Welcome!

This site celebrates the world of inexpensive – often free – software available to create:

  • Still images
  • Animations
  • Books (e- and otherwise) &
  • Music 

My goal is for this to be a place for artists, writers and musicians to discuss the low-cost digital tools they use, and share their triumphs and frustrations. I have individual pages for the programs with which I’m familiar. My experience is that all of these programs can work together in the creative process, and artists, wordsmiths and musicians would benefit from having at least a passing knowledge of the broad spectrum of great creative tools out there. Please add to the list.

My definition of low-cost is: Free if at all possible, $100 or less if not.

For forty years, my day job centered on writing. While I loved the work, it involved business, technical and financial communications. People read my news articles, annual reports, letters to shareholders and executive speeches because they needed the information. So far as I know, not a soul ever said, “Boy I can’t wait for the next piece from that Lewis guy!” While for decades I’ve itched to do fiction, my regular work kept me pretty much written out by the end of the day.

When I retired in 2008, I stumbled on the world of Computer Generated Images (I’ve been a bit of a geek since junior high). I was amazed to find all kinds of free, or nearly free, software that would let me create stunning images and animations. Similar software let me manipulate those images in powerful ways. And there was a whole stable of additional software dedicated to writing, layout and book creation. As a result, I am early in a new career as the writer of illustrated fantasy books. (Well, I hope to be. I’m just shy of publishing my first work.)

I would have loved to have had a source identifying and exploring these low-cost tools when I started out. Indeed, such sites may exist. But the ones I have found generally involve a single software title, or one type of software, not the whole creative package.

Therefore, sections of this blog are dedicated to my discoveries in all these areas. It’s certainly not complete. Please join me in expanding that universe, and helping all of us learn to use these tools more and more skillfully.

Further, over those years laboring in the corporate vinyard, my “creative” output was as an amateur singer/songwriter. I collected a small fan base, and have one song I would call a “hit”. People ask me to play it regularly, and several times I have had crowds stand up, clap, and sing along. But, most of my songs are on the quirky side, and I haven’t written a new one in years.

Therefore, initially the music side of this blog will focus on the many, many extremely talented singer/songwriters I have had the good fortune to know over the years. Some have been successful nationally (and internationally). Others mainly are known regionally and/or have a small but dedicated fan base around the world. Again, join me and share your favorite singer/songwriters with us all.

Finally, if you are a singer/songwriter, I would love to have you help me create a section highlighting free and low-cost computer resources you use to create, polish and promote your work.

I think this will be a lot of fun. Please join me!

W. R. A. Lewis

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