I am sitting on a plane as I write this (though I will be in my hotel room when I post it, so I suppose that takes out any fun in pretending I’m blogging while in the air). I’m flying to Seattle for my ten year high school reunion. Yes, let the laughter begin. I almost didn’t go, but told myself that if nothing else, it would be a chance to do some research for a story I’m working on and enjoy a change of scenery. Sit in Starbucks with a headset on and write write write like a little squirrel hopped up on hot chocolate. Maybe soak up all that copious amount of sun the Northwest is famous for. Oh, yeah.
Anyway, it should be fun. I think. I have good memories. I went to this school in Seattle from the fifth to the twelfth grade. It was the first place where I really learned how to use a computer, although I was 11 the first time I ever sat down with one to write a story. It was about a girl in the jungle. Or maybe a girl and ghosts and stars. It was on an old Mac, a boxy little thing that had a tiny screen and a cream-colored hard plastic shell. In high school, I used to fix those. I was the first girl to ever be on the computer tech team. I installed memory chips, mostly, and gave computer lessons to some of the teachers. I also got to play with a soldering iron and rewire all kinds of interesting things. And play Quake. Lots of Quake. With the Barney patch (machine gun versus a purple Dinosaur going, “ho, ho, ho” = big time fun).
In high school I received my first Mac Centris. That was a huge deal. I didn’t have a modem—I didn’t actually start using the internet all that much until I was 18 and a freshman in college—but I did a lot of writing on that desktop. Wasn’t very good writing, but ever since then, I do best with a keyboard. Everyone’s different. Tess Gerritsen talks about writing her books with pen and paper. I’ve tried that, sometimes with success—but usually only with poetry and smaller stories or essays. I cannot write poetry and have it translate from head to computer. Not without a pen in hand.
Books, however, are a different matter. I take notes by hand—I have more journals and pads of paper than I know what to do with, and all of them are for story ideas and brainstorming. But when I sit down to write for the long haul, it’s the keyboard and screen and nothing else. I need the speed, I guess. And my hands get tired when I grip a pen for more than ten minutes. I’m so out of shape.
Anyway. I’m on a plane. I’m chewing gum. I’m thinking about all those news reports where a Dr. Talking Head tells people that on planes everything inside your body gets messed up because of the pressure and how it’s just so bad for your health. I just finished reading a Cindy Gerard book that was really good—Over the Line—and I’m going to put this computer away in a minute and fish around for another book. Maybe Doug Preston’s Relic.
And by the way, I think the “e” key on this computer is getting stuck. Darn.
HOTEL ROOM ADDITION:
I’m pooped. I’m hungry. But I’ve had Starbucks and I walked down the street to Nordstroms to look at a new pair of red high heels that are so pretty I wanted to lick them.
Here’s the view from my room:
Before I forget, congratulations to MaryAnne and Alyssa for striking gold in the drawing. I’ll hold another one on Monday after I get back. Email me if you’re interested.