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Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

July 2013

“Write until your fingers break. It may be the cure for everything.” - Kelly O'Connor McNees.

A favorite quote, but one of our occasional contributors, Gregory Hargrave, has recently acquired THE writing tool for aspiring authors, so with it you type type type. He explains, "My Alphasmart NEO. I LOVE this device. What writer wouldn't? Allow me to sing its praises:

They're dirt cheap—a bit over $100, new. They weigh under two pounds and are very durable, so you can write nearly anywhere. They perform one function: the simplest, most straightforward sort of word processing. (Forget distractions, such as games, e-mail, "researching" on the internet, etc. When you sit down with it to write, you will WRITE.) The keyboard is full size and a pleasure to type on. Everything is solid state, so the NEO generates NO heat and will operate for up to 700 hours on three AA batteries. (SEVEN HUNDRED HOURS, with no recharges. No laptop on the planet will do that.) Mine has 8 independent file areas, each accessible at the touch of a separate key, which I've calculated will hold 25 single-spaced pages of text each. (When I'm thinking in terms of a novel, I assign one chapter to each file.) When you're ready to do some serious editing, you simply plug the NEO into your PC via its USB cable, open an empty file in your word processor of choice, and hit the SEND button. The content of the NEO file quickly transfers to the word processor page, beginning at whatever point the word processors cursor was positioned.

This, in my humble opinion, is the fiction writer's perfect first draft machine. Did that sound like an advertisement? It was actually a public service announcement to any fellow writers out there. The NEO2 is presently available from NEO Direct. (You can often find the earlier model on eBay for around 50 bucks.)

Here's a link to the NEO Direct page that details its features."

Thanks, Greg.

Speaking of authors, our "By The Numbers" Michael John Fierro passed this along,"Once again, my book has moved up the charts on Amazon! This is my ranking as of 9:50 AM. Gregg Hinlicky Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #43 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > New Age > Divination > Numerology." Don't miss his column in this issue, "The Progression and Meaning of the Numbers."

Sugar is on Eric Shackle's mind, and he shares his thoughts about it in "Queensland Cane Growers Should Switch to Sugar Beets." Peg Jones ("Angel Whispers") lets us in on the countdown shivers as she waits for her book, “Living In The Heart Place With Your Angels: Daily Angelical Whispers Throughout the Year” to get in the Amazon market.

"Irish Eyes" by Mattie Lennon, tells about the unique Mobile Cottage; Thomas F. O'Neill, of Suchou, China, discusses economics in "Introspective."

Judy Kroll ("On Trek") talks about "Attitudes" and possible alterations one can apply. John I. Blair's column "Always Looking-People Who Made A Difference VIII" drew this appraisal from him, "This is about Maurice B. Visscher, an important Humanist and scientist, once famous, who deserves to be remembered."

We are pleased to carry an article by a long time friend, Scott Chase, who authored "It Was A Special Event." Be sure to check out his bio - just click his byline.

Scott Chase

Joi Smith has two poems this issue from one extreme to the other, "Sacrifice" and "Thanks." Joi can make the hair stand up on your arms!

John I. Blair's three poems are "72," "Body Functions," and "Leaves That Move without A Breeze." Nice to see John's poetry picking up again.

Bruce Clifford also has two poems for July, "Hard to Get (The Broken Fork)" and "It's Hard to Say." The poem "A Ballgame" by yours truly arose from hours of watching my baseball teams win and lose. Can't compare to number of hours they actually put in during a season, not counting the travel time.

The new chapter in the adult fantasy with rabbits by Mark Crocker is "Rabbo II, Chapter 16-Battle plans." Previous chapters of this tale can be accessed by clicking the author's name.

See you in August! Our co-founder and webmaster Michael Craner, is cooking up some exciting projects for Pencil Stubs Online. Can't reveal everything just yet, but our authors should not be surprised to hear from him shortly. Thank you, Mike, you're always planning ahead.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


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