Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Taking too long to finish 8th hummingbird series

God is still laughing.

My plans to finish the eighth book in my hummingbird series hits another series of roadblocks. First, my three year old 'smart phone' is automatically rebooting itself two times a day, and when it does work right it can only hold a 3G data connection for about two minutes.

The good news is I have one of those long floaties (originally about 5' x 2") and I have found that it allows me to beat the daylights out of my phone without actually hurting it in any way. It's actually very therapeutic but since my only link to the outside world is a glitchy Google phone, it doesn't actually solve anything.

I plan on doing a hard reset that should turn it back to its manufacturer's settings, but that path is wrought with problems too. I'll have to download updates, synch address books and calendars and countless crap I dread... and even after I do all that, assuming I do it right, it still might not fix the problem.

But that's only a hint of what's been bogging me down.

Laptop hard drive, now over 11 years old, keeps crashing. Fortunately, I backup everything, keep copies of my work on compact flash, USB drives, and DVDs when needed so I can never lose more than 20 minutes of work at any time. But re-installing the operating system and all the programs and drivers is an all-day royal pain that I've done three times last month and once this one.

11 years is a very long time for a laptop. I should be happy it has lasted this long, but I have to scrounge the carpet for loose change every time I want to mail a letter. This might be my most profitable year yet as an author, but most of my books are free in an attempt to be heard through all the noise, an even so it's barely enough to pay my $27.39 phone bill and my $35-40 a month electric bill. The good news in that is that I officially am a writer according to S King, because, as he said, you really haven't made it until you can pay at least one bill every month with it.

I've been using my sister's old Gateway as a backup for when my laptop eventually crosses the line where it can no longer be saved, but it has a backlit screen and, after just 30 minutes of trying to read it, it gives me a splitting headache.

I have very bad eyes, they can't stand normal computer screens because of the backlight. At first I thought it might be the flicker (most older screens used fluorescent tubes) but even the flicker-free LED ones give me headaches (even faster).

The transflective (Think old Kindle and Nook with the E-Ink that was black and white but had no backlight at all and could be used in direct sunlight, the Daylite did that in color) screen on My NEC laptop has proven to be the only way I can tolerate the eight to ten hours of typing and staring at a screen I have to do to write a book.

Unfortunately, even if I do manage to keep it running indefinitely, my eyes are getting worse in other ways too. I'm having problems reading the 10" screen (about the size of an iPad) I'm already working off of memory to know what icons are what.

I had planned on finishing it by December of last year at the latest, but since then I've come down with the flu twice, diarrhea and two fevers, bruised three ribs, twisted my ankle and knee, and thrown out my back.

I think all my bad luck that I've managed to avoid for so long has finally caught up with me, and mercy doesn't seem to be anywhere on the table.

I expect my first IRS audit by November : )

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