Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Helpers

Okay. I really am trying to get this book done. My editor graciously gave me a bit more time, and I'm working hard to finish.

But the "kids" keep offering to help.

When I work on my laptop in the family room (in the same room with them to give them attention while I work), all three nuzzle my keyboard and monitor. I finally gave up on the laptop (too easy for the kids to create problems on) and started using my AlphaSmart instead (the little green word processor I'm typing on in the pictures).

Baxter is the easiest, of course; I can actually write on top of him, and he doesn't mind.

But then Ridge gets jealous and climbs on top of Baxter to wedge himself between Baxter and me. He seems to think I need an attention break (how loving of him):

This is Ridge sitting on Baxter nuzzling me. :o)

Then Ridge settles down between us, making it too crowded to work (notice the Westminster Dog Show on the TV behind Baxter).

Elsie, on the other hand, thinks I need help keying. She paws the keyboard (the primary reason I switched to the AlphaSmart from my laptop--she can't damage that as easily). Or she rests her head on my arms (ever try to key on a keyboard with a Lab head on your forearms?)

So today I gave up hanging with the canine kids and I'm back in my office on my desktop while the kids hang out in the family room. I try to keep an ear out for them, and check on them regularly, but every now and then I miss Don's stuffed polar bear from Valentine's Day.

Ridge wanted to protect us from big, bad, ferocious, four-legged arctic predators, especially those threatening plush kind. What a helper he is!

Wow. With this much help I should be able to get all kinds of things done!

'Til next time,


Terry said...

How do you like your AlphaSmart? I've been considering one (as my border collie works her way over here to set her nose on my keyboard), but I'm wondering if what I really need is another contraption in my home.


Joan said...

I love my AlphaSmart for cranking out text. It only lets me see about four lines of copy at a time, so I can't be distracted by rereading and editing. It forces me to just get the words down.

You can't beat it's portability (less than 2 lbs) and battery life (about 700 hours on three 'AA' batteries--far better than my laptop). You can get a rechargable version, but I never bothered.

It's easy (just turn on and start typing, everything auto-saves), and when I'm ready to dump my content onto my PC (also MAC compatible), I just hit "send" and my text jumps from my AlphaSmart to my Word document via infared port (can also us a USB port).

You can only do basics (delete, copy, paste, move text, etc.) but that all I want to do when I'm trying to crank out the words. I save the editing for my laptop or desktop work.

I use the Alphasmart Neo. You can usually get good buys on them at E-bay. But you can learn more about them at

It takes up so little room that it wouldn't be a storage issue at all.

Blessings to you,

LostinScotland said...

OOOh something to consider..I have a IPAQ and foldable keyboard...but this sounds much better...

Joan said...

I had an IPAQ and foldable keyboard and gave up on it. It was just to hard to see what I needed to see. I can see what I'm working on much more easily on the AlphaSmart (not to mention the difference in battery life--700 hours vs. about six on my IPAQ). But I don't see so much that I get distracted by rewriting and editing (like I do on my laptop and desktops).

My IPAQ and all it's accessories (over $1000 worth of stuff) just sits in a box in my office. :o(

And to think my little AlphaSmart Neo cost less than $300 (I went with ordering direct from AlphaSmart in case I needed technical support). I haven't needed any tech support, but I felt better purchasing it that way.


LostinScotland said...

I do use the IPAQ when I go off to write in some cafe on Buchanan Street. Its nice and not too bad to see but you are right, the battery doesn't last long. Nice thing though, if I'm traveling now on the train and even some airlines, you can plug in. But 700 hours on AA, that would be fantastic.

JuliaR said...

Good series of pix showing the dogs pushing their way onto your lap. Blogging is good for releasing the block!

Joan said...

Julia, you're absolutely right about blogging releasing writer's block. That's why I do it: it fuel's my creativity, not to mention it's fun. :o)

Thanks for the comment!