Early in December, my computer became infected and - eventually - became unusable. I don’t know why all those viruses, trojans, worms, fairies, unicorns and trolls chose that time to attack it, but they did. I didn’t have the money to get myself a new Tower. I didn’t really have the
money to take it to the shop for a cleaning out, but since that cost somewhat less, that’s what I did.
Happily, they didn’t find any infection in my thumb drive, where most of my important files resided. After they cleaned the tower all up, I moved the rest of my files to my thumb drive, something I probably should have done long before that. Turns out that at the ripe old age
of 4 or 5, my tower was too old to accommodate any new virus protection software. It was perfectly fine for the word processing and spreadsheets that are most of what I use a computer for, but I was expected to go out and buy a new one in order to visit the internet? Because how could I do the other half of my writing - the research for information, for markets, sending
out submissions (most of which are expected to be electronic these days) - without visiting the internet?
After a few days, the infections were all back, to the point that I could not GET to the internet anymore. Frustrated and stressed, I switched to my laptop. I could not pay to get my tower cleaned up again, but my laptop keyboard is small, and I hate the ‘mouse’ function. Then the kids remembered an old tower in the back of a closet that nobody was using anymore. It was just as old as my old tower, but they reformatted the drive and reloaded Office so I could use it.
By that time, I had picked up a couple viruses myself. I had to push myself to get through Christmas, and since then, I’ve been sleepy and sluggish most days. After sleeping 10 or 11 hours, I get up and veg out in front of the television for another 2-4 hours. By the time I finally ‘wake up’ and start to do things, I’m totally frustrated by how little time I have to get anything done.
Always on the lookout for things to make my characters ‘believable’, I have added these past weeks to my list. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have some bumps in their lives, and what would be more believable than computer problems that play havoc with deadlines, or a few ‘blahh’ days that leave the character out of sorts and behind on many projects? We’ve all had things like that happen to us, right? So why not inflict some of those problems on our characters? Why should we suffer alone?