Dealing with Computer Withdrawal

First I’d like to apologize to anyone who received an email from “me” saying something about checking out an Oprah site. No, I didn’t send that. Although I thought I had decent virus and malware protection, evidently I didn’t.

I think that message went out about the same time my computer went crazy. Last Thursday my computer stopped working in the middle of a comment, the screen went black, and then a message came across the screen that Windows had detected a problem and was shutting down. Off it went.

I did get everything up after that, but I’ve had problems in the past with this computer—freezing up, weird columns of lines tearing up the picture; trouble booting up—so I decided it was time to stop taking chances. I took my tower (yes, I still have a PC that uses a tower) to a recommended computer shop. So, it seems, had dozens of other computer users, all prior to my arrival.

By Friday evening I hadn’t heard anything from the shop, so I called. Alas, he wouldn’t get to it until Monday. That meant four days without a computer. Four long days. I had a newsletter I was working on, files I needed to download and print, financial accounts to check, and on-line bills to pay.

Sometimes I forget how dependent I’ve become on the computer. As it turned out, the work on my computer wasn’t completed until 5:30 p.m. Monday.

I am very happy to have it back. It now has a new virus program that’s supposed to be top of the line. (I hope so.) A lot of “junk” has been removed from my computer along with unwanted programs/files. My computer should be in good shape now; however, yesterday morning I once again had crazy lines on my monitor and had to shut my computer down and restart to get that taken care of.

This is what the monitor looks like when it goes crazy.

This is what the monitor looks like when it goes crazy.

I’m wondering if that problem is in the monitor.

This week I’d also like to follow up on last week’s blog about book fairs. I did attend the book fair held at the North Port Library on Sunday. The Friends of the Library group that put on the book fair worked very hard to make it a success, but I’m afraid it wasn’t. People simply didn’t come. Most of the traffic through the library during the 5 hours that we were there was the Friends of the Library workers themselves and the attending authors. I don’t have an actual count, but I don’t think more than two dozen “outsiders” stopped in and checked out the books and authors, and of that two dozen, a dozen were children.

North Port Library Book Fair

North Port Library Book Fair

Most writers didn’t sell any books. I sold one. A few of the writers were very upset and left early. I don’t know if the “Friends” failed to advertise the event well enough; if holding it on a Sunday made a difference; if the beautiful weather had anything to do with the lack of attendance; or what. I do know that the North Port Library is beautiful, but it’s quite large and we were spread out, so there were times when “guests” didn’t make it to all of the tables. Perhaps if we had been set up in the front rooms (closer together) it would have worked better. I don’t know.

Was it a wasted five hours?

I’m not sure. I met a few new/interesting writers; had a chance to talk to a couple of writers I know but rarely see; did sell that one book; gave away PR on my upcoming books; and didn’t have to do any house cleaning or laundry for 5 hours.

Often the benefits show up at a later date. A newspaper reporter did go through and she made notes about my books and took my picture. I met a woman who does radio interviews. Someday…maybe. And I had a few women talk to me and ask if my books were on Amazon. Maybe that will lead to a sale.

You just never know.


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8 Responses to Dealing with Computer Withdrawal

  1. Diane Burton says:

    That must have been so frustrating with your computer. Long time without a computer. How dependent we are on technology.

    You are so right about a book event. You never know the long-reaching effects. Maybe some of those people will rush home to their computers 🙂 and order the ebook.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Ha! I wish, Diane. (I checked KDP’s dashboard. No sales since the show.) If they’re rushing, they’re pretty slow.

      Bigger disappointment…I had my computer shut down this morning while watching a video that was posted on Facebook. I believe I still have some problems that computer guru didn’t solve.

  2. Maris, I feel your pain. The most depressing event I attended wasn’t book related though–I was representing a government agency that was promoting its legislation on consumer goods. It took place in the middle of a snowstorm and the only attendees (I swear I’m not making this up) were a handful of monks from a local abbey who were bused in by the organizer. Strangely, consumerism didn’t seem to be something in which the monks were strongly interested, and they exited into the snowstorm minutes after arriving. (They were kind enough to take some of my pamphlets, though, bless them.)

    • Maris Soule says:

      Allan, I love the image of a handful of monks coming into a building, looking around, and then heading back to the bus. In my case, I felt (feel) sorry for the women who organized this book fair. They had music, coffee and punch, cookies, nice name tags, a brochure listing all of our name. It would have been great, if anyone had shown up…and there wasn’t even a snowstorm.

  3. ann bennett says:

    So much competes for people’s attention that any event has a hard time pulling folks in. Years ago when I was moving from the Atlanta area to central Georgia, I sold most of my household possessions versus trying to store it and then moving it. I had a series of yard sales. Some sales would only have one or two people and others would be hectic.
    You really have a nice patter to your writing. You might want to participate in the A to Z blog challenge next month. It seems to offer a large audience for writers to sell their books.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Ann, I would love to participate in the A to Z blog challenge. I’ll check into that. As for the Book Fair, you’re right about the multitude of activies competing for attention. I do think if there had been another activity going on near the library, something that could easily be seen from the road in front, more people would have realized there was a book fair. But you just never know.

  4. Janie Farmer says:

    Maris, Technology is always great when it works. For those times when technology fails I now have back ups in the way of a tablet. Handy for travelling, too because it’s lighter and more compact. My snow crocuses are up so spring is not too far off in the Mitten.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Janie, you’re right. I started writing using a lined tablet and it’s no problem to go back to that, but there are certain tasks for which a computer is necessary (at least as a time saver.)

      This one is still not working right, but I don’t have time to put it in the shop for an extended amount of time. I’m making notes of the problems and one of these days it will go back.

      Glad to hear the crocuses are up. I love seeing them peek their heads through the snow. They give hope. We’ll also be heading north soon…but not too soon.