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.


Problem Child said...

A: I was very well behaved, considering.

B: I did offer the aid of DG and my condolences over the keyboard.

C: I was very well behaved, considering :-)

See, it's like the dark humor that wards away the fear with laughter. If my server goes down for longer than a second, I'm in a panic, on the phone to my ISP raising holy heck. If I get less than 30 emails in a day, I feel lost, abandoned, neglected and forgotten.

DG and I have his and her computers becuase we don't share well. AC asked for her own computer last week becuase mommy and daddy were both on theirs and she was tired of drawing and wanted to play HER games. (I should start a pool on how long before DG gives in and gets her one.)

So, by making fun of you, I exposed my own dark fears.

Welcome back to this century, Angel.


Playground Monitor said...

She's back!!!!!!!!!!!

We missed you while you were incommunicado. I agree that writing is a strangely unsolitary solitary pasttime. And for me, the internet is a tremendous research tool. I do research for pay as well as for my own writing. The story that sold last week came about from a simple Google search.

Sure, I'm hooked on the computer. But if it wasn't this, it would be something else.


P.S. Happy birthday Drama Queen!

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

A.A. Milne

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Back Angel!!!

"If I get less than 30 emails in a day, I feel lost, abandoned, neglected and forgotten."

LOL...I am the same way...I didn't realize how much I depended on the computer and how much I enjoyed checking my e-mail until I went away for a few days and had no access to a computer. My family said that I was going through withdrawals. I just like being able to connect with others all over the world. I have met some interesting and wonderful people through the internet (including the Playfriends).

However, like Playground Monitor said, if it wasn't this it would be something else (and it could be worse).

Happy Birthday to Drama Queen!!!

Smarty Pants said...

The internet is my tie to the world. I only talk on the phone when absolutely necessary (ie. when I'm having a panic attack or SQUEEE-ing online isn't gratifying enough.)

When I go to my in-laws, who live in an internet free world - I nearly go crazy. This is especially the case now because I know - I JUST KNOW - that there's something going on with the playfriends and I'm missing it! Ack!

I'm sad this morning for no good reason. I hate that.


Rhonda said...

Why didn't I know that you had a blog??? Have you always had a blog? Was the blog here when the site first went live, cause I was here and I don't remember seeing a blog. Of course, I could simply be losing my mind. It comes and goes as it is. :-)

Anyway, I completely get the whole disconnected feeling of losing your computer. My laptop crashed for absolutely no reason a couple of weeks ago and, while I had the office computer, you'd have thought one of my children had become ill. It was awful. (I do all of my writing on the laptop though, and have developed a mental block about writing on anything else.) The week it was gone was excrutiating. I guess the point of all of this is that anything can be addictive.

Like this blog. Now I'll have to come back. :-)

See you Saturday!

Problem Child said...

Hey Rhonda!!!

So glad you found the blog.

I'm like you...I write on my laptop. The desktop is for emails and internet surfing. Since the laptop isn't connected to the internet (much to Darling Geeks dismay), I can't get distracted with email when the writing gets tough.


Rhonda said...

My laptop is networked, so I often get...sidetracked. But I still like working on it better than anything else. I *need* it. :-)

Instigator said...

Hi Rhonda! Great to see you here :-)

And Welcome Back Angel! We missed you. And only laughed slightly about your misfortune.

Happy Birthday Drama Queen. 6. It doesn't seem possible yet. They're growing up so fast.

As for being connected. You've hit on a weakness of mine. I'm overly connected to my computers (work and home). I know I've spent too much time with my favorite time sucker when Sweet Pea begs me not to get on the computer AGAIN at night but to spend time with her. It's the first thing I do in the morning, when I get to work, when I get home, after I put the girls to bed, right before I head to bed. I must check my email and the blog fifty times a day. And heaven forbid if I'm not getting enough electronic information. I start panicing that something isn't working.

That's the only problem with going to the beach (can you tell I've got beach on the brain?) There's only 1 laptop computer and dial-up service for everyone to use (about 12 people in my family). It won't be pretty that Friday when they announce the GH finalists. I'm taking my cell phone and I better get a call when one or all of you final!!!!!


Olga said...

Hugs on the keyboard. I feel your pain. Computer became my lifeline, too!

Angel said...

This just must not be my week with electronics. This morning the toaster oven started smoking. Great!


Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Angel. These things usually come in 3's.