The 'not being able to afford to publish' hurdle was behind me. Just a hop, skip, and an ISBN and my book would be free to be whatever people wanted to make of it. Then it happened. Virus.
My trusty netbook. My web-travelling chum. My twitter companion and blog buddy. We'd been through so much together. She barely remembers her own name now. Nervous breakdown follows nervous breakdown. A flash of recognition is followed by a lack of response and a sudden crash. Her hard-drive is corrupted. Her battery is a burnt out wreck. She's a goner. They say she might limp along with some degree of ability but, without a full costs-more-than-the-netbook overhaul, she cannot be put in charge of fork lift trucks, hot kettles, or my manuscript. *Sniff*.
So, I had to get another netbook. Where would the money come from? The Publishing Fund, of course. I'd scrimped enough to form a barrier against misfortune. I bought a netbook. It was less pretty, less qualified in many ways, but it could handle the tasks for which it was so desperately needed.
It arrived. Within minutes, it developed a cough of some description. When it came time for bed, it refused to close its eyes. It wouldn't shut down. It wouldn't switch on. It crashed, it stalled, it cried and bawled. (Couldn't resist. Oh, who cares? It's my diary and I'll rhyme if I want to). 'To' at the end of a sentence? Damn right! Huh!
Anyhow, the new netbook was less use than a pen on a string, so I phoned QVC (the place from whence it had emerged) and explained. They handed me the number of Hewlett Packard that I'd already spent a fortune calling. The general level of service from them had been a bit beyond 'have you tried turning it off and on again?' but not far off. Hubby and I decided to negotiate. The self same netbook was being pimped out on the self same channel that very day. Surely, they would just trade one for t'other? Nope. I'll spare the details but the conclusion was that the ill computer must be sent back. No refund would be received. If I wanted access to the web, I must buy another computer from them. At some point in the future a refund would arrive for the first computer. Until then, we will have forked out for TWO netbooks from... oh yes... the Publishing Fund.
There's not a chance that this book will be out in the summer now. No chance. The original plan had been to be published by/in September. I'm reverting to that. I've set myself the deadline of 18th September. It's a deadline. A firm deadline. A cross my heart and hope to be tickled until I beg for mercy deadline. I've no idea how I'll hit it, but I will hit it. Meanwhile, if that next netbook arrives and develops some kind of malady, it will just have to limp on regardless. Tech problems have held me back long enough. They could undo all my hard work if I give in to their childish demands. Up with this I WILL NOT PUT.