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INside Scoop
No Symptom Too Small
By Julie A. Pierce
January, 2007, 19:26

Like an intravenous shot of caffeine, the meaning of “technical difficulties” really hit home for me this month. In the same way a scratchy throat can signal an oncoming flu, there were signs that trouble was lurking. And like an itchy throat, the symptoms were minor and easily ignored. Soon like a spreading cancer, the symptoms become more pronounced and I was facing a full-blown system crash.

Lesson learned, when something isn’t right with your computer, stop and figure out what needs to be taken care of immediately. Don’t ignore it. Denial just leads to bigger and bigger problems until you have no option other than to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

If you’ve practiced good habits of backing up your data, you’ll be in good stead for the disaster recovery process. If you’ve let fate care for your precious data, you will be sorely disappointed. All of your hard work, your cherished memories, and your favourite songs are goners.

The sounds of agony that leak uncontrollably from your soul will throw your loved ones and neighbours into a depression of their own. Should they call professional help for you? Should they alert the authorities? No, it’s just going to take some time for you to normalize and be functional again – just like your computer.

It occurs to me that I’ve known people who have thrown out their computer, replacing it with a new one due to technical difficulties. I now understand that they must not have been up to the task of disaster recovery. I don’t blame them, but I’m not in a position to trash mine. Along the road to recovery I’m learning great things from tech support as I restore my computer back to a healthy, functional state.

There have been other challenges with getting this edition together as well. As Rowdy mentioned in a recent Writer’s Site News mailing, the passing of his very close friend Robert "Bob" Gannon, on top of a myriad of other personal challenges combined with the holiday season, made this edition an up-hill battle. We honour his dear friend with our memorial insert page to a man who was a pioneer in computers.

On an up note, we are very excited to have on our New Year cover the New York Times best-selling author Philip Carlo. Our interview with Philip is meaty, interesting, and a straightforward approach to being a writer. Reading this interview more than once does a writer good.

INside Authors introduces Steve Chappell and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. Anne Allen gets us off to a strong start in 2007 with an update on the latest scams waiting to suck you in. Jennifer Edelson reflects on what she’s learned this past year and how that will affect her future. Peggy Bechko helps us get organized and Ken Robinson reminds us that whatever your real life is, that’s your writing life – live with it. Helen Dunn Frame helps us cope with the facts of this reality by encouraging us to make a paradise out of whatever writing environment we have.

Marjorie Allen presents some useful information to ponder and act on. Karen Braynard gives us further steps to writing successful corporate newsletters, while J.R. Kambak gives us direction on how to make a script review a useful process. And in case you wondered how to find topics for your poetic bent, Charles Ghigna takes us on his journey of watching how his poems are created.

Our Top 10 Resources are focused on fun and education, and Joan Neubauer is back with wisdom on selling screenplays and copyright issues. In Tool Kit you’ll find three how-to-write books reviewed by our reliable Billie Williams. Unfortunately, this may be the last time I will be able to say that. Billie is moving on to other endeavours. We’ll be bringing you book reviews under a different pen in the future. If you're interested in being a book reviewer, have a pile of how-to-write books on hand to review, and would like to volunteer, contact me at with the subject line Book Reviewer. Thank you, Billie, for all the reviews you’ve provided. Good luck!

Lori Myers tells us about the benefits of having an online presence, while Patrick Kennedy concludes his two-part series on technical writing. Torrey Meeks joins the IN crowd with an article about getting published in trade magazines. Rowdy Rhodes walks us through a good book proposal, and Mark London discusses the conundrum of “freedom.”

Barring further technical difficulties and other unforeseen events, another edition of IN will be available to you next month. In the mean time, enjoy this one and realize that it comes to you as a result of many people voluntarily spending many hours overcoming challenges. Let it inspire you to be successful in your own writing career.

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Julie Pierce
Inkwell Newswatch (

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