Monday, November 28, 2005

Where the Heck Have I Been?

I’ve been not writing, that’s where I’ve been. This past holiday week, everyone has had the same days off I’ve had. While that makes for nifty holiday fun, it also makes for stinky holiday writing. But fear not, phase 2 of my master plan has already been set into motion.

Phase 1 was getting the forty hour a week job, which I had done shortly before beginning this blog. Originally, phase 2 was to get a laptop. With that laptop, I could then steal away to the backyard or the car or the bathroom or whatever and get some work done away from distraction. The price was a major stumbling block. I couldn’t stand the thought of spending that kind of dough on a machine that I only planned to use for writing. After a failed attempt at a good deal on Black Friday, I resorted to searching for word processors online. Not a whole lot has changed in word processor technology in the years since I last saw one. They still use daisy wheel printers! I cringed, imagining myself trying to track down replacement wheels and ribbon. Then my son, who was trying to pry me away from the computer so we could play Magic: The Gathering, suggested an Alphasmart which his friend uses.

The Alphasmart 3000 IR is a keyboard with a memory and a little screen. According to the website, it runs for hundreds (!) of hours on 3 AA batteries (!) and stores about 100 single spaced pages of text. You can use it anywhere and then upload your work to your PC. It auto-saves every keystroke and turns on and off in a couple of seconds. This thing sounds great and I talked my wife into getting me one for Christmas. We ordered it yesterday.

I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype. If it does, I think my output is going to seriously increase. Not only will I be able to bring it wherever I go and crank out the words at a moment’s notice, I won’t have the distractions of the Internet and e-mail or anything else. The only thing you can use this thing for is writing.

Why don’t I just use a fifty-nine cent notebook and pen, you ask? I do, for ideas and quick notes, but I hate using them for work of any length, because I have to type it all into the PC anyway. Besides, I type a lot faster than I write.

It’s still going to be more than a week before I get a day off by myself. Whatever I can sneak in between now and then will be a bonus.


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