Monday, March 06, 2006
Computers, Gotta Love 'Em!
As you all know by now, I killed my keyboard on Friday night with a glass of sweet tea. I knew I shouldn't be drinking at the computer, but as a mother of small children I've become scary good at multi-tasking. Thus, I poured half a glass of tea right onto the keys. I frantically upended it in the sink, dismayed at the amount of liquid pouring out. Then I followed Kim's husband's suggestions on cleaning and drying it. All I can say is, my keyboard was cleaner than it had been in years when I buried it.
Being without a keyboard for several days has left immeasurable trauma. Though I could view emails and posts, I couldn't respond. By the way, Problem Child, it isn't fair to pick on someone who can't defend herself! Though I understand why you couldn't resist. I probably would have done the same in your shoes. :) My husband was considerate enough not to laugh at me, though I'm sure it took a lot for him to restrain himself.
Luckily nothing crucial happened on the Playground this weekend or the playfriends would have been bombarded with telephone calls. I would have become the person who is studiously ignored when their phone number comes up on caller ID. You see, our conversations can start from one simple question and go on for hours. No kidding.
It is amazing how attached I've become to my computer. At this point in my life, I would almost call it a lifeline for me. Why so extreme? Well, I write on it; I stay connected to the writing/publishing world on it; I keep up with PRO and chapter info on it; I communicate with other writers and my dearest friends with it. If my family were on it, it would encompass my world.
Having the keyboard taken away from me emphasized how often everyday I check my email. I continued to check it even though I couldn't respond (talk about frustrating!). I saw how often I drop onto the blog to see what's up. Luckily, the loss wasn't as devastating for me in terms of writing, simply because my daughter's birthday party was on Saturday and I spent Sunday washing, hanging, and pinning clothes for a consignment sale. Plus, I write my drafts long-hand and easily turn to that for notes and stuff. So I could have gotten around it if I needed to write. Except I couldn't blog. :)
Many people assume writers are solitary creatures. We are, to a certain extent. The work won't get done unless we hole up and actually put words to paper (or screen, as the case may be). But computers have opened up a whole writing community for us. I don't have to wait for my next chapter meeting to talk to another writer. I can email a question or offer of lunch. One of my chapters has a Yahoo loop that keeps me abreast of everyone's news. Since it's a chapter that is farther away from my home, I don't get to attend their meetings as often. Reading everyone's emails has helped me to get to know some wonderful people.
I'm a member of a critique group that does all our work online. Thank goodness! I couldn't imagine standing in front of someone and reading my work. There is something less personal about receiving criticism, however constructive, within a document rather than face to face. Plus, I can do it at my own pace. Another meeting would mean needing a babysitter (again), so I probably wouldn't do it.
As a PRO member of RWA, I'm granted access to the PRO loops which offer a ton of information from members at similar stages to mine. There are also general RWA loops and ones for published authors too. Not to mention author websites, research sites, and the site where I check my horoscope.
I think if I was without my computer (completely) for more than 48 hours, I'd go bonkers. Unless I was on vacation-but maybe not even then. That's sad, I know. But I can't help it. I probably shouldn't be so attached to the darn thing. But it has truly been a blessing to my writing life and personal life.
I have to say that, especially after this past weekend, I love my computer. Although I haven't gone so far as to name it like some people I know. :)
PS-I'd like to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my darling Drama Queen. She turns 6 today. I love you, sweetheart.