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Welcome to the Steno Wizard's Realtime Journey!

Remember when life was simple and all you had to do was make a selection on what your steno really meant? Those days are long gone.

Reporters must get themselves into top realtime form to compete in today's job market. This is my contribution toward ALL of us reaching the realtime goal.

My Steno Wizardry concept is based on the idea that writing realtime actually doesn't require magic -- just hard work, determination, and a little bit of FUN imagination.

My hope is my sharing of the ideas I've incorporated into my realtime journey will assist you in yours.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Checking in!

Steno Wizard has been so busy with the captioning side of realtime!  Loads of work out there to be had from the comfort of your own home...just sayin'  

Steno Wizard is starting to feel more and more comfortable captioning television.  Last week, Steno Wizard got to caption -- get ready for it -- the State of the Union address.  Talk about a nerve-racking experience.  In my quest to not look a total fool, I spent 45 minutes prepping for a speech that was a little over an hour long!

How does one prep for the State of the Union?

You've got to make sure you have all those Congressional names in your dictionary just in case.  I had many from before the election, but I needed to update them with the newly elected people. 

I went to the and looked around in there for a bit.  Input the First Lady's guests names -- good thing because the President mentioned a few along the way.  Rebekah definitely had to be in there. 

Here's some briefs that were helpful--State of the Union STAOUPB
Michelle PHEURBL
Congress TKPWRES
Congressional TKPWRERBL

Now a word I wish I'd had in my dictionary that the President didn't say but the television reporters did say -- rotunda!   You can bet it's in there NOW. 

Anyway, Steno Wizard survived that particular journey.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

What a summer!

Steno Wizard has been busy with the captioning venture this summer. 

Captioning a shopping channel can be quite a challenge.  The hosts are selling, and this captioner is thinking...oh, I think I could use that!  Yikes! 

Here's some briefs for the challenge!

turquoise T*K  --- who knew?  Steno Wizard can't seem to hit the keys otherwise so this brief works!

Spectacular SPHRAR
Fabulous TPABLS
Holiday HOEULD
Fourth of July TPOURPBLG

It is very helpful to have fingerspelling mastered for this channel.   Lots of unique and catchy spellings to be aware of!

Steno Wizard has also been busy captioning CNN, and here's some wonderful briefs to share for that endeavor...

Israel S-L
Israeli S*L
warfare W-FR
missile PHEUFL
soldier SOERLD

NHK World is a Japanese channel and can be highly challenging due to this captioner's unfamiliarity with Asian terms.  Oooh, boy!  The clips are uploaded onto their website, so check it out and see how you do!

Typhoon TAOFPB
Japanese  J-PS
Chinese KH-Z
Indonesia SPWAERB
Korea KRAE

Lots of speaker IDs to be aware of too.

T-FRPBLGTS, >> Translator:
R-FRPBLGTS, >> Reporter:

Steno Wizard still has to really work on mastering those speaker ID changes for the translator and reporter.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Batter Up! It's BASEBALL Season!!

This new captioner has been writing baseball games about once or twice a week.  Waaayyy slower than the news!   Thinking baseball just might be my thing...

In the interest of sharing, here's some lovely briefs for captioning my favorite sport.

baseball    BAEUBL
fastball      FABL
curveball   KURBL
breaking ball   BRAEUBL
foul ball     FOUBL
flyball        FLAOEUBL
ground ball   GROUBL
knuckleball   NUBL
screwball     SKRAOUBL

swing and a miss -  SW-MS

infield   EUFLD
outfiled OUFLD
centerfield   SEUFLD
right field    RAOEUFLD

line-up   HR*UP

Don't forget those decimals!!
SP*T  is .~
P*T is ~.~


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Some new strokes for this new captioner!

Steno Wizard is finally officially on the air!

One method that this captioner has learned for adding the word endings of con, ton, son, mon is instead of writing the "O" in the middle is to use AU.  It's certainly working.


ending con is KAUPB
son SAUPB   (sawn, * -- sort of like those radial saw blades is how I'm picturing it)

And not to be stingy, Steno Wizard has taken to writing:

visibility SREUFBLT
visible SREUFBL
outage OUPBLG
power outage POUPBLG
dangerous TK-RGS
widespread WAOEUPS
latest HRAEUFT
heavier HAEFR

Maybe there's a gem or two for you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Weather is Delightful!

As this former court reporter is transitioning into the captioning realm, there's been hours and hours of practicing -- as mentioned previously -- "The Weather Channel."  In the interest of sharing, here's some of the weather briefs the Wizard has cheerfully borrowed from others or came up with in the desperate struggle to keep up with the anchors!

atmosphere ATS
atmospheric A*TS
hemisphere HEPLS
hemispheric H*EPLS
bitter PWEURT
bitterly PWEURLT
temperature T-P
frostbite TPR*B
freezing TPRAOEFG
freezing rain   TPR*  (short and sweet)
jet stream SKWRAOEPL
lake-effect HREFBGT
lake-effect snow HREFBGTS
low pressure HR-P
high pressure H-P
north pole TPH*P
south pole S*P
radar RAEURD
Doppler TKORP
blizzard PWHREUFRD
tornado TORPBD
thunderstorm THURPL
snow band STPHOEBD
snow storm STPHORPL
snow shower STPHOUR
below zero -BZ
degree TK-G
degrees TK-GZ
dangerous TK-RGS
precipitation PR*EUPGS
forecast TPRAFT
Seven-Day Forecast STPRAFT
broadcast PWRAFT
severe weather SW*
severe weather threat SW*T
windchill W-FP
sunny SAEPB
windy WAEPB
whiteout WHOUT

La Guardia HR*G
airport AEURPT

Check earlier postings on how to write the 20s, 30s, 40s, etc., in one stroke.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 New Directions

Well, Steno Wizard took a big step last month and was hired into a position that transitions a court reporter to captioner -- the ultimate realtimer!  In the interest of ultimate realtime translation, this captioner-in-training is practicing like mad "The Weather Channel" and learning even more city/geographic briefs in addition to the ones in the Wizard repertoire.

Here's a few more to add to the list:

Winnipeg WEUPG

Saskatchewan SKAFP

Vancouver SRAOUFR

Quebec KWEB

Toronto TROPBT

Great Lakes GRAEUBGZ

Green Bay GRA*OEB

Grand Rapids GRAPDZ

Kansas City KOEUS

Nashville TPHARFBL

Appalachian PHRAEUGS

LaFayette HRAEFT -- least HRAOEFT


Santa Barbara SPWAURB

Sacramento SKRAEPLT

Providence PROFDZ

From other news practice:

Syria SA*ER

Sierra Leone SAOERPBL

Australia  STRAEUL


Friday, September 13, 2013

Oh, my! Med-mal this week...

What a week!  Weeklong trial regarding the bladder and kidneys.  With the help of a few sources and Eclipse's Auto Brief feature, here's some new embraceable writing ideas!



urologist KWRAOURLGS

nephrology   TPHEFRLG

nephrologist TPHEFRLGS

nephritis TPHEFRTS

bladder PWHRARD

prostate PROTS

subjective S*UFPBLG

objective O*FB

assessment SAEFMT

Realtime looked beautiful (PWAOUFL)!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Put Words in Your Mouth

Steno Wizard got to thinking about a common phrase that definitely should be briefed.

"Put words in your mouth" comes up frequently enough.  A coworker gave me her brief, and I think I like it.  Kind of funny how an attorney doesn't want to put words in the mouth of the witness and then proceeds to do so. 

Put words in your mouth  PURMT
Putting words in your mouth PURMGT

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Couple of new briefs worth trying out

Steno Wizard has really tried to embrace the "keep it simple" briefing methodology over the years and just recently came up with a couple of keepers.  In the interest of sharing...

TR-B   Transcribe
TR-BD Transcribed
TR-BZ Transcribes

PR-B  Prescribe
PR-BD  Prescribed
PR-BZ  Prescribing

STKR-B Describe
STKR-BD Described
STKR-BZ  Describes

SKR-B Subscribe
SKR-BD  Subscribed
SKR-BZ  Subscribes

Friday, March 22, 2013

Realtime Tips Article

Recently, Steno Wizard was contacted by NCRA to give some tips on realtime writing for the JCR.  When they'll appear, who knows?   You're reading them here first!
1.  Know your software.  Stay up-to-date with your software. Take advantage of the tips and tricks that are already built-in features of your software.  CAT vendors have done a lot to help reporters provide excellent realtime services.
2.  Be open to change.  Realtime writing is a journey towards excellence.  There are a plethora of realtime writing books and websites to explore ideas on how to improve steno theory.  You don't have to embrace every single idea.  You can pick and choose what you like and ignore what you don't like.  You're the person in control of your steno machine -- no one else! 
3.  Build your dictionary with prefixes, suffixes, root words. Input major cities, colors, flowers, trees, car models, common first and last names, etc.  If you know it, as Mark K. says, put it in your steno dictionary.  CAT software has dictionary building features to make it easier than ever to build your dictionary.
4.  My final suggestion:  A good starting point is review your common writing mistakes that you are fixing during the editing stage of transcript production.  
As an example, for over a decade, I kept fixing the word "and" (written APBD) during editing.  I would misstroke "and" and the words abdomen, apprehend, April, an, ab, everything but "and" would be the ultimate translation.  Obviously, a huge amount of time was involved in editing that simple 3-letter word.  Something had to change.  A student told me she was being taught SKP- in school.  I wasn't immediately enthralled with the idea, but I pondered it for a while and it grew on me.  My realtime writing improved tremendously once I made the SKP- change.  Of course, my production time improved along the way. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lovely new brief of the day!

Steno Wizard just happened to have this little brief land right in her lap today.  Someone was looking for a brief for the word kidnap.  KEUP is what is in the book Brief Encounters, and SW thinks this is one of those woo-hoo, why didn't I think of that?! 

So kidnap KEUP
kidnapping KEUPG
kidnapper KEURP
kidnapped KEUPD

Now we're ready!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Otherwise another way

Just had to share a brief a student reporter is using.  I started using it just this past week.  I think I like it.

Otherwise OEUZ  -- so very simple.  Who can argue with that? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

-ageddon/-mageddon suffix

Watching television this morning and the word carmageddon was being used.  Got to thinking, hey, that could be a useful suffix ending.  It seems to be a trend here recently.  Remember the D.C. snowmageddon?   And, of course, many are familiar with the term (and movie) Armageddon, I think.

So in the spirit of ultimate realtime translation, I've placed two entries into my steno database.

{suffix}ageddon   A/TKPWED/-PB
{suffix}mageddon PHA/TKPWED/-PB

Now we just await the day when someone says it...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spied on Facebook...I think I like...

Check out these awesome briefs for dates! Thanks for sharing, Laura Fish.





Sunday, September 16, 2012

More uses for common suffix endings

This is an expansion of an idea that Steno Wizard started using for proper names in a previous posting.  Now we have realtime translation of some of those trickier-ending words we hear in our everyday language. 

We can't forget that this will also give us a solution to -- get ready for it -- cookie KAOBG/AO*EU and kooky KAOBG/KWR* -- yay!

There's even more words to think about:  foodie, hickey, mini (PHEUPB/*EU -- avoiding minute I).  Okay.  Minute I, a conflict?  Think about this sentence:  "The minute I turned around, she was gone." 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Using final side -BL for -lo, -low words

Steno Wizard spied this idea well over a decade ago but was just a little leery of trying it out.  It originates from the Chuck Boyer/Karla Wollin Boyer era of speed champions. 

Anyway, try it out and see what you think...

Use final side -BL for the -lo and -low in two-syllable words.  So far, haven't found a problem with this idea.


Hello HEBL


Pillow PEUBL

Yellow YEBL

Billow BEUBL

Fellow FEBL

Mellow  MEBL

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Spied this suggestion the other day and just cannot get it out of my mind, so Steno Wizard will share with you all to see what you think:

Use the STW- keys for inf-, inv-, env-, enf- words instead of possibly two stroking them. 

Invoke becomes STWOEBG


Infallible STWABL



Infarction STWARBGS



Envision STWEUGS



SO now you understand why I'm thinking this has some real possibilities -- more one-stroke words!