For 20 years my husband has supported my writing by purchasing me a new laptop whenever the current one failed. Except for two years ago when winning a Jason Wenger Award for Excellence in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska (Anchorage) MFA program left me with a check for $750 and the hankering for a new computer.
Ralf is a Lenovo laptop in charcoal gray that came off the “refurbished” shelf at the local Best Buy. His $250 price tag meant I had money left over for a stylus, a mouse, a computer bag, and a monitor for my husband’s PC. I had big plans for Ralf.
For 2 years, we were inseparable. We published Sons of Steel, the collection of short stories that garnered me the Jason Wenger award. We wrote and published “Moon Love”, a short story inspired by my daughter that was published in Alaska Women Speak magazine. We wrote and published Shooting Sdax, the sequel to my first novel, Soaring Alone. We applied for 2 different grants, hoping for funds to take a research trip for the (soon-to-be-published) Starring Alaska. I’m sure that I was more disappointed when we didn’t win either grant.
In 2019, Ralf and I took on our biggest endeavor yet. We opened a pop-up literary boutique. While he didn’t attend the pop-ups, I know he was supportive.
When the pandemic started this spring, Ralf really went to work as I rewrote and then edited Starring Alaska. He didn’t think I was crazy when that same novel became a novel and a novella (the latter is still under construction). If anything, Ralf kicked it into overdrive as we set one harrowing deadline after another, that will result in 3 published works by the end of 2020. The other book in the Calricaraq series is an interactive journal called Searching Self. You can get a copy of it here.
Then, in late June, Ralf wouldn’t stay connected to the internet.
We changed out his operating system. When that didn’t resolve his issues, we tried another version. It too, failed to fix his issues. An avid user of Google Docs, I needed him to get his act together. An avid writer who prefers to pen words on the sofa early in the morning, I needed a laptop that was up for the challenge.
After weeks of struggle I decided it was time to move on. Hence, Ed.
Named after the Apple support tech who was not helpful when I called to ask when (and if) my shiny new laptop was ever going to be shipped, Ed has all the bells and whistles. This week, he met Vellum, a beautiful application meant for indie authors.
I think they make a lovely couple.
Today, Scrivener joined them. It’s an application meant for all kinds of writers that I’m hopeful will help me create and organize future books.
As we continue to get to know each other, we’re busily writing Saving Betty and making plans for the books we’ll write in 2021.