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Write From the Start

Keep Taking The Tablets

Rob Parnell

I feel like one of those characters that's been in a coma for thirty years - either that or I've been in suspended animation like some science fiction hero on a space voyage.

I may be one of the last people on the planet to buy a tablet. 

A Samsung 10.1 to be precise - but my head has been turned upside down by this thing.

It's pretty damn fine.

I really only got it so I could show people my movies if I happened to be out somewhere. 

You know, if I bumped into Spielberg by accident or something... you never know.

Another reason was to see what my "Write Stuff" mobile app looked like. 

I mean it's all very well making an app but I needed to see it in action so to speak! 

I meant to get a small, cheap tablet. 

We've already got a Kindle and I thought, let's just get a color one so I can see what all the fuss is about...

The salesman talked us into something more substantial. 

And am I glad he did?

I've already downloaded one of those funky star charts you hold up to the sky. 

I'm still marveling how it moves around to tell you exactly what you're looking at!

I've started reading Dan Brown's new Inferno - something I may have waited to get if not for the tablet. 

It's pretty amazing to be reading a Dan Brown and to be able to look up pictures of the things he describes - and research the history behind his stories - something I always end up doing when I read Dan's stuff.

Plus, I've been using the tablet to write an outline for my latest novel - a crime thriller. 

It's great because I can use the 'Note" function, which allows me to write directly onto the screen - so I'm getting ideas down (in bed or at the beach) as fast as I can think of them!

I know I'm going to sound like an ad for Samsung but I can't recommend this thing highly enough.

Robyn has started calling it our third pet - because of the way I'm constantly playing with it. 

I've resisted the temptation to download any actual games. 

I'm still enjoying all the other stuff too much.

Like watching videos in the garden and being able to answer my emails in the car or in a cafe.

Okay, I guess I have to admit to the real reason why I held off getting a tablet for so long...

I've never liked Apple. 

There - I've said it. 

Mac users everywhere will be bristling - as they always do when they're not being smug about their 'virus free' machines.

But I always had a sneaking suspicion Steve Jobs, much as I respected and admired him, was a self absorbed doodad who might deliberately exaggerate what his products could do.

Strangely enough, when I read his autobiography, I discovered that's exactly what he did...

(There's a famous advertising poster from the 1980s showing a guy doing his accounts on his Apple Mac at the kitchen table - something that the machine was incapable of doing at the time.) 


From a writer's point of view I think a tablet is a much better alternative to scraps of paper. 

You can use it anywhere. On the hop. On the bus or train. So you need never let those ideas get away again.

I like the way PDFs open without extra software. I like the way you can input with a keyboard, a pen or your voice.

If I have one criticism it's a small one.

It's clear that the big guys - Google, Facebook, Apple - have this whole 'mobile' thing sown up. 

Sometimes you feel you're just walking through a huge virtual mall designed with only one purpose: to prize cash out of you.

It's way too easy to spend money on silly stuff you don't need because you're always just a click away from an impulse purchase!

Still, it's a small enough price to pay to feel so connected to everything - without actually having to step outside your door.

And for an unsociable self absorbed doodad like me, that's fabulous.

So glad I woke up in the 21st century - finally!

Keep Writing!

 rob at home

Rob Parnell
The Easy Way to Write


"Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window." William Faulkner

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