My novel! My novel!

I had a harrowing last few hours. I went to a cafe in the Castro to write my last few thousand pages before meeting my wife for the world premier of Milk yesterday.

I expected my laptop to poop out around five, but I did not expect it to do so without warning. At four, happy hour began, and my barista convinced me to invest in the two margarita special. Why not? I am NaNoWiNo after all.

I had 49,200 words at five o’clock when I sipped the last of the second margarita and my computer screen went black. When was the last time I’d saved? Fuck.

Several other people in the cafe were on macs. Maybe somebody had a power cable. Somebody did, but the golden era of cafes welcoming wifi users with open arms and available electrical outlets has ended. Even my beloved Caffe Flore has blocked up all the outlets.

No matter, I tried to tell myself. I am an obsessive saver. I bet I lost no more than a hundred words, if any. I pulled out some editing to do on paper, somebody else’s short story.

But I couldn’t focus. When had I last saved? My novel! My novel!

I considered going home to plug in, but there wasn’t time. I had to meet my wife here in 45 minutes. I considered going to another cafe but then imagined the scene. A drunk woman rushes into a cafe with fire in her eyes and asks if she can use your power cable. What do you do?

I remembered a mac user friend who works and lives in the neighborhood, Chris, and called him. He was happy to hear from me, happy to help. I met him two blocks up at his office. We walked another five to his home.

The newer macs don’t use the same kind of power cables as mine does. Fuck.

But Helen and I had a fine fine night anyway. What a gorgeous film! I forgot all about my novel for a few hours. When I got home, I plugged in and found I hadn’t lost a word.

I wrote the final 1000 words this morning in bed, a little hungover. The story’s not done, but it’s close. I will finish it in December.

Or maybe right now . . .

Congrats again and have a happy Thanksgiving.


September 2009, San Francisco

  1. November 25th, 2009
  2. November 8th, 2010

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