Death Rattles in the New Year

The first sign of my computer’s failing was nearly a year ago.  The screen would suddenly go blank, throwing up a solid blue nothingness while making a sickly little blipping noise.  My tech-savvy son said, “Yup. Hewlett-Packard’s are known for that.  It’s gonna die.”  Great.  A new computer.  Right when I had decided to format my two completed novels for e-publication.  And far more importantly, right when I had begun a new, third novel.

Anyone who writes will tell you that its success depends on a hair’s breath of “talent” (let’s say less than 1%), an abundance of grueling, persistent hard work (90%), and that the remaining >10% is a mystical amalgamation of caffeine, alcohol, the alignment of the stars, witchcraft, amulets, rituals, and the elusive ephemera called inspiration.  Most of us would argue that following our rituals extremely closely is the way in which we open the door for inspiration to find its way in.  And if it doesn’t; well, at least we are fully and happily caffeinated, sitting in our favorite spot, wearing our lucky slippers.

My point being that I am deeply, and profoundly, attached to my laptop computer.

And I am absolutely convinced that I will be unable to write a single word, let alone a decent sentence, let alone a multi-hundred page novel on some interloping, new, unfamiliar piece of machinery that I have NO BOND WITH.  Never mind that this particular HP laptop is actually my fourth laptop and the fifth computer on which I have written.  Never mind that the first draft of my first novel was written almost entirely on a desktop computer in a dark basement in the pre-dawn hours.  Never mind that, as my son and daughter feel compelled to point out to me on a regular basis, I don’t really need a laptop at all, since I never move the thing from its place on the table in my sun room.  Well, of course I never move it!  How else would I be able to sit in my lucky chair to write!!

This is NOT an area where we can blindly believe that the past will prove predictive of the future; in other words, the historical fact that I have adjusted to numerous different computers with relatively little difficulty CANNOT BE COUNTED UPON to foretell that it would be the same in some hypothetical, untested future with some hypothetical, untested electronic device that may simply have terribly bad juju.

WATCH FOR PART 2 of this story…coming soon.

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