Okay, I know there’s a cliché in that title and writers are supposed to avoid them. But hold on a minute. And pardon the second cliché, all right?
If you are under what once was AARP qualifying age, fifty-five, before they decided to let practically anyone in, you may want to stop reading now. Because you probably won’t understand or appreciate what I’m about to share.
Where does the time go? That’s also a cliché, but I had to use it. The devil made me do it. Yeah, I know, another cliché. In this case, however, the thing about the devil is not really a cliché. It’s true. Well, up to a point. Oops, another one. But I digress.
What is not true is that it wasn’t only one devil at work on me. It was a whole slew of them. And I didn’t really need to ask the question in the first place. Oh my, did I use another cliché?
Anyway, I didn’t have to ask about the time, because I already knew the answer. The time, and I mean a whole ton of it, went to dadblamed computers (I cleaned up that adjective, believe me) and a gaggle of their fellow travelers. By the way, is the use of “cleaned up” here a cliché?
A string of three computer crashes and related issues set upon me in January and didn’t let up until October. At least, I hope they’re over. The crashes cost me untold hours and days dealing with various tech experts—so-called ones and eventually real ones—plus a bunch more time and aggravation thrashing about on my own with online supposed-to-be “Help” sites. Fortunately, my workstation is now back up and running along somewhat normal lines. Knock on wood. Aw, shucks, another one.
This is not to mention (there I go again) the monetary cost of a new computer, a new printer, and a new monitor, along with a variety of cords and other gizmos that I tried out along the way, or ultimately had to buy, because I wanted the faster printing I could get if I connected my new printer to my new PC by cable rather than wi-fi.
Talking to a printer company rep on the phone and having her tell me that the printer I bought wasn’t intended to be used with a cable was an almost out-of-body experience (dang it, another one). I was looking right at the machine’s receptacle for the connecting cord! Of course, I had to buy the cord extra; it didn’t come with the printer.
I would have pulled my hair out (egad, that one just slipped in) right then if I hadn’t recently read a newspaper piece by a highly respected columnist describing professional and personal struggles with printers large and small over a lengthy career. You guessed it (oh, my gosh, another one), he was well qualified for the AARP. He said you just can’t win (his cliché, not mine) with printers. I suppose I could say the same thing about clichés.
To come to the point (sorry), when all this crap (no apologies) started, I was close to wrapping up research for a fourth novel and was well along toward sketching out the plot. In addition to costing time that I needed to finish those tasks, the technological snafu—which, in case you don’t know, is military talk for “Situation Normal; All Fouled Up,” only they use a different f-word—near about crushed my concentration for writing. I know I just used another cliché. But what the heck (I cleaned that up too). It even dampened my motivation.
All that—the loss of workable equipment and time and the resulting diminution of will—is why this is my first blog since June. And why it may also be my last for a while; I need to devote my writing time and effort to the novel.
I know how many people receive my blogs. But I don’t know how many read them. Or how often they show up in other places. But I know how many I’ve written since I began doing them. Sixty, starting late in 2018, a few months before I published my first novel, South of Little Rock.
Some of the blogs came easy. Some didn’t. Some required a good bit of research. Some didn’t require any, except for finding illustrations. I enjoyed doing each of them, and I hope they provided at least some interesting or useful information and maybe a few chuckles, as appropriate, to at least a few folks.
Why am I bothering to convey all this? I guess it’s because I don’t want to leave my blogging efforts at loose ends and leave whatever readers I have hanging by a thread (beg your pardon for more clichés). Even if I don’t know whether I’m foretelling an end to something or only a pause that lasts long enough for me to shake this onset of cliché-itis and resurrect my novel-writing mojo.
Later, alligator. After a while, crocodile. Maybe. Well, most likely.
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