Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Frustrations With My Latest Book--Maybe Too Much To Do?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I always have a lot going on.

I'm continuing to promote my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, not just the latest, No Bells, because my publisher at Oak Tree Press was generous enough to bring ou the earlier books in the series that had been with a different publisher. Of course I'd like people to read them too, though I've always written each book so it could be enjoyed without reading the earlier ones.

I have a new Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery coming out toward the end of this month. I've been planning a blog tour for it during the month of September. I think I've got all the blogs written, photos chosen, and everything ready to go. I also planned two physical book launches. (Still have to make posters and invitations for those, but they are on my to-do list for later.

I've finished writing the next in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, no title as yet, and I'm reading it chapter by chapter to my critique group. (Something I do with every new book.)

Now the frustration part. I am about 3/4 of the way through the first draft of the  Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery for next year (yes, I have to juggle those two series if I'm to get two books done a year) and I am at a most critical point. At first, because it's going to be rather dark, I had trouble getting into it. Oh, I do know what's going to happen, though I haven't worked out all the details yet--I'll do that as I go along--experiencing it with Tempe.

When I got all fired up to write, for some reason, the automatic paragraph indent quit working. I have the latest version of WORD which has been the most complicated of all the word processing program to learn--for me at least. I fiddled with this and that, emailed my favorite computer tech, he gave me some complicated directions. I followed them, but not well-enough I guess, because it didn't quite work.

Then I told my publisher for RBPD and she told me to send it to her and she'd try to fix it. Well, she fixed what I'd alread done, but when I started to write, the new stuff didn't work right. Then I discovered I had extra space between my paragraphs which I didn't want.

I tried all different things, things I thought ought to work--but they didn't. Another email to the guru. I worked at it some more--and finally I got it. Guess what, it was now time to fix lunch for hubby.
Plus I was really too frustrated to write.

Deciding to write this blog, I tried to get into the sign in space and nothing would work. When all else fails, turn off the computer and start again. Well, I did that, but Blogger still wouldn't cooperate, so I switched from Firefox to Explorer. Voila! It worked.

Now it's nearly time to fix dinner. Didn't do half of what I hoped to accomplish today. Tonight is my critique group and they always lift my spirits. I do hope your day has been far less frustrating than mine.

Coming soon.

Marilyn who is also known as F. M. Meredith


Morgan Mandel said...

It's the pits when software and technology go on strike. Sometimes we can outwit it. Other times we have to give in and admit defeat.

Keep forging ahead, Marilyn!!!

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks, Morgan, but you know me, I never give-up, though I do get frustrated at time.

Lorna Collins - said...

I had a HORRIBLE time even finding how to set up my Normal template so that I could have it the way I wanted it for my manuscripts. (I change individual documents, but I want to sit down and write without having to think about the mechanics. when I'm on a roll, it's the last thing I need to deal with.)

In the older versions, you frequently got a message that you were changing the Normal template and were asked if you wanted to change it permanently. Unfortunately, it was too easy to overwrite the Normal template. Now it's all but impossible.

Don't know if you tried this:

Open Word 2010

Right Click on "Normal" (this should be on the "Home" ribbon under "Styles")

Choose "Modify..."

You can adjust the basic formatting style with the tools on that main screen, or you can select the "Format" drop-down/combo box in the lower left corner.

Once you have modified the style, be sure to fill in the circle (aka radio button) in front of "New documents based on this template"

Click "OK"

If you close out of Word 2010 and reopen the program, you should see the changes that you made to the blank template.

Hope that this might help.

It's the Paragraph that you need to format.

Lots of luck!!

Kathleen Kaska said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Marilyn. But, it sounds like you accomplished a lot. I had to send several copies of my corrections for my latest mystery to my editor. Seems like our computers didn't like talking to one another.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those days when everything goes wrong, especially the mechanical and technological things, are so frustrating. That's when I'm tempted to throw in the towel and go to a movie.

You seem to accomplish a lot in spite of those annoyances, Marilyn. Looking forward to the next Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Lorna, I copied that so I'll be able to do that. Thank you.

Hi, Kathleen, yes, I'm very happy we've passed the typewriter/carbon paper stage, but sometimes all the new stuff drives me bananas.

Hi, Janet, as you know I've written in many genres too--but seem to have settled down in mystery, though I have fun putting paranormal stuff in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries--did it once in Angel Lost too.

And Patricia, there are many days that I think I should save my time and money and find something else to fill my time.

Cindy Sample said...

Marilyn, you never cease to amaze me how much you accomplish (even with technological issues). Two series and a blog tour would put me in the hospital! Speaking of which, my day probably topped yours since I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy yesterday with a nurse who was even klutzier than my protagonist. I feel a blog coming on myself.

On a bright note the anesthesiologist was hot! Or did I just dream that?

Keep writing those great books!

Kit Sloane said...

uhhh...next time get a Mac!!!! Got the first one in 1985 and have never had a problem doing anything with them (or, perhaps, I've just been LUCKY!) :)


Kathy Bennett said...


Sorry for your techno troubles. I think I may invest in Scrivener to better organize my work, but also to avoid some of the bugs I have in my Word program for Mac.

If you're like me, your critique group will do wonders for your mood.

Lynn Cahoon said...

Tech difficulties aside, I'm amazed at the way a to do list for an author just seems to keep growing. Tell me you get better and faster after a few books... please?

Hope your critique group lifted your spirits.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Cindy, I don't feel like I accomplish much. I've gone through that colonoscopy/endoscopy bit, and it's not fun. They never really put me out--I'll take the tech frustration anytime.

Kit, glad you are happy with your Mac.

Kathy and Lynn, my critique group always lifts my spirits. And no, Lynn, it doesn't get any easier.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I share your frustration, Marilyn. I used Word Perfect for many years and went kicking and screaming into Word only when I had to. The computer kinks are enough to thin your hair.