Posts Tagged ‘word’

A Great Old New Word Processor

January 23, 2014

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Thanks to some new information, from Web.com, I found out I can write blogs on my website.  As a result of my conversation, I have decided to back off of the website until March, when I will bring it back up with a few design changes.

One of the changes will be that my store will go completely PayPal.  If I accept credit cards, there is a charge of almost 40.00, and I just don’t sell enough to justify the charge.  It will, of course still keep the same name, and feature the same photographs.

The reason I chose 2 months is to make sure I have a clear idea of what I want on the site, and to learn what I need to match it to my vision.  That’s it for the website update.  I’ll let you know when it’s back online.

Now, for what I really wanted to talk about.  Recently, I received my very first Alphasmart product.  I have been hearing about these portable word processors for years in Writer’s Digest, and I felt it would be a huge advantage to my writing; especially at work, on breaks.  I never knew how true that was until I started doing some research.

For those who have never heard of the Alphasmart, here are just a few facts I uncovered.  It was originally designed by Apple for school students, to save the schools the high cost of laptops.  Strangely enough, it never caught on in schools, but it did with writers, both amateur and professionals.  The reason is simple enough.  Because they were designed for kids, they are very durable, and can withstand the occasional falls that laptops would never survive.

The batteries are standard double A’s, and they last for well over a year with regular use.

The model I bought (Alphasmart 2000) was created in 1997ish and the cable it came with to connect to a computer didn’t have a usb connection.  All I did was buy a 2.00 cable to adapt it.  I had a few problems getting my computer to read it, that is, until this morning.  I discovered the connections were reversed.  I switched them, and it worked like a dream.

Now, not only can I transfer what I write on the Alphasmart to my laptop, but I can also use it as an additional keyboard.  (My laptop has occasional problems with R’s and Y’s)

As far as file compatibility, mine uses WordPerfect 5, which Microsoft Word can easily read.

Finally, what’s the cost of such a machine?  When I first heard about them, they were 200.00.  The model I purchased recently was only 20.00, and it works beautifully.  I know this sounds like an ad for Alphasmart, but it’s not.  I am just very excited for the limitless possibilities of this wonderful device.  I feel this will be a true asset to my writing life.

Thank you,

Allen

Block busters: A guide for beginning writers!!!

March 9, 2011

 If you are trying to spend your writing time writing, and you are stuck looking at a blank page; it’s seems the easiest thing to do is turn off the computer, or put down the pen, and walk away.  Before you do anything that dramatic, here are just a few things to try first before you just give up.

Writer’s block is the number one killer of writers’ careers around the world, and it destroys a writer’s confidence.  A writer is supposed to draw inspiration from everything around them, but there is no guarantee that what you see in life will ever see a page.  There are numerous books written on how to overcome writer’s block, and yet people still struggle through the writing process.

Before I give you these methods, I just want to make a couple of things clear.  First, I did not make these methods up; they are just the ones I’ve had the greatest success with.  The methods mentioned here have been around for centuries, and will continue long after I’m gone.  I just feel it’s good to have an occasional reminder. Second, this list contains only a couple of tricks.  I am, by no means, an expert, and can only say what I’ve experienced.  There is no limit to the ways to break writer’s block, and you should take advantage of every method possible.

Start every writing session with a warm up exercise.  I’m not talking about physical exercise, but that will help as well.  What I am talking about though is writing warm ups.  Give yourself a set amount of time to write something that has nothing to do with a current project.  If you’re having trouble coming up with a subject, there are a number of books with writing prompts, and if that doesn’t help, there are more prompts  on www.writersdigest.com that have proven to be helpful, and fun.

The second method I like is starting with one word, and building from that.  It doesn’t matter what the word is, you just start with that word.  This method has worked with my writing time 99 percent of the time. If you don’t think it works; this blog was written with this method.  

Of course the last method is the “what if” game.  Not only does it work, but almost every writer uses it on a regular basis.  For those who have never heard of this, the “what if” game is simple.  You take a subject and ask “what if”.  The movie “Tremors” started with the creator asking “What if people were killed by something they couldn’t see?”  From there the story developed into the movie series it is.

Regardless which writer’s block buster you choose, the most important thing you can do is be there.  Half the battle to writing is showing up in the first place.  Give yourself the time to write and don’t do anything during that time, but write.  You may surprise yourself with what you come up with.