Week Five – A Breakthrough?

This past week has been a quiet one. Much reflection, re-evaluation. 

I sometimes spend a great deal of time not thinking hard about the things that I’m stuck on. And I also think I’ve just passed through another one of my irregularly occurring deep funks. (I thought those brief phases were just me reacting to inescapable stress from the old job. Apparently not.)

But I seem to be past both hurdles. There is a significant decrease in the urge to set things on fire. (Yay.)

Not to say that the week’s been uneventful. Three things happened:

  • Finished the editing scrub on THE STAR DOOR, with big chunks done on Monday, Thursday and Friday. I’ve sent bits to a couple of people, but the whole of what I have now will be going out to a trusted Beta very soon. I’m also getting bullish about the plotting problems I’m trying to work out. 
  • Made a decision to start working out of the house. New routine went into effect on Thursday, where I get up in the morning and head to the University library. I saw an immediate jump in productivity.
  • Finally figured out a way to stop my MacBook from eating text as I typed it, the main reason I had been staying at home to write and edit. 

Nerdy computer stuff follows. 

One of the reasons I was trying to stick close to home is that my 2008 MacBook had been having extreme trackpad issues, related to a swelling battery. When the laptop had been running for over an hour or so, the trackpad’s sensitivity extended the entire length of the keyboard, including the place where I rested my palms while typing. There I was, typing away (I tend to look at the keys as much as the monitor when writing) and unbeknownst to me, the cursor would start jumping around, great swaths of text would get highlighted unwittingly and then deleted as I continued to type. (I thought I was losing my mind when it first started happening.) And really, for a writer to see what she’s written just disappear? Ahh, cue the screaming.

I had researched before ways of disabling the trackpad while using a Bluetooth mouse, but that feature was no longer in the trackpad area of System Preferences and most Mac message boards summed up the issue with a ‘That sucks, eh?’ I’d considered buying a new battery, and even the possibility of replacing the laptop altogether. (Which, financially? OUCH.)

But on a whim on Thursday, while using the MacBook and the Bluetooth mouse, I did another Google search. I was just about to type in a Terminal command line someone had suggested, but there, a little further down the page, the answer — the feature had been relocated to Universal Access. 

Disabled the trackpad. Rapturous joy followed. 

You can write with an iPad. I have done and continue to do so. It’s great for raw drafting, even if you forget your wireless keyboard. But edit? Or even move quickly between sections? Not so much. And syncing not at all (or at least not to my satisfaction). So, now I’m fully mobile again, and have some definite strategies for the weeks ahead. 

Okay, this ran long on nerd-speak. Back to writing!

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