Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday update

(In the absence of a laptop computer, I composed this in my Moleskine. It appears much as it was written, warts and all.)

April 15th - Tax Day! And I finished early this year! Well, Monday.

My Compaq laptop died Sunday afternoon right after Paris-Roubaix. It has all of CycleDog, Lanterne Rouge, and the Examiner files trapped on its hard drive. I'll recover them, but it will be some time before that happens.

Last night was the bike build event for the Tulsa Tough Kid's Challenge. I thought it was tonight! Oops. I wanted to get some photos and write about it. Big screw up on my part.

I'm suffering from a lack of ideas and being cut off from my idea folders doesn't help. Even if I'm having a bad day I can find something to write in those folders. It's annoying to have to re-build them, though I can go back and re-purpose some of the CycleDog material for the Examiner. Luckily, I sent this month's Lanterne Rouge to Susan already. I was well ahead of the deadline. Imagine that.

My writing is suffering too. The usual process is to toss new ideas into a text file and save them. In the morning, I open one and leave it on my desktop through the day, adding ideas as they occur to me, and ultimately using that list as the basis of an outline. The outline gets fleshed out with more sentences and rough paragraphs. It often gets re-roganized in the process. Using a computer simplifies it, of course.

But right now I'm writing in a Moleskine notebook - with a pencil. Granted, it's a nice mechanical pencil with a 0.9 mm lead, but it doesn't do any spelling correction. Maybe the next generation of pencils will include that feature.

I write best early in the day. Maybe it's the confluence of caffeine and ideas. Maybe I'm just more creative before I'm fully aswake. I write a lot just after lunch, too, so maybe it has something to do with food. But I can't write well in the evenings - too many interruptions.

The typical Wally Crankset story starts with an initial idea and the ending comes next. The fun part is trying to connect the dots in between. That's why I use the list and outline. Some really funny ideas don't make the cut so everything gets saved for re-use later.

So the take away is this - being without my laptop is like trying to write left handed. I can do it, but I can't do it well. For the time being, my daughter is sharing her laptop very generously. But it's still difficult. I'm looking forward to returning to my routine. That probably won't happen until next week.

(Thursday. As I left work last night, a friend who knew of my predicament offered me one of his laptops, a Toshiba identical to the one I bought for Jordan on his birthday. I will gladly take it! Also, by a happy accident, I found a USB flash drive with most of the CycleDog and Lanterne Rouge files. The Examiner stuff is too recent, unfortunately. Regardless, I should be back up to speed over the weekend!)


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