Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ah, Summertime... Cold Beer & Keyboards

There was a time when summer meant one thing to me... cold beer. I remember that time of my life pretty well, considering all of the brain cells I must have killed with cold beer and other summertime festive drinks.

It was only about 15 years ago, but when I think about the difference between then and now, it seems like a lifetime. It was a time in my life when summertime meant one thing and one thing only: What could we come up with as the next excuse to party?

Photo of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
at Bar Louie in Mishawaka, IN by Katie Shelton

It was quite simply the five W's of drinking:
Who, What, Why, When, and Where?

Who could we drink with?
What amount of alcohol could we afford?
Why were we celebrating?
When would the drinking commence?
Where would the drinking take place?

It was easy to answer these questions!

Somebody's having a birthday? Party with cold beer.
It's President's Day? Party with cold beer.
Really hot day? Party with really cold beer.
Dreary day? Go to the bar for a cold beer.
Housewarming? Party with cold beer. Wrap with bow.
Somebody got out of jail? Party with lots of cold beer.
Day off? Party with as much cold beer as we could afford.
Saturday? Party, probably with cold beer AND hard liquor.

You get my drift. I was a drinker. I believe I drank at least four days a week, minimum. I worked hard at my jobs and I always felt like I earned it. I had a computer, but I rarely touched it. I didn't even have Internet at home for the longest time. I would go to the library and check my Hotmail account once a week and that was the extent of my "networking." Boy, have times ever changed!

Last summer, I became a writer. I make money doing it, so I can claim that title. Summertime no longer means cold beer to me since I rarely drink. Summertime... now means keyboards. Cold beer, take a back seat.

Keyboard. Internet. Computer. Networking. The words make me salivate. I need it. I have to have it. I think I'm addicted.

Maybe I should call keyboards anonymous. Yeah, maybe, but I probably won't. I like this new obsession way too much and I'm not willing to give it up without things getting ugly. If all of my friends and family show up in a hotel conference room and try to pull an intervention, I will refuse treatment.

What?! I've earned my chips. I've already completed a 12-step treatment plan:
  1. Admitted I had an interest in writing.
  2. Met a man who self-published and read his book. Thought, "If he can do that, so can I."
  3. Encouraged him to start a writers group.
  4. Joined his writers group and remained an active member for two years. There were snacks!
  5. Took over the writers group and my husband and I ran it for another two years. There were still snacks.
  6. Quit writing for a year and a half after moving and being forced to give up the group.
  7. Missed writing and grieved its loss.
  8. Began freelance/ghost writing online.
  9. Started a blog, gauged the success. Saw that it was good.
  10. Started building an audience through social networking and self promotion.
  11. Found accountability and support partners.
  12. Prepared to start my first book.

The probability that my obsession will continue to be problematic is pretty good. I mean, really, the warning signs are all there. I can't wait to wake up and hit the keyboard. I go to sleep thinking about typing things on the keyboard. I think about how soon I can get back to the keyboard when I'm away from it. I sneak away during family time to use the computer. I have an extra laptop hidden in the toilet tank just in case someone takes mine. I'm joking. It's actually behind the clothes dryer.

If I'm at a birthday party, watching TV, or out to lunch, my mind is always connected to the keyboard somehow. I miss it when we're not together. I try to think of ways to take my laptop along so I can use the keyboard while I'm out doing summer things. Can I take it to my daughter's cheer practice? Can I take it to the beach? Will it get a sunburn?

I can't contain myself. The river of words must exit my fingertips! The ideas flow like living waters from the mountains, cold filtered through my soulCan I control the urge to let it consume me? Now, why would I want to do that? Well, I suppose I wouldn't want to type any drunken drivel. Why, I myself was just scared straight the other day by a bizarre drinking and commenting incident I witnessed.

Public service announcement: Never drink and type! You could have a horrific consonant crash and the grammar police are an unforgiving bunch. There will be no mercy.


  1. The consonant crashes aren't so bad, but the vowel movements can be a real challenge to clean up!

  2. I remeber a time we had a "Informal Inpending Storm Party" just becasue we could...LOL! Oh, and the days of mixing all the almost-empty bottles just s everyone could get a buzz...You're right, writing is a MUCH better addicition! (Never had a writer's hang-over...*grin*)

  3. I dunno, Chris. I am up so late writing some nights that I feel like I have a hangover the next morn. No throwing up though, so that's a bonus. Just fog-head ;0)

  4. Yeah, I can't drink and write. It's disastrous!

  5. Ha ha! Gotta know our limits, don't we?

  6. Yes, and I'm a lightweight. :)

  7. Well Ms U, while I've not earned a dime with writing I certainly share your passion for it, if not your prior passion for beer. I set my alarm way early every day, even weekends just so I can get up and write. Love it!

  8. That's awesome, Mike! Glad you share the passion. A life without it seems purposeless.

  9. Excellent Cindy - now, you'll have to get that back-up generator, solar power shields, and windmill so "the keyboard" will always be up and running :-) And yeah, when is the next writer's group meeting? Maybe we can make it

  10. So, no mixing of the 2 addictions? LOL. You found your passion Cindy and we all get to share. Thx.

  11. Too risky to mix at this point, anyway :0) I drink some wine occasionally, but find I like to do that when just relaxing when friends and not when writing.

  12. July 14th, I think. Hope we can go, my dearest friend! I'm so glad we three originals got to go back to the group ;0) It was so fun! I entered the contest they told me about today - on deadline! Wish me luck...

  13. Oh gosh, we're so alike in our keyboard addiction. Though I still like to drink cold beers well:) but Ido think about my keyboard networking etc all the time. The suction to having it at your finger tips is the iPad if you can afford it; I'm on it all the time! Saw you on linkin and I'm a writer who loves to blog as well. We can commiserate or elevate our writing addiction together!

  14. Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Sandra! I haven't made the leap to an iPad yet. Or even a smartphone. Or even an e-reader, but it's mostly cost, like you said. I have two kids who need braces and both made cheer leading this year and I'm pretty sure that's going to suck the life out of our finances! LOL!

  15. Can so relate to this!

  16. thank you for that. i thought i was the only one who loved their keyboard. i think about writing all the time and i bought my laptop based on the sound the keys made when i typed. i don't write with a pen and paper and don't even think i could if i tried. my keyboard says hi to your keyboard.
    keep up the good work

  17. I did the same thing with the sound of the keys when I bought my laptop! Isn't that funny? I'd get cramps if I tried paper and pen. Too slow! We are true writers :0)

  18. My hubby s ready to through the computer out the window. I try to work while he is sleeping...

  19. I get so little sleep because of my writing. I love to work at night when my hub's in bed (in another room though) and go to bed around 1 a.m., but then his alarm for work goes off about 4:30 a.m. Ugh! I have to adjust and I'm trying to fit it in more during the daytime and break my night owl habit.

  20. I love my computer. Not to the point that we're making out or anything, but close. If I didn't write everyday I would be a terrible all has to come out one way or another, right? It's really cool that you've made a career of it!

    I'm glad I found you through Paris! I once had a sidekick to my blog called "Extra Underpants", so it must be kismet.

  21. LOL! Total kismet ;0) So great to meet you!

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