March 4th, 2008

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Me versus The CyberGremlins; the happy ending...

After all the carrying on I did about my newsletter-delivery problem, and all the trouble you [youall] have gone to helping me with it, I think that not providing an ending would be like telling a joke and leaving off the punch line. So...

Final Whine

I have lost many hours of worktime that I should have spent working on the revised edition of The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense -- a task that involves re-typing the entire book to get it into an electronic file for Barnes & Noble. [Trust me; I can re-type the entire book an awful lot faster than I could put together a list of all the multitudinous changes, plus instructions, which I would then have to check for one by one to be sure they had been made properly.] This isn't a good thing; it has put me way behind. But it's not fatal, and I'll get caught up.

Yesterday I wasted a shameful amount of time trying to figure out how to publish those two documents -- that is, how to make them available to anyone who wanted to see them, without any need for jumping over cyberhoops to get at them. Googling got me plenty of links offering advice on how to do that -- but everything I read said the same thing: "Click on the Publish tab." My problem was that I couldn't find the cottonpicking Publish tab; it was nowhere on my screen, nothing that I clicked on took me to a screen that said anything about how to find it, and I was tearing my hair out.

Yo, Tech Writers: It would be helpful if somewhere in the instructions for doing Google Docs the beginner was told that in order to see the Publish tab you have to have opened the document you want to publish. For some of us, just saying over and over again "Click on the Publish tab" isn't quite enough information.

I wish I could tell you that I worked this out by some rational process; I didn't. I had given up, poured myself a small glass of wine, and was -- figuratively -- sitting in a corner in despair and banging my head on the desk. My husband, who is never able to tear himself away from any computer mystery, discovered it by accident. He was refusing to give up, had opened the document just to see what it looked like, and lo and behold -- there the Publish tab was, on his screen. Eureka!

Final Summing-Up

The credit for suggesting the Google Docs Workaround goes to Anita Morgan, one of my GAVSD trainers. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to her; it appears to have worked for everyone on my mailing list and for LJ-ers as well, and it's a solution I can use again in the future if I have to.

I do realize that it's not an acceptable final solution to my problem, and I am still considering the more elegant solutions that you LJers have proposed and trying to choose one that (a) won't be rejected by my computer hardware or software, and (b) won't mean exchanging one set of problems for a different set. But the Google Docs Workaround will do something for me that's tremendously helpful: It will let me postpone putting any new system into effect until after I've turned in the book to Barnes & Noble and have finished my Arkansas Literary Festival gig. That is such a relief.

There. I have stopped pounding my head on the desk and am now counting my blessings instead. Including the weather blessings; we got the five inches of rain, but the predicted ice, sleet, and snow has -- so far -- passed us by to the north and to the south.

Thank you again, one and all...

The End
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Personal note; complete newsletters...

If any of you who read the Part Two sections of the two March/April newsletters would like to see the Part One sections, you can do that; thanks to MacLink Plus and the SFWA WebWizard, they're now posted at my SFWA website.

The complete March/April 2008 Linguistics & Science Fiction Newsletter is at .

The complete March/April 2008 Verbal Self-Defense Newsletter is at .

Nonfiction online: "How Verbal Self-Defense Works" at ; "Why Are Old Women Older Than Old Men And How Can We Fix That?" at ; Religious Language Newsletter archive at ; Fiction online: "We Have Always Spoken Panglish" at ; "What The EPA Don't Know Won't Hurt Them" at ; "Weather Bulletin" at ; "A Quorum Of Grandmothers" at ; The Communipaths at . More stuff at ; LiveJournal blog index at .