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The Lap Top of Luxury?

I dropped my laptop a couple of days ago (I can practically hear the collective gasp).  I was in Charlottetown, taking advantage of the free wi-fi in the Confederation Centre and had been packing the laptop up when it slipped out of my hands ("Oooohhh nooo!" I can hear you cry).  So naturally I took it to The Little Mac Shoppe, the only authorised Apple service centre on PEI.  It looks like I need a new hard drive and I’ll be getting a larger one, which is nice.  It is still uncertain if they will be able to retrieve the info from my old HD.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Although I try to back up my work as often as possible, I never think of backing up my emails or my address book.  I can't really ponder the possibility of losing that stuff at the moment. I'm already a bit freaked out by the whole thing and I'd prefer to try to think positively.

Thankfully I had backed up in early February, so I didn't lose too much work. In fact, I have been preoccupied with setting up readings for myself in Montreal and Toronto, so I haven't really done much work on my novel.  I suppose procrastination has turned out to be a lucky break for me, although, in my defense, I have been obsessive about Googling bookstores, libraries, various media, reading series, colleges and universities and anywhere else I think I might have a shot at reading in public.  As it stands now Fatted Calf Blues will have an official launch in Charlottetown on April 23rd and a Montreal launch at Casa del Popolo in Montreal on May 4th.  My other Montreal gig is at the Visual Arts Centre on May 13th.  So far the only Toronto reading is at the The Press Club on June 3rd, then two readings in Hamilton (where I will also be leading my first workshop, but more on that in an entry-to-come).  I'm still looking for a venue for a Toronto launch.  I'm hoping for the Drake Hotel, although there are other possibilities.  The full list of readings is on my home page and will be updated as dates are confirmed.

The whole process of setting up readings for myself has pushed me to make connections with the literary communities of PEI, Montreal and Toronto.  As much as some writers complain about having to promote themselves, I'm finding this aspect of being published quite useful and interesting.  I tend to think of it as a natural extension of the publishing process, as much as publishing is a natural extension of the creative process.  It is certainly a nice antidote to the hours one spends alone writing (although I like that too).  But in retrospect, I see the dropping of my laptop as a kind of punctuation to that process of self-promotion.  A full stop.  And something of a wake-up call.

At first I felt cut off at the knees (and still do to some extent), but now I realize this is my opportunity to get back to the novel.  While my computer is in the shop I am using Thelma's iBook.  Of course she has been very good about letting me use it whenever I need to, but I am very aware of using somebody else's machine.  It is a weird, tentative feeling and it will be interesting to see how it might affect my writing.  Sometimes I wonder if I should switch to longhand (I've tried that before), but it has now hit me where I live (so to speak) how much my laptop has become an extension of myself.  What once felt like a luxury -- being able to move paragraphs around, researching on the Internet, etc  --  is truly an integral part of my creative self.

Welcome to my new home on the Interweb

Thanks for coming to give my new online home a once over. We've ripped off the old wallpaper, pulled up the shag carpeting and have added some new drapes and paint. Over time we will be adding and refining - pictures on the wall, books on the shelves, music on the Hi-Fi - so check back soon to see what we've been up to.

We've built this site using a great program called RapidWeaver, which lets ordinary folks create pretty websites without having to know very much about the behind-the-scenes magic . But it's only for Macs - sorry PC.