As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been slow when it comes to adapting my writing to the available technology. I was into my third novel before I could write and edit solely on the computer. It was years before I realized I could send ms drafts to my Kindle where they would be formatted like an ebook, making it possible for me to see how the finished product would look, and easier to actually correct the text.
Recently, I’ve been dealing with a runaway cursor. At first, it just skipped over lines I’d already typed. Then, it began to type endless 0s all by itself. Once it even jumped to the Google box and created a few 0s there. In each case, I was forced to close the file and fix it a few minutes later. Things would be okay for a while and then it would start again.
When it began to erase things, panic set in. I consulted the Internet where complicated instructions didn’t help. I began to reboot the computer every time I lost control of the cursor–it didn’t help. Finally, I decided that maybe the mouse needed a rest, so I pulled the wire from the back of the box (yes, there’s a wire and a color-coded port) and went to lunch. When I returned, I couldn’t get the wire to fit back into the computer (I’ve been known to force things when they don’t fit easily, and I may have damaged something).
Now I was really frazzled. After weeks of indecision, I had decided to add a new character to my current book, The Order, and I was ready at last to make a turn in the plot. Not being able to do those things immediately, while they were fresh in my head, was very frustrating. I had coveted a wireless mouse for years, so I girded my loins and headed off to Best Buy, forty minutes away in Myrtle Beach, consoling myself with the fact I could also buy a case of Scotch (at the lowest price in the state) from the Costco next door.
During the drive I contemplated the ruin if I could never make the mouse work again. All my work, my connections to readers and friends, my shopping preferences, everything, is on this little HP computer. Intellectually, I knew it could all be retrieved somehow, some day, but viscerally I feared the worst. And what if it wasn’t the mouse?
To be continued . . .