I have been MIA from the Internet as of late due to three things: story revision, my crazy life, and story revision.Currently, I loathe revision more than I ever have.
For Christmas, I got a bright and shiny new laptop. For a time, I felt really cool moving my laptop around. In those spare minutes when all was quiet in the house, I was working on stories. I can write that way, in short periods of time. I always read about those writers who do yoga for an hour while gazing at the sunrise, have a cup of organic green tea and summon the muse prior to beginning writing.
Here, it's more like gag some coffee down, throw wet towels into the washing machine, get the kids out, go to work, transfer wash to dryer, then grab at a few quiet minutes here and there. My muse is not hearing --
"MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM, COME QUICK REALLY, REALLY QUICK!!!!!"
So I was getting a whole lot more done since the minute I shut my door, it seemed to trigger mini emergencies. Somehow, if I was right there at the kitchen table typing, no one seemed to need anything quite as urgently. I stayed off the huge distraction of the Internet. And I finished the revision.
I should add that I don't really like the hardware aspect of writing, as in sending files and using the computer. If a legal pad and a good Bic pen (like one that costs over $4.00) were as fast, I would sit and do the scrivener thing. But it's too slow and you end up having to type in the end, so I type from the beginning.
Okay, so finished the revision, and after one last look, ready to send. All writers love those words, READY TO SEND.
Only...no file. Gone. Vanished. I had even saved it under a bright and shiny new name on my bright and shiny new computer. Teenagers were summoned. They who had computers for their Sesame Street characters (seriously, Christopher's Big Bird computer is still in a cabinet in the living room) No luck. No one could find the story. I had the old version of it on my big old computer upstairs, so I emailed it back to myself and redid the revision. This time, I had them watch me save the file.
"That's exactly what I did last time," I insisted.
"Couldn't have been," teenagers insisted, "it would still be there."
"Fine, so it's definitely there?"
They nodded. I was sure it was there. I was now on say, hour eight of revision time.
So no one could figure out what happened when the SECOND complete revision disappeared. Vanished. Gone. They searched all the files. They did things I never knew about like system restores and actions that sounded like upwill sync primes. It seemed a little like sorcery.
I have given up my convenient laptop and gone back to the computer that seems rooted into an ancient part of the earth. After three days of ignoring the laptop, teenagers asked, "What's going on? Did you do a third revision?"
"Not yet. And not on that thing," I said, pointing to the laptop. "I can't stand that computer."
The teenagers exchanged glances that whispered, "How old is she now? Could she be getting..."
"Mom, you act like that computer is being mean. It doesn't have a personality. You're just unfamiliar with the word program on that one."
"It hates me. And it's haunted. You forgot to mention that little detail."
I'm hoping the third time is a charm.
And I'm not using the laptop again, just to up my odds.