Shh. Don’t tell my Dell. This is probably the last blog post I’ll ever type on her beaten keyboard, where the e and the a and the o are almost completely worn away. She has been malfunctioning lately, going black, going bright blue with dire warnings, going going gone. She is the computer I started my alleged writing “career” on almost five years ago, when I didn’t know there was a word count feature or how to copy and paste or clear my cookies.

She’s seen a lot. In her quiet blocky, boxy way, she’s hogged the desk and put up with ignorance and incompetence with insouciance. She was with me as I cried with joy when I finaled in the Avon contest and felt like a real writer for the first time. She’s gloried in the granddaughters’ pictures and the rest of the family slide show. She didn’t judge either me or the agent when I got this rejection: “I would like to see the next project you work on though. This project doesn’t fit my needs, but I like you’re [sic] writing and your credentials are good.” She’s gathered dust and crumbs and never complained. She’s kept me in touch with old friends and helped me make new ones. She’s survived fatal errors and viruses and highjacking. She was the inspiration for Third-Rate Romance, when she went into a coma and I had to write something.

This week she’s getting a new sibling, who I hope will bring me as much luck, lunacy and laughter as she’s provided in this half-decade of half-baked writing. She holds all my secrets, most of which I pray I’ve backed up on my pendrive just in case she can’t be rebooted in her new location. I want to thank her from the bottom of my crusty, shriveled heart for dragging me valiantly into the twenty-first century. Love you, Dell I.

Have you had any computer disasters? Got a warm feeling for your toaster or another appliance? Spill, but not on the keyboard.