Category Archives: chit-chatting with Cat

The Benefits of a Kobo EReader

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I got myself a Kobo eReader. An Aura H2O second edition that is. There have been rare times where I’m immensely satisfied I purchased an item… Well, this is one of those times, folks.

Here it is (with Never Enough Time by R.T.W Lipkin as background—a great ARC of mine for which you can read the review here):

Now, what about its benefits? Let me tell you I found many!

The Pros:

  • My sleep has improved SO MUCH since I bought this sweet Kobo, no kidding. I used to toss and turn at night for AT LEAST an hour (it was usually for an hour and a half), but now thanks to reading on my Kobo every night before going to sleep, it only takes me 20 to 40 minutes. It’s a wonder!

But why is that?

  • It’s because it’s got ComfortLight Pro! This means you set a time for the screen to become a light orange, thus it’s sweet for the eyes. More importantly (and that’s the winning point here), this feature removes most of the blue lights! So it does make it easy on your eyes and relaxes you. Perfect for sleep!

It’s been a real game changer for me. Or should I say… sleep changer? Please let’s never talk about this joke again.

  • The fonts are lovely and adjusting them is simple. Same goes for the paragraph spacing, a tool I particularly enjoy. I like when there’s a clear distinction between the paragraphs.
  • The search function is very useful.
  • It has Pocket Reader. If you don’t know what it is: a place (or account) where you can store Web pages and other important bits you find while browsing to read later on your account, then come back to it offline. Basically, you can read Web pages, watch embedded videos and other great stuff on your favourite eReader, yes! You can learn more here.
  • The Kobo shows you the percentage you’re in the book and your time spent reading a particular book and in total. It also lets you decide if you wish to see the percentage of completion or the page numbers, which is pretty neat and practical for book reviewers like me who prefer the latter.
  • One amusing thing Kindle doesn’t have, it’s badges (they’re called ”achievements”, but they look like badges!) When you’ve read 10 books, let’s say, you’ll have a full badge on your ”Achievements” page and you can share them on social media. What for? Boasting, I guess. I love checking what progress I’ve made now and then. There’s one problem though… It’s been acting crazy for the last three months. The system doesn’t give me the badges when they’re obviously complete and sometimes they’re filled to a certain percentage, then when I look again on another day the numbers have changed again! In other words, it was high fun in the beginning, but now it’s malfunctioning. And the worst part is they told me I would need to wait for the next update (which could be in months or even YEARS, they told me) to fix this issue. That’s frustrating.

Speaking of bad things, what of its cons?

The Cons:

  • It’s expensive. There,  I said it. If you want good quality and all, it’s approximately $200 CAD and it’s without the official case which costs about $50. Pricey, pricey. There was a $30 discount when I bought it, but then I purchased the official case and it came near $250 in the end.
  • Oh and it’s also a bit slow, but nothing major. I bet the software is to blame because my Kindle contains way more books and it’s faster than the Kobo. Imagine that!

That’s it. There’s mainly one bad thing about the Kobo and it’s its price, in my opinion.

In Conclusion:

Though being fair, I think the price is worth it. I mean, sleep? I’m in! And I like all the control you get and how it shows you everything you need to know about your reading progress and habit.

If you’re looking for an eReader, may I suggest a Kobo one?

And if you already have yours, what do you think of the Kobo?

See you next post, lovelies!

(As a little bonus, here’s my official Kobo case (I’d have chosen the red one, but there was none where I went…))

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Beta Books and Beta Readers (Tip + Update)

Hello, peeps!

I hope you enjoyed my last book reviews. As always, it’s a pleasure to read and give my opinions of them to you.

Don’t fret: I’ve also got news!

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I’m still a long way from publishing my Nightshade series; however, I now have TWO beta readers for my short stories and Nightshade in particular! One of them is my best friend, but don’t go thinking he’ll be soft with his critiques… Trust me, he’s not. And it’s a very good thing for me!

As a tip for you guys and gals, here’s what I use to manage the beta reading:

BetaBooks.co

I found this cozy site months ago in its infancy. It wasn’t even open to the general public, imagine that! So I waited… But it sounded like such a great idea! So I waited some more.

Then, it opened. Admittedly, I didn’t sign up until two weeks ago because I thought they were charging even the basic features. I was surprised! You can still create a free account. Isn’t it neat?!

If you do, you’ll be able to upload ONE story and invite up to THREE beta readers and some “fancy” features are locked like the inline comments. Nevertheless, most of what a budding author needs is handled pretty well with the free account, let me tell you. If you go over the limits, you’ll enter the first paid subscription tier (which, I think, is reasonably priced, $14.99.)

Want to know what else you can do with a free account?

Here:

  • Track reader progress
  • Collect reader feedback
  • Reply and discuss feedback in-app
  • Triage and categorize with our feedback marking system
  • See all your feedback in one screen
  • One Book
  • Up to Three Readers

Again, if you want to test this lovely service, sign up at BetaBooks.co for a free account.

Did I mention all of the feedback given and received is private when you invite your beta readers?

See you next post, lovelies (it will be a book review)!

 

Updates on My Writing

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Ahum.

Hello, lovelies!

I hope I find you all well and happy. Several major updates about my writing are coming your way!

Let’s start:

  • I’m currently working on three poems I’ll soon send to a poetry journal in Ireland. The first two are nearly complete (only a quick revision and they’re done) whilst I still need to write the third one. But I should be finished at the end of the weekend, so I can send them next week. Yay!

 

  • Speaking of literature magazine, I’m working on a short story that I find rather entertaining and poignant. Once it’s done, I’ll send it to two Canadian literature magazines (yes, they do accept simultaneous submissions). I’m excited!

 

  • As for my main writing project, I’ve finally found the big plot and ending of my Nightshade series! Moreover, I’ve even got a few extra ideas about the settings, powers, creatures, worlds, etc. featured in it. I’m so powered up and I am working hard at writing it all down and revising (a.k.a editing) what I’ve already done! If I didn’t do that, let me tell you there would be major plot holes and stuff like that for my beta readers to… not enjoy, that’s for sure. Once I’m done revising the first 7 chapters, I’m going to… WRITE! YES!

Here is a picture featuring an interview with Rosellia’s father, Ryan Lovelace:

  • Surprise: I’ve decided to write a free novella for you! Yes, I’ll distribute it for free on via sites like Instafreebie, etc. once it’s ready. You’ll have nothing to purchase. Nada. Exciting, isn’t it?! I ran a poll on Twitter (The Novella Poll) in order to know which story idea between two I had people prefer. The answer was straightforward: the two of my poll participants voted for a retelling of Persephone’s kidnapping! Yes, the Persephone from Greek mythology. I’ve always been a huge Greek and Egyptian mythology nerd, so I was quite surprised and immensely overjoyed they chose that particular idea (I promise, I didn’t sway them! Otherwise, what’s the point of a poll?)

I intend on using a new angle—something we’ve yet to see done with Persephone’s kidnapping. Oh, and it’s not a romance story! I didn’t want to do what most of the other authors are doing with it. It’ll be more an adventure/drama story. I already have the main storyline, so I just need to come up with a few scenes and the outline, then I’m on my way!

 

I’ll keep you updated about all this, don’t you fret!

Pinky swear!

What do you all think of my progress?

Are you as interested in the free novella idea as I am?

Please tell me in the comment section!

See you next post, lovelies. Muah!

 

My Certification Is on Its Way!

Guess what, peeps?!

You know I am an ESL teacher for my local immigration center, right?

Well, as my upcoming graduation gift, I have received the money to enroll in Oxford Seminars’ TESL Certification course in Montreal this summer! It starts in July and I need to go spend three intensive weekends in a classroom for practicum and then I’ve got a big theory module with relevant books and an examination at the end.

I’m so excited!

This means that I’ll soon be a certified English second language teacher! How neat is that?!

It’ll help me greatly in finding a teaching job, but also being accepted into Concordia’s Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. I’m currently gathering the required letters of recommendation from my professors and typing my letter of intent to be ready when November comes around for the application process. I still haven’t decided if I’ll specialize in psycholinguistics or sociolinguistics (both up to the PhD level) or teaching languages, but what is certain is I’ll have this Master’s!

So, great news indeed!

tenor

A Little PC Issue…

Hello, lasses and lads!

If you’re wondering why I’ve been so silent lately, it’s not because I lack reviews and post ideas.

It’s because my computer broke. (What a bummer!)

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Since I’m a distance university student, I needed a new one as quickly as possible! And so I went shopping for a new PC this week.

Please bear with me as I’m transferring everything from my external hard drive to this new computer…

However, fret not!

I’ve still got you covered: writing progress as well as book reviews and other writing-related posts are coming!

They’ve just been delayed by this… minor… incident.

You should expect a new post later during the week.

Thank you all, lovelies!

 

Merry Writing and Updates!

Hello everyone,

Here is a quick note to wish you a merry Christmas and best wishes!

Also, I have made huge progress with my novel Heaven’s Army: Down to Earth last week in terms of plot and characters. I will update you more when the holidays are over.

There are two or three book reviews coming soon too.

And the poetry workbook I told you about recently? Yes, I did write some of it! It’s coming together. I will tell you more when I am back from the holidays.

Again: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you next post!

A Poetry Workbook For You & Translators’ Annual Conference

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Hello, everyone!

I have such important stuff to tell you.

We’d better start now, then!

Annual Conference and Continuing Education Day

I went to the OTTIAQ’s (Quebec in Canada’s professional translators’ association) annual conference and continuing education day last weekend! It was fabulous, inspiring, and motivational. I learned a lot to help me in my future career and simply about the translation world. It might have been exhausting, but it was well worth it.

Plus, it sounds as though I might have found a few freelance job opportunities too. I met four great women (including two students, just like me!) and we are staying in touch. Networking in your own field can be truly amazing.

For the first time in my life, I saw I was not alone in my little corner of the world, loving languages so much it hurts and makes me fly high at the same time. There are others where I am! I got to talk with them, listen to them, to our shared passion.

It was both uplifting and eye-opening.

Find what you love, folks. And do it.

Want a Workbook? I’ll Make One!

I’ve been thinking about creating a workbook for you guys for a while now… Since my poem was published (read it here) on Selcouth Station, it made me realize poetry is something I do very well! There isn’t enough poetry guides or help in the world for it and I figured I could give you some tips, tricks, and guidelines to write poetry.

So, how about a poetry workbook, fellows?!

I’m still outlining everything, but I learned how to use the tools to make it. Let’s say I’m getting closer to the final product. It’ll have information, my own tips and tricks, examples, and exercises (of course!) to get you going at producing your own masterpieces!

Should I make a poetry workbook that focuses on delivering emotions or how to tell a micro-story within its lines? Or perhaps just about poetry in general?

Also, what would you like to see covered in its pages?

Please leave your answers below!

I love discussing with you, ladies and gents.