It seems the PTB (Powers that Be, whatever you might believe them to manifest as) have conspired to make my writing life as difficult as possible. Now, I’m not sure if they are mad at me, or annoyed that my characters all get to live happily ever after, or if they are bored and just like to watch me squirm.
Late last year I came down with the first actual case of Writer’s Block in my life. I had a story about half written, and I just couldn’t seem to get any further on it. I’d open the computer and stare at the page. Write a sentence or two. Erase them. Do it again. And again. And again. You get the picture. (BTW, that one’s on the back burner for now, but at some point in the future, you’re going to hear about a feisty female who decides to seduce a cyborg so she can kidnap him and force him to help her escape.)
I confessed to my editor and my publisher that I wasn’t going to make the publishing deadline and they were very understanding. The publisher suggested I give it a break and write a short story for the ezine she manages. Great idea! Writer’s Block banished! New storyline emerged. The short story reads like the prequel to a whole new cyborg novella. I’m going to post it up on the free reads of my website later so you can go read it if you want.
So, I had a new story and it was going great for over a week until a company I won’t name decided that it was time to update their software. Read that to say update the operating system for my laptop. Not sure why. It worked just fine before the update. Afterward, not so much. I now needed a new laptop. **headdesk**
For those of you who are going to say use a pencil and paper – No. I don’t do that. I get cramps in my hands after the first hour or so and that HURTS! I’m allergic to pain.
I’ve had good luck with Dell laptops so I went online and ordered a fancy new laptop with all the bells and whistles and sat back to wait for it to arrive in 10 days. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? Wrong! Nine days later, I got a call from a very nice man in Toronto who identified himself as a Dell representative. Seems there had been a problem in the production of my laptop. They tried to install two operating systems and that didn’t work so they pulled it from the production floor and canceled the order. (Can you hear the PTB laughing their damn fool head s off??) He offered to give me nice credit if I would reorder the same machine. Of course, it would take a few more weeks since they’d have to start from scratch but hey, it’s what I wanted so I said sure. Go ahead. I can wait. I gave him all the information again and he put in the order. I got a confirmation email and everything. Now I can rest easy and wait.
Or can I? Yesterday I get the news that this order too has been canceled. It snowed here on Friday. I think that moisture was actually the physical manifestation of the PTB laughing so hard they cried. And at -20 degrees, it doesn’t rain, it snows.
I didn’t want to keep going in that endless circle so I give up on Dell online orders. I decided what I needed to do was go to a brick and mortar store and purchase a laptop over the counter. Sounded like an amazingly simple plan.
My friend and I drove to the closest town with a store that sells computers. My town doesn’t have one, we barely have a supermarket. My friend and I browsed. We wandered. We compared prices, and specs and pros and cons. We finally decided on a nice HP laptop with a 17inch screen. We loved the specs, the price, the looks…. We cornered a sales rep and indicated we had cash and were willing to spend it. She was thrilled. (I think they work on commission) She went to get it from the back room since we’d been looking at the floor model.
(At this point, the PTB were giggling like a bunch of teenagers watching a very explicit chick flick.)
She came back empty handed. Seems the inventory count was off. They didn’t have that model in stock, but she was determined. She called seven (yeah, the PTB are now rolling on the floor laughing their heads off) of the affiliate stores across the province and managed to locate one for me. It’s being shipped down her store and should be here Tuesday. Only three days! I can hardly wait!
Of course, the route my shiny new laptop needs to traverse in order to be united with me, is through an area known as Three Valley Gap. I’m not sure how many times that road has been closed for avalanche control, or because of an avalanche this winter alone. I can safely say more than once. Or twice. What do you suppose the chances are of my new laptop being delayed due to a natural disaster are?
Do you think the PTB might just move on to torment someone else one of these days? Like maybe an innocent guy trying to catch a fish? Or a lawyer with a shifty client? Anyone but me!
Come back next week and see if I’ve possted a picture of my new laptop, or if I’ve decided to stock up on aspirin and tylenol and go the pen and paper route. Till , then…