my third eye and my detachable appendage

I am off overseas tomorrow for a month, and am travelling light. Well … trying to. I do have a BIG suitcase, half of which is filled with my daughter’s clothes. She’s living in New York and part of my trip will be visiting her. Of course, a big suitcase means that I can fill it up with a whole lot of new clothes, just for me!

But I am not taking a laptop which makes me feel very light indeed, and a little insecure.

My laptop is my third eye, my detachable appendage, my lifeline to the outside when I’m inside my novel. But lugging it to the top of the world, then across to another part of the world and back again is crazy. For one, it’s heavy and fairly big, and I’m light and fairly small. For another, even though it’s all backed up on Time Machine, I would be afraid of dropping it or having it stolen.

So, as a compromise, I am taking my iPad. It works great as a mobile office but I’m not sure how it will be for writing the novel/novels that I’m going to be working on.

I’m starting a new novel, which is always very exciting after working for 2 years on the Poppy series. I also want to write a lot of it in San Giovanni Valdarno where I’ll be for two weeks as this little town is where some of my story will be set. I have three smaller novels which I’d like to rework, remould, re-inspire. Hopefully one will become a Bite or a Nibble.


The first thing I did to prepare for my trip was to send drafts of my stories as attachments to myself. I then opened the email up on my iPad and saved the attachments to Pages. I really wish Scrivener had an iPad version but it doesn’t.

I will also take my light, cordless keyboard, I use with my laptop. I don’t like writing on the iPad’s virtual one.

And I’d love to take my beautiful mug that a very dear friend made for me, but that is definitely not travelling light.


And for the evenings, after I’ve done 4 hours of Italian language class, strolled through the piazza and around the town, jotted down notes for my novel and returned to my room to write, I will watch a movie. I know you can rip movies off the internet but I like to do it the legal way. Renting is cheap enough, although there’s not a huge selection in iTunes. I was struggling to find something I wanted to watch.

And then of course I have Facebook and Twitter and gmail and kindle books (I’m reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness) and I have Skype if I’m in a wifi area to talk to family. I can update my website and add posts on my blog, so all in all the iPad is a small but efficient detachable appendage.

4 thoughts on “my third eye and my detachable appendage

  1. Have a wonderful and safe trip Gabrielle, sounds like a wonderful journey ahead.
    I have an iPad also, a great Christmas birthday present from my family because they thought it an appropriate tool and that is what it is. Although I prefer to use my laptop for writing it has proven to be invaluable as I am often in situations where I don’t have my laptop but have time to write (waiting in the car for kids at band is a major one) I have a great keyboard set up with mine called a Zagg, it fits on the original sized iPad and is FANTASTIC as it is also a cover that protects the front rather than the back. It works as a stand and makes it into a mini computer. It is specially designed to work just with the iPad and I don’t regret having to order it from America.
    I look forward to reading about your journey.
    Christina

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