Tangent — Have Hanx Writer, Will?

tom-hanks-hanx-writer-app

For the last couple of days I’ve been reading up on an iPad app that was prompted by Tom Hanks. He wanted it to mimic a typewriter, so he approached some app developers to build one. It does sound and act very much like a typewriter but a little too much for my taste. Perhaps the sensory attributes of this app will provoke someone’s creativity. I don’t know, but after trying it out, I’m hard pressed to think I would use it much to aid in my drafting.

The sound and feel of a typewriter never did help in spurring my thoughts. I never needed any help with that. My head has always been crammed with them and racing with them at that. The typewriter did nothing but create frustration for me. Perhaps not as frustrating as pencil and paper, but still a level of frustration that was a big, fat turn off. I turned to a cassette recorder to get out my thoughts, and many remained in that format until I discovered something life changing — word processing software.

When at the age of 20 I had the privilege to use what was then a newfangled machine called a word processor, I felt I had made an exodus out of the land of blank pages. The racing thoughts that had always been a curse became a blessing overnight. And I have no desire to move back to Egypt however majestic the ruins may look. They are only for visiting and not dwelling in, which is what I suspect will be the reaction of many to Hanx Writer. A fun thing to experience and observe, but I doubt anyone serious about writing will want to live there for long.

More thoughts on the Hanx writer from a recently discovered writer whom I’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate his cleverness:


Tom’s typewriter – thanks Hanks but no
by David Hewson

Tom Hanks loves typewriters. So much that he’s put his name to an app for the iPad that recreates his beloved machine. Hanx Writer is yours for free though there are in-app options including a ‘Writer’s Block’ bundle whatever that is.

I spent the first twenty five years of my life using a typewriter every working day… and quite a few when I wasn’t supposed to be working too. I wrote my first unpublished book on one of the things. Never again.

Each to their own. Some people still love typewriters and paper. Some enjoy writing out their work longhand (and then handing it over to someone to type into a computer I imagine).

Not me. Here are my reasons.

read them here

During all of my reading on this app, I also read Tom Hanks has or had a collection of near 2,000 typewriters.

And now I know where Nora Ephron came up with one of the quirks for Frank Navasky.

A Meme, a Meme, My Kingdom for a Meme!

Richard Armitage Vine that Line HamletHave I ever mentioned Twitter is one helluva cocktail party? That’s how I think of it. But maybe you’re not quite there with me. Close your eyes and imagine two male geeks, aka loveable and knowledgeable gentlemen, standing together at the side of the room at said party, and they’re discussing a heady subject such as Yorick and their new version of him in an audiobook of Hamlet which they have written and just published. They stray into wistful thoughts of their book becoming a bestseller. In that vein and as a lovely surprise to debut it, their publisher invites the narrator — one tall, dark and handsome Englishman with a voice to die for — to make a personal appearance at the party where he reads a line from the book.

Others at the party have been invited to do the same. Fortunately, a well-known jester, who no one dreams would be listening, offers his Hamlet soundbite and quickly engages those in the entire room or enough of them to be newsworthy and has the fevered party goers rushing out to buy the book in a short (yes, some are shorter than others) 24 hour period thereby making it a bestseller.* Phew!

Gotta love Twitter for its ability to facilitate a worldwide party while we’re consuming. And even if I’ve been a wallflower lately, I still enjoy watching and am glad for Hartley and Hewson not to mention Richard Armitage.

I hope some other authors are taking notes.

*I don’t know the actual time period, but I know it was short. And yeah, I don’t have the sequence of events exactly right. Doesn’t matter. The point is the same. [This comment is for all of you anal fans. So is this one below. :D]

Dear Mssrs. Hartley and Hewson,

My apologies for Richard III’s appearance, but I am running a Richard Armitage fan site, and RIII tends to rear his head at times.

Love the book!

Signed,
A Crazy fan, who’s a member of Audible

P.S. Did you ever think you would be connected with Ice-T when you started this endeavor? ;-)

Any puns are intentional.

Rethinking David Hewson

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At first glance I was convinced most of David Hewson’s books were not my thing. My reading fare does not usually include murder and mayhem. I have read some Richard North Patterson, Scott Turow, maybe some Patricia Cornwell and a few others I can’t remember when I’m in the mood. But I’m not in the mood often. It’s not clear to me why since I love puzzles. Maybe when I have a great stretch of time and absolutely nothing to do, I’ll examine it.

Despite my prejudice, I subscribed to Hewson’s blog, and something surprising popped into my in-box. As I read, I started to grin and then I laughed out loud. A real LOL. Imagine that, and provoked by a serious journalist and crime novelist. Here’s the part where you start thinking of all the crime novelists you know who are funny. Goodie. Feel free to share. Until Hewson, I didn’t know of any.

And now I’ve bought A Season for the Dead and have just started reading. Even if I find no caped crusader, why do I get the feeling Hewson will be into me for several more dollars before this is over…

And that my friends is how a book or two is sold.

Richard Armitage’s narration of Hamlet now available for pre-order

Reblogged from DavidHewson.com:

hamletAs we revealed a while back, that fantastic actor Richard Armitage is the narrator for a new Shakespeare adaptation I’ve co-written with A.J. Hartley. Now Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel is available for pre-order from Audible before its release on May 20.

Read more here

Speaking of Bernard Cornwell

bernardOh, you weren’t. Well, he has been on my mind after reading about Amazon acquiring rights to some of AudioGo’s books. That includes Lords of the North, but as Ali at RichardArmitageNet.com pointed out, there is no Richard Armitage version for sale at Audible. It is only the Jamie Glover edition.

I have nothing against Jamie Glover, but have you heard Richard Armitage read this book?!

Kaprekar and I waxed on about it here where I also have a sample. Of course you can watch some video clips on YouTube, but somehow I think you don’t get the same effect as when you only listen.

Let me explain the full effect it has had on many of us. We went onto read all of Cornwell’s books in the Saxon series (there are currently seven) and some of us are working our way through Cornwell’s Sharpe series as well as some other of his books. And should I even mention how I bought Richard Armitage’s Heyer readings beginning with Sylvester? Me, the person who is not a fan of Regency romance novels and long criticized them for their ability to give sugar shock, buying them in audio form? Yeah.

Richard reads so well he gets you caught up in something you don’t want to end even when the writing is not your favorite. But when it is good writing, it often helps you discover a wonderful author and then you really cannot stop.

This makes me wonder who will let go of their resentment of Shakespeare being foisted on them in high school and/or college only to embrace the Bard and many of his others works after this book Hamlet comes out in May.

As for Lords of the North, Ali is doing her part to get at least one copy into the hands of fans with a giveaway contest. Details here.

And when Ali’s contest is done, I’m going to have one. A few years ago, AudioGO kindly sent me several copies to give away. I did do a giveaway on blog, but I still have one copy, so I’m going to be looking to give it to someone who really, really wants it. Details of my contest coming later.

Coming up next or near next, I resurrect my drum banging with respect to The Hobbit audio book. Get ready.

edit: I may be wrong about Amazon owning Richard’s version of the book. See Ali’s comment below.

Go Ahead and Buy Macbeth

I’m talking to myself, but then A.J. Hartley has us all in a stir with his news this evening, and I had to purchase his Macbeth. I bought the audio book as well. It’s performed by Alan Cumming, and so far it sounds great. I have high hopes of it being worth it to the end. As for Alan, in short he is interesting. Go here if you want to check him out.

514SOJylF9L._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I hate to admit it, but my first thought of him was as the bad guy in Spy Kids. That tells you where my head’s been the last 15 years. I’m going to forget all of that this evening and listen to an adaptation of my favorite Shakespearean play, and a role I long to to see Richard Armitage perform on stage at some point.

Oh, and if you own a Kindle, in the U.S. you can borrow the book and add on the Audible version via Whisper Sync for only $4.99. Not a bad deal.

Okay, I bought this too while I was at it.

Back to listening.

Music to My Ears or Twill Be

More voice work for Richard Armitage. Oh, I can barely wait for this:

Consider it done, my friend, consider it done.