Monday, June 16, 2008

Just One Damn Thing After Another

I've had a series of computing problems that would stump the skilled among you, but stopped me in my tracks. I was posting the final chapters of the novel Maggy and the chapter part of my layout vanished along with all the thirty something chapters already linked. For most of you this might not be a big deal, for me it requires a visit with my charming, talented, handsome (I'm sure from his voice) Administrator, Phillip, who lives in San Francisco and manages companies' computer problems for a living. We have become unlikely friends, I, the computer illiterate, and he, the umber mensch of computer wizardry. He hates politics and political writing, he hates a lot of what I write about, and yet he loves my writing. Well, sometimes he loves my writing. But he is a patient and kind teacher and so generous with his time. When I told him I lost my chapters element from my novel blog he came over and restored it. Somehow, somewhere he found the list of chapters I'd linked so far and set me up to restore the list. Then off he went to watch basketball and drink beer. I linked almost thirty chapters and then decided to stop to fix myself something to eat. Then a brief walk for Cyrus and me. When I got home I watched a few minutes of TV and during those few minutes, for a brief few seconds I had a power outage. Alarmed, I went to my computer and it started up again. I signed in and tried to restore what I'd been working on and could not activate any of my functions. No Ichat, no Camino, no Utah Savage, no chapters. Phillip was not available and so I went to bed and sucked my thumb. No, not quite, I watched old reruns of Lawn Order, which is a version of thumb sucking for me.

This morning I emailed Phillip, but he was busy. The Unconventional Conventionist emailed me offering to help. Then the crucial question, mac or not mac? Brand new Imac, I proudly said. "Too bad, no can help." It really is the thought that counts. Just the offer when you're in distress is helpful. Thanks UC, I will forever think of you as a gentleman. Chivalrous and kind. Generous and good hearted.

Phillip called me in the afternoon walking to one of his clients to see what what my problem was. Said he'd call as soon as he got home. Longer story a little shorter, after hours of work restoring my functions and bidding me good night, all is well again and the book is finished. The charming Unconventional one performed a solo piece on the piano with rolling lyrics for the chapter Body Warmth. I need Phillips help to link that. There are more pictures for the book--I will add them slowly. I need to unlink some things and link others, but basically the book is done. The last chapter, The End Of Life As We Know It, is huge and probably should be published in it's own location as a novella.

I'm now hoping a literary agent will read and like it. If you know anyone who fits that description, let me know.


Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

on the topic of literary agents. wonders never cease's blog is by a lovely woman who has a published book; she might be of assistance. Obviously different genre, but still ...

oh and I would like to add "Mac Users of the world - UNITE!"

Randal Graves said...

I know no literary agents, am not a computer expert, cannot play the piano, do not own a Mac, so, um, good luck with all that?

The important thing is that you have a backup of all your vital stuff, such as your novel. You do, don't you?

Naj said...


I would suggest you give Canadian publishers a try.

by and large, Canada's cultural scene is less puritan than the American one, yet the landscape of your book is familiar. And so is your style of writing. The first person voice of female author.

As you know, we have quite a few sturdy females leading literary movements around here: Gabriel Roy, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, Jane Urquhart, Alice Munro, Carole Shields ... my favorites.

Utah Savage said...

JmRR Thanks for the lead. It's s nice to see your face in the morning.

Randal, If I publish it on my blog it's backed up here isn't it? Isn't IT!!!

Naj, I thought of that, but since I'm not a Canadian yet, I wouldn't be a Canadian writer. Do they publish US writers seriously thinking about becoming Canadian?

Naj said...


I don't understand why they won't publish good books.

Although they sometimes do tend to be culturally protectionist, fearing the big bad cousin will devour them :)

It's just that I think your book has a certain Canadian frankness, nonjudgmentalness to it. It is tolerant and it is not preachy ... just the Canadian way of being :)

Petrosexual said...

Naj, they do publish good books.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Your chapter structure is all up and running. You owe Phillip cocktails.

I think you're about as 'back to normal' as you're going to get. :)

anita said...

when i get my brain back to *normal* getting to your novel is #1 on my to-do list. in the meantime, it's, as the bee gee's once said, *stayin' alive, stayin' alive* that is my primary focus.

you really are lucky to have someone like philip to help you out. most techy people i know don't want to spend their time working with mere "individuals" when they can rape and pillage companies with ridiculously high hourly rates.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hi Utah Savage,
I popped over here to say hello after you left a nice note on my blog. Thanks for listing me on your blogroll!
I'm afraid I'm not an agent, just a writer, but I will point you to the blog of my agent, which is really helpful to a good many people.
His name is Nathan Bransford. His address:
I hope this helps!

Unknown said...

Notta MAC in the house here either Dear very little I can do when you have a system meltdown. :(

I must start reading your blog when I am up half the night..which is quite normal here for moi.

Good luck and good thoughts on the publishing front!

Randal Graves said...

Bah, I'm talking hard copy, you know, paper. I'm old fashioned that way.

Though a copy on floppy or CD wouldn't be a bad idea, as well.

Utah Savage said...

Randal when you're right you're right. I have an external hard drive and haven't hooked it up and downloaded everything. The trouble is everything changes everyday. I threw away hundred of pounds of hard copies before the last couple of edits. This is also backed up on Google isn't it????

But I do know what you mean about paper. Poetry always. My problem with poetry is my lines never format as I wrote them on paper--really pisses me off. How do you handle that?

Utah Savage said...

Naj, You are talking about my a lot of my favorite writers. Help me write a cover letter. How would I have the nerve, a 64 year old citizen of the USA, asking them to consider reading me????? I thought about it a long time ago and the book is better now. Why don't I think I can write a cover letter?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got things resolved. All the thumb sucking is bad for your palate.

jmsjoin said...

If you are really interested now the work begins. I turned down publication on a couple because of contracts but if you are interested there are companies on line but I recommend going to your Library and picking up the latest version of Writers Market. It is about a 4 inch book and has absolutely 100% everything you need to know. I have been keeping up with you and you write well! Agents are listed by category and whether or not they take unsolicited work and how they "demand" that it be presented. You can be picked up and I think it is up to you because you do have a good style! Good Luck!

enigma4ever said...

I don't really know any agents, but I too am looking , I am a MAC if I can help at too make blunders all the time- but if I can help I will....hang in there

Dr. Zaius said...

Randal is right about backing up your data, but hard copy on paper kills trees and is not a viable format in this day and age. If nothing else, just email important files to yourself as an attachment every couple of days. I do that with a whole bunch of files.