Microsoft Mayhem

Two days ago…

07668051-photo-windows-10-logo1I finally received the message my copy of Windows 10 was ready for download. I was already annoyed with the process, and I hadn’t even pressed the button yet. We have four laptops in our household. My children have had their updates installed for several weeks already, while the wife got hers about fifteen days ago. The real kick in the nuts for me is the fact I’m fairly certain at least two of them never even registered for their copy, while I have been on the waiting list pretty much since the reservation notice went out. I was on the verge of trying their more techie alternative to install my version. I’m computer savvy enough to be reasonably sure I could have pulled it off, but using the more reliable method is always advised.

It was a pleasant surprise when the download and installation went through without a hitch. My wife had hit a snag during her first attempt to get her copy. I was expecting the same. This is the history this family has with Windows. I have considered switching platforms, but that leap may well land me in waters I cannot tread.

Two days ago…

I switched my operating system to the latest, apparently “greatest” version. In the past 48 hours, I have not opened my Scrivener software once to do any editing.
The fans of Knightfall have waited years for the next book to come out, and I am trudging away to finalize the editing stages. I strive to put in a couple of hours each
day to get Trials of the Chosen  Book One:
A ms-logo-site-shareWoman’s Scorn
 ready for the readers. But these hours have disappeared, now that I have to fix what Microsoft decided to overlook.

True to its track record, the software tycoon hurry to get the next “breakthrough in technology” out to the masses, they forgot to make sure to exorcise all the gremlins  first. Instead of working on my fiction, I have slaved away to figure out how to make our laptops work like they should. I won’t list all our issues here, but there have been enough that things still don’t function as intended. And it’s not just my computer, so no one can blame it on my laptop’s manufacturer.

What I now need to deal with are issues voiced by many on the Internet. On the bright side, all these complaining about these issues makes it easy for me to find troubleshooting tips. But I shouldn’t have to make these searches, downloading drivers that were already correctly installed. I shouldn’t have to enter the sensitive folders Windows warns you to be careful opening and delete files just to set up networks that were previously connected just fine.

Windows-7-logoAs I write this entry, two more glitches have robbed me of features I should never have to worry about. I am trying to resist the temptation to return to Windows 7.  At least that was working for me.

But as I make my way through the helpful tips that have saved my family so far, I keep getting reminded Microsoft has plans on patching up all their mistakes in the near future. I also learned the giant in the software industry skipped a few steps to get their baby out to the world. It seems they forgot to consult with computer companies, the ones who create the PCs and laptops that house the program, to make sure the software would correctly run all the hardware. I don’t know about you, but I feel this is one of the most crucial steps in developing an operating system. You need to make sure it will operate the system!

Two days…

I have struggled. And I can see I will continue to fight to get the gremlins out. But there are features I like in this version, things I would like to keep. So I now straddle a fence, leaning one way then the next. Will I keep Windows 10, or revert to Windows 7? I’m not sure yet. Maybe I should wait to see how well the patches bridge the gaping holes.

Have you made the switch? How many problems are you having? Will you keep it?

Spread the word!

Nearing the End

Here I was, playing with plugins and other widgets to enhance this new blog, when the unexpected happens.

I find some nice progress bars to show you just how far I am in the writing process of my various works. I was looking for these, because they were part of the old site and I liked them. So this is not the surprise I mentioned. These are a different style, which makes no difference to me. But I digress.

I enter the stats for the five projects I have on the go. I don’t know how other authors work, but I never envisioned myself having so many stories building around me at the same time. Not to mention, I also have ideas for three more series. I have no idea when I’ll be able to get to those, but it’s a good sign. I’ll have something to write for a long time yet, which I hope pleases a lot of people.

Get to the point!

Yes, well, all this to get to the realization that took me aback.

Filling in the numbers for those fancy progress bars, I notice the blue under Meeting the Dark almost reaches the right end. I am under 3,000 words away from my projected goal. The story is almost done, and I had no idea it was coming!

I mean, I knew where I was in the telling. I know what is coming, and I know roughly how many chapters I have left to write. I just didn’t realize the word count was already that close. Of course, the novel will have as many words as is needed, which now looks to be more than I envisioned.

How could you not know?

3326379_sAuthors use different tools to write their manuscripts. There is software that helps you organize your ideas, some to plot your story, others to get down to it and compose. Some use good ol’ word processors to do everything. I have no doubt some even stay away from keyboards and put pen or pencil to paper.

Personally, I use Scrivener. This tool puts everything at my finger tips in one convenient place. It even tells me just how far I am in my writing. It does that, if I do things like I’m supposed to.

I started writing Meeting the Dark in November 2013 for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I reached my goal of 50,000 words during those 30 days. But a writing stint like that is always draining, so the story took a back seat while I rested for a bit before working on other projects.

Along with their November writing frenzy, they have Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. With a variable goal, it’s not so intense–unless you want it to be. I usually skip these, but this summer, a friend of mine challenged me to write 25,000 words.

I decided to work on Meeting the Dark. With my previous work in November and the little bit I did in the year and half following, 25,000 words would finish off the novel nicely. To make it easier on my to submit my word count to the site, I opened a new file for this part of the manuscript. So, the progress I was seeing on a daily basis was only for the last part of the book, not the entire thing. This is why I was surprised when I added the counts from both file together to see how far I was.

clockFor those of you who don’t write, reaching the end of a manuscript is like watching the clock in class on the last day of the school year. No matter how much you enjoy school, everyone wants that break where they don’t have to wake up, sometimes before the sun comes up, and get ready for the day. You just want to spend a week sleeping in.

I’m nearing the end of the first phase of a new novel. I love experiencing that accomplishment. I’m not the only one who feels this way, am I?

Spread the word!