Formatting and Stick Shifts

I’ve been spending the last couple of days formatting the new book (yes, you’ll hear about the details really soon, I promise!). And I’m exhausted.

It’s not the formatting itself that’s so tedious and tiring – once you know what you’re doing with that, it’s relatively painless. But that’s the key issue here: once you know what you’re doing. See, I did all the formatting for Seventh Son on my dearly lamented little white Macbook. And it had a copy of Word for Mac 2004 on it, which I knew my way around in. But after the Mac packed it in, I had to move everything over to PC, which included buying a copy of MS Word 2013 (that being the only version of Word currently available). Sigh. I do still have Open Office on the PC, but I’m not terribly familiar with that either – although it’s better than the new Word which seems like a completely different piece of software than what I was used to.

The whole experience has been rather like having your trusty little automatic car die on you, and having as your only option for replacement a stick shift, which you don’t know how to drive. And you need to get to that appointment in town right now, with lots of traffic lights and stops that give you the opportunity to stall that car – GRRRK Ka-klonk.

But what it comes down to is that you just need to keep trying it. After you’ve restarted the car about five times, you’ll learn to keep your foot on the clutch; and after you’ve changed your book’s interior file about four times and re-uploaded it to CreateSpace, you learn where to click in order to deal with those widows and orphans (solitary last lines of print that land on the next page all by themselves). And even if it feels like you haven’t got much accomplished in the day, you really have – you’ve learned something new.

So I think I can call it quits for tonight, and reward myself with another few episodes of Once Upon a Time – yes, we finally got Netflix, so I’m actually able to watch the series from its beginning. I’ll tell you what I think of it some other time.

canada geeseAnd by way of illustration, here’s a flock of Canada Geese, doing their, you know, Canada-gooseish thing. I’m sure it’s significant to this topic somehow.

Life, the Universe, Formatting and Stick Shifts. The book will get there eventually!