Monday, October 28, 2013

A little portable Royal typewriter to a little red Dell Laptop. Both have served this writer well.

Hello and salutations!! My computer has been sick. I mean really sick. It would lock down. That little blue circle thingie would whirl around for hours if I let it, and it wouldn't let me do anything. I was not happy. I was frustrated and out of sorts. In truth, I felt kind of helpless. My little portable manual Royal typewriter with the zip up carry case that was a part of it, never did anything remotely like my computer did.

Long gone now to someone and probably decaying in some landfill now, it served me well in college. I typed all my term papers, essays, poems, and short stories on it throughout my college career. Mama and Daddy gave it to me..this used apparatus...knowing that I would need it...and I surely did. I didn't care if it was used. I didn't care if the "o" key stuck every so often. It was a great little typewriter. I remember one cold evening I started an "all nighter" typing a term paper that I should have completed well before the due date. I had the typewriter on a window seal over the heater because it was so cold in the dorm room, the white out stuff was freezing. I got that paper finished, though, and turned in on time.

The funny thing is, I'm not really sure what happened to my little Royal. I know I must have brought it with me when I moved to the little Northwest Georgia town after I graduated from college to begin my teaching career. From there, I simply don't remember. Knowing me, I probably gave it away when I realized I didn't need it anymore.

The first time I used a computer was in 1988 when I became a newspaper columnist and reporter. It was a Mac. I have a Dell and haven't used a Mac since that time. Back then, no one really taught me how to use it. We had a young managing editor who would explain something using "computer speak" and not wanting to seem totally ignorant of this new technology, I nodded my head and proceeded to teach myself about the computer. The only problem with that is that no one told me that I needed to save everything every 5 sentences or so just in case the power went out even for a second.

I had just completed my fifth article when the power did a little bump for maybe two or three seconds. In that short time, all five of my articles disappeared. Gone. Went. Out. I was so mad...not just angry...mad. I was mad because no one told me about the importance of saving anything. I didn't even know about saving. I was mad at myself because I didn't know about saving or I didn't even know to ask about saving anything. Anyway, this is when I learned that the "f" word had its place in my vocabulary. Yes, I said it...out loud...I shocked people. They started calling me Murphy Brown for the television character. But, holy *&^%$%^. I lost five stories and had to start over again.

That was over 25 years ago and most times, computers don't let things disappear like they used to. I love my computer. As a writer, I need it. And, although that little Royal typewriter served me well at the time, I enjoy the convenience of the technology surrounding a computer. And, lord have mercy, I can fly on this thing without having to use any whiteout or erase paper, just the "backspace" key.

So I'm so glad my little red laptop Dell Inspiron seems to be chugging along quite well again. I guess it did need that new battery after all. Who knew??


Amber Lanier Nagle said...

Coleen, I love this piece. Start blogging over here again. —Amber

Coleen Brooks said...

Okay. I will.

Coleen Brooks said...

Okay. I will.