99% Perspiration: 2013 365 Challenge #268

CreateSpace Formatting

CreateSpace Formatting (note the time!)

If genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, I’m definitely wallowing in the latter right now.

I spent five hours formatting various versions of Baby Blues & Wedding Shoes this evening, having had the latest updated Smashwords version rejected for a stray page number.

When I uploaded the new version it seemed some of the paragraphs had smaller text than others, so I went through the file and found that half was in Style 2 and half in Normal (only interesting if you’ve spent a chunk of time formatting Word docs for Smashwords as I seem to have done lately).

I fixed the dodgy paragraphs, or so I thought, and then realised there were more issues. At the same time I was also formatting a Word doc for CreateSpace to hopefully, finally, approve my print version and get that up for sale. Not because I think there are many people who will spend £8-£10 on a book from an unknown author, but because I want some copies for giveaways! And because I think a book looks more ‘real’ if you can buy a print version too.

I have just downloaded version twenty of Baby Blues & Wedding Shoes from Smashwords to check for errors, in kindle and epub format, and arrgghh I still have random blue words on the second page and chunks of text in a different font size. It’s currently 1.37 a.m., the dog is snoring, and I haven’t started my Claire installment. Do I go back and reformat another version of Baby Blues or do I go to bed? The kids will be up in a few hours, it almost doesn’t seem worth trying to get any sleep.

Anyway, as this is all very boring for those who haven’t lost hours and days of their lives to formatting ebooks, here’s another poem from the set about my father, just so this post isn’t entirely dull! 🙂

Swanage from the pier

Swanage from the pier

August

Along the bay, beach huts begin to fill
with plastic rings, cheese sandwiches and tea.
Their owners sit on stripy chairs at noon
and watch the promenaders passing by.
 
Amusement arcades call out, ‘Come and play!’ 
Electronic sounds and flashing clashing lights.
Sweet smell of popcorn, tuppeny cascade.
The favourite haunt for children of all ages.
 
Windbreaks and brollies march down to the sea
in rainbow ranks, a modern D-Day landing.
A whiff of fish and chips makes tummies rumble,
while raucous seagulls fight for fallen food.
 
The sand is cool and damp beneath my feet.
I watch as children brave the icy waves,
they dash and splash, come shrieking, running back.
My childhood overlaid there in the haze.
 
Red speedboats hum then roar across the bay,
creating frothy arcs, stark white on blue.
The ghosts of generations haunt the beach.
I face the cliffs and say my last adieu.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to talk about tomorrow! Right, back to Word.

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Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog: 

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Claire stared out the window at the rain and chewed the inside of her cheek. It sounded like there was a celebration going on behind her, as the stranded passengers made the most of their enforced stopover. Claire had never felt less like partying. A quick investigation had revealed the cost of flying to Queenstown to be almost as much as her flight back to the UK. Without venturing online to check her finances, she knew there wasn’t space on her credit card to pay for it, leaving no choice but to wait it out.

“This is ridiculous.” She pushed herself away from the window and went in search of the hostel owner. Forcing a calmness she didn’t feel, she tried to frame her question in a non-confrontational way. It wasn’t the manager’s fault that she was stuck.

She tracked the man down at reception, where he sat making phone calls. Claire leant against the wall and kicked her foot, idly listening to his conversation as she waited to speak to him.

“I’m calling about your booking tomorrow. Unfortunately, the Homer Tunnel is currently closed. … Risk of rock fall this end I’m afraid, due to the heavy rain. … No, I can’t say when it will open again. The best thing is to check the website for updates. … Yes, I’m sorry too, thank you.”

Claire’s limbs felt heavy as she walked over to the desk. There didn’t seem much point to her question, but she decided to ask it anyway.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing your call. The tunnel isn’t opening in the morning then? The driver was hopeful that it would open in the daylight.”

The man behind the desk looked up at her and smiled ruefully, laughter lines appearing at the sides of his eyes. “It isn’t looking hopeful, I’m afraid. We’ve had some problems recently with a large overhang of loose rock. There is some talk the tunnel might be shut for a week or even two while they sort the problem.”

“A week! My flight home leaves in two days.” Claire gripped the edge of the desk and fought back tears.

“I am sorry. You might be able to catch a flight to Queenstown, if the rain eases. They won’t fly in this weather.”

“I can’t afford a flight. Unless the government will evacuate us? Yes, they have to do something, don’t they? They can’t leave us stranded down here for a week?” She focussed on the man’s face, eager to see some agreement. He merely shook his head.

“They’ve never evacuated before, to my knowledge.”

“Has the tunnel remained shut for a week before?” Claire demanded.

The manager shrugged. “I haven’t been here all that long. It’s never been shut for more than a day or two. I’m sorry. I’m trying to find out what I can, but the rain plays havoc with communications I’m afraid. You’ll have to try to be patient.”

Claire inhaled through her nose and bit back a retort. There were many times in her life she would have loved to be stranded in a beautiful location, with nothing to do but read and relax. Now was not one of them.

She nodded at the manager and strode back to the lounge, where a noisy game of Monopoly was taking place. Unable to stand the good humour, Claire retreated to her room.

I’m just going to have to find a few more hundred dollars from somewhere and worry about it when I get home.

Wracking her brain for someone likely to lend her the money, Claire curled into her bunk and closed her eyes.

***

2 thoughts on “99% Perspiration: 2013 365 Challenge #268

  1. Pingback: Style hell Sunday: 2013 365 Challenge #272 | writermummy

  2. Pingback: Style hell Sunday: 2013 365 Challenge #273 | writermummy

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