here are lots of things writing is not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a booklined study looking over green fields, of coming down at nine-ish to sit in a high leather-backed chair with a cup of tea, of sorting through paper notes (glasses precariously perched at the tip of the nose) to remember just what point we were at. And then, pushing another sheet into the typewriter…
Well, maybe not that typewriter bit – I originally started newsletter fiction on one of those monsters. Nostalgia doesn’t carry it. But still, there is the internal picture that writers visualize, their life of writing.
I’d never pictured the moment of getting an email from Amazon, telling me that they were changing their formatting and I’d have to fix them by July 31 else I’d be cut off from my revenue stream (generous at dozens of pennies a month). But, ugh, I hate web tinkering. Some of my fondest memories of writing don’t involve web administration. Worse, it had been literal years since I’d done it the first time. I wasn’t sure what I’d have to do it fix my links.
So because it’s my nature, I fussed and fumed all day at work, worried about trying to make it work, worried that it wouldn’t, perhaps downing my site until I could contact my Greek web-guru to save my ass again like he had in the past. Drove home that night, ran down the link to Amazon’s fuller details, read it carefully.
Okay, so it wasn’t so bad. It was just replacing an address, from amazon.something to amazon.somthiingelse. And they had webcrawler data that showed what needed changing. You could even rerun it, to make sure you had it.
Saturday morning felt like a good time. Was heading over to the Astronomy Club lecture but had an hour to kill. Went in and found the page where I direct you after every article, where my books lay (provided below, HERE too!). Okay, and there it was. But no visible links to Amazon. So how did I…?
I pushed back the panic. There was something I had to do, a direct manipulation of HTML. Looked around the editing options and saw a vaguely familiar button, SOURCE. Now that I remembered. I clicked on it and in I went, into the background coding. And there I found all the code-spool, all sorts of stuff. Yeah, now I remembered – I’d pasted Amazon glop in here a couple of years back.
Started searching and there they were, amazon.somethings, right there. Could search around and find them easy.
I’m still enough of a coder (sadly) that I came up with a quick test plan. I’d change one of them. Then I’d check to make sure it would correctly display. Then I’d make sure it would correctly work. Then I’d check the webcrawler to make sure it would indicate I’d gotten it.
This I did.
So now the rest was easy. I located the other amazon.somethings and replaced them with amazon.somthiingelses. Confirmed on their site that I was clean. Confirmed on my site that I was working. All better.
So now we’re all running again and my pulse and respiration is back to normal (did I mention I hate working technical issues on my website?). Everything is fine. Now I can get back to writing.
And finding that other occurrence I’d never anticipated in writing, that being the agent rejection letter. Well, that’s still a ways out for Tubitz and Mergenstein.
We’ll take about that in a future DOG EAR, no doubt.