May 23, 2015

The Tale of Laptops, Authors and Healing

For Christmas last year, my husband gave me a laptop computer. Actually he bought me two laptops and told me to pick one, and he'd return the other. As much as I loved getting a new laptop, December was the month after Mom's death when I was still in a fog. You know when everything is a big blank inside, but you keep a smile on your face for everyone else. So the new laptops lay in their boxes for a very long time.



During January, I decided the laptop screens were too small for my aging eyes. I gave lots of excuses for not wanting to deal with laptops. And so I continued using my very heavy Toshiba laptop with the broken hinges.

January was the month I went into a mad frenzy where I gutted,


then organized my office for two weeks. A very therapeutic project I might add.


My inspiration picture.

Love this office! The Collie picture above the display case are darling. Love the desk lamp and the vintage pictures above the desk. A writer's home office. by Boho Chic Designer


A work in progress.

With an early spring in February, came motivation to write again. I watched the movie Miss Potter, about the life of author Beatrix Potter and I was inspired. I felt her pain. I saw the many wadded up papers on the floor.


I began researching other children's authors. I'm not a children's author, but these writers with real lives and real pain, helped me see writing as a way to heal. I watched a video with Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn Dixie. She counseled me to get up early every day and write something. Anything. And so I did. I decided to work on the NeverEnding Story ... I mean my Food Storage Organizer book. I dutifully got up each morning and wrote before my household stirred.

In March, I took my daughter and her friend to a school-wide district literacy night. I listened to a lecture by Jessica Day George, author of Tuesdays at the Castle and Wednesdays in the Tower. She shared her pain when her style of writing was rejected by a professor. 


Then we listened to Brandon Mull, author of a gazillion books such as Fablehaven


You can get his dry sense of humor by these words on his Amazon page. "Brandon Mull no longer lives on the side of a mountain above a prison. He now resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. Since the arrival of his new daughter, he is more the golem of the household than ever, following whatever orders trickle down the chain of command." Amazon


I've never read one of his books. Sorry Brandon, but you inspired me with your sense of humor to write. Are we seeing a pattern here?


A few weeks later we made a trip to Park City where the hubs and a few kids went skiing. I hauled my broken laptop in a carry-on suitcase into the lodge, set it up on a table and typed for 4 or 5 hours. The lodge got loud with skiiers coming in and out, so I moved to a small room near a blazing fire. Loved it! The waiter even brought me a foam pad for my wooden chair. Yup! And I typed away.

A ski lodge is a glorious place to write. Except when you leave the solitude of the ski lodge and come home to the real world and lose motivation to write. Blah!

Lets get back to laptops. In April I was determined to write, so I told my husband he was going to give me a laptop, a desk monitor and a wireless keyboard for my birthday. Can someone give you the same gift twice?

So we headed to Best Buy and picked out those items with my 10 year-old in tow. Hooray! The whole set up sounded ideal. The desk monitor would be perfect for my old eyes.

But UGH! The new light-weight touch screen Lenovo Yoga 2 was not my Toshiba friend. I faced a huge learning curve. So the monitor and keyboard sat in their boxes by my desk while I tried for weeks to figure out my new laptop.

My husband kept telling me to use the tutorial videos, but I was stubborn. Surely I could figure this thing out by myself. Sometimes  I would sneak out my old crusty laptop and work on it and my husband would give me "the look."


Now that I made it through my first Mother's Day without Mom ... tears, tears ... I feel I can move forward and really write again. She looks over me each day from my desk. Encouraging me to be kind. To share my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. To take care of myself and my family. Perhaps in that order.

5 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! I understand your laptop dilemma! Thank you for sharing

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  2. I've missed your posts!
    But I also had two babies in less than two years, just took the final classes for my Master's degree, and am administering the estate of my grandfather who passed away a few months ago.

    My blog, too, has been silent for ages and I miss writing. But sometimes you just have to tend to yourself and your own mental health. I hope you don't feel bad about that! Looking forward to more posts - when you're ready!

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  3. I know how you feel, on all levels. Getting used to a new computer is painful, but usually in the end it does more (though I really don't use all the bells and whistles). My father passed away last year. The first father's day was hard and I too felt like I really didn't address my feelings until months (6?) after the fact. I was so busy trying to help my mother learn to be alone. Well, just over one year later. I miss him, but we have begun his temple work and that brings a warm place to my heart. Each of my sons is doing part of the work. It was glorious to be in the temple for his baptism. Go dad. Good luck with the book. You can do it:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Paula!

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