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.

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

From a mechanical typewriter connected to an iPad to tips on the perfect book cover to general writing tips, this week’s Writer’s Links has it all.

10 Grammar Mistakes that Can Keep Your Content from Spreading

Unemployed College Graduates: Blog Yourself a Job

5 Sentences Repaired by Correct Use of Commas

Getting it Done: A Guide to Productive Goal-Setting for Freelancers

Typewriter Landscape (YouTube Video)

Taking Responsibility for Your Book Cover

11 Lessons from a Year of Full-Time Entrepreneurship

What Makes a Good Almost Kiss?

The Craft of Writing

Jumpstarting Fiction: How to Find Unique, Timely Ideas to Energize Your Creativity

Writing Space: Cris Cosper

I’ve known Cris for some time on various Facebook literary book groups and knew that she was a writer just like myself. I invited her to do a guest post about her writing space here on No Wasted Ink.

Writer Cris Cosper
Writer Cris Cosper
My earliest memories are mostly of my Grandpa telling me stories, even on into my 30s, about his childhood and other family members and how things were in the 1930s and on, whether farming or living in the city, even the Great Depression era. Then there were the librarians and story times, my cousins and campfires, now my nieces and nephews and stories I tell from my childhood about their parents and stories I remember Grandpa telling me. I became a storyteller because of other storytellers. Plus, I like to communicate and pass things on to the next generation.

I only recently started to consider seriously that I could have an easy, natural knack for writing. I’ve been writing essays and poetry over the decades since grade school. Most of the topics were of non-fiction genres, life topics, natural world, personal experiences and scientific research pieces based on other printed works. Authors like Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mary Shelley have inspired my imagination to fire non-stop. The freedom and possibility to travel were THE perks I needed to motivate me into launching on this adventure. My mother quipped, “I always liked your writing.” It was all I needed to hear. When writing, I can exercise that part of me that says: “I have not, will not, and will never grow up.” My eldest nephew says he can’t wait to read my first book. (We’re real pals.)

cris cosper writing space
Cris Cosper’s Writing Space
My writing space best reflects that part of my self-perception where I think I am still just out of high school, living in a dorm setting. I typically will “travel” as I write, starting from laying on my stomach, or sitting cross-legged, story-boarding or writing idea/concept lists in my notebook, or typing up the story on my notebook, a plain Acer Aspire One where I myself upgraded the RAM chip. (I’m pretty good at tinkering with anything technical or mechanical. Such a tomboy. I can change the oil and filter in my car, if I want to.) Eventually, I get tired of one spot and graft over to another, such as the floor with a pillow behind me. I think this opens up the physical headspace for me as I tend to look upwards when I need ideas. (Mom tells me I used to watch the trees sway with the breeze and the clouds pass by. Come to think of it, I still do this.) Later, I move to the patio in the afternoon, then I graft back in. It’s a rare day that I can write not near a window. It’s like I have to be connected to the natural world.

cris cosper writing tools
Cris Cosper’s Writing Tools
I’m a minimalist at heart, so I use only the basics in physical tools. Paper and pen for ideas, lists and research. I use the netbook for typing up stories. But lately, I have considered telling a story from my head and recording it and then putting it to page. But, my real tool remains the same for the osmosis of story fodder: My gift of gab and knack for research.

Chris Cosper
Writer, Cosmic Captives Series
First novel in write-up: Lair of the Sun
Targeted: November 2012

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