ugh ugh UGGHHH what a gawdawful day!
Up at 5 a.m. Clean the palm tree crud and duck droppings out of the pool before the thermometer tops 105. Water the plants before the sun can fry them. Feed the dogs. Bolt down slice of watermelon. Park in front of the computer before 7 o’clock.
Planned to finish writing Chapter 2 of the Boob Book. That done, I’ll have the introduction, two chapters, and two decent appendices, enough to support a proposal, which I intend to send to a couple of my past publishers. One of those publishers is likely to pay an advance large enough to free me from a year of teaching drudgery. And that will open the door not only to writing a socially redeeming book but to kicking off a totally unredeeming bidness that is likely to support me into my dotage.
Speaking of the which, my accountant & friend and I were meeting for happy hour this afternoon, both of us having exceeded our respective drudgery allowances some time back. Developments that arose yesterday — two people offering to write spicey novelettes for my company, on contract; another offering to serve as project manager, plus an offer to do e-book formatting at a batch rate — meant we would need to talk business as well as drink off the stresses of the past few weeks. And I would need something to talk business about.
So, I put off book writing to revise the S-corp’s present business plan and compose a strategic plan. Four pages worth.
Finally I return to the Boob Book and start to write. There’s a page of To-Do notes to print. When I hit command-P…oh, yes. EFFING Word freezes again.
I hate Word.
Apple’s accursed spinning mandala goes on and on and on and on and on and on and I go off and do some other chores and come back eight or ten minutes later and find the accursed spinning mandala twirling on and on and on and on and Force QUIT! FORCE QUIT WORD, DAMMIT.
Word crashes. Reboot. Notice the wireless connection is unstable. Trying to print the unsaved To-Do notes freezes Word again.
FORCE QUIT!!! Now I figure I’d better shut down all the programs and reboot.
The whole system hangs.
It will not unhang.
A bunch of things I’m working on — and that I’ve done a ton of work on — are hung with it. They’re not saved to DropBox because I’ve been busy working on them. They’re saved to the hard disk. If the aging laptop crashes, hours and HOURS of work are going to crash with it.
I throw on my clothes, grab the machine with its eternally spinning mandala, and haul it to the Apple store, hoping they can clue me to how to make it stop without losing everything I’ve done for the past several days. Which is a lot.
They can’t. The woman I speak to is actually rude.
Next computer is going to be a cheap PC. What’s the point of spending top dollar on a Mac if you can’t get customer service? I’m done with Apple.
Outside the store I sit on a park bench under a mister, a pathetic effort to make the outdoor mall environment tolerable for the baked customers. Finally figure since everything is probably gone, I might as well turn the machine off. Turn it back on.
Incredibly, it reboots.
Some data is lost, but most of the files are recoverable, largely because the MacBook is set to save every five minutes, thanks to years of experience with Word’s crashing proclivities.
I’m relieved but furious.
Back home, more and more time remains to be spent spent sorting out the crashed files, backing up to DropBox, and generally farting around.
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away… A client and dear friend was going into melt-down mode. Had been, since yesterday.
Yesterday he sent a dozen emails and left two voice messages. He’s been trying to produce a second edition of a book he uses as a marketing tool for his chiropractic practice. CreateSpace and Ingram/Spark keep rejecting his application. They tell him he hasn’t filled in tax and address data. He says he has filled in these parts. There is, of course, no human there to ask for an explanation. Only repeated, circular, machine-generated demands.
But while I’ve been enjoying the better part of a year of surgery, design and production for this second edition has been going on without me. A local graphic designer and author’s shepherd has been doing the project, leaving me pretty much out of the loop. So…I have no idea what he’s talking about. Nor do I have a clue what to do to help.
He sends me screenshots of the rejected forms. I can’t access them without his username and password. He sends the same; I still can’t get in. Not that there’s much I could do about it: what on earth would I know about his tax data? Oh well.
He’s at a conference. He gives presentations at such conferences. So one might say he’s a bit preoccupied. But in short order he has a series of seminars to give, and he wants copies of the new books. By this morning he’s getting frantic.
Arriving home from the infuriating, frustrating encounter with the Apple Bit*h, I find two more frantic calls from him. Try to return his calls: no answer.
At this point, I think, “Why on earth are you going with CreateSpace and Ingram when there’s a perfectly fine PoD printer here? The only reason to print through Ingram/Spark is to get access to international distribution to bookstores. The only reason to print with CreateSpace is to sell hard copies through Amazon.
“But…but…almost all your hard-copy sales happen at conferences and seminars. Most people buying the book through Amazon are perfectly content to get it on their Kindles. There’s no reason your admin can’t fulfill hard-copy orders from Amazon.”
This thought communicated to him by e-mail, he eventually returns and allows that he’s had it with trying to deal with these two outfits.
So I call the local printer and ascertain that if we’ll get the local designer to send the PDFs and artwork over, he can probably have his first print run in hand within two weeks.
By e-mail, I report this to Beloved Client and Incommunicado Designers.
This consumes a significant amount of the day. By the time I’m done, it’s almost 2 o’clock in the freaking afternoon. I’m starved and I need a drink.
Fry up a decent meal, pour a bourbon and water. By the time I finish eating, it’s time to paint my face and get ready to meet Accountant Friend.
The ENTIRE DAY was shot, what with all this screwing around. I got one, count it, one paragraph written.