Friday, October 28, 2005


Today I decided to finally take advantage of the freedom inherent in freelance writing and went out of the house to work. I grabbed my AlphaSmart, a print out of the novel that I've written so far, and my background notes on the current setting and headed to Barnes and Noble*. I picked up a cup of hot chocolate at the cafe and made myself comfortable in the large reading area. It was great! I got a huge amount of writing done, and it was great to have a change of scenery. I was able to work right up until I needed to leave to pick up my son at school -- no shut down time on the AlphaSmart, just flip the switch and turn it off.

The bad news is that when I got home, the AlphaSmart once again refused to talk to our PCs. I haven't totally given up, but I may end up having to retype everything from the AlphaSmart's tiny little screen. I hope not, but that's what it's looking like. My wife and I are taking a swing dance class on Friday evenings, so afterwards she and I talked about the situation with the AlphaSmart. I am hugely productive with this thing, but I need to be able to reliably retrieve my work. So, my wife and my two kids are going to get me an early Christmas present: a brand new AlphaSmart Neo! I'm totally psyched. Not only does this do everything my AlphaSmart Pro will do, it's got a larger screen, much more memory, USB connection (!), spell check and word count, etc. It runs Palm OS, and while it doens't have a graphics-capable screen (which is fine) I can write little text-based applets for it if I so desire. I doubt I will, simply because one of the main attractions is the focus on writing without distractions. Still, it's nice to have the capability. I'll post a full report when it arrives, probably around the middle of next week.

Here's to the writing life!

*I personally think Borders is a better bookstore, but Barnes and Noble has a better area to sit in.

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