“Where the hell have I been all day? What have I been doing?”

Hi, I haven’t written a new literary post for today.  If you’ve already been online to my site, you know this, of course.  So, where have I been and what have I been doing?  Clearly, this is one of those “other than literary days” I have noted down in my categories.  Yes, it is.  Here’s what I’ve been doing since about 9 o’clock yesterday morning:

I’m on the verge of finishing my fourth novel, which is very, very exciting (that is, the prospect of finishing it is–as to whether or not the novel itself is exciting, it’s a matter of opinion, though of course I’ve been having a fantastic time writing it).  It’s hard, yes, but with this novel I have written in bits and pieces, and then stopped sometimes for a week or more, until I had something else to say, or had an idea of how to continue.

Though I have a very good idea of just how the novel is going to end (which I explicated to my ride on the way in to the eye doctor this morning), I was really dreading more the inevitable necessity to design the book cover and get it placed on the front of my novel file.  Previously, my brother the good and noble web designer has always done this for me, using PhotoShop of which he owns a download.  This time, I was on my own.

First, I took the background picture off my USB drive and put it in Windows Live Photo Gallery, where I played around with getting the logo from the I Ching in the right position (upper right-hand corner).  Then, when I discovered that Windows Live Photo Gallery would do this but wouldn’t allow me to switch the height and the width, I went to RoxioCreator and RoxioPhotoSuite.  Here, I was able to make changes to the size and shape of my picture.  By about 11:30 p.m. last night (Monday night), I had the lettering placed on the canvas in the correct positions, and was feeling mighty pleased with myself.

Next, however, I had to put the altered photo back into Windows Live Photo Gallery and transfer it into my Microsoft Word documents file so that I could place it at the beginning of my text.  This was when the fun began.  Rather, I’d been having a certain amount of fun so far proving to myself that I’m not a total ninny when it comes to computers; now, however, it was necessary to get my Photo Gallery to accept that yes, I really was not interested in putting together a slide show, or e-mailing my photos to anyone else, or doing any one of the nearly 110 other ingenious things that were apparently done by anyone else with photos.  I nearly despaired.

Then, however, I found something called Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  This became very grueling, because I kept trying to follow directions instead of being innovative (it’s hard to be innovative with the posted instructions unless you’re in a sort of devil-may-care frame of mind about experimenting and taking things down and putting them up again in a series of trial-and-error runs).  By 1:30, I was too tired to continue, and had to go to bed, because I had to travel about 45 minutes to get to the eye doctor’s office this morning.  So, knowing that I was almost there in terms of getting my photo project done (which just started out life as a .jpeg copy scanned from a watercolor), I went to bed and was unable to get to sleep because I wanted so badly to keep on working.  Finally, I slept.

When I got up this morning, I discovered that the “edit” button the Microsoft Office Picture Manager had described as having a “insert into text” option actually showed no such thing.  But you don’t know how stubborn I am; I tried again and again and again, until I was tired.  I’d gotten the thing to work one time, but it didn’t look the way I’d wanted it to, so I’d taken it down, and now couldn’t remember what I’d done.  Finally, I discovered that what I’d done the time it worked was to go to one of my favorite functions on Word and use the extremely useful “send to” button to send the picture to the front of my document.  And there it sits now, waiting for the title page and copyright page to be put in behind it, between it and the body of the novel.

True, it still doesn’t look entirely as I would like for it to, but I’m content to tinker and twiddle with it hoping to find perfection.  And the eye doctor even gave me a clean bill of health, so I haven’t totally ruined my eyesight from hours and hours in front of the computer!  Now, in place of my usual literary endeavors, isn’t that just about the most exciting story you ever heard (no, I know, probably not)?  Well, it’s at least exciting to me, because it proves I can usefully be stubborn instead of (what usually happens) being stubborn to no avail.  Now, if only perfection and I can work things out!

I hope to have another literary post up for you folks tomorrow or the next day, and I hope you’ll continue to visit my site.  Until then, onwards and upwards, as they say!

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2 Comments

Filed under Other than literary days....

2 responses to ““Where the hell have I been all day? What have I been doing?”

  1. How exciting and great that the novel will soon be finished. You do self-publish, I suppose, judging from what you wrote about the cover design. I don’t think it’s easy to do your own cover. I hope you will achieve what you aim for.

  2. Thanks, Caroline, both for your enthusiasm and your good wishes! Right now, my publishing forum is WordPress.com (my site), but I always copyright anyway first. (Technically, the copyright office considers anything a person has written copyrighted by a sort of unofficial copyright from the time it first sees finished form, but then, how would you prove it?) There’s also what may still be called commonlaw copyright, in which you put your materials in a sealed manila or etc. envelope and mail it to yourself registered mail through the U.S. postal system (and I’m not sure, but I think that’s still possible). The only thing was, I had to open my commonlaw copyright packages to get the final forms of the poems out, which nullified the commonlaw copyright, so that’s when I decided to go the whole route and spend $35 on a regular electronic copyright. So far, about 5-6 people have dropped by to check out the poems, though no comments yet. By the by, I put up a review on some sites I’ve been following lately yesterday, and yours was one of the sites on the list. Kudos on having such a great site!

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