Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prezzie for Me

* * * Update * * * 1:22pm It is here. I am about ready to jump out of my skin. And it is green, too.

I bought myself a present. It will arrive at my place of employ tomorrow. I am so excited I’m wiggling in my seat as I think about it.

I write by hand all of the time. I have a black leather journal in which 5”x 7” notebooks fit perfectly. I write notes and to do lists and story and craft ideas, character descriptions, cool sounding names, mood swings, poems, everything, in this journal.

I print small. I write big with looping letters and loads of flourish. Some pages are filled with columns, others with drawings or cartoons. Other pages have stacks of sticky notes on them from the times I can’t get my journal out of my purse fast enough. Other pages have sheets of scrap paper tucked in them from when I’m at work and I grab some paper from the overhead bin on my desk.

Sometimes I write in pen, other times I use different color markers. Every once in a while I jot notes with a mechanical pencil. Once I was so desperate to write something down, but couldn’t find a pen that I used a package of yellow mustard while I was attempting to drive my car. (Not really, but can’t you see it?) My journal travels everywhere with me.

I use my journal to clarifying my thoughts and download the junk that floats around in my head. It is my therapist and best friend. While it helps me weed through tons of junk to get to a final writing project, I can’t write anything in it that I later want to be a finished piece. For some reason, I will not play the role of my own secretary and transcribe.

I hear some of you quietly murmur that I do have a laptop. I love my laptop. It’s a DELL, with a huge screen and pretty features and lots of fun things to do, like talk to you on the internet, or look up word definitions or search Wikipedia for arcane and pointless knowledge or learn how to use Facebook or make movies or moving cartoons or, um, what was I talking about?

As you can see, I am easily distracted. I am also very busy. The things I like to do must fit in with a 50 hour a week job, a husband, a child, a dog, parents, my brother and his family, housekeeping, bookkeeping, exercise, a social life, as meager as that is and occasional schooling. I forgot what I was talking again and now I’m tired to boot.

I need compact. I need structure. I need focus. I need lightweight. I need the AlphaSmart Neo.
This neat little word processor weighs less than two pounds. There’s no internet. It is just for writing. I’ll be able to go out to lunch and type away for an hour. I’ll be able to type in the car when we go places. I’ll be able to sneak it out of my bag in the bathroom at family functions. It turns right on. It has auto save of every letter you type. The battery has 700 hours of work time. The display screen has large letters and only shows several lines of text, so there is no stopping to read the jewels I produce. It’s like an electronic typewriter. Talk about focus. I’ll be able to kick some writing arse. I love the word arse, don’t you? Huh? Yeah, I’m off track again and I was going to tell you about something else too but I’ve forgotten what.

30 comments:

  1. Oooh. I like that. I'm going to have to get one. I keep coming up with great blog post ideas but then have nothing to jot them down on. Think of all the more people that could be suffering my drivel with that device!

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  2. Var: Love the pic. See that's what I'm talking about. Imagine the muck flowing through the blogasphere if I could write fast every where. Ah, the humanity.

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  3. So, can you upload from the Neo to your laptop?

    I checked out the link -- looks interesting.

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  4. Nessa, this was brilliant...I can read endless essays/posts/articles about writers and their notebooks...did you read Joan Didion's essay "On Keeping a Notebook"? It was fantastic.

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  5. It sounds like you were made for each other!

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  6. Tlp: It comes with a USB cable so you can download, just like your camera or you can hook right up to a printer. And it's compatible with PC's and MAC's.

    Jenn: I have not, but I will look it up. It took me a while to find the perfect one. I also like the old essay notebooks, but they are slighty too big to go everywhere. I love my notebook.

    Bazza: I saw one over a year ago. I took a writing class held by a local author and she had one. I think we will have a very good relationship.

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  7. Those are HUGE in education because of all the writing kids can do in a short amount of time. We love them, as I know you will, too. Good for you! You deserve the present to yourself!

    As dependent as I am on my laptop, Crackberry, and other handheld devices, I don't know that I could give up my love for sticky notes and journal type things. Yes, my iPAQ will allow me to draw and doodle as well as keep electronic word docs and spreadsheets, but somehow the purist in me will always want to just sit and write and draw.

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  8. Oooooo!!! that is a good present to give oneself....will you bring it with you when we meet? Will that be tomorrow...my house?

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  9. DCMM: I'm so excited. You've seen them. You know what I mean. But you are right. Nothing beats the physical acts of writing and drawing on paper. I often write with ink and nib pens just for the feel.

    Mo'a: I will bring it. You will think it is so pretty. I will call you a little later.

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  10. WOW! Never heard of such a thing. Are you afraid that if you lose it so will you lose everything? Or do you plan to download it all frequently to discs or other holders of precious data? I love to write too... and I LOVELOVELOVE to type.

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  11. tsduff: It's as easy to download the text as the pictures off of your camera. Just plug in the USB cable and go. I will keep it in my briefcase, which is always with me and contains my life anyway, so I will never lose it and I will download often to my laptop.

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  12. That is what I need to write with. The distractions of the internet keep me from being productive sometimes.

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  13. Grunty: Exactly. I wrote last night (when I am normally staring into space like an idiot.) It doesn't even have a word counter so I can't be distracted by that game. I just write. And the keys feel great, by the way.

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  14. Sounds like you made a wonderful purchase for yourself :)Now there will be more scraps of paper for me....

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  15. Ooohhh, I am jealous! I've just been considering adding a lap top to my two computer office so I'd have something to carry around. This looks spiffy!

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  16. Sounds perfect! You can write away without any internet distractions! Not that you are easily distracted or anything. I know I'm...huh? Look at that cloud! It looks like a bunny.

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  17. Looks pretty cool. I HATE writing by hand. In fact, I posted about it today.

    Your book is on its way....

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  18. My husband ordered a cart of these for his school a few years ago. They were AlphaSmart Danas. They were for the kids in the special needs room. It was an amazing boost for them. I have a poem that they wrote, using the Danas, on my desk at work. It was a wonderful tool for kiddos who could not keep it together long enough to put words down on paper, but had such a mindful to share. I hope you enjoy your Neo as much as they did theirs.

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  19. So, the AlphaSmart Neo is the prezzie! YAY for you! Sounds like a wonderful lil contraption!

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  20. Pauline: Oh, no, I still need my bits of paper.

    Kat: I just used it at lunch time. I almost forgot to come back, it was so wonderful.

    Cindra: We are not easily distrac…

    Diesel: Can’t wait for the book. I like the physical act of writing in all its forms, but it is very easy to lose one self in typing away.

    Gawilli: I have heard lots of good things about them ofr the classroom. So far I’m a lovin’ mine.

    Dabich: It is so non-invasive that it is like it is not there. Like the thoughts are transferred directly. Goofy, huh?

    Katie: Way cool.

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  21. Ok, that sounds like an incredibly cool toy, Id be wiggling with excitement too!
    But, why not hire a gorgeous man to follow you around transcribing your thoughts and then transfer them to your 'puter?
    That sounds much better to me

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  22. Logo: I will get me one of those when I become rich and famous and we can sip cocktails together that he brings on a shining little tray and what were we talking about?

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  23. Just wait until you are writing something great that you know you should never forget. where all the words just come together. That's when the dang thing will go down and make you wish for your old dependable journal, mustard and all.

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  24. Amazing that I kept up with you throughout that post and I'm not the least bit confused, the least bit confused, the least bit...

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  25. Dr. John: I would NEVER give up mu paper. That can't be replaced. But the Neo is so simple, I'm not sure you can lose stuff. We'll see. I'll be careful. I've learned the art of saving a long time ago.

    Swampy: What were you saying? ; D

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  26. Oh, yea! Good for you, you deserve it. Glad you are so happy.

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  27. i want one. thanks to "modern" technology, my handwriting has gone straight to hell, might be nice to have something to "write" with that didn't involve actual writing.

    seriously, i'm asking for one for my birthday! :)

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  28. Neva: Absolutely do. It's the best thing I've ever gotten.

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