Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop 2017

Happy holidays, everyone! Is everybody ready for Christmas? Is your shopping done yet? I'm nearly there but I have a few last minute things. Does anyone have any travel plans? I have no travel plans thankfully. With the holiday craze running at full speed right now, I'll be glad for a break.

It's been some time since I've participated in this book hop, but I figured it was a great way to close out one year and welcome a new one. 2017 has been just as challenging as 2016 and I pray better things are to come in the new year. The host of the giveaway hop is Mary from Bookhounds. There are over 75 blogs participated in this blog hop and at least ten days until the end of the year to enter and possibly win some great stuff.

Once again, I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Extra entries…

+2 Subscribe to my blog
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Follow me on Google Plus
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Dec. 21st - Dec. 31st, midnight. The contest is open to International participants.

See who else is participating.

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: Artificial Intelligence & Writing

2017 is coming to an end. Yikes! How on earth did time move so quickly? Oh well.'s time for another monthly post for Insecure Writer's Support Group. Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this monthly hop. This month's co-hosts are Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

To learn more about this program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.

ISWG December

Monthly question:  "As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?"

I don' have any success or failures to comment on... I would say I've gotten back on track over the last few months with certain projects and that in itself is a success for me, but that's pretty much it. NaNoMo wasn't as big as a success as I'd hoped for, but then again the holidays can do that to any writer. Am I right about that? Did anyone else have great success with NaNo?

Artificial Intelligence & Writing

By now most of us know how AI (Artificial Intelligence) has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. If you're having doubts then take a look at your cars, your home entertainment systems, phones, computers etc.... The list goes on.  I hadn't thought about what that meant until I started reading how in the future, AI will replace coders and even the oldest profession is being programmed right now. Ugh. These recent news articles really freaked me out. Call me crazy, but I believe humans understand human behavior best and that's despite all the real, ugly stories and controversies including #MeToo, free speech, LGBT rights, and all the other hot topics right now. 

That said, it forces me to look at us as writers. Would you believe that AI could take over that aspect of humanity too? Haven't thought about it? Well, other people are. In fact, recently published an article, "This Supercomputer Was Programmed to Think Like the Zodiac Killer. No Wonder Its Poetry is So Creepy." From the article, "After being fed all the known writings of the infamous Zodiac killer, a supercomputer named CARMEL has developed the ability to think like the elusive serial murderer. It often writes poetry like one, too." Listen to CARMEL's work below:

Can you say creepy? Skynet is upon us!


Using AI for Writers

Artificial Intelligence is supposed to make things easier, although I cringe when I hear my ten-year-old ask Alexa the time, or how to spell a word.  I tell her to grab a dictionary and she looks at me like I'm crazy. God help me. *facepalm* Which this got me thinking about using Alexa for writing. Alexa has skills you can download for writing prompts which I thought was interesting.  And it also has other uses. Here's a brief list of skills in case anyone was interested in using it to help with writing:

* Organization Skills
* Time management Skills
* Researching skills such as History Channel
* Dictionary Skills

Since I'm sure Alexa will be adding more skills in the future, expect there to be more. Siri from iPhone is another AI that many of us use with talk-to-text, hands-free calling etc... Cortana, the AI inside Windows, offers decent dictation which some writers use. I'm not sure how much this would help in my writing process, but it's certainly interesting how quickly things are changing...even for writers.  There's an interesting article about how AI is already affecting the writing industry, "What a world of AI robot writers will look like." Read this if you want to learn more about AI & writing.


That's it for this month.  What are your insecurities this month? What do you think about AI? Do you use it when you're writing?

Have a fantastic rest of the week!

Mina B.