Tag Archives: writer

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.

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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Author Interview: Rosemary Lynch

Sometimes the cover art of a book catches the eye and it was certainly the case with me when I first saw Rose’s novel. After we chatted for a time on twitter, I invited her here to No Wasted Ink for an interview.

Author Rosemary LynchHi my name is Rosemary Lynch (Rose). I was born on 14th August 1970 in Merton, England. I am married to Paul, have three lovely children. Charlotte, Melissa and Jake. Two dogs, Max and Arweyn, one cat Maggie, three chickens Bluebell, Lavender and Meadow. I write epic fantasy. My first book Kainan, is a magical romantic adventure. The first book in the Deragan Sword Trilogy. The second book, ‘Meladrom’ is out on the 14th August this year and the conclusion book three, ‘Annalise’ is due out Decemer 2012. I love to write and I love art, especially painting in acrylic. I love to paint dragons!

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in May 2009, whilst off work due to an injury.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When Kainan was read for the first time last year. Up to then it had been my private hobby. I was nagged by colleagues at work to let them read it, so I had ten proof books printed. I was overwhelmed by the response so I decided I would have Kainan published.

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

Kainan is a magical romantic adventure fantasy. It is the story of a young man whose life is dramatically changed overnight when his village is attacked by the evil Gozars. He is forced into stealing a magical crystal from the world of Malgar, which unbenown to him, is the lifeforce of their world. Left for dead by the Gorzars, his life is saved by a young groundling woman, Arweyn. Together they discover the truth about his heritage and set in play an ancient prophecy. They head out on a quest to return the Ardor Crystal to the world of Malgar and stop the return of the Gorzar Empire. Along the way they face treachery, many mystical creatures, and fall in love.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had a dream and that dream was my first book ‘Kainan’. It all started from there and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write quite fast paced with lots of action.

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

This book had many titles before I settled on Kainan, as did the hero’s name. I wanted a strong, stand alone title. I discovered the name Kainan and as soon as I heard it, I knew immediately that it fitted his character perfectly.

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

Never to give up hope. Even when life is at rock bottom.

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

I think there is probably some of my husband within Kainan’s character! His querky sense of humour and practical jokes for a start!

What authors have most influenced your life?

When I was young it was Enid Blyton, I spent hours in one of her books, sat up a tree in the garden. Now I love Terry Brooks, and Terry Goodkind.

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

Terry Brooks

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

Aidana Willow Raven. I sent out a tweet saying I was looking for an illustrator. She contacted me and the minute I saw her work I new she was the one to produce my cover. Her work is amazing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just follow your heart and enjoy what you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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

Firstly I want to thank them for buying my book! I love Kainan, even though I have written it, I still enjoy reading it! It is an easy book to read, and it takes you right into their world. You feel their pain, their passion, their drive. You find yourself wanting to turn the next page to see what happens to them.

Deragan Sword Prophecy - Kainan book coverRosemary Lynch
Wiltshire, England. UK

Illustrator: Aidana Willow Raven

SMASHWORDS
AMAZON USA
AMAZON UK

Author Interview: Bud Rudesill

It is not often that I meet an author who is also a geologist and a photographer. The combination makes for great life experience to spin into this historical yarn about a fashion photographer. Bud’s story also highlights how a novel can start by humble means and turn into something special. I hope you’ll welcome Bud Rudesill here on No Wasted Ink. Oh…and by the way, there is a little extra something on the lens of the camera in Bud’s headshot. Click to the larger version of the photo to see the surprise.

Bud Rudesill PortraitMy name is Bud Rudesill. Condensing the story of sixty-eight years of life—my life—is far more daunting than writing a novel, for the story of my life is a saga. I have pursued so many options, been so many places, and earned my living doing so many things. Life for me has not been the pursuit of a dream. It has been more like a dream composed of choices, opportunities, luck—good and bad—romance, and adventure. For me, those are the components of good stories. I never have to look far to find the material to spin a yarn.

I have heard stories, first and second hand, of people who settled the West. I sat in a room with a woman who had come West in a covered wagon as we watched the live television feed of Neil Armstrong taking the first giant step for mankind on the moon. I worked on a ranch as a young man where I heard three generations of verbal history of that ranch. I have a master’s degree in geology and have worked in Saudi Arabia where I was befriended by a Saudi who believed he was the first Saudi delivered by an American Aramco doctor. I learned computer programming on an IBM 1620 and am still reasonably computer literate. My great, grand uncle, Jack Wilkinson Smith, was arguably the father of California Impressionism. I’m not bad with brush and paint myself. And that is a sample of vanilla in a Ben and Jerry’s.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing fiction early in 2002 because back problems and consequential surgery was seriously limiting my physical activity. It was time for me to use my mind more instead of my body. Painting more was part of the solution. Writing was the other part. In essence I began living a large part of my life vicariously through my characters. The sum total of events and accomplishments of my life, plus the stories I’ve heard over the years told by others are the food for the creation of the characters and events that fill my literary works.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I guess when I finished a 135,000 word novel in three weeks. The novel wasn’t good enough to be publishable, but it had a lot of good story and writing in it. I knew I would be able to write good stories well at that point. It took me a lot longer to get very good at the craft.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Cutter’s Bizaar started as paintings in mid 2002. I got the idea of painting images of fashion models and I distorted them because the fashion industry is a distorted fantasy world. After finishing several paintings that I felt were a major breakthrough in my art, I started making up vignettes about the women in the paintings. I tied them together through a Wyoming born cowboy-turned fashion photographer. The vignettes became a modest little self-published/computer printed magazine and then that became a novel.

The story is about four decades at the end of the twentieth century of the fashion photography business and an unlikely fashion photographer.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well, I knew I had a good idea at the first showing of my paintings where I hung the vignettes with them. I had copies of the magazine at the second show of my paintings. Women were interested in the images and the stories. It took me almost a decade to realize how pertinent the stories were to the contemporary interest in fashion. It was another writer who is also a fashionista that got me watching the reality fashion shows and I quickly realized I needed to turn the vignettes into a novel.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have a master’s degree in Geology, so I learned technical writing starting as an undergraduate. I would say that my style is to just tell my stories as well as I can—to communicate the plot, character development, emotion, etc. to the reader while maintaining tension and interest in the plot and characters. I would say this style contrasts mostly with writing that is more about the impact on the reader of the sounds and impressions of the words than the story they tell.

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

When I was designing the cover for my little magazine I realized I could imitate the style of the title of Harper’s Bazaar and work a play on words, sort of, by misspelling bazaar and bizarre, placing the first name of my protagonist between the two As. The misspelled word added to the concept of an industry that is a bizarre fantasy world.

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

My stories almost always have strong female characters and strong men that love them. Fashion models that succeed have to be strong, resilient, and smart. There’s a reason why the top models get paid a hundred times what top photographers get paid. So a lot of the novel is about the difficult situations models are subjected to, and how they cope and sometimes become extremely successful.

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

I know a lot about the cattle ranching life, my protagonist, Frank Cutter grows up with. I’ve been to the locations described in the book. I know a lot about modeling for artists and a little bit about shooting fashion photography. No, there isn’t an individual or series of events that the story is based on. Much of it is based on research and fantasy, but sometimes the view from outside looking in is more accurate than the view from the inside. In this case the target market is people on the outside, so a fantasy about a fantasy world is, hopefully, good art.

What authors have most influenced your life?

My life has been most influenced by people who have written scientific and historical works. My writing has been most influenced by the printed words of Hemingway’s stories of Africa, Joseph Conrad, and Erwin Shaw. The writer, in the common sense of the word, who most influenced my life, was Edward Dorn. He was an instructor at Idaho State my freshman year and I took my first literature class from him. It wasn’t his writing that influenced me, rather his teaching style and some of his lessons.

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

Yes. The first few sentences Ed Dorn spoke to the class I was in eventually had more impact on my writing than any of the many lessons since. It’s a long story, but the crux of his lesson was that it is not the grammar or spelling that is the most important aspect of the writing. The most important aspect of writing is to communicate something—an idea or feeling, knowledge, whatever—that is in your mind to another person. This applies to technical writing as well as fiction.

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

I did. The painting is one of the first I did in the series that inspired the novel. I selected this illustrator because he works real cheap.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Writing fiction for me is one of many art mediums. I am an artist. I don’t make art because I’m good at it, because I like making it, or because I can profit financially from it. I make art because I’m compelled to make it. My life is nothing without satisfying my basic needs—food, water, sleep, shelter, sex, and making art. In my opinion, if a writer is motivated to write fiction because they want to make money by selling their product, they are involved in a nearly futile struggle. If a writer is compelled to write, they should write for that reason, and they should perfect their craft to the fullest extent of their talent and ambition. It is the process and end product, not monetary profit, which will sustain the needs of true artists.

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

To my readers—thank you for having the courage to read something that isn’t recommended by people who make a living off promoting writers and/or their works. Thank you again if you critique me so that I can continue to improve my craft.

To my potential readers—I don’t employ the latest artificial devices to hook you in the first three lines of my stories. I’m old school and set my stories up with care so that there will be no confusion later on as to who did what, when, where, how, and why.

Cutter's Bizaar Book CoverBud Rudesill
Pittsboro, North Carolina.

I am an artist and photographer, and a geologist. I have done a fair bit of ranch work including some in the Valley of the Warm Winds, also known as the Wind River Valley, Wyoming.

Cutter’s Bizaar is available in paperback at Amazon.com by Create Space and as an eBook at Amazon.com by Kindle

Author Interview – Shelia Bolt Rudesill

After exchanging many tweets on Twitter, I became acquainted with Shelia and her artisan husband Bud. Shelia is a great example of a woman shifting into writing as a new career instead of retiring and lends to her novels a great deal of real life experience. I’m pleased to feature literary fiction author Shelia Bolt Rudesill here on No Wasted Ink.

Shelia Rudesill - AuthorMy name is Shelia Bolt Rudesill. For forty-five years as a pediatric and NICU nurse I dedicated my professional life to the well being of children and acquired a tremendous empathy for those burdened with unreasonable hardships. It’s from those experiences that I piece together my stories. As a nurse I was able to touch a life every day. I’d like to think that I can still do that through my writing.

Both my artist husband, Bud Rudesill, and I became accidental writers well into our fifties. It’s amazing how much we enjoy the craft and more amazing to realize how many writer friends we have.

When and why did you begin writing?

Writing came as a surprise. After many years of nursing, I burned out and Bud and I moved from North Carolina to Wyoming for a fresh start. The Oregon Trail interested me and I got to wondering about the kids who’d trekked across the entire country until the soles of their shoes wore away. My imagination went wild and I created three frontier dolls, each with a story of their own—the first as a journal, the second as a collection of letters, and the last as a novella. With the local success of that project I came up with a second idea to weave stories of my nursing career into a full-fledged novel. When I told Bud about my idea he told me that I’d never pull it off. Months later on a seven hour road trip, I drove while Bud read my manuscript, Child of My Heart. He cried all the way. The emotional aspect of the story had caught him off guard. That night the wife of the friends we were visiting stayed up all night reading. “It was so good,” she’d said, “I couldn’t put it down.” Believe me those are the words a writer wants to hear!

Once Child was published Bud told me that my Oregon Trail children needed to grow up and that my three children’s books needed to be an historical fiction saga. So, my second novel was born: Auspicious Dreams.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

While writing my first novel, “Child of My Heart,” I attended a writer’s conference. Part of the fee included a manuscript consultation and entry into a writing contest. My heart sank when I looked at the hundreds of red ink marks on my manuscript. I quickly put it away feeling like a failure. To my great surprise I was awarded the last of the five honorable mentions. On the plane home I pulled out my manuscript. The first thing I read was the last red mark on the last page, “My biggest disdain is having to put down this manuscript. The story is powerful. Nothing short of superb.” It was at that moment I considered myself a writer.

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

Transmutare is a story of three carefree young women who get caught up in some pretty terrible experiences. The protagonist is a former Orthodox Jew, the second is a Jewish agnostic, and the third is Roman Catholic. Together they attempt to define a god who has allowed their world to spin out of control. What I like about this story is that a lot of people will identify with their struggles.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’m always inspired by people who overcome unbearable hardships.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Literary fiction

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

My protagonist, Shelli, changes from an almost perfect girl to one who no one knows. She “transforms” or undergoes a “transformation” or “mutation.” Transmutare is French for transformation. I liked the sound of it.

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

Definitely. Transmutare is ultimately a quest for the meaning of life, as well as a gritty struggle for physical and spiritual survival. How the characters deal with their conflicts allows each reader to interpret the spiritual directions the girls take within their own set of beliefs. In other words, the story doesn’t teach or preach.

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

I once had an acquaintance who went away for a weekend. When she returned she was a completely different person. I never found out what happened to her so I made up something I thought could have happened.

What authors have most influenced your life?

C.S. Lewis, Maya Angelou, Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Patchett, Toni Morrison, Cynthia Rylant, David Guterson, Arundhati Roy, David Wroblewski. When I read any of these authors I’m completely pulled into the worlds they create and most times transformed by them.

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

Maya Angelou because she’s so real and timeless. Her stories and poems come straight from the heart and she tells them with honesty. I think she could teach me to become more lyrical as well as a better person.

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

I did. The cover photo is my great-niece and was taken several years ago with her cell phone. I was attracted to the defiant expression. This is my protagonist in the depth of her transformation. The grainy resolution of the photo and the fading gray background added to the despair in the middle parts of the story.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just write what’s in your heart. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself. Your writing is your legacy. Be true to yourself. Some of the first advice I received as an author was: Write what you know. That advice hasn’t failed me yet.

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

Just thanks for the applause and the criticism. I need to hear both. I appreciate every single person who has purchased one of my novels and it warms my heart when they write a review on Amazon or their own webpage.

Transmutare Book CoverShelia Bolt Rudesill
Pittsboro, North Carolina

“I’m not retired. I’m a writer.” After a long day of writing and editing or assisting Bud with photo shoots, I admit to a weakness for dry martinis and dancing with my cats The Artful Dodger and Q.

Novels:
Transmutare
Baggage
Auspicious Dreams
Child of My Heart

WebsiteBook Trailer

Transmutare, available in paperback at Amazon.com by Create Space and as an eBook at Amazon.com by Kindle