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On Publishing a Book – second installment (Or, senior citizen computer befuddlement)

Even posting a blog represents a mountain climbed for me.  When I decided to write a blog, I typed the name and e-mail information, and I thought that I was all set.  Wrong.  At that point, I decided to change the title.  All I succeeded in doing was to add another page.  Somehow I still thought that I could  add a page and that would fix the problem..  So, when all was said and done, I had three pages, and I did not know which one to use.  Finally, I settled on one of them by just shrugging my shoulders and selecting the first..  Fine.  I typed about fifteen hundred words, let it sit and then wanted to proofread before publishing.  I had saved the draft but did not know how to find it again.  Through trial and error, I succeeded in  locating it.  The spellcheck function kicked in, but when I attempted to proofread the underlined errors, I received a message that asked me whether I wished to stay on the page or leave it.  I could not make it work, so I could not publish my post.

In frustration, I called the person who had been my editor through the writing of the book now in the process of being published.  She said she was new to blogging and could not provide any real help.  I tried frantically and in vain to find an e-mail address, any e-mail address, where I could ask for help.  No luck.  I guess WordPress thinks that if you know how to type, you know how to blog.  Or, maybe they do not want to be bothered with e-mails. Or, alternatively, everybody who wants to blog is more proficient than I with the computer. Anyway, I asked the person who is getting my book ready to publish online and he said he did not know anything about blogging.  After thinking about the situation for a few days, I got in touch with the tutoring company whose services I had used last year.

I looked through the lists under the general heading of “Computer.”  Although I had typed Computer in the subject heading, there were many tutors listed for the three r’s – reading, writing and arithmetic.  There were not actually many computer tutors, and even fewer who listed blogging as one of their teaching options.  Eventually, I came up with  couple of  names, whom I contacted, making an appointment with one of the people.

When the tutor arrived, she showed me how to title the blog, and even more important, how to retrieve my draft.  We spent the hour reviewing the mechanics of blogging, and she departed, requesting that I commend her services to the tutoring company.  I was prepared to do that and sent an e-mail to everyone on my contact list, advising them of my new project.

Later that evening, I received some e-mails telling me that I had not directed them to a blog but to an e-mail address.  What to do?  Frankly, I was embarrassed.  Not only had I given many people an incorrect address, but I had even published it on Facebook! My immediate response was to contact the tutor and ask for her assistance in resolving the problem.  Anxiously, I waited for a response.  And waited.  And waited.  She had been eager to get back to me when making the appointment, but now my e-mail failed to include any advice from her.

Apologetically, I wrote my editor asking her if she paid for her blog and if that was actually necessary.  She said she paid nothing but was looking into this further as a paid blog may receive more “presence.”  That makes sense.  Instead of being the last of ten thousand possible entries, paying for the privilege of typing may push a particular blog further up the page.  She is thinking about it, and I will have to think about it, too.

Anyway, I heard from her later.  She informed me that I had created an e-mail address with the @ symbol.  Instead of saying eadinpanzeractivelife@wordpress.com, it should have read eladinpanzeractivelife.wordpress.com.  Such is the way of the computer.  Who would have thought that a little change in a symbol from @ to . would make a world of difference?  That is, before the advent of the computer, who is a very strict mistress.   Thanks to my editor, I was able to notify everyone that they would indeed be able to read the blog.  She has helped me tremendously throughout the entire writing process, and her blog is motherdreaming.wordpress.com.  I recommend it because it is both well written and informative.

The current tutor finally got back to me after about five days because she wanted a recommendation fo the tutoring company and must have finally realized that she would not receive one if she left me suspended forever.  Although her commentary was now redundant, I sent in the commendation.

Well, there I am.  I hope the working through of the mechanics of a blog has not been too boring.   It is simply the befuddlement of a senior lost in cyberspace.

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