- Wikipedia. Great for preliminary research, though always to be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism, especially those entries on controversial subjects and/or current events. The external links at the bottom are a useful jumping off point for more in-depth research.
- The Oxford American Dictionary and Thesaurus included as part of the Mac OS X Dashboard. Simple, aesthetically pleasing user interface, and comes complete with etymology and usage dates. Faster than a print dictionary and always there. I use mine constantly to make sure I’m not sticking anachronistic terms into my character’s mouths, or to remind me of that word that’s on the tip of my brain. Fabulous.
- Timers. Both physical and cyber. They keep me on track and on schedule, and remind me to do things like pick up my kids and eat — real issues when I’m nearing the end of a book. The one I have on my computer is simply called “Timer” and is from Sonora Graphics. Counts up or down with a clean and easy interface. They also have a snazzy Recipe Box application I intend to try out.
- My mother-in-law, who is here visiting this week and has vacuumed my house, entertained my daughter, and raked my leaves, all without expecting me to entertain her because she knows I’m writing. Gotta love her.
- A husband who cooks. Even on Thanksgiving. Comes from being raised by the woman in #4. Gotta love him, too.
What are you grateful for, either as a writer or a reader? Post your top 5 in the Comments section.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.