I’m not surprised no one is reading my blog. Why should they when I haven’t been updating it?

I’m sorry to say there hasn’t been much writing going on this past week or so. (Ran into a little writer’s block early in the week and then spent most of my long weekend off computer shopping with the Boyfriend. Unfortunately, we were looking for one for him, not me. Ironically, the MacBook I’ve been coveting is listed as the Consumer Reports top computer — and the one he wants is under it. And he’s always giving me crap about Macs. Ha!  They’re better than PCs!)

I have been gearing up for my NARWA meeting this weekend. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good one, with group critiques and a fun “share your best writing tips” session.

It’s always something, isn’t it? First, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped over my week of vacation. Now, my computer is on the fritz.

That’s right, my beloved iBook G4 laptop is dying. When I went to plug it in after work last night, the power cord wouldn’t go into the computer. Turns out, the little prong in the center of the cord broke off in my computer.

Paranoid about not draining the battery when I had no way to charge it back up, I turned on the computer for a few minutes to make a panicked tweet and Facebook posting. Then I shut it down and tried to do some longhand writing.

I managed a few pages by hand, but couldn’t get into the groove. I ended up going to bed early and got up this morning with one thought: How can I fix my computer? (I guess it’s a good thing to be obsessed with writing. After so many lazy years, I can stand to put in a little overtime.)

I tucked my laptop into my giant purse and headed to Best Buy. The guy at the Geek Squad counter confirmed that the center prong was, indeed, the problem. He also said it could cost up to $400 to repair.

Spending that much to repair an 8-year-old computer (or older) doesn’t seem smart — not when I can save up a few hundred more and get myself a brand new one.

I spent some time at Best Buy, playing with the MacBook on display there. I also checked out the iPad. There’s a voice-recognition software app that tempted me to get one … I could dictate my novel while on the road. (I get a lot of great ideas during the 45-minute drive to the Boyfriend’s house.)

Again, I figured if I’m going to spend $600 on a mid-memory-level iPad (and end up buying a keyboard/dock for it), I might as well spend a little more and get a real laptop.

I thought I’d averted disaster when my roommate’s husband managed to get the broken piece out of my computer. I thought, “All I need now is a new power cord!” Unfortunately, I tried that. It still wouldn’t charge with a not-broken power cord.

So it looks like I’ll be starting a new computer fund. A writer friend who got a new MacBook a few months ago is loaning me her G4 for a while, and I’m looking into buying a spare battery and wall battery charger so I can continue to use mine while I save up for a shiny, new MacBook.

After all, my laptop is still perfectly good. At least  it would be if I could charge it.

I love my iBook and wouldn’t trade it for anything — well, except perhaps a bright, shiny new MacBook Pro like the one a couple of my NARWA sisters have. 😀

However, I’ve discovered something this week: I still like writing things out longhand, with a spiral-bound notebook and a smooth-writing Pilot G-2.

I was at Starbucks Tuesday. Not planning on being there long enough to set up the laptop, I instead whipped out a notebook and started writing. Nearly an hour later, I realized I’d filled several pages.

Now, I’ve practically given up writing with a pen and paper when it comes to my manuscripts. I write at the computer … like most of you do, I’m sure. It’s easier to edit, and when I’m on a roll, I can get a lot more accomplished via typing than handwriting.

Plus, there’s the problem that my handwritten pages are sometimes too messy to read, thanks to too many years of scribbling madly to get people’s quotes down during interviews. My writing started deteriorating in college and continued on the job. Now, sometimes I look at a page and there’s a mere scribble where a word should be. If I’ve waited too long to transcribe my notes, I have to guess at what was said …

Luckily, my writing tends to be just a little neater when I’m not taking notes. Still, I have to watch it. When I get on a roll, it gets progressively messier. At least I usually get to transcribing it within a day or two, before I’ve forgotten what I was trying to say.

Why do I consider that lucky? Because I’ve realized there’s something about writing it out by hand. The way the pen glides over the paper, leaving behind  words as long-lasting as you want them to be is somehow satisfying.

Plus, it is easier to pull out a notebook and pen than it is to pull out the computer, start it up and open your word processing program. By the time you do all that, you could have written a quarter-page! 😉