I want to preface this post that I firmly believe all things happen for a reason, a good reason.
My computer died yesterday.
The details of said death are that our power went out and when it came back on, my computer didn’t reboot along with others. I have no idea WHY, for some good reason I suppose. (Although even after a night’s sleep, saved files, and a new machine to be sorted this weekend, I still can’t fathom this incident in the big picture.) All I know is that this morning, I’m at the kitchen table, on a laptop, thinking how life can change on a dime.
The series I’m currently publishing is CHOCK FULL of that sentiment; crap happens, and it’s true. A silenced PC is small in the grand scheme, I accept that with the idea of first world problems. Oh, your computer died? Well, people are starving all over and Syria’s a mess and let’s not even get started on _______________ (fill in with whatever recent crisis eats at your gut).
So yes, in the bigger picture, this is a temporary glitch that by the end of this weekend will be another anecdote to my life. However…
As a writer, I’ve been gutted. So while it’s a small-ish pain in the arse, it has also been a huge upset to my apple cart. I’m a creature of habit, all my ducks just so, even if that means in a mess on my desk My habit is to write, edit, format. On one machine, which is a collection of wires and power supplies and data chips. But within those soulless-looking components, hearts beat; mine and all those I’ve birthed. Hundreds of characters, thousands of scenes, millions of words lay trapped within that stripped tower.
I felt that compromised last night. Football, so what? Baseball, who cares? I was Dorothy in Oz, pining for Kansas like nobody’s business. I’m a wife, a mother, many roles. But when all have gone to their daily tasks, I turn to that computer, those stories. Then all went black.
Metaphorically vanished; the hard drive was plugged into my husband’s machine, all my beautiful, precious Word documents, music files, and photographs safe. But some things have been lost; playlists on iTunes that weren’t on my iPod. My spouse thinks he’ll be able to rescue bookmarks that I hadn’t transferred onto the laptop. Which of course will occur when I have a minute after the Big Swap happens.
(Back up back up back up…)
What hurt most, what made me cry, enfolded in his strong, patient arms, was the sense of how much this means to be. I had no idea what writing and publishing meant until last night. It means… not the world, but a good hunk of it. It means who I am beyond a wife and mother, some essence that I can’t even put into words, some magical, ethereal gift that swirls in my brain and bubbles in my soul, but needs technology to facilitate its release. I need a computer, Word, iTunes, and Adobe Photoshop just as much as I require paper, gel-tip pens, and post-it notes, all part and parcel of my writing. A plethora of plots is wonderful, but without the proper tools…
By the end of the evening, I was nestled into my husband, trying to make sense of all I had realized, which included the blessing of his love and understanding. My football team didn’t compound the gloom (but we won’t speak of the SF Giants). I still had no idea why this had happened, but life isn’t perfect, fair, comprehensible It just IS, but then, so is the writing. Yes, NaNo starts in two weeks, and I want to publish An Innate Sense of Recognition at the end of this month. The timing for this twist isn’t exactly sweet, but oh well. The motherboard is dead. I am not.