Christmas v. technology

This is embarrassing! It’s already January and I’ve only just published my Christmas novella. It popped straight up on Smashwords, which means it will be on iBooks any minute and Nook and Kobo in the next couple of days. It should appear on Amazon overnight.

You see – I was so attracted to this great photo for a cover that I began writing. Thought it would only be a seasonal shortie, but it’s grown past 14,000 words, included a visit to Christian and Fiona from THE WRONG SISTER, and turned itself into a novella. That’s part of the reason it’s late, but the rest is technological frustration.


A few weeks ago, my ever-helpful husband decided I should upgrade to Windows 10 and installed it for me. Ooops – not quite the result he wanted so he stripped it off and reloaded. BUT! He stripped off a lot more that he expected. I’ve spent the last month re-finding all the places I want, re-bookmarking them, and being told I can’t have that password and email address because someone else already has it. (Yes – me!) Much grinding of teeth.

I like Windows 10 – especially their Quick Access feature which means the last thing I was working on pops up again with one click. Goodness, a few strange things started happening though. Sometimes, as I was writing, it would decide to endlessly and rapidly keep typing the last letterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. What? It wouldn’t stop. Crash out, close down, fire the computer up again.

Worse, it starting deleting the contents of my inbox at a great rate. I calmed down somewhat when I found it was simply dumping it all in Trash and I could easily find the messages again.

But – urk! – sometimes instead of going forward, it would go backward. Deleting what I’d just written. Yep – wouldn’t stop. Crash out, close down etc. Panic and consternation. What the heck was this strange virus I seemed to have? Remembering to save after every couple of lines (and being constantly on the twitch to slam it off when the deleting happened) was doing my head in and not moving the story along very fast.

No amount of research turned up a virus that sounded anything like it. And, in truth, it wasn’t actually harming anything. It was just a great nuisance.

My keyboard was old, but I liked it. So old that half the E had worn off. Husband combed the city for a new one exactly the same in case there was a fault with the oldie. Noooo… new one seemed to make the problem worse. Now neither of us had much hair left and we were poorer by $120.

Then the penny dropped. Could the old keyboard model be incompatible with the new Windows 10 program? He plugged one of his Apple keyboards in to my PC. Peace and harmony returned to the Pearson household. In truth it’s not perfect - they were never made to work together and I’m getting some strange pop-ups. But it doesn’t delete what I’ve just written, and that’s good enough for me.

The end of the story flowed like magic and my normally sweet temper has almost returned. I hope you enjoy SANTA CLAWS. It’s different from anything else I’ve written. I killed some kittens off in the story to get even with the computer when things were at their worst, but you’ll be pleased to hear I later brought them back to life. Goodness – the wonders of technology!