That’s two hours of my life I’m never going to get back.
I use Google drive. And I have a chromebook which, apart from a couple of keys that are broken, is quicker than Billy the Whizz. I don’t need the Internet to use its word processing app, but when I am connected it saves everything to the cloud without asking, which means I can access my documents anywhere on any machine provided I have Internet. It’s quick because the machine is basically an empty shell. All of the little men who work the apps are in the cloud. If Mr Google needs new men, he hires them. In the cloud. It is invisible to me. My chromebook never needs updating because there is nothing to update. All the new men (sorry, and women) who run my e-world are at Google HQ. I open up my chromebook and it starts. I open up ‘Docs’, the equivalent of Word, and it starts. Every time. Oh, and it’s all free.
Last year I bought an HP laptop (£250) and paid £70 (annually) to belong to Windows 365. I was able to download MS Office (which includes Word) onto my laptop. I’d did this because I need Word to do an in-depth spell and grammar check, which Google do – but not half as well as Windows. I am, after all, just a maths teacher who now writes for a living. I do need someone to check my work.
This worked well for The Innocence of Trust. But, 8 months later as I tried this afternoon to open Word on my almost new laptop, it doesn’t work. I have paid my subscriptions. I even used my MiFi internet connection down here in the south of France, using precious GB allowance, so that Windows could update my laptop. Still it won’t work. I tried again. And again. You can see where this is going?
IT’S SO FRUSTRATING!!!!!!! That’s me shouting at Bill sodding Gates. I have never liked the Microsoft monopoly on all this stuff. Thank goodness for Mr Google.
But, some good news. I have finished book 4 – I’m rather liking the title ‘For Good Men To Do Nothing’. Still not firm yet. I am really pleased with myself for two reasons. First that I finished it well before the December deadline – I have worked relentlessly at it. Second, I rather like the epilogue. I have always used the epilogue to wrap up where things got to, and clear any loose ends. But I also use it to surprise my readers. This time, for book 4, I was just working on the ‘wrapping up bit’, and was about to pen a conversation between Sam and Jane in Sam’s campervan. And that would be that. Instead, I started writing about another character – and it got all exciting! No spoilers here. I’m so thrilled that I have managed to pull something out of that. I do love the book, and I hope you will love it too.
And, we’ve made it done here – the south coast of France. It has been a slog. The weather’s not been great and I drove all day yesterday, almost 250 miles. Interestingly, that was easygoing easy bit. The A75 motorway from Clement-Ferrand to Montpellier is the most fantastic road. It takes you right across the Massif Central, and the route is all up and down, through Autumn trees. Most of the route is over 1,000 metres – and it’s free! Except the Millau bridge, which costs €12 for Doris; but that is worth every penny. So, some advice. If you’re heading down south take the A75. You won’t be disappointed.
Finally, what are we up to over the next 4 weeks? I’ve got a lot of non-book 4 stuff to do (like touting the Unsuspecting Hero screenplay). And I have to do edit 1 of book 4; then C and I have to do edit 2. She’s not been involved in this book at all – normally I read chapters out to her as I go along. So it’s going to be interesting to see how that goes.
And, of course, put our feet up a bit. It is great to be in Doris with the sun streaming through her front window in our usual spot on Plague D’Artiste. At €6 a night and a lovely town on our doorstep, it really works for us.
Thinking of you.