Monday, October 24, 2005

Happy Anniversay, Lappy

This month I'm celebrating the one year anniversay of having my laptop. What a year it's been!

No, really, I can't imagine how I went so long without this thing. We've had a PC in our house since around 1994, and my husband's had a laptop for his job for about as long. So I've always had access to a computer. But it was always a shared proposition (and yeah, there were fights about me being on it so much and the hubby wanting a turn), and of course it wasn't mobile in any way. Getting my own equipment means now I can write pretty much anywhere, anytime.

And I do. I've written while riding in the car and while sitting in the car waiting for some kid lesson to be finished. I've written during Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws, sneaking away for a paragraph or two. I've written sitting on the couch, lying in bed, and lounging in the shade on our deck. When my husband purchased this for me, he opted for the larger screen at the expense of a heavier machine. This does make my laptop a bit bulkier and heavier than I'd like (I say after spending an hour drooling over the Mac Powerbooks at the Apple Store, downtown Chicago), but it's done me good in so many other ways I can't complain.

I know many writers out there use something like the Alphasmart for their writing. I'm somewhat tempted by this option because my biggest distractor and time waster is the Internet. See, here I am writing in this blog rather than writing my WIP, after which I'll hop around my blog loop for another hour or so. Not to mention all the times I'll be writing and discover I need some detail that requires research and I'm destined to lose a good half hour or more while I find the answer. If I had a non-Internet capable machine, that little problem would be solved. I could type in asterisks to indicate where I need to fill in facts, and I could segregate writing time as completely separate from Internet time.

Except, I love the fact that when I have my laptop, I have every tool I need at my fingertips. I have all of my spreadsheets with plotting notes and characters development tracks. I have dictionaries and thesauruses (?) and world time conversions and distance calculators and all kinds of stuff right inside this tiny little box. I don't have to cart around notebooks and binders because most of the information is in my computer in some format or another.

Kind of the one-stop-shopping advantage.

I have taken to writing in a notebook more often, but it's really hard to move out of the "backspace mentality" to make much progress. I'm so accustomed to having that ability to rewind, erase that most of what ends up on paper has lines through it and words and arrows in the margins and a whole lot of incomprehensible junk I later have to wade through. As such, I've reserved paper writing for getting me started or unstuck, or when I find myself stranded someplace without the trusty laptop.

Oddly, my wedding anniversary is also in October. I have to confess, my marriage to this laptop has run a lot more smoothly than my marriage to my husband. Lappy doesn't give me grief when I leave her running or have a messy desktop. Nor does she expect me to share the remote control, ask me where she left her wallet, or snore whenever she has a cold.

She's the first thing I'd grab if the house were burning down and I was assured the kids and pets were already safe. She's the first thing I'd load in the car if a hurricane were a-comin'. And she's the first thing I greet after a long vacation.

Yes, a match made in heaven.


Scrivener said...

Hey Lynn :) Just dropping in to say hi and that I enjoy your blog very much. I thought you might like to visit mine too - the current post is one which might interest you. ;) Have a great day!

Jordan Summers said...

Sounds like you're fond of that laptop. I hope to be just as fond of my AlphaSmart when I get it. ;-)

AE Rought said...

Here, Here! All hail the wonderful Laptop, Liberator of the PC bound writers.

I love having a laptop, I drag the poor thing everywhere. It is a regular fixture on my sofa, and at my in-laws after the Sunday dinner. I plan to take it with me to the next round of kids events, and to Thanksgiving dinner, if my hubby doesn't nag too much. The one thing I haven't done is write in the car. I should try that sometime...