Week two with the cast. I’m sorry I’m being such a big baby. There are people with worse problems so I must keep that in perspective!
So, on a brighter note, I’ve been really working on my writing! Since I can’t properly work out and I can’t drive, I sit at my makeshift office (the dining room and thank goodness no one is coming over for the holidays) and type away. It’s quiet (with the exception of the twelve phone calls a day from telemarketers asking for the political polls) and I can concentrate.
I’ve done my Christmas cards and shopping, so this is perfect to get things done in the writing department.
Because of this, my daughter is exploring her culinary skills now she is responsible for making the dinner. My husband is helping out. Last week, I sent him to the grocery store and he came back with a two hundred dollar grocery bill with food that we don’t usually eat.
This week, we went ‘together’ with my scooter and the bill was under one hundred dollars with food we do eat.
Because I can’t use the stairs (because I’m a klutz), we now sit in the same room and actually communicate with each other.
So, all in all, with the exception of a few things, this has been a positive situation!
I tell you! What is one of the worst fears for me? When my computer doesn’t work. Yes, I have backed up all of my books and important information, but still. The heart wrenching feeling when you press the on button and NOTHING HAPPENS!!!
You have to understand, I go through laptops like water. I don’t know what it is about me. I am on my fifth laptop in less than six years. My husband still has his desk top from 2001!
When I decided to devote myself to a career as an author, I mentally prepared myself for rejections, totally rewritten manuscripts, mental blackouts and have learned how to deal with bad reviews, but I didn’t realize the impact of not having a computer can do to you.
The sad thing is, in a prior life, I used to work as a Help Desk Assistant for three years. I know what kind of trouble can lurk out there if you’re not careful. With this last laptop, I made sure it was for writing and checking emails only. I don’t play games on it and I don’t subscribe to any lewd webpages. I write and I promote my work via social media. That is it.
So who knew I could pick up Malware from Facebook, even though I have McAfee? Well, I did.
It was suggested by Office Max that I install Malware Bytes. I did and I thought I had the problem fixed. Nope. I turned on my laptop and it read: Your compute is at risk!” from McAfee. I tried running a scan and it wouldn’t work. In the meantime, I kept getting messages from Malware Bytes that my trial subscription was about to expire. It did.
I dug into my files and found the original paper work for McAfee and mentally prepared myself to uninstall it and then go to my online account to reinstall it. For a fleeting moment, I thought I better uninstall Malware Bytes since I didn’t want to purchase it. I did and lo and behold, McAfee worked! Apparently, they were in contention with each other. I ran a full scan and am a happy camper.
This morning, I made an English Muffin for breakfast. It was kind of crumbly and a huge chunk of it fell into the bottom of the toaster. (The toaster belonged to my mother in law who passed away almost eleven years ago.) It’s a four slice which comes in handy when making breakfast for company. I carefully unplugged it and shook it into the garbage can but there was still this little piece wedged underneath a wire. I jigged it carefully with a knife and the piece fell out. Feeling triumphant, I put the remaining muffin in, plugged it in and turned it on. PHZZZZT! Now only one side of the toaster works.
Maybe I shouldn’t touch anything else for the rest of the day
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
I don’t know if you have been following, but I have a new website! www.loiskasznia.com, designed by Monica Dyess. I think she did a fantastic job!
Part of the old systems person I used to be, I do want to be able to update certain pages of it such as my blog and books I’m currently reading. Monica has been kind enough to teach me some basics to do so.
Since I assisted in the Help Desk area of Dimensions, back in Reading, PA, I used to love trying to solve computer problems and learn new things. The downside of the job was the temperament of the VP’s who would carry on like crazy if they had computer problems and they wanted it fixed RIGHT NOW! The rest of the employees were so much more understanding when their computers acted up.
Therefore, when we moved to Dallas, I kind of shunned away from computer related issues and concentrated on my writing. When my laptop crashed in the middle of writing Not Just an Act, I was forced to learn Windows 8.1 with the purchase of a new laptop. I know just enough to get by but not like I knew Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7!
Please check it out and let me know what you think!
As an author, I do need my alone time with my characters to tell me what to write. I told you last week how busy my family has been with vacation and playing catch up.
I finally got a breather this Friday and it was wonderful. I was able to devote over eight hours of uninterrupted quality time with my new work in progress!
Of course, that all changes with the weekend. Mowing, gardening, house chores and more parties. Taking this Sunday to do what I want. Read some of my favorite authors work and keep up with my writing skills! I call it a Brain Refresh!
As I said last week, I finally finished the first draft of my next Romantic Comedy. It’s been a long time in the making due to lots of interruptions, but whew! I have distributed it for comments and corrections and am waiting for feedback before submitting it to the publisher.
This is my story and I write what I feel. Does it sell? I really don’t know how well. I know my friends have bought my books and they are very honest about their feedback. A few of them have admitted that no. It’s not their cup of tea and I understand completely. Then I have others who tell me how much they enjoy them and can’t wait for the next one.
If they are not selling well, is it because I’m not advertising them enough? I have a professional Facebook page (Lois L Kasznia) and am on Twitter (LoisKasznia). I have this blog and am now creating a web page with the help of a professional. I have taken an ad out for the online Affaire de Couer July/August magazine to promote my work. I am also a member of Romance Writers of America.
My publisher, Blushing Books/Lazy Day promote all of their authors and do not single one out from the other. They advertise in the RWA magazine and are quite active in the writing community. They host seminars to attend but for me, it is a dilemma to attend them. I do not make enough money off of my books to pay for an airline ticket plus hotel costs, to attend them.
I have started a savings plan to remedy this problem but I wonder if other authors suffer from the same dilemma.
Another question I pose is my stories. They no longer fit into the direction of the company and I find myself in the middle. I do not write Erotica nor religious stories but I do write Happy Ever After stories about people who make mistakes and correct them. Maybe its because I always seem to see the good in people and believe that they can change for the better. Speaking of change; do I change my style?
Has anyone worked with Microsoft Office, Mail Merge? I know it’s an awesome tool to use for printing labels in a jiffy. My point? The Excel spreadsheet to use can drive you to drink. You think you have all of your columns and data in the right format. You’ve painstakingly gone over everything, right? You run your Mail Merge and….only thirty out of your seventy labels show up. Huh?
Okay. I can do this. I look over it again and see, ah ha! There’s a line out of sync. Let’s try this again. I get an additional ten more. Grrrr. I ask for another set of eyes and they see something out of whack. Try it again. Nothing. Now I notice this process has taken me two hours which should’ve only taken me fifteen minutes. An additional two hours later, using two different spreadsheets to get the data since Mail Merge doesn’t like the one document, I have my labels. I am exhausted!
Then I wonder where went my time to work on my book?
Good news! Edits will begin on my next book, For the Love of Par!