It’s been almost three weeks since we packed up the family and moved to the smallest town I ever remember living in. The plan is to be here for the next two years while I finish school. Moving to a small town did not hold a lot of appeal for me. Many of the conveniences I grew used to would not be readily available. I’ve already run into issues with trying to find bathroom hardware to repair the tub.
Things aren’t all bad, however. The slower pace has been nice, though unemployment contributes to that as much as the environment. I can get to anywhere in town within 15 minutes walking, or 5 minutes by bike, as long it isn’t raining. I haven’t ridden my bike this much since I was twelve.
My most frequent destination is the local public library. I’ve schedule my weekdays to include two hours of writing every morning at the library. The time has been productive from the start. I completed two pages the first day. The second day, I was on pace to exceed that, having written a page and a half in the first hour.
Then the laptop died.
The screen had been going fuzzy and streaking for the last month or so. This thing was a good ten years old. I had just finished a major dialogue exchange when it froze. I sat there banging keys for a bit, hoping it was just a CPU bottleneck, but nothing budged.
That’s when it occured to me that I hadn’t saved the document since opening it. All that work, that beautiful dialogue, gone. I rebooted, and opened Word. Thanks to Bill Gate’s foresight, Word rescued a copy of my manuscript from the crash. Unfortunately, the last autosave was 30 minutes earlier. Half of what I had written was gone, lost in the digital void. I started rewriting, the words still fresh in my mind.
The computer froze again. It did it a third time before I even had a chance to type. I threw up my hands and surrendered. Lunch drew near, so I packed my things and headed back home. After lunch, I used my mother-in-law’s computer to log on to Dell and order a new laptop. I was not to be foiled.
Upon our return from a weekend of camping, FedEx delivered the new laptop. I was back at the library the next day. I couldn’t recall the exact dialogue that had been lost (shame on me for not writing it down in a notebook; I was too frustrated by the laptop’s demise), but I came up with a satisfactory alternative. My pace slowed a bit to a little over one page per day, but I plowed through two major scenes in Shattered Amulet. If this level of productivity continues, I may add Saturdays to the schedule. I’m not sure I’ll finish the novel in the two months I have before school starts, but I’m certainly going to give it a shot.