Rest in Pieces (or How Computers Become Real)

It’s a sad day, my friends. My beloved netbook is no longer with us.

The end came suddenly, and she was in good spirits last time I used her. I don’t think she suffered. One minute she seemed fine, the next she was still fine, but not charging.

I took her to the best help I could find, and they presented me with a tough choice: spend the money to fix her, or get my data transferred over to a “like new” refurbished computer for less, and more quickly.

If I’d had the money, I’d have spent it to save her, even if it cost a lot more.


I know it’s stupid. One computer should be pretty much the same as any other. The new one’s the same brand (make, not model). But I get terribly attached to inanimate objects.

We’ve been through a lot together. I wrote a novel on that computer. And re-wrote it. Repeatedly. And drafted another one. Then there were the blog posts, the evenings spent going back and forth between Scrivener and Facebook… We had many days together in car dealerships waiting for repairs and oil changes, and she never complained about being bored. She was with me when I discovered the library in Gander, and though she wasn’t around for my first NaNoWriMo, she was with me through two wins (if you count camp) and one fail. I mean, loss. I mean… Attempt? Whatever.

She was the first computer that was ever MINE, and she made it possible for me to actually find time to write.

Also, she was black and shiny, and had wicked leaf and bird decals on the hood. Screen back? Again, whatever.

The new one will be fine. Sure, it’s a little different; it’s red, and the power button’s not the same. But it works, and that’s important… I guess.

I’m going to act like there’s no superstitious feeling connected to the fact that I’ve only had success with this story on that one computer, because that would be silly. Silly like sport-type guys not shaving or changing their socks (who marries these people, anyway?).

Does this post seem especially disjointed to anyone else? I CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT HER! *sob*

Tell me I’m not the only one who forms irrational attachments to inanimate objects, that I’m not the only one who feels like I owe them something after their years of service.* You all do this, right?

*I place the blame for this squarely on The Velveteen Rabbit. It was loved! It was REAL! I could have saved it instead of letting them use it for parts! So what if it had scarlet fever**?

**May not have actually had scarlet fever.

EDIT: As requested, my new (to me) computer:



About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

9 responses to “Rest in Pieces (or How Computers Become Real)

  • wendy lowden

    Eulogy for a Daughter’s Laptop

    You were so precious…creativity’s life-blood
    Stories came out in chapters…often in a flood
    You kept them safe and they were always there
    And then you died…did you even care?

    I know you did, for you helped Kathleen write
    When you stopped charging, you gave such a fright
    What to do? Would all be lost?
    Can she get a new notebook? What will be the cost?

    But we thank you, dear notebook, for the love you gave
    Kathleen held up, and was very brave
    We now know her creativity will still be fed
    Although unfortunately, her new notebook is….red

    As you help others now, with your spare parts that are living
    We thank you….for organ donation is the highest form of giving
    May whoever gets a part of you inherit Kathleen’s beauty
    We say good-bye…and thank you for your loving duty.

  • Sherri

    I really can’t tell who has the best sense of humor here – Kathleen or her mom 🙂 either way, I love this blog!!

  • puuuuushie

    Aww, inspiring. I need to tell my pooter I love him. (He’s scared as there is a big update coming. He’s not used to getting updated.)

    • katemsparkes

      If he’s scared, maybe plan to do something nice together after. Work on your book or something. Then he has something nice to think about and look forward to during the update!

  • jessicaminyard

    I feel your pain! I too get emotionally attached to inanimate objects. I’ve had my pooter since I was a freshman in college. We got off to a rough start; he was kinda glitchy in the beginning. But it’s been smooth sailing ever since! He has a green top and is bedazzled with stickers I’ve collected.

    I’m very sorry for your loss. 🙂

    • katemsparkes

      Thanks. I think the new one will work out just fine- I picked it up yesterday and put some nifty glittery stickers on it- they’ll do for now. Haven’t tried writing yet, but it’ll be fine.

      Green sounds nice! Glad you two are getting along. 🙂

  • Wendy lowden

    We still need pics of the new family member Kate!

  • Jae

    I have a lime green iMac sitting in the garage because I’ve had a hard time letting it go. I always mean to sell it, but I never get around to it. I don’t know, there’s just something about the first computer you’ve owned. I wrote several novels on that old boy. ;_; I get how you feel.

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