I wonder sometimes how I managed before technology took over my writing life. I used to fill notebooks with handwritten scenes and stories - always double spacing, of course. Inevitably, most pages were filled with scratches, arrows, and even numbered inserts. Using a typewriter wasn't a whole lot better. I remember literally filling a wastebasket with crumpled pages just like in the movies and whiteout was definitely my all time favorite invention.
I was reminded recently just how good I have it these days. It all started about two weeks ago when I went back to my teaching job after a very productive summer of writing. The very first thing that happened was a computer crash of the worst kind on my school computer. I lost all of my files (I know, I know... I should have been better at backing them up...) The only up side was I got a brand new computer out of the deal - not that thrilling when I already had all my classwork prepared and would also have to go through the process of resetting all my networks etc.
As if this wasn't enough, about that same time I noticed some very strange things happening on my computer at home. I was getting a lot of random 'pop-ups' (mostly ads), my computer was running at an extremely slow pace, and I got several messages from people saying they suspected my twitter account had been hacked. Sure enough, it seemed that somehow, somewhere, my computer had been compromised. Fortunately, my son-in-law is a bit of an IT guy, so he came to my rescue. Unfortunately, his advice is to 'nuke and pave' (a techie term for wipe everything and start over...) Until he can get to that, I'm not to go online on that computer.
The story doesn't end there, however. My personal laptop, which is by computer standards, a dinosaur, refused to connect to our wireless internet. I spent several days with only my phone for internet access. (Imagine!) Again, son-in-law to the rescue and I'm now using my laptop, but it is oh-so-slow and will simply not do everything I am used to doing.
With all this techno-trauma I haven't had any time to write, let alone keep up with the amount of sharing online that I normally do. In some ways, I've rather enjoyed it. I had an excuse for not spending so much time in front of the computer! There is finally some light at the end of this tunnel, however. Our work IT guy retrieved all my files and has transferred them to my new work computer, which I will also be able to take home and use if needed. My ever faithful son-in-law is going to 'fix' my home computer next weekend when he has time.
And just in time, too. The Inscribe conference coming in less than two weeks and I'm doing a workshop on blogging. The irony of my lack of internet access hasn't been lost on me. My personal blog has been sorely neglected these past few weeks. Still, it serves as a reminder that I need to count my blessings, even those that come with megs of ram.