In Which the Writer is Netless
I’m sitting on the porch to write this. It’s a lovely morning, just a touch of cool, not enough to make me want a sweater, just a beautiful late-summer morning promising a warm day later. So why am I on the porch, not at my desk? Welll…. and why didn’t I write this last night, which I had every intention of doing on my way home from work? Well…
As a writer, we’re familiar with the idea that we need to throw difficulties at our characters. As writers, we’re all too familiar with finding the time to write – well, most of us are. I’ve had challenges for my time since the very beginning, children, work, school, and work again. Even this, I’m writing in the middle of a family discussion of how the day’s schedule is going to flow. The family is used to my abstraction, fortunately.
Sometimes, though, if you have too much going on, you can’t even. Like last night. I got home to be bombarded with ‘the internet is out!’ From all sides. The First Reader, who needed to send an important email for a work thing, took priority, but I’m well aware that the kids need their ‘net like they need, um, I dunno, maybe they could go on a diet. Anyway, to make a long story short – because geeze, guys, this could easily turn into a novel – we sort of have internet this morning. And by sort of, I mean that we have WiFi, but the wired computers have no ‘net. It’s baffling. I spent an hour on the phone with my inestimable brother-in-law who was being very generous with his free IT expertise, and we determined that I’m a ditz when it comes to setting up routers – I thought I’d changed the name and password, but it turns out that I had for the WiFi, but not the router itself, and that was still on admin admin. Yeah, I know. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle. I urge you all to learn from my failings and check your router – log into http://youripaddresshere and update firmware, change names, and so forth. Do it while you have internet!
Unfortunately, even after the three-ring circus on fire that was my workaround for getting the firmware update file onto my computer – let me tell you, this is the last time I’m buying an Apple product. We could download the file from the manufacturers website, but then could not transfer the file from the iPhone or my iPad via usb cable. The only thing I could access in the internal storage drive was the photos file, and I couldn’t put the zip file into that. So it wasn’t until I dug out my old Android tablet that I was able to put the file onto the computer… and then it wouldn’t upload to the router. We kept getting a sad piece of paper icon and the message that the connection had been reset. At that point I apologized to my BIL, let him get off the phone, and…
Well, I didn’t fix it. I still have no idea why the WiFi works, but the Ethernet cables do not. I tried another router (our internet providers sent us one, but I was using mine, because it was a stronger signal) and that didn’t get it done, either. Look, I could understand one computer having a problem? But this is four? And I’m totally and completely frustrated and today, of all days, is not the day I’m going to spend another few hours on the phone with my internet provider, especially after the ‘call was lost’ late last night on my final attempt to have them reset the modem.
Pant, pant. Sometimes you have to get it all out, and then refocus on the next thing. I have a bad tendency to hyper focus on an issue until it’s resolved. Fantastic if I can do that, for getting something done. Not so great if I need to be spreading my efforts out into other equally important matters. I’ve learned in writing to break away from something I’m blocked on, and work on another story. Sometimes this actually helps break up the block. Today? I think taking the Junior Mad Scientist to the Fall Gardening class (it’s part of her Ecology class this semester. Homeschooling is fun) and then both girls to the local ComicCon won’t help the internet one bit. The router is… wonky. I may have to replace it. But it will help my sense of balance immensely to take the First Reader when I drop the kids at the con, and spend the afternoon with camera in hand, exploring Cincinnati and chatting with my beloved.
Perhaps we’ll even plot a story or three.
(Header image: “Hellhounds Just Want a Cuddle” by Cedar Sanderson)