by Bryan Patrick Avery
It’s summertime! That means different things to different people but, for me, it means I’m setting out on the road. My summers, in addition to being filled with travel, are generally spent on deadline. This summer is no exception. So, how do I make sure I can keep up my writing schedule when I travel? Simple: I use basic, easy to carry tools that get the job done. This month, I’ll open up my backpack and share my travel must have.
Every published story or book I’ve written started life in a Blackwing pencil. I still write longhand before typing a word into my computer. The way my hand and brain are connected helps me tap into my creativity. Blackwing pencils have a stories history and have been used by Chuck Jones (of Looney Tunes fame), John Steinbeck, and Shamus Culhane (Walt Disney Co.) among others. These are the highest quality pencils I’ve ever used and they feel amazing. Be warned, if you start writing with a Blackwing pencil, you might not ever want to use anything else.
Moleskine Cahier Notebooks
What started as an impulse buy at Costco has become a necessity for me. These softcover notebooks are perfect for writing. The paper is smooth and provides the perfect surface for my Blackwing pencils. Everything manuscript I’ve written over the past several years was written, first, in a Cahier notebook. They have different sizes (from pocket size to XL) which allow you to choose the best size for your style and needs. I use the XL size (which is still very easy to travel with. If you’re looking for a sturdy but portable notebook, try the Moleskine Cahier.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
If, like me, you like to shut out the world around you while you’re writing, you’ve probably tried noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. I absolutely love my QuietComfort Earbuds II from Bose. The noise cancelling feature works really well. Plus, you can adjust the level of cancellation if you need to hear at least a little bit of what is happening around you. In addition to that, if you have trouble finding earbuds that fit you (as I do), these come with multiple customizing attachments to help you get the perfect fit. I love them, and I think you will too.
Microsoft Surface Pro with Pen
At some point in my travels, I’ll need to review a contract, answer an email, or type up a manuscript. That’s where my Surface Pro comes in. On my second Surface Pro over the past decade and I wouldn’t use anything else. It has all the power of a top of the line laptop but takes up half the space (and weight). With the detachable keyboard and Surface Pen, I can do anything I need to do to keep my writing career moving forward. In just the past few months, I reviewed and signed a contract, submitted two different outlines to one of my editors, hosted a webinar, and reviewed and commented on galleys for an upcoming release. I don’t know where I’d be without it. If you’re looking for a versatile computer to meet all your writing needs, I highly recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro.
Well, that’s all for this month. Happy writing (and traveling) and have a magical month.
Bryan Patrick Avery is an award-winning poet and author of more than a dozen books for children including the middle grade collective biography, BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE, illustrated by Nikita Leanne and THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, illustrated by Jerome White. Bryan is also the author of the middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, which appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, the Jake Maddox JV Mysteries OFF BASE and SOCCER SUSPICIONS, the early chapter book series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, illustrated by Arief Putra, and the picture books EARL LEARNS A LESSON and MAX’S MAGIC CHANGE, both illustrated by Roman Diaz. He is the 2021 recipient of the SCBWI Work in Progress Award for his chapter book mystery THE ROBOT IN THE LIBRARY.
Bryan serves on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is an Amplify Black Stories Fellow, a joint program presented by the Brown Bookshelf and the Highlights Foundation. Bryan lives in Northern California with his family.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break