I bought a new laptop.
For the first time in my life I have my own. You see, my partner and I used to share one. This was fine when I had two designated writing days per week but he’s going to be home more often now and I can’t write with someone around. So I’ve been researching laptops with a good battery life and finding cafes to hang in while working on my new work in progress.
The last time I had my own writing machine was back in the late seventies when I was sixteen. My parents bought me a typewriter for my birthday. I don’t remember the brand but it was sci-fi orange. You know, that colour that went with ideas of the future back then. Or maybe you had to be there.
I’d type my stories to the rat a tat tat of the type-bars hitting the paper against the soft roller. There was something rhythmic in that sound. And it was a delight to hear that ding! You’d get to the end of the foolscap sheet and a bell would signal you to slap that roller to the beginning of the line.
Writers are sentimental about their tools.
Several weeks ago we were visiting friends two hours out of Sydney. This is a usual jaunt for us but this was the first time we noticed a cherished relic in the dining room. On display was a classic Remington. I whipped out my phone and took photos straight away.
This majestic machine had us under its spell. Sturdy. Rustic. Impressive. We hit the keys and smiled as the bars scraped metal to leave an imprint on the page.
Even the photographs had a sepia tone to them without using a filter.
New media tool.
And here I am telling you all about it in the first post on my new writing machine. A tool that lets me play author twenty-first century style. My graphics package and my video editing software have already been downloaded. All my passwords to the various sites I need to promote myself have been entered.
We’re artists in a digital age. No longer typing alone collating our work as we go. We can talk about our stories instantly to those with faces we recognise but have never met. We know they want to listen.
But there’s irony.
I’m about to plot a new novel. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and want to blog about its progress regularly.
Unfortunately, me and my boss are about to up-skill. Our training will include eighty hours of online assessments. A perfect use for this machine. Somewhere in that time I hope to write.
My new laptop needs to get familiar with my imagination.