The past few weeks have passed in a flurry. Last week, in particular, was a real gem.
Now let me say up front that we all have up and down times, and it’s my personal belief that when we are being smacked down often it is then that something really good happens so that we stay balanced. Sometimes you really have to look for that good, and sometimes you really wish you had time to enjoy it.
Let me set the stage a little here. On the book front, Not This Time was just published. That’s the 3rd and final book in the Crossroads Crisis Center series (for now). I’m running a contest for a diamond necklace and a copy of the book on it that ends 3/31. I should be letting everyone know that they can enter it HERE, but I’ve been sidetracked and waylaid instead. There’s also a contest going on on Goodreads. Again, waylaid and sidetracked.
Then there was a special promotion on Mind Reader, the reissue of the very first book I had published. It’s reduced to 99 cents at Amazon Kindle. I’ve been looking forward to this for months, but couldn’t pause to enjoy it because…
A) We, meaning my devoted agent, Chip MacGregor, and I have been in negotiations on my next project for weeks and…
B) I got in gallies for review on Lost, Inc. Book 1, Survive the Night, which comes out in October 2012, revisions on Book 2, Christmas Countdown, a December 2012 release, and the deadline is fast, fast approaching (two weeks) on the proposal for Book 3, Torn Loyaltiies. All at once, and all with short suspenses, and…
C) I have to change operating systems on my computer because if I don’t get it done, then I lose email and websites and other little goodies in short order. On receiving the third notice to move to the cloud, I figured there wasn’t going to be a good time—there’s always—tons of stuff going on, so I stopped to handle this.
And that’s when mayhem ensued.
You can’t make the move to the cloud without updating the operating software to the latest version, which translates to ditching Snow Leopard for Lion. I could have done it earlier, but didn’t want to stop progress on projects. (I also have two other projects waiting for final formatting and review before publication. Like I said, there’s never a good time.)
So, okay, I bite the bullet. Backup my hard drive to my external hard drive (oh, don’t skip this step EVER [and a very special thank you to my dear friend, Kathy Carmichael, for reminding me to do this even though I back up daily]) and then download Lion.
It takes hours but downloads. But it won’t install. My hard drive is damaged, it says, and can’t be repaired. (Picture my heart beating erratically, and my stomach dropping and sticking to my kneecaps and you’ll have a good picture of my response.) I hit my knees. Tech savvy, I am not.
That nixed progress in a huge way—and at one o’clock the next morning, progress remained nixed. I’d done all the recommended troubleshooting and tried all I could try. Nada luck on anything. My local computer guru closed shop. What to do, what to do? I started searching for another and found one not too far away but they weren’t, of course, open yet.
Along about 9 AM, Hubby reminded me that the computer was probably still under warranty. I didn’t think so but checked anyway. It was—I had gotten the Apple Care on it, it was still in effect. Oh, yay! Help! And I could call them right then. So I did.
A patient soul named Mike spent the next few hours walking me through reformatting my hard drive—(picture gooseflesh and cold sweats here, because even though I’d backed up, I’ve done that before only to discover the backup had been corrupted and I lost everything!)—so we get that done, reload the old operating system, restore via Time Machine and I’ve got my old system back. The last twenty-four hours of downloading the new system and trying to install and repair were erased! That’s a win. A big one. I lost NOTHING. (Picture a major celebration here, because I was all but doing the Snoopy dance, and that’s the truth. Hit my knees again in gratitude. A note: I have over 2,000,000 items on this puppy. That’s a lot to risk on losing.)
Then Mike gave me explicit instructions on what to do next. Three steps. It took until 11 that night, but I got them done. Lion was downloaded, installed, and running. I wanted to backup at that point, but didn’t dare. There were still a few glitches to be addressed and the move to the Cloud. (picture nerves again, because this was all uncharted waters for me). Apple called back to see how I was doing. I took comfort in their reassurance. I was on target for success. The only thing that stood between me and it was time—and those three Lost Inc. books (edits, revisions and writing) stood between us.
It took the day, but I got moved to the cloud. Got mail set up, got reconfigures done on some programs and updates done and I stopped late that night feeling victorious. Then I looked at Quicken, which did not work with Lion. (Have I mentioned that all my tax stuff and such is in-progress and there? No? Well, it is.)
Kathy looked on her computer for a fix. And there is one, but we failed to find where you actually get the download for it. (Picture significant panic but being tempered with hitting my knees, which are just a little bruised by this time because I’ve been on them so much.)
She’s also giving me good news on Mind Reader’s special promotion. It’s on the Movers and Shakers list, the Romantic suspense list, the Kindle romantic suspense list, the contemporary fiction and genre fiction and fiction lists in the US, three lists in the UK and two in Germany. (picture, me wishing I had the time to celebrate with more than a shouted Yay! Thank you! Thank you!) This is a huge win and I am going to celebrate it. So I drop the price of the book from $2.99 to $.99 to celebrate with those who make it happen, my readers. (Thanks, readers. You can see I really needed this one!)
It’s the wee hours again. I’ve slept four hours in two days. I’m tired. Really low on steam, but the thought occurs to me that I’ve been a Quicken customer for many years. Surely they wouldn’t not let me know that the program won’t run Lion. Surely not. I check email—nearly 4000 messages waiting because of being out of town a few days—and sure enough, there is an email from Quicken—actually, two of them! Hopeful, I read. One is from the new guy saying they’re going to do better. (I love anyone who admits they’ve not done well and they’re determined to fix it. So I shoot him a warm fuzzy and kudos for that and ask he be blessed, and move on to the second one. And there it is. A link to the download for the fix to run Lion. Yay! (Picture me viserally doing cartwheels in my office, celebrating.)
I click, download and hold my breath. Then I check the program—and there it is. And my data is all in place and my tax notes are on the desktop and it works! Yay! Not sure if the Quicken man feels blessed, but boy, I sure did. Another win—a huge, huge win—and I hit my bruised knees because I’m sure as certain for everything to go this well, divine intervention has to be front and center.
So all is restored, moved, up and running. I reconfigured some programs and after three days, return to my work: the galleys. I need to copy all the changes made. Problem. The printer doesn’t talk to Lion, the cartridge is low—and a certain someone “borrowed” the last new one without noting it and so, I’m out of ink. No problem, I’ll scan the manuscript. I load it into the scanner and . . . problem. Lion doesn’t talk to the scanner, either.
Okay, I update again and pause to backup the whole schmear. Then go into system preferences and hit print and scan and find instructions on getting these two to talk. It doesn’t work. But my printer has a backup system and I can hot wire it. I do that—these puppies really do need to be in the mail first thing tomorrow.
It’s cumbersome, it’s slow, but the angels that watch over writers took pity on me and, though it took all day, it got done. I saved as it went, and when it was done, I was elated.
Then I discovered from page 181 to the end was blank. It ate the content. I did have backups of the segments, so I put them all in a file and called it done. The win: the hard copy is ready to go!
Now I’ve got to address this printer and scanner issue. There is a fix. I’ll get there. In the meantime, the clock’s ticking on getting the time-sensitive revisions done and that third proposal written, the tax junk to the accountant and the other three pages of to-dos on my list.
Kathy’s kept tabs on the books for me and just before I dragged myself to bed—I can’t think anymore—she shares that Mind Reader is #7 on the Kindle popularity list. That made me smile. I’d jump for joy, but I’m too tired. It’s the night of day three on four hours sleep.
The next time someone says, “Oh, you’re a writer. You work at home. You have all kinds of free time,” I’m going to send them to read this post. Maybe not. I like the illusion of sitting on the beach writing at leisure. I’ve not experienced it, but I like the illusion. Maybe I need the fantasy more than they do!
Now during this, I can’t diminish the importance of hearing from Kathy. I needed those boosts she so cheerfully gave about the books. I needed the information she was kind enough to look up for me because I was stuck and couldn’t do it myself. She was a lifeline for me. You’ve heard me say, to have a friend you must be one. Well, Kathy is one—over and over and over again. (I hope you have a Kathy in your life. It’s essential to sanity and certainly to peace.)
I can’t diminish the importance of hearing from my agent, Chip, either. He’s always supportive, but he was just terrific. His notes came at just the right moments to keep me from jumping out the window—which would have resulted in, at most, a sprained ankle, since it’d be jumping onto a deck so the drop is about two feet and the only window-jumping I’d consider… well, outside of a fire or something. J
Where are the wins? (I heard you asking.)
Kathy was and is a win. Chip was and is a win. And in one of those communications, he gave me some outstanding news. The negotiations are over. I’m going to be writing a new series for Zondervan, an imprint of Harper Collins. Yay! (picture me doing those cartwheels, because I surely am). More on this new series to follow. This post is turning into a book, but I am very happy with this development and we’ll find a way to celebrate together after revisions and book three of Lost, Inc. are done.
Mike and Apple are a win. That my backup didn’t fail me, Time Machine working so elegantly, my hard drive not crashing and losing everything and corrupting everything even though it was damaged is a win.
There are tons of wins. I am not a techie. Yet all this worked out.
And now, my friends, you know why I’ve been such a scapegrace on my blog and all but absent from Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and gone from my favorite haunts: The Book Club Network and The Story Garden.
I hope things are easier in your neck of the woods. If not, know you’re not alone. If so, I’m thrilled for you.
I have to disclose that in the middle of all this, I had lunch with my daughter and the angels (my pet name for my grans). The youngest invited me to a movie, Lomax, so we went right then—all of us. I confess I dozed off, but the eldest angel nudged me (good thing or I’d have missed the show!) and that restored more balance than anything else I could have done. I treasure every second. So if you’re having a few trials, stop—the world will go on just fine and things are already worrisome, so….—and spend a few hours with your angels, whatever form they might take. You’ll be so much better for it. Refreshed. Think refreshed.
So it’s been a ride of woes and wins. It always is, isn’t it? Sometimes not as intense, but we’re always experiencing both.
I don’t know about you, but I could use a little more win time—when I can enjoy it. That would be good. It’d be great. But I’ll take those wins any time and I’m grateful for them.