There’s Nothing Like The Feeling of Publishing a Doomsday Pandemic Book Before There is an Actual Pandemic

Not that I like to toot my own writing horn, but back in 2018 I wrote and published a novel about the results of a pandemic. The title is Eden and it’s all about how a smallpox variant is used to cure over population, and then gets used to keep the population in check. Must like the Thanos Snap, lots of people disappear but so do all of those pesky things like global warming and poverty. Which is kind of either intensely sad or very comforting, depending on which side you’re on.

Anyway, if you feel like checking it out the e-book it’s around the same price of a one of those flashy Starbuck’s coffee you can buy in whatever country you live in.

I break another keyboard

I was just young enough back in the old days to find myself forced into having to attend typing class in high school. We were taught on solid metal typewriters designed for the office. They were so heavy it took two people to move a typewriter to another desk.

You also had to hit the keys hard. This was mainly to compensate for the use of carbon paper sandwiched between several sheets of paper. The only way to transfer the carbon was to hammer the keys with fingers that became freakishly strong over time.

At the time I hated it. The teacher was a stickler for posture and the ability to touch type without looking at the keyboard.  As part of our training to be future office workers in a secretarial typing pool, the typewriters had plastic covers that sort of looked like shower caps. It went over the keyboard, and you put your hands underneath to type. No peeking allowed. I failed this course and was told I had zero chance of a future in a secretarial typing pool.

Oh, no, color me upset.

By the time I left high school, offices had started to move to electric typewriters and shortly thereafter, computer keyboards.

Rather conveniently the class I hated the most (apart from math) saved me. Moving to computer keyboards after a manual typewriter was a doddle, and more importantly I was a faster typist than the other computer operators. Bonus number two was that I never experienced repetitive strain injury (RSI). Remember that? Everyone was trying to type on keyboards with shitty typing skills. I was fine no matter which keyboard I encountered because the correct wrist and finger positions had been drilled into me by the drill sergeant of a teacher.

However, over time I realized that my heavy handed pounding of the keyboard means that I break them. Regularly. I think I’ve broken a keyboard every year since I started using a computer.  Mechanical keyboards seem to last a little longer but not by much. The ‘n’ key stopped working on my last one yesterday, and six months ago the cursor keys started flying off and pinging around the room.

Anyway, I bought a new keyboard today and I look forward to this one surrendering sooner rather than later. I think my only practical solution is to buy a reconditioned IBM keyboard or something similar. I used them back in the day and they were impervious to everything, including a data entry operating pool that consisted of heavy smokers dropping ash onto the keys.

Other things I am grateful for: I never had to use Pitman shorthand in real life.

 

 

Wired magazine answers your typo questions

Here’s my latest blog post. Well, it’s not my post. It’s an article from Wired magazine about all of those embarrassing times that you published something and you read it a few weeks later and you cringed when you spotted the 20 typos that you should have picked up, but it’s too late, and now you have to reload it on Amazon and Smashwords, and it’s a big pain in the butt, and ruins your entire evening.

I’m not even going to copy the copy. Just click on the link and behold! Words and images appear in a new tab.

https://www.wired.com/2014/08/wuwt-typos/

 

 

Twitter Tweedle Dee

The Writing Group suggested that Twitter was a good thing. I avoided it for thirteen years, which seemed sensible considering the occasional news items I’d read online. (Re: Twitter is a cesspool of horribleness. People suck. Avoid at all costs.) In addition to the dire warnings about humanity’s behavior and what happens when we’re allowed to use our opposable thumbs to type things on a keyboard, I had developed my own dark, weird conspiracy theory about Twitter. (And Google, and Facebook.) They are responsible for global warming. Do you have any idea how big the server farms are to enable us to keep posting videos about babies, cats, and dogs doing cute things? And how much power they consume? The answer is a lot. A LOT.

Anyway, because the chances of me being proactive enough to write a unique Twitter entry are precisely zero, I have connected my blog to Twitter. Apparently WordPress will just send this entry here, to Twitter, way over there.

From there, I’ll see how long it takes before I lose complete interest. Wish me luck. And enjoy this video from Google that shows how big one data center is. Skip through to 2:04 so you can start saying, “Holy shirtballs. That’s big. Like really, really big.”

When Amazon Likes to Cheer Authors With Their Plummeting Rank

I’ve never hidden the fact that my Amazon rankings suck. A lot. But there are (I’m assuming) plenty of other people out there in the same boat. In an effort to cheer those people up (you know who are you) here’s some heart warming screenshots of my latest numbers from Amazon.

Personally, I feel a certain pride in where I’m positioned in the competitive Amazon author space. Take that all you losers selling your books and your soul for actual money!

The first screenshot is my author ranking. It kind of looks like the ECG of a person who had a heart attack. Then they managed to shock the person back to life. However, the diet and exercise have only been partially effective.

 

And here’s my sales ranking. Which looks like a very scary overdraft. Or the grades of a university student who is probably not going back next semester and the parents are very angry and also, why did you choose to do medicine Kevin, when you have no aptitude for it? Whhhhyyyyyy?

 

Anyone else out there sinking into the quagmire of scarily large numbers?  Leave a comment below because sharing is caring.