Computer withdrawals

I picked up a nasty malware virus.  I’m not sure where, but you know, it’s after the software expired on the ole computer…murphy’s law is somewhere in that formula.  Murphy's LawMaybe the software company actually sends something like that out so that you never go without their software?  I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but the timing was suspicious.

Anyway, I tried, unsuccessfully to fix it myself…repeatedly.  Whatever it was, it was smart, it was ‘watching,’ and it was ‘learning.’  I first noticed it wouldn’t let me on Internet Explorer.  Then it started reading my programming, this I could see by the black rectangle box that would appear occasionally on my screen, showing me the language underneath Windows and my other screens.  As someone who studied to be a programmer (30 years ago, don’t get excited, it’s all obsolete), I know what this looks like.  The malware was slowly shutting down my access to things, trying to get passwords, and isolating me.  When I realized it and tried to eradicate it, it wouldn’t let me access those programs, smart bugger.  It wouldn’t let me hook up my external drive, and I’d last backed up EVERYTHING two days prior, so I used a thumb drive, that filled up.  I was panicking.  Then, I started using another thumb drive I own, thank you Lexar!  It took everything I sent it and backed it up, but it all took time.  I was up until like 4am, just backing stuff up, a little at a time as it was so slow…and, I think the malware was trying to keep me from doing exactly what I was doing.

So, I took it to the computer shop in town.  They said they had one slot open that day and I got it!  Hurray, I thought, I have so much work to do!…um, nooo.  They couldn’t get to it that day, had no one on the weekend to work with it, and said they’d finish it on Monday…I’d have it Monday night.   Um, nooo…again and again they let me down.  Now, I’m not the most patient person but if you can’t tell me honestly, explain it to me logically, I’m gonna get pissed off, and did.  There was absolutely nothing I could do.  And, not having my computer, I couldn’t go on line, do any work, or even entertain myself with movies, Facebook, or a host of other things I do.  Then, my girlfriend reminded me I still had my old, broken, laptop.

Now, don’t judge it too harshly, that thing lasted five years under my hard work.  It took forever to fire the sucker up though, talk about slower than molasses.  And for some reason, the N key wouldn’t work.  20180311_210137.jpgAs you can see, I tried to fix said N key and made it worse.  Then I got the wonderful idea to wipe the computer to factory resetting’s.  I kept getting these delightful messages all weekend long as I attempted to use it, it would automatically shut down, and I tried to keep my temper.

To say I was limping along was modest.  The fan on the old laptop didn’t work, I kept my cooling pan on and under the old thing…and it’s called a cooling pad for a reason.  I had to keep a blanket on my lap it was so efficient.  The keyboard didn’t work well, so I hooked up an ergonomic keyboard I own that I am totally unfamiliar with.  20180311_210127.jpgThat definitely has a learning curve.

As you can see by the keys on my old laptop, I type, hard, and you can even see my nail prints imbedded in the keys.  Although, I have to admit, it wasn’t as hard as my desktop that I had in my warehouse when I first started writing.  20180313_182056Keep in mind, I was a screen printer, it was in a warehouse, and despite washing my hands all the time, paint, soy, and a host of other things got on the keys.  The reason the middles are completely gone out of some of this keyboard, is that the soy and the oils on my fingers ate them (no, this is not like my dog ate my homework, I swear).

So, I was left this weekend with my jury rigged (I used to think it was Jerry-rigged, and who the heck is Jerry?).  This is stretched out, on my lap, and that damn mouse pad far away.20180310_121901I did manage to get the office program working, when it wasn’t shutting down for some imaginary update.  I only got about twenty pages written, and I know it should have been forty…sigh.  Oh well, I’ll make up for it eventually.  The hardest part really was reaching for my ergonomic mouse.  I used one in the warehouse because of all the artwork that a printer makes, uses, and plays with.  Then, when I got my first laptop, I got a wireless one.  That is the one you saw above, but the mouse, that was the first thing that died when I fired up that old laptop.  Using the one on the actual laptops I genuinely hate!  x.JPGAh, thank you logitech for my beautiful, and comforting, and heavily relied on mouse.

I have to admit, I can go a day or so without a computer no problem.  But, that being said, I was kind of frantic knowing I didn’t have a computer to go and do the work that was piling up.  Thank goodness I kept the old one, even if it didn’t work well, it worked.  I got some things accomplished and could let others know why I was behind.  I even got my Facebook fix in now and then, as you can see, I even played a word game.

It was pointed out to me, I might want to consider shopping for a new computer every two years instead of every five…sigh.

Happy computing folks!  Watch for my new release in a few weeks!  They even managed, despite a nuclear holocaust, to keep their computer going…wait to read how!



I permanently borrowed a book

The year was somewhere about 1980-1981 or 1982…I don’t exactly recall.  It was assigned reading for grumpy Mr. Crawford’s English class, but it made such an impression on me, I kept the book.

20171021_200227 20171022_204414

They stamped it Sept 9, 1974 so you can imagine how old this book really is.  It takes place in the 50’s or 60’s…I don’t completely remember.  However, I do remember the premise and it stayed with me all these years.  What if someone dropped the bombs, and how would you survive?

In 2011 I started out writing exactly a scenario like that, not copying Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon version at all, but my own story that this one definitely influenced.  I wrote a bit, and then I put it aside with all my other half-finished (even quarter-finished) novels.  I’ve picked it up again, feeling the same emotions that cross me every time I think of this scenario.  It is emotional to think what would happen if our politicians allowed ‘the button’ to be pushed.

I picked up the book after I finished my own, to refresh my feelings on both and wow, haven’t we learned anything since the Cuban Missile Crisis?  I mean really, same old politicians and stupidity that were around 40-50 years ago?

My book deals with one tiny section of the world and the characters that inhabit it, that survive after the bombs have fallen.  This family, how they survived, what they do, the morality of it all, and how they cope, is the centerpiece of this story.  I hope this never happens, never comes true.  

Here is the synopsis for my upcoming book:

For some, the world would end with the dropping of the bombs.  For others, a select few, it would present an opportunity to show their true mettle.  Those who will take on the challenge to live without, make do, and subsist on, are the survivors.

Jodi was one of the few.  She knew what was coming.  She read the signs, and she had friends in low places who kept her informed.  She bought a cabin in the middle of nowhere, fixed it up, and warned her closest friends and family that the time will come to abandon the big cities, to hide and seclude yourself for the safety of your family and everyone closest to you.

Krista was her partner, her best friend, and her wife at a time when states didn’t recognize same-sex marriage.  Krista coped with her mate’s compulsions by recognizing that indulging her was the best way to maintain a harmonious union.  After all, they could afford it.  Little did she realize that Jodi was destined to be the savior of them all.

Finding that things were much worse than everyone had speculated didn’t surprise Jodi.  But it forever altered their world view and transformed them into something they didn’t realize they were destined to become…SURVIVORS!


I hope to release it by the end of March, perhaps the beginning of April.  Thank you for reading!

Interview on The Author’s Show

HostPodcastHey, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Linda Thompson over at The Author’s Show.  The broadcast is ONLY going to be up for 24 hours on Wednesday January 10!  Please tune in for it!


Why write Lesfic

My writing buddy Niamh Murphy is here today! I’m wiggling in my seat as I type this introduction. Niamh is super cool. She penned a lesfic novel about pirates. You can’t get much cooler than that, can you? Her novel Escape to Pirate Island is one of the novels discounted for the Fall in Love…

via Guest Post: Why I write LesFic by Niamh Murphy — I Heart Lesfic


The prolific K’Anne Meinel is here today. Woot! She’s offering free copies of Vetted, her latest release. One winner will be selected by I Heart Lesfic. To enter the giveaway hosted by I Heart Lesfic, scroll to the bottom of this post for details. There will be two additional winners, but you have to act […]

via Guest Post: Why Write Lesfic by K’Anne Meinel — I Heart Lesfic