Sunday, 30 May 2010

iMuck up: N M Browne

I have been without my iMac for a week and I am afraid I missed my spot here. I have been quite bereft.
This is weird because I have never much cared what I wrote on in the past. I wrote all my essays as a student longhand and didn’t really start using a computer for writing until the late eighties. For a while I wrote on a palm pilot and have used a variety of machines since, but it seems those promiscuous days are gone. I have lost my adaptability.
I find that I can’t actually write longhand any more. I can’t make my hands do those wiggly bits. I have got to that wonderful stage of life when my handwriting, always illegible to other people, is now completely impenetrable to me. Notes in the margins of manuscripts could mean anything at all. I have spent hours trying to decipher words which turn out to have been scribbles trying to bump start my pen.
I have to type and I am a dreadful typist. I did go on a course once - but I only lasted the first few lessons. I know where the main keys are but I didn’t get to the lesson on capitals, tabs, numbers or punctuation. Occasionally I will offer to type something for my kids only to find myself wilting under their criticism. I always type ‘hte’, ‘form’ and ‘stroy’, hell, I even mistype my own name as ‘Nikcy’ and my old computer always welcomed me as ‘Nicole’ due to an unfortunate mistake early on in our relationship that I was too incompetent to correct: besides it made me feel exotic.
Anyway, (or as I prefer to type it ‘anywya’) I like my iMac because it has a big clear screen that shows me my mistakes. I don’t have to squint at it or crane my neck. It looks beautiful and my heart lifts a little when I see it. Without all the various boxes and wires of my old Dell, I have much more room on my desk for excessive clutter and it emerges like an elegant sculpture from the detritus of my disordered workspace, a paragon of modernity. Without it I have found myself unaccountably at a loss.
I confess that I could have written my blog if I’d really tried. I have a small notebook on which I could have worked, but it has a tiny screen and a rather unfortunate tendency to stick like an old fashioned typewriter. It is fine as long as I don’t type words with ‘m’ or ’l’ in them or sentences with that all important ‘.’ Even I, a stranger to sophisticated punctuation, recognise that as a problem. It might have been an interesting challenge, but I couldn’t face blogging, or more properly, bgging without those letters.
So I’m sorry I didn’t blog on my day. I’m sorry that I appear to have become dependent on a particular type of machine, that I am in thrall to a US based multinational that is taking over the world. I will fight it I promise, but not until I’ve finished my next book. (If it sells I might have to buy an iPad.)


Linda Strachan said...

'I always type ‘hte’, ‘form’ and ‘stroy’,'

Oh yes, me too!

I don't know why but although I can scribble notes and thoughts in a notepad if I have to - I really struggle to write anything of any real length unless I am on a computer. I seem to be able to lose myself in the story between the keyboard and my head.

Perhaps it us just easier and stems from having virtually unreadable scribble for handwriting?

Joan Lennon said...

For me it's always "shurgged" for "shrugged".

(Loved the picture of you trying to decipher your pen-starting squiggles!)

Stroppy Author said...

Though an iPad is very lovely, I can tell you now that you won't be able to use it to type your blog. Or bg. Maybe if you get a bluetooth keyboard, but not otherwise. Twitter is about as much typing as I can do on it!

Nicky said...

ooh jealous!!