Monday, July 15, 2013

White Screen of Death

Sparky died this weekend. Well, I don't know that he's dead, but he doesn't sound at all well. I'm ashamed to admit that, before he took ill, I did not name my trusty laptop. My constant companion, my Starbucks buddy, the keeper of all my FEELS and THOUGHTS and WORK. But as he lay pulsating weakly in the hands of Genius Jonathan, I felt the need to name him. Thus Sparky was baptized, because I'm hoping, like the dog in Frankenweenie, that he makes a full, if slightly glitchy, recovery.

Saturday morning, a day I had cleared the decks and the house so I could spend hours writing, Sparky presented me with what is an actual term among Apple people: White Screen of Death. It means your computer is not happy with how it's been treated and it's basically going on a hunger strike.

I'm distraught.

But I'm hoping this obstacle is a gift in disguise. Because I've been stuck. I'm rewriting a book I love and it's complicated and problematic and I love it so much I want to strangle it. I don't have writer's block, words are coming like a deluge. BUT THEY ARE THE WRONG WORDS. So now that all I have to write words with (I'm writing this at the LIBRARY and there's a time limit *sob*) paper and pen and work out my story problems on whiteboard and stickies, I'm hoping that I can find the RIGHT words.

I hate writing in longhand because my handwriting is so bad that it distracts me. I'll write a sentence, then read it and say to myself "Who writes an 'A' like that? it looks like an undercooked biscuit. And the 'r's' are pretty much only a suggestion of a letter."

Is this enough of a mental shift to jolt me out of my plotting snafu? Will Sparky live or will I have to sell something (like a kidney) to afford a new computer? What do you do when technology fails you? And do you have pretty handwriting? If so, I want to see proof.


  1. "And the 'r's' are pretty much only a suggestion of a letter." I love that! I also have disastrous handwriting. I feel your pain.

    Alex, I hope you will consider joining my bloggers' book club. Here are the details:


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