In Becoming Alice you found out that Ilse became Alice in the 20th Century, not only in name, but also as an American person. Fast forward just a bit. Well no, fast forward a long way in years all the way into the 21st Century. That same Alice who was such a fish out of water and struggled to fit into the American landscape, is now trying to catch up to the technological demands of the 21st Century.
Yesterday I spend most of the morning trying to replace an ink cartridge in my printer. I’ve done those replacements before. No big deal, I thought. The trouble arose out of the fact that I purchased a new printer that not only prints, but is a fax machine, telephone, and has internet access capabilities. I haven’t checked whether it also will brush my teeth in the morning. I only wanted a printer. Period. Nothing else. There is no such animal on the market.
Never mind, I’ll just use the printer and send off those first ten pages of my new work to someone whose judgement I trust and who would give me an honest critique. I purchased a double cartridge, not wanting to be bothered so often. God, but they are expensive. I digested the price. Writing is really important to me and proceeded to install it.
I lifted the top from the printer and the ink cartridge carrier came into full view. Piece of cake, I thought. I removed the old one and installed the new one. The printer/fax/telephone/computer told me it didn’t recognize any of the red, blue, yellow, and black cartidges. I hadn’t even touched the color inks.
I’m not without any technological knowledge altogether, so I turned the printer/fax/telephone/computer off and unplugged it from the socket. Replugged it, turned it on, and the same message came up. I went to the handbook. There is no information about “how to replace an ink cartidge.”
Long story short: It took me two and a half more hours to notice that in installing the new black cartridge the other three colors popped out of their place by 1/16th of an inch. I needed to reinstall all four colors to make the @#$%&* work. Sigh!
Being a writer in the 21st Century is not for sissies!