Saturday, July 09, 2016

All the Time in the World (to digitize)

There was an episode of the Twilight Zone about a man who just wanted time to read. After a worldwide catastrophe, he is the last man on earth. He has all the time in the world to read. Until he breaks his glasses.

I feel a little bit like that poor guy. I've got a couple of nice, quiet days to do nothing but write. I haven't broken my glasses (or damaged my contacts), but my muse is apparently off having a bad menstrual cramp or something.

Do you realize how utterly mesmerizing a blank Word doc looks? I've even learned how to change the background color and I'm still unable to fill that space.  When I try to write. It's as though all the ideas that were dancing around in my head when I was busy doing other things have now gone into hiding.

Yesterday, I ran into an old acquaintance at the store. It's been years since I saw him. I spotted him at the exact same time that a piece of a story fell into place for me. I actually was torn between wanting to speak to this person and wanting to avoid him. He noticed me and so, of course, we had to do the whole long-time-no-see chat thing. The entire time that he was talking, I was listening to my fictional characters having a wonderful dialogue that would be perfect for my story. By the time I got back to my car and had pen and paper out, I'd lost most of the story idea.

I think I'm a person that works better when I am trying to ignore distractions. Give me too much peace and quiet and I start getting the urge to re-decorate a room or at least re-organize my closet. This is not anything new for me. Back when I first got serious about writing, I would spend the first half hour of a session sharpening pencils.

My best inspiration comes to me when I'm tucked into bed and about to doze off. This is one reason that I am going to be investing in a digital note-taking device. I've been putting it off for a while now, but when I think about being able to turn over in the middle of the night and jot down half a story that can be transmitted to my PC in legible text, well, I feel the same way that I do when I'm enjoying a good crush on someone. Everyone who writes fiction can tell you that the worst feeling is when you write down some middle-of-the-night notes and can't make any kind of sense of them the next morning.

So, yeah, I'm going to find a way to budget out the purchase of a device for keeping my notes. Thing is, there are so many different kinds of devices - all with their Pros and Cons - that I just can't choose. Right now, because of price and customer reviews, I am leaning toward the Livescribe Echo (2 gig) pen. From everything I have seen about it, it's perfect for writers. There are a couple of concerns: 1) To convert handwriting to text (say to MS Word), I'd have to purchase another item - the Myscript application. Seems to me that this should be included with the pen. 2) Some users complain that the customer service is really lacking. Also, one user stated that he's gone through 3 of the pens so far. I guess the only reason he still uses Livescribe is because the features are awesome.

I thought about other pens simply because they don't require special paper. The ones I saw had too many other flaws noticed by users. Arrrgh!!!

This video is of the 8 gig Echo:

The Livescribe is reasonably priced (around $110 for the 2 gig pen and about $30 for 4 of the 100-page notebooks), but I worry that it might be uncomfortable to write with. I've checked out a couple if videos like the one above and the pen looks pretty thick. If I do manage to get hold of one of these pens, I will definitely be doing a review. AND, I'd have no problem at all returning it if I end up the least bit unhappy.

If any of you have feedback on this device or a similar one, please do share. PLEASE!