“of course i talk to myself. sometimes i need expert advice.” – unknown

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper.

It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

– Maya Angelou

Hello everyone, and welcome to a special “radio” edition of Katherine Bacher’s Bits and Pieces blog!

Boy, that Unknown dude sure has said quite a ton of stuff over the centuries, haven’t they?

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Dragon speech software by Nuance, Home Version 11. You may be surprised to find that I actually broke down and bought this program. Well Precious Readers, I thought about my recent wrist issues and how it was worth investing in the program to assist with my writing. By purchasing speech software instead of destroying my wrist for the, 50 years my life, I’d like to think that I’m more investing in my future versus being really, really, really lazy.

Speaking of speech software, I think today’s post would be appropriate to approach the subject:

Audio Books vs. Hard Copy Books

Looking at the Internet, this is a topic with heated discussions and very strong opinions. It only takes one quick search to find this is quite the raging battle.

Remember the Audio- Uh… I mean… Alamo!

Well folks, in my opinion, I love them!

They make great entertainment, and the best part is no commercials! If I’m riding along inside Grease Lightning on a drive to Portland, Oregon, I can enjoy being introduced to a new character who just might change my soul a little bit while my Jeep putts along I-5.

Now, this is not a recent quickie-type of an affair.

Oh, no.

Audiobooks and I are childhood sweethearts!

As a kid, I first learned how to read by looking at the words in the book residing in my hands while listening to gentle voices on tapes-

Yes, tapes. I am dating myself a bit here…

-narrate the story I was currently viewing. Who doesn’t remember their teacher reading a famous story during a quiet hour of the school day?

I recall very long road trips along the West Coast-

Round-trip “family” vacations to Vegas and back via a purple egg-shaped vehicle we called the “Grape Van,” alluding to the Motown hit, “Grape Vine.”

My family has a history of naming its vehicles, remember?

-listening to old timey radios shows-

We’re talking OLD! With the shaky voices, overacting, sound effects and eardrum-blistering organ music…

-such as Sherlock Holmes stories and The Shadow mystery stories, all of which sent chills up my spine as easily as reading it with my own eyes would have done. Maybe even more so because I was hearing an actual human voice to the image I had in my head.

When my father was alive, he and Pilot’s parents would often share stories about their childhoods. Pilot’s mother, known to you as Honey, and my parents shared very similar childhood experiences. Both grew up in small rural towns with barely two nickels to rub together. One of their fondest childhood memories was listening to the radio. The shows I listened to on audiotape in the car on the way to Viva Las Vegas, were probably the same shows they listened to live on the air.

Not that I want to label our parents as old or anything… Nah, I’d never do that.

<cough> They’re in their 60’s… <cough>

If you want get political and look at the humanitarian side of the issue: audio books are great for people who enjoy storytelling but may have difficulty with reading. For example: someone with dyslexia.

One of my favorite blogs to frequent, the author, Vicky shares that audiobooks aren’t her favorite thing. At first she was completely against them, but now they’re “OK.” Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan and highly recommend audio books to anyone!

So, what about you Precious Readers?

Do you have a preference? Is it strictly hard copy books for you or strictly audio books? Is there room in your heart for both?

Also, I would love your opinion on Dragon speech software. This is only my first blog post using the program. Although it’s a little awkward right now, I think I can beat this learing curve and am enjoying it. I think with some practice this will become much easier and position itself as a necessary tool for my writing.

To toot my own horn a little bit: I must admit my typing is almost as fast as this Dragon speech software-

A sort of “thank you” to my parents for slapping me in front of Mavis Beacon for an entire summer one year?  …  I guess…?

-but this program is allowing me to save hands for my job in my Daily Life until I’m writing full-time and dreaming up new stories (and even more future blog posts) for you!

Those of you out in the blogosphere, please share your experiences-

The good, bad and wickedly ugly…

-with Dragon speech software. I would love to hear some reviews, tips and tricks, plus any other tidbits that might be rolling around in your noggin. Inquiring minds want to know!

Well thanks for reading, Precious Readers! Tune in next time to radio Katie brought to you by Dragon speech software version 11.

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