Feather Pen Friday: I called it Rory Williams for a reason.

Feather Pen Friday: I called it Rory Williams for a reason.

In Series 6 of the long-running BBC programme, Doctor Who, there’s this character, Rory Williams. Now the thing that’s unusual about Rory, apart from his liking for dressing up as a Roman and the fact that yeah, actually, he’s older than the Doctor … well, the thing is, he dies a lot.

As does my computer.

I have this habit of naming inanimate objects. Take my musical instruments: Kian, Gabriel and Linda, not to mention Mathew hanging around in the background and those tin whistles, Sinead, Siobhan and Shannon… Oh, and then there’s my watch, Cassie. In French, c’est casse (with an accent that WordPress won’t do) means ‘It’s broken’. My watch is held together by three different types of tape in two different places. Cassie seemed like a good name.

But my computer trumps them all.

For, as it’s now waiting to be mended for what we can’t work out whether it’s the third or fourth time in three and a half years, it dies a lot. Like, a lot.

I don’t know quite how many times I’ve had it mended, but I’m lacking in money at the moment and so there’s a reason I haven’t bought a new one, however many times I’ve thought, “That would be so much easier on a Mac.”

I came back from France yesterday, after being stuck in a French airport for two and a half EXTRA hours when our flight was delayed, and was told that we had good news. “We’ve bought Windows 7 for your computer, as a present, and then you can have Word 2010 as well, oh, and we’re upgrading to BT Infinity so the broadband will be faster as well, or so they say…”

“That’s great, Bella,” I told my sister, unsure of how to break it to her. “But, um, my computer won’t actually turn on right now. It’s got … what’s it called? It’s got a corrupt registry. I’m going to have to get it mended. Again.”

There was a reason I called it Rory Williams.

Now, this is Feather Pen Friday and as I’ve spent a long time not-blogging recently (I do have an excuse), I am supposed to talk about writing. And I am. Because you see, I write my novels on my laptop. And without a laptop, how can I write a novel?

While I was in France, I was staying with my penfriend’s family, and I spent a lot of time working on my roman (novel). It was a way to get away for a while, to have some space. What’s more, it was an excuse to speak English, and they were very accomodating in allowing me to go off to my room and tap away for an hour or so. Without internet access, I probably wrote more than I’ve done in a long time, as I’ve been pretty busy recently.

In my life, I’ve written some chapters that are good. And I’ve written some that are terrible, I’ll be the first to admit it. There are chapters that don’t even make sense, where the timing is completely off, where the characters sound like they’re reading from a crappy TV script … you know the sort. But I wrote this chapter while I was gone, with my improvised writing playlist (well, I didn’t have internet so I couldn’t get Grooveshark), and it was so beautiful…

And I don’t know whether I’ve lost all of that, everything I didn’t have backed up. I might have lost about a thousand photos and twenty thousand words of a novel that I feel were some of the best chapters of my life. I might have lost all the things I would give anything to get back – or I might not.

And I don’t know whether I have or not.

That’s the worst thing. Do I cry for a week, then open up the document that I’ve got left and start rewriting it? Or do I wait for my computer to return from the menders and continue in another document in the meantime?

Maybe calling it Rory Williams was tempting fate. Because that’s the thing about the Doctor’s companions: one day, they’re all going to end up dead or locked in a parallel universe or whatever, and they can’t be rescued. And he has to move on and find another one.

One day, I guess, I’ll have to buy another computer. But I didn’t want Rory to die forever just yet.

12 thoughts on “Feather Pen Friday: I called it Rory Williams for a reason.

  1. Oh my goodness gracious. I would die if I lost that much of my novel, especially if it were the really good parts. Just the idea of it makes my chest go all funny. Our novels are like our children, aren’t they? They’re brainchildren. Best of luck getting your work back, even if one little shout-out from over here across the Atlantic won’t do much.
    On the bright side, Rory Williams is a very clever name for a computer that seems to die quite more often than neccessary. I feel very guilty saying this, but I’ve never watched Doctor Who (well, if you haven’t read any Tortall books, it’s a fair trade ;) ), and yet your little explanation of who Rory Williams was made me laugh when I connected it to your computer. Then I stopped laughing in horror when I read of the loss of the novel.
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, by the way. It’s nice to meet another young writer/blogger.

    1. Even in your comments you sound like an adult, damn you. Wish I could master that one :)
      It’s all right, Doctor Who is way more known in the UK than over the other side of the pond, because it’s a BBC show. However, there’s a new episode tomorrow…in the evening…so that might be a good place to start! :D
      My laptop has broken more seriously than this before and I’m pretty sure he’ll drag himself back up again, ready to dress as a Roman and … wait, this is a computer we’re talking about. Umm. Anyway, hopefully I haven’t lost anything, I just don’t know.

  2. Three times in a year!? Dude, mine crashes down an dies three times a WEEK! Or it used to, but oddly enough it got better with age … weird.

    Ah, I feel your pain about losing documents – that’s why I back all mine up on a USB a few times a week, just in case disaster strikes. Hope they can rescue your hard drive!!!

    And, naming inanimate objects … kindred spirits *grins*

    1. Spook, those three times are the three times I’ve had to pay to have them re-boot the entire operating system of my computer. The numerous jigglings-about, restartings and internet-abusings happen about three times an hour. Rory doesn’t like me.

      1. You must have done something to anger Rory… appease him with cookies I say!
        And ah, I see. Mine just does minor virus infestations, startup problems, the occasional eating of documents … yanno xP

        1. Nope, mine has a corrupt registry, apparently that’s a big problem, though I don’t really know what it means. Lol. Going to get it mended tomorrow.

  3. Miriam – I Totally and Completely understand…

    For almost three whole years I though I’d lost everything I had every written and put onto the computer. Sure I had some back ups (on 3.25 inch Floppies) and the peper files, but not of everything.

    Three whole years….

    Then my uberly wonderful hubby rescued them (no wonder I love him so much eh? He rescued all umteen hundrend of my writings, and photos, and craft files and wedding plans…)

    Yes, I feel your pain and I hope that you get your files back.

    With the biggest of huggles the internet will tansmit to you across that big pond…

    :} Cathryn Leigh

  4. Leaving aside the small matter of working on something else instead of St malory’s while you’ve been skiving in the sun… :-)

    One of the easiest back-up options is to set up a free email account like yahoo, gmail or hotmail and just email yourself your own docs as attachments. That way they’re safely backed up in cyberspace and available fom any computer with a net connection.

    Far safer than trusting a mechanical device, be it a computer or a memory stick.

    For photos again there are numerous online storage options, many of them free.

    1. I back up everything. However, in France I didn’t have internet and I didn’t have a USB, so the stuff that’s not backed up is from there, like my novel and about a thousand photos.

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