Tools of the Trade: Have Netbook Will Travel (And Write!)

Posted October 13, 2009 by Kris Rhen
Categories: Writer's Tools

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The seats on the Pittsburgh T are pretty cramped, and being a computer guy, I always write on one. I started trying to use my workstation laptop (the beast I use at work), but there was basically only one seat on the T where I could comfortably flip the screen up enough to see clearly to write. That seat, however, has no leg room, and with my bad knees, was not working out well.

I bought an Asus S101 Netbook and have never regretted the expense. It is small, able to flip open in the most cramped seat, long enough battery life to write for hours AND listen to music while doing so (more about that in another post), and all solid state – for the non-geeks among us, that means there’s no hard drive in the S101 – it’s hard drive is Flash RAM – fast, using less power, no moving parts to break.

The keyboard, however, is fairly small.  It took some getting used to, but I can now type on it fairly quickly.  This may not be true for someone who’s actually learned to type properly (I programmer-type, which is done using only four of my fingers and thumb on spacebar, but I am very good at it). 

The netbook has enabled me and my meager writing habit time.  It’s also handy enough to carry with me anywhere, for those rare occasions when I get to sit under a tree for a half hour and squeak out a few paragraphs.  It may not be for every writer, but I’d recommend trying one to anyone.

Telling a Tale when you have a full-time job

Posted October 11, 2009 by Kris Rhen
Categories: Writer's Tools, Writing

Tags: , ,

Writers, when do you write?  God has blessed me with a wonderful job, but working nine to five, and then some (sometimes quite a bit more “then some”) leaves little time for writing.  What spare time I have is spent with the family or trying to recuperate from the daily stresses.

I’m blessed in more ways than one however.  I take public transportation to and from work each day.  In Pittsburgh, we have the ‘T’, or the Port Authority Transit – think subway, trolly, light rail, or whatever the nomenclature of your particular city.  It provides me with between thirty and forty-five minutes a day to focus on my writing, where it is very difficult to do anything else.

I’m an early-bird, which means I’m on the T between five and six in the morning, when it is not standing room only.  This means I can be sure to get one of the ‘good seats’ that facilitates writing.

It doesn’t seem like much, and I envy those writers who, for a living, spend their days bent over their keyboards.  But for me, I look forward to those few minutes when I can focus and write.

If I took the bus or had to drive, this couldn’t be possible, so again, I am blessed with that daily habit of commute-writing.  Of course, there’s more to the story, which I will save for my next post.  How does one write while riding on a trolly?

A Story to Share

Posted October 10, 2009 by Kris Rhen
Categories: Writing

Tags: , , , ,

By way of introduction, I am a writer of Christian Fiction (let’s call it Supernatural Suspense), and I have a tale to tell.  The story you’ll find here is about the story I’ve written.  About how I wrote it.  About the challenges I faced and the tools I used.  It spans a five year journey that spawned a 95,500 word manuscript, of which I am very proud.  It, like this blog, is a tale I had to tell, as it would simply not remain quiet within me.

I appreciate any ideas, criticisms, and collaboration any reader may offer.  After all, a tale untold is like a love unspoken.  We writers know that is a road to regret.  However, we also know that the other road, the one to the left with the foreboding sign which reads “Professional Writer’s Market”, is daunting, demanding, and lined with failed attempts to traverse its long miles.  Yet we must tell…

Please, enjoy what I have to share.  I hope I may offer useful advise to fellow writers and look for your thoughts in return.  Thanks