Unexpected Internet Vacation

I think Dusk Peterson may have something! He strictly stays away from the web for a good part of the month because otherwise, it sucks him in and he doesn’t get any writing done. I didn’t plan on taking a web timeout when my connection went down last Thursday, but that’s what happened. The message made it seem that the outage might be a biggie, so waiting a couple of days made sense. The last one did take almost two days. Then it was the weekend and I figured nothing would get done until at least Monday even if I called AT&T. Then Monday came and I was on a major downer of depression and exhaustion, and the idea of dealing with customer service was just too much.

Then it was Tuesday, and except for needing to do some things that could only be done on the web — buying postage stamps, believe it or not — I didn’t really miss being online after the first two days. The post office is too far for me to walk, and taking a bus to buy a book of stamps is just…  I was revising Privileged Lives, and getting back to sorting material for Set Me Free. The world could go on without me for a while.

But life calls, and I was all set to face the customer service go-round today, when my son rescued me, quite accidentally. I didn’t know when he was going to show up, so I didn’t want to get caught on the phone. While I was waiting, an AT&T truck parked out front. Not for me, but I went over and asked if the guy knew anything about a general outage. Sorry, no. But while I was waiting for him to finish a phone conversation, he said something about not being able to get the service working. When my connection does down, it’s the “service” light that tells me something is bad. So maybe it wasn’t just my problem. My son showed up, and I explained why I hadn’t answered his email a couple of days before. When he left, he talked to the guys working at the back and they said I should try resetting the modem now. Perfect timing. He texted me, and lo and behold, the reset worked this time.

Yeah, it’s nice to be back, and the world didn’t change that much while I was gone. Political idiots are still idiots. What a surprise! Two novelists died, and someone named Kesha is currently a “big deal.” There’s always someone I’ve never heard of who’s currently a big deal. One email account had zero spam, and the other had 14, not bad for five days.

And I did a lot of work on Privileged Lives. It’s taking much more rewriting than I anticipated. I cut down and mashed together several chapters, so the novel is currently 3,000 words and four or five chapters lighter. It will probably expand back to 94,000 words because I’m adding new material. The second edition is going to be a much better book.

Maybe I’ll take a several-days vacation from the web once a month or so.


4 thoughts on “Unexpected Internet Vacation

  1. Can I ever relate to what you’re saying. I find being on the internet uses a different part of my brain from the part that writes and, unless I’m doing research for a particular project, being on the web for any length of time always leaves me feeling that my time could have been better spent. Frankly, I could live very happily forever without the web if I didn’t need it for clients to be able to reach me.

    1. I couldn’t live without it, and that kind of scares me. As my physical abilities decline, it makes it possible for me to do a lot of things that are increasingly out of reach. I don’t have to go to the library that’s either a very long walk or a bus ride away. And there’s actually more available on or via the net. Research would be impossible without it. I don’t have to take buses and trek around to buy items that are in a wide variety of stores. There’s also the time factor. Shopping online takes a fraction of the time it takes to go out and shop. It also conserves my limited energy.

      But it’s definitely addictive, because I’m an information junkie. Also, I don’t have TV or radio, so without the net, I’m cut off from basic information like the weather. It’s a very unreliable dependency.

      1. Ah, I didn’t know you didn’t have TV or radio. I have my radio permanently tuned to Australia’s public broadcaster – mostly news and interviews. I run it down low all day, just high enough to catch any keywords for a subject I might be interested in, then I’ll turn it up while the interview is on. Then I watch TV and sew (or oil furniture) in the evenings, so I’m pretty up on information anyway.
        I’ve got to admit, though, that the net’s great for research. I used to be a librarian in one of the biggest historical libraries in Australia and what one had to go through to glean information for a book was incredible in those days. Relevant books had to be requested by phone and sent by post from other libraries, etc., a very long, slow process that weeded out all but the most determined scholars. Information-gathering in those days sure was character building.

        1. I remember the hassles with library research. Even if you have access to a something like a university library, as you said, it can be slow and painful. I’m sure there’s an enormous amount of information that isn’t on the web, but for my needs, it’s much more useful than any library I’ll ever have access to.

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