This, to me, is a perfect example of how wrong people are who think our four-legged-friends don’t have souls.
Do you ever have days when you just want to say “Screw It” and crawl back in bed? Well, that was me on Wednesday.
It started out good.
I woke up at a fairly “normal” hour (for me – my sleeping habits are a whole other conversation . . .) and I was pretty chipper, looking forward to getting a lot of work done. So far, so good. I make English Breakfast tea and sit down at the laptop to call the software company I got my new toy from.
“New Toy?” Ah, thanks for asking. Yes, I decided to take a friend’s suggestion and splurg on some software that is supposed to help me find grammatical errors. It also is supposed to have a pretty kickin’ translation program, and I am doing some foreign language work, so that sounded good too.
I downloaded the software for a trial on Monday, and worked with it a bit. Thirty-day money back guarantee, what can go wrong?
By Wednesday, I was tearing my hair out. See, I only got the software because I am an anal nut job. Yep, that’s me. If I am going to do the work, I am going to do it RIGHT, and that means I drive myself mad looking for every single comma that might be out of place. I like doing it all myself, but I have found a few mistakes on a second pass that I missed in the first, so, backup, right? Do all the work, then run this fancy-schmancy software to make sure there are no extraneous periods, no ‘there’ instead of ‘their’.
Well, first, the software isn’t perfect, which makes me grin. Neither am I, and the silly thing seems to make different errors than I make, so that works.
Only, it doesn’t. I go through the first six chapters of the book I am working on, found a few small things that could be done a bit differently (‘big’ can be replaced here with ‘large’ so the word ‘big’ isn’t used twice in two consecutive sentences; there is a missing end-quote there, that sort of thing.)
I go through the first six chapters, save my changes, and (drumroll please)
The whole section I just corrected is either totally screwed up, or simply missing all together!!!
Let’s all say it together: I. Flipped. Out.
Of course, tech is not available (see previous statement regarding insomnia – it was something like 3am)
OK. Don’t panic. Send copy of screenshots to techs for next day. Check.
Find something else to do. Check.
Think. Think. Think. Yes, I could R4R, but I have energy! Work! Yea! Hey, the house has to get cleaned at some point, right? Right? Sure!
Office. I can clean the office upstairs and move my desktop from the basement office. Cool. (Vacuum vacuum vacuum. Dust dust dust. Sparkly!) Oh, my goodness! Will you LOOK at that filthy carpet? (Drags out Bissell) Cool, I have carpet cleaning solution! Grab the spray deep cleaner stuff (what is it with all this “Oxy” stuff anyway? Does the carpet have to do drugs to get clean? Can I have some of these drugs?)
Anyway, I get the tap water hot, add cleaner, and switch on machine. Switch off machine. Switch on machine. Motor noise, but no ‘vroom vroom’ of brushes turning. Crap.
Pull out the tool box, flip the thing over, and there are about a million screws, and I am sitting on spray deep cleaner stuff wet carpet while I find all the stupid things and take them out so I can pull the busted belt and go to the hardware store.
Stupid. Plastic. CRAP! The arm that holds the belts breaks off in my hand……..GRRR~! Now HOW is THAT going to get fixed?!?! Oh, and the belts? They are all there, grinning at me, all in one piece. “Nyah Nyah!!! It’s the part that MAKES THE BELTS SPIN that isn’t working – the wheels on the bus definitely aren’t going round and round. . .
So by now, I am hot, dirty, tired, and getting really . . really. . . frustrated. OK, I have all the furniture drug out of the room and into the hall (how did I EVER get that purple chair in that room without taking off the door in the first place? And Why, again, did I think it was a good idea to block the doors to Both bathrooms??? Sigh.) so I decide this calls for a beer. (Pad Pad Pad, off to the kitchen to pull a beer out of the fridge.
Vroom vroom – – HONK! Oh, good. The UPS dude is here and he has my new microwave! (No, I am not a cook. No way, no how. If it can’t be done in the microwave or in my one pot on the stove top, I am out of luck. And the stove was broken last month. Figures) I set the beer down and start to trot out to the truck where UPS dude is pulling out this big box (grunt grunt. What is this thing made of, lead?) Oops. Go back and grab t-shirt. It isn’t like there is anything to see after a double mastectomy except for a scar across my chest, and hey, the scar is nice and flat, but still, I don’t want to scare the poor guy, right? OK, t-shirt on, out the door as he is pulling it out the door of the truck.
Whoa. Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! That picture doesn’t look right! Nope. Wrong one. THAT isn’t going to FIT! OK, now I just want to cry. Send that stupid thing back. I knew, just KNEW that so-called “customer service” person on the phone had no comprehension of the English language. . .
Back in the house. Now, where did I put my beer again? Oh, man, what is that SMELL? Oh, it’s me. I stink. Sweaty, hot, dirty, and now I stink?!?!
Let’s see. So far I have to pull up six chapters of backup original copy and rebuild my work. My computer with the 7 Home Premium (that should work with the software but it is now on the laptop with the stinkin’ Vista on it, the Vista that won’t work with the software but nobody told me that. . . ) is still in the basement in pieces. The furniture from the upstairs office is in the hall blocking the bathrooms (have I said that by now I really have to pee?) I can’t find my beer. I had to send my microwave back. The carpet in the office is wet and soapy and the only place that can fix the machine is in Evergreen, and I can’t get there until next week. I am hot and tired and dirty and stinky and I want a shower and clean clothes and food and I still have to pee.
So. How was your day?
I picked up “To Murder A Saint” as a ‘freebie’ from one of my e-mails of “free and discount books” that I receive on a daily basis. I always appreciate these, as it often leads me to a new author I may not have otherwise discovered. Sometimes I am happy I found the particular book. Sometimes? Not so much.
In this case, what caught my eye was the cover. It is beautiful, as you can see. Well, that and the fact that the book was set in Louisiana, a total weakness for me. I can say that the potential is definitely there, hopefully to be fulfilled later. The author, Nicole Loughan, is a recognized journalist and syndicated humour columnist, which offers potential as a writer of fiction. In this first installment of her series, Nicole is writing about my home area, the bayous of southern Louisiana. She does a fairly good job of setting up the novel. My three-star review is based on several issues I had.
Nicole’s writing tries very hard to speak the language of the Bayou. However, with no experience with the area (she went to school in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia) her attempts at Cajun fall flat. She starts ‘Cajun-Speak’ but then falls back into ‘journalism-speak’ within two sentences. Cajun is an extremely unique language, a mixture of French, English, a bit of African and bits of Native American tribal languages (Choctaw, Quapaw, Caddo, etc.). It is also difficult for a northerner to comprehend the cadence and flow of southern speech patterns. Her precise use of language as a journalist makes it difficult, without doubt, to fall into the patois of the south, where ‘can not’ comes out ‘kaint’ and bonjour is much more common than hello, “How’s it going?” is
Comment ça va?” and the best response to that is “Ça va. Et vous-autres?” i.e., “It’s going OK. And ya’ll?” Or, in my case, “Ca va. Ah dah’tse?” i.e., “It’s good. How are you?” (A mix of Cajun with a soupcon of Quapaw.)
Overall, this reads as a first attempt at a novel, somewhat stilted and rough, but with good bones. I have put the next book on my to-read list to see if the roughness inherent in the first novel smooths out. I would have appreciated more development of the storyline. I felt it was somewhat choppy and not filled out well enough for my tastes. Again, that ‘journalist’ feeling – “Just the facts!” that was sort of off-putting for me, but others seemed to like in their reviews. In my opinion, if I am going to read a novel, I wish to fall into the book and be able to see it in my mind – the characters, the background, the world around the players. Humans are defined by their surroundings, and limiting those surroundings limits the movie that is developed in my mind. If I did not have such a strong connection with bayou country, it would have been very hard for me to feel any connection with the story or its characters.I will check out the second in the series when I get a moment and make a decision from there whether to leave the author on my ‘TBR’ list. I hope I can come back with a great review on that one!