Be Systematic

[A person] should be systematic in their business. A person who does business by rule, having a time and place for everything, doing his work promptly, will accomplish twice as much and with half the trouble of [a person] who does it carelessly and slipshod.

–P. T. Barnum

For A Person To Succeed

A [person], to succeed, must possess the necessary equanimity of temperament to conceive an idea, the capacity to form it into some tangible shape, the ingenuity to put it into practical operation, the ability to favorably impress others with its merits, and the power of will that is absolutely necessary to force it to success.

— Thomas A. Scott.

Fantasy Subgenres

Fantasy Subgenres
Fantasy Subgenres

Science-Fiction and Fantasy are substantially different categories. Characteristics of fantasy and science fiction often overlap and the precise classification of a given work is subject to debate among some fans and writers. Both fantasy and science fiction of genres are usually shelved together in bookstores and libraries, because of their readerships’ and authors tend to overlap somewhat. Science-Fiction and Fantasy writer sometimes choose to wear two hats and writ some of both.

The term ‘fantasy,’ when regarded as part of a particular genre, generally brings to mind tales of dragons and castles and knights and the great quest. Truthfully, the fantasy genre is much broader and Fantasy sub-genres may include these and others:

• The Quest
• Arthurian Fantasy
• Comic Fantasy
• Dark Fantasy
• Fairy Tales
• Mythology
• Heroic Fantasy
• High Fantasy
• Magic Realism
• Modern Fantasy
• Mystery Fantasy
• Speculative Fantasy
• Romance Fantasy
• Sword and Sorcery
• Good Versus Evil

Related References

Tips for Optimizing Speech Recognition Applications

High-Quality Headset With Microphone.
High-Quality Headset With Microphone.

I have been using speech recognition applications, sometimes called dictation, for several years now and have learned to appreciate it. However, there are deftly some things that will make it work better for you regardless of the dictation software you use. I most frequently used Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but I have used other speech recognition software in a pinch, including the Windows 10 speech recognition software.

I’ve even written other blogs on the value of speech recognition applications, but I thought it might be time to provide a couple of quick simple tips to help train and improve the value of your speech recognition applications.

Use A Powerful Computer With Plenty Of Memory

I have written an entire blog post on why it is good to have a powerful computer, but I will mention it here in general terms. Having a computer with fast multiple central processing units (CPUs) and high levels of memory will, in general, improve the speed of the speech recognition software and therefore be less distracting and less likely to make you hesitate when speaking to allow the software to catch up.

Get A High-Quality Headset With Microphone

Having a high-quality headset with microphone is the first place to start it works far better than using the microphone on your laptop or the cheap headphone that may have come with the software if you purchased it.

A good headset has several advantages, among them, are the fact that this microphone is closer to your mouth and therefore can more easily hear your voice without interference. Also, the improved quality of microphone reception will help to improve the accuracy of the voice recognition application you’re using.

Train Yourself

Now, this topic may seem a little silly, but the way we speak will affect the overall performance and quality of the speech recognition software. Therefore, we must train ourselves to use speech recognition applications correctly and efficiently. This will require us to learn a few commands, at least, the ones we most commonly use.

Speak Normally

when we first start using’s speech recognition applications we tend to want to speak in short bursts and watch to ensure that the application is interpreting correctly and keeping up. However, this practice not only is unnecessary, but it disrupts your writing flow as well. Speech recognition software has been engineered to learn from us and to interpret under normal speaking conditions, so, we must have a conversational pace to our speaking in order to get the best out of speech recognition applications. This means not speaking slowly, or into jilted of a manner, or to rapidly. We just need to speak with a steady natural rhythm and with clear normal enunciation.

Don’t Forget About Punctuation

this is more of an efficiency factor in a bit of an exception to the speaking normally rule, but it does follow the train yourself rule. As you speak train yourself to say the punctuation words where they would be appropriate in the text. Commands like parentheses, period, and question mark, make the results more readable and facilitate editing. And the facilitation during editing applies whether you added visually or using applications such as Grammarly. Ultimately, speaking punctuation as you go will save time, even if it takes a little effort to develop the habit.

Use Verbal Correction Commands

now I willingly admit that this is a practice that I frequently violate. However, if you learn and use the “correction” commands for the speech recognition software you’re using, assuming it has one, will help the application learn and, in some applications, they will even make suggestions for correction. Using the voice commands to make corrections will help the software learn more efficiently and shorten the learning curve to improved accuracy and efficiency. This is particularly true if you use vocabulary that is unique to a particular topic on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Well, I hope you find these basic tips useful, and if I had to add one more quick tip it would be used to software frequently. The more you use your speech to recognition software the more practice it has and the greater the opportunity for it to learn your speech patterns and common vocabulary usage.

Related References

What Is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?

SciFi Alien World
SciFi Alien World

When discussing various writing genres, it is common for people – both writers and readers – to lump science fiction and fantasy together under the catchall term “speculative fiction.” On a general level, this comparison between these two genres is accurate. However, these two very close kins are inherently different on many levels. Let us look at the difference between science fiction and fantasy creations.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: Identifying Major Literary Differences

Possibilities
Possibilities

1. Possibility Vs. Impossibility

Science fiction, also commonly known as Sci-fi, is a fiction literature genre whose storyline and elements are imaginary but are based on science and scientific facts. Sci-fi novels and novellas follow a logical and plausible theme and prose that has scientific backing.

Follow a logical and plausible theme means that the occurrences and events presented in sci-fi literature are possible to occur. Science fiction needs to be set in the future where technologies used may not be available but are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. It is essential that sci-fi creations make sense within the natural laws of the universe so that the readers can connect the now and the future.

On the other hand, fantasy as a genre deals with mythical, magical, or supernatural occurrences that have no scientific backing or explanation and cannot possibly occur in our real world. Fantasy stories told in an imagined world, often entirely different from our own, which involves a mystical base.

For example, a sci-fi creation may present a space ship that travels faster than light. The writer would hope that in tomorrow’s world, such technologies can be possible owing to advancement in science and technology. On the contrary, fantasy creations might present human characters with abilities to fly or are bulletproof, something that does not and is likely not to exist in our reality.

Mythical Unicorn

Mythical Unicorn

2. Concept

Science fiction deals with scientific concepts while fantasy creations are merely written on the foundation of imaginative ideas.

Heroine Using magic

Heroine Using magic

3. Heroes And Heroines

Fantasy and sci-fi creations have different types of heroes and heroines. With fantasy creations, the heroes are usually mythical creatures or humans with supernatural powers.

The use of mythical creatures or supernatural humans is however different with Sci-fi creations which present real human heroes with unique talents and skill sets that make them formidable risk takers, valuable leaders or effective problem solvers which help them succeed in the end.

Futuristic City Skyline

Futuristic City Skyline

4. The Setting

Often, science fiction works are almost always in the future. A sci-fi story would extrapolate our world across time and explore what would happen in the advent of new futuristic technologies. Pundits maintain that today’s disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual realities were envisioned and inspired by yesterday’s sci-fi works.

On the other hand, fantasy literature setting is almost always in a world so different from ours, and often in the past. This past could be ancient or medieval, and often involving magic. Fantasy works present an alternate world with mythical occurrences that would only be possible through imagination.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy


Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy

Conclusion

Understanding these science fiction vs. fantasy differences will help you create or choose a clarified genre that satisfies your readers. Often, readers look for specific literary identifying marks in a fantasy or sci-fi novel.

Being aware of the difference between science fiction and fantasy can help you blend and shade these two genres to create literary works that can move readers seamlessly between the possibilities and the impossibilities.

Related References

Why writers should have a powerful computer?

Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration
Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration

Recently, when speaking with a friend of mine, he questioned why I had purchased such a powerful computer? It seemed to him to be unnecessary to purchase such a powerful computer.

By way of background, my most recent personal computer (PC) is a super high-powered gaming computer, meaning it has multiple CPUs a high-powered graphics card and several gigabytes of memory.

Pondering on his question, I decided to write a short article explaining my reasoning. After having written several books and running several blogs for years I have come to this understanding of why a high-powered computer is a benefit to writers.

As it happens, my most recent computer purchase was a desktop. However, I have laptops, iPhones, iPads, as well.

I would like to note, that even though I own a gaming computer, I am not nor have I ever been a gamer. As a matter fact, I’m never found much purpose in games; computerize or otherwise.

Computer Application Performance
Computer Application Performance

Perhaps, my biggest reason for investing in a really powerful computer, is application performance. There are a number of applications that I use in the course of my day, which I like to have work quickly and efficiently. This is especially true, for tools such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking (my speech to text tool), my word editor, and my photo editors; all of which I use on a daily basis to support my writing and my blogs.

Speech To Text

Nothing hinders my performance more than sitting around waiting for an application to catch up. I find waiting on the computer to catch up when I’m using speech to text, for example, to be super annoying and distracting to the point of causing me to lose my focus sometimes. This hasn’t been a problem in a while with the new computer but is definitely work on my nerves in the past. This is an area where high-speed CPUs and significant amounts of memory can be very helpful.

Photo and video editors

I use a number of photo editors and today even if you take a photo with your iPhone modern cameras take photos which can be quite large sometimes. This is even more true, if you’re working with video. This would be the reason that I lean toward a significant amount of memory and for high-end graphics card.

Web-based tools

in addition to having high-speed Internet access, in my case 1 Gb optical, it pays to have plenty of memory, high-speed CPUs, and a good graphics card, so you’re not sitting around waiting for your tools to keep up online and so that they’re not always having to buffer to your PC. And this can be true for any number of tools including WordPress, Grammarly, and online word processing and editing tools.

Web research

for the same reasons that having a powerful computer helps will web-based tools, it also helps when you do online research and when you download online content. This is particularly true, when downloading large content.

Photo Editing On A Computer
Photo Editing On A Computer

What I look for when I buy a new computer?

Plenty of memory

Plenty memory is important, 16 GB of memory is kind of the minimum these days, so, go for as much memory as you can reasonably afford. Memory isn’t terribly costly these days but unless you just like buying more memory and switching it out (assuming your not tech savvy and like that kind of thing), I recommend that you get the memory up front in your computer or have it installed by their support team at the time of purchase. The more memory you have the more work at one time your computer can do in memory without writing to disk–working in memory is always faster than writing and reading from disk.

Several high-speed CPUs

Since CPUs are the real brains of the process along with the high-speed memory is important to get modern high-speed CPUs and several of them.  Multicore computers are not terribly costly these days, either, and with a 64-bit operating system can be quite fast and efficient. More CPU’s and/or Cores will allow you to run multiple programs efficiently at the same time.

Graphics cards

Now graphic cards may be a little more optional if you don’t do a lot of work with photographs and videos but I would still recommend that you consider getting a computer with a powerful graphics card installed. Even if for no other reason than the ability to work efficiently with your content on the web and in the cloud. Powerful graphic cards improve the performance of photographic and video editors, as was as, providing a smoother overall user experience.

High Speed drives

If you have the budget for it going with a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than Hard Disk Drive (HDD) can also add performance with it comes to caching and saving you data and files. My most recent computer actually had both types. An Solid State Drive (SSD) as my main drive (C Drive) and an Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for backup, recovery, and long term storage for less frequently used file. This combination has worked very well for me.

Photography – How To Create Quality Landscape Photographs

Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape
Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape

How Can You Create Quality Landscape Photographs?

Today, landscape photography is very popular, perhaps more than ever before. If you think about it, you can probably remember seeing at least two landscape prints that you felt connected and drawn to. Photography can be an art form and more than just a pretty picture; Landscape photography is a message you want to convey to your audience, whether is it is the beauty, the devastation, a historical perspective or an emotion, it is your message.  Now, if you specialize in landscape photography, you may think that capturing a great image is simple. But, there’s more to it than simply aiming a camera and taking a photo. You need to pay attention to detail, and make sure that you have great lighting, and properly place the subject you are photographing. It’s also important that you have the right equipment to aid you in your pursuit of photography.

Black And White Landscape Photography

With black and white landscape photography capturing an amazing image is even more challenging than if you were taking color pictures. With color taken out of the equation, you are forced to focus on lighting and shadows more, which can be challenging. The composition is also very important; you need to pay attention to how you frame an image and look at edges, textures, and tones that you see. The goal is to get your camera to capture an image in black and white that looks like what your eye would see in color.

If you choose to try your hand at black and white photography, you should try to focus on capturing images of buildings and water, since these are the most common subjects for this type of photography. Pay attention to highlights and shadows, as well as the angle from which you take the picture. When photographing water, water can  provide an excellent contrast to trees and rocks, which helps to capture the eye of the viewer. Another great technique is to take photos of landmarks such as buildings and bridges to help draw the viewer in.

Color Landscape Photography

Paying close attention to contrast is essential with color landscape photography. While color gives an image a more vibrant look, it also makes it harder to achieve the contrast you need to create an interesting image. For example, if you are taking a picture of water under a blue sky, there probably won’t be enough contrast to interest people looking at the image. But, if you take a picture of water under a sunrise or sunset when the sky is bathed is reds and oranges, you are more likely to get a much better image. Remember that you need to take your time, set up properly, and take multiple pictures to ensure you have choices, that accidents destroy or cause to lose the composition of your picture.  

Position is important

As it happens, I have more than once found the best picture of a landscape or other subject was not the one I originally intended to take.  By taking multiple pictures from different positions, vertical angles, and lighting perspective, a person sometimes gets a far better picture or series of pictures than a carefully planned and choreographed approach.  

Lighting For Landscape Photography

A landscape photographer depends upon natural lighting rather than artificial lighting, which means you will have to adapt to your subject since you won’t be able to alter or control the lighting. Filters can be used to achieve some specific effects.  For best result use of a professional grade camera and tripod is recommended.  Other things to consider where lighting is a concerned are:

Desert Dune In Partial Shadow
Desert Dune In Partial Shadow

Use of shadow

Taking advantage of shadows can add a lot of character to our landscape shots. However, it will take some patience, and you will have to leverage what mother nature has to offer. In the case of a landscape photographer, we have to work with the shadows that are provided by the angle of the sun, other objects in the landscape, such as mountains, trees, and clouds. Whether only partial shading is involved or perhaps complete shading of one object in the non-shading of the remainder of the landscape, shadows can add a significant amount of contrast or pictures.

Forest With Golden Autumn Colors
Forest With Golden Autumn Colors

Use Of Seasonality

Seasonality, can add character in a number of ways. First, is the simple color of the changes that occur in certain parts of the world and fall and spring and winter and even the nature of what is there to offer such as snow cover. Also, the sons lighting tends to change across the season’s fall, and autumn may have yellow were sunlight then Midsummer. Working with what the seasons provide the same landscape can look stark if it happens to be a deciduous forest in winter, glossy bright this new snowfall warm hot and dry and Midsummer heat. So, there are reasons that even the same landscape character can change in just a few weeks and therefore, it doesn’t hurt to return to the same landscape multiple times to take advantage of the change in character.

Forest With Sunrise In Background
Forest With Sunrise In Background

Use Of Time

Time is also important to a landscape photographer, both from the perspective of the time of day; morning, noon, evening, night, dawn or dusk. But there is also another characteristic of time, which can be very useful when taking landscape pictures, which is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography provides a character to landscape photos in certain circumstances. In those instances where you have movement in the environment, such as running water, windblown leaves, branches waving in the wind, shadow movements across time, and others, time last photography can add character which no other approach can. Time-lapse photography is also a very good reason a high-quality camera and perhaps most of all a tripod.

Conclusion

With some planning and by honing your skills you can become a masterful landscape photographer  But, you have to remember that the small LCD screen you are looking at won’t show you everything that will show up in a final print. Always take more than one picture from different perspectives to provide more opportunity to have high-quality pictures to choose from and use or sale.  Just remember nobody is born a great photographer.  To achieve mastery takes, study,practice, a smidgen  of talent, a passion, and perseverance.

The Optimizing For Google Fallacy

Internet Search Engines
Internet Search Engines

There are great many posts that which could be found on the web that speak to how to optimize for Google. Actually, when it comes to speaking of search engine optimization (SEO) there is probably an extreme bias towards optimizing for Google. However, this could be a serious mistake, which could cost you a significant amount of traffic.

There are a number of metadata elements which provide an opportunity to add search engine optimization (SEO), which if you optimize strictly to maximize your Google search engine results will guide either be ignored or underutilized.

From a purely traffic point of view you could be missing an opportunity to increase your blog or website traffic significantly. Among my several blogs, depending upon the nature of the website, search engine results other than Google account for anywhere from 48 to 55% of my site traffic.

In the early days of my blogs,I to focus on optimizing for Google, seem like the obvious target. However, after I started taking advantage of them many metadata opportunities of my wordpress blog software, I saw a significant jump in my site traffic from non-Google search engines.

As you can see from the screen capture above from one of my sites, that there are a number of other search engines supplying traffic to my blog. All my blogs have similar patterns, but not necessarily for the same exact search engines, depending on the topic of the blog.

Some of the more common search engines from which my sites receive regular traffic are;

Related References