Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is "usable form"?

I had my second radio interview yesterday. It was at a station in Iowa called KGLO AM, with Mark Dorenkamp. He was perfectly pleasant, reasonable, and, best of all, interested. This is not to say that other interviewers aren’t...but there is sometimes the sense that they’d, uh, rather be doing other things. But Mark asked about the book, why I wrote the book, what the process was like, and talked a lot about angels and people who have helped his friends and family. Seems there is a lot of car trouble in this country.
We also discussed the website, and he asked me when it would be up. Parroting what I have been told by my designer, I said, “A few days.” Now, the dirty secret is, I’ve been told “a few days” oh so many times...first it was “two weeks,” then “another ten days,” then “in a few days.” I just got an email from my designer that indicates that it’s going to be many, many more days, not a few. I am not techno-savvy enough to know exactly what is going on, but it seems the programmer is a lot more interested in security and “cross referencing” than in, say, getting the site into a “usable form.” It is currently nowhere near a “usable form” and he just can’t figure out how long it will take to put it into “usable form,” at least not any more specifically than “a few days.”
They’re working on it. I know they’re working on it. But I also know that I started this project (the website) back in MAY and I’m wondering why only now in November are we thinking about putting it into “usable form”? I am doing radio interviews. (Barbara’s aired last Friday.) I am telling show hosts, “The website will be up in just a couple of days! Just a few days!” because that is what I have been told. Meanwhile I have no way to gauge if anyone has even visited the site because IT IS NOT IN USABLE FORM. I don’t know if this whole “radio tour” was a stupid, bad idea and colossal waste of money. I don’t know if the website itself was a stupid, bad idea and colossal waste of money, because no one can get to it so I don’t know if anyone has tried to get to it because...say it with me...it is not in usable form.
Meanwhile my stats on Amazon are slipping, slipping, slipping. A week ago I was at 500,000...today I’m at 700,000...and a book called “Fur Trappers” dealing with the mountain men of the 1800s is at roughly the same spot. Sigh. I know my dad hasn’t done his Christmas shopping yet, so that’s one positive, but...sigh.
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and it seems as if the Utah tour will not accompany it. This is fine. I will get some peace and solitude and, if all goes well, some writing done. I have several projects I can work on—just pick one! But it’s getting increasingly difficult to write. I think it’s a phase (I’ve been in them before) and it will pass, but it’s frustrating when it’s happening. The good thing is, at work we get Friday off, too, so I will have a glorious long weekend. I am thrilled. Even if I don’t write, I will sleep...I know it, because I don't have to get up in the morning, and late morning is when I know I can sleep.
Hopefully I will not dream of anything in “unusable form.”

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I just read the essay in Sunstone, nice job. Congratulations on the novel.
If you are interested, here are some good advice/support web sites for LDS authors.
LDS Publisher.
The blog-owner is an unnamed publisher at a small LDS house. She has lots of practical advice.

Six LDS Writers and a Frog

Association for Mormon Letters discussion board (recently created from an email list that has been running for 12 years).

Andrew Hall