Monday, July 30, 2007

Scary computer stuff

Today was the day I had been avoiding/putting off/trying to ignore for several weeks. The day my husband took on the task of moving my files and programs onto a new computer. I had backed up everything (I hoped) onto a small hard drive and given instructions - minimal but clear - about where things had to go, file- and directory-wise.
Then I went to work. And spent most of the day either trying not to think about it or crossing my fingers.
Came home and he's all grumpy. Uh-oh. What happened?
Well, the transfer worked fine, but when he was carrying the old computer (which I wanted to keep for a while just in case) outside, he tripped on the steps and dropped it. Not a good thing to happen to a computer. It won't talk to us anymore. He's still working on it.
In the meantime, I have realised that all my bookmarks in my net browsers are gone. Thankfully, my emails and address book moved OK, thanks to good instructions from Eudora. The bookmarks may be a benefit. I have to try and remember what they were, so any I don't use regularly are gone from my memory as well as the computer's.
This will be an ongoing process. Patience is required.
Saw an interview tonight on the ABC with Tom Keneally, and laughed at some of the things he said. Talking about writers, he said a novelist has to believe the world wants and needs his/her book - that requires a huge amount of confidence and a huge amount of ego (paraphrasing here). He also said his family has kept him sane, and that being on your own all the time as a writer encourages dark things like self-doubt. A writer needs to go out in the world to talk to people, and it's why he likes talks and book signings. It's a chance to see that people actually do buy and read his books - I know the feeling. Often you feel like no one knows your book even exists, and if they do, they're going to ignore it!
It occurred to me that school visits do the same thing for a children's writer (provide that contact with real people and real readers). Good to keep in mind.
In August during Children's Book Week I will be in Canberra for three days, doing nine school visits. Once upon a time that would have scared me witless, but I'm getting better at it. I just wish the kids would get my jokes more....

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