Aug 1, 2011

More On the Writing Gadgets That Have Us Spoiled. :)

by Kristin Baker Przybyla

Bonnie recently wrote a post about the convenience of the internet, and the possibility that some of us (cough cough) might be just a little bit too dependent on today's technology. You all should see my humorous antics whenever our internet goes down. Wait, there are dishes in the sink and laundry to be done? Noooo! Bring back my internet!

The other day, I was on the laptop when my 5-year-old walked up with a bottle of water. You can probably guess where this is going. I don't let the kids on my laptop; I don't even eat or drink when I'm using it. My daughter was still standing a respectful distance away, yet somehow the bottle of water managed to jump out of her hands and land smack in the middle of the keyboard! Water poured everywhere. I immediately flipped the laptop upside-down, and the hubby came to the rescue by pulling out the battery and drying it out as best he could. He couldn't make any promises as to whether my beloved laptop would survive, but told me he'd at least be able to get all my writing and other files off the hard drive (I backup, but not as often as I should).

Like my laptop when I've been using it too long without being plugged in, I shut down. My delightful husband told me I could get my mind off my worries about the laptop by folding laundry. I spent about a half hour slumped on the couch like I'd passed out before reluctantly shuffling off to the hampers.

Later that night, I switched on my old desk PC. We have several "Frankenstein" computers in the house, cobbled together out of old PC parts, and most of them work fairly well. Before getting my laptop, I wrote half my book on my desk computer and had no problems. But now, as if rubbing salt into the wound, my PC locked up after just 5 minutes. I sighed and gazed forlornly at my trusty laptop, still sitting upside-down on the kitchen counter.

Which brings me to the question of how we write these days: I don't have to admit, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, that I'm a bit spoiled as to the medium I use when writing. My hands are so used to typing that they cramp up when I try actually using a *gasp* pen! I was fine with using the PC when it was the only computer I had, but after a wonderful relationship of almost a year with my laptop and being able to write on the couch, on the bed, or on the toilet (don't judge me), the thought of chaining myself to the desk again isn't a happy one. Instead of carrying around a notebook to jot down ideas in, or setting it by my bed to write down those dreams that sound like inspired works of genius when I just wake up, but by the light of day always sound way too weird and never make it into any story ideas--I use the notepad feature in my cell phone.

I spent an agonizing day staring at my disabled laptop, wondering when I'd ever be able to get a new one if it had indeed gone to computer heaven, but not really wanting a new one because mine is just so cool with its pirate decal on the shell. When the time finally came to plug in the battery and give it a try, I held my breath. It booted up fine, but it was the keyboard I worried about. I pulled up the windows with no problem, clicked on a box to start typing, and...

Well, I've typed this entire blog post on my laptop. Good old trusty, amazing, wonderful laptop! Joy was heard throughout the house. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, knowing the torture they would have had to endure if Momma had to do without her addiction favorite toy.

So what about you all? If your writing medium were destroyed by a rogue flying water bottle, could you adapt? Do you still employ the pen, or, like me, are you very comfortable and happy tapping away at a keyboard?


  1. I actually prefer to write my rough draft with my favorite pen and a spiral notebook. But I work from home on my laptop...and I would have to sit in a cave of an office in the basement if anything happened to my laptop. That would not be good.

    I'm so glad your 'puter is working...whew!

  2. I actually use the pen to outline thoughts or write things down as I think of them and than use the computer to refine those things. I love being able to type as I can definitely type much faster than I can write. I would be most unhappy if my computer went on the fritz though.

  3. I do both pen and computer but then I have to transcribe my notes so time is wasted, but then often the reason I was using pen and paper was the computer wasn't handy just then. I will always love pens but I love computeres and they have spoiled me.

  4. Computer all the way, baby. I have one of those extremely portable little Acer laptops which is the love of my life.

    Okay, okay - *one* of the loves of my life. I do have a husband and family that I'm pretty sure I love just as much. ;)

  5. My hand cramps and shakes when I try to write for very long, so my writing implement of choice is one of my computers. I have a desktop, a regular-sized laptop, and an Acer netbook like Tracy's. I take that one on trips, and I love, love, love it!


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