What should I write for Sylvia’s blog? Ideas flitted through my mind. I studied them, and released them to flit on back to the ether. That’s when my new computer keyboard arrived, courtesy of my friendly UPS man, so I abandoned the arduous task of thinking and went to play with my new toy.
You see, I go through keyboards the way some women go through—well, I started to say pantyhose, but no one wears pantyhose any more. Suffice it to say that I’m always on the lookout for great keyboards at a bargain price. I like the ones that are ergonomic and have an onboard mouse like a touchpad. That’s because I’m trying to alleviate the pain of muscle spasms the size of the rock of Gibraltar in my aching neck, shoulders, and back. Twenty-plus years of reaching for that darn mouse has played havoc with the aforementioned body parts.
Eureka! Specialty Keyboards
I discovered keyboards with an onboard mouse several years ago. The first one I bought was wireless too which meant I could sit in a recliner and still type away. Until the day arrived when the wireless connectivity went kaput. Oh, my, what I did to that keyboard was a crime. I thought about my tech crime when I later read an article from a software vendor’s newsletter that encouraged us to “be nice” to our computer equipment. The article alleged that some people battered their computer.
Uh, I plead Guilty, your honor. Yep. My first wireless keyboard with the built-in mouse died on the day I was trying to upload an ebook. The darn thing kept losing the signal. I’d be typing along, look up at the screen, and see that a letter or two in every word was missing. Back I’d go to correct. After a few hours of this, I was so frustrated and aggravated that I slammed the keyboard to the floor. See, if I’d been thinking straight, I’d simply have pulled an old wired keyboard from the closet and connected it, but no. I was in the heat of emotion, frustration, and anger. So I battered it instead. After I’d cooled down and thought about how crazy I’d acted, I just about fell out of my chair laughing. Tension relieved, I connected a wired keyboard and continued.
Drawing Upon That Memory
When I was writing a pivotal scene in my romantic comedy, Scents and Sensuality, I thought about what I’d done to that keyboard. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I’d never done anything like that before—or since. I’m not the type to go around flying into rages and striving for revenge.
The scene in Scents and Sensuality has the heroine cooking up a nasty revenge for the hero. She’d discovered he’d lied and deceived her. Of course, he did it because he was caught in a trap of his own making—a funny trap I might add. She’s furious and hurt, and she gives in to her need to strike back at him. Even though she too is a nice girl, she wants her revenge.
Excerpt, Scents and Sensuality
Here’s how Amanda Whitfield, a perfumer by trade, goes about getting revenge. Oh, in case you don’t know Corpse Flower is the worst-smelling member of the plant kingdom. I’m told it smells like rotting flesh.
“Back in her lab, Amanda slipped into a pink lab coat and unlocked one of the stainless cabinets. She lifted the sealed container then hesitated a moment, but her rational brain was on strike so she proceeded. She placed the container of a. titanum on the counter. Next, she turned on the industrial exhaust vent over her work area and removed the full-face respirator from another cabinet and put it on. She pulled on the industrial rubber gloves as she thought about how to best use the section of Corpse Flower bloom that a botanist friend in Sumatra had sent her.
Working carefully, she filled a beaker with distilled water then dropped in carefully sectioned pieces of the bloom that smelled like rotting human flesh. She poured that into a spinner flask. She happened to glance up and catch sight of her reflection in the mirror over the sink. Startled, she looked like something out of a movie. The only thing missing was a “haz mat” suit. She focused on the flask in her hands, almost as if she were seeing it for the first time.”
Did Amanda go through with her revenge? I’ll give you a hint. Yes, but… Guess you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what the “but” means. The whole scene turned out rather funny. After all, this is romantic comedy, not psycho fiction.
Come On, ‘Fess Up
Have you ever taken revenge on anything or anyone? If you confess to abusing a computer, I won’t hold it against you. Actually, I’m surprised more people don’t fling the frustrating pieces of electronics through the nearest window. Of course, it’s not smart to vent your anger and frustration on an expensive electronic, but it sure was satisfying for me that day. I’ll take Eric Porterfield for a defense witness. Mr. Porterfield said: “The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up, there’s no law against whacking them around a little.”
If you’ve ever been at the end of your rope because of computer hardware or software problems, just remember these wise words from the mouth of Mitch Ratcliffe: “A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history—with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.”
I don’t believe in taking revenge on people, but on computers, all I can say is, “Belly up to the bar, readers! I’ll take tequila over computers any day.”
P.S. Win A Prize
Leave a confession—uh, I mean a comment, and be entered to win an audiobook edition of another of my romantic comedies, Old Enough To Know Better. Just leave your email address with your comment. This little Giveaway will close March 27 and the winner notified by email from me.
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Joan Reeves is a bestselling author of Romantic Comedy. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers; audio books at Audible and iTunes. Find Joan online at www.JoanReeves.com, SlingWords.blogspot.com, Facebook/JoanReevesWrites, and on Twitter @JoanReeves. Joan lives with her hero in Texas and divides her time between a home in the Hill Country and a townhouse in Houston—which means that whatever she is looking for, it’s always at the other house.