I feel a little better now.
As I write this it’s yesterday. The title is an expression of my complete and utter frustration. My uncontrolled fury.
Normally, I’m a pretty easy going guy. And I’ve been a power user on computers for a couple decades now. There is very little in the world of technology that gets me frustrated.
But today (yesterday for the rest of you) I had a very simple technological task to take care of and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. Of course.
Let me explain.
About a week ago, I received my first pass proofs of my fourth book, DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN (ready for pre-order on Amazon and B & N!!!). In general, I hate going over galleys. By the time I get them I’ve been through a US rewrite and copy edit, as well as a UK rewrite and copy edit. Which means I’ve already read the book in question about eleventy billion times.
After you’ve read a book that many times, the words tend to look like mud before your eyes and that’s probably not a great thing to be seeing when the galleys arrive.
Anyway, I was given a “return by” date and once I had some other chores taken care of, I sat down and started in on the galley corrections. As usual, however, I pushed it up to the deadline because, like I said — eleventy billion times.
My plan was to mark up the pages that had typos, then scan them all, export them into a pdf file and email them to my editor.
Three hours before my deadline, I finished the corrections. Time to scan. But for some reason the scanner wouldn’t work with the computer I normally use with it. I didn’t have time to deal with fixing it, so I took the scanner to another computer.
It wouldn’t work with that one either.
Okay. I checked the scanner and it looks fine. Just having driver issues, apparently.
So I hook it up to my Mac, thinking, Apple makes everything easy, right?
My Mac saw the scanner as a printer only. I couldn’t scan anything if my life depended on it. And since a couple hours have passed by now, my life probably does.
Okay. One last try. I hook it up to a Windows 7 machine. Success! I scan all the pages into a single file and save it as a pdf.
One problem. The pdf is 18 megabytes in size. Too big to email.
So now I have to download a special program to reduce the file size. This takes forever, but when I finally do the reduction, the pdf looks like crap.
Ten minutes before deadline.
I spend the next THREE HOURS trying to get that pdf down to a size I can actually email. I won’t go over all the hoops I had to jump through, but let’s just say it was a colossal bitch of a project.
In the past, it has taken me about twenty minutes to do this. And I honestly don’t know why it was so diffcult this time.
Needless to say, by the end of this whole process, I was literally SCREAMING AT MY COMPUTERS. All of them.
If I had had a sledge hammer at that moment, I would have smashed every single one of them AND half of my house.
It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten that angry and frustrated and, honestly, the only way to vent was to scream bloody murder. I’m sure all the neighbors heard me.
I know my family did.
But I really needed those screams. They were the only thing that kept me from imploding.
So now I sit here, my file has been sent, all is well — except that I’m completely drained and rather than do a decent blog post today I’m merely venting my frustration.
And I ask all of you — how often do you find yourself angry or frustrated enough to scream. Or, if not a scream, what do you do to vent?
Mad man out.