Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Tale Of The Word Pad Thief...

...or doing my own crossword puzzle, the hard way.

I have a laptop, though since the slot for my wireless card broke, I haven't used it much. I don't bring it to work as of late because of security issues there and it doesn't have Microsoft Word, which is my preferred means of writing (it has a bare bones version of Works).

At any rate, I write by hand on occasion, though I write with difficulty. I learned how to use chopsticks before I learned how to write, so I hold my pen like this...

...and that is the chicken scratch that comes out. It's usually not as neat as this either, as my hand has a tendency to cramp up after a few paragraphs.

So my main M.O. is to use a computer at work that has Word Pad only, but Word Pad is all I need to get a basic draft down. If right now you thinking "why doesn't he just use load Word on to his laptop?"

You're using logic.

Stop that this instant.

I'm a writer and am prone to quirks, don't ya know?

So I use Word Pad to type it up during lunch and then I have to get the hell out of there, because then I would have to explain why I'm using the computer. Note, there is no Internet on that connection, just an Intranet if you want to check your pay stub, so it would be safe to assume that I'm not surfing for p*rn.

Only three people from work know that I write and about five people knew that I used to screen write. The point being it's a big secret as to just what I'm up to and if you understand the poisoned culture in my workplace, you'd realize that it does me no good to tell anyone just what I'm up to.

Last week I had a pretty good thing going and I was on a roll. I was over the moon as I went to print it and I was greeted with this...

What...the...f*ck? The worst of it was the way my writing meter times out, the middle is the part of the sentence that I cannot remember for the life of me. So I had to fill in the blanks so to speak, or imagine an esoteric writing crossword puzzle. Now mind you, I obviously know where the story was going, but my problem was getting each and every word right...not so easy.

BTW, the damn printer did it again two days later, the rat bastard machine.


jin said...

I have a theory on the *why*.
Want to hear it?

On too many occasions I have lost pages of writing... or emails... or blog posts & being the eternal optimist that is a jin, I decided that things like this happen when the universe believes we can do a hell of a lot better than the first draft.

Well, ok it's not a perfect theory... don't throw it at me! The monkey made me say it!

Dale said...

Oh, that smarts! Thank you for not losing this post title, I loved it.

Cormac Brown said...


Welcome and The Monkey is very persuasive, though that would be an cruel jinni, because it was a decent enough story to build on.


I'm glad you liked the title, now if only I could post like you do.

Bubs said...

I saw those two pages and felt a sinking sensation in my gut just looking at it.

"...if you understand the poisoned culture in my workplace, you'd realize that it does me no good to tell anyone just what I'm up to."

I'm with you there. Only one person I work with knows about my blog (actually, Jin outed me to him at our 4th of July party)and he's also the only person who knows anything about my aspiring to be a real writer some day. I suppose I'm lucky to be able to trust one out of 60 people.

Cormac Brown said...


It wasn't a complete disaster, but it did mess with my anal-retentive side.

One out of sixty is not bad and it's a higher ratio than at my job. Of course out of everybody that I know in your profession, I only know of one that can keep a secret (not including you, of course).

Flannery Alden said...

Might be fun to have a "fill in the blanks" contest.

Cormac Brown said...


Nnnnnmayyybbbb-nah. How about this tomorrow, instead?

Gifted Typist said...

Bubs, you are a writer right now.

Cormac, I wrote by hand the entire premise draft of my first and only novel. In the process I taught myself lovely italic writing with a proper calligraphic pen. It's because to look at.

writing by hand opens up certain pathways, a bit like painting is different than photography.

I think all writers should write by hand every now and then - to record the fragments of thought that pass through

Cormac Brown said...


The woman who was my mentor up until '07, contended that writing by pen was superior because it was "more organic" and I agree with her to an extent.

Unfortunately my mind works on a staccato pace and I need to type a story out sometimes, just to keep up with the flow of thoughts. This is especially true of when I outline, because I need to get each and every detail down, or the momentum of the outline can be lost.

Quin Browne said...

cute toes.

Katie Schwartz said...

OY VEY, I am cringing on your behalf because I know how suck ass that is. Finding the perfect words and losing them?!??! It's criminal, I tell ya.

So, spill, were you able to rewrite it with a degree of success?

Say yes, Cormac, and give a girl some hope.

Katie Schwartz said...

PS: Love that you said "Rat bastard", that is one of my grandmother's faaaaaaaaaaavey sayings.

Katie Schwartz said...

PSS: Notice the present tense use of "says", not "said". Still having issues with deathversation, donchya know.

Cormac Brown said...


I'm glad you said something about my toes, but I'm sad that nobody said anything about bowed-legs.


It's the worst thing in the world to lose the words. I did recover it to a degree, though the meter is slightly off. "Rat bastard" is one of my favorite non-"f" word swearings and I'm right with you that asshole skull that carries the scythe.