Thursday, 5 July 2007

Widgets for not writing

Okay, I suspect that I'm very late to the party, but I've just discovered - widgets. Or gadgets. Or blidgets. I went across to LibraryThing last week to find out how to put a random selection of books from my online catalogue on to my blog. Did it. Felt like a techno-whiz. Also found a 'chicklet' banner that I could add to the page. Went over to Romancing the Blog and discovered another cool chicklet, which provoked a manic search for cute thingummies for my brand new blog.

That's when I stumbled on Yahoo Widgets, and realized what the really cool stuff on my son's laptop was all about. Over the last two days I've checked out hundreds of these little gizmos, and my desktop is now a maze of flitting butterflies, bouncing balls, moon phases, weather eyes, a day planner, mail checker, picture frames that scroll through photos on Flickr, Yahoo Photos or my computer, a CPU portal gauge, a memory gauge... I don't even know what some of these things are for (CPU portal, anyone?), and there are others lined up in a dock that magically appears when I move the cursor to the extreme right of the screen.

I have only just begun. There are webcam widgets with views of beaches and campuses (?). Games. News feeds. Dictionaries. Clocks. Foreign language translators and tutors. Little images that don't actually do anything, like the tiny cat that just sits there on the desktop. Restaurant menus. A clipboard washer to remove formatting from text. And lots, lots more.

This is fun! Keeps me fully occupied. What I have discovered is yet another method of avoiding the edits to that second book - edits that my agent is patiently awaiting. I'm so wound up by this interminable wait to finalize my very first book contract that I can't work. I can't think. I can't write. So - I prowl the Internet for days at a stretch on the hunt for... widgets!


KeVin K. said...

What I do to procrastinate is click on the names of people who make interesting comments at Romancing the Blog and follow them home.

I do not, however, collect widgets or any of the other interesting things one can find lying about the virtual landscape. Mostly because I don't know what to do with them when I find them. (Quite frankly, I'm not altogether sure this whoe twenty-first century thing is going to catch on.)

At any rate, now that I've found you I'm going to take a chance and trust you're not the online persona of a crack team of cyber police tasked with bringing procrastinating writers to justice and start dropping by every now and then.

wordtryst said...

Hi Kevin-

Welcome! You have the awesome distinction of being the very first person to comment on my fledgling blog. A voice! From out of the wilderness! This is awesome.

I just scooted over to your blog and realize that I've seen that cool avatar before. I think it was over at - gosh, I don't think I'm officially a senior yet but I'm having a senior moment - I think it was the blog of that editor from Tor. I just know that as soon as I click on 'publish your comment' I'll remember her name. And I noticed you in that discussion on RTB as well. Very interesting comments.

Relax. I could never be on that cyber police force because I'd have to turn myself in first. I've developed procrasination to an art form.

"Quite frankly, I'm not altogether sure this whoe twenty-first century thing is going to catch on." That's so funny, I'll pass that on to a friend who feels the same way.

Really happy you clicked by.