Harry Potter and the Intolerable Internet Connection

Our Internet connection has been dropping in and out over the past few weeks, and I’m getting really annoyed. We pay a lot for high-speed, always-on access, and I expect to be able to turn on my email program to check my messages any time I want to. That I’ve been denied this simple pleasure continually over the course of this weekend has grated on me. I can’t be sure if it’s the cable modem, the hardware firewall, the computer itself, or maybe just the shitty Adelphia service. But, I do know for sure that it’s given me that much more time to read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and I can’t complain about that at all.

Aside from reading and arguing with the computer, I spent time today doing the groceries, cooking our meals, and watching the Red Sox lose on account of three bad pitches by an otherwise spot-on Tim Wakefield. In the morning, I also made my first foray back into writing, after a two and a half month layoff, when I cut a short story of mine into pieces. Literally.

It was a technique we’d discussed in countless workshops and seminars throughout my time at Lesley. You take a short story that’s not working and you mark up every instance where there is a jump in time, either forward or backward, and then you cut the story into it’s individual scenes. With the story in literal tatters, you can then examine how you might better start your story, how you might better end it, et cetera.

Sure, the same thing could be done on a computer, but it’s the tactile sensations of the thing that really break a 21st century writer of his element. You really begin to see what sections are taking up too much space, what sections should be moved to the front, et cetera. It was all very interesting.

I didn’t actually do any writing afterwards, but I was fairly content with the progress I made.

And that was about it for my Sunday. I am sooooo enjoying the latest Harry Potter and I’m sad that I’m already two-thirds of the way through it. It’s been a long wait for this one and it will be an even more excruciating wait for the next and last installment. But, for now, I’ll take what I can get.

Speaking of which…