Thursday, June 11, 2009

Writer's technology, sleeping, lulling sound machine

Technology amazes me. We have laptops, netbooks, PDA's (Personal Data Assistants), cell phones you can go on the Internet with and much, much more. However, it seems when it comes down to it one of the most popular items for writers besides a good portable laptop are these Alphasmart word processors. I used to own a Smartwriter word processor when I first started writing along with a bulky desktop. I used the portable word processor because it was portable and I could not afford a laptop in the 1990's.

I hear more and more that these Alphasmarts' are the 'IN' thing with writers. They just came out with a NEO. I see it advertised in all the writer magazines. They actually are intriguing me. Why? My laptop battery is good for, I believe, up to 3 hours before plugging it in, but these Alphasmarts are good for 700 hours on just 2 or 3 AA batteries. Amazing! My old word processor did not have a battery compartment and needed to be plugged in. I am actually considering these as they fit right in your purse. The price tag of these new Alphasmarts' are $219.00 with a free carrying case if you purchase them with the coupon code located on an advertisement in a writer mag.

However, I have wonderful news to this if the price tag is a bit high for just a word processing unit. I just found tons and I mean tons of Alphasmarts' on Ebay. They have some of the new NEO's, but they have several Alphasmart 3000's and 2000's available for anywhere from $26.00 and up. If you watch these and are diligent, you can jump on just before the ending of the auction and grab one cheap.

Right now, I am holding off as I have a vacation coming and I need all my extra $$ to spend on my kids while at Maine. I have thought about it when I come back, though. I could sit at Borders with a cup of coffee and not worry about being seated near a plug when I want to just write. However, they still do not go on the Internet. If you need the Internet to research your projects while away from your home office, then, do not bother with getting one of these. Not worth the money.

They are also trying to sell to families with children as they are very portable and will easily fit in their backpacks (younger children). I might get one for my 9 year old as he is starting to write. He has a desktop that he shares with his younger brother (it is not hooked up to the Internet), but I will not buy him a laptop at this point. I am thinking that this word processor might be the answer.

It comes with a USB cord you can hook up to your laptop or desktop to download all you wrote and be able to continue the writing at home. It also can be hooked up to a printer to print right off the unit. The unit, I believe, stores 12 pages in each of its, I believe, 8 folders. Not a lot of memory, but good for some sit down and write at a bookstore or on the bus type thing.

Well, enough about word processors. Thank you for your comments on my blog. I appreciate feed back. I hope all are enjoying this blog, I have to admit, I am having fun with it. If you read my first comments, you can tell that I was not comfortable with it at first. But, it is starting to become easier. I have plans to try add, as I go, some of my 16 plus years experience in writing and publishing as I used to own a POD publishing company. I also ran a writer's website that published their work and a print magazine of the same type. So, I have some experience. I do have to say though, I am starting all over again from taking a 3 year sabbatical. What advice do I have for that? If you are thinking about totally leaving the writing community, DO NOT! At least dabble a little. I am starting from scratch. It is hard after having made a name for myself over the sixteen plus years. All my hard work went down the drain. I worked my way up to being a full-time freelance writer and did not have to punch the clock when I left. Now, I am struggling to make my name known again and my seniority with mags and sites no longer exist. I doubt I will ever leave writing again. I missed it too much. So, I was retrained as a License Nursing Assistant and have to do that as my full-time day J.O.B. (just over broke).

If you notice on the right side of my blog, you will see a writer forum sign up. I just started it last night late. By all means if you want to join, please do. I am interested in getting back into designing a website to publish other author's work again. It was a lot of fun.

As for my sleep issue, Whalla! I slept again last night. Well, until 1:30 AM when someones car alarm at McDonald's was going off for an hour. I had to shut my window next to my bed and still could hear it. After going to the bathroom and putting a pillow over my head, I was fast asleep. I feel a little tired, but basically rested. Thanks for all your prayers on this... I was starting to go a bit crazy. LOL!

Yesterday I took a trip to the local Goodwill Industry store. I found one of those calming sound machines. You know the ones that you can hear the ocean or rain, etc. I could not believe it, $2.99. I grabbed it. I used to listen to these things when I had trouble sleeping in the past. So, the nights I start having issues, I will turn it on and see if it still works for me. I used to use one when I had writer's block. It would relax me and I was able to turn off life and turn on my writer thoughts. If you have issues with writer's block, you do not have to buy one of these machines, but you could try some soothing music. It worked for me.

Well, I am procrastinating on another article for the examiner. I want to write two today for them and start looking into some of the other sites I have put on the back burner. I need to expand if I am going to get myself back into full-time pay.

Keep the comments coming, any suggestions or questions. I hope all is well. Read, write and I pray the words come to you today. Have a good one.

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