One simple key stroke was all it took to turn my screen into a Kafkaesque nightmare. Yesterday afternoon I was working on chapter two of my new book, “Soul Man.” The first couple of chapters are the most difficult for me and I spend a lot of time inserting, backspacing, deleting, and paying homage to my grammar check program when it informs me that I shouldn’t even try to speak like a real person because that would create yet another sentence fragment.

Anyway, I hit the backspace key and it stuck. Faster than you can say Pacman, lines of text began disappearing from the screen. I responded by screaming at the monitor. When that didn’t work I switched to cursing. By the time I unlocked my brain I had lost 200 words. That’s better than 2000, but let me tell you 200 is nothing to sneeze at. Word count is precious to a writer.

The story ends well. I’ve recreated the text and established two new goals as a result of this mishap:

1. I will never again use the backspace key. It’s highlight and delete from now on, even if it involves nothing more than a 3 letter conjunction.

2. If the person who invented the backspace key is still living and I find him I will throw him in a crocodile-filled river.

Thanks for listening. I feel a little better.

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