Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Writer's Best Friend

All the kids' laptops are going back to school for the summer, which leaves me, until we get the new computer, with B's laptop, which he takes to work.  The good news is, the school techs were able to get all our pictures and docs off the old PC.  That was a relief!  So, I am writing this post, thinking I will not have much of a chance to post until that shiny, new, working computer graces my computer desk.  Which may be awhile. 
I have an old laptop my B gave me, and I write on that.  It is basically a glorified word processor, and the battery holds a charge for about 5 minutes now (it used to be twenty), so I am plugged in when I write.  And it is too old to have internet hook-up because of the advanced firewalls.  But, it has become my friend.  I like the keypad, I love the double click button, and the fact that it fits perfectly in my red and pink padded laptop case... that is, it fits without the charger cord.  So, when I go to the library to sit in the Wapiti* room to write, I stuff the cord in my purse, and I try to plug in where nobody trips. 
After I finished the first drafts of my first little non-fiction book on the PC (which I fortunately transferred to old reliable a couple weeks before the PC took a nose-dive), I began to use this little Compaq Presario 2100, which was sitting in a backpack on the floor under my husbands waders in the closet.  And suddenly, I discovered I could write sitting anywhere I wanted (given there is an outlet nearby)... or even lying down, which makes it nice when you have chronic back pain, where sitting forward at a PC is painful, or you have the flu, which I did when I began writing The Inn.  And on this laptop, I took my first idea for a fictional novel, and discovered I LOVED writing fiction.  Never thought I would.  Never thought I could.  I taped a sign on the cover: Do Not Disturb, Writer At Work.  It doesn't do any good, but it makes me smile to think the the sign thinks I'm a writer.
So, a few months ago, my B came home with a brand new laptop for his work.  A sleek, slim, sexy MacBook Pro.  He had me work on it, just for kicks, because he was so excited.  I was skeptical.  Where was the double click?  Where was the cord, guaranteeing it didn't go blank in the middle of my unsaved paragraph?  And what was with the apple key?  Ctrl+c doesn't copy?  What, Apple is so full of itself it overrode the ctrl key?  But my husband just smiled as I worked out the kinks to this modern beauty I was sure was all looks and fluff, nothing more substantial than old reliable.
And then, I fell in love with it.  How superficial could I be?  The keys were smooth, soft, quiet.  The gel-like touchpad gave into my fingers like bread dough (you bakers know what I'm talking about).  I could grab and paste in one graceful stroke... pictures, documents... it was a whole new, tangible world of grace and technology.  And don't get me started on iPhoto.  How could I be seduced so easily?  
"I want one of these!" I declared after fifteen minutes.
But, B just laughed, and shook his head, and said, "Oh, my dear... the school bought me this.  I do not think they will buy you one.  But isn't it glorious?" (or something like that).  He gently took the sultry machine from my tightening grip, and with one last wrench, walked away with it.
But, my Compaq has been with me from the beginning... all eight and a half months.  I open it up and can see all my work there on my desktop (and a few photos that were somehow transferred there in 2003... family pictures on temple Square in SLC, with Maren making the squinky-eye Uncle Josh taught her the night before in every photo but one, which made the Christmas card... funny story).  I still love my Compaq.  I have always been loyal... I was born in the year of the Dog.  So, I will stick with what I know, what works right now, faithful and true, and grateful.
But I'm not stupid.  I know all that stuff would transfer quite easily to a new MacBook Pro.

*Wapiti is an indian name for Elk.  It is also the name of a beautiful little town between Cody and the eastern entrance to Yellowstone.  I have a freezer full of Wapiti.

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