Friday, September 01, 2006

Toys For Big Girls and Boys.

No, no, get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking about writing related 'toys'.

Toys, especially of the electronic nature have become such a mainstay in our society. So much so that there are everyday things now that we couldn't envision ourselves doing without even though just a relatively short time ago, no one could imagine every having such luxuries.

Is there any one thing you use on a regular basis in your writing that you would feel lost without?

Without the probably general answer of a computer, which is most likely universal to writers now. What else do you have that you find indespensible?

For me it’s my Alphasmart. It gives me mobility. Many folks use laptops for that purpose, but I have carpel tunnel, and the laptop flat box with inlaid keyboard aggravates that to no end. (Picture sleeping with arms wrapped in ice) The Alphasmart has an actual keyboard shape that I can place in a way that I’ve become accustomed to doing to relieve stress on my wrists. I have to do the same thing to my desk top computer’s keyboard.

Laptops also are still relatively expensive. At least compared to the Alphasmarts. Although I’ll grant that they do a lot more, and are very worthwhile if you need more than just typing capability away from your main computer.

My Alphie is the Neo. It is perfect for me. Alphasmart also has the Dana with more capabilities. Online access, palm readers, etc. But I don’t need that. I just need something that I can type on if I’m doing mare stare in the living room, glued to the camera monitors, or even if I just want to sit in the living room with my family in the evening, but still work.

I’ve taken my Neo to work, when I still worked outside the home, and used to get loads done during the day during lagtimes at work. I’ve taken my Neo to the Laundromat when I need to do big things like blankets and such that my dinky little home machine struggles with. It passes the time there wonderfully. I’ve even taken my lightweight little Neo to horse shows where I can write when things aren’t busy, usually in the evening before bedtime.

It runs on double A batteries that I’ve only had to replace about once a year! (And I use the little sucker a lot..) It stores more pages than I could ever need in the course of writing before downloading. Best of all, when I’m done with whatever I’ve done on it, and want it on my main computer, a simple USB connector transfers all the writing directly to my word program on my desktop! It’s fantastic and I’d be lost without it.

So, what toys do you employ in the course of your writing?


Bernita said...

My computer is a toy !!!
I love my scanner too.

Anonymous said...

Like Bernita, I have laptop and scanner too. But for writing I mostly use my desktop at home, laptop at work and sometimes in between, an old-fashion notebook (yes, they're still around) with a black ink pen.

MissWrite said...

yeah, Bernita, okay, maybe not 'toys' per say since we use them for important purposes. LOL

LOL@Jose and notebooks and pens still being around.

Before the Neo I did actually do a lot of my away from home writing the 'old fashioned' way. The problem there is, with my carpel tunnel, everything I write after the first three words is anybody's guess, even mine. If I didn't have a fresh idea of what I'd written when I went back to read it, I was screwed.

Even on book signings, after the first three or so, no one can even read my name, or what I've written to them. It's sad.

What is funny is that as I've learned to adjust to it, I can type all day so long as the keyboard is in a certain position, (and actually keyboard shaped). I can't write by hand, or do anything like that, but I can, thank God, type.

Anonymous said...

(It's Cup)

I'd be lost without my desktop, "Synonym Finder", *eyes stack of books hanging out beside the trackball*, umm…a whole host of other books, music files and the net.

Yep, the net.

I can't tell you how many times I've been hung up by some little fact that needed checking. I also put a lot of thought into the names of my characters looking up the meaning as well as the origin for most of them. I've also got more obscure dictionaries bookmarked than I care to count and I do browse them for fun.

Proof number 319 that Cup has no life.

But with the net I can't take ONE site's word for it – unless it's a nice official source like Merriam-Webster. I check no less than three sites that seem to have some sense of authority and if they agree I'll go with it. If I'm still wrong, then I remind myself that I write fiction. And chant, "People do not read erotica for a refresher course in the Pennsylvania penal code."

When I'm away from home, I'll use a notebook and pen. I also have a tape recorder, but I tend not to think too well out loud like that.

*scurries off to check a little fact on the net – what years were the Knights of the Templar active*

MissWrite said...

oooooooooooooooooo The Knights Templar, are they going to make an appearance too? *little shivers up my spine* yeehaw.

Man, the Internet is great though isn't it?

I didn't count my desktop, or the Internet because they are such an ingrained part of what I do that it wouldn't even be thinkable to live without them, not as a writer anyway, and you can ask my hubby just how irratable I get if either computer or Internet isn't working for a day or two. (Not a pretty sight.)

But those two items really did change reality for writers sure enough.

Three sources, huh, Cup. Um, were there three for "Insoulled?"


Can't wait for live chat tomorrow. I sure do hope your connection is okay.