Thursday 9 November 2023: More technical woes

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay

Toothache kept me awake for much of Tuesday night while I continued to um and ah about renewing my membership to that writing academy. In the end, I opted for the monthly membership again and I watched a couple of videos. One of them inspired me to do some in-depth work on my main character for The Secret of Whitehorse Farm. This is stuff I need to know but that doesn’t necessarily have to make it into the book.

At about 2am I finally took some paracetamol. I usually use an anti-inflammatory for this ‘psychological’ tooth of mine (i.e. it plays up when I’m stressed or under the weather or just plain grinding my teeth). But following my sedation at the hospital last week, I’m supposed to wait a full 7 days before taking anti-inflammatories, so I had to make do with the painkiller instead.

While I waited for it to work, I took immense pleasure in waking the dog up from a deep sleep and taking him outside. I mean, he wakes me often enough, and I knew if I had pills I might sleep through any requests he might make to go out. (The poet was away on a business trip, but he sleeps through it all anyway, until I throw all the lights on…)

We both went back to bed and we both slept solidly for the next several hours. I had to wake the dog up again yesterday morning, and as it happened, he *had* wanted to go out at 2am.

All things considered, I was up relatively early and watching more videos from the writing academy, taking it all in and deciding to apply what they said in the second lecture to the second part of my first sequence.

And then I moved to the office to continue watching videos on the big monitor…

Or I tried. Yup, I was still having my display issues with videos and I ended up spending the entire morning trying to fix it. I changed the leads. I changed the settings. I found a Windows update lurking on a list, waiting for me to activate it. (Eh?) I plugged the monitor serial number into the HP support site and found it was still under warranty. I logged a ticket on the community help forum. I telephoned support…

Eventually, I got through to someone in support who walked me through a few other things to try and, in the meantime, someone responded to my community ticket. I tried everything they both said, including a hard reset of the monitor.

Everything worked for about a nano-second, and then it stopped working again. The HP support guy was going to call me back today anyway, so I resigned myself to waiting for his call. Then, because the laptop was asking for it, I did a restart…and the videos worked.

I don’t know how long they’re going to work for and I don’t know which of the tweaks and retunes I did fixed it. But I resolved to go quietly and carefully and at least try to finish the video I’d started to watch. Let’s keep everything crossed that it *is* fixed.

By now I was late for dinner, so I made myself a chicken sandwich (on sourdough bread made with cranberries!) and a cup of tea. When it was time to go back to work, I had to step away from the videos and do some writing. Oh yes, and there was no toothache when I woke up yesterday, or for the rest of the day, thank goodness.

In the afternoon I whizzed through my weekly tech scan and I started today’s blog post. Then I had a play around with some word-count progress meters, for both the bottom of blog posts and the side bar (at the bottom on mobile devices). I found a really neat and nifty progress meter especially for WordPress, but it’s for block editing only, and I’m still using the classic editor.

During my search for a progress meter, I inadvertently managed to join a writing community too. There’s a community that goes with the writing academy too. So there are two more lots of peopling I have to do, but at least they’re virtual.

I opened up The City of Glasgow to give it a quick tweak, extended it by just under 100 words, and sent it to market. This is another story I wrote for 12 Stories in 12 Months, so I had to go onto the database there again and remove it, adding the usual message that it’s been submitted for publication now.

I paused for tea, making myself a salmon dinner, then I came back to my desk to finish today’s stint on The Secret of Whitehorse Farm. I had to recalculate how many words roughly per sequence (it’s much easier when it’s 40,000 words), decide how many scenes/chapters for the first sequence, then calculate the number of words per scene/chapter. I didn’t want to leave it at that, though, so I threw in a few extra words as well.

Today I have my first brand-new story of the month to brainstorm. I also want to start the new client edit. And, of course, there will be more Whitehorse Farm work.

The Secret of Whitehorse Farm

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