Monday, September 19, 2011

The Pain of Changing Computers

A while back, I switched from PC to a MAC, a move that still seems right.  There was pain involved, mostly from having to get off my old version of Microsoft Money and find a new financial tracking system.  I tried the "lite" version of Quicken, which was, frankly a piece of crap for the MAC.  After a lot of research I opted for I-Bank, which has been  o.k. except when I did a conversion and for some reason the system decided Euros rather than dollars was my "currency."  Once this happens, you can't go back, and I had to do a ton of work to bring things back to a working state.  I have learned to do the reporting, and I still have the ancient PC and the ancient Money which I can run old reports off of as needed.  We have a small rental property out of state and I treat my writing as a business, so there is much financial info to keep track of, and I also help out another relative with finances.  This is  a time suck, and for unexplained reasons I make more mistakes using I-Bank than Money.  It does have some good features, but  I loved Money most, one of the best products Microsoft ever made and then they discontinued it.  Go figure.  Beta vs. VHS all over again.  The best product doesn't always win out. 

When I switched computers, the Apple folks saved my emails and my bookmarks, but they were always hard to access and now I can't remember where I stashed them.  A computer search turned up nothing.  The worst thing is that for my 1928 California book, I had done enormous amount of research and without the bookmarks it's, well, it's gone.  I can probably find it again, but it's going to be difficult, and another time suck.   Fortunately, a few things are saved directly to my hard drive, and those gems are still available.  Getting back to the novel now, and I have to recreate the research.

There was a wonderful group of painters in California in the 1920's and I'm using some of that history in my book.  This book is NOT crime fiction, and I'm having little trouble with that.  After six crime fiction books, one just tends to keep writing it, whether anyone buys it or not.  (See the title of this blog).  One of these days I will trek to Southern California to do the remaining research.  Once I have a first draft manuscript.  Maybe I'll try Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).  Naturally this book will be longer than 50K words, and Nanowrino tends to produce shitty first drafts, but at this point, any draft is better than no draft.

The new novel is also an "historical" which I've never written.  But I have characters and a setting and a plot.  That should make the writing easy, right?  Right?  Wrong.  Guess I'll just have to plunge into it and put the period stuff and the slang and the music and the rest in later.   Or not.

The Writer's Desk Top, Inordinately Neat
Someone said there are three rules for writing a novel, but no one knows what they are.  Amen.

No comments: