by Hannah Roveto
For anyone excited to read a review of powerful writing that seeks to correct wrongs and fight injustice, my apologies. I like that idea, perhaps a kernel for a future post, but that's not what's got me going. Instead, come with me to a modest gray-shingled Cape a short walk from the ocean, emerald grass across its front lawn, catbirds mocking each other in the trees.
Our Writer sits at her computer, iced coffee in hand. The morning is warm, the silence promising. She turns on the computer, excited about having created two hours to fill with ideas and poetry. Or at least, a last round of revision.
"Fatal execution error."
(Dear reader: Fill in this blank with the word of your choice.)
"Press okay if you want to continue." Does she? Sure, why not. A large message screen pops up, threatening to eliminate all that lies behind the glass. "Continue" is still an option, teases the computer. Our Writer does want to continue, but knows this is a trick question.
What the heck. Nothing bad happens, although the Internet connection doesn't work, which is fine as the antivirus software is sending a warning to the screen every two minutes saying it is shut off and can't go back on. A quick call to the boss means there may be even more time to write, as no emails will get through, no research can be done.
Our Writer turns off the computer, prostrating herself before the Muse for inspiring her to back up the WIP a day earlier, an infrequent occurence. She pulls out... a pad of paper and a pen. Our Writer heads down the hall to curl up on the sofa, coffee moved to still be within reach. She goes through the outline of her manuscript and notes she has made as to small changes that need to be made. Over two days, as the Dell is nursed back to reasonable health, pages of lined paper covered with blue ink are written over in black ink, red ink, pencil, until everything from dozens of scraps of paper are all compiled into one source. The result is satisfying; a feeling of accomplishment and preparedness makes Our Writer woozy with delight.
In fact, those two days of pen and paper leave a fond memory that almost overshadows the frustration with technology. The feel of pen in hand, the smooth hush of paper, the corner of the sofa with its soft pillows. She thinks of authors who write everything longhand the first round; could that be a possibility for the next project? Perhaps. For the pen is not only mightier than the sword, it has proven itself mightier than the computer. And these days, that is saying a great deal.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
by Hannah Roveto