The truth is I'm besotted by technology. Actually, the truth is I love toys. I like diminutive objects that do clever things. Computer software has all the nooks and crevices of a dolls' house, tiny drawers that slide in and out and have minute working models of kitchen implements inside. I only liked toy cars that had doors that opened and steering wheels that turned. I adored a doll that pee'ed into a nappy after being given a bottle, not for any innate maternal pleasure it gave me, not so I could nurture my faux baby, but because of the one thing one thing following another, and the fact that I could set it in motion. It worked like a real life object, but wasn't. It was a trick. A delight.
So I finished the novel and celebrated by giving up on the horrors of Windows Vista and migrated to an Mac. A thing of beauty, and best of all it's toytown, though a bit dinky, even for me. I hate the dock and its little bouncing icons - but I've discovered Quicksilver and my fingers are beginning to flick my applications into life. What it means is that I've had to spend days learning a completely new system and discover all kinds of new software. My happiness/craziness quotient runneth over. I've got no knowhow, you understand, everything about software is just beyond my comprehension, except that bit by bit I begin to see what it does, and just glimpse slightly how it works, how it's organised and what I can make it do.
Databases thrill me, but are so fathomless I feel like I've been shipwrecked in a wilderness. The fantasy is that I can put all information into my machine and it will link together to surprise me with the oddest connections. That's a toy brain, really. I can't get my head around the multiplicity of Tinderbox , though I think it's probably just what I want. DevonThink is remote and massive. VoodooPad is wonderful and magically wiki and Journler looks to me almost just right, like the baby bear's porridge, though I have to make the magical connections myself.
I want a word processor that pulls together notes, research, lets me play around with text and makes patterns. Scrivener does all that with knobs on, and opens two different windows at the same time. But Jer's Novel Writer (call it like it is) lets you make marginal notes, though you can't have a notecard view. So much to play with. Though the truth is that I know Word so inside and out it's virtually invisible and exactly what's required to writing. But I want something new, that does things that make me go 'Oh' and 'Ah'.
I don't seem to get bored with looking at software. I haven't done a stroke of work, just buried myself in methods and organisation on the optimistic assumption that I will actually get round again to doing some writing with these tools. In fact, it's like my mobile phone, I'm not really interested in getting phone calls, I want to set it up and play with the options.
Does this mean I should have been a software designer? Maybe. I could just sit around and doodle patterns that make things happen, or seem to happen. But I haven't got the math, or the logic, to put it very mildly. Yet there's a hankering for investigating structure, for playing with things that appear to perform a clear task when really it's all done with smoke and mirrors. Actually, that's quite like human beings and all that overt social and mental existence which turns out to be the result of an underlying system of proteins. It's also quite like being a writer. Or a writer like me, at any rate. I've never been terribly interested in telling stories or inventing what they call rounded characters. For me, writing is much more about making shapes, fitting disparate things together, finding out about the workings of seemingly inevitable behaviours. Or perhaps, I just should have been a geek.
It also means that I've got two redundant Window's Vista laptops. I could flog them on ebay to defray all this expenditure on new software, but I'm rubbish at packing parcels. Any suggestions?