Living in the country, as a writer trying to use only electronic devices, requires multiple power backup systems. Our power here is stable compared to most places, but there is always the chance of losing work, especially during storms. In this electronic age it is necessary to ensure continual workflow with redundancy.
For instance, I have backup batteries for my desktop and a separate backup battery for my Internet connection. When I know storms are coming, I keep my tablet and smartphone charged as much as possible. I also use a word processor that is common to all devices, so that if one device goes down, I can continue to work on another device. Several nights ago, my backup systems were tested.
I sat at the computer for hours trying to complete a chapter. Even though we were under a tornado watch, I continued to write. Sometimes there are these ideas in my head I have to get out. But would there be time to finish?
Storms continue to pound us every other day, but so far my battery backups have not failed me, so I continued to write. Storms form. Power goes out as I type words into my desktop computer. The backup battery kicks in, providing me with an extra fifteen minutes or so. I work long enough to finish one thought while the software automatically saves.
Five minutes left. I let the desktop automatically power down and pick up my tablet to continue working. I must complete this chapter while the thoughts are still in my head. But there is one device I forgot to charge completely. My tablet screen reads less than ten percent battery power left, but I think it is probably enough to finish my work.
The wind whips around the rooftop and the rain and hail batter the sheet iron. The trees bend and the lightning flashes; I continue to write.
The crashing thunder gets louder. Bright white light flashes through the closed shades but still I must keep going. Warning tones are going off on the weather radio, but there is no time to shut it off...I must complete this chapter! I move to an interior room.
Suddenly it gets quiet, too quiet. For a brief second I am distracted. What is that whirling noise? Rains picks up again; wave upon windy wave of rain drops race across the cabin exterior. But I'm so close to the finish now. I can sense it: yes, this is the ending I am looking for. CRASH the power briefly comes on and goes out again.
The tablet is almost dead. But I have these last few thoughts. Now I am in the noisy dark with nothing more than a battery powered smartphone to finish my work upon.
My finger dances across the screen keyboard and I am hoping autocorrect will make up for where I fail. BOOM another bout of thunder. The heavens are really roaring this evening, but I am almost done.
I reach for that final ending from the depths of my brain and enter the words into the smartphone. I complete the final few sentences as the rains begin to let up, the winds begin to die down, and the thunder travels on. My work is done.
I think I will retire to bed, and recharge my own battery. Perhaps to dream of another chapter to write.