They say a week is a long time in politics. I think it may be even longer in writing!
Last week and a bit ago, several things happened almost simultaneously. First I sent a copy of my latest book - "The Dotard" off down to the editor, relieved that the first draft was finally done and thinking to myself - nothing can go wrong. Oh what a foolish thought!
Days later the North Korean's called the US President a dotard, and I was left shocked and floundering. Wondering, why do they suddenly use this archaic term right bloody then! And also wondering do I now have to change the title of the book now that I've gone to all the trouble of getting a cover done etc?
The problem is that some people seeing the book cover will connect the two things, and immediately either assume that I'm making some sort of political statement - which I am absolutely not - or else that I'm simply cashing in on the sudden notoriety of the word by copying North Korea - save that as far as I can tell they're copying me! Good to know I have readers there though! On the other hand - it was such a brilliant title for the book and I've already gone and got the cover done. I don't want to change it.
What a miserable couple of days that was! You just wouldn't read about it! (Except of course if you read the book when it comes out!)
Then just when I thought things couldn't get any worse my computer crashed. Actually the hard drive had a complete break down with all data lost. Thankfully it was only my desktop, so I lost no writing. I normally write on my laptop and back up regularly to burner discs. The desktop is purely for connecting to the net. That was the good news. The bad was that I did have one file on my desktop that I absolutely needed - the one with all my logins and passwords! The one I never backed up!
So after a week with no online presence, I'm now in the process of trying to resurrect all my logins and passwords - with limited success. Most of the time I had the computer remember my passwords and addresses for me which was extremely convenient - until now! At this stage I'd guess I can access probably half of the fora I used to, which means if you're looking for me under my alternate persona, don't be surprised if I'm not there.
Emails have of course also died, which means I've lost loads of names, contacts and reference material. And some of my contacts will shortly be receiving emails starting off "you remember that you sent me ...? Can you send it again!" And of course many of my online contacts like cover artists I won't be able to contact at all.
The moral of the story is of course - back up everything. Not just the data files on your laptop!
Anyway that's been my week. At this stage I've decided to leave the book as it is (as you can see above). Hopefully the North Koreans will find some other language to use and people will forget the word. And dotard really is a brilliantly old fashioned word that perfectly encapsulates the book.
So that's been my week or so. One out of the box really. All I can really say is that I hope people can learn from my mistakes. And that the title of the book like the book itself, has absolutely nothing to do with US politics.