Robins, Book Reviews, Pretty Pictures

I’m detecting a trend here, toward multi-topic posts. I don’t know whether readers like them or hate them, but I often have a number of things I want to comment on that aren’t substantive enough for individual posts. It’s also a good way to keep the blog active when I’m not so active. The brain isn’t alway capable of deep thinking.

I saw an actual flock of robins this morning. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen more than two or three at a time, so it was mildly exciting. There’s snow on the ground—again—which is probably why, after a little wandering around, the birds congregated on the bushes outside the sunroom’s south window. I’ll have to try to identify the bushes when they leaf out in the spring. There are small thorns along the branches, and they’re covered with tiny berries. Tiny because they’re naturally small or because they’re dried out and shriveled? The birds didn’t hang around too long, but it was a pleasure to see them for that brief few minutes.

Book reviews  Ah, there’s nothing like a new reader digging up old posts and exposing good intentions that never came to pass. It’s been almost two years since I wrote about doing more book reviews. The truth is, I don’t like writing book reviews. Even when I want to let people know about a book I enjoyed reading, cranking out a review is like having teeth drilled.

But I intend to try. I appreciate being turned onto a book that I might never have stumbled across on my own. It’s only fair to do the same.

Pretty Pictures  I also ranted about graphics in blogs. Whether they’re necessary. Whether posts need a “hook” to attract readers. I still question the necessity of a hook, and whether a graphic that has little to do with the subject of the post accomplishes anything. But I used to enjoy creating text graphics with a Mac program called Logoist. Hmmm.1,000 words

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9 thoughts on “Robins, Book Reviews, Pretty Pictures

  1. I looked into Logoist – I may purchase it in the future, but $30 is a lot when I compare what I paid for Scrivener or Pixelmator, programs with far more complexity. Though there may be a minimal complexity where you don’t get decent programs unless the companies stay in business. It’s a hard world out there for software companies; and the apps makers are all going broke because they put a lot of effort into their work only to have someone reverse-engineer the concept, add a few bells and whistles, and get a product to market cheaply.

    I’ll get it when I have time to play with it. And I’m sure if I see a bunch of your graphics done with it I’ll be enticed.

    If you don’t like writing book reviews, I’m surprised you would make the effort. Maybe only for the books you really believe in?

    Last: I worry about the poor birdies finding something to eat. It always seems wrong that they survive the winter (like the squirrels and feral cats) and then don’t make it through spring, but people forget that spring plantings take time to develop, and there may be nothing to eat except for true herbivores until those plants mature.

    1. If the online apps do what you want, Logoist would just have the advantage of being all yours. I always prefer to buy an app, if the price is reasonable. I used online photo manipulation tools in the beginning, but I had to transfer a project from one to another to get all the features I needed. When I discovered Pixelmator, I didn’t have to deal with that any more.

      As you said, my reviews are always for books that I’m willing to recommend. Why waste time reviewing anything less?

      1. It says it comes with a lot of templates; those might make it worth looking into. Also, if it already comes with royalty-free images. I went to their site, and didn’t see a lot of examples of what you could do. Anywhere else you would recommend? I did NOT like the examples in the App store – they looked very basic and primitive, like some of the collections of clip art I’ve been suckered into.

        I don’t need templates for posters and birthday cards and such – Word, which I own already, has lots of those (and I never use them).

        So I’ll check out examples – I’d appreciate any pointers, since you use it and like it.

        1. I see that they’ve come out with a new version, very different from mine. It actually looks easier to use. I’ll have to check and see if there’s an update for licensed users. Yes, there’s loads of clip art, which I seldom use. The real beauty is that you can change everything in the templates, so any one template can have hundreds of variations. The best way to see if you like it is to download the trial version. I just did that, but I doubt I’ll get around to it today. I can’t find any info about upgrading, and the new version would have to be sensational for me to pay for it all over again.

          1. I read on their site that there was no free upgrade to version 2.

            I may try the demo. It goes on the list.

            Or I may just make more of an effort, and use Pixelmator and my own photos when I want to say something.

            Thanks for checking.

              1. I agree – I’m hanging on to software that still works, but which has be superseded by online versions (the idea of which I hate, whether it be tax software or Microsoft Office or Adobe Illustrator). This assumes we will 1) always be connected to the internet when we want to work, 2) always willing to upgrade our skills any time some two-bit programmer changes the software, and 3) like to keep paying.

                Nope to all three.

                1. I can’t download anything from the Logoist site, but I did notice that v1 is available, demo and full program combined. Which might possibly mean they’re no longer charging for it. Worth checking out, anyway. Version two looks much more complicated in some ways, so you might want to look at v1, which is what I’ve been using. http://www.syniumsoftware.com/downloads

  2. I think I commented, when you first mooted the idea of reveiws, that the few reviews I did on my blog, back in 2013, I think, scored the most hits of any of my blog posts. So it could be a good way for people who otherwise wouldn’t find you to find you. Maybe.

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