Saturday, September 1, 2007


Today marks the first day of my commitment to post daily for the month of September. My goal is to give my readers a peek into my daily life. I don't have a typical day. Some days I write for huge gulps of time. Other days I start out thinking I'm going to participate in a marathon writing session and I end up writing for one hour. That's what happened today.

I started out just fine--raising the blinds, sipping my first cup of coffee(truly the best cup), and writing in my favorite chair with Bronte nearby. Maybe I can blame it on my laptop. I have never been much of a laptop writer. I used one briefly years ago. It just didn't work for me--it was too heavy and I hated having to cart it with me everywhere I went while I was on the road. I quickly abandoned it and went back to my way of writing.

My way is a long process--write the first draft on yellow pads, put the awful mess into the computer, print it out, mark it up, return to the computer. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You get the idea.

When I went on my annual writing retreat, I proudly took my yellow pads while my writing pals packed their laptops. They threw looks of pity my way and Rebecca occasionally asked, "Do you want to use my laptop for awhile?"

"No, thank you," I'd answer. "I think better on yellow."

Don't ask me why, but last month I bought a laptop. I hate to admit it, but there were times that I really wanted one. These are some examples of why I broke down and pulled out the credit card:

Example One: When I'm at a hotel and the only computer in the lobby is being used and by the time I can use it, the stupid thing has a virus.

Example Two: I'm at the coffee shop and I have to leave because I need to go check my email or I'm ready to type my revised chapter.

Example Three (this is the one, that I really hate to admit) I'm at the retreat and have to use scissors and tape to cut and paste. I know Eudora Welty probably did that, but I didn't feel like Eudora when I was doing it. And something tells me that she was probably looking down, shaking her head, saying "Get a laptop, dummy!"

So I did. And guess what? Now after using it for a month, all my suspicions have been confirmed. I delete sentences that I can't retrieve, I check my email at the coffee shop more often then I should, and even though my laptop weighs under four pounds, it's a lot heavier than paper.

Please don't misunderstand. I don't dislike my laptop. It will provide a very nice way to check my email on the road and type my revised manuscript into the computer. It's even kind of cute. Let's just say we're new friends, this laptop and I, but we'll never share the kind of moments that I've shared with my pen and yellow pads.

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