All posts by Wendy Van Camp

Author * Poet * Illustrator

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

Monday. Monday. So good to be. At least, that is how the Association’s song starts! As usual, I’ve picked out a handful of articles that I found interesting in the previous week related to writing. I hope you find them as insightful as I did.

Why Writers Need to Leverage Technology

Why Every Kid Knows Maths: The Myth of Talent

How Mundane Routines Produce Creative Magic

Why Use Pen Names if Not For Privacy?

25 Favorite Portmanteau Words

Quick Scrivener tip: another corkboard gem

Intellectual Property Considerations for Writers

Ebook Authors Continue To See Self-Publishing Stigma Disappear

Polished Roughhewn: Reflections on Hemingway

The Uncomfortable Pantser: When Your Method Doesn’t Fit Your Personality

Writing Space: Lori Freeland

One of my hopes of the writing space series was to highland professional writers who are not necessarily novelists. Lori is a journalist, a published writer of articles and quite an interesting woman. I hope you enjoy her introduction here and also check out her articles elsewhere.

Lori Freeland Writing SpaceI’ll give you three guesses as to where my creativity flows best, but you’re not allowed to laugh. Okay, you can, but just a little. We writers are super sensitive.

Will you find me blogging, editing, or writing stretched out in the garden tub in front of the opaque window in my bathroom? Perched on the high bar stool at the island in my burgundy and chocolate kitchen? Or slumped in the olive-and-cream stripped wing chair in my bedroom?

Which did you pick?

I’d write in the bathtub if I could, that’s where I love to read. Hence my resistance to purchase a Kindle. But electronics and water aren’t the best combination. Sadly, I’ve learned this from personal experience involving a toilet and a cell phone.

My kitchen wins loudest room in the house, what with three children constantly opening and closing the refrigerator and panty door, whining, “There’s nothing to eat,” or “I hate fish.”

Which leaves the wing chair in my bedroom.

I have a thing for being comfortable. Feet pulled up and legs crossed, back pressed against the soft back of my grandmother’s favorite chair, sometimes even a blanket covers my lap. If I’m not comfortable, I can’t think. Or write. And if I’m not comfortable, I get distracted. Plus, my kids haven’t learned to pick the lock on my bedroom door. Yet. That’s always a bonus.

I won’t make you guess my writing tool of choice.

It’s a laptop.

Lori Freeland Writing ToolMy fingers have somehow trained themselves to speed across the keys and match my thought process. I do a lot of stretching with my left pinky to tap delete, delete, delete. Not quite the same feel when you do it with a pencil, an eraser, and a notepad. If that were all I had to work with, no words would end up on the page. No good words anyway. And it’s almost impossible to cut and paste on real paper. Add in the Sticky Note function on Word, and I couldn’t do without my laptop.

Before I began writing, I read. All the time. Different genres from romance, to historical fiction, to FBI thrillers, to Young Adult fantasy. So it’s not surprising that I’m an eclectic writer as well. When it comes to my passions, I’m a little ADD. I need variety to keep up with my attention span.

My blog supports two sides of me. I post inspirational devotions as well as tips for new writers. You can find my byline in articles in various Christian publications and on blogs for and I have a short romantic story coming out in an anthology in November to benefit a wildlife refuge in Arkansas and my current passion is the YA science fiction/fantasy novel I’m editing and getting ready to query.

Writers are so different, aren’t they? As artists, we all have our own space, process, and tools. Yet, in a way, writers are all the same. They can’t not share what’s going on inside their heads and that’s how the best stories get out there.

Writer Lori FreelandLori Freeland, a freelance writer from the Dallas area, is an editor for The Christian Pulse, a writing coach for the North Texas Christian Writers, and a coffee addict with three awesome kids, an even better husband, and is pet mom to various animals that have wandered into her house. You can find her at Facebook. Twitter.

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

I always look forward to Monday’s because that is the day I am able to share with you many of the interesting articles that I’ve been reading the previous week. There is much to choose from today! Enjoy.

9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist

5 Tools to Keep Your Writing Fresh

How to Weave a Story that Instantly Captivates Your Audience

Jay Leno On Jay Mohr

Estimate vs. Guess

5 Lessons Learned From Writing 3 Novels

9 Things Authors Do That Irritate Their Facebook Fans

Science Confirms the Obvious: Literature is Good for Your Brain

Self-Publishing Statistics: Women fare better than men at making money from self-publishing

A Writer’s Colony Lesson You Can Apply to You Career

Combining an Alphasmart Neo with a Samsung Galaxy Tab for Writing On The Go

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Alphasmart Neo
Chet Chin’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Alphasmart Neo Combined
As a writer, we all have machines that we favor for one task or another. When I am drafting a new novel or short story, my machine of choice is the Alphasmart Neo from RenLearn. It is a sturdy device designed to be used by children in classrooms. The keyboard is the most comfortable one that I own and it has a nice feel and sound that reminds me a little of the old Selectric typewriter that I grew up writing on. The text screen is very small. This aids me in drafting because it helps to keep my inner editor at bay and simply put down the words. I credit the Neo with helping me achieve higher word counts during NaNoWriMo writing sessions.

However, once drafting is completed, the Neo’s usefulness comes to an end. Instead of being able to use this comfortable keyboard that I prefer, I am forced to move to other machines to do my editing and revising. The Neo’s interface is antiquated enough that it doesn’t interface well with modern devices and while it can be used as a keyboard if you hook it up via a USB cable or connect to a device via InfraRed, most tablets these days interface with keyboards via bluetooth, which the Neo does not support.

I belong to an Alphasmart User Group and one of our members discovered a way to interface her Alphasmart Neo with her Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. Chet Chin used the proprietary Samsung Galaxy Tab connection kit and the USB cable that she normally uses to interface with the Neo. The tablet recognized the Neo as a keyboard with no issues. Other tablets will force you to purchase a blutooth enabled keyboard if you wish to use it for writing on the go. That was step one of the connection puzzle. There was still the problem of positioning the tablet so she could see it while typing and finding a word processor app before she could combine the tablet and Neo as a travel writing suite.

At first, Chet tried writing with the Neo in her lap and placing the tablet on a nearby table. This created neck strain and was uncomfortable for her. To put the two machines together, she found a rubber surface cover for her tablet and then placed the tablet on top of the Neo. The Neo has a slight curve where its screen resides and the plastic shell has a textured surface. Chet discovered that the tablet would not slide down from the screen section of the Neo and was at an angle that was comfortable to see his text.

As a writer on the go, Chet not only needs to write text, but she needs to incorporate photos into her articles. Chet recommends the following apps to turn her Neo and Samsung Galaxy Tab into a writing suite:

StyleNote – A writing app for Android
Android PDF annotating app – Adobe Reader
Android photo editing app for cropping, resizing and adding text to his photos

If you would like to join the Alphasmart community, please join us at Flickr. You will learn much about these wonderful writing machines and hopefully become a convert to them as I have.

Author Interview: Shidorr Myirck-Gayer

One of the pleasures of the author interview series on No Wasted Ink is the chance to meet and learn about new authors and what motivated them to begin writing. I hope you’ll find Shidorr’s story as interesting as I did.

Author Shidorr Myirck-GayerHello, my name is Shidorr Myirck-Gayer. I currently live in the North Suburbs of the Chicago land area. I grew up in Chicago with the
dream of becoming an actress. I performed in a few plays and was an extra in a few movies, one such as Spiderman 2. It was an amazing experience. Sadly I never made it any further; life got in the way… I guess. In the middle of pursuing my dream as an actress, I wrote poetry and stories. At the time, I didn’t realize that writing is where my true journey rests. I have always been interested in the world of creating tales. Pulling people in my fictional fantasies.

When and why did you begin writing?

The tragedy that consumed me ultimately pushed me into the society of published authors. Depression made me write my first novel. Her Name
is Grace
. In 2010 I had lost another child in the early months of my pregnancy. Writing was my way of dealing with my sadness.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself as a writer, when I became published. I didn’t think the work I created counted until now.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I must say, I had to laugh a little bit at this question. Every time someone asks me what my book is about. I can never shorten it enough,
for a quick answer. Okay, here goes…

My story is about a young girl named Grace, who grows up on a planet that’s inhabited by angels. Her and her best friend, Max, is being
trained to one day become angels themselves. The angels on the planet Mahlai hope that increasing their numbers can end the slavery war on
Earth. They also have to defend their planet against the dark angels who seek to kidnap the trainees and destroy the world of men. In this
tale Grace and Max finds discovers a powerful tool that the angels use to watch over the humans. This tool changes Grace and Max
personalities. Grace falls in love with a human and Max takes a turn for the worst.

What inspired you to write this book?

My husband’s support helped me achieve my goal of finishing the first book, of a 3 book series.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t really have a writing style. I can confirm that no matter how hard I try. I can’t write the book in order. I always start on a mid
chapter first.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I just love the name, Grace. I had a cat named that once.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is no message; I just want my readers to live in a world unlike their own.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I must say, I create my characters based on people that I know and books that I have read. For example, I have quotes from the bible and
my angels are lightly based on angels of the bible. Author Kristin Cashore depicts strong female characters in her novels and I love
that. The backdrop of my stories comes from my travels and my daydreams.

What authors have most influenced your life?

My favorite Authors are, Kristin Cashore, Suzanne Collins and John of the bible.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

If I had to choose a mentor, it would be Kristin Cashore. Meeting her
in person confirms that.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

My cover designer is John Konecny. He is an amazing artist, easy to work with and he understands what you want.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The advice that I would give is the advice that is said over and over
again to writers, KEEP WRITING! This really does help you when you
think your work is not good enough. When you get writers block and
especially when you began to doubt yourself.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

To all my readers, Thank You for your support and I’ll try my best to
make the next book an even better adventure!

Her Name is Grace - book coverShidoor Myinck-Gayer
Her Name is Grace

Book Cover by John Konecny.