Just bitchin', writing

Dear Outlook.com


Dear Outlook.com,


Hello there, my old friend.

We’ve been together for quite some time now, haven’t we? Long enough for me to overcome my trust issues and learn to lean on you. Long enough for me to rely on you, making you the guardian of some of my most precious information.

You know…things like email correspondence with agents and publishers…contracts for the work that’s been or is going to be published…critiques and encouragement that mean the world to my shriveled, degenerate writer’s soul.

You know…all the stuff I crammed into a custom folder with the unoriginal title of ‘Writing.’

You know…all the stuff that disappeared today.

I can’t tell you, dear Outlook, how thrilled I was to find a completely different program in your place when I logged in after lunch. That’ll teach me to take a midday break, I guess.

But…back to you, the star of this love letter.

Can you imagine that ‘special’ feeling I got when I realized my old friend had been transformed into a cumbersome, lumbering, inelegant troll?

I bet you can’t.

Do you know how great it was when I tried seventeen times to access the live chat Help Desk only to find you are now so buggy, you cut every attempt off as soon as the chat begins?

I bet you don’t.

Can you imagine the rage of loss that had me considering legal action for the wanton destruction of years of accumulated information?

I bet you can’t.

Do you know how much fun it is to now have to employ numerous mouse clicks and maneuvering where before one click sufficed?

I bet you don’t.

So thank you, dear friend, for a day devoted to panic and anger.

It’s special times like these that remind me how much you care. We are so in sync, you just know you don’t need to warn me.

So, thank you, dear Outlook.com. After that heavy cup of yogurt for lunch, I really needed that shot of adrenaline to get me through the rest of the day. You know…the reaction to finding years of effort…gone.

No, I bet you don’t.

And you wonder why so many writers become raging alcoholics.


Just bitchin'

The Defrag Dance


There’s a housekeeping function in the maintenance section of my computer. It’s called ‘defrag.’

I push a few keys, make a few selections, and…presto! I can watch some industrious, little genie sort through all the bits and bytes that have somehow been secreted in odd nooks of my hard drive, assembling them, reuniting them.

A graphic representation is provided that I assume symbolizes the actual defrag process. If it’s taken literally, then my hard drive looks like a Mondrian painting, composed of squares of color in varying sizes.

The little defrag elf sorts through this colorful landscape, moving all the squares of one color that have inexplicably scattered from their brethren back to where they belong.

I find this fascinating. Like the I-take-it-back command of ctrl + z, defragging would be a marvelous thing if it could be applied to one’s life.

It’s akin to a lost lamb finding its flock…

A prodigal being returned to his family…

A lonely soul reuniting with his tribe.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to press a few buttons and find out where you’re really supposed to be?

Yes, it would. But it’s just a techno-dream. The defrag elf collects the lost strays and corrals them together, but once the mesmerizing dance is done, my laptop is only a small mote of controlled chaos waiting to break free.

Soon the defragging will loosen its hold. There will be fragging.

Because I’m sure that chaos is the norm.

And life is a maze.

It might be lonelier, but it’s more interesting that way.