This is what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been trying to spend my money in the black community, so it’d only be natural for me to want to seek a black owned publishing company for my novel, when its finished in June. I haven’t researched them yet, but if you’ve heard anything about these guys, let me know. I’ve looked into a variety of publishing options. I like the idea of self-publishing, but everybody does that, and there is a certain notoriety that comes with having someone else publish your books. I also want to maintain some control over the image that is on the front of my novel. I don’t want want it to be grouped into the “Urban Fiction” category in bookstores, where you’ll see predominately gansta/sex lit. My novel may have a sexy part in it, but it doesn’t define my novel. I am not Zane. My book will have a more Fantasy/Urban Fantasy feel to it. I digress… Check these out and let me know what you think.
I am anti-consumerism, anti-materialistic, anti-spending money-on-unnecessary-things. However, I’ve been searching for the perfect do-all writing device. Once upon a time, I used to carry around a notebook and a pen, and when I was inspired, I could write my musings down on paper. I can still do that, but as a blogger and fiction writer, paper and pen isn’t practical. I often need internet connectivity for research and updating my blog.
Currently, I have a cell phone, netbook, laptop, and music player (kind of like the iPod touch). On any given day, I have two or three of these devices on hand. Unfortunately, I rarely have wi-fi available when I need it. And my touchscreen devices (cell phone and music player) are terrible for writing purposes. Furthermore, I can only really use my cell phone for texting and talking on the phone. My phone isn’t really that great for email, or any other applications. That’s why I got the music player–by the way, I cracked the screen a couple of weeks ago by dropping it two feet down to the ground; this incident is what inspired this post. Also, my laptop and netbook are useless if I want to update my blog posts and I don’t have wi-fi. Trying to adapt to this situation, and not spend too much money, I’ve spent too much money. Now I’m just to the point where I have too many pieces of technology that I have to worry about, so something has got to change.
I’m in a unique predicament. I’m hesitant to acquire a new device because of my desire to spend less money and my current condition of having very little allotted to a discretionary budget. Additionally, I want a multi-function device, constant access to the internet, and a physical keyboard.
What I realized is that we have to stop thinking of our phones as a do-all device. Apple started this nonsense in 2007 when they released the first iPhone. It may be convenient to have one device for everything, but it isn’t practical when that one device doesn’t truly serve all of those needs.
I’ve been all over the net looking for a guide for the best mobile devices for writers. I couldn’t find one, so I did a little research and wanted to share what I found:
- Blackberry Q10: This is my dream phone. They keyboard is great for typing; the touchscreen is great for web browsing; and Blackberry, all around, is wonderful for email. I can open and edit documents from Microsoft Word without having to pay a gazillion dollars for an app. I can write and manage my blog with the WordPress app. I can use the phone for making notes of ideas that come to me at inconvenient times. It worked great when I used to take the bus to work because I could blog on my phone. The only downside is that writing fiction on a mobile phone is kind of a pain if I need write dialogue. If I had this phone, I probably wouldn’t carry around my netbook or laptop unless I knew I’d be writing fiction.
- Any Smartphone with a keyboard: My preference is Blackberry, but I found a few newer model phones with keyboards that may work well as a do-all device for a writer. There really aren’t (aside from Blackberry) any high end phones with keyboards. The three I thought worth mentioning are:
- Blackberry Bold in the 9900 series: I wanted this phone when it came out a year or so ago. My dad had one for work and I envied him. But this phone wasn’t available on my carrier when I was shopping for phones at that time. This phone is available on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon. It is $100 on all carriers with a 2-year contract.
- Droid 4: Android phone available on Verizon. It got OKAY reviews. I haven’t tried it personally, but it will probably do the job. It’s 100 bucks with a 2-year-contract.
- Samsung Galaxy S Relay: This is a lower-end phone on T-Mobile, but it’s the newest and best one they’ve got.
- Sprint actually has a bunch of phones with a keyboard, but they are lower-end and older models.
- Smartphone with an add-on slide out keyboard: I don’t know why I didn’t try this with my iPhone 3Gs when I had one.
- Sharper Image has one for the iPhone 4
- I found this one on Amazon.com for the iPhone 5
- I’ve even found a few for the Galaxy S3. And it makes me kind of excited because that phone has an enormous screen so it would be easier to see while writing. I would never have considered getting this phone because my hands are too small to type on the touchscreen. A keyboard changes everything.
- 4G Tablet with Bluetooth or keyboard: I think tablets are great, except they are moronic for any sort of writing, unless hunt and peck is your style. Now they have an assortment cases and bluetooth keyboards that you can pair with your tablet. I see it as having an extremely light computer on the go. The only downside is that I’m not sure that typing on a flat surface keyboard will be comfortable for long periods of time. Nonetheless, I heard that Logitech and Zagg keyboards were the best; that they are the closest to the real deal. If you already have a tablet, this may be worth a try.
- Netbook with 4G connectivity: Computers can do anything that a smart phone can do, with much more functionality. If you buy a computer with a 4G plan, you will always have internet available to you. They make some nice, light and sleek ones nowadays. These you will usually find with your wireless carrier
- Mobile Broadband via USB: This option is particularly attractive to me because I don’t need a new device. It is also the least expensive. I can connect my netbook or laptop on the go. I found that T-Mobile offers a mobile broadband plan for 3.5GB/month for $35/month. If I’ll I’m doing is blogging or researching for my blog, 3.5GB is more than sufficient. I don’t know how great the service is, do you have any thoughts? I’m sure other companies offer prepaid mobile broadband plans and 2-yr contract plans for more money. If I try the T-Mobile plan, I’ll let you know how it goes.
- Mobile Broadband via Hotspot: This device provides the same internet service as a mobile broadband USB device, except you can provide wi-fi for a few devices at the same time. If have a hotspot, and your data needs are fairly low, you can use it at home and cancel cable internet. With Broadband internet via USB or Hotspot, the only devices you’d probably carry would be a cell phone and a small laptop.
So that’s the list. Is there anything else I haven’t thought of? What do you devices do you use to write when you are on the go?
Twenty-Six Students in a Mixing Bowl
Twenty-Six students in a mixing bowl,
boiling to escape
They’re sliding cards
and “f*cks!” across the table
Public Displays of Affection without discretion
“It’s not just a kiss,” I say.
a girl about to beat the sh*t out of a boy with long hair
and someone worried about impregnation
Twenty-Six students in a mixing bowl,
boiling to escape…
but when summer begins
and reality sets in
where will they go in haste?
Now that I’ve finished my graduate school education, I can take some time to really focus on my own writing projects. I’ve done like most bloggers have suggested and created a blogging schedule. Maybe I’m crazy, but I decided to go at it 4x a week.
Monday and Thursday- I post on my Slow Paced (Living) in the United States blog. I have created a writing schedule for the next 5 weeks. On this blog, I’m currently doing a series called What You Should Stop Worrying About Right Now; it will be 10 posts.
Tuesday and Friday- I post on this blog. I think I’m going to continue to post poetry on Tuesdays and post about writing or the writing process on Thursdays.
So far this week, I’ve met all of my blogging deadlines, but it seems rather ambitious. If working on my graduate thesis has taught me anything, it’s that my independent study skills need some improvement. I work better when I’m accountable to others. Since I’ve told my readers when they can expect new posts from me, I have to be strict with my deadlines. I don’t want to disappoint you all.
Still, for the last two posts that went up, I was sitting at my computer at 10pm still writing them. At least they went up on the days that I intended. The idea though, is to get a week or two ahead with my blogging so I’m not posting at the last minute. Hopefully this weekend I can write all of my posts for next week. To be a writer, you actually have to write, and with all this blogging, I can say that I’m a writer.
I’d like to fill the other three days of the week with fiction writing. I’m not sure I’m ready for that though…
So what I’ve done is turned my day-planner into a writing scheduler. I’ve had the pink planner all year and have barely used it for my to-do lists. For each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I write down the blog and blogging topic. And underneath, I have plenty of room for notes and ideas that come up before I have a chance to write the post. Usually what happens is I get random bursts of ideas, and I can’t always get to my blog to write a draft. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a draft right then, and that awesome sentence I thought of while in the shower needs a place to be jotted down– hence the day-planner.
The only issue that remains, is when exactly do I write? I would love to make a consistant time every single day. I love writing early in the morning when my head is clear and I’m relaxed, but I have a job where I work early in the morning. High school starts at 7:20am people! Maybe I can figure something in a couple weeks because summer camp starts an hour later. Right now, I write whenever I have time, but I think having a schedule would get me into a routine and I could write more.
How do you organize your writing or blogging schedule? How do you fit in writing with a full-time job?
This is a new poem… second draft.
admiring the edge of clouds along the sky
but I can’t connect to their certainty of being,
I’m floating like an air molecule,
“invisible to the naked eye,” but I’m here.
Fluid like ocean water and swimming amongst many.
I’m strangely relevant,
I can’t define the source of my fragmentation,
as I was born embedded in the Source.
This is another old poem I wrote in college… undergrad maybe. I think it’s strange how I wait years and years to share things I’ve written. Do you other writers do that? Anyways here it is
Lavender moonlight nudges
sun rays creeping behind
But a khaki colored morning
sighs, the brown haze
glaring over remnants of
gnarls its face, hoping
that in a few more minutes
the scattered crazies
will retreat behind their posters.
But more people arrive,
their tie-knots choking them,
and skimpy tramps
showing off their pale behinds.
Golden light struggles to
climb out of its ocean bed
knowing it will only be red hot
as night approaches,
black bass thunders,
I spend a lot of time feeling like I cant. I think it’s an issue that plagues most African-American writers. Honestly, writing a New York Times #1 bestselling novel seems out of reach. Some days, I attribute this lack of confidence to the political nature of race in this country: To get to number one on the NYT list, I have to sell to everyone, not just black readers. But, the cards are just simply stacked against me. It’s challenging enough to sell a book to a publisher, and get them to market if for you. If you get that far, you’ll realize that publishers and bookstores prefer to sell books by black authors that depict the “stereotypical” black experience of thug life and promiscuity; you know, the books with sluts on the covers. And those books don’t sell to everyone.
Other days, I attribute this inferiority complex to a post-slavery era mentality that’s been imposed upon me by the collective subconscious. I feel that my only option is get a good education, go to college/grad-school, graduate and get a job. It doesn’t matter if my degree is in a creative field. I can’t have success on my own. submitting writing to literary journals isn’t for my kind. Nope. How could I possibly be talented enough for that?
Is it just me? Or do other African-American writers (or artists of any kind) feel this way too?
I want so much for myself. I’m bursting at the seams with ideas. I’m going to keep moving forward, regardless of how I’m feeling. I’m going to keep blogging, writing, thinking, planning and moving. I’ll never make it if I don’t try, right?
I wrote a lot of poetry in college. My sophmore year (2005) I debated whether or not I should stop relaxing my hair. This poem was written at the very begining of my transition. This is my favorite poem that I’ve written.
I like to examine
the way my hair grows
at the roots,
The fuzz of my frizz
and the contours of my curls
I can’t remember.
Every six weeks
I burn them with chemicals,
breaking down the beauty
I was Given.
For simplicity, perhaps
I’m trying to reach a standard
expected of me
I can never achieve;
that wasn’t Created–
I want it to grow back
all of it.
I want a mane
the lioness that I am.
I can’t remember what my hair looks like!
Because beyond the roots,
only the raggedy, scraggly wannabe
of something I’m not, I see.
As you can see, I went through with the transition. (December 2005) Glad I did
© Talia Clay
After a tumultuous year spent writing a thesis, I came to wonder why I started writing in the first place. Apparently, I love writing enough to get a Master’s degree in it. There were times in my life where writing something was a necessity to get through the day. Yet because of thesis, I’ve stopped writing. All writing has become a chore. My blogs are suffering because of it.
So why did I start writing?
I started writing because I wanted to be heard. As a kid, I never really felt that people listened to what I had to say. I was told an infinite number of times “you talk too much” or “stop talking.” I was silenced. I had no outlet for my musings, thoughts, or emotions. They had no place to go. Furthermore, I had feelings that most perceived as irrational. How could I talk about something that most people didn’t think was worth talking about? I had some friends growing up, but really, who wants to listen for hours on end to a rambler?
For instance, I got a pink diary with a lock for my 9th birthday. I still have the key in an old jewelry box in the top of my closet. The first entry says:
August 9, 1995
Today is my birthday.
Thsmy friends Sslept over. They were being mean to me. Yesterday my friend said “Just becuse tomorrow is your birthday means you can have the light on.” (Flashlight on seling) Then I had ters in my eyes.
Apparently, this was a painful experience for an oversensitive nine-year-old on her birthday. Darn it! I wanted to play with the flashlight on the ceiling when we were supposed to be sleeping.
And still, I’m an oversensitive adult, at present, lacking an appropriate outlet for my, at times, emotional overflow. So I’m forcing myself to go back to writing. No pressure to post every week on a certain day (sorry guys), but I have to write something everyday.
When I was in high school, and the first year or so of college I maintained a diary at freeopendiary.com. Do you remember that site? (Don’t bother looking for my diary, they went on a deleting spree a number of years ago, and it is gone). I wrote any and all of my business online for people to read, and I would hope and pray for comments and advice. I’d hope that people in the internet world would care about how I was doing. Needless to say, they didn’t.
I have found in my course of study there is some debate going on about whether writing for others to read is a truly, justifiable reason to write. I always get the feeling that “true” writers feel that it is taboo: that a real writer writes solely for the craft of writing– like any other pursuant of the arts. It’s true we certainly don’t do it because we expect to make lots of money– but we do hope that we can reach people on a profound level while making lots of money. That would make us really happy, knowing that people give a enough of a crap about what we are saying to actually pay us.
I used to write for myself. I enjoyed when I came up with a particular line, passage or poem that I loved for the sheer way it sounded. Once upon a time , I wrote just to organize my thoughts, or figure something out. I’d write because I was bored. My teenage years were filled with angst and drama: I needed an outlet.
Working for a movie theater when I was sixteen, I’d often find myself in the unfortunate position as the ticket taker on a slow night. I’d flip over the back of movie schedules and just write and write. About what, I can’t remember. I have so many notebooks and random papers stashed away, you’d think I’d had an addiction to writing. I’m not like that anymore. It seems that life has gotten in the way.
Right now in my life I’m dealing (barely) with all sorts of stress. And instead of expressing myself the way I used to, I’ve been bottling. At this rate I’ll burst like mentos in a coke bottle.
So now, I write to be heard. Blogging is such a public activity– I mean, I can’t tell you everything. I would like to have a job one day. But I write for you guys/gals out there reading. It’s nice to know that someone out there is listening, and that someone can hear me. (And I hope you aren’t judging me.) I spent a lot of time in my life hurting (as nine-year-old me can attest to), and I just want to be able to communicate, and work through my fears and insecurities.
It is with sadness that I write this post. I’ve decided to take a hiatus from writing this blog. I know I’ve been hit and miss with posting, but I’d like to do much better. However, I can’t do better until I get some things settled. Currently my priorities are out of alignment and I need to spend some time getting them back on track. Less stress is the doctor’s orders.
I will, however, still be working on my thesis. I figured that blogging about writing my thesis isn’t quite the same as actually writing my thesis. But when I come back I will have plenty to talk about in thesis-land.
Of course, I cant stay away from blogging entirely so I will be focusing on Slow Paced (Living) in the United States. I’ve just started that blog, but it his helping me adopt a minimalist, slower paced lifestyle. If you are interested in doing the same, please join me there.
Thank you for tuning in, and I will be back in 2013.