My computer is up on blocks. Like an old rusted-out Chevy, it’s balanced on top of two eyeglass cases that are resting on top of a computer cooling pad with three fans. It still overheats, so there’s another fan behind this teetering stack, roaring along and blowing in my face, unless I give in and change the angle. Then post-it notes fly in all directions.
I’ve outgrown this little computer. It managed to deliver my final manuscript in one piece while in this limping and wheezing state, but it took some coaxing. It’s crammed full with photos and words; over-loaded and worked beyond its years, but it still manages to roll along–well below the speed limit. There’s hang-time between hitting the key and the letter eventually arriving on my screen. It can’t keep up with my typing speed, which is another way of saying I only type a bit faster than a Chevy on blocks.
I never wanted to be a famous typist anyway. Don’t blame my high school typing teacher. She was a saint and I was her worst nightmare; a baby feminist who didn’t want to be there.
I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side. –Maya Angelou
You see, I thought if people knew I could type, or cook, or sew–all of which I was secretly pretty good at–then I could be pigeon-holed into those jobs. Adorably naive, wasn’t I? Like typing badly was going to insure a better career; like typing well would limit my potential. The truth was that I didn’t want a fallback position, even if my goals were unclear at the time.
I continue to hate to cook, but typing well has won me over. So has technology; a computer and my beloved Scriveners software keep me moving on down the road. And I’m grateful for this old jalopy of a computer. It’s carried me to places I always wanted to go.
WEEKLY UPDATE: Have you entered the book giveaway at Goodreads? There’s a link at the top of this page, too, and today’s the last full day. They’re signed and ready to mail!
For everyone who has written a review… a special thank you. For self-published or small press authors, that vote of confidence really carries weight. We don’t have industry clout; we hope to have something much more valuable than a huge advertising budget…the recommendations of readers. People who speak their word in support of our words. Really, thank you so much if you’ve left a review at Amazon, Good Reads and Barnes and Noble. It’s the best way of keeping my little book afloat in a sea of writing. If you haven’t left a review, please consider it. Numbers matter; it’s a kindness that makes a bigger difference than you imagine.
Being grateful for reviews is easy. The endless promotion is harder. At what point does this become tiresome and annoying for everyone? What if I quit pushing the book just a day too soon? Stable Relation has been on the market for ten weeks. This week I entered three indie book award contests, with winners to be announced next year. On advice, I’m revamping the Amazon page to make it more attractive to search engines, and participating in an online social media campaign. If we show up some place you don’t usually see us, let me know.
And big news–I received my first royalty check. It’s the first pay I’ve ever gotten for my writing, after years of blogging, article writing, and volunteering words when asked. It wasn’t huge and it arrived on a day that brought other news, not as happy. In some ways, it was almost anticlimactic after so long, but an undeniable milestone just the same.
I used some of the money to buy a new/refurbished computer. I’d like to say it’s like a Ferrari, a Porsche, a Rolls Royce with a uniformed driver, a foot spa, and a mini-bar. But no, my ego has matured since high school; the computer that I got is more like a minivan. Not flashy, not romantic, but extravagantly practical. There’s comfortable seating with outlandish storage space for words and pictures and imagination. It’s big enough to carry a library of books–the ones just waiting for me to write them; just waiting for my fingers to catch up with the keys.