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Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My safe place is dysfunctional!

I am in computer crisis!

Here's what happened: my two-year-old laptop went very suddenly from perfectly okay to mildly eccentric to totally broken. Now, I have it under warranty, but the next thing I'm supposed to do is reboot it with the startup disk, and here's the thing: I bought it the same month I moved house. Hence my filing system was ... well, I won't go into it. Suffice to say, I probably filed the startup disk somewhere that seemed like a good idea at the time.

So until I can take it into a Mac shop for repairs, I'm stuck using my fiance's computer. Now, you'd think that would be fine; I'd mercifully acquired the habit of backing stuff up on a flashdrive, so I do actually have the manuscript I was working on. (If I didn't, I'm not sure you'd ever hear from me again; I don't even want to think about it.) But the problem is this: it's not in my study.

That sounds utterly pathetic, but I can't help it. My study is small and cosy, with pictures of animals on the walls and little paper dollies and a colourful tablecloth. It's nice in there; it's safe in there. (Picture of my desk included out of sheer sorrowful nostalgia.) My fiance's computer is a big unwieldy thing, and it belongs to the desk in the open-plan, much-too-big-for-writing-comfort living room. The walls are too far away; predators could be sneaking up on me from any side. I don't want to write down here.

So I'm reduced to bringing a pen and paper upstairs. Now, writing by hand may actually do me some good; it's an earthy method and it's been a while since I've done it, so long-term this is no bad thing. But I'm still all upset about it. My consistent space has been disrupted, and I really rather mind. This is the kind of thing that makes hardier writers sneer, there being a prevailing idea that you ought to be able to write under gunfire while trapped in a safe being carried along on a float during the Notting Hill Carnival, but the truth is you're still allowed to be a writer if that kind of thing freaks you out, just as long as you get the book finished some time.

The main lesson for today, I think, is try not to order new technology in the same month you move house. Or if you do, get some kind of tattoo reminding you of where you put the extras.

Aw, man, that sucks, Kit. Good thing you had that backup at least. And I totally sympathize with your being taken out of your comfort zone. I've had to do some graphics work away from my big, comfy chair and without the assistance of my big, purry cat, and it just felt wrong.

suplarb: How you feel when you get nominally good news that still leaves you flat.
I'd mercifully acquired the habit of backing stuff up on a flashdrive
Well thank goodness for that. Please tell me you have backups of the backups, and maybe a hardcopy printout of each finished chapter, stored in your agent's office or someplace, just in case...

Are you consoling yourself with the approaching birthday of the second book?

And if you're writing by hand, does Mika attempt to keep you company, or offer editorial comment? I can't seem to do anything with pen and paper without a cat inserting its head between pencil and paper.

unroad: The Road Not Taken, of course!
Poor Kit!

Have you looked at any of the new "webbook" style laptops? Some of them are quite inexpensive, and might make a decent backup/travel machine for you.

You also might want to update the main parts of your website at some point. It's still all about Bareback/Benighted, and you've got a shiny new book to be showing off.

prorets: A prototype machine that turns out wretchedly awful.
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