I never realized how central a laptop is to my writing life. I’m not very good at using them to actually make poems (or even blog posts), since the screen is too damned small on any laptop I care to carry. At a minimum, I need to be able to see several versions of the poem I’m working on, my ancillary notes, a rhyming dictionary, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a search window — fortunately Apple’s Dictionary.app, which references wikipedia, combines the last 3. I also like quick, searchable access to my commonplace book and to all my previous poems, drafts, and manuscripts-in-progress, which right now means MacJournal, NoteTaker, DevonThink Pro, and Pages running in another Space. (One day I’ll consolidate all that. One day.)
But I don’t get to sit down to that labor till late in the day. I work at work, but all day long little things happen which give me ideas, and since I can’t read my handwriting, my laptop is where I’d make a quick note. I don’t eat lunch most days, and I used that time to organize what I’d entered and to drop in on poetry boards and science blogs, which are always great sources of material for me. I can still do the latter at lunch, but without my personal laptop and its 3G connection, there’s no good way to save the things I want. I thought email would serve, but another thing I’d do at lunch was to check my personal email, which is blocked (for good reasons) on work machines. Now I have 600 unread messages and I can’t seem to catch up.
I’m going crazy. And it’s going to be like this for nearly a month longer.