The Story of a Writer Without a Pen

Yep, that about sums it up. Here's what happened...

Once upon a time, there was this middle-aged writer who enjoyed writing away at every opportunity a somewhat whacky life presented her. As the times changed, the tools changed. The pencil graduated to a pen, the old ball point Bic graduated to a fancy-schmancy, sterling silver encased pen with gel ink. That fancy pen graduated to a typewriter complete with a floppy ribbon and levered letters that swung up and whacked that ribbon hard, slamming not only ink onto the paper, but leaving an embossed impression fit for royalty. The next model replaced the levers with a ball of letters, and after that was one with a tiny, three-line screen, giving quite a strange case of the jitters to the writer since what the fingers did had nothing to do with what the little ball was doing to that piece of paper!

Then, alas, the times changed. Computers suddenly fit into a box quite a bit smaller than the size of a high school gymnasium, complete with a black screen adorned with yellow letters. For geeks, not for the weak at heart, these machines made it possible to edit without retyping the whole thing. And, the smart thing even checked spelling!

The writer in question, the middle-aged whacko writer, jumped on every tool upgrade at every notice of a new thingamajig that came along. The computer industry takes off as more and more people jump on the bandwagon so that every six months or so, it was time for a new computer.  You see, you had to buy a new computer because the old ones just weren't big enough or powerful enough to run the just-released software! A good chunk of the year's gross earnings were spent on buying the biggest and the best at all times. The writer couldn't be happier.

Then, it all came to a halt. Thankfully the market became as saturated as this writer's wallet became empty. The last computer, an oldy but a goody, served the writer well for many years. It was unheard of to own a computer that was 5 years old, but it just kept on ticking. The writer was happy enough - she could write to her heart's content.

The unthinkable happened. Notes upon notes of a relatively interesting city council meeting in hand, she flips the switch on the power bar, and heard the usual thunkthunk of the speakers turning on. She gently brushes a finger by the oval-shaped On button on the front of the computer's tower and, oh this is so terrifyingly sad, nothing, nada, zip, zilch happened. A few more gentle touches to that ever-critical button followed by more than a few not so gentle touches and still, nothing. The ol' tower done had enough and it was done. Kaputt.

Meeting notes in one hand, iPhone in the other, the writer sits down and manages to type in four or five paragraphs. All's well that ends well? No, not quite. When she glances at the clock, four hours had passed by! A few more paragraphs pecked out with one finger the next morning, and the article due by deadline was only half done. The iPhone is not a solution for a writer working on a deadline!

There was no choice, the writer headed to the store and drained the bank account on a laptop that started up once, but never again. Another day shot, no further paragraphs, and the deadline long in the past. The next day, back to the store with laptop and receipt in hand to find, to her surprise, another laptop for the same money that drained the bank account already, but with a name brand and much more RAM and hard drive and other geeky features that only she could get flushed over.

With Office loaded and the new, shiny and bright laptop connected to the Internet, a long and quite nicely (and a bit catty) put together article finally makes it to the editor's inbox. Not quite top story, but the second top story, above the fold and only one word edited in the whole thing.

That dilemna safely in the past, the writer begins to hunt for install disks for her favorite software. The first on the list is Photoshop, and the danged disk is nowhere to be found. Then, she thinks about the years' worth of articles, papers, online courses written, and gigs and gigs of photos sitting on a hard drive on a computer that won't even turn the fans over. Sure, the data is safe where it is. There just isn't any way to get to it.

Four days after the bruised and mangled power button - and psyche - the writer is finally able to sit and write again.

What a freaking relief!


  1. I am as I type this copying all my data to a portable hard drive just encase something happens again to my pc I will have access. I have 3 hard drives from old computers that I saved and keep meaning to find a geek that is capable of transferring all that data onto other portable hard disks. So sorry about your old friend maybe you can find someone to transfer all your data.

  2. It may be a matter of finding a computer with IDE drives, since that is the type the old computer had.

    This new computer is so fast! It zips through things it took the old computer minutes to do. And this one is a laptop, which I've been wanting to get for a few years.

    I'll find a way to get the data...somehow... LOL

  3. Actually, you can buy an IDE enclosure kit for about 40 dollars and put that old drive in it and use it as an external.

    Oh yea, HEY, haven't talked to you in a while... i work at best buy now as a geek squad agent.

  4. Jaron, you are a life saver!! Let me know your hours and I'll be down to buy that enclosure kit from you!