Spring time in Paradise.

Well, Easter has come and gone, and still [Echo’s] is in a state of temporal flux, sorry about that!

Currently my website is the focus of my attention. I got sick of the pink cotton candy one I made. After all that tweaking I did: it ended up looking cheap and nasty, something a child might enjoy!

Changed the look and feel of it, in one night.

My WordPress site uses Weaver II: It’s very good, and relatively simple to use, but does have a steep learning curve. If you want any pointers on it, email me! – I’ll be only too glad to help.

Other news: I’ve sold my windows 7 portable PC, and bought a 13″ MacBook Air. It runs for ten hours without a recharge. Tested it for nine before it started complaining.

I’m running Scrivener on this platform, and it saves in all formats.

– And that, is all it has got going for it: compared to the PC version.

On a Mac: everyone says it’s better, but that’s not my experience; being as I only use the program to break-down my work.

My problem using the PC, and Scrivener; was I couldn’t get the program to read my work back to me. On the Mac I can, but it’s not all a bed of roses.

The voice I selected to test my writing, is actually OK, but you cannot get to the heart of the program. The underscore (‘-‘) I use, to break my paragraphs: is viewed as a conjoin statement, making the voice ramble over it.

– Does make the content hard to decipher.

Something weird is also installed on the Mac. The program is called ‘Ginger’, and is described as a writing tool. It’s been picking up some of my more glaring errors, but at seven bucks a month, tis’ expensive.

– Doesn’t like [tis‘].
– I may pay for it, I may not.

The Mac keyboard also sucks big time; as there is no delete key! – Nor any comparable pop-up WINDOWS command key. I used that feature a lot on the PC, and missed it greatly:

MacIn the end, I was forced to bolt on, a USB keyboard and run a program called Keyboard Preferences.

Doing that, finally gave me some control back.

Installing programs is another minefield, the Mac doesn’t make it easy and compared to the PC: – It’s practically in the stone age.

The problem stems from my use of directories (not bloody folders) – I like to control that sort of thing, but woe-betide anyone wanting to actually view the directory structure.

Think I made a mistake getting this Mac and flogging my portable.

Trouble is, the darn thing cost me over 900 (pounds) and I’m going to master it.

Thanks for reading, Jessica: Praise-be the ORI.


Right here – Read Now!


Well that took forever … I started the re-write of ‘Book One the Gathering’. : . Just after August the 9th 2011, and finished it on 23rd September this year, is it still the same year? It doesn’t feel like it.

It represents a major update, and re-write and has taken me over one and a half months with a proof reader to get it right, but it’s finally finished. It’s on my web site as a [ download ]. It now has all those ‘Typos’ removed. It forms into constructive sentences, with commas, and breaks inserted. Where they’re supposed to be … I’ve declared it as Version 7.a, and its the last time I’m editing the dammed thing. What you see is what you get. BTW: You should hear It with ‘AMY’ speaking … I think she’s great, but for you to experience ‘AMY’ for yourself you have to buy her voice license from [ ‘IVONA’ ]:

Still looking into getting a distribution licence, but its expensive. That said I do need people to sample and proof it for me. [peek gnidaer]

Sigh: Book Two next, but not today.

Other notes:

My purchase of ClaroRead, was a waste of money. If you’re in my position use the [ Macro Here ]: Or find it. Its under the top menu : ‘About->Software Primer->Free Speech.’ It’s a full and intense tutorial. I suggest you print it out and work from that. It does work, and works well.

[ IVONA ] … Cost about £50.00, but it could be cheaper. I paid £32.00 for it, with a special offer.

[And note: That price is for personal use only]

Unfortunately they only accept Pay-Pal, which is a pain. Anyhow for that price, it includes one VOICE : The one I use is ‘AMY’ : But ‘DAVE’ is OK. What you get for your bucks is the voice and the support Programme.

Anyhow : The Support Programme is a Browser window, that does a brilliant job of saving your DOC->TXT file {because it converts it} then reads it to an MP3 audio file. You can also use it as a basic editor as well, but as I’ve said elsewhere. I needed to format my Book as I write it.

This is why ClaroRead was a waste of money:


It’s all to do with the ‘Punctuation Editors’ that come with both ‘IVONA’ and ‘ClaroRead’. They are both completely different. So If you proof-read with ClaroRead, then use ‘AMY’ to construct your Audio file. It mispronounces common words.

For example words like ‘read’ : OK, as in. ‘You read a book, and think its great’

Now try this.

‘The book was read to him and he said it was great’.

The English is correct, but in your mind you’ve just converted the word from ‘read’ to ‘red’ as the above sentence demands. Which is why a great many people have ‘red’ my book [GRIN] Typos and all. As you read, you convert automatically.

The correct way to write the above is.

‘The book was ‘red’ to him’ and he said it was great’.

It’s spelt wrong, but sounds right. This is the job of the ‘Punctuation Editor’. It replaces words on the fly to sound the words correctly.

Another example.

Lead: 1st use : Malleable soft Metal, but If I wanted to write.

‘To Lead astray.’ Comes out as the metal sound, you have to write it as. ‘To leed astray.’

[It’s now pronounced correctly, but spelt wrong].

And this is a good one.

Wind: As in the air blowing, or, ‘to wind someone up?’

[You have to pronounce it as wy’ind]

So it has to be written as. ‘To wy’ind some one up?’ and now it sounds right, but looks completely wrong.

My friends are getting fed up with me badgering them to listen to my book, and I’d appreciate some feed back from new ears. Use the [CONTACT] tab if you want to consider it, but there is an intensive and complex set of conditions that must be met before I can release it. Namely it should be understood its not for general distribution. Just for testing purposes only and at no point does it become yours to copy or re-distribute. I need ear testers, could you do it?

…And reconsider it hard before you say yes. The files aren’t small. They constitute a whopping 697 Meg: I don’t know how this will play out, so I’ve buried this invite inside my rambling post. If you’ve got this far you must be interested.

One of my words I had to replace was ‘Tra’: Who was, and is, one of my characters, in Gennaro’s Children. It came out sounding like Tr’a … no ‘y’ on the back of it : I had to replace the word with ‘tray’, to get it to sound right, and hit a brick wall in ClaroRead as in. She carried a tray in from the living room!’ : The word ‘tray’ double spoke! … But
in [ IVONA Voice ], it was perfect.

Now also ClaroRead doesn’t save as MP3 files. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t, and I’ve got the ‘LAME’ files for MP3 installed. Audicity finds it OK, but ClaroRead won’t?

All in all. I’m not really happy with ClaroRead. Another thing, ‘the Spell Checker’ is a swine to use, and as for trying to add words? Forget it. You need administrator privileges to work with it. And I’ve learned to my cost that you don’t run your machine as an admin.

It’s sad really, because that was one of the big selling points with ClaroRead and why I went for it in the first place. We’ll see later when I shift from ‘Word 2000’ to something cheap and cheerful that saves in the Windows . ‘DOC’ format, because the spell checker in Word is really showing it age..

The future is bright, the future has been read.

Thanks for reading : Jessy.


The Return:

Hello …

We’ve had some serious security issues with these web pages! – Thanks for finding it Lisa. Even though I don’t think you realised What you did, when you did it! {grin!} Anyhow on with the Book History. I’ve been down to Devon and stayed with some friends there. I originally had plans to find a nice quiet spot. In their huge soundproof garage. From there I planned to start the process of recording my Books I and II. Then distribute them as Free Audio Books.

I’ve read all the forums and was prepared. I’d got a small hand held recording device and Audicity to edit the output. I figured. Wrongly! That in the process, I would clean it up and correct those typos at the same time! – But that didn’t happen!

The more I tried. The more I realise that I’m not cut out to be a Proof-Reader. I haven’t got the patience,  I was reading my own mistakes and still not correcting them! – In the end I became very frustrated with the entire process, and went out with Dave; my friend in Devon, with his partner Bill for a quiet drink. That turned into another, and another. Anyhow deep in our ‘cups’ the Landlord mentioned a programme called ‘TextAloud’ – I’d never heard of it, but as soon as I saw it being used, I was hooked on the concept.

I’ve got ClaroRead and IVONA’S voice AMY.

To read the process of choosing them click the link [ Sounding Off! ]

I started the Re-Edit of Book ‘One’ on the 9th … It’s now the 17th. Sigh! – It’s a slow process! – I’ve finished parts of ‘the Gathering’ – namely – ‘Intro’ – ‘Chapter One’, ‘Two’ and ‘Three’ and that’s taken over two weeks: I can see this is going to be a long drawn out process. So as a consequence Book ‘Three’ has been put on hold.

As an interesting side note I’ve become so ‘Paranoid’ about my backups I’ve stared to store the rewritten Chapters and WAV/Mp3 files in several places including Terry’s home network on his Server.

…And it’s got so bad, that after I lost one whole days work:

I’ve taken to keeping the MP3 files along with the cleaned up Chapters on a ‘backup folder’ on my web site. Now that really is Anxiety in its raw state!

Thanks for reading – Jessica.