Coffee. Motherboards. The two have very little to do with one another except that they describe my Saturday in its entirety. One was quite disconcerting, the other, sublime.
My laptop died quite suddenly for unknown causes earlier this week. This is a cautionary tale for all writers. Although it was only a couple months old, it died in its sleep with no warning. I tried everything I could to wake it from its eternal slumber; I pushed every button, I cursed, I begged, and for a brief moment I nearly wept. As a last resort I headed to Best Buy in search of expert advice. “It’s the motherboard,” was all the guy at The Geek Squad could tell me. He then proceeded to extort $100 from me to save my files. As it turned out, it would take more like $250 since the motherboard was soldered to the hard-drive in some manner that all but ensured complete destruction of all the bits and bytes. I decided to roll the dice, since there was a chance all was lost already. I last backed up the files on 12/10. This is my warning to all writers: back up your files daily, or maybe even hourly.
For the rest of the day, I mourned the loss of my words. I don’t remember them all, but perhaps they were the greatest words I had ever written. I decided to brew some coffee to soothe my writer’s lament. I poured some filtered water into the kettle and turned on the stove. I opened a bag of Starbucks small-lot coffee and set the grinder to medium-coarse. I retrieved the Chemex brewer and carefully placed the filter. As I did these things, I already started feeling calmer with the scent of freshly ground coffee in the air. The kettle began to whistle. I slowly poured the boiling water over the grounds and watched them bloom. By the time I savored the first sip, I had begun to take solace in a few things: 1) The holidays were dry for inspiration, so maybe I didn’t lose too much, 2) the laptop was only a part-time scribing device; the desktop still functioned, and 3) I use a lot of index cards, journals, and good old-fashioned ink.
All that said, I hope karma is real and that my words are returned tenfold.
Here are some random musings about today:
- The Seahawks are ruining my lazy day of watching football. No one likes a blow-out. The Steelers had best deliver later today.
- I am deeply absorbed in a draft of Erica Crockett’s The Ram. You should probably befriend her and seek your own advanced copy.
- Clicking through the news, I saw a photo of the freed hostages stepping off a plane in Germany. It is almost 35 years to the day since I watched the last Iranian hostage crisis unfold (January 20, 1981). I don’t ever want to see another one.
UPDATE 1/31/16: My laptop was returned from the Geek Squad this week. I held my breath as it booted up. Much to my surprise and delight, all of my files were intact exactly where I left them. There was much rejoicing.