Writing is an art, similar to pulling ones own teeth without anesthetics


I managed to put in a full week on “Twisted Key” and now have forty-one pages of new material. I fully plan to do the same thing this week, unless Life gets in my way again.

It did, this morning. I had to drive my sister up to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. She’s got a nasty case of bronchitis, and at her age that can lead to other issues she’d much rather avoid.

So, it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and I’m just now sitting down to the computer. We’ll see how far I can get today without another interruption. Don’t get me wrong – I was happy to be here to help her today, but like I said – Life can get in the way of progress. Can, and usually does. Working past the problems Life throws at us, getting the job done and maintaining ones sense of humor is a very useful life skill. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of that one, yet.

But I’m still working on it. Persistence is another very useful life skill. I’ve got that one down pat.

Six pages a day is not bad, considering all the rewriting involved in coming up with six useable pages every day. I mean, there is less than no sense in turning garbage over to your editors, is there? You’d wind up looking for new editors real quick if you tried that more than once, I promise.

My brother-in-law came back from the store yesterday and handed me a web cam. It’s a MiniCam Pro, a GE product, and has a focus ring, snap shot button and mic, and comes with some very basic software for editing photographs and video clips. It’s a fun little critter to play with.

We use ComCast for our television and internet connectivity. I wish we had a choice. The last apartment we lived in we received both a Netgear router and a wireless adapter for the second computer. In this new apartment, we signed a new contract with ComCast and requested a new router and adapter so we could trunk in the old gear. They said, “Okey-dokey” (okay, they didn’t really say that, exactly), and promptly sent us a new Netgear router. When I called about the adapter, I was told they don’t supply those, that we would have to purchase that ourselves.

It’s no use arguing with them over any of this, really, it’s not. I have done that, several times. It really is not worth the wasted time.

Yesterday morning, I got busy and swapped out the old router for the new one. No joy, no internet. I called ComCast and after a brief meaningful discussion with their tech support, who told me they only deal with the modem and I would have to speak with NetGear about any problems I was having with their products, was transferred to the Netgear help desk, where I hung on hold for twenty minutes before I hung up. I had replaced the old router with the new one, remember. Identical in every way, except for the dust on the case. So I swapped them back. The old router picked up the connection with no problem. So I put the new router in the old box.

The I hooked up the new wireless adapter (a Cisco product) and it picked up the connection with the old router with no problem after I provided the key code to authorize the connection. The old adapter was put back into its box. The whole thing took about two hours, which is about one hour forty-five minutes longer than it should have.

That’s tech support for you.

But I got to curse a lot – not over the phone, of course, but I did get to use some words you’ll never see in anything I write.

The new router and the old wireless adapter went back to ComCast this afternoon, and the money ComCast had held back has been credited to our bill.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year.

About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. Those words were written a few years ago. Frankly speaking, the literary well has dried up. I now live in Dunnellon, Fl, where I amworking as the caretaker on a horse farm and looking to build a workshop here on the property where I can get back to building furniture. With any luck I will be sinking piers some time early in November and hope to have the floor joists ready for flooring by the end of the month. I'll get back to you on that.
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