Last year’s hurricane took a lot of the East Coast back to analogue living. Many people were grateful for their backup generators. Our friend Kate Marshall relied on the writer’s version: candlelight, pen, and paper… and a quirky digital device to type it up.
I wrote my portion of “The Haint at Ferny Creek” during a hurricane, which seemed fitting.
I hadn’t planned to write it then — but by the time I got the manuscript containing the previous three parts, and had a free evening to sit down and write, it also coincided with a massive storm hitting the East Coast. While the power was out, what else could I do except write while waiting for the sump pump to fail?
I wrote my first draft with pen, by flashlight and candlelight. Then I wanted to type it up without taxing my laptop’s battery. So I turned to my Alphasmart Neo. This device is insanely quirky, which is probably why I love it so much. It’s essentially a portable word processor — full-size keyboard, small monochrome screen, built like a tank, etc. Its primary feature is to write without distraction. After writing, you hook it up to a computer to transfer text for editing, formatting, etc. I managed to connect mine to my phone, copy the text into a document on there and then email everything to Karen so she could post the next part of the story.