Tags: hilary mantel

Young Mrs. Clarke

The Miseries of Disconnection

I was all prepared to post an update as to my current Clarion West Write-a-thon quota (reached page 120, yay!) on Saturday morning, only my PC refused to let me access the internet. Spent a fair amount of time on phone to tech support, and trying various things before I had to hit the long and winding road to do the weekly shopping...anyway, it seems to be -- maybe -- a problem with the wireless adaptor. "Just go to your local computer supply store and buy a new one" -- yeah, right, that would be 100 miles from here. But, however remote and rural we may be,  we do have a local computer guy. Of course!  This is the modern world, still. (I think he and his wife originally moved up here to raise their children in the healthful country air and grow their own vegetables, and then eventually got into computers...as you do...) And although he doesn't have any wireless adaptors in his amazingly well-stocked office (formerly the barn), he does have various wires and things, and will come over tomorrow to try  to get me wired-up.  And Wednesday I've promisedmy daughter a shopping trip to Glasgow, where doubtless I can find a new wireless adaptor, assuming I still want one.

In the meantime, I am using Colin's laptop -- he's downstairs watching the football.  Although I am very grateful to him, I must say I don't know how anyone can STAND to type on a laptop. Not the way this thing is constructed (and it seems pretty standard from what I have seen), not for someone like me who learned to touch type on a typewriter nearly forty years ago...it is SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  If I rest my wrists they begin to hum with the electricity coursing through the plastic beneath, never mind the fact that I keep hitting the wrong keys and missing the space bar, so everything has to be corrected and takes at least twice as long as it should...the only sensible way to type is to get into a rigid, contorted posture that just SCREAMS repetitive strain injury, or maybe even nerve damage...urgh.  Who designed these things? How can people stand it?  I begin to understand why most emails are littered with typos...

In other writing news, this week was full of small pleasures, from receiving the contract and check from Jim Frenkel for the inclusion of "Closet Dreams" in the forthcoming YEAR'S BEST, to reading the wonderful essay L. Timmel Duchamp has written about "My Death" (that's a novella I wrote a few years ago, originally published in a limited edition -- still available -- by PS) to serve as the afterword when it is published as part of her "Conversation Pieces" series from Aqueduct Press.  That will be out in August or September.

If I'd got the hang of including links I would certainly include one here for Aqueduct Press ... and also one to the Guardian online, since another (really not small at all) pleasure of this weekend was reading Hilary Mantel's wonderful piece about the joys (and otherwise!) of being a writer -- it appeared in The Guardian's review section on Saturday and I presume it can be found on-line, but working on someone else's computer, even if it does belong to my dearly beloved, I find somewhat inhibiting, so I am not going to search for it just now.  Maybe next time.