The Blue Screen of Death


It’s a dangerous life, that of the freelance writer. Not all people can face the daily challenges of getting up every morning, often even before breakfast, and trying to structure a coherent sentence from the muddled mess between your ears.

And not only that, but sometimes electronics conspire against you! Knowing how much you depend on them, sometimes your computer tries to challenge the relationship you have. It’s a social contract: you type on the keys, the computer puts them up on the screen and (hopefully!) saves them for later use. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Sometimes, hopefully not often, you have a morning like I did, when the fates are against you and the planets align to summon bolts of lightning from above. And that’s when you see it. The Blue Screen of Death.

I had forgotten the mantra that all serious writers should have memorized: Back it up. Back it up.

That’s not exactly true. I had backed my musings up–a month ago. After all, what could happen in a month? And I had promptly forgotten that cardinal rule. Now I am paying the price for it.

There was Crash #1. Ominous forebodings. The priests in the IT department waved their wands and used their incantations to raise my electronic friend from the dead, even from the nether regions where all good laptops go. That was followed by Crash #2. I was able to revive the computer myself, and, having learned my lesson, promptly backed all of my files up. Then came Crash #3. Again I traveled through hill and dale, across mountains and deserts (and across the parking lot) to the ancient shrine of Information Technology. There was a different priest, but this one seemed to be wiser and more powerful than the one before.

“The days are numbered for this one,” he muttered to me, waving his hand and mumbling incantations over the metal frame of my laptop. “I can grant temporary dispensation, but someday this spell will wear off and you must replace him.” NOOOOOOO!!! I thought. But then I considered. Since I had already back everything up, it would be relatively simple to make the transition.

So even though my friends days are numbered, I am now ready to say goodbye when that day comes. And cherish a shiny new MacBook Pro.

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