Does Not Compute

A Rant — Be warned!

I like computers. I like them a lot. I like the way they allow me to get my thoughts down almost as quickly as I think them, and then let me go back and reorder them so they sound coherent.

I like the way I can cut and paste, rearranging my stories without having to re-type every word.

I love that I can talk to Darling Daughter face to face (screen-to-screen?) even though she’s in Germany. It’s like a miracle.

Right now though, the only thing I can think to like about my computer is being able to imagine what kind of noise it would make if I threw it against the wall.

You see, today I put off several tasks including sweeping and mopping the floor (a major sacrifice!) to work on a short story. And I was hot, words flowing out of me like a river, tying up the loose ends that needed knotted, and really making progress.

All came to a stuttering, grinding, frustrating halt when I got up for a moment and returned to sleeping computer.

No problem, you think, and so did I. But unlike Sleeping Beauty, my lovely Mac chose not to awaken, at least not completely.

I did what any rational person would do — shut it down and restarted it. And there were my lovely words in a recovered document, which I saved, replacing the older version.

The big problem came when I tried to get back to work.
Could I type on the document?
No.
Could I copy and paste all the words in a new document?
No.
Could I copy and paste the words in an email?
No.
Could I shut down $%@# Word and reopen it?
Well, yes, I could. But the newly saved document was gone, replaced by — you guessed it — the same document I’d started out with three hours before.
Clinging blindly to my rapidly diminishing faith in technology, I again shut down the computer and restarted it.
No joy. My work is gone.

I needed to console myself, so I ate two pieces of fresh-baked bread and butter. That helped a little, but now I have to exercise to work off the extra calories.

Yes, I know it would have been better to just work off the frustration that way to begin with.  And yes, I know I should have saved earlier and more often. Telling me that now doesn’t help much, does it?

So now, I will set Word to auto-save more often in the future and then go exercise. There’s really nothing else I can do except to add one more reason to my list of why you shouldn’t become a writer.

Don’t Become a Writer
Reason #13: Because you have to depend on technology, and technology doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.

P.S. You’re probably wondering what the featured image of the lake has to do with this post. The answer is nothing. I just needed something calming to look at.

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About kymlucas

"Taking care not to take love too seriously." Writer of smart, fresh, contemporary romance and women's fiction. Blogging about writing, reading, and more recently, dealing with the ins and outs of breast cancer.
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6 Responses to Does Not Compute

  1. Becky Lower says:

    I feel your pain, Kym! I have a love/hate relationship with my Mac, too. Anytime I have to learn how to do something new, I panic.

    Like

  2. mirandaliasson says:

    Oh, Kym, I’m sorry! You probably don’t want suggestions–but calling Apple Support might retrieve your document? They helped me with something recently by logging onto my computer remotely and talking me through it.. Also using a backup like Dropbox or Carbonite so you never lose anything. And having Autosave be automatic. (There’s nothing like someone giving you ideas when all you need is to bitch, huh 🙂

    Like

    • kymlucas says:

      Miranda, when I double-checked, I actually already had it set to auto-save every ten minutes. Plus, I tend to save a lot as I go along. And when I finish each day, I send to two emails and dropbox. But I never got to that point because it just stopped, and all my saves from that day disappeared. It’s okay, though. At least it wasn’t a whole manuscript!

      Like

  3. marylou anderson says:

    The last straw with my old computer was that it ate 100 pages of a WIP! Nice huh?
    I couldn’t find those pages anywhere–neither could my IT guy. I think HE thought I was crazy…….
    maybe I am, but geez, when you save something like that it should be SAVED where the heck you put it.
    100 pages……………..(sigh)
    My newer computer seems to like to save stuff–even stuff I DON’T save on purpose–
    more machine understanding is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kymlucas says:

      I’m still not sure what happened. I tend to save regularly as I write, plus I have it set to auto-save every ten minutes. I thought I didn’t, but when I went to set it that way, it already was. Near as I can figure, this was a glitch. Whenever I finish for the day, I send it to two emails and save to dropbox, but never got the chance to do that last week because it just stopped. 😦

      Like

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