It’s not easy to get back in gear after a decent vacation; the family and I had a pleasant six days to get nice and spoiled by not doing much of anything. I casually did just a bit of outlining for the next novel, and started a story string which I will probably use for a stand-alone Urban Fantasy novel sometime in the future (I took my tablet along with me so no one would suspect that I was up to anything), but mostly what I did was relax and drink an awful lot of beer with my father-in-law. It was nice to set the novel aside, set Scrivener aside, set work, and all the other day-to-day stresses aside and just focus on existing — I went after the Zen of the vacation, and did pretty decent in my efforts… it’s the most, honest-to-God, down-time I’ve had in a really long time.
But all good things must come to an end, as the old adage goes; the return to work was bumpy and the week (although it was a short week since I went back on a Tuesday) seemed to drag on… I was back performing my job duties, but my brain was still very much on the beach of South Padre Island. The Monday of our return, I purposefully didn’t jump back in to writing because I wanted to get everything completely unpacked and put away… plus I knew I’d just end up sitting and staring at the screen because of the aforementioned brain problem… which is what ended up happening to me on Tuesday night. It’s one of the dangers of putting something like a novel aside for a little while, I guess. No regrets though: even if it felt like I was shitting lava rocks, I still managed to get my target word count out on Tuesday and again last night. I didn’t write Wednesday night because my new toy was delivered.
I got a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Why? Because, that’s why. Actually I got it because the price is very nice (199 bones for the 8 gig), it has a quad-core processor, the seven inch screen form factor makes it very easy to take along with me anywhere I go (I’ve composed some of the chapters for my novel on my Android phone which, as you might imagine, isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world to do on a four and a quarter inch screen… a seven inch screen is better), and the reviews I read (for example, this one and this one) were largely positive. I have an Asus Transformer TF101 which I like a lot and which I took on vacation with me, but it’s not exactly the lightest thing in the world. With the keyboard dock attached it weighs almost as much as some laptops, and it’s a 10.1 inch screen with a big chunk of Corning Gorilla Glass on it. The TF101 is great, but I don’t see myself tapping away on it on the bus or at a restaurant… and, honestly, the keyboard on the dock isn’t great. Mobile authorship, that’s what I’m after, and the Nexus 7 is just too good a deal to pass up.
I was looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 seven inch model, but they’re pricey and I was already impressed by a tablet made by Asus… which the Nexus 7 tablet is, under the direct auspices of Google. Needless to say, I got a bit excited about it… and when it arrived… I received one with a defective screen… The upside of the story is that Google customer service was actually very nice and I have a replacement tablet on the way; the down side, of course, is that I got a taste of the device and then had to send it back… I was so impressed by Android 4.1 (Jellybean) that I’m considering laying down the $350 for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone, since it will receive the update to Jellybean long before any other phones do… hell, mine hasn’t even been upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)… I’m still on Gingerbread…
Wow, sorry… this posting went tangential and wound up being about tech rather than writing… but in a round-about sort of way, it’s about writing since that’s exactly what I intend to use my technology for. See, this is what I’m talking about: I went on vacation figuring I’d come back focused and ready to tackle the rest of the novel with gusto… it just didn’t turn out that way… but it will. Eventually (hopefully, sooner as opposed to later) my brain will kick back into gear and I’ll hit it with abandon… I’m almost finished.