In the Pink

I didn’t set out to have pink electronics. Strictly speaking, the notebook, made of paper, is not electronic, but it does live the same tray with pink laptop, pink tablet, pink camera case (camera itself is silver, but case, not pictured, is pink. Okay, the jump drive stuck into the new laptop is orange (conference freebie, much appreciated) and the mini-mouse that’s out of frame is metallic red. Pink and orange fit under the red umbrella (yep, artist’s kids learn color theory early on; thanks, Dad.) This post isn’t about pink, though.

New laptop has joined the family, an HP stream. She’s light, she’s portable, she swims in the big blue sleeve that I always had to fit the old laptop into, and her new sleeve, when I find it, may very well be pink, though a skull or two couldn’t hurt. We’re still getting acquainted, she and I, and it’s a different experience from having to juggle a bigger laptop with an external keyboard. She starts and shuts down without a complaint, has a battery that isn’t dead, is, so far, bug-free, and despite the fact that we’ve been working together for less than a week (she came home on Wednesday) I think we’re getting along fairly well.

Not that there aren’t adjustments. She doesn’t have a CD drive, for one thing, which had me blinking in surprise for a moment. Time does move on, and so does technology. That’s fine. I can still Sim on the old laptop (though I did accidentally delete a huge chunk of custom content and then empty the recycle bin before I’d noticed what I’d done) and I have the DVD player for watching movies. I’m good there. What gave me a slight case of the heebie-jeebies was the lack of Word. Eep.

I’ve written in Word forever, ever since WordPerfect stopped being a thing. The mere thought of writing without it brought some uncertainty, but now, less than a week later, I can safely say I have almost entirely switched to Scrivener, the same program that had me turn off the tutorial after two minutes because it was too scary and complicated. Go figure.

What I like about Scrivener is that I can work on each scene in its own document, and still have them be part of the whole. Discovering, through my own poking around, the document note and sratch pad features, was something akin to magic. Finally, a screen divided the way I blabber in my head, where I can look at what I blorched out and make notes about what works and what doesn’t. I didn’t know I needed that until I got it, and now the thought of working without it makes me nervous. I love that I can label and color code text so that I can see at a glance what’s a draft (and what number,) what’s notes, where the character notes are, etc. So far, I have not used any pink backgrounds for full screen mode, but that all depends on the individual story, so it may yet happen.

I’d been feeling weary at the thought of migrating all of my Word files over to new laptop, and to Scrivener, which was a sign. I didn’t. Only active projects made it over, which brings a sense of relief. I don’t have to haul the corpses of dead novels around while I’m tending the new babies. It’s easier to focus, especially for my maximalist magpie brain (and the backgrounds in full screen are paradise for those of us who need something besides a blank page to look at.) The others are still there, waiting for their turns, and it’s okay if some of them don’t get turns after all. Not every story start makes it all the way, and some were started by people I no longer am. That happens.

Learning a new computer, and new writing software, goes a long way towards relearning how to write. With learning how I write now.  We learn a lot about ourselves when we pack to move, be it physically or virtually . That’s certainly true here. Spotify had to go on this computer; that was one of the first things, as my playlists are part of the process. Pinterest, too, for the inspiration boards. Sims are probably not coming to this laptop, as it’s for work, but a new/used gaming computer can come later. Photoshop Elements, too, is staying on the old computer (again, no CD drive, so that took the decision out of my hands.)

This one is for writing. This is where I will rip the guts out of what I have on Her Last First Kiss and rebuild it because now I have the technology and know the story better. This machine, not puddle jumping from semifunctioning laptop to semifunctioning desktop via flash drive, is where the novella will be written and two voices smoothed into one. She’s a lean, mean, romance writing machine, and that feels right. Writing is my happy place. I want to concentrate on that and do it my way. Much easier on body and brain than switching around and making do. Getting to know a new computer helps me to better know my own process. What do I naturally do with a fresh start? Sometimes I surprise myself, and that’s a good thing

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