Friday, 21 February 2014

A week in the Dark Ages

Now, I shouldn't have a problem with the complete absence of internet or phone. I was born in the sixties, and we didn't have a phone then, and the internet only existed in inventors' heads. So when a huge lightning flash and bang knocked out the power and the phone line, you'd think we would cope fine, wouldn't you?

A week later we had gone through withdrawal from the internet, and come out the other side. I must have picked up my tablet a thousand times, just going to look something up, check Facebook or emails, blog... it was a strange experience! I didn't realise how connected I was by the internet. This last week we have packed a thousand boxes (OK, probably 30 but they're really heavy), moved four bookcases into storage, kept husband company on his targeting CT scan for radiotherapy (which starts in March), thrown away oodles of clothes and other things to the dump, tidied and sorted and cleaned - Oh My. And I couldn't tell anyone. I couldn't even phone (I still can't and BT have dug up the road to work on it) and our mobiles have very limited reception here in the valley. 

I was reduced to writing without access to the internet for research. How would an Arab mathematician address an English mathematician? Would that be different if he had just bought him at auction? How far is Alexandria from Brindisi by sea (oh, I so wished I hadn't packed the atlas at this point!). I did do some words, and I'm coming into the very last stretch of book 3 - or I would be if I hadn't separated out the two strands and now have to reunite them as some point!

I'm also editing book 2 which came to a complete halt when I realised I couldn't access the notes my editor had painstakingly made for me to work from... I hate missing a deadline but it's never going to get done by the 28th. Crazy days. I'm going to enjoy the internet while I still have it though - I doubt I would have attempted a historical novel otherwise! 

I'm also going to have a go at the Liebster award Teresa Stenson nominated me for - I loved her responses, check them out! Thanks, Teresa!


  1. I like the theory that I'd get much more writing done without the internet holding me up. And away from their ipads, my children would read more, talk more and make great art. Together, we would learn new languages, take piano lessons and watch Japanese anime films or something. And yet...when our internet connection was down for about an hour yesterday, my children and I immediately turned on each other and spent the entire time snapping and snarling at each other like wild animals. *Three shamed faces*
    It sounds like you've managed better than we did!

  2. Hi Helen, I thought that too! Sadly, it didn't happen. Maybe we need longer, like a month...