Author McCrankyPants strikes again over newfangled tech things

Hello, peeps! I thought I’d burden you today with author insecurity #72: tech inadequacy.

I was chatting with a colleague the other day who asked me if I used a social media management tool and I about flew right off the handle.


I already feel freaking inadequate when it comes to every new &^A&*#^%A(*&#@^*A&@()% iGadget that comes down the pike. And every time I turn around, there’s something else. AUTHORS! USE THIS! DOWNLOAD THIS TOOL! CONSOLIDATE! DIVERSIFY! ARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM? PINTEREST? IT’S THE LATEST THING! HURRY! DO YOU WANT TO SELL BOOKS OR NOT? GET THIS, FOOL!


Oh, NOES! Andi didn't jump on every tech toy bandwagon out there! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, PEOPLE!
Oh, NOES! Andi didn’t jump on every tech toy bandwagon out there! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, PEOPLE!

Continue reading

Writer McCrankypants strikes again

ARGH. Kickity kick kick ARGH.


Hi, peeps.

I’ve been running around trying to get a print version of From the Hat Down up and operational.

It’s not working. It’s making me frustrated. REALLY frustrated.

The main issue is that the print people claim that the file I and my typesetter supplied is causing the print to be too light. You see, I ordered an ol’ skool paper proof, which means I ordered a preliminary version of the book, bound with the cover so I could see how it looks. The exterior looks fine. But the interior typeface is just too light. So I brought it up with the printer people who allegedly did some “tracking” to determine what the cause may be. Meanwhile, my typesetter checked, too. The settings in my typesetter’s file are fine. They’re where they need to be. The printer people insist they’re not (bless their hearts).

In the meantime, the book doesn’t get printed because I refuse to release a book whose type looks like it’s the 20th Xeroxed copy off another Xeroxed copy.

I spent around 15 years in publishing. My typesetter spent about 20. And my designer is still working in publishing. I met her 20 years ago at the press where we worked and at that point, she had a good 10-15 years of design experience under her belt. Ergo, we kind of know what we’re doing.

But the printer people are just not on the boat with us.

And this makes me Writer McCrankypants.

So, dear readers, at some point, I will have a print version available. For reals. But I want to make sure it’s a quality product that you will be able to read without thinking: “Damn. This typeface is so light.” Because that will make you Reader McCrankypants, and that is so totally not cool.

And yes, at some point, I will have some other e-formats available. Those issues are also contributing to my McCrankypants self. Send me some good ju-ju. Maybe the printer needs a ju-ju infusion, too. And all the e-platforms. Just massive good ju-ju everywhere. I think that will decidedly help. In the meantime, howsabout we listen to the playlist to From the Hat Down to make us feel better? Music always makes me feel a bit better.


LINK, in case this embedding freaks out again.

And here’s the playlist for From the Boots Up, just cuz.

LINK, in case the embedding flees this site.


Happy reading, happy writing. And happy Friday, all!

Writer McCrankypants on formatting manuscripts

Greetings, my peeps. (I almost said minions, but that might be taking liberties)

I’m in a strange twilight zone of writing. I’m not really between projects, but I’m hung up on one and it’s preventing me from really jumping into anything else. Not to suggest I’m not working on anything else because I am doing some work on the fourth installment of my Far Seek Chronicles (that’s the sci fi). I’m also working on a few short stories, and those require a different kind of focus than the longer stuff.

Anyway, I’m preparing a book-length manuscript for a typesetter, which is detail work and makes me super cranky, but it’s necessary work. While doing that, I sent some of the scenes out to an expert in the field to check and make sure I’m not Writer McLooneytoons with my take on certain things. Fortunately, he works fast and he’s been awesome and I’m pleased that I wasn’t completely McLooney but I still have to do some re-writes to correct some of the things in those scenes.

Which also creates more cranky in Andi Land.

So what exactly does it mean, this preparing a manuscript for a typesetter? Or for uploading onto the ebook virtual reality deck? Well, intrepid reader, clickety click onward to find out!

Continue reading

Tech crap

Hi, peeps. Hope this week has treated you well.

I’m on a tech jag, lately.

I’m going to be updating my desktop in the next couple of months or so. I’m currently on Mac laptops and a PC desktop that is still running — wait for it — XP. Which I personally think was the last good platform Microsoft put out. I bought this desktop in 2005, I think it was, and here it is 2013 and it’s still going.

Want to hear me rant n’ rave more about tech stuff? Sure you do. Keep reading…

Continue reading

Splitting tech-ache

Hi, kids–

I’m pretty good at maintaining my tech products. I take very good care of the tech in my life, which is why I still have a MacBook (purchased in 2005, just recently upgraded to Snow Leopard OS) that’s working fine, thank you. I also have a PC desktop, purchased in 2004. That was working okay until this past year when it became apparent that I would HAVE to get a different system because Microsoft decided to stop doing upgrades for the OS on that. Which, I’ll have you know, is XP. Otherwise, the security systems I implemented 4 years ago have been working well, but some of the internal stuff on it isn’t working very well. I know it’s time to upgrade that pup and in all likelihood, it’ll be a Mac, though I like the XP platform.

More griping? Read on…

Continue reading

Sometimes to write, you must stop

Came across this post over at The Write Practice.

Joe Bunting says that sometimes, in order to write (create), you must stop writing. He uses Bob Dylan and Ernest Hemingway as examples of artists who stopped their chosen work, put it aside, and came back better than ever. Bunting says that he does not write once a week. That includes no Tweeting or emailing. He takes a break.

Continue reading

Tools of the Trade

Hey, kids–

The alternate title to this blog is, “Business screws over workers to make a profit and I use their products but I have no idea how to get the juggernaut’s attention or what to do about it.”

Thanks to Broadside Blog for pointing out this article in the New York Times Business section.

The article is titled “Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay,” by David Segal.

I’m a writer. I use Apple products to accomplish many of my goals as a writer. I’m blogging right now on a MacBook that I’ve had since about 2005 and just upgraded to the Snow Leopard OS. That’s right. I was using Tiger up until this year. I’ve been really pleased with my MacBook, written several manuscripts on it, and had few problems that weren’t easily fixed with a call to Mac tech help or a visit to an Apple store, and always with good, friendly service.

So I was a little bummed, but not entirely surprised, to read the article. But again, Apple is a corporation, and one of its purposes might be to make consumers happy, but ultimately, it wants to make money. And in terms of capitalism, generally, somebody gets screwed in that process or doesn’t get as big a piece of the pie.

Read on for more…

Continue reading


Hi, kids!

Hope everybody had a fab weekend. I am writing this on an iPad, with a wireless keyboard. Because of that, I’m not quite rockin’ yet with inserting images and stuff like that. It’s also weird using the ol’ fingertip on the screen as a mouse. I’m working on it, though! I also have a bunch of tech craziness going on, and because a lot of you are writers (or maybe you’re just techies), read on for more of my travels and travails with gadgetry.

Continue reading