Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Technology Tantrums

Now, I’m not ragging on the performance of all technology, all the time, but I do have a few bones to pick with the cyberspace invaders. My GPS did get me to Nancy’s house, which is a good thing because my cell phone only works in areas that are well-populated, with lots of places to stop and ask people for directions. Fat lot of good that does me!

Nancy doesn’t have internet service, probably because the only kind she could get would be dial-up, and that’s almost as good as snail mail -- But not quite because snail mail doesn’t tie up your phone line. This fact makes it necessary to meet with Nancy in person to complete her book set-up. This is good because I really enjoy her company; she’s a very peaceful lady, unlike yours truly. She and her husband call their woodland home “The Sanctuary” for good reason. It does, however, create some interesting challenges.

I downloaded all the templates that we needed to finish formatting her beautifully illustrated book of poetry and prose, and headed over to her neck-of-the-woods with full confidence that we’d simply drop her pages and cover into their respective templates; I’d email the files to Gayle for final edit; and we’d be good to go for our initial printing. But, nooooo.

It seems that some of my programs don’t function properly without an internet connection. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll simply copy Nancy’s work onto my laptop and upload everything to Gayle when I get home.” This appeared to be an easy solution. Except, as Richard says, “There are so many ways to get busted.”

Nancy was good enough to completely format her work in Word. It was even in an older version of word than what’s currently available. This would make it easy for Gayle to work with it, no matter what version of Word Gayle has. Ha!

Because Nancy embedded her illustrations in her text, the files exceed the maximum size for attachment to my email. I can’t simply attach and hit “send.” I first have to “ungroup” all her illustrations from all her text, and resave it as a text document; then I hope to be able to send it on its way. I still have to figure out how to dump her cover art into the template without messing up all her hard work, but I should probably not think too much about that until I get her text to our editor.

Richard has another favorite saying, “There are no easy jobs.” I guess that’s why they’re called “jobs.” Nancy’s book, Am I Grown Up Yet? -- A Wonder Journal will, hopefully, be available before Memorial Day.

Oh, and another, technology-free gift that my trip to Nancy’s got me was a couple of plants for our “sanctuary.” All these peaceful people have lovely plants that they swear are easy to grow. We’ll see. At least they don’t require an internet connection.

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