Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Keystrokes: Not a Cance in Ell 2 and Lynn Viehl Giveaway CORRECTION

First, the correction. The winner of the Lynn Viehl giveaway is BONNIE, whose name I'd mistyped as Bunny. Bonnie, please email me your contact information at, and we will get that right out to you.

Last night, while shutting down the laptop, the nub came off my H key. Not what I'd wanted. I sat there for a moment, staring at the bare metal pad, blinking. Well. This is a new wrinkle. Too tired to panic, I made sure I had both pieces(I did) and had a look at aforementioned pad. Plate might be a better term, as there's no cushion or give. Looks like I am missing one of the metal prongs that would hold the key in place, and a quick perusal, this morning, of the internet, a dab of SuperGlue should reattach the nub. SuperGlue goes on the list.

This is an unexpected good thing. There is an antiquated but usable desktop in my office, with a full complement of keys, and I've been wanting to increase concentration by writing without internet connection. Perfect timing. I do like writing in longhand, but ever since Mark Twain, handwritten manuscripts have been a thing of the past. I have memories of working on this desktop, have written books and stories on it, and now, it sends out "welcome home" beacons. There is another laptop in the family, shared by my hubby and I, a gift from two dear friends, standing by. The desktop doesn't run Sims 3, is not and will not be connected to the internet, but those are good things. Fewer frills means fewer distractions, and I'm looking forward to that.

What techy challenges have given you a renewed appreciation of writing (or reading?)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Not a Cance in Ell

Two days ago, in the middle of a chat with a friend, the H key came off my laptop. One stroke it was there, the next, it was wobbly, and after that, it absconded. I put it back on, tried a stroke, and we're back to the wobble. Clearly, this is not going to work. I had to start thinking of options. H is kind of essential to what I do - how am I going to manage without it? What if my next hero and heroine are Henry and Helena?

The first thing that crossed my mind was to inform my husband (another H right there) that I would need a new computer sooner rather than later. Can't argue with that. I'm operating without 1/26th of my most essential tools. Combine this with the current laptop's advanced age, cracked casing and the fact that it's on its second battery and umpteenth power cord, and I should have an ironclad case. Timing, however, might be off. New computer, get in line.

Next option - write without the letter H. Once upon a time, I wrote a character who affected a Cockney accent, dropping his H's. Is he trying to send me a message? If so, couldn't he have done it without crippling my keyboard? (Though when he first barged into my head, he ruined a pair of leggings, so I wouldn't put it past him.)

Which brought me to the next option - consider this a sign that the whole writing thing may be a wrong turn. That lasted all of about half a second. Not a cance in ell was I turning back now. Only one thing left to do. Type on the nub. Which, as it turned out, wasn't that much of a hardship. Combine with intermittent attempts to press the key back onto the nub, some of which work, and some of which don't, and we're back in business.

Same computer, still working on same current projects, and while it's nice to have the actual key, I have found that typing on the nub can be done, without injury or discomfort. Losing an H is not an insurmountable obstacle, and for touch typers, makes a surefire "you are here" sign. Currently, the key is staying put, and I'm glad of that. Still, it's an experience, a funny story, and I know that if I have to function without an H key, I can.