Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wordcount Wednesday

I should have known better. I said last week that I hoped I'd be able to get Failstate done for my birthday. Yeah, that didn't happen. Part of the reason is Holy Week. It was foolish of me to think that I'd be able to wrap things up and add on the however many words I need during one of the busiest times of the year for me.

But then our tempermental computer decided it would be a great time for its latest breakdown.

About two years ago we upgraded our home computer and bought an HP Pavilion something-or-other. It's an odd machine. It suffers from occasional slow-downs. Well, that's actually a misnomer. "Occasional" in this case means "at least once a month" and "slow-downs" means "crawls along at a pace that makes me think it'll crash at any moment." I've gotten to know the folks at the local Best Buy Geek Squad quite well since purchasing this machine. The maddening thing was, the Geeks couldn't pinpoint the problem. Sure, the computer would be slow for them when I brought it in, but they would never be able to find anything actually wrong with it, neither hardware nor software.

Things got a little better when I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 but the problems still persisted. The difference was, now the slow-downs did become occasional and they usually resolved themselves within a few hours. I figured things were looking up.

That is until this past Saturday when the computer crashed and, when I restarted it, it would only beep at me. That's a new one.

I called the Geeks and they suggested I bring it in. After looking it over, I was told it was probably one of two things. It was either bad memory (which could be fixed fairly easily) or a bad motherboard (which can't be fixed). With no computer in the house starting Saturday evening and stretching through Tuesday, I got very little writing done this week. I had to bring my laptop home from church to do any at all.

But I did get some done. As of right now, Failstate is 80,225 words long and, I'm guessing, will stretch out to at least a hundred thousand words when all is said and done. I'm thinking that will come down once I begin the rewriting process. We'll have to see.

And while I was computer-less, I tried to figure out the ending to this book. I have three "major events" that have to take place. I have a gaggle of lesser events that have to happen as well. And a week ago, I had no idea how they would all line up. I've got a better idea now, at least good enough to proceed.

As for my self-imposed birthday deadline . . . yeah, not happening. I am cautiously optimistic I might have this done by the end of the month, though. Having said that, of course, it'll be at least until Memorial Day before I'm done.

Oh, and as far as the computer is concerned, I'm kind of torn. I honestly don't know what I'm hoping for. On the one hand, I'd hate to have to spend a lot of money to replace it and go through the work of transferring all my data to a new one. But at the same time, it might be a blessing in disguise to drop this lemon and try again. Best Buy actually has a much better system (twice the memory and a better graphics card) on sale this week for about what we paid for the broken desktop, so there's an option if worse came to worse. I checked in with the Geeks earlier today and it sounded like they were in the middle of the diagnostic. So hopefully I'll know sometime tomorrow what the verdict is.

Of course, if I do wind up with a new tower, that means I'll be even more distracted from my writing. Sigh. I guess I just can't win this month. Happy birthday to me.

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