The Story of H

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I think I’m holding up fairly well, all things considered. The saga of my Not a Cance in Ell adventure is now complete. Parts one and two are here and here. Over the weekend, after slicing my finger on the prongs of the now long-absent H key, the whole key stopped working. First, it took four or five pounds to get one H, which could as easily be a whole line of them: hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Which then needed to be backspaced or deleted, which was annoying because I would want them later. As I’ve said before, H is a very important letter.

There’s personal pronouns: she, he, him, her, them, their, all in heavy demand when writing stories about relaitonships (another H) word. Home, heaven, hell, hurt, help, hover, and several hundred more. Though I do my best composition in longhand, smushing the handwritten pages up to the screen doesn’t work. I worked out time share with both hubby and housemate (more H words) on their computers, did some work on the old desktop and started pricing towers. For personal emails to friends, I substituted an * when I needed an H, so thanks to all who put up with me during those days. I don’t know why it took me a couple of days to figure out I could get an external keyboard, but one quick trip to Staples and then I’m back in business.

Putting a regular keyboard on top of my laptop keyboard took some getting used to at first, but now, apart from portability, it feels very natural. I like the click of brand new keys, no prongs to pierce my fingertips, no crumbs (as of yet) to get in the way. Nothing sticks, and I can keep on going without having to pause to  insert an asterisk. Small things make a big difference, and losing the use of a single key brings that to light in a very big way.

Having a new keyboard is also exciting because it makes me look forward to starting over with a new computer. A recent discussion with a writer friend about clearing the decks resonated. When I set up a guest account on my housemate’s computer, it was a fresh start, literally no old files under my name to clutter the current work, no pictures, however lovely or inspirational, to distract me from my work. All I could do, with a limited amount of time I could use that machine, was set up the bare minimum and get to telling the story. Which, after all, is the point of this entire endeavor. Tell stories, because that’s what I love to do best.

The last few years have been challenging, and in many ways, I’m not the same person I was when this much-loved laptop was shiny and new. There have been many goodbyes, many hellos, a change in geographical region that was, at once, taking a leap and coming home. So, it makes sense that new stories would come, and the thought of telling those new stories on a new machine, unencumbered with the past, excites me in a way I hadn’t expected. I do have to thank that dearly departed H for helping to bring me to that point. The key itself now sits in a place of honor on the desk I coveted since childhood, a reminder of the past to make a bridge to what is yet to come.

The adventure is only beginning.


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