Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG: A Whine and a Giveaway


It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh

Our hashtag is @IWSG

The awesome co-hosts today are:

Yolanda Renee, Tyrean Martinson, Madeline Mora-Summonte , LK Hill, Rachna Chhabria, and JA Scott! 



Right from the start, (1987) I became one of those people who couldn't imagine life without a computer or access to the Wide World Web. Consequently, I've never handled "issues" very well. When something goes wrong or I can't get online, my heart jumps into my throat, my neck muscles tighten, my body heat shoots up, and blood rushes to my brain.

I pride myself on keeping calm, I meditate, practise T'chi, but none of that helped last month. June was horrible. I kept getting error messages on "everything." Since downloading El Capitan, my macbook freezes or jumps to the blue screen. Sometimes, it's four or five attempts at resetting the RAM before it will open.

My mac desktop doesn't like El Capitan either and has started doing bizarre things like hiding files, screwing up my word and excel files, freezing, wobbling, and more! To top it off, my blogger blogroll quit. My url no longer points to a valid RSS feed.

I'm embarrassed to admit I spent almost the entire month of June trying to fix the problem. The fact I couldn't fix it left me feeling as if I was starting over as a blogger. Now, when I post something, Feedburner doesn't update anyone's blog, including mine, so none of my readers know I've posted anything. I finally got the subscription to ping, but it's a day late. Did I mention it takes two days to format my posts so they don't look like gibberish when they air? While I'm constructing the post, it keeps warning me that my unsaved changes will be lost if I close. But I don't want to close!

My dictionary is in Russian. Guess what else? My iPhone screen is frozen and won't reset because Mac will no longer recognize it. The numerical pad on my keyboard died. Then there's the issues with Mail. I'll spare you details. Suffice to say, I know I'm going to have to break down and haul my mac and macbook to town, an hour's drive. My biggest fear: he'll say, "Sorry, Lady."

I'm thinking the other solution may be to switch to WordPress, but will that really help? Or will I just transfer the errors over there?

That's my whine for today. Thank you for listening.


Hopefully you've heard we're incorporating a question for those of you stuck on what to write about. This month's question is:

What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I once asked a Vietnam vet, I barely knew, if he'd read a rough copy of my manuscript Kiss of the Assassin to see if the firefight scenes were believable. Part of the story takes place in Cambodia during the war. When he finished, he asked me when I'd been in-country. I walked on clouds for days.

August's question is:  What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?


Before you go, I have a new novel coming out November 1, 2016, Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries. There's a book giveaway on Goodreads that I hope you'll check out.








Goodreads Book Giveaway





Matowak by Joylene Nowell Butler






Matowak



by Joylene Nowell Butler






Giveaway ends July 15, 2016.




See the giveaway details

at Goodreads.










Enter Giveaway




Thanks so much for your support!

72 comments :

  1. So sorry to hear about your challenges. How frustrating! I've had similar smaller issues and it just throws a wrench into everything. Hoping things will smooth out for you in July.

    My first published piece was in a Christian newsletter. I came across it recently when cleaning out file boxes. Let's just say my writing's grown since then, and I'm thinking it's a good thing. lol Have a great rest of the week! :)

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  2. P.S. So I realized after the fact that I didn't answer this month's question. I've had nice comments about my writing, including wonderful, kind reviews for my books by fellow writers (that make me cry!). The one that warmed my heart most recently was from a freelance client who read the first blog post I wrote for him. He said, "This is great! Where did you get this?" followed by, "Did you write this?" I must admit, that comment is still making me smile. :)

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    1. I know what you mean. Kind words go a long way.

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  3. YIKES! What a flood of technical problems...my worst nightmare! So I feel for you, Joylene. Hope it's sorted out now.

    I'm sure it must have taken lots of edits/revisions to get an accurate account of that specific time of the war in Cambodia. That's a wonderful compliment.
    Or maybe you've been there...secretly?

    Happy IWSG Day!
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Never been there, but you're right, I spent months researching. I respected his opinions, and his comment went a long way to strengthening my resolve.

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  4. I'm so sorry. I was once locked out of my own blog and I just about had a meltdown. I do panic when I can't get online because almost everything on my to-do list requires the Internet.

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    1. Don't you hate that feeling, as if the world is shutting you out? Thanks, Diane.

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  5. Wow! My heart was pounding by the time I got to the end of that!!! I don't problem solve technology issues well and that all terrifies me!!!
    Good for you - if he felt you were in country, you know you've got it right!! :)

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    1. I know. His comment sent me to the clouds. It was a wonderful feeling. Thanks, Jemi.

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  6. Even in your pre-mental breakdown you manage to describe your circumstances with humor. I laughed and cringed reading your whine. Computer/WiFi issues are a real life psychological thriller. I know you will master these issues. Cheers.

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  7. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with everything. Technology can be a pain. I wish I could've helped you to fix the Feedburner problem. You must've done a ton of awesome research for that story for him to think you'd been there.

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    1. I did. I researched for months. I worked with a vet who had me writing essays everyday from the POV of a grunt. It was awesome.

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  8. I'm sorry! Since I'm not getting your updates, I'll sign up through email so I know when they happen.

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  9. Ooo, hate computer problems. It can be disheartening. Sounds like you may have gotten some malware or virus because there are those out there that cause all those problems too. I had a program one time that would cause issues because it was not compatible with other programs I used but was not obvious.

    I use WordPress and I like it, but can't tell you whether or not mistakes will transfer because it depends on what caused it in the first place.

    Hope you computer woes end and you get back to happy blogging again,

    I pre-ordered your new book from your publishing company. I am looking forward to reading it.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thanks, Juneta. I'll do some research. The errors with blogger are in the coding. I did some tweaking but not enough. I noticed several of the blogs on my blogroll aren't updating either.

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  10. I'm always furious when technology fails me. I figure if we can put people on the moon and satellites into orbit around Jupiter, all controlled by computers, we should be able to use technology to provide us with reliable home computers. My MacBook Pro is relatively young (Dec 2014) with the Yosemite OS, but I started finding I couldn't access some websites or leave comments on Blogspot posts. It turned out to be a problem with Safari. I prefer working with Safari, but I downloaded Chrome and whenever I encounter something wonky I switch over... copy the URL into Chrome and it works fine. I assume I need an updated version of Safari, but I would need to update my OS first. Ackkk!

    As for encouragement, although he didn't offer representation, a well known and respected agent recently gave me a boost after reading my MS. He said, "This is well done. I think you should continue talking with other agents — one of them is going to pick this up." That keeps me going! :)

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    1. Don't upgrade to El Capitan for a while, Carol, if you can. Wait until they fix the glitches. My computers have been running terribly since then. I do the same, use Chrome or Safari. Nice compliment from the agent.

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    2. Thanks for the heads up! I've just upgraded to the latest version of Yosemite and that's adequate for me.

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    3. I truly believe that's the smartest thing to do at this time, Carol. El Capitan is probably an awesome operating system if your computer is young. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend. Have a great day.

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  11. Hi Joylene, so sorry to hear about all your computer and phone problems. Its very frustrating and irritating. Hope you are able to overcome the problems fast.

    Your research must have been super to elicit that comment from the Vietnam vet. Awesome!

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. Thanks, Rachna. I did 3-4 months of research and had expert help. It was a great reaction.

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  12. I see I am in great company in terms of technology challenges. To wit - the first comment I tried to leave [poof] disappeared. I love your "best thing" - that is truly validation. BTW - thanks for the welcome to the group.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lee. Have a happy day.

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  13. Sometimes a good whine is in order. :D

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  14. Those computer problems sound like a complete nightmare! I dread updating anything just for those reasons. I'm afraid everything will go kaput.

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    1. And I think that's what happened to me. Thanks for visiting, Tamara.

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  15. Whooboy, sounds like a rough month. I've been going through something similar where my site throws 500 errors and takes forever to load. I've been trying to fix it, but it's been frustrating and I might have to migrate my account with my webhost. Hopefully not, but we'll see.

    Best of luck with your Mac! Hope it's not something drastically horrible.

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  16. I use (the free) wordpress and love it. It let me transfer over all my files quite painlessly. I hope next month will be better for you. Fingers crossed. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Hi Anna. I'm switching as soon as I can! Thanks.

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  17. Ugg that sounds like a big pain in the arse indeed. That is great feedback to get for sure.

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  18. Holy crap! If I had that much going wrong I'd ditch the El Capitan (which I don't even know what it is) and erase it from my harddrive. I have no idea why blogger is messing with you about closing the post, but I have a lot of formatting issues too. The best way to deal with it is make sure if you're copying and pasting from MS Word, you choose "Paste as plain text" or you can paste first into a text file, close it (and it will take out all formatting), open it and cut and paste to the blog post. But even when I do that there are spacing issues so it usually take me two hours to create a blog post...

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    1. Sadly it's beyond copying and pasting. I am switching to Wordpress as soon as I can. Thanks, Lexa.

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  19. Hey Joylene! Congrats on your new novel coming out! And isn't technology a time sucker and we are so addicted. I've always wanted to practise Tai Chi and went to a class on my China trip. I must find somewhere here to do it or start with youtube (that's if my technology is working).

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    1. T'Chi is a wonderful method for exercising and for calming the spirit. Good luck. And Thanks.

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  20. I hope you found the gremlins and threw them out of your computer by now. How maddening to put up with so much all at once. Congrats on your new release. So excited for you!!

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  21. Wow, I'd have pulled all my hair out by now with all those problems. Could it be some kind of virus? Or maybe El Capitan (I don't know what it is either)isn't compatible with what was already on your computer. I hope you get it sorted out before you go nuts. Congrats on your upcoming release! And wonderful compliment from the Vietnam vet!

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    1. Thanks, Lori. El Capitan is the operating system.

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  22. Yeah, Computers and the net. Yesterday, there was a storm in my state and just south of us, a tornado touched down. Of course, we couldn't get on the net and today, it wasn't all that reliable, so going around visiting the commenters on my blog. Of which, you are one. Chi-Miigqwitch.

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  23. Wow. I think that's one of the best compliments!
    The part about the Russian made me laugh. My father-in-law had his phone in Spanish for a few hours - thankfully, he found someone to switch it back to English. I feel your pain, though. I just spent about six days trying to log entries for a sporting team into a race website. I made many mistakes and the registration guru and I got to know each other via e-mail pretty quickly over the course of a dozen e-mail exchanges.

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    1. Thank God for computer gurus! Thanks, Tyrean.

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  24. Wow, Joylene, my hands started to sweat and my throat got tight as I read about your computer woes! Holy Toledo! You have my complete sympathy! I don't think I'm going to download El Capitan! May July go much more smoothly for you! What a compliment you received from that Vietnam vet ~ to create Cambodia so realistically! I'd be up in the clouds too!

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    1. Thanks, Fundy. Glad I saved you the hassle.

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  25. Isn't is just awful when technology breaks down? I don't know how you survived!!
    And what a great compliment to receive!

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  26. Hello Joylene,
    I understand what you're going through. After the A to Z Blog Challenge, I seemed to have stepped off into no-man land and since May everything has been coming at me.
    I have a Mac too. If your Mac is not accepting El Capitan, it could be that your Mac is too old for it. I know I tried it with my MacBook and it slowed down my Mac so much that I am playing on taking it off and using my previous version of Lion.
    As for your compliment from a Vietnam veteran, I too would be walking on water if someone said that to me. Those are beautiful words of encouragement.
    All the best with your Mac.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. You're right, my mac is too old. Sadly, it's very difficult to get El Capitan out of a computer. I'm afraid it'll cause more problems. Thanks for stopping by, Pat.

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  27. When I read a draft of Kiss of the Assassin for you, I was impressed with the realistic feel. (And that reminds me that I need to read more of it, I think - failing in my crit duty.)

    Sorry to hear about all the problems. Not sure that I could cope with so many without screaming.

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    1. Thanks, Roland. You can't hear me screaming? Good!

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  28. So sorry to hear about your technical issues, I can really sympathise as I really struggle when something goes wrong. My computer is being so slow at the moment and just visiting a few blogs can take ages!

    The comment about your writing is fab. I love the idea of posing a question each month.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. Hope your slow computer picks up.

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  29. Computer problems are the worst! My sympathies. Make sure to remind me to give you a shout out on November first!

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  30. I hate computer problems. Sorry to hear you having so many. I used to do a lot with computers, but it seemed the more I learned about computers, the more problems computers seemed to have. I got tired of working in that field and decided to keep writing instead of splitting my time between both fascinations.

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    1. I wish I were a computer tech. It would make life easier. Thanks, Jeffrey.

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  31. I loathe computer problems and have certainly had my share. So sorry to hear about your problems, my dear. I've just joined the IWSG group and have tried to follow you and your blog but can only connect on twitter. I'll keep trying. All the best to you.

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    1. Thanks for trying, Victoria. Welcome to IWSG.

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  32. Joylene, feedback like that from the Vietnam Vet is priceless. I'd be walking on clouds too.

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  33. Oh wow, that is an amazing compliment to your writing ability. I think I'd still be walking on clouds. Kudos!!
    And I'm so sorry about your computer issues. Amazing how much that sort of thing can totally disrupt our lives.

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  34. I'd walk on clouds too after that comment :) Obviously not virtual "clouds". I hate when my computer/internet has problems. I'm horrible to be around during those times.

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  35. I feel your pain, Joylene! I took the boys away on holiday for five days away from our devices. We got home to find there had been a storm which had knocked out our modem. End result was ten whole days without the net. We only got hooked up a few days ago. Sheesh! It was horrendous.

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