Friday, September 29, 2006
on computers and books and more
I'm Aimee Friedman, author of A Novel Idea, the romantic comedy about a book group, high school, crushes gone awry, hipster fashions, a mysterious writer, and several near-miss kisses.
As an aside, isn't the cover adorable? I love Amy Saidens's art.
When the fabulous Jennifer Echols -- founder and pioneer of this brand-new blog -- asked me when I could post, I told her I'd do so this weekend. I had an image of myself curled up on my bed with my laptop on my knees, a mug of cocoa in one hand, the sound of click-clacking keys filling the room while afternoon light slanted through the window.
But that isn't going to happen. Because, this morning, my laptop died.
I wouldn't say it died a full-on death (it's like that great line from The Princess Bride: "He's mostly dead.") because it kept sputtering, and flashing its lights feebly, and trying to communicate with me. I found myself talking to it, encouraging it, patting its smooth silver exterior, pushing buttons hopefully. Nothing. I know certain writers who name their laptops -- I've never done that, but in that, I felt I was hovering over a dear and ailing friend. My dear Dell -- we'd been through so much together. Four novels, several short stories, countless revisions, plane rides to Paris, train rides upstate, tears and gladness, anxiety and elation, hopeful emails, MySpace procrastinating...you name it. In some ways, my laptop knows me better than almost anyone. Is there something scary about that realization? Is this some sort of comment on our era? Who knows?
But there is something nice, something comforting, about writing longhand. Presuming my dear Dell did pass on to the Microsoft Windows in the sky, I will have to resort to writing longhand until I purchase a replacement. I wonder if I even know how anymore. When I was younger, I used to fill spiral-bound notebooks. Now, I can't quite work without that click-clack noise.
So, I wish you all a weekend of cocoa and late afternoon light and healthy, happy laptops, and maybe, just maybe, some time spent writing in a notebook again, like the old days.