Freeing the voices in my head

Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Restart…

When the “new & improved” Microsoft Office that came with my new laptop basically trashed my manuscripts, I fought to recover & rework them into Manuscript format instead of “Blog” or “Office” format (quotation words are Microshit Office’s descriptions).  I then discovered my new, oh-so-fab laptop hates WordPress, going offline within moments of logging in.

Now, as any writer knows, doing actual work correcting a manuscript can kill the creative process.  I wanted, needed, to WRITE, not mess around fixing what Microshit had ruined!  I did finish the fourth draft of my main manuscript & emailed it to my First Readers.  Now I just have to wait for their reports.  Finally, I could work on the rough draft of the second book manuscript, but I faced 148 pages of Microshit mess.

So, I dug the old laptop out of the closet, hoping the originals were still fine and that it would finally let me into WordPress as well.  Ta-da!  It works!

Okay, I can hear the questions:  Why FOUR drafts of one manuscript?  Well, to me, it’s a fourth draft; to my First Readers, it’s the third draft.  I write off the top of my head, a brief summary, idea or character moving my thoughts and fingers.  That’s right, I don’t do Outlines well at all.  As I write, the backstories of the characters, the locations, and background info gets written in a notebook; I jot things down as they pop up (I write notes to myself all the time, anyway.  Can’t keep a thought in my brain for longer than 30 seconds these days!).  A dictionary, thesaurus and Gregg’s Manual sit on my desk as well for quick checking of words, punctuation and grammar.  If I need to research something, I jot down a key word to check it later online because I don’t want to stop writing, creating, to get bogged down reading & researching.  All that can be put in later.

So that first draft is the roughest one, the idea growing, building, and no one sees that one!  By MY third draft, it’s a well-rounded story that can be shared – it’s been proofread, polished, and filled in, but by that point, I need outside input to find what I’ve missed because I’m too close to the world I created.  Too close to see what else needs doing.  Thank you, First Readers, for any and all criticisms and input!  🙂

I’m not a “published author.”  I’ve had a couple of stories published in magazines (years ago) and articles published (when I was a reporter for a local trade journal publishing house).  I don’t know how authors work.  I write for me first because I love to play in and with my creations.  I love letting others read my stories and enjoy the feedback, enjoying their pleasure from reading what I’ve written.  Will I ever have a published Book?  Don’t know, I hope so, but it isn’t the main goal.  My main goal is to just Write because it brings me Joy.

Okay, so why do I have a new laptop that won’t do what I need it to do, and why haven’t I returned it and gotten another or gotten that new one fixed?  Because it was a gift, specifically, a gift from my husband.  After thirty years, I’ve learned the hard way to NEVER return or reject anything he gives me.  Hey, I like gifts and want more!

Return the beautiful laptop he bought me?  Nah, I don’t think so!  It works for other stuff and I’ll eventually figure out how to fix the weirdness.

For now, I just want to write, to play, to get my joy fix each day as the words flow and my worlds come to life.  But even play needs to be practiced to be enjoyed, so I’m going to fire up whichever computer wants to behave!  🙂

 

 

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Machine Wars

My husband is so sweet.  He bought a bunch of golf gear, so he felt it was only fair to get me a new laptop.  Top of the line, powerful, has all the bells and whistles…and it hates me.

It boots up fast, it loads with impressive speed, it browses and plays games nicely…for about ten minutes.  Then, it decides to go offline.  I reboot, it refuses to connect.  I shut it down, unplug it, let it rest…it still won’t do a damn thing!  I check every other device and machine in the house that needs online connections, I unplug the router and plug it back in.  Comcast is notorious for just glitching out whenever it wants, but, nope, everything else is working.

How do I tell my sweet hubby the new laptop refuses to do anything?  I tried, but, you see, as with any machine that goes hinky on me, it works beautifully for HIM!

“What’s the problem?  What’d you do to it?  Ah, there you go; it’s working fine.”  We switch positions, I place my fingers on the keyboard and ten minutes later, give up as the laptop dies.

So, I have a new secret life:  Moments after he leaves for work, I play on the desktop.  Today, I decided to try my older laptop.  All my writing is on the old laptop; that’s right, the new laptop doesn’t have a Word Processor.  Or, I can’t find it and believe me, for the ten minutes I had before the damn thing died, I searched everywhere.  It has Microsoft Office but wants me register and pay and god knows what else to access it.  The thin booklet of instructions had nothing regarding Creating Documents or Writing.  Great, that’s not useful at all!

But, in an odd twist, the old laptop is being a happy trooper (knock wood).  It’s humming along, updated what was needed with swift efficiency, and is tempting me to spend the next few hours writing or commenting on blogs or finally enjoying my computer life without frustration and stress.

Now, if we could just figure out why the printer refuses to work, we’d be golden.  Then again, it might be best if I dig through the boxes in the garage and dust off my old electric typewriter…hmmm, given my losing battles with anything electronic (the big TV doesn’t like me much either) maybe I’d better go to an antique store and look for a manual typewriter…  😀