Saturday, October 16, 2021

Computer Dating, Kinda...


I am dating my new computer. I’ve done computer dating before (not THAT kind) & I was really really good at it. Hours together. A deep, meaningful connection. But lately the computer & I…well, we were still friends, but… Then it got some disease & it was 12 years old & not likely to become a teenager so I replaced it with a fast, sleek, skinny little number with coppery skin. 

I liked it, but a couple days ago I realized I’d fallen into the same relationship habits that I’d had at the end of the last relationship. Nothing deep. Flitting between email & FaceBook & maybe get a Word in edgewise. 

No more, I decided. We’re going to date. At least an hour a day. But I know how that can go: it’s bedtime & I haven’t even lit the candles or poured the wine. (Metaphor! My computer HATES wine. & all other liquids.) So I set times: 1 pm or 4 pm, since already have a Steven Barnes Warrior’s Journey “Breathe” alarm going off then. (The 7 pm alarm won’t work, cuz Jeopardy! & Vanna’s dress & calling my mom to discuss the dress.) 

I set ground rules: no WiFi! Just you & me. Or background music, suggested the computer, which I instantly agreed to, since I don’t even LIKE background music. (Background audiobooks while doing tasks or driving are great, but you can’t listen to a story while writing a story, so those weren’t even the table—or in the airwaves, rather.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get this idea until October 2nd. Would have been nice to start on the first of the month… 

So, 1 pm October 2nd I snuggled into the wedge pillow with my computer (WiFi off!) on a pillow on my lap & a half-round pillow under my knees.(I love pillows!) & in an hour I had a sweet (if by sweet you mean creepiness about kidnapping toddlers for science & releasing them after a few months) little story, around 700 words. A very successful first date.

On October 3rd  I didn’t even wait ‘til one: I got this idea for a sestina while reading Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality by Frank Wilczek, who won a Nobel prize in physics (part of my Bradbury Challenge reading—I just bought my own copy cuz it’s SO inspiring & you can’t underline in library books & it would do you any agood if you did cuz you have to return them—poem, story, essay every day) & I just started writing for well over an hour. Like when you made a second date but you can’t wait so you drop by unannounced & make out on the porch swing for a while.

In the days that have followed I’ve written around 6000 words on a novel that I’d previously abandoned about 10 years ago. I’m no longer stuck and have figured out a way to tie it to another novel. 

I’m excited about this. I mean, I’m not going to put a ring on it, but I think an hour(ish) a day is going to be lots of fun. & productive! & I think maybe my computer likes me like that…