Dear Microsoft Word,

Please stop crashing. Why do you hate these five pages I keep trying to write? I’m so close to finishing this draft of the manuscript and I really need to send it to my editor and I’d really like for you to stop having to “unexpectedly shut down.” Because it makes me cry, Microsoft Word.

“It looks like you’re trying to write a letter!”

No. It looks like I’m fixing to have a breakdown. Please stop crashing.

And yes, I should own a real copy of Microsoft Word, and not some version I got from who-knows-where that crashes whenever someone in a coffee shop has the same weird pirated version. I know. I’ve been buying Microsoft Word for years. My father would buy every new draft. But sometimes I’m broke, Word. Yesterday we took a used television from Sara. Two television writers took a hand-me-down television from a girl just out of college because people kept teasing us that our television was too small. Please don’t take it out on the end of my manuscript. It’s almost midnight on a Sunday and I’d really like to finish this thing, but if you keep eating the same five pages I’m writing I’m going to lose it. For real.

Final Draft isn’t this abusive. When Final Draft autosaves, it really autosaves. The recovery works. The backups work. There are about a hundred drafts of the last episode I wrote saved on this machine. Why do I have to OCD a million backups to Gmail of this one manuscript? Is it just too big for you? Can’t handle 320 pages?

Or is it that it’s not good? Maybe you’re doing the editing for me. I’ve read enough Stephen King short stories to buy into this theory. I’ve typed so many words on this machine that the keys are now missing the letters, and there are grooves from my fingernails. I may have owned this iBook for only a year and a half, but it’s spent more hours with me than any other object… or, actually, person… in my life. It makes sense that you, Microsoft Word… are learning.

Is this your way of telling me to take a night off? Are you suggesting that my work is suffering from these crazy hours, from the approaching deadlines, from the near-constant stream of words I must type to keep up with the pace? How come you’re the only one asking for a break? I’m still up. I’m still here. I don’t have this problem from iPod. And again, I hate to keep bringing it up, but Final Draft is like, “You could switch over to the film rewrites.” And Final Draft has a very valid point.

But you, Microsoft Word. I need you right now. Because I really, really, really want to finish this draft and send it far away from me, to the other side of the country, and let them take another pass at the pages. I’d really like to say, “Done.” Because I miss Netflix. And books. And the faces of human beings.

Oh, my God. No shit. My iPod battery just ran out.

Oh, you’re good, Word. You’re very good.

I’m gonna go… um… buy your latest copy right now. You know, for the karma.

Jeez. I’m sorry.

Can I have my novel back now?

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