode, because of the smaller keyboard space. I have heard that people with larger hands type on the iPad with their thumbs, iPhone-style. With the weight of the iPad, however, I'd find this difficult. ipad-case-type-tea2.jpg I'm using My Writing Nook for my iPad writing right now. I like it because you can change the font and font size, but I wish it was possible to create hierarchical folders to make it easier to organize different writing projects. Also very much looking forward to getting the iPad version of WriteRoom. I'm sad that there won't be a Scrivener for the iPad but understand the developer's reasons (not enough resources). Editing on the iPad is much more laborious than a regular keyboard because there are no arrow keys or easy way to navigate around the screen with shortcuts for cutting and pasting. I wouldn't use my iPad to do any heavy revisions, but it's fine for first drafts as well as minor edits. However, who knows? Maybe someone will come up with an app that makes this easier, or perhaps using an external keyboard with my iPad will make editing shortcuts possible. I'll investigate this and report back in a follow-up. ipad-reflections.jpg WHAT ABOUT THE GLARE ON THE SCREEN? CAN YOU READ THE IPAD IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT? With the shiny screen, glare from lights behind and above you can potentially be a problem, depending on your environment. I found it a bit distracting at first, but I don't notice it much anymore, at least indoors. Not sure if this is because I've learned to adjust my iPad position to lessen the problem, or if it's because I've gotten used to it enough that I automatically focus on the screen rather than the reflection. I haven't tried to do much reading outside yet because it's still a bit too chilly in Toronto for outdoor reading, but I'll write a follow-up report when I do. The shiny screen also makes finger smudges and dust much more noticeable, and I'm constantly wiping it clean. The Apple case isn't great for this, because dust tends to accumulate under the edges and is impossible to remove without taking the iPad out of the case first. DO I REALLY NEED A CASE FOR MY IPAD? Originally I didn't get a slipcase for my iPad but went back to the Apple store to get one because the iPad felt way too slippery in my hands. I wish Apple had given the back casing some texture to make it easier to grip. WHY I OPTED FOR A WIFI-ONLY IPAD I already pay Rogers a monthly fee for an iPhone plan and wasn't crazy about paying for a second plan. I also figure that if I find that I really can't survive without 3G, then I can sell this iPad and upgrade. So far, though, I'm happy with my choice. Sure, there are moments when I'm away from Wifi and automatically open Google to look something up only to remember that I can't, but I can always use my iPhone if I -really- need to get online. Not being able to access the 3G network has made me more productive in my writing when using the iPad outside of my home. ipad-case-drawing.jpg USING THE IPAD AS A SKETCHBOOK I had never considered being able to draw on the iPad well enough to use it as a sketchpad. Draw with my finger? Too awkward! However, I find that a bit of practice and familiarity with the drawing software makes a huge difference. My favorite drawing app is Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The interface is easy to use, with three finger shortcuts to bring up the brush and color palettes, layer window, undo and redo. In only a short time, I got used to using the pinch gesture to zoom in and out so that I could work on fine details as well as being able to see the whole drawing. I can export my drawing to the iPad photo album as well as e-mail it or post to various services. You can see more of my iPad drawings at http://ipadgirl.posterous.com. ipad-pogostick.jpg I've also been experimenting with using the Pogo stylus. It's not pressure sensitive like my Intuos Wacom Artpad, but it feels like a regular pen. I'm wondering how long it'll last with regular use, though...the sponge-like material at it's tip doesn't strike me as particularly durable. I hope I'm wrong. With the $14.95 price tag, I'm not crazy about having to replace the pen too often. I've noticed that cheaper alternative solutions are already being posted. USING THE IPAD TO DISPLAY PHOTOS This is one major advantage that the iPad has over the Kindle. It's been years since I've taken any print photos, and eventually I'd like to replace all the boxes of print photo albums with folders of scanned images on my laptop...or iPad. Converting to digital photography has saved me a ton of money in terms of hassle and print processing, but it means that the only way friends and family can view my photos is by going online or looking at them on my laptop. I've set up my iPad syncing to always sync with the last three "events" in my iPhoto library as well as any other albums I specifically select. The other day, my father asked about one of my niece's school productions, for example. Instead of having to e-mail him a URL or drag him to a computer, I just whipped out my iPad and let him flick through the photos himself. I could also have set up a slideshow to display my photos that way. READING ON THE IPAD This is the main reason I wanted to get an iPad. I rarely go anywhere without at least one book or magazine with me, and read e-books regularly on my iPhone. The idea of being able to read books and magazines on a bigger screen of a device so easily carried around hugely appealed to me. Sadly, the iBookstore is not accessible to Canadian customers yet. However, from this Apple job posting, it sounds as if Apple does plan to open its iBookstore to Canadians eventually. I knew this before the iPad launch, but figured that at least one of Stanza or eReader would be launching an iPad-optimized version of their e-book reading software. I was wrong. Amazon-owned Stanza has gone silent on the topic and Fictionwise support responded to my query with "Currently at this time, there are no plans to update the iPhone eReader app for iPad." Fictionwise was acquired by Barnes and Noble. Sigh. I can run the iPhone eReader or Stanza apps on my iPad, but either they look too small: or I blow them up to fill the iPad screen and the text is blurry: So before you decide to buy an iPad, I strongly suggest you go through all the apps you're counting on and make sure there are iPad-optimized versions available in the iTunes store. I find it deceptive that ALL the apps in the iTunes store say "compatible with iPad" --- many people won't realize that this just means that the iPhone apps will run in their smaller format on the iPad screen (as shown above). To find out if a particular app is iPad-optimized, make sure that the app page has screenshots of the iPad version. However, even if I knew this ahead of time, I would still have gone ahead and bought my iPad. UPDATE: Thanks to Christopher Davis for posting:

Apparently Barnes & Noble’s version of eReader will be ported, though, and (with a little work) you can load your old Fictionwise and eReader.com purchases into it. (I’m not surprised, really; they added ePub support to the B&N version but not the Fictionwise/eReader.com version…making me think that the latter is dead-ending.) The trick: put your files on a webserver somewhere (Mac OS X’s Personal Web Sharing will do nicely) and then make a page of links to them, except start the URLs with bnereader:// instead of http://. Then click on them in Mobile Safari; they’ll be loaded into the B&N eReader app.
I'm going to try this! Meanwhile, I'm use the e-reader app from Kobo, which is partnered with Chapters-Indigo. Most books at Kobo are available for Web/Mobile/epub. (Sketching on my iPad. Photo by Walter K.) USING THE IPAD AS AN EXTRA SCREEN I find that I've started using my iPad as an extra screen in my home office. I usually keep my To Do list or Calendar list open as I work, which helps keep me on track for what I want to accomplish and to keep my time priorities straight. HOW IS THE BATTERY LIFE? This is an aspect I haven't fully tested yet. I've noticed that if I'm just writing, the battery power goes down very slowly. Surfing the Web and playing games uses power more quickly. Apparently many writers have found that their iPads gave them more than the promised 10 hours on a single charge. Gizmodo drained the iPad battery in about 6 hours by alternating between streaming video and playing graphic-intensive games, with Wi-Fi on, brightness at its highest, and the speaker at its loudest setting the entire time. It takes about four hours to fully recharge. Some other questions some of you have asked... WHAT IS IT LIKE TYPING ON THE WIRELESS KEYBOARD? I haven't tried this yet, but will post about it when I do. ANY SPECIFIC DRAWBACKS OR NEED-TO-KNOWS FOR CANADIANS BUYING U.S. IPADS BEFORE THEY COME OUT HERE? Rogers has announced that it will offer iPad price plans for all models from the end of May in Canada, but hasn't yet given any numbers. The iBooks store and iPad Apps Store are not yet available to Canadians, and there's not yet any official word about when they will be available. This means that we Canucks aren't able to buy certain apps like Pages, Numbers and Scrabble, and we can't buy apps directly from our iPads. I currently buy iPad apps through my laptop from the iTunes store, then sync to my iPad. Because the iPad isn't available in Canada yet (at least I'm assuming this is the reason), the Apps part of the Canadian iTunes store still doesn't have a separate section for iPad apps, categorized by app type. As more iPad apps are added, this makes it more and more of a chore to browse iPad apps. I currently browse iPad apps by searching for the term "iPad." I also check the iPad section of AppShopper, though some of these are unavailable to Canadians. Some e-books are unavailable to Canadians, even when purchased through the Amazon Kindle shop. OUR DAUGHTER WANTS A KINDLE FOR COLLEGE. SHOULD WE INSIST ON AN IPAD INSTEAD? IT'S THE DATA PACKAGE THAT IS MAKING ME HESITATE. Hm, tough question. It depends entirely on what she wants to use it for, plus you should definitely do some data package comparisons. My experience using the Kindle is also very limited. = (Photo by Walter K.) Wow, this review is way longer than I intended. I'll continue my review after I've had a chance to use my iPad a little while longer. Feel free to post any questions you'd like me to answer next time in the comments section below. I post iPad-related comments, cartoons and info in my ipadgirl Twitter account and iPadGirl blog. Retro typewriter iPad app Above: fun retro typewriter app for the iPad. Realistic old-fashioned typwriter sounds, working carriage return, and you can e-mail the retro look typing or just the text. $1.99 in the Apps store.

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