Have I mentioned my dear husband lately? You know, the one who brings me my morning paper and a nice skinny latte, no foam, no sugary stuff — without being asked? That Guy? (He does dishes, too, by the way.) Well, that Grand Guy gave me Dragon Naturally Speaking for Christmas. He thought it might save my poor little wrists, along with his ears who have to listen to my endless whining.
Do you want to scare the wits out of a woman? Simply strap a headset on her with a microphone bobbing in front of her mouth, and then tell her to dictate — out loud — to her computer. Holy Spumoni! Who would know this could be so hard? I don’t know what to do with my hands. I don’t know from where to pull my words. Without my hands getting in on the action, I find myself nearly a mute. My husband says that could be a good thing. I find that not in the least amusing. I must admit, though, the words before cleanup can be pretty amusing. Imagine saying, New York Times bestseller, and it comes out something like, New York Times beasts killer. Isn’t that what everyone wants? The next best beasts killer book on the shelf of their local bookstore?
It seems my mouth comes out with some interesting words that I didn’t know were hiding behind my lips. Even enunciating as clearly as possible, I’m finding words I didn’t know possible in combinations I thought completely illogical. Computers are very literal, while I’m about as wild as one can get when thinking out loud. Add in the need to punctuate while speaking, and you have one crazy woman with a latte in one hand, and a dog-eared copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves in the other.
It’s probably a good thing that I have few visitors yet to this site. By the time I have some droppers-by, perhaps I’ll get this thing down to a level roar. In the meantime, I’ll be the one in her office laughing wildly at herself. (You should see how the Dragon interprets laughter.)
And for those few errant words I may miss … well, I’ll enjoy these early missteps and simply thank my handsome husband on behalf of my two needful wrists.
Even when I don’t use this wrist-saving Dragon to help me memorialize my words, I think I’ll continue to laugh at myself because, well … after all, every writer needs a laugh now and then, especially while in the midst of creating the next tragic Heathcliff and Catherine-esque characters.