December 13, 2009

The Kind of Lie You Tell Yourself on Days When It Goes Badly

The true truthful truth is, IF I had a Netbook, THEN I could write this book. A Netbook has FIVE hours of battery life, and I truly believe in my pink heart that in NetBookSpeak, five hours means at LEAST four hours.

It would fit inside my big purse so it would always be with me, like my phone, but with MS WORD on it. But better than my phone, because my phone’s keyboard is indeed QWERTY, but it says in teeny teeny teeny print so teeny no one human eye can detect it, “This keyboard only for use by gnomes, sentient hummingbirds, and the prehensile thumbs of adolescent girls.” No one can be expected to write a book on a Crackberry, but the NETBOOK is like if Crackberry and a laptop had a perfect perfect baby who made writing novels a simple and delightful sugarplum laced dream. With skipping. And cake.

Meanwhile, my current laptop is thwarting me and ruining my serenity and leeching out all my writer-mojo. No wonder I am having difficulties, trying to CRAFT WORDS on this an ancient and unweildy Laptoposaurus. My back is ablaze from carting its enormous haunches and its five pound battery about. AND Laptop battery hours are like dog years, in that “two hours” means “mayyyybe, 45 minutes, assuming you sacrifice a helpless, virgin squirrel to the proper dark gods.”

So I can only work in places that let me plug in, which means NOT THE GOOD SUSHI/TEA HOUSE and I have to tote all these impossible yards of various cords, all of whom pretend to go neatly into the bag in tidy coils and the SECOND I shut that bag, they begin trying to impersonate The Ouroboros playing a fun game of Twister with some frantically mating earthworms.

Just thinking about trying to sort those cords out has pre-defeated me. I have gone all brain soft from technological despair and I read on Web MD that is a REAL thing that makes you too FLOPPY in the leg regions to go to the coffee house and work and PS IT IS RAINING. I think I shall allow myself to be dragged by my kids down to the basement to watch Harry Potter and the Billions in Marketing Tie Ins while eating about a POUND of asparagus and Scott’s Orange-Rosemary Glazed Pork Tenerloin.

But...IF I HAD A NETBOOK? I would have finished the book by now. This is just true.

Posted by joshilyn at December 13, 2009 5:15 PM

Alphasmart? No internet or email for distractions, editing not exactly easy. Cheap.

Posted by: hollygee at December 13, 2009 5:48 PM

I totally and completely believe you. About the book AND the asparagus.

Posted by: Roxanne at December 13, 2009 6:17 PM

Sorry about the Laptoposaurus but, mmmmmmm Orange- Rosemary glazed pork tenderloin sure sounds like a good alternative!

Posted by: Allison at December 13, 2009 7:05 PM

You need make Scott start his own blog about all the yummy recipes he forces you to eat. That orange-rosemary glazed pork tenderloin sounds scrumptious!

Posted by: Avallia at December 13, 2009 7:41 PM

Your words slay me - but they should slay the laptoposaurus. Here's hoping a netbook is in your Christmas stocking!

Posted by: Mit at December 13, 2009 8:13 PM

I have the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-PU1X from Amazon and really, honestly do get 10 hours of battery life running Word. Used it all day at the mean cafe that locked down their outlets but has really yummy pastries. Even the VU1X does 8.

Posted by: Poppy at December 14, 2009 12:58 AM

So now we're worrying about the virginities of animals too?

I always think my writing will be better if I do it in pretty notebooks, and not scraps of paper I already have. So I totally get where you're coming from.

Posted by: Saskia at December 14, 2009 2:44 AM

I'll have to look up this technological despair . . it may include the feeling I have that, as soon as I can afford a new technology, they make the next one. And that I can NEVER afford to replace all my media that's on old technologies.

Phooey. Meanwhile, I'll instead think about a pound of oven roasted asparagus in olive oil and sea salt, cooked to the point of delicious perfection, mmmm.

Posted by: Brigitte at December 14, 2009 6:58 AM

I hate to rain on your parade but try out the keyboard on a netbook first. We have a OLPC ( and it is ANNOYINGLY SMALL. The keyboard and the screen are so tiny, child or elf size. It only opens one window at a time.

Make sure you get a netbook with 2G memory or can upgrade it. Most are 1G and it is integrated on the motherboard and cannot be upgraded. I think you'd be happier with a new laptop.

Posted by: GrandeMocha at December 14, 2009 9:52 AM

Some netbooks are pretty tiny. The 10 inch ones are the best compromise between portability and usability. Almost full-sized keyboards. Clean up all the preload stuff the first time and they're great for writing/surfing/email. Forget about gaming, photo editing etc. they're not meant for that. Don't pay more than $350.

Posted by: . at December 14, 2009 12:19 PM

Ha! Laptoposaurus! I have one of those.

Posted by: Nikki at December 14, 2009 1:36 PM

I could comment on the hardware envy, but this post sounds suspiciously similar to the self-delusion I practice. "If only I had the Dr. Wicked Write or Die software, Word 2007, Liquid Story Binder, (insert current obsessions here), I could get the dam* book finished." Of course, when I get whatever it is I've been desiring, the obstacle becomes something else.

Joshilyn, just get the dam* book finished. ;) The magic is in the writer; not her hardware.

Posted by: hope101 at December 14, 2009 2:19 PM

OOH! I bought a netbook this summer and am enamored of it, but it may not be the bestest answer for you. As someone else pointed out above the keyboard is still not great. However, mine is a bit better (I think) as the keys aren't right on top of each other -- it is a Toshiba. If you were closer to Decatur I'd let you check it out.

Posted by: dazey at December 14, 2009 4:21 PM

i can just see you dancing about and singing "if i had a netbook, dah dah de dah de dah dah dah dah dah de dah de dah dah!" (in your best russian accent, of course....)

Posted by: dramamama at December 14, 2009 4:28 PM

OH YES HOPE, that is exactly right! I NEED THE DR. WICKED WRITE OR DIE SOFTWARE, absolutely I do. THAT is why I can;t finish the book, not the netbook. Or maybe I need both. Also, I may need a kitten. If i had a NEW KITTEN all DEAR AND KIND and PUFFY I would have finished THREE books. YESTERDAY.

Posted by: Joshilyn at December 14, 2009 11:07 PM

Can I just say that I lurve it when your mental illness number goes up...

Posted by: c at December 15, 2009 12:08 AM

Battery life is a total lie. My new Vaio said it gets 6 hours of battery life, but that is only true when the screen is so dark it feels like I'm in Finland in January. And when I want to watch a movie on a plane, it only lasts about 30 minutes. But with just Word running at medium screen lightness (think southern Sweden in March?) then it will last a good 4 hours. So writing on planes or in cafes works for me.

Posted by: Haley at December 16, 2009 6:10 AM

I asked for an alpha smart for xmas last year, the one without all the internet distractions, and got this 17" Gateway with all the bells and whistles. It's red and pretty and chirps when the Tweets come rolling in. And it's heavy and the battery monitor in the corner LIES.

The keyboard lights up so I can write in the dark, you know, in case I need to, until the batery dies. Did I say it's red?

Posted by: PattiH at December 16, 2009 8:44 AM

Go on ebay and buy a new battery for the laptopasaurus. I bought a generic one for half the price, it gave twice the power, and we got to talk about all the fun places it stopped in from Shanghai, China.

Posted by: Donna at December 16, 2009 1:50 PM

No Super!!!,

Posted by: rerrt732 at December 18, 2009 7:23 AM