Monday, August 19, 2013

Good luck, bad luck, and hummingbirds.

Good luck, bad luck, and hummingbirds.

I've written all of my Hummingbird series on an NEC Daylite that I bought in 2003. It tried to set the bed on fire in 2005, one month before its warrantee ran out. They 'fixed' it and sent it back a week after the warrantee ran out and I typed away with confidence again. Since, around the same time, Sony had a recall of all their lithium ion batteries (recalled because they had a tendency to set things on fire) and NEC uses the same suppliers, I pulled the batteries just to be safe.

It smoked the motherboard (yes, actual smoke that didn't stop until it was unplugged) again on 10-2-6, 12-14-6, 1-15-7, 12-26-7, 7-6-10, 2011, and about a year ago in 2012.

Each time, for a few weeks before it smoked, it would boot up with a strange 'whistle' that sounded like crinkling paper, to, you know, just kinda let me know it was thinking about being more flammable than usual.

Well, I'm about 60,000 words into Quantum of Souls that picks up from where Waffen leaves off and it's making that familiar sound again. It usually takes a few days for me to find the faulty capacitor (wearing my coke-bottle reading glasses) and replace it with parts from an old printer.

So, why would I keep such a fire hazard? I mean, I have to unplug it every time I turn it off. Why keep it, right? It's windows XP and the Ctrl key doesn't even work any more, time to kick it to the curb! Right?

Well, all true.

It's literally held together with tape.

But I feel like something in it wants to see this last book through to the end. Even if it's just an inanimate object, every word of every book has passed through its keys, that has to count for something, right?

And maybe I'm a little afraid that a new laptop just won't have the same magic. What if it's the source of the stories and I'm just the instrument?

I bought it just for writing, and I chose the ever so obscure Daylite because it was the only non-backlit laptop on the market. Non-backlit (transreflective is the technical nerd speak) makes a huge difference if you have even slightly light sensitive eyes and spend hours a day in front of a computer. Most people don't notice the difference, but some like me do, and they're typically the millions of people who 'foolishly' prefer the black and white Kindle to the iPad for reading books. And to them I say that this Daylite laptop made writing books as easy on my eyes as those B&W Kindles made reading them.

But mostly, and I can't stress this enough, I just can't afford another major expense right now. So here's hoping that my good luck in finding the very screen I needed so I could get back into writing again, on the unluckiest laptop I've ever owned, will last long enough to finish one more book in the Hummingbird Series.

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