The Week That Wasn’t and What To Do

This happened a few weeks ago.

First, the Arizona Coyotes invited me and a friend to a game. I love free tickets, so my friend and I planned to fly to Phoenix the day of the game. But the day before the flight  my friend had a kidney stone problem, I could not find anyone at last minute, so I contacted Coyotes and told them I was unable to attend. Rats! And they beat Calgary 2-0. Rats!

Then my new printer was not communicating with my computer. They stubbornly ignored each other like a married couple after an argument. Both sulking, neither giving in, a standoff with no resolution for days. Finally they made up and began working together.

The next day I came home from a meeting to road construction outside my house. They had been working on upgrading the sewer system, an improvement designed to prevent the old system from flushing unwanted waste out into the street. As if there is wanted waste. One man asked if I had a land line. I answered no, but my computer works off that line. Oops. They had knocked down the line.

They called someone who came within an hour to fix it and left. Later I discovered there was no connection. Huh? The next day I told the foreman my problem and he said he knew a guy who would get here and fix it. So I waited. And waited. The entire day I was a prisoner waiting for the pardon to free me. The guy never showed. I never saw the foreman again. The next day I called the company who provides my service. They would send someone, but he could not get there until after four. I had seven more hours to wait. The man showed and after examining everything he said the guy from yesterday hooked up the line wrong.

Two days wasted waiting for my phone line hookup. I thought I would go crazy. I was like a drug addict waiting for a fix. I need to get on the Internet. I have to do this,  I have to do that, and more again. Who emailed me? What spam did I get? Was my identity stolen in my absence? Is the digital world still there?

So what does one do when an entire week goes haywire. Well one thing is to throw objects to express your angry. But nothing breakable, or items which would break something else. I recommend rolled up socks. Or take a full box of toothpicks and throw them at a wall. It should be a wall in the kitchen because they can be swept up easily, unlike a carpeted room. Trust me.

Or you can just laugh at the insanity around you, that you are really not in control, that there are forces sometimes working against you. Ha Ha.

But you can’t laugh until the week has subsided, the unnamed forces withdrawn, a retreat to regroup for another attack some other week. It has now been four or five weeks. I am not laughing.

Today I tried to log in to WordPress to create this post. The login ignored me. I could not login. Finally I turned off my computer for a few minutes, restarted, and spoiler alert-it is working. Must have been a reconnaissance probe testing for a weakness in my defense. I won today, maybe this will be a good week.

I hope your week was a good one.

dugout (1)

 

Dangers of writing contests

I once read where people submitting their story to writing contests closer to the deadline had a better chance of winning. I don’t know if it is true, but I always put off until the near last minute.

But there is a danger to waiting.

I wrote a story that I was going to enter in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) unpublished contest. The writing was easy enough, as was the editing and punctuation checking. In case of course, it was easy because I did not catch all the mistakes. Writers tend to have a blind eye. We can’t see the comma through the period.

The main thing, however, in entering a contest is not the writing, but following all the directions. A self addressed stamped envelope (2 stamps) to receive two critiques whether you win or lose. And make sure you place the category number on the outside of the main envelope to the contest address.

There are requirements that must be stringently adhered too like double spacing, the margins, the font, what needs to be in the upper left corner of every page, namely the title, the category, the page number.

It is fun if you are obsessive compulsion going over everything a dozen or so times. Every day. But even after everything seems set, the unexpected happens. I have a computer that must be mad at the printer, for even though they came out of the same box from the same  manufacturer they frequently have trouble talking with each other.

When I click print-and this happens often-it says printer error. I try to delete in the queue, and though it says deleting, it will stay that way for eternity and never delete and that can prevent me from printing anything in the future. Sometimes turning off computer and starting it later it will automatically print. That is the usual modus operandi.

Not this time. Day after day nothing happened. Finally five days from deadline I did a troubleshoot. I have tried this in the past without any solution as troubleshoot and computer do not speak with each other either. But this time they were on friendly terms and my entry form printed.

Whew!

As I write this it is three days to deadline. The only thing left to do is one final check of the story, once again checking grammar, punctuation, and those fun things. Today it will be submitted online. Although I could do it tomorrow. I still have one day, unless of course my computer fails to talk with me tomorrow.

I better get to work. Tomorrow is to late.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt   

I have two collections of twilight zone, paranormal, bump in the night stories you may enjoy. The e-books are found here.

Or you can read something about them as well as a review or two by clicking on the title at top of blog.