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Techie Me

Crystal is a Christian, Wife, Mother, Novelist, and former Behavior Specialist with an education in History and Religious Studies.

Some of My Favorite Tools

External keyboard/tablet setup

External keyboard/tablet setup

1974 Sears Electric I typewriter

1974 Sears Electric I typewriter



1953 Underwood Finger-Flite Champion manual typewriter

1953 Underwood Finger-Flite Champion manual typewriter

There's more than one way to get the job done!

I love tech stuff. Gadgets and tools for getting things done hold a great deal of fascination for me, and I just love to create things. My husband often finds me in the garage, rifling through his tools and wood supply, so I can build whatever it is I think I need at the moment, whether or not I actually do need it. As a knitter/crocheter/weaver, I often make something and give it away, because sometimes I just want to create something and not necessarily have it.

It's kind of like that with my writing as well. One reason I blog is that I want to create something I think is interesting and give it away to those who may also find it interesting. I'm also writing three novels at the same time - probably should have rethought that, as I'd most likely be done with at least two of them by now, but they'll get there. I have always been a writer, and I do so love to switch between writing tools depending on my mood, location, and what project I'm working on. At this moment, I'm using my wireless keyboard and my tablet for the purpose of this article and for portability. Sometimes that's just a really good way to roll. What's the advantage to this?

Well let's say your typing a long paper of some sort, and a long way down the page, you find you've made a few mistakes. Well the nice this about this is, that even though you don't have a mousepad or external mouse, you can still go back and click on the touch screen of your tablet with your finger, and make the corrections you need to make, without having to use the arrow keys, which may take a bit longer.

Plus, if your external keyboard is wireless, all you have to do is either hook up to Bluetooth or plug the dongle into a short adapter cord, (about 6"long) that connects to your tablet, but is not physically connected to the keyboard. The great thing about that is the ability to write in any position and just about any location, you can think of.

No being tied down to a standard desk in an office-only environment. It is totally doable to put the keyboard on your lap, and have the tablet off to the side, in a stand, or propped up on any surface you feel is safe enough for your tech. It's super portable for on-the-road writing, super handy, and if you're not overly picky about your equipment, you can get a set up like mine for less than $130. Not too shabby for people like me, who live on a shoestring budget. I bought each component of this set up over a period of four months, so as not to tax my family's finances all at once. It's a simple, low-end 10" tablet from one of the big-chain office stores, I got for $80, an inexpensive external keyboard I found on Amazon for $40 and a little USB/micro USB adapter I got for $6 online. This set up is great, and I still have the option of using the tablet for its many available apps and the internet, if needed or desired.

Of course, being something of a techie and have other setups for other purposes, and even some of the most simple of methods, such as my typewriter collection. I do so love me some vintage and antique typewriters for writing. Nothing beats the feel, sound, sight, and smell of a good, old-fashioned typewriter for drafting your novel, thesis, or just a nice letter to Aunt Fanny or Uncle Bob.

I have a couple favorite typewriters, of course, but two stand out to me the most at the moment; The first is my lovely 1953 Underwood Finger-Flite Champion, given to me by my middle son, Josh, as a Christmas gift this December 2017. The beautiful machine which is the epitome of everything a manual typewriter should be, in my opinion. The other is a 1974 Sears Electric I / with Correction, which I purchased from Goodwill for a whopping $15, and after a good cleaning, works perfectly. I have a few others that come into the favorite department, but perhaps just short of these two.

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Another lovely device I use for drafting and journaling is the unbelievably expensive-for-what-it-does, Freewrite. It is what is known as a "smart typewriter" and is intended as a distraction-free writing tool which requires no paper, and is able to send your writing to the cloud should you choose to allow it, your email if you prefer with the touch of a button, or you can just attach the USB cord and transfer directly to your computer.

The Freewrite is only a drafting tool, and you cannot access the internet through it, (other than connecting to WiFi for the cloud/email options) and it does not allow edits past backspacing. There are no arrow buttons or delete key. You simply write. That is the intended purpose of the Freewrite - to simply get the writing out of your head and onto the page which you edit at a later time, ideally when the writing is complete. It is an amazing tool if you're looking to be as productive as possible without the distraction of the internet, and still not have to keep track of physical papers. It's also a fun thing to use, which it's retro-clicky CherryMX Brown Switch keyboard, which makes it a very tactile experience but not at loud or cumbersome as a typewriter. I love mine and tend to use it most when writing in bed while my husband sleeps.

I bought my Freewrite as a reward to myself for having dealt with a horrible situation for two years from which I became injured on the job and partially but permanently disabled. I walk with a cane now, and cannot do some of the things I used to enjoy, such as hiking and fitness power-walking, but it could have been worse and wasn't, so I will be fine.

Anyway... I hope you enjoyed learning about how I get things done with my writing and thanks for stopping by! :-)

© 2018 C A Bennett


C A Bennett (author) from Somewhere in California on March 08, 2018:

Richard, you absolutely should! It's different, but it's neat

Richard P on March 08, 2018:

The Freewrite does sound neat. I'd like to give it a try sometime.

C A Bennett (author) from Somewhere in California on March 02, 2018:


Bill M on March 02, 2018:

A selection of tools for any job is quite nice. Different writing tools must be quite the same.

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