Keeping My Word

Unless I suffer blogger’s block between tomorrow and Halloween, this is not a blog proper. I had promised two librarians I’d promote my upcoming author events on social media, and I’m keeping my word.

I doubt my readers in Latvia and Liberia will be able to attend either event, but I request the rest of you to do your best. Or, as some might say in the land of my birth, your level best. I’d especially like readers in the land of my birth to do their level best, since there are so many of them. And please bring your neighbors, cousins, cousins’ in-laws, cousins’ in-laws’ neighbors, and cousins’ in-laws’ neighbors’ cousins. I don’t think that’s asking for much, given that there are 1.2 billion Indians to go around.

Sharon Edwards ArtNight

I had set aside half an hour this evening to design the flyer, which I thought would be a piece of cake. You can tell by “I thought” that it wasn’t a piece of cake, but let me tell you why. If nothing else, it will be free therapy for me, and I’m desperately in need of therapy after what happened. I’m also in need of free therapy, but that’s because of what my publisher is doing.

Before I tell you about that and the other “Publisher trauma,” let me tell you about what happened outside my home office window. A few minutes after I sat down to design my flyer, my apartment manager began trimming the palm tree outside my home office window. I won’t describe what that was like. I trust you have enough of an imagination to visualize a petite blonde woman trying to trim a palm tree with a rusty handsaw.

The city has strict rules about tree-trimming and I could report her, but it may become a court case and that will put my life on hold. I don’t know about Latvia and Liberia, but in this country court cases drag on ad infinitum, so I decided not to stir up the hornet’s nest. Maybe the hornet’s nest was in the palm tree, stirring itself. 

I could also say I decided to let sleeping dogs lie, but my apartment manager’s dog was not sleeping. She was running around the garden yelping at imaginary hornets. But at least she was alone today. Usually she has a couple canine companions to contribute to the chaos. My apartment manager pet-sits for a living. Apartment-managing is only a way of freeing her from the trauma the rest of us experience on the first of the month (in a word, rent). I don’t think she has signed a contract binding her to remain on the premises daily, because whenever there is a problem in my apartment, she is away in Hollywood, pet-sitting for one of her celebrity clients.

Hornet's Nest

I’ve never met any of my apartment manager’s celebrity clients, of course, and I can only take her word that they are celebrities. Her word, and what the dogs tell me. That impeccably groomed Scottish terrier with the attitude certainly comes from a celebrity home, but the rest feel like wannabes. I like some of them better than others, and I’m sure that would be true of their owners too. That is, if my apartment manager ever brought them to our building. I doubt she will, so you can stop dreaming about that story. If my apartment manager’s celebrity clients were to visit our building, they’d stop being her clients.

That, dear reader, is why I will never bring you to my building, even if you were to travel all the way from Latvia or Liberia. If you were to visit the building in which my thoughts are collected, you’ll stop being my reader. So just keep visiting my blog and the venues where I hold my author events, and we won’t have a falling-out. I’ve already had one falling-out today – with my Publisher.

The capital p means I’m not referring to Constance Brooks. We are still thick as thieves. If I wanted to pun (but why would I?), I’d say I’m thick and she’s the thief. My royalties are suspiciously low this quarter, and I doubt it has to do with poor book sales. Constance, I suspect, is dipping her little fingers into what is rightfully mine. She has little fingers, but boy, do they know how to take other people’s money. With those deft little fingers (not to mention her greed), I’m sure she’ll make a successful pickpocket in the literal sense too. Still, she’s my publisher and I haven’t had a falling-out with her. My falling-out has been with my Publisher, the MS Office program on my older laptop, and maybe I’m about to have a falling-out with the laptop too.

I bought the laptop just before leaving for Keele in September 2010. I had purchased it online and by the time I’d figured out that it was going to cause me trauma, there was no time to return it. Someday, when I have nothing better to tell you, I will tell you how it has troubled me, but for now suffice it to say that I’m never buying the brand again. What’s the brand, you ask? No, dear reader, decency forbids me from telling. Decency, and the fear of being sued my pants off (not to mention my shirt and other garments).

Brand New Clothes

My relationship with my Publisher began when I had to design my business card. I should not have ignored those early signs of trouble but, like many in new relationships, didn’t. The breakup occurred this evening, and my apartment manager’s activities outside my home office window played an important role. After I had spent half an hour designing the flyer, I decided to take a leaf out of her book and save a tree. In other words, I should make the single-page flyer half page. Two flyers would fit on one sheet, and voila.

Mais non, cher reader, malheureusement there was no voila. I spent another half hour designing a half-page flyer but when I saved it as a PDF (which is easier to print), each half appeared on two separate pages! Another half hour later, it struck me that I could create the flyer in Word.

I hope you’re not sitting there judging me, dear reader. If the palm tree outside your home office window were being sawed by your apartment manager, and if her dog were running around the garden yelping at imaginary hornets, it would take you as long to think that up. (Knowing you, probably longer, but let’s not go there.)

As of this evening, I am convinced that Word makes a better graphics program than Publisher. If (if) I wanted to pun, I’d say I’m keeping my Word.