Monday, July 24, 2006

A New Toy

So for about two decades now, I've made a habit of taking a notebook with me when I go out for a beer. Over the years, I've written major parts of three screenplays, three aborted novels and two finished ones in bars over a beer and (in more recent years) a cigar. I like the ambience, the rush and babble of people, and the fact that when I get tired of writing, I can pause and observe people, and when I get tired of that, I can go back to writing.

But lately, I 've found myself getting more and more impatient with paper and pen. Sometimes, I want to stop in midstream and work on something different, but I don't want to get the pages mixed up. Sometimes I get an idea I want to save, so I jot it in the margins, only to forget about it once I've transcribed the notes. Sometimes, my fingers just want the feel of a keyboard under them. So I've considered getting different types of laptops over the years, only they're too big and too expensive. On the other hand, a PDA/keyboard combination wasn't practical because of the limitations of the technology.

But now, technology has caught up to what I wanted to do. I bought a Palm T/X with a Wireless Keyboard. The Palm T/X has bluetooth and Wi-Fi, plus built in software to make it compatible with Microsoft Office, so I can edit my Microsoft Word manuscripts on it, plus I can carry and read ebooks as well (I'm currently reading Black/on/Black by K.D. Wentworth, an award-winning writer and a member of my local writing group - snagged it out of the Baen Free Library - this weekend at Conestoga, I'll probably buy a paper copy and have her sign it). The keyboard is collapsible, so that I can carry both it and the Palm in the same small zip-up binder that I've been carrying my mini-legal pad in.

That's right. I can carry my Wi-Fi compatible computer with an almost full-sized keyboard, and still have my old notebook with me, in the same binder. I hope it turns out to be worth the investment.

Only a few days left till Conestoga. The "Whack a Monkey" T-shirt is on its way. I still have to decide what story to read. I need to do some reading up on what genre movies came out in the past year. I need to bone up on my anime. And I need to get some work done on the second draft of Hero Go Home. And then I've got to figure out whether I'm going to Armadillocon in Austin or not. I've got the weekend cleared for vacation, but I still haven't bought a membership or figured out where I would stay if I went. Rrrrrgh.

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