Robert Olen Butler Official Website

The motherboard from Hell

August 8th, 2009

I finished my new novel in a bistro in Prague last July. The book, as you know from elsewhere on this website, is entitled Hell, and it portrays that very place, which has almost always been misrepresented. I try to set the record straight. I m

ay have been too effective at that. I got back home and went to the writing cottage behind my house and put the finished book onto my desktop computer and made a first-pass of copyedits. I went to sleep and arose the next day to a tremendous North Florida thunderstorm. During the storm, lightning struck about a hundred yards into the woods behind the cottage. It was the loudest sound I’ve heard since I was in Vietnam. My computer was fried. Fortunately, the book survived on another computer. But the Act of You-Know-Who that lightning represents is hard to deny. The folks who fixed the innards of my desktop gave me the lightning-struck motherboard. It instantly seemed to me to be a particularly resonant work of found art. It now hangs over my writing desk. The motherboard from Hell. I’m happy that my website is finally running (any one of my last five books could have appropriately been dedicated to Google, so it’s about time). And I’m happy I’ve started this blog so I can show you my work of found art.motherboard-from-hell