The One Where Everything Breaks

*drags self into Geekatorium*

*plops down in front of desktop computer*

*gets up again and dusts everything*

Whew. It’s been a while since I’ve worked in here.

Actually, I never have. The computer room in our house (AKA the Geekatorium because it houses toy collections, AKA the third bedroom) is my husband’s territory, and the kids’. They use this computer. There’s no room in here for my desk, though, so I have my space in the basement… right next to the litter boxes. The system has worked so far. I get privacy down there, I work on my laptop, I bring it upstairs to the kitchen so I can do stuff while I’m cooking. I pretty much stay out of this room.

As of this past Friday, the system is broken. Actually, as of Friday, EVERYTHING was broken.

Allow me to explain.

On Friday afternoon, a guy came to replace the thermostats in our house. Just the controls, not the heaters. That was good, because ours looked too vintage to even be cool. Gold boxes, iffy gauges, et cetera. And we’d been having a problem with the boys’ room since we moved in here–if you turned the heat on, it went WAY up and stayed on until you turned the dial way down, flipped the breaker switch in the basement off, and then back on. For 2 years, the thermostat in there has been set to “effing cold” to keep the heater from coming on, and we’ve used a space heater.

Not especially convenient.

The house guys figured the problem was with the thermostat, and replaced all of them.

Yeah, the problem is still there. And it’s actually worse now, because even with the thermostat switched to “OFF,” the heater stays on. I had to flip it off* at the breaker, but when I flipped it back on, the heat came on again, even with the thermostat set to “Arctic.” So off the switch stays down there, and we’re back to the space heater.

Put a pin in that, we’re coming back to it.

So that was the first thing to break (more) on Friday. The second was the internet. Netflix stopped working, my phone wouldn’t connect in the house and I had to go outside to check Facebook**. Not cool. Fortunately, AJ figured out that a wire had come loose when handy guy was doing the thermostat in the Geekatorium.

So that was fine.

But then…

My laptop. Guys, this thing holds everything. My work is in there. My photos. If my understanding of this “internet” thing is correct, my friends live in there. I carry it around the house so I can work in my office, or at the dining room table, or so I can do business stuff on the couch while AJ watches a movie. It works.

Well, it did work. Now it claims there’s “a hard disk problem” and it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Easy peasy! My warranty is with Future Shop. That’s only… four hours away.


So here I sit. I’m thankful for a lot of things right now. Dropbox is one. Torn is saved there, and the first draft of book three, and everything else I’m working on. Even if my computer completely craps out, it’s not all lost. I’m also thankful to Literature & Latte, who makes Scrivener available to put on multiple computers after you buy it. I think this is my last installation, thanks to previous laptop issues, but I’ve got it installed on this old desktop now. I’m thankful that the kids are in school, so I CAN work in here for a few hours a day without interruptions.

But I am frustrated, too. I’m put out that I can’t work in the car like I was planning to this coming weekend, so I’m not going to be able to win NaNoWriMo in a last-minute push for victory. 20,000 words are not going to materialize over the next few days. And I’m cold, because having the breaker downstairs off for the boys’ room means no heat in the Geekatorium, either. Time for another space heater. I’m sad that I’m not in my office, which is filled with mojo-inspiring quotes and toy dragons and books that I love. Not that My Little Ponies and comic book action figures aren’t inspiring…

I’m spoiled, I know. And hey, at least I don’t get a big fat whiff up here every time one of the cats poops, right?

Bitching complete. I’m going to take this as it comes, like I always do. I mean, it was going to happen. When I was editing Bound, a flood wiped out our basement and forced us to evacuate. Torn goes to the editor in a few weeks… obviously my computer was going to die.***

Let’s not think about what might happen with book 3, hmm?

It’s just one more story to tell some day when they ask me to do a NaNoWriMo pep talk. 🙂




*Literally and figuratively

**And if I had any hope that I’m not addicted to social media, the act of standing in sub-zero temperatures to get my fix dashed it.

***Yes, they’ve all been PCs. I understand that these issues (and also viruses) happen a lot less with Macs, but I could never afford the up-front cost of getting one before. I’m seriously considering it, now.


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 six 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

3 responses to “The One Where Everything Breaks

  • kristenotte

    I went Mac about five years ago. I’m a little annoyed at some of their software decisions, but their hardware is top of the line. No complaints-worth the up front cost. My husband is running a 6-year-old macbook pro for photoshop and video programs and no issues!

  • Kat

    It’s always something at your house. 😦
    As a Mac user, I have to say that scrivener for Mac is amazing,and I love a lot of things about my computer, but if one little thing goes wrong, it can be VERY expensive to fix it. My screen is cracked, (Like REALLY broken) but I don’t have $400 for a new screen (including installation). I really need a whole new computer. Mine was bought second hand a year ago and I’m fairly certain it’s a 2007 model. But who has $1100 for a new one? Not me, that’s for sure.

  • tpolen

    Boy – you’ve really hit a run of bad luck. Hope things get better – looking forward to Torn!

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