Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

The medium is a mess.

I have a laptop. An hour ago I had no laptop. But now I do, and it is named DUCHATELET, and it is sitting behind me quietly charging its little battery before I bend it to my evil whims.

Problem is, I'm not entirely sure what those evil whims are. See, for most of the last eight years -- since I started freelancing in the middle of 2000 -- one of my major methods of life maintenance has been that when I step away from the computer, I can keep thinking about work, but I can't actually keep working. And it turns out that thinking about work is not at all hard one one's back, and that other things do intervene so that I still go out with friends and play with the dog and like that. But if markgritter and timprov indicate that they would like to hang out and watch a DVD, I have been physically unable to claim that I'm doing this while really working on a story. This seems best all around.

So I don't know. I'm pretty sure I'll use this laptop, or we wouldn't have bought it. I'm just not sure where the boundaries will need to go. Right now I'm not even sure if it'll be a problem; I'm reaching my queasy time from doing one and a third of the things on my revision task list, writing an e-mail, and reading some lj. After this I'll be heading downstairs with a book and not the new laptop. Will I write fiction on the library couch now? In the living room? Will it come out better that way? Will I actually get work done while traveling that isn't a pain in the butt to deal with upon my return, the way longhand writing is?

I don't know. And I'm definitely not giving up on writing things longhand. My paper journal is a shadow of its former self since I've been writing most of my drafts on the computer -- sure, there'll be ponderings and title ideas and snippets like that, but that's a lot less material than several hundred or thousand words of fiction a day, which is what my paper journals saw in their prime. My current one is much smaller than the monstrosities I used to use, and it still seems like a lot to juggle when I'm going out.

But! porphyrin and Mike and the kids tucked a couple of tiny graph-ruled notebooks into my birthday present. Really tiny -- the size of my hand. And I stuck one in my purse, and last week when I was waiting forEVer for the optician to fix my glasses, I pulled one out and started writing a short story in it in big, sloppy handwriting that is both like and unlike my usual handwriting. I mean, you can tell it's me, but you can also tell that it was maybe leaning on my knee in an uncomfortable chair in the optician's office. I started writing it sequentially, and I think I'll try to continue. The story is called "The Curvature of Every Disorder," which is a title I dreamed, and it may fill the entire notebook and still count as a short story. Maybe it'll be a novelette. Maybe I'll finish it and another story will go in there behind it. I don't know. But it is a notebook for being useful in odd moments, for being entertaining in odd moments, and also for shaking up what I think I'm doing with this process stuff, maybe. I have always said that I didn't want to be one of those people who can't get work done unless they have exactly the right pen with exactly the right ink in it on exactly the right paper, or exactly the right tea, or whatever, and yet the vast majority of my fiction composition in the last several years has been right here at this desk. So maybe that's going to change. Or maybe not; it'll be interesting to find out.
Tags: full of theories
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