Ink & Paper

Dec 14, 2011

They’d finished a minor landscaping project in our backyard the day before the great October blizzard hit, but the crew confirmed that they would be back to complete another project before too long.

I’m sure folks from less foliage encased lands must’ve watched the news reports with varying degrees of humor and disdain: “My god, what a lot of commotion over a couple inches of snow.” I would’ve joined them had I not been stuck in the middle of the downed branches, street closures and flailing electric lines that any self-respecting hurricane would have gladly call its own.

Ten days later, news reports still chronicled the unlucky souls without power, and we’d taken little notice that the landscaping crew never returned to complete their final project; didn’t really think about it until the first frosts of December. That’s when an old-fashioned telephone inquiry discovered that the company had lost power during the blizzard and that somehow their computer hard drive (and backup, if they had any) was wiped clean. So here’s the question: Whatever happened to pen and paper?

Maybe writers tend to be a bit more paranoid when it comes to our labors; I mean, who hasn’t agonized for an hour—or longer!—on a single sentence? I, for one, won’t let such efforts remain memorialized solely with bits and bytes. Hell, coming back from a recent trip I spent an hour in panic trying to find my Moleskine filled with story ideas—yes, most were previously copied to a Word document as backup, but that’s not the point, or maybe it is: there just isn’t any substitute for a good ‘ol hardcopy.

So here’s one of those incidents where small business can learn from the arts: never put all your faith in the latest technology. (Hey, good idea for a short story, or two…or was that vein already covered by Hawthorne, Melville, etc., etc., etc…)


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