Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fingers tapping, program frozen, time for an update

Recently, while writing a scene that I had been thinking about quite a bit (fiddling with the details, what I wanted revealed and what I wanted to just hint at), I came to a stopping point and rolled down to the end of the page so only a portion of my hour's writing was visible.  I was still thinking through what I had typed and thought it a good time to save before I made any more changes.  I gave a quick roll of the mouse and a click on save.  The program froze with a hand tapping its fingers on my screen just above the save button.  I waited several moments, left my desk and returned to find those tiny fingers still tapping.  Ultimately, I had to force-close the program and accept that my recent work was gone.  I restarted, began the scene again having convinced myself that most of what I had written was still clear in my mind, my work at phrasing things just so still drifting before my writer's eye.  I wrote a while, moving through the scene quicker than the first time.  It didn't feel that I had caught all that I had worked so hard to recapture, but it was not bad.  Again, a roll of the mouse and a click.  The hand appeared, fingers tick, ticking along.  Frozen again.  I waited an hour in the hope it would come to whatever conclusion it was set on, but no luck.  This time I had not rolled the page down, so all of what I had written was still on screen.  I pulled out a sheet of my daughter's line paper and copied.  It took a while, but I had my work written down at least.

I have pondered the problem a bit.  I use WordPerfect and have for more than 30 years. This particular version of the program is more than eight years old and does not work well with Vista unless it is set up to be run as an older version program set for Windows XP.  It has not been a problem as I set it up properly years ago.  However, Windows keeps updating, and I think my poor old version of WP has finally met the point where it cannot function with my Vista.  I tested it repeatedly, causing the program to freeze every time.  I even reset it again as an old version program, but the problem persists.  So for a week now I have not been able to write, which is frustrating as this will probably be the last couple weeks that teaching doesn't take up all my time.

Some time next week my Vista compatible version of WordPerfect will arrive.  In the meantime, I ponder the next scenes I hope to get down and will be ready when my chance to write comes again.  I know I could hand write, but I have become so comfortable with the ease of editing in mid-stride that the thought cramps my thoughts up too tight for such slow drafting.

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