Shannon Stacey

The pain of change

Today I made the jump from PC to Mac—the white Macbook to be more specific. I did make a concession to Microsoft by buying Office for Mac while I was at Best Buy, though, simply because I need the learning curve to be short and painless as possible.

So far?

I love the keyboard. No, not just love. Adore. I was a little worried about it because it looks so different, but it’s truly a beautiful thing. Office for Mac Word looks different enough from PC Word to give me hives, but all seems to be going well.

I downloaded the free trial of Scrivener and I’ll be paying for the license as soon as I get up the ambition to go get my credit card. I think I’ve been waiting my entire life to find that writing program. For a linear writer, who goes straight from A to Z, I’m not sure it brings much to the table, other than the ability to have your research and notes nearby. But for somebody like me, who writes scenes madly out of order, it’s amazing. When the disjointed scenes start building up, it can be almost impossible to “see” the book. Between the outliner and the oh-so-delicious corkboard, as well as the ability to drag and drop scenes into order, I don’t know how I lived without it.

I have the internet (though I can’t for the life of me figure out how to have a second window/tab open) and Word, so it’s all good. And Lucy is so shiny and white and clean and uncluttered. (Lucy being short for Leucosia, the white maiden who sucked me in with her Siren call, but hopefully not to my doom.)

But then I look at my huge, battered, silver laptop and I want to cry. Sure, the Macbook’s a shiny new toy, but that Toshiba has been my partner for four years and twenty-three days. She was my first and, until now, only laptop and, while desktops come and go, she was mine alone. She has pictures for almost half of SK’s life on there. My music. My books—the ones I’m reading and the ones I’m writing. Notes I’ve saved. Dozens of notepad text files with links I’ve collected. Jokes I’ve saved.

It’s not only the ohmigod, how do I do this? factor of figuring out what needs to be transferred to Lucy. How can I just take what I want, wipe her clean and discard her? I know it’s foolish. I sure didn’t have any trouble tossing my last cellphone in the bottom drawer when I got my shiny new purple one.

She won’t be retired right away. SK’s managing his Webkinz horde on her right now and he’ll be doing that awhile because he’s not putting his grubby little fingers on Lucy. But still, even while I type this on my shiny new baby, my heart hurts a little at the thought of moving on without my partner.

8 comments to “The pain of change”

  1. Shannon
      · January 16th, 2010 at 9:02 pm · Link

    A-ha! I have since mastered tabbed browsing in Safari!

    The font thing bugs me, though. I swear, there’s a different size font every time I visit a site—not only are sites different, but the same site’s font will vary. Right now Twitter is so huge I could read it without my glasses, while here at my site the font’s so damn small I’m squinting.

  2. nightsmusic
      · January 16th, 2010 at 11:02 pm · Link

    I think I’ve had my Toshiba as long as you have. It’s the workhorse of the PC laptop. I would feel the same way should I change to a Mac, though DD1 has a MacBook and I’ve played with it from time to time.

    I’m green with envy here, and also a little sad that’s you’re going to say goodbye to such a loyal friend. I will be too, someday, when I have to say goodbye to mine.

  3. Jean
      · January 16th, 2010 at 11:58 pm · Link

    I’d download Firefox and use it. I have Safari and have opened it once or twice but I fell in love with Firefox a couple years ago, so that’s what I stick with.

    By the way, if you have a wireless network in the house, you can share out the Toshiba’s hard drive and Lucy will find it. Then you can copy pictures and e-books and other files wirelessly at your leisure.

    MacWord is different, but I kind of like it. I think you will, too. I forgot you write scenes out of order — you’re gonna LOVE Scrivener. I really like it, and I’m a painfully linear writer.

  4. Shannon
      · January 17th, 2010 at 10:58 am · Link

    nightsmusic, I’ve been amazed by the longevity of the Toshiba. I’m not a computer-savvy person so, other than the occasional defrag, it’s never had much in the way of maintenance. And it’s still going strong enough for the kids. But it’s the little things, like I haven’t been able to run it on battery power in almost three years. (I never got around to replacing the battery because I could just use the power cord.) It’s glitchy and makes odd noises sometimes. The internet connector-thingy was going, so now it’s got a USB internet adapter thing sticking out the side. The touchpad sucked, so there was always a mouse. And, because of the weight and the space bar issues, I had an external keyboard on it. I really may as well have had a desktop computer on the coffee table that I had to move around.

    Great machine, though, and I’m going to get all sniffly again.

    Jean, it’s funny because I had just gotten Firefox all set up the way I liked it on the Toshiba after years of using IE. I didn’t know that about connecting them wirelessly. I’ll have to look into that.

    And I’m totally drooling over Scrivener. It magically does so many things I spent so much time doing by hand—from the word count for individual scenes to making a written list of the order of the scenes because the writing out of order makes them hard to line up mentally. I’m not sure how I’ll do without the final layout view, but it seems more conducive to “just writing”. Maybe it’ll help me stop sweating the small stuff that’s not really important until the book is done.

  5. Jean
      · January 18th, 2010 at 2:55 pm · Link

    Since you just got Firefox set up the way you like it, you could also bring your profile and bookmarks from the Toshiba over to Lucy as well.

    You can export from Scrivener at any time to get the layout view — once you set up the export, it should save your preferences, and it’s a snap to do. (And one more backup file…never a bad thing)

  6. David Johnson
      · January 18th, 2010 at 3:10 pm · Link

    Hello Shannon. Just wanted to say thank you for the Scrivener mention! Really glad that you are enjoying the application and that it fits your writing style so well. Hope that you get more than 4-years and 23-days with your Macbook – with a few completed novels along the way!

    All the best,

  7. Shannon
      · January 19th, 2010 at 10:13 am · Link

    Thank you, David, for such a great program. The more I explore Scrivener, the more features I see that handle the time-consuming things I used to to by hand. I’m very excited about it.

  8. Sasha
      · January 20th, 2010 at 5:28 am · Link

    YAY! Another MAC convert. :)

    I switched 5 years ago (and my last PC was a Toshiba laptop too). Love them.

    I have Safari and Firefox, but I use Safari more. Mostly because I can’t figure out the tabbed browsing in Firefox. LOL I’ve never really noticed some sites the fonts being smaller, guess I’m used to it. LOL
    Scrivner is great. I have WORD as well, but I do most of my work in PAGES. It’s part of the iWork package. And I LOVE NUMBERS, from the iWOrk for my taxes. So totally easy spreadsheet and such, expense sheets budget sheets….all already created and you just need to fill them out, and keep adding. FOr someone who is totally confused by numbers and spreadsheets (ME) it’s fabulous!

  • Get my latest news straight to your inbox!

    I'll only be sending newsletters when I have news to share, and I'll never share your information. You'll receive an email asking you confirm your subscription (so please check your spam box if you don't receive that). You can unsubscribe at anytime.


  • Affiliation

    Shannon Stacey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of

    If you purchase a book listed on the site from, she’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!