How Siri Helps Me Blog…and Other Randomness

1st May 2012

  • So my iPhone bit the dust a few weeks ago. We had a great relationship, we really did, but after a few years of intimacy, he just started staring off into space when I talked and freezing up when I wanted to do anything together. In other words, I had to go spend wayyyy too much money trading up.

The salesman at AT&T took one look at my phone and started laughing. Apparently, all those audiobooks are kind of big files, so yeah, I had no memory left. But Siri!

Wow – she can supposedly do a lot of things, but I have used her mostly for things like this:

Siri! Remind me to write a blog post about your hook book!

Siri! Remind me to dig out my copy of Othello to compare notes to I, Iago!

I know. I’m ridiculous, but it’s really like having a personal assistant. I even asked Siri to remind me to write a blog post about how I use Siri to write blog posts. 😉

  • Teachers! So I know it’s the end of the semester and all, but Edmodo sent me an email last week, and apparently now they have apps. So I had to share with you Pixton.

Pixton is an available app on Edmodo, but it’s also an independent website where you can create comics – so I guess not just for teachers! You can choose how many panels as well as the style. From there, you choose your background, characters, props, speech clouds, etc. You can manipulate the images as well, and there’s even a way for you to record voices and play them, too. I had a lot of fun playing around with this and actually assigned my students to work on a comic this week. Here’s how I presented the assignment:

  • Yvette posted her 101 favorite mysteries and/or thrillers, and it’s a fabulous list she spent quite a bit of time formulating, complete with synopses. Check it out!
  • After last week’s World Book Night success, I wanted everyone to know how to stay in the know for next year. World Book Night actually has a mailing list signup, so if you’re at all interested, I’d get on board now.
  • Andi fell in love with Outlander, and her gushing really makes me want to revisit the Fraser family.
  • If you haven’t seen The North Avenue Irregulars, do yourself a favor and watch it. Loved it as a kid, still cracked up laughing as an adult. (And yes I know this has nothing to do with books. But couldn’t you use a good old-fashioned laugh?)
  • If you haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey but wonder what all the fuss is about (I feel like I have read it from all the buzz), take a look at Buzzfeed’s “The 15 Best/Worst Lines from Erotic Bestseller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey'” [NSFW].
  • Then watch Ellen Degeneres try to narrate. It’s pretty fantastic.

What to look for this week? Two new books with reviews. I promise there will be a Fridays at Home post, and if you guys ever want to see the bookish advice column again, I NEED QUESTIONS. Tell your ma, pa, sis, bro, bff and send them my way via Now I’m off to read Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon because I am totally engrossed. Can’t wait to talk about this book!
Peace up, B-town.

  • heidenkind

    My mom has the new iPhone but is scared to use SIRI. I don’t know why.

    • Technology!!!! There’s a tiny lady in my phone!! 😉

      • heidenkind

        Oh my gosh, that is exactly like a book I had when I was little that freaked me out. D:

  • pattismith

    Siri doesn’t understand a word I say…I guess it’s the drawl 🙁 She’s actually sent a few wild ones so I don’t use it very often.

    • My ESL students wanted to experiment one dat. Siri came up with all sorts of stuff. I haven’t tried sending anything to anyone via Siri yet.

  • Ti

    I don’t have an iPhone but my Android has a personal assistant too. I don’t use it for blogging but now I am wondering why the heck not? I use Taskos to remind myself of stuff. These days though…when the writing is slow to come, I am okay fending for myself.

    • pickygirl

      I’m tell you, it’s pure gold! I get random ideas at random times, and if I don’t record them in some way, they’re gone. I don’t do many non-review posts each week, so when I have an idea for one, I definitely want to make sure I get back to it later.

  • Andi

    So much goodness in this post. I have yet to use Siri for anything but you’re inspiring me!

    Thanks for the shout out. I’m about 375 pages into DRAGONFLY IN AMBER and still tooootally hooked. A very different atmosphere in this novel, but I still dig it. I daresay, I might go ahead with VOYAGER when I’m done with this one. We’ll see if I can maintain the obsessiveness for that long.

    And I HAVE to listen to Ellen read 50 SHADES OF GREY. But I’m gonna need my earbuds first. I know they’re around here somewhere.

    • I honestly didn’t think I would use Siri at all. And then it just came to me. I asked her to remind me to bring French bread for Easter dinner, and something clicked. So glad it did.

      I managed the Outlander obsession through the first four or five. It’s possible.

      Ellen is so freaking funny, but she is PERFECT reading this.

  • I love that you use Siri for your blogging — brills! Also, I can’t wait for your review of I, Iago — I really loved it as I’m not one to empathize/sympathize with the villains.

    • It’s so perfect for it!

      And oh my gosh – my review for I, Iago is Thursday, and I honestly can’t wait. It was so so so incredibly good.

  • I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on Wife 22! I’m waiting for it to be released and processed by my library, but I keep seeing it on my hold list and getting excited about it. Maybe I need to quit checking my library holds 3 times a day…

    • Elizabeth – I may or may not have stayed up until 2:30 this morning reading it. It was so so good! You don’t have long to wait thankfully. I’ll try to get a review up next week.

  • Missremmers

    That comic bit is awesome! Thanks for the heads up!

    • No problem! I can see myself using it quite a bit down the road.

  • Missremmers

    I also LOVE the Siri bit! I want a Siri!!!!

  • I love that Ellen clip! Then again, I pretty much love everything Ellen does.

    I was interested to read that you’re a fan of the Outlander series. After I finished A Discovery of Witches last year, I wondered whether I would like that series. So much so, that I posted on my blog asking people for their take! Results were decidedly mixed and I wound up not trying it, mostly because I know that it has rapey bits and that is a big turn-off for me. But if you like it, I feel like I might too!

    • She is so darn funny. Love her.

      Actually, when I read DoW, the comparison to Outlander really stood out in my mind. I know some people really don’t like it, and there is a rape scene (but oddly enough, not a typical one – the abuse is against a man). I read them years ago, but I really loved the story. To me, Clare is much more her own woman than Diana, and Jamie is much more willing to adapt to her independence than Matthew is to Diana’s.

      I was wary of them, partially because the length, but my bff sold me on them about 8 or 9 years ago, and I loved them.

  • Ellen = my hero

  • I love that make a comic site. It’s awesome! That might make a fun read-a-thon mini-challenge — make a comic about yourself or the book you’re reading.

  • nice posting.. thanks for sharing.