Spinning beachball of death, and other occurrences

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. Or, rather, I had that feeling you were behind me, looking over my shoulder, wondering when the heck I was going to post again.

Or maybe that was just my internal to-do list.

I’m still here, it’s just that I’ve been mired in a freelance proofreading project for the past week. I’m behind and not used to having a deadline. I’m not used to having freelance work to juggle with the whole stay-at-home mom thing and with the renewed focus on my writing. Wow, am I out of practice with the multi-tasking and time management! Did I mention there’s a deadline?

As tends to be the case when a deadline looms — I think it’s some sort of law of the universe — something went wrong. That is, the universe threw a wrench into my already crazed week by having my beloved MacBook’s hard drive go kaput. First there was that telltale spinning beachball of death, and then my poor laptop just wouldn’t do anything. After several hours of cajoling, I managed to get it happy enough to back up all of my writing and photos (phew!) but that’s it. Then the spinning beachball of death returned and my laptop was useless again. Not good timing.

Long story short, I had to leave my beloved laptop at the Apple store Genius Bar (after an hour of diagnostic testing) and I was computerless for part of the week. I’m always amazed by how much I crave the motion of typing and actually miss my computer when it is gone. I had a bad case of writing withdrawal (and, ahem, Internet withdrawal), which unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to remedy since I got my computer back. The good news is, despite some lost data (mostly bookmarks, playlists and calendar items, but also a few files), I have a new, bigger hard drive with an updated operating system. And a new casing/touchpad for the top of my laptop (the “genius” I met with at the Apple store didn’t like the fact that a small piece of plastic on the corner of my laptop had fallen off), all courtesy of Apple. That’s right: I didn’t have to pay a cent! I have no idea why, as my computer was no longer under warranty and I’ve never ponied up for some kind of “care” package. The “genius” who was assigned my case was just nice, I guess.

Meanwhile, I’m re-learning Chicago style and proofreading daily until my eyes cross in order to meet my deadline. This is, despite what it sounds like, a good thing. I’ve long thought that any form of editing is helpful for one’s writing. It’s inspiring to read other writers’ work, for one thing. And, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of all those grammar, punctuation, and usage rules. Finally, there’s something about being nitpicky and correcting errors in writing that, at least for me, is conducive to producing better prose myself. Maybe it’s a misplaced competitive streak or something.

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2 thoughts on “Spinning beachball of death, and other occurrences

  1. I actually had a hard drive go on me during the finishing lap of my Masters research project in 2008. Thankfully, I recognised the signs in time and managed to get everything off onto my partner’s laptop but it was a horrible, horrible moment. The project itself was backed up in four locations – I have severe data paranoia.

    I’ve also got a small piece of plastic missing off my upper casing – due to someone closing the lid overly enthusiastically, I suspect.

    • See? It is some kind of law of the universe! My previous laptop began corrupting my files during my last semester of my MFA program. I lost a chapter or two of my thesis and ended up having to get a new computer just around the time my thesis was due.
      The new casing is really nice – nicer than what was on here before. The new touchpad is better, too! I go the impression from the guy at the Apple store that the casing problem was not unique.

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