Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway for Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper AND/OR a Rant About Technology

Bear with me as I am still struggling with the 'user-friendly' Apple system...which, after 27 years of slow, medium and fast PCs, is not all it's cracked up to be.

My PC photo albums, easily accessible by date and/or by name, suddenly became over five thousand individual photos on my Mac. Which I now have to figure out how to coalesce back into albums when I least have the time for doing this extremely time-sucking chore.

Next discovery: I cannot transfer my Goodreads book reviews to this blog like I used to  do because suddenly a school district blog site I worked with three days after getting this MacBook Pro proclaims itself as "my" go-to blog-site. I somehow have to find a way to de-link, sign out or otherwise block that site and make this my go-to site. Don't ask me how. 

Did I mention that I've never taken a computer course in my life? And that I am not fascinated by technical matters at all? I don't care how stuff works. I just want it to work. Or that it's hard enough for me just to think a coherent thought and to express that elusive insight/connection/wisdom in words as clearly and eloquently as possible and to keep doing that, sentence after sentence, until I have a book? 

If I was filthy rich, I would have People who would do all this computer trouble-shooting/social media stuff. My job is to write, not to figure out technology and its love of constant change. I'm from the "If It's Not Broke, Don't Fix It" school of life and work. I prefer hand tools to power tools as well, no big surprise there. Less mangling, noise, fumes, expense and things that go wrong. I prefer more careful, peaceful, observant work. Meditation with a hoe in my hand, or secateurs. A tool I can sharpen and oil and otherwise fix by myself through many decades of use.

My dear and supportive husband and house-mate grew weary of hearing my profanities blasting through the walls of my writing office and ordered a copy of iPhoto: the missing manual which seems like a good book except it doesn't tell me how to downsize a photo so that I can change my five year old author photo on the Goodreads site, which tells me the new photo is too big and/or the wrong dimension. The book is thick. I just want to fix this one small problem, how to downsize one *&^%$#! photo, which should be in the index along with hundreds of other tips. But of course, it's not. Someone assumes we all know how to do this and the authors have merrily skipped over this basic information. As have the blithely no-manual, "psst: Can I sell you an add-on app you don't really need?" Apple folks. Intuitive capitalists, the lot of them!

I do not have time to read a thick manual on technology when I'm supposed to be letting the world know, via social media, about my new book and writing a 30 minute script to accompany a slide show of lighthouse images by the D&S husband... I'm going to email or call the human being we bought this over-hyped computer from and ask him how to downsize a photo in order to upload it to Goodreads.

Oh, right, go to my Goodreads site if you're a member there since I can't transfer the widget for free books to my own blog here. That is, if you'd like to enter to win a free copy of my memoir. Hard cover. Gorgeous cover. Very good quality colour separation and b&w contrast for Jeff's photos as well. It's beautiful to look at, thanks to the human beings at Harbour Publishing who have the skill and experience to wed content (and who pay for three sets of editors and a designer to work on each book) with technology to publish books they believe in. Thank you, Harbour! 

See? I start out kvetching and end up with gratitude. That's the way I work through the need to vent my spleen. Get to a good place with it, poke fun at my limited skill set, and move on! As they say on the radio, thanks for listening.


  1. I understand your problems with a new computer system and you have my sympathy. I have similar problems with Goodreads. I simply cannot figure out how the system works. You have a book to give away? I'd love to put my name in, but I can't find any place to put it. It may be here somewhere, but the site makes it difficult to find anything.

  2. Hang on, Lea! I just tried again to transfer the giveaway gadget or widget or whatever it's called and ended up with HTML gibberish. The problem may be that the giveaway starts on August 27th and ends September 4th so the entry portal at Goodreads may add my book to the list on the 27th, five days hence. Sorry to send you on a wild goose chase. I will try to alert friends via Facebook and email and the benighted blog when the 27th rolls around!

  3. Thanks, Caroline! I've made a note on my ever-present reminder notebook to check again on the 27th or 28th. Also went looking on the web and saw the cover. Gorgeous!

  4. Hang in there Woody! Or --- take it to the elevated walkway and cat it into the North Pacific. Think of the satisfaction when it hits salt water at high tide.

    Many many congrats on your successful book launch, ordering some soon, may success rain down on you! Jiles.

  5. Woody --- hope it all works out. On the other hand if it is insured think o the pleasure of taking it to the elevated walkway and hurling it into the North Pacific. Your book launch will start off with a splash! Looking to buy two ASAP, cover gorgeous, curses on Goodreads, they are so confusing! Jiles