Computer Woes – Regency Style

My beeyoutiful Pink laptop is on the fritz. No documents lost, thank heaven, but it is doing very weird things with my browsers and anything to do with the internet. So I’m working on my old stand-by, the $400 Acer the pink laptop replaced. This Acer just keeps on ticking! My husband (a computer guy) has been working on the pink laptop all weekend.

So I got to wondering what the Regency equivalent to a broken laptop would be. A heroine who could not write a note, perhaps?

Here’s my scenerio. My heroine is out in the country. There is no time to go to the village for supplies. She must must write a note to the hero, lest he put himself in grave danger, but she’s run out of ink. What would she do?

Or she’s run out of writing paper. Where would she get paper on which to write her note?

Or all her quill pens are useless. What would she do?

I’m not solving this problem (although I have a few ideas how to do it). What do you think my heroine should do? Waste time on a Monday. Your ideas can be reasonable or fanciful.

Here for your viewing pleasure is Gerard Butler (since Megan left him to me!). He stars in Law Abiding Citizen, opening in theatres Oct 18.

My Riskies Anniversary prize, a DVD of the documentary 1815 The Battle of Waterloo (still in its shrink wrap) will be announced late tonight. Chosen from all my commenters of the month.

Thanks for supporting Risky Regencies!!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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Elena Greene
12 years ago

I know. The penless, paperless heroine would just embroider her message on a scrap from her petticoat. 🙂

Elena Greene
12 years ago

Oh and hope your computer feels better SOON.

Jane Austen
12 years ago

She could cut words out of books and sew them or apply them to a piece of fabric. Horrible thing to happen to books, but if it will save the hero….

Barbara Monajem
12 years ago

Bwa-ha-ha… She can cut herself and write her message in blood. (I’m doing line edits on a vampire book today, so blood is on my mind.)

Sorry about your laptop. Both my computers got attacked by the Trojan horse last week, but fortunately my virus program was working.

12 years ago

for ink she could use some coal or even pain it on a canvas or use her water colors. if she had no paper she could use a canvas or use some sort of cloth. If there were no quils she could use the tip of a knife or dip her finger in ink or even the juice of a beet would make great ink.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

What creative ideas! I suspect Elena’s heroine would have to have very nimble fingers.

Jane Austen, That is a brilliant idea, but it would be terrible to wreck the books.

Barbara, I confess using blood did cross my mind and I am NOT line editing a vampire book!

Heather, you are thinking of very practical solutions!

Who else has some ideas?
(maybe it was a Trojan who attacked my pink laptop. My virus protection was about to expire and perhaps we missed the crucial time)

12 years ago

So sorry about your computer woes. I hope they are resolved soon. I was thinking blood too but eww. Good look. I can’t wait to find out what you decide.

12 years ago

Eep! Sorry to hear about the pc problems! How frustrating.

My first thought was a note in blood, and decided that was far too grisly. Then I thought of the language of flowers, and since that was quite popular at the time it might work, though I wouldn’t know which flower to use. I like the idea of stitching a note, as Elena suggested. I also thought dyeing a message as she would have been familiar with natural dyes. Raspberries make amazing stains, as to strawberries, blueberries, etc. Of course, they’d have to be in season. Then there is the simple burning it into a piece of wood or writing in ash on fabric would probably be the quickest and most easily accessible.

Anna Patterson
Anna Patterson
12 years ago

I believe she would write her note on linen from the linen closet. For ink she would use dye for the cloth from the dye she would dye mourning clothes for her servants. Paper is a luxury and certainly would not be a first choice, it seems to me.

Jane George
12 years ago

First, you grab a dove.

Or pigeon, which is a somewhat less romantic bird, but bigger and easier to hold on to.
Then you steal your sister’s secret pot of rouge.
Sacrificing your only watercolour brush, you hold the bird steady, spread out its wing, and convey your message in lovely brushstrokes. Then you release the bird in the direction of your lover.

Easy and foolproof.

And durnit, you Riskies have seduced me away from work again. 🙂

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Jane George, I hope such creativity gets into your writing!

Judy, I thought of berries, too….

Anna, you give a serious solution!

And Kwana….Hi! (waving madly)

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

What a creative group of ladies you are!!

My condolences on the troubles with your pink wonder, O Divine One!! No documents lost means no new Diane Gaston novel lost so I am fine.

I can still hear my brothers’ berating me when my first computer crashed and burned with the ONLY copy of my 2008 GH manuscript in existence on it. I was a computer idiot and had not bothered to back it up on ANYTHING. I made the mistake of telling my mother and she told the brothers. I got two very outraged phone calls that night.

Now, however, I am backed up to the hilt and carry all three novels backed up on jump drives around my neck. Other women wear pearls. I wear my novels.

As to the all important message. How about a bit of ribbon embroidery on a bread cloth which is placed in a basket of his favorite muffins or tea cakes?

I think paper cutting was another craft that was popular then. She could paper cut a message in pictures and put it in the collar of his favorite dog which he left in her care.

A dish of candy comfits with words carved into each one delivered to his desk?

12 years ago

Hmmmm….if the heroine has servants, then she must have a trusty maid from the village who has become her confidant and she sends the message verbally with her????

Quite a dilemma!

Sorry your computer is on the fritz. For those of us who have come to love/depend on them, it is TOTALLY frustrating!

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

Oh, no, not the pink laptop!!! I totally sympathize after my computer meltdown last spring, ugh. Hope you are up and running again asap!

12 years ago

She could always send a talking parrot with her message. Most likely I would think she would send a maid! I hope you get your computer fixed, I know how that is. My hubby and son is the computer guys here. Son is the software guy hubby everything else.

Susan Wilbanks
12 years ago

In my WIP, when my protagonist needs to send a message without pen and ink, he tears pages out of a Bible (the only book he has access to, and he picks a section of begats from Chronicles because he feels less sacrilegious than he would if he ripped out the gospels) and uses a small pin he finds to mark the letters to spell out his message. That could work for your heroine…

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

As to the all important message. How about a bit of ribbon embroidery on a bread cloth which is placed in a basket of his favorite muffins or tea cakes?
Hahahaha, O Doggie One, methinks you’ve spent an hour or two too long in Walmart’s bakery!!

LadyDoc, you have given me a “Duh!” moment. Of course. Send someone with the message….

Virginia, hahaha. A parrot. You and Jane George are for the birds!!!

Susan, You just MUST get a publishing contract. That was one creative solution!!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Okay, my idea was for my heroine to tear a page out of a book, the title page or something with lots of space. And I thought she’d either make an ink out of charcoal and water or use berry juice…or blood.

But I like sending the maid instead…or a pigeon…or a parrot…or poking pins in a page of scripture…or embroidery….

This was fun…Thanks all!!

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Urine. The hero could read the letter by heating it over a candle flame. It would be very … personal. Naturally, since he’s a spy (what self respecting hero isn’t) he’d know about this easily obtained invisible ink. And if she composed in the outhouse, using a stick or something, chances are she’d come across some paper…

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Oh, Janet! Never in a million years would I have thought of that solution!!