Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Paper and Pen

My laptop is out of commission. It's a long and sorry tale, but the short version is I tangled the power cord in my crutches and k-o'd the power connector in the laptop. So until my battery dies, I have a fully functioning laptop. It just can't charge the battery or run on power.


I did have enough battery life (assisted by a dear friend who lent me *her* thinkpad to use as a battery charger) to copy all my mission-critical files to our server and I can access pretty much the basics from the desktop computer in the upstairs office. I was even able to import my firefox profile so all my bookmarks and saved passwords are here on the office computer just as if it was my trusty T-40 laptop.

So, nothing lost, nothing irrevocable. Just annoying. The laptop is portable--it goes where I go. To access my work, I have to clump up the stairs, squeeze through the myriad piles of stuff on the floor of the office (hubby's really, not mine) and log into the desktop. Not a big deal under typical circumstances, but I broke my foot a few weeks ago and am only able to bear partial weight on it. Maneuvering on crutches can be tricky, especially up and down stairs.

I often do my writing at the same time the kiddos do their homework. With the laptop, I can be in the same room, spot impending meltdown before it happens, and be available to help answer questions or just keep one or the other on track.

So, I did something retro. Radical for me. I took out a spiral bound notebook, got a pen, and started writing.

Wow. You don't have to hit 'save' or have the temptation to check your blog reader just once more before working on the manuscript. I did wonder about how you ensured the file would still be there after you closed the book. But at least I didn't have to resort to a tech support call.

Actually, all kidding aside, there is something soothing about composing on paper with a pen rather than typing on the screen, something sensual and more immediate. I tend to write my first drafts for poems longhand, but most of my fiction on the computer. One thing I've noticed is I'm less likely to go back and edit the handwritten draft. Perhaps that will translate into more writing more quickly without that pesky internal editor making life difficult.

So far, so good, with the lined pages filling up with my chicken scrawl. I'll be in good shape as long as I can read it later to transcribe it.

1 comment:

  1. You are right, there is just something about fresh paper and pen that can get the creative juices flowing. Maybe it's just memories of the first day of school;)

    Hope you are able to fix/get the laptop back soon!