Thursday, November 15, 2007

No more "Usable Form"

Well, to add a special touch to this experience, yesterday the MyUnexpectedAngels programmer, Justin—who has worked, as far as I know, at least two months on this project—just quit. And he didn’t even call; he sent a text to the designer and said he wasn’t going to do it anymore. That’s it.

The designer is devastated; he feels worse about it than I do. And he is determined to make it right, which ups him in my esteem. (Let me never meet Justin.) He has been looking around for solutions, and quick ones, since I have another two interviews scheduled for next Tuesday. (These I will do from home, so these I will record and post onto the site. Hopefully I won’t be a stammering fool.) He seems to have found something, which might even be a better option than having someone do all that programming and cross-referencing and platforming (I got lost after “programming”). I don’t know the technicalities, but it involves the videos being posted onto my site but hosted on YouTube, even though the user can’t really tell he or she is using YouTube. The only reason I know this is a good thing is that someone at my work, the guy with a master’s in computer science, had told me back in August that we ought to host the videos on YouTube. Hmm. I would have brought that up to Justin, and even fought for it, maybe, if I’d just known what it meant. I still don’t, but the words are the same. I assume that makes it the same thing.

Interestingly, with this new method we’re going with, the site will likely be up in 48 hours. I have no idea how far Justin was from completion, but we are, at this point, 2 months overdue...and now you’re telling me we could have just whipped it together two months ago and had it finished in 48 hours?? Sigh. I am making this the silver lining. We don’t know yet if we’ll be able to have written stories, but...hopefully the videos will catch on. YouTube highlighted the fact that about every third American has a camera phone, right? Its popularity didn’t come out of nowhere.

I got a good review on Amazon yesterday, from a retired work acquaintance who read the book and loved it. She completely made my day that day; she phoned at 1:30 in the afternoon and said she had just finished it, and hadn’t been able to do anything all day long except read the book. She then said, “This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.” I related this to my boss, who knows her. My boss said, “You know who your competition is? Carol reads Dickens and Dostoevsky and Melville! You’re up there with the classics!” I was flattered. (Carol emailed me at 6:30 that night and said she couldn’t stop thinking about the book and she almost felt like she was in a trance. I am not making this up.) The practical application to this is that she’s telling a lot of people it’s a great book and now people at work are actually starting to buy it. Yay! (One or two have asked if they could just borrow one of my copies. I have stood firm.) Carol is now emailing me telling me to write more books. I have started one, but I’m not sure where it’s going so it’s not clipping along at any brisk pace. My boss said, “If Carol were here, she’d be giving you deadlines.” Maybe I need her.

I’m also working on another screenplay. I should emphasize this is not scabbing, for anyone following the WGA strike. We are not under contract with any studio; no one is waiting for this to be done. We started in September, long before the strike began. It will not be pitched to anyone until after the strike is over. It will not be finished until long after the strike is over. It’s very interesting and fun to write, but it deals with scientists. I anticipate writing some drafts where the dialogue says, literally, “SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE” until I can actually speak with a scientist who can write that part for me. Science is not the focus of the story—relationships are—but world-renowned physicists and mathematicians aren’t talking about tea parties, you know?

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