Saturday, June 23, 2007

(Wo) Man Vs. Machine

I bought a new computer several months ago. I was sharing one with my three kids and my youngest had this really bad habit of deleting everything. After he had done this twice to my current WIP, I figured it would be easier to have a computer for just my writing. No games to tempt the children allowed on it. It would be my own personal computer (like the other was before the kids discovered it.) It is the greatest idea I've had in a long time. A long time, like the last time I bought a computer.

I had been typing away on Microsoft Works Word Processor. I knew how to do nothing on it but type. If I needed formatting done, I was on the phone with my sister while she talked me through it. And then I got my new computer!!! It was love. No more calling my sister to format, because Word was so easy to use. No more wondering, 'Did I save that before closing it?', because Word automatically saved it for me. I was in love. I was in heaven. I wrote the complete first draft of my current wip on Word in three months. Please, remember that three month comment, because it is important.

I started revising my wip. I wrote up my synopsis' on Word and saved them. Heck, I was so in love with Word, I transferred all of my wips to it! Halfway into my revisions, as in I was on page 216, I log on one morning, open my book and HELLO! what is this message? I am using a trial version of Word, not the full. Oh, okay. So I click the button to go to their homepage and get a product number to make it a full version. (Let me interrupt here to tell you all that I am a tightwad. There is always someone in my family (hello, Sis) making fun of me for my motto, If it ain't on sale, I don't need it.) I about died. They wanted a lot for this kit, just so I could have Word to write on. Hmm, no thank you, I say. I have yet to sale a book and this was just an expense I couldn't justify to myself. I wrote on Works for years, I could go back to it and finish there. WRONG.

So, I pop open my wip. It comes up with the link to Word, wanting me to buy it. Not happening, I say. So I decide, and even told my crit group, that I would just retype everything into Works and work on it there. Unfortunately, everything I saved, went to Word format. I could not work on anything. So, being the genius that I am not, I decide Word is the problem and need to get rid of it. I removed the program off of the computer. For all of you out there wondering, this was a BIG mistake. Because my documents were made by Word, I could no longer access them. At all.

I cried. I raged. I was deciding to give up writing altogether because if I am dumb enough to screw up typing, I don't need to be doing it. As I am sitting there staring forlornly at my document folder, planning the post to my group that the resident idiot has shot herself in the foot one too many times, my 12 year old daughter walks over, looks over my shoulder, and says, "Open it in Wordpad, Mom."

I gape at her. "What? What in the (deleted) is Wordpad?"

She rolls her eyes, tells me to move and proceeds to open all of my documents up in this mysterious Wordpad. I am happy, until I have to format. I ask daughter, she shrugs, "I don't know what format means." I pull the earbuds out of older sons ears and ask him. "God, Mom, just buy the program." And sticks the earbuds back in. Hubby arrives home, well, he is no help because he knows less about computers than me. But he catches on to my current mood and demands that I just buy the (deleted) program so the family can have some peace and quiet. Humph. I slink off to the computer and go to ebay, surely I can buy it cheaper there. Two weeks of auctions, and I am still losing every one of them. I finally broke down and go to Amazon. I ended up paying the same price as Microsoft, BUT that included shipping. So, I feel like I got a deal, even though all I done was stress everyone around me out for three weeks and ended up paying the equivalent of the full price for the download.

So, I am back to revising. I now own Word, which I am back in love with. Oh, and I discovered that I can scrapbook in PowerPoint (thanks to my kids, who totally freaked out when they discovered it was on the disk), so I am currently loving spending my evenings relaxing and making cute layouts on the computer. Not sure where they go when I save them, but I am sure I can talk one of the kids into telling me. Someday.

Do any of you miss the days of the typewriter? During this past month, I often found myself wishing that I had kept my old electric typewriter, I knew how to work it.


Gillian said...

We are the transitional generation, Terry Jo. We missed having computer class since kindergarten, as my kids have experienced.

I wish I knew half of what my computer is capable of. :)

Terry Stone said...

Gillian, isn't that the truth? I don't know half of what is on this computer. I am discovering things slowly.

Thank God for kids.

Tessa Dare said...

Whenever my computer is acting up, I immediately blame, er.. call on the DH. I can deal with things when they're working - but when they get messed up, all bets are off!

Terry Stone said...

Tessa, the sad thing about me; hubby cannot/is not interested in anything to do with the computer, but he is the one who gets to hear me rage the most! He gets that glazed look that I am sure comes over my face when he 'car-speaks', i.e. "It has a 350 Cummins and ..." Umm, hmm. But he listens, or pretends to, anyway. :0)

Kelly Krysten said...

Hi Terry! I found your blog from a few other I frequent. You know I was like eight the last time I used a type But I must admit that the computer and I are not friends. I would certainly love something like the type writer, but then I'd have to deal with re-writing whole pages when I make my typos(which I make A LOT of), and no spell check.LOL! I suppose it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils...

Terry Stone said...

Kelly, Great to have you here!

Isn't that the truth? It is definietly the lesser of them. In all honesty, I would go crazy without my computer and I can say with certainity that I don't want to ever be without spell check again!

Hope to see you here again.