500 Words At A Time: Research, Wrath of Dragon


At that moment in time I am starring at the computer screen with a very puzzled expression. The word cow has not appeared on the screen. I try again.


Nothing. Once more with feeling.


Nothing. I check to see if the microphone is connected, check. Double check to see if computer is on and working, obviously check. Dragon 12 has to know cow. Doesn’t it? Dragon knew some pretty complex words earlier….I’ll try again.

“Ka OW,” over enunciating.

No cow, but a suggested list.

“What the fuck is this shit!” And other than turning fuck into duck, that expletive laced outburst is flashing on the screen. The suggested list for cow is gone. Not to be outdone by the lack of cow and knowing that Dragon does work, I go for it…


The list appears again. Put simply, cow was not there nor any derivative of cow. Then began the process of teaching Dragon 12 the word cow.  If there was a flaw in our research plan it was technological, but that in and of itself was the point. Would people notice the differences. Anecdotal evidence pointed to no. Based on how much of a pain I the ass Dragon routinely was I could not imagine a scenario where readers wouldn’t notice. And as for there to upon the writer…

I kept a log of activity, questions and issues. On the above day there is in serial killer handwriting…”had to teach it how to spell COW!!!!! Fucking COW!!!! COWS!!!!” And thru the O is a hole twenty-eight pages deep where in frustration and anger and rage over cows, I drove my pen instead of stabbing the computer.

Putting Dragon 12 to use was an experience. I was expecting some problems, but at the same time I was expecting that with some proficiency I would be able to put worlds to the screen at the same pace that I think if them. Not even close. As long as Dragon and I were comminicating, things worked great. Like all great long distance relationships we just couldn’t quit each other even the signs were plain to see.

I do not think about punctuation, I just put it in place where necessary. The comma being the exception to that rule. Dragon had me thinking about saying the word for the punctuation I wanted to use and then had me thinking about if the punctuation I said would appear on the screen. Talk about total thought derailment.

Editing does not happen I the middle of a sentence. That is for when the writing is done. Dragon, because of the complicated and convoluted editing features editing needed to be done while writing. And make no mistake at first I used the voice commands to edit. That too is a thought derailment. Don’t get me started on teaching Dragon how to spell or use the voice commands to pick out a suggested word when the wrong word appeared on the screen.

Eventually, Dragon taught me it was better not to fight and just submit. Submit to the predictive text that started with a word and eventually moved into sentences. Most of which were wrong, by the way. Still, Dragon taught me not to bother because bothering lead to loss of train of thought and nothing bothered me more during the whole process of using Dragon than reading a post and seeing how…nope if I tell you that then you will pass the test. There is a test later, did I mention that? 🙂


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