I’ve expressed in a few previous posts that life changed dramatically when I married and almost immediately thereafter, began raising my then infant granddaughter. Needless to say, finding time to write had become a real challenge. Besides a short story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions, I’ve had nothing published in the last two years.
With a toddler who barely sleeps, I have tried in vain to retreat to my writing room to work on two unfinished projects that I began in 2014, but my little angel tends to cause distraction and destruction in ways unimaginable. As such, I purchased a lovely journal to hand-write my work. I immediately rediscovered what I already knew – – I’m not one to write out my books to type later. I admire folks who can do this, but I’m just not one of them.
I took to Google to begin searching for something, anything I could use to get all of these words out of my mind and heart and into novels where they belong (whilst sitting on the couch in the living room with a two year old little girl and a five year old little poodle jumping on me the majority of the day.) It felt like I was in a losing battle, but then, I seemed to strike gold! There it was, the answer to my prayers…the AlphaSmart Neo 2.
Could it be real? A lightweight, distraction free, nearly indestructible piece of machinery that would allow me to focus on content and word count? Yep, it’s real and it’s a writer’s dream come true! It has a small screen with adjustable font sizes, a full keyboard, eight file slots that hold around 120,000 words, a CRAZY long battery life (about 700 hours on three AAs,) and it requires no boot-up. At 10×12 inches and a pound and a half, it can be taken anywhere for quick writing sessions without all of the laptop bags, cords, etc. I’ve already completed a few pieces on my little Neo 2 and I’m working on this blog entry with both the baby and the dog up to their usual antics. The tiny human has already hit the power button twice and I didn’t even panic because it automatically saves! I simply turned it back on and there was all my work, safe and sound. The coolest part of all is that it connects to my laptop via USB. I just hit the “send” button in whatever program I’m using (so far, I’ve used MS Word and WordPress) and it types my content at around 200 wpm. I promise you, I’m in novelist la-la land!
Now, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I had to customize mine. I found a nice blue paint (SEM Color Coat in Blue Mist) that reminded me of the IBM Selectric II (I started my career at IBM and it will always be a part of lil’ old me) and accessorized with a few mosaic tiles and a little bling. I’m definitely back in business for 2017 and looking forward to getting at least one title on the shelves before year’s end thanks to my new little literary friend!