Welcome back to the Pro Rookie, fellow scribblers and others!
In case you need a reminder, this is the place where I, Liz, the Great and Powerful Author share all of my many publishing mistakes with you, so that you do not make them.
Or, more specifically, it’s a place where I tell you what NOT to do.
Or, in the case of this month’s edition, it’s a place to vent.
Now, don’t get too excited. I do take my own advice on occasion. I have no intention of bad-mouthing my fellow authors, be they worthy of said bad-mouthing or not. I keep all that jealous-style angry resentment locked up deep inside so it can fester and contribute to my aging process.
No, this month, I have got to get something else off my chest.
It concerns a well-known entity in all of our lives.
Something that at least 95% of us own and harbor in our homes because we require it to do our job—that of crafting the Next Great American Novel Or the Next 50 Shades Whichever Comes First.
It’s one of those things that we don’t think much about, until it fails us—like the washing machine, or birth control.
It’s an item that ranges in price from $29 up into the thousands of dollars and requires a near-constant influx of supplies that will put a serious dent in your budget. But in a sneaky way that you don’t really notice.
Yes, I speak of the home printer.
But why, Liz? You ask. Mine sits in my office/kitchen/basement lair/repurposed garage and does what I tell it to do. I hit “print.” It spits out words on paper. End of story.
Oh no, grasshopper. It is not that simple for yours truly (remember: it’s Liz’s Venting Column this month so bear with me).
No, I believe that I am either karmic-ly cursed or I possess a sort of negative electrical field that simply f*cks interferes with these things, mightily. To wit: In the last eight years, I have owned no fewer than five of these pieces of sh*t devices. I have gone the cheap-o route at thirty bucks all the way up to the almost $150 one. Each time—every time—only to be disappointed.
And by “disappointed,” I mean they turn me into a raving, cursing, head-spinning, demon—sort of like watching the show “Girls” does, but in a more expensive fashion.
I don’t get it, either. I talk soothingly to each one of these black bricks of evil as I remove them from their box, un-tape all their orifices, provide them with their pricey juices, and slide the necessary supplies into their nether regions. I caress them as they flicker to life, and connect themselves to my home network—likely reading all my bank accounts, tax records, and deleted text messages along the way. I smile benignly as their tiny screens glow and encourage me to sign up for their “ink for life” programs. This is a program that one of them has similar to the old Columbia Record Club—you know, the company that locks you into a purchasing program that even your great-great-great grandchildren can’t break? (I’m still getting CDs.)
In short, I give them everything they require of me and all I ask in return is that when I do the “squiggly button P” thing on Liz’s Second Gen Coffee Free Mac-top that it bloody well prints the words and spits out the paper to me in a timely manner.
But no. Because of my negative electrical field (I make watches stop, too, did I mention that?) the print box will hum along for the first, second and possibly third job and then, that fourth time? I will sit at my work station a.k.a. the kitchen table and listen for the melodious clunking of the current Evil Brick in the other room and will wait, and wait, and wait some more.
I will go to visit it, and glare it, but its little screen will simply shine up at me, awaiting orders from someone less karmic-ly challenged. I will delete the print job and try again, at least twice with the same, quiet, result.
This has happened with every single one of these things, whether they have HP or Epson or Amazon-Rebuilt-Special on their lids.
The box-that-only-works-every-fourth-time that is the current resident of the other room is an HP because I am a giant sucker believer of advertising lurker on home-printer chat boards (yes, these exist and are pretty funny, actually) and took some advice I read there. And now I am back to my old tricks:
- Reboot a.k.a. unplug, count to 10, re-plug with a super loud curse
- Hard glare combined with muttering about Carly Fiorina and her forced obsolescence schemes
- Stomping around the small room containing the evil device when it spits out ½ a page then stops when I come in to “check on it.”
- Sneaking up on it, ascertaining its general well-being, then hitting print from a different room in the house, in hopes that it alters my crappy aura
I am easily fooled because sometimes it’ll work for a week, then I’ll spend the next week going through steps 1-4 above on a daily basis before giving up destroying it with a sledgehammer buying a new one.
I mean, I pay the equivalent of $1000 for every precious ounce of fluid required to make the thing work. I buy the super-not-recycled paper specifically recommended by the company’s many-paged guide to hapless operation. I swear I’m not asking for it to do anything other than the action for which it was designed.
I’m ashamed to admit that my personal additions to the landfill by way of my string of non-success with these things likely equals that of a small Fortune 500 company. The home-printer graveyard is full up at Liz’s house, in other words. It’s a towering testament to the simple fact that I have zero patience a low threshold for failure.
And that concludes this month’s vent a.k.a. The Pro Rookie Column.
I need to go now and trick the HP in to thinking I don’t need its help, whistling as I walk away, then hitting print while standing in the bathroom. It’s a new step designed to ease the e-waste stream flowing from my house.
Bio Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
My latest release TAPPED is doing its usual thing—some folks LOVE it and some don’t but everyone agrees—its chock full of white hot heat and realistic characters + BEER!
LIGHTSTRUCK (book 2) releases May 30.
Grab your copy of this “real life menage” novel today!