Say hello to my little friends (2 sweet new research wranglers for the writer's toolbox)
Spent last week with my current memoir guru client and her wonderful mother. We talked for hours, poured over photo albums, dug into dusty boxes of old letters, sifted through thousands of press clippings. I came away with a blossoming vision of this important book, completely on fire for the project, but more than a little overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information needing to be assimilated. Fortunately, I came to the project armed with two nifty new tools -- both priced at less than $100 -- every research hound needs in her laptop bag.
Sony ICD-UX71 Digital Voice Recorder
Tiny, super easy to operate, and quick to upload with a built in USB connection that pops right into the side of my laptop. Features include ambient noise reduction and transcription friendly slow-down. Stores up to 287 hours of audio and doubles as an MP3 player. And it's red! (Also available in silver for boring people.)
Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner
So glad I didn't buy the portable scanner that requires feed-through! Many of my client's old letters were written on that incredibly thin old-school airmail paper. And one was written on toilet paper. No way would I have risked damaging these. This flatbed scanner is super lightweight and slender. It slides right into my laptop bag alongside my computer, requires no independent power (draws from the computer through USB connection), and quickly renders high resolution images that store neatly on hard drive or upload instantly to online storage.
Research is truly (for me) one of the great pleasures of the writing life, and I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills and resources. Any suggestions?