Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hopes, dreams and a very grumpy PC...

So... I'm writing a novel, did I tell you?


Aha, well let me enlighten you then, dear Reader...

I started writing my book about 4 years ago. And what's strange is that it was all a bit of an accident, really. I was given, quite possibly, the oldest - and definitely grumpiest - PC in existence, by a good friend. It was so old that the hard-drive unit for it was HORIZONTAL and the monitor, whilst having a depth to rival a fridge, possessed the smallest screen you can imagine.

But, being the self-confessed Eternal Optimist that I am, I loved it as soon as it arrived. Because it was MINE.

I won't go into too much detail (way too depressing!) but, at the time my lovely-but-grouchy gadget arrived in my life, I was in the middle of an incredibly unhappy and painful marriage. Problems at home had more or less sapped the life out of me. I felt alone, uninspired and unable to be myself.

A very dear friend took me to one side and said I needed, "A good, old-fashioned dose of selfishness..." - which turned out to be a gem of advice that, quite literally, changed my life. What she meant was that I needed to find something that was just for me - and nobody else.

So, one rainy Saturday afternoon at my parents' house, I booted up The Grumpster and waited.

And waited...

And waited a bit more...

I got up, made a mug of coffee, helped myself to a biscuit, had a quick chat with my Mum and returned to check the progress of my 'new' machine...

...Five minutes later, the desktop page loaded.

This, I was to discover, was one of the many questionably endearing characteristics of my PC. But, you know, it was OK - it gave me the chance to do lots of other things while waiting for everything to load up.

I'm one of those people who attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects. I feel a compulsive need to apologise to the twenty teddy bears I'm leaving behind in the shop, when I've finally chosen one of their number for a gift. And it's the same with my PC - I couldn't bear the thought of trading him in for a much better model - after all, he'd served me - in a fashion - for a couple of years and, you know, once he got going, he wasn't too bad... It's like the kettle I had when I was married. The switch on it broke, so it turned itself off before it had properly boiled. So you had to hold the switch down until it had boiled - burning your fingers in the steam every time. But, still, I couldn't quite bring myself to part with it - it worked fine as long as you held the switch down, you know?

Anyway... Once my PC had loaded up, I began to write. Quite by accident, the 100 words or so that I originally typed suddenly started to grow, as if by themselves... Characters started to appear, whilst others I'd intended to be 'supporting cast members' developed into main players.

And I fell in love with writing...

Now, the book is about 2,000 words off completion... It needs some revisions (although I have been editing as I've gone along - I find this works best for me) -but it's nearly there. And it's good! So good, in fact, that it was one of the things that brought me and my lovely boyfriend Bob together.. But I'll tell you more about that another time.

So - I'm writing a book... Don't know if it will ever get published, but being the Optimist that I am, you just never know...


Magdalen Islands said...

I've had one of those, but mine was new and I never knew when it was going to turn on. But when it did, it worked like a charm. Wrote a book on it too. The Island Riders book that was on my 'Gimme A Dream' site that you looked at.

Now I have a 'Freaking Computer', which I wrote about in the computers and ..., at helium. Stop by any time Miranda. Hope the weather is turning around for you.

Miranda Dickinson said...

You gotta love this modern technology!

The weatherpeople have promised us that the weather will get better over the next week - it was actually sunny for a few hours this morning! (We are all in shock at this 'big yellow light' in the sky!)

Great to hear from you, I'll definitely check out more of your articles!

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