Time for a blog update. Actually, I’m overdue. Sorry, folks. Because of fortuitous circumstances, I went directly from one book to the next. Not bad news, by any means! But, as a result, I’ve been somewhat (somewhat?) remiss in my posts. So… here are a few random dribs and drabs I’d like to share. Starting with… my newest book project.
Not A Big Reveal
I don’t typically talk about my book projects in advance. Superstitious? Yeah. That’s it. It’s a crowded field. The true-crime genre is notorious for poachers. Ain’t gonna give anybody a leg up. What I do want to talk about is a significant update to my process. Yeah, speech to text is now saving my bacon. That and Zoom.
When your principle subject lives somewhere that makes face-to-face difficult, Zoom is a great way to collaborate. [There are other options that are equally wonderful, like Teams, so this is not a snub.] I can — and do — record each Zoom session. Those sessions are, in turn, converted into two formats (audio and video). Then they go to O365 for transcription. The results are not perfect, but they’re pretty damn good. [Full Disclosure: I worked for O365 at one point on my career.]
Process wise, I simply upload one of my Zoom audio files to OneDrive and O365 does the rest. Hooray!
I’ve been writing books long enough (40 years) to remember the old days, when transcribing was a manual process. It’s painful. Play a snippet of tape, type, rewind the tape a bit, then type some more. I already have tens of hours of audio from my latest project. No thanks. That’s dribs and drabs times 1,000.
Office 365 Transcribe
Like I said, O365 transcribe is not perfect. That’s to be expected. People sometimes mumble. Or talk over each other. Or use words that are “not in the vocabulary.” My particular subject tends to use profanity on occasion. Office 365 “politely” converts profanity to ******* asterisks.
Kevin McCarthy, on the other hand, should be an asterisk. One of the true dribs, he seems to be turning his first name into the male equivalent of “Karen.”
My favorite moment happens to be his unfortunate disquisition on secure storage of Classified Materials. Kevin recently suggested that storing TFG’s “My Precious” documents in a bathroom at Mar-A-Loco was somehow superior to storing them in Joe Biden’s garage. Au contraire, mon amis.
A bathroom, you see, only locks from the INSIDE. Not only that but, to protect against people locking themselves inside said bathroom, there’s a handy lock override on the outside of the door handle. Yeah, you can check that out on your very own bathroom door,
Karen Kevin. Or, if you’re lucky enough to be invited back to Mar-A-Loco, on the real thing. None of those accommodations apply to garages or garage doors, BTW. Just saying.
Copyright Leland E. Hale (2023). All rights reserved.
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