New Writing Set Up

When I started this blog, I wrote primarily from my smart phone. Then I got a tablet that worked with my keyboard and I used that too. Now, the tablet is old and cranky, it is running Android 7, and randomly closes whatever app I have open. I still mainly use my phone, but the tablet is nice because well bigger screen and real keyboard.

So I have invested in the Lenovo Duet Chromebook. It set up pretty much like any other Android based system. The Chromebook, however, is running the Chrome OS and I am not tech savy enough to know what differences that might entail. I am sure there are more tech knoweledgable folks that have reviewed the Duet and dig into the inner workings. As for me, I am happy to have something that won’t shut down while I am in the middle of reading, blogging or whatever.

First big difference between my old tablet and the Duet is screen size. I was using an 8 inch Lenovo tablet, while the Duet has a 10 inch screen. Big difference those two inches. (Cue snickering) Next is the keyboard. It is small and rather flat compared to my Nook Keyboard. The Nook Keyboard was almost a full size keyboard minus the number pad. The keyboard on the Duet also functions as the screen protector/cover. Thus far it isn’t causing too much of a difference other than I can reach all the keys that I maybe can’t quite reach on a normal sized keyboard. I may take a typing test to see what my speed is up too.

Then there is the speed, the Duet is lightening fast. Even when my old tablet was brand new it wasn’t this fast. That is due to the 4 gigs of Ram and the 128 gigs of solid state memory. It is so beyond what my old tablet had with 1 gig of Ram and 32 gigs of memory. I’m not sure the amount of Ram on my laptop and which is the faster.

I know which is the lighter of the two and the more portable. I still love my laptop and for some tasks there is no question of which is better suited. So I am hoping to get in lots of writing with this new set up. However as I am writing this in April and my last blog post was April 1st. I don’t know how true that statement really will turn out to be.

Cheers, james

Camp NaNo

Happy April 1st, 2021

Welcome to the first day of Camp NaNo. As you can see the NaNo Rhino is hard at work on plotting plot or perhaps plot holes. I applaud you for taking the time and putting in the effort to make your story your own.

Now quit wasting time reading blog posts when you should be settling in to the cabins and getting those words flowing. Best of luck. May your words never flow faster than your pen can write or your fingers type.

Cheers, james

Quote of the Day: Douglas Preston

Something to remember when writing believable characters, every hero isn’t all good and every villain isn’t all bad. There are degrees of good and evil in everyone.

One of the writing books I have read included a parable. A young man sitting with his grandfather talking about good vs evil. Grandfather tells the grandson, within every person there are two wolves. A white wolf and a black wolf who are endlessly locked in battle. The grandson asks which wolf wins. Grandfather says it depends on which wolf you feed by your actions. Sometimes the white wolf wins, sometimes the black wolf wins.

Far be it for me to argue with Grandfather, however, I would suggest the existence of a third wolf. A grey wolf. A wolf for the times when life isn’t as clear cut as we would like. A way to explain why a person would chose one action over another.

Let me know what you think. Cheers, james

Three Word Stories

These writing prompts circulate through the internet. One of my favorites is the three or five word stories. I have included a few examples below. So I am challenging you to write several of your own.

Cheers, james


She is love.

The baby giggled. (Mostly benign, unless you don’t have a baby in the house.)

The needles drummed on flesh. (I hope this was a tattoo.)

Fur flew through the air.

Quote of the Day: Side Quest

Ah the writer’s most treasured item. The side quest, the rabbit hole of research, or any task or reason to keep us “busy” so we don’t have to write. I am trying to get back on my blogging schedule; where I set up two weeks worth of posts and then any extra posts fit them. It has been a long time since I have managed to keep that schedule.

Cheers, james

Rededicating Time to Writing

So I am taking Pooh’s advice one more time and I am rededicating time and effort in my writing. I am taking time to seriously focus on writing, something I haven’t done since college and lots of free time. Or the time I did NaNo and Camp NaNo several years ago.

Once I figure out the order of my day, I should be able to write for two to three hours. Plus building time in for research and learning the craft. The dogs will make sure to keep me in touch with walks and exercise. Pretty sure they will let me know when it is time for lunch breaks.

This week starts my new chapter in life. Here is hoping I am up to the challenge. Cheers, james

Quote of the Day: Inspiration

Warriors don’t always win, sometimes you have to make a strategic retreat. There is no dishonor in retreating. It just means you need to step back and look at the options. Decide if you really have to go over that hill or if you can manuever around it. Because it may serve you better to take several steps back and take another path.

Today will start a new path for me. The war was lost. However, it is time to call a retreat, regroup and look at my options. The closing of a chapter in one’s life does not mean the end of the story. Just the start of a new page and maybe a new story.

Cheers, james

Lost Park and Lake in Raleigh’s Past

I stumbled across the above linked article this morning about North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh. According the WRAL article there was a lake and park that time has forgotten. I have attached the link for the interested. After reading the article, I am astounded that none of the records of the time reflect its location.

Happy hunting, james

Happy NaNoWriMo

Nov. 1st marks the kick off to a 30 day race to write 50k words in your very own novel. Several hundred thousands, if not a couple millon folks are coming along with you for this journey. 50k words seems like a whole lot and they are, until you realize most of your favorite books are more than 50k.

However, when you break those 50k words up over 30 days. You wind up with a more manageable 1,750. I rounded cause 1,667 is not a nice round number. And if you do write 1,750 a day for 30 days you will have written 52,500 words. There by winning NaNoWriMo and holding in your hot little hand the beginnings of your novel.

A lot of “serious” writers don’t look fondly on NaNo, due to the highly unorthodox method. Writing so fast so you can out write your inner editor and inner critic and just get the story down. Naturally a first draft of anything isn’t very pretty. Ernest Hemingway, himself said that. And if he thought his first drafts stunk…

There are a few brave souls that will publish or have their project printed just to have a physical book they wrote. Some folks will go on and edit, rewrite, and polish that rough hunk of coal until they get their diamond. Some folks will say, “whew that was fun.” And never think anymore about it. Those are all perfectly fine methods, your words, your rules.

The main goal of NaNo is to give yourself permission to write crappy. The deadline is to keep you moving instead of getting hung up on editing and polishing. That comes after you have finished writing your first draft. Think of the first draft as a frame work. The editing and rewriting is fleshing out the frame.

I wish you all the best luck on this journey of writing and discovering the stories you have within yourself. Cheers, james