Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2 Hours/12 Minutes Without a Computer

When my miniMac produced the message "Restart Your Computer" in about five languages, I called Rent a Nerd. Doug said the problem was serious and that he needed to take my computer to his house for a few hours to reinstall my operating system using his computer.

7:07 p.m.: He unplugged my lifeline and walked out the door.

My heart pounded as I watched him drive away. For five minutes, I couldn't focus. I paced the house, trying to reassure myself that it would all turn okay. I had used my flash drive earlier to back up everything I ever wrote—seven novels, five scripts, hundreds of magazine articles, hundreds of query letters, dozens of essays, a handful of blogs, and a zillion other little things. It took 23 minutes to preserve a lifetime of work.

I couldn't stay still. So I started to clean. I swept and mopped the floors, then looked at the clock: 7:36: What now? It was way too early to sit down and relax with a book. That doesn't happen until 10 p.m. and not always then.

I started writing this blog in my head as I dusted the living room. My fingers itched to get the words down as they came to me. But I had no computer. I went back to my husband's office to see if he wanted to take a walk. He wasn't around. But there sat his computer, monitor on and keyboard still warm. It's a PC! I thought. But I needed to write. I needed to be productive. I can do this, I thought. I wrote my first novel on a Commodore 64, my second novel on a Brother word processor, and my third novel on a primitive PC. I looked around his menu for some kind of Word software and couldn’t find any! His Gmail was open, so I clicked "Compose" and started to write. It was awkward using a standard keyboard and Big Bear chair, but I had a story to tell. So I wrote most of this blog in an e-mail and sent it to myself.

8:15 and no call. I found my husband and we went for a walk, cell phone clutched tightly in hand.

9:02 and the phone finally rings. Doug did not have good news. I needed a new machine. But he brought my wounded Mac back to me and fired it up.

9:19 and I’m back in Word, online, and in my familiar world.

Yes, I am addict. And there is no cure.

4 comments:

Marta Stephens said...

Earlier this spring, we had several thunder storms sweep through the area that produced state-wide damage and floods. I was without my Internet for four days. I could write ... on my PC ;)but was totally lost without e-mail. This coming from someone who remembers typing on a manual and using onion skins. LOL

zhadi said...

YOu poor thing... I am a Mac user at home too and understand the pain when the baby has to go into the doctor's...

Chris V. said...

Okay I admit, I'm a pc addict. But I understand the addiction just the same. Taking the computer away is like losing a limb. Isn't that terrible? Gosh what did we do before that? (Probably more work, less blogging etc. ha!)
Great post!

©Hotbutton Press said...

I recently lost my desktop in a thunderstorm. Fortunately, I had already ordered a new laptop and had my Alphasmart to pound on in the interim. It's not so much the internet I'm addicted to, but the keyboard. I can type faster than write, and I just think too fast for my pen to keep up. I also forget too fast at my age, so getting the words down immediately is essential. Young people always say, "if it's important, you'll remember". They are so, so wrong. LOL.

Dani
http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com